As life is getting more hectic, online courses (or e-learning) are blooming now more than ever, with thousands of new courses introduced everyday. They provide students with time flexibility and offer them the freedom to choose from a wide array of courses available on the Internet. Online courses give many people a chance to share their knowledge and skills to earn money, either as a side gig to supplement their income or as a full-time job.

If you believe that your set of skills or knowledge can be beneficial to others, you can generate a really excellent source of income by teaching online. But before you go down that road, it’s important to learn how to develop and market your course on the Internet. Here is a guide to the fundamentals of creating and selling your online course.

Know Your Target Audience

Every service starts with the customers’ demands, and so does online education. Knowing who your target students are will make it possible for you to customize your course to your students’ needs, thus improving their experience and generating more income out of it. Researching your students’ personalities and behaviors will not only allow you to create content that suits them but will also help you send the right message when marketing your course and choosing your platform. The right course content and marketing message can bring students to your classes in no time.

Decide on the Course Platform

A course platform is where you will have your course available, host classes, and meet students. Needless to say, this is one of the most important decisions of all. Students in different regions and of different ages tend to prefer certain platforms, so it pays to give it some proper research. When choosing from the available learning platforms, think about the service that they provide to your students, and add the features that you think they may need. To be able to customize their user experience, you’ll need all of the tools available on the platform. There are various features to look out for, depending on your audience, but the most core ones would be multiple payment channels, student analysis, and a simplified process for importing files. A good platform can enable you to best manage your course and make it less stressful for you in your teaching life later on.

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Know What Makes your Course Different

E-learning is very popular these days, so more likely than not, the set of skills and knowledge you want to teach is also being taught by many other online instructors. To be able to make your course attractive, it’s important to put yourself in the students’ shoes. The question to ask yourself is: “If you were a student who is looking for your type of course, what features would you be looking for?” Do market research, ask your friends and family members, and speak to other online instructors. Once you get an idea about a gap in the market, think of your unique selling points, and if they make your product outstanding enough. Remember, your course doesn’t have to be totally unique, but you can still have the best branding or message.

Sell Yourself and Your Credentials

Students want to be taught by the best possible instructor in their chosen field. In order to increase your course credibility, you can create a list of your personal and professional accomplishments to prove to your potential students that you are worth learning from.

If you have a website or a social media fan page, you can have your credentials designed and featured in the most visible places, so that they hit potential customers first when they visit your pages.

Offer a Trial Course

“To give is to receive” and this is also true when it comes to increasing your course awareness in the online world. Many online instructors give away free course and trial classes as a way to let their potential students experience their syllabus and relieve any concerns they may have about signing up. Trial classes give students a peek at how interesting your courses can be so that they will come back and pay for the real thing.

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Many people believe that online learning is the future of education. While it is perhaps far from taking over completely, what is for sure is that there are many people out there who are willing to pay for online educational courses. Besides having good course content, a well-designed plan, and a suitable course platform also play an important role in expanding your audience and increasing sales. Use these tips and your own research to make your way into the online teaching world!