What do you need to make an online course?
Some months ago I was searching for tools to start making my online course. Once I never had done an online course before, I made a search about what was necessary to realize my dream.
I wanted to find all the information in one place and felt anxious to start quickly. However, it was kind of challenging to find all the answers for my questions in just one place, so I share here with you what I consider more important.
1) Choose the subject for your course.
2) Make a search about that subject in the web and see what others are doing .
3) Do a draft with all the information you have and that you want to use in your lectures.
4) Create sections and units for your course, write a title for each part, so you can organize yourself and the different subjects.
5) Select the tools to make it happen.
6) Choose the platform or website where you want to sell it.
7) Digital marketing .
Now let’s explore each one of this topics with more detail.
1. CHOOSE THE SUBJECT FOR YOUR COURSE
First of all, have in mind what is the subject you are going to choose.
In case you are not sure, you can google about the most in-demand thematics and also the ones that are not so explored but that people is searching for. For example, courses with tutorials about arts, meditation or programming are actually some of the most successful around there but also the ones with more competition.
After you have decided about this, is time for the next step.
2. MAKE A DEEPER SEARCH ABOUT THAT SUBJECT IN THE WEB AND SEE WHAT OTHER INSTRUCTORS ARE DOING
Using a metaphor, when you have in mind what is the destination you want to go, then you must look to the map with attention and see what are the different ways you can take.
The same happens when you are planning to make a course. You should see what topics are there about your subject and analyze how others are doing it, so you can follow a line and improve your lectures compared with those competitors.
Always try to offer something extra that they do not give.
When you start to sell your work, it will benefit you if you have that EXTRA information that others do not and always remember to put quality and love in what you are doing.
3 and 4.: MAKE A DRAFT AND ORGANIZE THE INFORMATION IN SECTIONS AND UNITS
Taking as an example my course, which is about European Portuguese language, when I was structuring it I divided it in three main sections:
- Section 1: Alphabet and pronunciation ( ways to pronounce words in Portuguese from A to Z)
- Section 2: Main subjects ( greeting, presenting yourself, make a description, etc).
- Section 3 : Culture
Inside each section, you add lectures for that topic. For example, in section 1, Alphabet, you can make one lecture for letter A, another for letter B, and so on. Something like this:
- Section 1: Alphabet and pronunciation ( ways to pronounce words in Portuguese from A to Z):
– Letter A – can be pronounced ”à”, ”â”, with nasal sounds, etc. Write examples .
– Letter B – just has one sound. Write examples.
5. SELECT THE TOOLS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
In one of my posts, some months ago, I was searching for the right tools to make the course happen. I wanted something for free which allowed me to make slides ( when you are starting you should not spend much, because you are not even sure that things will work).
I thought Google slides could be the right option. It wasn’t. It is great to make a presentation in person , but not if you want to record sound and put slides and sound together to make a video that you have to upload to a platform ( you can see here, pros and cons of Google slides).
So, my husband gave me such a nice present : an iPad pro. I must tell you, if you have budget for that I really recommend, if not at least an Apple computer will save you lots of time and money too because it brings many programs included that can help you a lot .
Since I have the iPad I never used a computer again and I could make the whole course there using the following programs, that come with the tablet.
1. TO MAKE THE SLIDES – “KEYNOTE”. It is very complete . You have many options to make wonderful slides and you can even record in the slides . There is also an option to convert the files in Power Point, another good program to make your slides.
2. SOUND – I used the microphone of the tablet . The only “ but” in my case was the white noise behind. To “ clean” that noise I bought “ Ferrati”, a very good app to edit sound or you can even record directly from there! It is not expensive . Again, remember not to spend much when you are starting!
3. To join image and sound – IMOVIE . When you make slides and you record sound you need to put them together and make a “movie”, which will be your lecture.
iMovie is very intuitive and for a course can work perfectly. If you want something more professional try “ Lumafusion“, it costs around 20 dollars and has plenty of options. I am using that also to put subtitles , once you can write and move the text around the screen as you wish , what is very practical I must tell you.
4. At the end , if you are going to launch the course in a platform as Udemy, they ask you for an image to promote your course. You can do it in PAGES or if you want a very professional tool that will allow you to do many other artistic works, you can buy for around 10 dollars the app “ Procreator”( will talk about it in a future post ).
There are several platforms around there , so you must choose the one that fits you more and also one which can bring you public to sell your courses.
MARKETING YOUR COURSE
Even if I will write more about this in another article, for now I can tell you that use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, find affiliates and people you know is a great way to promote your course.
I hope I could help somehow . Let me know if you need tips or if you have some question.