Learn everything you need to know to take the first steps in the distance online education, getting closer to the best practices and results.
October 28, 2021
As the world becomes more digitally connected, demand for online courses is on the rise. This is the perfect time to launch an online course if you have an idea for one. With the help of this guide, you’ll have a better understanding of distance learning and know exactly how to set up and launch an online education platform.
Distance learning is a way for students to learn a subject without needing to be physically present in a classroom. It is made possible through the internet, and it can take the form of video recordings, online courses, video conferencing, and more.
Distance learning platforms can be used to teach just about anything. This includes academic subjects, business courses, professional certifications, skill development courses, hobby classes, and more. Once you implement the steps covered below, you’ll be able to convey your knowledge to students around the world.
No matter how valuable your information is, it’s useless if you can’t present it to your distance learning students effectively. The following steps will help you create an action plan for developing and launching an effective online education program.
First, you need to select a platform to host your online courses on. An effective platform will help you develop, upload, launch, manage, and teach your online courses. Look for a platform that lets you do the following activities.
Before you create a course or set of courses, it’s crucial to do your research. If there’s no demand for your course material, then it’s destined to fail. Ask yourself the following three questions when researching your idea.
Other ways to test demand is to conduct keyword research, use lead magnets to collect contact information, and survey your audience through polls and emails. From there, you can create a pilot program or webinar to test your idea with a small audience before creating an entire course.
You can also research competitors in your industry to see if they are providing similar courses. If multiple competitors have online courses similar to your idea, it’s a sign there is already substantial demand. However, make sure your course has a unique value proposition to separate your courses from your competitors.
Once you’ve researched an idea, create a budget. In your budget, determine expected costs for idea testing, marketing, and course creation. Next, determine how much revenue you need to become profitable.
From there, you can select a price point for your course and decide how many students you need to attract. Click here; for more information on pricing your courses.
After you’ve selected a platform, tested your idea, and created a budget, it’s time to design the course.
Begin by creating a course outline. An outline helps you divide the course into main topics and sub-topics. Topics can be categorized by importance, difficulty, subject, and more. For help building your outline, LearnWorlds has 18 unique course outline templates you can download by clicking here.
Next, decide how to structure your course. Typical course structures include mini-courses, orientation courses, assessment courses, workshops, certification courses, academic courses, and more.
Decide whether your course will have an on-demand structure that users can complete at their own pace, or if it will include live teaching with specific lesson times. Decide whether your course has a deadline for completion. You can also include group study, teaching feedback, and social activities if desired.
Once you’ve built a course outline and picked a structure, it’s time to create the videos, documents, images, and assessments that will be added to the course.
Finally, upload the course. This step will be slightly different depending on the course platform you choose. When uploading, select a user-friendly URL, a relevant image, and a catchy title. Next, edit the layout, schedule, and other customizable features on your platform.
Once your course is uploaded, it’s helpful to have someone test it to ensure it’s working properly.
If you don’t already have one set up, make sure to create a website to host your course on.
While some online course platforms like Udemy can host a course for you, creating an independent website can still be helpful. Having your own website improves your credibility, advertises your brand, and lets people learn more about you and your course.
Add logos, specific colors, personalized themes, and unique yet readable fonts to display your brand’s identity. Always have a landing page that includes a call-to-action encouraging readers to purchase or learn more about your course.
It also helps to include an “About” page, testimonials, contact information, and a blog. However, make sure your website is simple enough for users to navigate, and that it has clear call-to-action buttons pointing to your course. If you decide to host courses on your website, make sure to include them as well.
It’s imperative that you create a marketing plan to attract new students to your course. Most online course platforms include marketing tools that can help. The three marketing strategies listed below are proven to help websites sell online courses.
While lead capturing can help you test your course ideas, it can also be used to market existing courses. Set up lead capture by encouraging users to opt-in to your email list. Ask them for their name and email address so you can target them with marketing emails and value-packed content.
To increase the effectiveness of your lead capture, offer users exclusive content in return for their email addresses. Exclusive content can take the form of eBooks, checklists, templates, PDFs, or free courses.
Another way to attract new students is through promotional coupons. You can offer coupons to your email list, give coupons to those who refer other students, or offer them to loyal customers.
You can either set a coupon expiration date or decide not to include one. It’s also important to decide the number of times a coupon can be used and to create a coupon code.
Bundles are a way to sell multiple courses to students at once. When bundling courses, ensure that purchasing the bundle of courses is less expensive than purchasing them separately.
For example, if you have three courses that cost $500 each, offer a bundle that lets students purchase all three at once for $1,200. This will incentivize students who are interested in multiple courses to spend more money up front.
When you track analytics, you’ll be able to identify what’s succeeding and what needs improvement. Use the following three tools to help with analytics tracking.
Google Analytics is a tool you can use to track web traffic and marketing performance, and it can be integrated with your online learning platform.
Mixpanel; is an intuitive analytics tool that helps you discover insights like how your course and website are used, which users retain best, and why and where users drop off.
Facebook Pixel can be installed to create custom audiences from website visitors, optimize delivery to people interested in your courses, and analyze cross-device conversions.
Consider adding a live chat tool to your online education website. Live chat gives you the ability to answer student questions, allow students to collaborate, and connect tutors with students in need of assistance.
A tool like Arena Live Chat can be used to send text, voice, and video messages to students. For more details on how live chat can enhance your distance learning platform, check out this helpful guide.
Arena also has a Customer Data Platform (CDP) you can use to get to know your students. The platform lets students create an account with a profile picture. It also reveals insights like student interests, student behavior, and student engagement level.
Once you have everything set up, you’re ready to launch your course. Launching your course will make it available to the public and allow you to start making sales.
Use the marketing tactics covered in this guide to promote the course once it goes live and add engagement tools to interact with your students. After some time has passed, use analytics tools to track conversions and user preferences.
If you have an idea for an online course, use the information in this guide to take it to market. Start by selecting a distance learning platform. Next, conduct research, test your idea, and create a budget. After this step, it’s time to build an outline and create your course or courses.
It’s helpful to set up a course website with a landing page, course information, and call-to-action buttons. To market your products, consider bundling multiple courses, offering promotional coupons, or capturing leads on your website.
It also helps integrate analytics and engagement tools with your course. Once everything is set up, it’s time to launch your course and start making sales.
With the help of Arena’s Live Chat and CDP software, you can engage your students and get to know them on a deeper level. Arena’s software has been trusted by companies in over 100 countries to enhance their website engagement. To learn more about Arena’s tools, simply click the link below.