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The Ultimate Guide to Launching Your First Online Course with Success

Updated: Apr 3

Welcome to Coursios new blog! After the release of Coursio NEXT we really wanted to take the NEXT step to further connect with our customers by sharing our knowledge on how to build, scale and grow an online education business. We would love to start with a guide to launching your first online course with success! Even if you already launched a bunch of courses you can still benefit from checking out this step by step guide. Maybe you can learn something new from it?


Now! Ready to turn your knowledge into a thriving online course? Let's make it happen!





Firstly, discover why online courses are booming and how it can transform your teaching journey through our platform Coursio.


Online courses have gained traction due to their inclusive accessibility, enabling learners worldwide to access education without geographical constraints. Their adaptability offers learners the freedom to customize their learning experience. They can log in wherever, whenever and study the material however they like, they may even repeat chapters as much as they like - until or if the course expires.


Courses can be specialized in niche subjects, providing in-depth knowledge often unavailable through traditional education. Moreover, they are a cost-effective alternative, eliminating expenses related to commuting and accommodations, making education more affordable.


Embracing innovative methods, Coursios online courses engage learners through interactive tools like videos, tasks, quizzes, and commenting modules, creating an immersive learning environment. They promote continuous learning, empowering individuals to stay updated and evolve professionally or personally.


For educators, online courses offer entrepreneurial opportunities, serving as platforms to share expertise, establish personal brands, and generate income.


Collectively, these unique aspects - accessibility, adaptability, specialization, affordability, engagement, continuous growth, and entrepreneurial avenues - have propelled the widespread popularity and success of online education.







Step 1 From idea to launch, we've got the recipe for success! In this step you prepare and structure your material


We presume that you are some sort of an expert within your field, whether that would be a University professor specialized in a scientific study, a lifestyle creator/influencer with a unique craft/knowledge or a big education business with hired teachers guiding and correcting assignments through Coursio - it all comes down to making a course for your end user. It is essential to have a clear picture of your target group. So here are...


Questions for educators/course creators to answer:

  • Who is my target? What do they already know and what do they want to know more of?

  • Why do you think the course might interest your target group?

  • What should the course cover broadly? What should it be named?

  • How should you structure your course material? How should the course be designed – number of sections and pages and so on? (see examples further down)

  • What kind of interaction do you want with the participants to create activity and engagement? What suits your course(s)?


Course designed from an existing book:


If you have ready-made material, perhaps a book that you are going to make into a course, you should start by reviewing the table of contents. Which parts will go into the course. Maybe all parts? Only a few parts? It is also important to remember not only to insert the book straight up and down, but to always ensure that you add extra content and add value to the course compared to the book. What you can copy is the the table of contents, usually it already has a great structure of chapters and pages that you can use to divide up your course sections into.



Course designed from an existing Power point presentation (PPT):


The same applies to you who can design a course based on a presentation that you gave in different contexts. It's great to reuse powerpoint slides both as individual images and in the slide show module, but keep in mind that the user can't hear your voice, so you need to either add text and sound files or convert these into videos.


Course designed from a new idea (no material):


Are you going to create a course on a completely new idea where no written material exists before? Then a little more preparatory work is required. The important thing is that you are passionate about what you are going to create, it is always possible to scale down, pick away and put aside for another course (for example, a part 2, or a an advance course).



Examples of Course structures


Check out the left menus and click the arrow to slide and see more course examples.




How long should an Online Course be?


Typically, introductory courses span 20-35 pages, organized into 5-6 sections, often termed chapters, episodes, or modules for clarity. If you would speed-take an introductory course one could finish it after around 2-5h, we recommend aiming for a half day to a whole day course, depending on the subject. However encourage your target group to take it slow, read the course in the speed that suits them best and repeat as much as they want. Give them a good access time to the course.


For instance, an Exercise program might structure its content across a 6-week timeline (6 chapters+) with an access time of three months, while a Baking course could categorize the material based on techniques and step-by-step recipes and give their customer a whole year to attend the course.


The key lies in clarity:

can learners easily discern the current lesson and navigate back to review sections? If the answer is yes, you've successfully crafted a well-structured course! 🎉





Step 2 The Course Creation! Maximizing Learning with Diverse Modules.


Once your course's blueprint, or "mind map," is in place, we recommend diving right into the Coursio platform tool. This hands-on approach gives you a tangible sense of how your course will come together. While you can start your initial writing in a Word document, integrating each chapter into Coursio as it's completed offers a smoother workflow. Through our experience, creators who gradually build their courses within Coursio tend to maintain a better grasp of the course's size and flow, minimizing potential pitfalls during creation.


Remember, regardless of your starting material, adapting it within Coursio is key to shaping it into an engaging online course.


When designing your course, embrace a mix of media modules – but how do you choose? Click the arrows to learn more:


Video

Consider video or screen recordings to demonstrate procedures. And if you want to guide your students through the course. Create shorter videos for each chapter. Simply click "add module" and click on "video" module for seamless upload and pasting of links from example Vimeo or youtube.





Text and Photos

Audio

Slideshow

Downloadable files

Tasks - Checkmark questions

Tasks - Open question

Discussion Board - Engage students within the course

Embed - Use third-party solutions inside Coursio Course



The goal? Crafting an interactive learning experience that captivates and resonates with every learner.


Example of pages with a good variety of modules:








Step 3 Launching the course - Checkoff our checklist and start selling!


In this last step we recommend looking at our checklist to see if you are ready to launch:


  1. Finalize the Course name - Once launched, refrain from altering the course name as it can affect the URL link, your course's online address. Choose a concise, descriptive name that aptly represents your course's content or aligns with its ultimate objectives for the intended audience.

  2. Pick a Course Picture - People should recognize your course instantly. Choose a main picture that matches your course vibe and brand. Keep future course images in a similar style for a consistent look.

  3. Set the Price - Deciding how much your course costs is a big deal. Avoid undervaluing your course; consider a slightly higher initial price point to allow for potential adjustments downward. Utilize discount codes for special campaigns. For beginner or shorter courses, pricing could hover around $39-$59 USD, while longer or intermediate-level courses might range from $49 to $100 USD. Specialized or niche courses may warrant a price tag upwards of $100 USD, reflecting their unique value propositions and targeted audiences. Read more about setting a price for your course by clicking here.

  4. Set duration of access - The duration of access to your course can significantly influence its pricing. When setting up your course in the settings before its launch, you'll decide how long users will have access. Our platform offers several duration options: One month, Three months, Six months, One year, 18 months and Two years. Typically, a one-year access duration is popular for beginner and intermediate courses, presenting a compelling selling point: 'Take your time - you get a whole year to complete it!' However, the optimal access duration largely depends on the course's subject matter.

  5. Craft a Compelling Course Description - Summarize your course content in a compelling and concise description that grabs attention. Focus on highlighting the unique benefits, key learning outcomes, and what makes your course stand out from the rest. Start by drafting a full-page description, then refine it by trimming the content in half, repeating this process until you've distilled it into the most compelling and engaging summary possible. Add this onto the Course store page by navigating to menu - edit store - Course name. If you need further instructions read our FAQ and watch the video below.

  6. Seek Feedback - Share your course material and/or revised Course summaries with someone you trust, whether it's a colleague, a mentor, or your contact at Coursio. Gather feedback to fine-tune your description further, ensuring it resonates powerfully with potential learners, enticing them to explore and enroll in your course.

  7. Check if you have enough Engaging Course Content: Ensure your content is well-structured, engaging, and offers value to your learners. Use a mix of multimedia elements like videos, pictures, tasks, quizzes, or interactive assignments to keep learners hooked. See if you got good feedback on the content and adjust if needed.

  8. Make the course public - After you hit the public button you can now sell it in your Store through Coursio. Navigate to the menu - Click Show store - Click on your course name - copy the URL link from the browsers website address field and use this link in your social media, website, campaigns and etc.

  9. Plan a Marketing Strategy - Map out how you'll promote your course. Consider using social media, email campaigns, or collaborations with influencers to reach your target audience effectively.

  10. Bonus: Design your store front - This step becomes relevant when you've curated multiple courses within your platform. It serves as a window for your audience to explore and browse through the array of courses you offer.


Get these steps sorted, and your course will be all set to make a great entrance, grabbing attention and delivering value!







Follow your sales journey

Congratulations 🎉 on the successful launch of your first course! It's time to observe, analyze, and revel in the growth of your sales. Take a moment to appreciate your achievements, but the journey doesn't end here.


Keep a close eye on your sales trends—identify peak periods and observe when your course resonates most with your audience. Stay committed to your marketing plan, but remain flexible. If you spot positive results or discover new strategies that work better, don't hesitate to pivot and adapt your approach.


Navigate to the right menu and click on insights to come to your sales page:


Consistency is key, so continue nurturing what's effective while innovating and experimenting with new ideas. Celebrate your wins, learn from your challenges, and remember, every step in your sales journey brings valuable insights that'll help you refine and elevate your future courses. Cheers to your ongoing success!




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