What’s the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Creating Online Courses?

What’s the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Creating Online Courses?

Getting started with an online course can seem daunting. Where do I begin? What do I need? How many hours a day can I work? Which platform should I use?

The search for answers can leave you paralyzed. That’s where we were. We wanted to create an online course—but didn’t know where to start. We’d heard about successful creators and thought maybe we could learn from them. So we did.

Here’s what we learned. Whether you’re creating a series of online courses or just one, these seven steps will help you get started (and keep going)

Step one: Set a goal.

Why? Because if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. We knew we wanted to create an online course to help people learn to code. But first we had to determine what our end goal was. We weren’t sure if we wanted to create a free course or something more exclusive. So we set a goal of creating a free course. This way, we knew exactly what we were working towards.

Now, don’t get me wrong, you can still have a successful course even if you don’t set a goal—you just have to be a bit more flexible. For instance, you may decide that you want to create a paid course to make more money. But if you don’t set a goal, you’ll never know whether or not you met it. You could create a free course that gets thousands of views a month—or a paid course that only gets a few views. You won’t know until you try.

Step two: Gather a team.

Yes, as exciting as this may be, creating an online course will require a team. There’s a lot of work that needs to go into it. You’ll need people to help you design the course, people to help you figure out the tech, and people to help you communicate with the audience. More often than not, the lead designer, programmer, and communicator will be you. So don’t underestimate the power of having a team of people helping you.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean that you need to have a team of people around you to help you. There are plenty of designers, programmers, and communicators out there who are more than capable of helping you with your project.

Step three: Identify your audience.

Who is this course for? The short answer is: everyone. This course is meant to teach people how to code for free. For this reason, we needed to identify our audience. Who are we trying to reach?

We knew we wanted to create a free course so our audience would be anyone who was interested in learning how to code. But we also knew we wanted to create something that appealed to both men and women. So we needed to identify our audience based on gender as well. We wanted to create a course that everyone could benefit from, regardless of their experience in the field.

Now, you don’t need to be limited by demographics. You can create a course for any audience you want. But it’s important to understand who your audience is before you start coding. Otherwise, you may find yourself wasting a lot of time.

Step four: Decide on the format and content of your course.

There are plenty of free online course creators out there. Some of them are very easy to use, and even those with the least sophisticated tools are sufficient for creating a decent-looking course. If you want to create an online course that’s going to be appealing to people and serve as a good example of what is achievable, you’re best served by going with a more expensive tool. Or at least one that offers more features.

Even if you decide to forego the extra features. Even if you just need something easy to use that won’t require you to be a technical expert. There are still a lot of templates and formats available to choose from. So, you don’t have to feel limited to just one way of presenting information.

Step five: Select and purchase a domain name.

You’ve decided to create an online course. Congratulations! Great choice. In order to have a truly professional-looking course, you’ll need a domain name. A domain name is the address of your website. So, for example, if you decide to create a free course for designers, you’ll want to purchase a domain name like designers.com.

The nice thing about having your own domain name is that you can put whatever you want there. You can create a blog or a gallery or a store—all of which are acceptable uses for a domain name. The important thing to note is that you can use the domain name in any way you want. So long as it follows the rules set out by the domain name registrar (usually your hosting provider), it’s perfectly legal. And besides, having your own domain name is just plain cool.

Step six: Select a hosting provider.

Once you have your domain name, you’ll need to purchase web hosting. This is where your course will live once it’s completed. In order to make sure that your course is going to look good, you’ll need good hosting. Once again, this depends on the format of your course. Are you using a free template? Or are you using WordPress to build your course?

If you’re using a free template, you’ll want to look for a hosting provider that has a dedicated IP. This is an IP that is reserved for your exclusive use and cannot be accessed by any other domains. The benefit of having your own dedicated IP is that you can ensure everything is situated just the way you want it. And if you’re worried about running out of storage, the good news is that you can always purchase additional drive space.

If you’re using WordPress to build your course, you can select a shared hosting provider. This is where most WordPress blogs are hosted. The nice thing about shared hosting is that you don’t need to worry about storage space since all of the other websites on the server share the same space. The downside is that you’re sharing your IP with a lot of other websites, so if you don’t want your content to be accessed by the general public, you’ll need to purchase additional privacy protection (via a Virtual Private Server). This is a type of web hosting that is not shared, and the price is usually higher than that of a shared hosting plan. However, if you’re looking for a more secure option and don’t mind the additional monthly fee, a Virtual Private Server is the perfect choice. Otherwise, you can always opt for a free domain name and use WordPress’s free SSL certificate to create a secure connection between your website and customers.

Step seven: Create content.

With all of the technical details taken care of, you can now begin creating content for your course. Are you creating an informational course where you just want to lecture your audience on the basics of coding? Or are you trying to create a step-by-step tutorial where you guide your audience through the whole process from start to finish?

Regardless of the format, as the course content creator, you’re going to be responsible for coming up with the content for your course. This can be a daunting task, especially if you’re just starting out. Luckily, there are plenty of content creators out there who make coming up with content easy. For instance, Teachable provides a variety of free courses (infographics, how-to videos, and webinars) that you can use to supplement your own knowledge. Or, you can watch YouTube videos and download blog posts to use as references.

If you decide to create an informational course, where you just want to share what you know with your audience, you can use a tool like Course Builder by Canva to easily create an informative course. Canva’s Course Builder is a free tool that allows you to create an informative course in no time at all. You’ll just need to select the subject matter you want to cover (web design, digital marketing, etc.) and the length of the course (in hours). Once you’ve created the course, you can assign a due date to have your audience complete it. And because it’s a timed course, you can also set a benchmark for yourself and your audience so that you can track their progress (graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best possible score). When your audience has completed the course, you can release it to the public with a press release and encourage your audience to speak about your course (social media, forums, etc.). You can also decide whether or not you want to offer your audience a bonus if they finish the course before the deadline. This can be a great way to encourage them to work hard and keep track of their progress.