What do a stand-up comedian, housewife, and plumber have in common? They are monetizing their knowledge by selling courses.
We can all agree that in today's economy, finding creative ways to earn extra income is becoming increasingly important.
What if I told you that people from all walks of life - from stand-up comedians to housewives to plumbers - are leveraging their unique knowledge and experiences to create and sell online courses? And they are making a healthy income doing it.
In this article, you'll discover the benefits of creating an online course, learn how to identify your own area of expertise to teach, and get step-by-step guidance on how to create, market, and monetize a course. Whether you want to replace your 9-5 or just make some money on the side, selling online courses can be a fulfilling way to turn your knowledge into profit.
Selling online courses can be an extremely lucrative way for people from all walks of life to monetize their unique skills, experiences, and knowledge. For example, a stand-up comedian could create an online course teaching others how to write jokes and perform comedy. A housewife may offer a course on running an efficient household, and a plumber could teach DIY home repair techniques. The internet has made it possible for anyone to share their expertise with a global audience.
Benefits of Selling Online Courses
Creating an online course allows you to:
- Generate passive income without needing to actively work once the course is made
- Build authority and credibility by positioning yourself as an expert
- Help others by sharing your specialized knowledge
- Work remotely from anywhere with an internet connection
Identifying Your Area of Expertise
To determine what online course you should create, introspect on what specialized knowledge you have that would be valuable for others to learn. Think about:
- Your work experiences and skills developed on the job
- Topics you studied in higher education
- Hobbies and activities you particularly enjoy and excel at
- Life experiences that have given you expertise to share
Look for niche topics that you have unique perspectives on, and skills that would be useful for others to acquire. Determine what people may be struggling with that your expertise could help overcome.
Creating Your Online Course
Choosing an online course topic that aligns with your expertise and that people would find valuable can set you up for success. Conduct market research to identify high-demand topics with audience interest and potential. Define a focused course that provides specialized knowledge.
Choosing a Course Topic
- Reflect on your background, skills, and experience to determine topics you can create comprehensive courses around. These should be subjects you have in-depth expertise on.
- Research online forums, social media groups, keyword searches etc. to gauge demand for potential topics. Assess competition levels as well.
- Select a specific, focused topic that has audience interest but isn't oversaturated. The course should fill a need.
- Outline the learning outcomes and key takeaways students will gain. Clearly convey what skills or capabilities students will develop.
Outlining the Course Content
Structure the course content to provide maximum value to students. Outline modules and lessons that will help students incrementally gain knowledge.
- Group related concepts and learning objectives into modules and sequential lessons.
- Determine assignments, quizzes, case studies, and projects that allow practicing concepts.
- Create module wrap-ups summarizing key takeaways.
- Develop assessments to evaluate student progress and completion.
Recording/Writing Course Content
Focus on creating high-quality course content that engages students and facilitates learning. Leverage a combination of media such as presentations, text documents, videos etc.
- Script course content to explain concepts clearly. Improve understanding with examples and visuals.
- Record videos or screencasts walking through processes, best practices, and step-by-step instructions.
- Structure written documents, slide decks etc. to reinforce video content with summaries and key highlights.
- Review all course assets to ensure they effectively facilitate learning before finalizing them.
The outlined steps help plan and develop a valuable online course that resonates with students by determining high-demand topics, structuring for maximum comprehension, and utilizing engaging content formats.
Marketing Your Online Course
Once your course is ready, effectively promote it to reach your target audience. Outline marketing strategies.
Building an Email List
Start building an email subscriber list early to establish an audience. Offer free value content to subscribers, such as:
- Excerpts from your course
- Relevant articles and blog posts
- Discounts on future courses
- Q&A sessions
Collect email addresses by:
- Adding a signup form on your website
- Promoting signup links on social media
- Offering lead magnets in exchange for emails
Send regular updates to subscribers highlighting new course launches, promotions, etc. Nurture relationships by providing helpful and engaging content.
Leveraging Social Media
Promote your course on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Engage with niche communities by:
- Posting free tips and advice
- Responding to discussions and questions
- Running polls and contests
Create shareable social media posts with:
- Course discounts
- Sneak peek content
- Student testimonials and reviews
Leverage hashtags and tags to expand reach. Follow relevant influencers and engage with their content.
Getting Influencer Endorsements
Partner with influencers, experts and brands to cross-promote content. Reach out to:
- Industry thought leaders
- Complementary bloggers and media
- Relevant organizations and companies
Offer incentives like free course access or commission on sales. Seek out win-win partnerships that align with your brand and audience.
Leverage influencer endorsements and testimonials on your website and social channels. Coordinate joint webinars or interviews to expand reach.
Monetizing Your Online Course
Online courses can be a great way to share your knowledge and make money. As you develop your course, it's important to think about how you will price and sell access. Here are some tips on monetizing your online course.
When setting prices, first look at comparable courses in your field and the value you are providing. Some pricing models to consider:
Subscription plans: Offer monthly or yearly access at a recurring price. This provides predictable income. Start low to attract users.
One-time payments: Students pay once for lifetime access. Simple but less recurring revenue.
Tiered pricing: Offer different packages at different price points with more features at higher tiers.
Bundles: Package multiple courses together at a discounted bundle price.
Free trials can also help attract new users. Provide some course value for free for a limited time before payment is required.
Partner with complementary businesses to promote each other's courses. Offer affiliate commissions when you direct sales to another course creator. Seek out partners with audiences who may be interested in your course topic.
Affiliate marketing can increase your course visibility and provide additional revenue streams from commissions earned.
Expanding Your Catalog
Once you have an established course and audience, create additional courses to increase potential revenue. Turn your expertise into a series of courses around related topics.
Your current students will be some of the most likely buyers of your new courses. Offer discounts when new courses are purchased together.
Continually publishing new courses keeps you relevant and gives existing students more opportunities for continued learning.
The ability to create and sell online courses is now accessible to anyone with expertise to share. As we've seen, people from all walks of life - from stand-up comedians to housewives to plumbers - are leveraging their unique knowledge and skills to build thriving businesses teaching others.
With the right planning and marketing, you too can monetize what you know best into a profitable online course business. Here's a quick summary of the key points:
Identify your area of expertise that others would pay to learn. It could be a hobby, skill from your career, or life experiences.
Structure your knowledge into a comprehensive course curriculum with video lessons, quizzes, workbooks, etc.
Build your online platform to market and sell your course, like a website, email list, social media channels.
Promote your course through content marketing, paid ads, affiliate programs, etc.
Deliver an amazing learning experience that leads to course reviews and word-of-mouth referrals.
By putting in the work upfront to create a valuable course and market it to your target audience, you can eventually step back and let the passive income roll in. The ability to monetize your passion is easier today than ever before. All it takes is a bit of expertise, creativity and hustle to build a thriving online course business on your own terms.