I have an online course that I created and am teaching in. It’s an information security course where I cover such topics as SQL injection, XSS attacks, and more. I primarily teach using videos and slide decks. In the past, I’ve used a combination of this content along with text-based articles. One of the features of the course is that I give my students a lot of free content to use after they complete the course. As a result, I gain a lot of support from my students since they can easily access the information that I provide.
I want to expand on this idea of giving free content after completing an online course. Specifically, I want to discuss ways that you can leverage that content to gain more leads, enroll more students, and ultimately make more money from your online course. I’m going to cover the following topics:
Create Awesome Content
The first step to successfully marketing your online course is to create awesome content for it. Now, I’m a firm believer in this phrase, but I want to expand on it. When you’re creating content for your course, you want to ensure that it’s good. But why should it have to be good? Why can’t it just be there? You can assign yourself the role of content creator and begin to ask yourself questions like:
• What do I want to say?
• How can I say it in a way that will be valuable to my audience?
• Is my content easy to understand?
• Does my content take the audience on a journey?
• Does my content provide value?
• Does my content provoke thoughts, actions, or decisions in my audience based on their own values, interests, and goals?
When you ask yourself these questions, you’ll begin to see the content that you create with more purpose. You can take this content and use it in a variety of ways. For example, you could create a podcast around it. You could interview the main characters from your course and turn those interviews into blog posts. Or, you could create cheat sheets and other valuable reference materials to make it easier for your students to learn the content. Essentially, there are endless possibilities for the content that you create for your course.
Distribute That Content
The second step to successfully marketing your online course is to distribute that content to as many people as possible. If you’ve been distributing your content online, you’ve probably noticed that some articles get more views than others. The reason behind this is that people find the content more valuable that other people. As a result, if you want people to find and value your content, you need to make sure that they have easy access to it wherever they may be.
There are many ways that you can do this, but I want to focus on the two biggest ways in particular. The first is to create a free blog space where you can put your content. If you’ve been meaning to create a blog, this is an excellent opportunity to do it. There are plenty of free blogging platforms such as WordPress.com that you can use to create a professional-looking blog in no time.
The second way that you can distribute your content is to create online communities where you discuss the topic of your course with other people. For example, if you teach an online photography course, you can create a community of photographers who can help and support each other in their professional pursuits.
You can use platforms like Slack to communicate with your community. Not only do they provide you a place to have informal conversations with your students, but they also make it really easy for those conversations to turn into content.
Use Online Communities To Get Feedback
The final step to successfully marketing your online course is to use online communities to get feedback on your content. When you ask members of your community for feedback, you’re putting yourself in the position of student again. But this time, you’re asking for feedback on a piece of content that you created. As a result, you have the opportunity to improve upon your content and ensure that it’s valuable, easy to understand, and that it teaches your students everything that they need to know.
To be able to do this, you need to make sure that you’ve thought of everything. Specifically, you want to ensure that your content is concise, clear, and that you’ve answered all of your own questions before you ask your students.
To give you an idea of what I mean, let’s say that you created a blog post on the topic of blogging. You’d likely write something like this:
“Hey, I’m Mark. I created a course where I teach bloggers everything they need to know about blogging. After you complete my course, you’ll be able to create content, grow a blog, and earn money from it. Here’s a link to my course:
Blogging For Profit
All of this might seem a bit daunting, but once you get going, it will all become clear. With that, let’s get into the details of how to market your online course for free.