The global appetite for learning is expanding all the time.
From short self-improvement courses to extensive vocational training, online education is flourishing across industry sectors. The reality of isolation brings new demand, with businesses and industry specialists meeting the market with new online learning opportunities.
If you’re eager to get involved, it’s never been easier to launch an online course through your own website.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, market analysts had projected the online learning market to grow at an average of 16.6% per year. The entire industry was forecast to reach US$325 billion in market capitalisation by 2025, which is massive growth from the US$107 billion recorded in 2015.
With the advent of COVID-19 and isolation, analysts are likely to revise their predictions due to an unprecedented spike in demand. New online courses are springing up all the time, with people stuck at home seeking new opportunities and experts in multiple fields creating content to meet demand.
Now is the time
If you want to sell online courses from your own website, there’s never been a better time to get involved.
Governments around the world have been doing their best to flatten the curve, closing down schools and learning centres, among other actions.
These limitations on movements and social interactions have made traditional workplace training impossible, as the entire sphere of education moves online.
Students are being encouraged to engage with online learning platforms, and workers around the world are looking to upgrade their resumes so they emerge from isolation with new skills.
Alternative learning solutions are needed now more than ever, with an active market of new and existing learners looking for new opportunities.
Setting up an online course during the pandemic is a very smart business move, with high demand almost guaranteed and low competition from bricks and mortar training centers and learning institutions.
Isolation continues to create opportunities as businesses and industry experts adjust their focus and redistribute their energies through the creation of valuable online content.
Unlock your inner potential
Adversity is always accompanied by an opportunity for growth.
While isolation continues to create endless challenges, it also gives us all the chance to look within and build. Rather than shutting down and pulling back, an increasing number of people are using isolation for discovery and self-growth.
This opportunity presents itself in many ways, with some people looking to expand their knowledge base and others looking to step up to the challenge by positioning themselves as a knowledge source.
You don’t need many resources to sell your skills online. If you offer a professional service, or work as an expert in your field, you probably already have what it takes.
With expertise and demand for content as your driving force, you can create an online presence that delivers value through the power of technology.
With so many people bored and unable to leave their homes, there’s never been a better time to leverage your skills and connect with a captive audience.
With a little help, online learning is incredibly powerful and easy to set up. You can connect with students around the world, and create tailored lessons based on your skills and the needs of your audience.
Online Learning platforms
There are many online spaces where you can get involved with delivering online learning.
Whether you have teaching experience or not, these platforms make it easy to get started. Most hosts provide you with cloud storage for your data, facilities to interact with learners, sales features, and sometimes even marketing tools. If you create quality courses that deliver real value, you can potentially earn a very good income.
From eLearning marketplaces to stand-alone solutions, let’s take a look at some of the best educational platforms on the market:
- Udemy – Udemy is a great platform for people who don’t want to invest a lot of money. Udemy offers well-designed dashboards and free sign-ups. However, it lacks some customer support features and retains up to 75% of your earnings as royalty.
- Thinkific – Thinkific features extensive course-design, responsive customer support, and numerous course-selling opportunities. This platform does not charge any transaction fees, with an upgrade plan available for US$49 per month.
- Teachery – You can access thousands of students through the Teachery marketplace for US$49 per month. This pricing option comes with zero transaction fees and access to a dedicated support team.
- Podia – Podia’s basic pricing plan offers email marketing capabilities, course hosting options, and digital downloads. This versatile platform provides online courses, digital downloads, and membership sites.
- Academy of Mine – Academy of Mine is expensive, with monthly subscriptions starting at US$499. However, this platform offers unmatched editing and financial management tools, along with a collection of galleries, landing pages, and selling pages.
- Your own Website – A standalone solution, giving you the opportunity to host your online courses from your own dedicated website. Once setup, you have complete control over your setup, how manage your courses and with no royalties.
Advantages of using your own website
Online learning and marketplace platforms are widely available, but they can be costly, competitive and inflexible places to sell your courses.
Using your own website can be a great option, especially if you want to develop a unique and personalised online learning offering and experience. Rather than using pre-existing templates or relying on incompatible services, you can build your own solutions based on your own area of expertise, and delivered in a format that best suits you.
Operating a website gives you complete control over your online assets and business model, with an educational website functioning much like an online store. When everything is set up properly, you can create your own content, manage your own customers, and reach out to potential new customers with ease.
By comparison, third-party platforms are heavily compromised.
- For example, you may need to surrender the management of your products and online transactions, which can create issues with security and intellectual property.
- Additionally, you may need to pay a considerable chunk of your revenue to use an existing platform, which will eat into your profit margins and affect your long-term viability.
- Last but not least, learning platforms are difficult to customise and control, which leads to a compromised learning experience and a less personalised online presence.
There are many ways to create and launch an online learning website, from expensive solutions with custom code through to mass-content systems. If you want to sell an online course through your own website, it’s important to find the perfect mix of powerful custom features and efficient management solutions.
WordPress is a great option for most businesses and industry specialists, with this free content management system (CMS) both easy to learn and feature-rich.
WordPress is an open-source CMS and website building application that is ideal for online courses. WordPress is responsible for around 30% of all websites on the internet today, including famous brands such as Home Depot and the Walt Disney Company.
The WordPress CMS has an extensive collection of plugins and add-ons to ease the building process, including many devoted to online courses and subscriptions.
If you want to reach an isolated audience thirsty for knowledge, WordPress provides the perfect balance of accessibility and control.
Qualities of a good online course
Delivering a viable online course may be easier than you think.
While creating valuable content requires expertise, online help is available to connect you with potential students and help you utilise online resources. Some of the qualities of a successful online course include:
- Authenticity – It’s important to select a topic that you know and love. Your life experiences, professional skills, and academic achievements make you an expert in a particular subject. Business or personal, you don’t need to have a PhD in the subject to be seen as an expert in your niche.
- Demand – Lack of demand will always hinder sales, so try to steer your interests to meet the needs of the market. Carry out market research to determine if a particular topic is relevant to your target audience. It’s important to find a balance between authenticity and demand.
- Delivery – Content can be presented in many ways, with some delivery methods resonating much more than others. Inspiring educational content is often a mixture of video, infographics, reading material, images, and audio content. Choose a method of delivery that suits the nature of your material.
- Marketing – The best course in the world is useless if no one can find it. Along with creating the course, it’s important to spend time connecting with the market. From word of mouth and industry affiliates to online advertising and marketing, success demands creative marketing.
Want to learn more about the qualities of a good online course? Read our blog on the 10 steps to creating a successful online course.
Start your online course
Are you ready to reach out and engage with an active audience?
At Kicking Pixels, we believe that everybody is an expert at something, and that’s why we’ve helped several businesses with course-ready websites.
There’s never been a better time to take advantage of the growing online education industry. By selling courses online, you can inspire your audience, create value in your industry, and establish your brand across the world.
What are you waiting for!
If you need help selling courses online via your website, drop us a line and we’ll help you on your journey.