11 Tips to Make a Great Online Course
- Keep in mind who the course is for
For you, the course is about you sharing your knowledge, positioning yourself as a thought leader or an experienced professional, and ultimately making money. But that’s not what the course is about for your students.
For your students, the course taking experience is about them and what they want to accomplish. You are just a minor feature in the course. If you were replaced by a robot, that might even be preferred by many students. They don’t want to interact with you nor care for your personality. They just need to learn the material in the most efficient and clear way possible. So when you think about what your course will be like, keep in mind how it can teach its content in the clearest and most effective way possible.
- Great course structure
The way to create a course that is efficient in its teaching is by having a great structure or outline. To create a course outline, think of the learning journey through which you will take your students. What will they have to learn first, second and third? That will help you come up with a flow.
For example, in one of my courses, I teach how to sell e-commerce products. One of my students sells a grout cleaning product. Another student of mine sells dog supplies and dog medicine. Students like this need to first learn SEO for their website so he could get their website to rank higher in search, and after that, they needed to learn how to sell their products on Amazon. So there is a certain order of things you have to take your clients through. If you teach them everything at once, they will get overwhelmed and confused. When your students get confused, they feel bad about themselves (even though that was your fault) and quit.
- The Importance of exercises
You should have exercises throughout the structure of your course. Exercises will help to keep students engaged and not just passively going through the modules of your course. Many students might watch all the videos without actually having tried any of the strategies that you’ve shown them in the course. That doesn’t help them retain the material. Exercises encourage your students to try the tips in your course and become better at the subject matter by doing so.
- Utilize practical examples
In addition to exercises, you should include practical examples in your course. These combinations of practical examples and exercises will make the course a whole level better for your students. You will get better feedback, better star ratings, and ultimately more sales. Practical examples also show the students that you have direct experience with the subject matter. That will help instill confidence in your students about you, and they will trust you more as their instructor. They will also have a better sense of how the theoretical material is applied if they are given examples.
- Audio quality is crucial
In addition to the course structure, examples and exercises, you must make sure to take care of the A/V (audio-visual) issues. Audio is surprisingly more important then video quality because if at least the students can hear you, they can still follow along.
If you are on a low budget, you can use a built-in microphone that comes with your computer. As long as you record in a very quiet area, you can get away with that. If you have a little bit of a budget, good lapel microphones start at $25-30.
- Video quality is a must
Video quality is also important. There are many things that go into video quality. Some of those things are your lighting, your background, your appearance and your presentation. Lastly, of course, a big part of your video quality is your camera.
While it is easy to point a camera and create video, it is difficult to make a good video.
Equipment options range from your mobile phone to your computer’s built-in video camera to a camcorder to a DSLR camera that can record video. At the end of the day, you need to have a clear, well-lit video that isn’t blurry.
- Engaging presentation and public speaking
Let’s touch on the point I made earlier that your students don’t care much about you as the teacher. They care more about whether they will be able to learn in an easy way and whether what benefits they will be able to get from that learning.
There is one caveat to that. If you can be extra engaging and make the course taking experience more fun or enjoyable for your students, then that will make the course better.
- Why you need coaching
How do you accomplish all the things like great delivery, audio, video, content, exercises and so much more that is needed in a good course? It is admittedly difficult to achieve all these things all at once. It took me years to improve and perfect many of these things, and to be honest, I am still working on improving many of them.
One thing I’d recommend is to get coaching from an experienced teacher. You don’t have to get coaching from me, but I do offer business coaching services. My basic business coaching is hourly and I charge a pretty reasonable price. I recently introduced an advanced business coaching program that is daily and intensive.
It is pretty easy to begin working with me. Just send me an email and tell me about your goals, and I’ll be able to tell you whether I am the right person to help you achieve those goals.
- Bring your passion
One thing that will engage your students and inspire confidence in them will be the passion that you bring to your teaching. If you don’t truly want your students to succeed, it will show. And if you truly do want your students to succeed, that too will show. If you are passionate about the subject matter, you will give off subconscious clues that you love teaching, and it will subconsciously resonate with your students, make them more engaged and help them enjoy the course more.
- Intensely focus on marketing and sales
Long-term marketing will be one of the keys to the success of your course. Few courses succeed in the beginning. Most courses and instructors see success after a long-term, sustained effort. You must have a long-term marketing plan. What will you do on an ongoing basis? Will you grow an audience elsewhere to whom to promote your course? Will you continue to improve the quality of your course? Or will do you do something else that is creative and out of the box?
I happen to also do marketing strategy coaching in case you feel that you need help in promoting your course.
- Check out existing courses
To make yourself a good instructor, you should take courses made by other experienced instructors. There is something to learn from every instructor, and I’ve watched over 100 different courses made by different instructors. You don’t even have to buy any of the courses. Many courses offer free preview videos where you can get a feel for the instructor’s style. Here is a list of my online courses where you can choose which of mine to preview.
Alex Genadinik is a software engineer turned online entrepreneur extraordinaire. Alex is an author with 20 business books on Amazon and an instructor who has made multiple courses on Marketing And Networking University. Alex also has a large YouTube channel with over 2,000,000 views. He is also a business coach. He has coached over 1,000 aspiring entrepreneurs. Alex’s current interests include cryptocurrency. He is dabbling with Bitcoin investing and offers discounts on his products when people pay with Bitcoin. Alex holds a B.S in Computer Science from San Jose State University. On his free time, Alex likes playing soccer, going to theater and comedy shows and working. Yes, he works on his free time. He hustles all the time.
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