Niche 100 Essentials to Selling Online Courses

Have you got some killer course content that you’ve developed? Or have you been thinking about what you could teach and share with others? Are you interested in getting it online and running? Can you make a meaningful living doing this? Let’s take a look at the some of the powerful tools that are available to you. I’m going to tell you how to create and sell online courses. I can think of about 100 things that you need to consider before you launch your course.1. Do Some Research on Supply and Demand for your CourseFind out how to price this course, or if people will even be interested in it. Before you invest a lot of time and money into the project, know that you’ll get a favorable outcome.2. As Things DevelopIn the development phase, you will have many things to focus on. While you’re designing your course, concentrate on building value into it. Value is the most important factor in your course’s success.3. Watch Your Time ManagementMake sure to have the course ready to go when it’s supposed to. Budget your time as you go to prevent a panic at the end.4. Find the Sweet SpotWork in the area where your knowledge and passion intersect. Determine what problem you are solving with your course. Layer that in and you’ve got it!5. Integrate Different Learning StylesPeople learn in different ways. Vary the course content to include visual aids and videos, along with activities to do along the way.6. Choose Your DatesDecide what day you will begin accepting enrollment, and when your course will start. This will help you to establish your time line and grand plan for the work.7. Check the URLYou want to get a great URL for your course as soon as you develop the name for it. Start checking… keep it simple!8. Keep It Clever!Be sure to give your courses short, catchy names. Remember, it’s got to grab them right away.9. Verify FirstCheck and make sure that the catchy name you think of is actually your original thought. Make sure it’s not registered to someone else.10. Create Your Course Outline Have the roadmap to understand where you are going with the course. Know what you need to cover, and when you should introduce it.11. Keep Success in MindEvery aspect of your content planning should lead to success for the student. How will it help them be more successful?12. Develop Your Content Do your research and make sure your content is interesting and unique. Make sure it fills a need. What do people want to learn about? What will they buy?13. Create Your BrandingCreate the branding for your course. What is it about? What does it improve? What does it address within your niche?14. Use Subject Matter Experts Bounce things off an expert on your topic. Use them to help you write, or to check for accuracy, especially if you’re not sure.15. Look for Win-Win PartnershipsWhen you are trying to promote your courses, who can help? Form alliances with folks that can benefit from your success as you launch your online courses.16. Decide whether you will use free or paid web hostingIf you are building a site for commerce, which I assume you are, then the flexibility of paid hosting will work best for you.17. Considering using a service that offers e-commerce design and help. If you want someone in your corner to help, they can get you started, show you how to manage your site, and build your confidence.18. Choose your PlatformWill you use a service to build your website? If so, consider one with the best plug ins. Use all the tricks you can to make your site work for you.19. Get Plugged InThere are plugins that can get your courses online and manage them well. Familiarize yourself with the different software available before you decide.20. Consider Course Management SoftwareUse your course management software to load the course content on your site. Follow your course outline. Inspect and make sure the progression is right.21. Look for the eCommerce Solution for Your MarketingYou can find affordable software to help with marketing your courses, setting up your online store, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Some companies offer a one stop solution.22. Look for Similar CoursesAlthough we realize that your content is unique, shop online for similar courses. This may remind you of sections of your content that you may have overlooked.23. Develop your Pricing PlanAgain, look for courses that offer a product that is like yours. Get an idea for the pricing you want to set on your courses. Try to stay in the mid-range on pricing. You don’t want to come in too high, but you need to show your value.24. What’s the Plan for Customer Support?Make sure you understand how your customer will contact you and what that feels like for them. Selling online can be a bit trickier when it comes to communication. You must have a plan in place to answer inquiries and complaints quickly.25. It’s All About the Headlines!

Like any other advertising, you need to engage your prospects and customers at the top of your page, or they will never get to the bottom. Make sure your marketing page has a catchy, attention grabbing headline.26. Make the Site Visually Appealing Making your site look awesome goes hand in hand with the headline to draw customers in and keep them wanting more.27. Consistency is KeyUse the same font, same theme, and carry the same design through the entire curriculum. Consistency will impress.28. Be Clear and OrganizedMake sure the site flows and makes sense. People won’t want to take a course from you if there are errors on your page.29. Use a Membership Software and Sign Customers Up!You’ve planned and organized… now it’s time to enroll customers and start delivering content.30. Members OnlyWith your membership software, you can keep “members only” topics or products that only members can access.31. Social Media StrategyThink about what your social media goals are. Then consider what social media platforms will work best to help you meet those goals.32. Don’t Sell… Engage!When you’re on social media, don’t sell. Use this time to engage and network with others that you have common interests with.33. Use Keywords to Find a Facebook GroupJoin a group or two that are talking about things that you want to talk about too. Again, keep it social. Selling on social media is a put off.34. Start Your Own Facebook GroupOnce you’ve launched your courses, invite participants to form a community on social media. Set up a Facebook group and invite people as they sign up.35. Publish an Article on Linked InA well written article about your course topic will wow them on Linked In. Tell them about it!36. Go on YouTubeMake short videos and post them on YouTube. Make sure that they can be found in search engine rankings.37. Tweak Your Website as NecessaryUse analytics from your marketing software to see where the weak spots in your site are. Are people looking, but not engaging?38. Variations on a ThemeTry to make the theme of your website related to the content. The look should express the feeling you are trying to create.39. Link It BackMake sure that your website contains a clear link to your course. Be sure that the link stands out!40. Get Those Email AddressesBe sure to capture email addresses from visitors to your site. These will become your bread and butter as you grow your business. Hopefully, I’m late to the party with this advice, and you already have an audience.41. Here’s Your Gift!Offer a free gift to people that sign up for your email list. A newsletter, an eBook, or some other information that is useful.42. Find a PodcastBe the featured guest on a podcast, where you can talk about the subject matter of your course. Try to find a relevant podcast that’s mid-size.43. Blog It!You should already have a blog, but this is a great way to get the work out about the course offerings you have.44. Be My Guest… BlogOffering to be a guest blogger on someone else’s blog gives you a whole new audience to engage and inform.45. Smile! You’re on Webcam!Don’t overlook hosting a webinar to talk about your courses. Be persuasive, but don’t give away all your content. Just throw out the juicy tidbits of knowledge and leave them wanting more.46. Happy Landing!Create your landing page! Be sure to include some multimedia and example course material.47. Make Sure Your Landing Page is 100% WonderfulThis is where the action is! It’s usually the first page they see, but it’s definitely the last page they see before it’s time to take action and ENROLL NOW48. Stay Above the FoldPut the important stuff “above the fold”. In print advertising, this is the top portion of the page that is above where a piece of mail is folded. Online, it the part of the website you see without scrolling.49. Keep It SimpleKeep your text on the landing page simple, and use sub headlines to keep the reader’s attention. Be sure to include a clear call to action!50. Plan to Spend Plenty of Time Marketing Your CoursesIt will usually take time after you launch your courses for them to take off. This time will most likely be spent selling the value of them to countless people in your audience.51. Engage with a NewsletterRemember that email list we’ve been building? Use it to send an informative newsletter out to people that will want your course.52. Use Your Welcome EmailBe sure to mention your course when you send a welcome email to people that opt in to your email list.53. More About EmailCapture the email addresses of everyone that signs up for one of your courses. This will indicate if they’re a good candidate for your upcoming courses.54. Even More About EmailIf you are offering something free in exchange for their email address, make sure it’s something that they would buy otherwise. You have to offer something of value, or they won’t be ongoing customers.55. Sign On!Include the name of the course in your signature line on all emails. This can be changed, of course, as the courses change.56. Keep Your Content ValuableMake sure you are adding value whenever you send out information or engage in social media.57. Save Time – Save Money!Explain to your prospective student how they will save time and money by taking your online course.58. Just a Little TeaserRight about the BUY NOW button, give a little peek of what they stand to learn in your virtual classroom. Make it compelling.59. Follow UpDon’t forget to follow up with people who have completed one of your customers. Repeat customers are the easiest to snag, and loyal customers can make you a success!60. The Role of SEOSome website platforms will provide SEO as part of the package, or will have a plug in for it. Make sure it’s utilized. It doesn’t matter how awesome it is… if nobody sees it!61. KeywordsWatch out for keyword overload. Some people think that adding a bunch of key words onto a site will boost rankings. Search engines are looking for interesting, valuable content, and will boot you out if you are oversaturated with keywords.62. Ask for EndorsementsOnce you’ve had people take your courses successfully, ask them to write a short testimonial about their experience. This will add credibility to your marketing efforts.63. Start Promoting EarlyAs soon as you are certain that you will be offering an online course, start the buzz! Let people know that it’s “coming soon” and get them excited.64. Establish Yourself as the SMETell them why you’re a reputable source when it comes to your niche. Is it your experience? The research you’ve done? Your education?65. Avoid Offering Free ClassesDon’t offer free classes. This will teach people that you’re someone who likes to give free classes. If you are just starting, or if you’re not feeling confident, opt for a lower fee… but not free!66. Set Your Price According to ContentIf you have a ton of content, and it includes interactive portions, multimedia gems, and goes for 10 hours, you’re not going to charge the same as 4 pages of written text. Make your content worth the extra price.67. Enter Promo CodePrice the course as you see fit, and then experiment by offering a promotion. Using a Promo Code will let you know what your discounting should be, based on sign ups.68. Set Financial Goals for YourselfKnow when it’s worth your while to do this. Be aware of what you need to make to break even, and show a profit.69. Offer Your ServicesIf your courses are on a business topic, consider offering to host a webinar for a relevant business. Show them what you can do, and encourage participants to sign up for your email list for more.70. Get a Flashy Twitter HashtagGet really creative and come up with an irresistible hashtag for Twitter. Something about your niche, but with an element of fun.71. Ask for FeedbackAnd… use it. The advice that participants give you is invaluable. This is the part where you get your grade!72. About the SurveysConsider surveying the students halfway through the course, and then again at its completion. You’re more likely to get answers when the course is running. So, give yourself two chances at feedback.73. Payment SystemsSet up your payment system early in the process of launching your first course. Don’t let this be a last-minute problem.74. If You Have a Successful Course, Relaunch ItThere’s no reason to run a successful course once and stop. Keep rerunning this course, and it will keep making you money. You can change it up now and then, but let it stay on the market.75. Don’t Be Afraid of Hard WorkThey call it “passive income”, but you have to work constantly if you’re going to have real success with it. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves!76. Stand Out from the RestWhat makes your course unique? Try to offer something to entice participants away from those other guys that are competing for your customers.77. Don’t be a GeneralistYou’ve got to pick something to specialize in, and let customers come to you. Something that you love and that you’re good at. Think about it. You’ll have to launch a whole training college if you want to focus on… everything!78. Talk to the PeopleSee if you can dedicate one or maybe two hours a week to hangout and chat with people who visit your website. This adds a personal element to the learning relationship, and can help you build your business.79. All About YouAlong these same lines, make sure you include a bio section on your website. People will do business with people that they know over strangers.80. Shopping for an LMSWhen you are considering launching an online course, you need to decide on an LMS platform. Keep in mind that some help with designing the course. Some help with marketing the courses. The best ones will do double duty for you!81. Organize Yourself with a Chart

There’s a lot that goes into creating and selling online courses. I’m sure you’ll agree. Project management is key, so consider using a Gantt chart, or something similar to remind you of deadlines and to keep your work on target.82. It’s in the CloudMake sure that you’ve got a cloud storage solution in place for storing large files. I think it goes without saying these days, that storage space is important.83. Change Is InevitableIf you are promoting a course that will ask people to make changes in their lives, target one or two areas that they can work on. Asking people to change more than two or three things is going to lower their chances for success.84. Show Them the BlueprintWhen the course launches, the first thing you want to do with your enrollees is the preview the course. Show them the master plan and let them see what’s in store.85. Make Use of Live!The latest trend is going “Live” on Facebook. Use this to your advantage and give a live invitation to interested parties to check out your courses.86. Additional InformationSometimes, you may want to suggest additional reading. Or, you might recommend that the participants review documents that are not part of the course structure. Send these in an email. It will give you further contact, and give them the information.87. Mind Your TimeThis project will take a minimum of 6 months for most people to complete. Keep that in mind from the start. This is why planning and pacing is so important.88. Allow for Different DevicesWell before launch, check that the course shows properly on mobile devices. Many students will opt to participate on phones or tablets.89. Assigning HomeworkMany facilitators think that because a class is presented online, that they have to make up for it by overloading participants outside of designated class time. Avoid this mistake, and keep outside work to a minimum. You want them engaged for the most part.90. It’s in the NumbersWhen you are marketing your online courses, remember that approximately two percent of people targeted will respond. Does that give you an idea of how many email addresses you will need to reach your revenue goals?91. Bring a FriendOffer people that sign up for your course a bonus if they recommend a friend that signs up. Increase your participants and your email list!92. Test Your LaunchBefore you do your full-scale launch, do a test run. Email select people on your list. Pick the ones that usually open your email. Offer them the course on a pre-launch special at 50% off. If they bite, it’s a good indication that you’re in good shape for the launch.93. Be AvailableCommunication can make or break your success in facilitating online courses. Take the time to be available.94. Appeal to the EmotionsOne important thing to remember, and it applies to all marketing, really. Don’t sell with logic. Sell with Emotion. People make buying decision based on emotions.95. Provide Real World ScenariosThroughout the course, give participants the “So What?”. Tell them how this knowledge will benefit them, and where they can apply it.96. Consider the LearnerPeople come from different educational and experiential backgrounds. It’s imperative that you address them on their level. Don’t talk down to them, and don’t talk over their heads.97. Do a Pre-AssessmentA quick knowledge check before starting the course will let you and your participant know where the room for improvement lies. The can be useful for both of you, and for ongoing courses.98. Let Me Stop and AssessAllow for periodic assessments throughout the course. How will you know if the information is sinking in otherwise? Stop and check for knowledge every now and then.99. Have You Created a Monster?Don’t overcomplicate things for yourself. Don’t make the course so complicated that it’s hard for you to maintain and rework when necessary.100. Keep Up with the CompetitionIt’s important that you understand the industry, and one of the best ways to do that is to see what the other team’s up to. Check in on the competition from time to time. This will help with your course development and your marketing strategy.*******************************************Whew! As you can see there are more than one or two things for you to consider before embarking on this journey. All of these particulars boil down to three basic steps:· Creating Your Course· Marketing Your Course· Launching Your CourseWhere are you in this process? Join the group of folks that are realizing their dreams by helping others with informational online courses! If you would like further discussion, or if you have questions, let us know. We’re here to help!

Niche What’s Best For You? Affiliate Marketer Or Product Creator?

When you set up an online business you could be a product creator selling your own products online. These products could be a simple e-books or information products. Or it could be a more sophisticated and high-value monthly membership or video course.Or, you may choose to be an affiliate marketer. This is where the products you are selling have been created by somebody else and you earn commissions on everything you sell.So what’s better for you? Selling your own product online or selling pre-made products as an affiliate?The Pros and Cons Of Selling Your Own Product OnlineWhen you produce your own product, you’re in complete control. You determine the price, you choose what affiliates will promote your product for you, and you decide on the type of product you are going to create. Compared with affiliate marketing, you are not tied to the terms and conditions of another business who may decide to change its agreement with you.

However, developing and selling your own product online can be challenging. E-books are very easy to make, and are a smart way to start. The work doesn’t stop there. You are in charge of finding the right target market, marketing and advertising your product, dealing with any refunds and supplying the product. You’ll also have to develop and maintain a good reputation in your specific niche market.The good news is that you can create as many products as you like. And with a digital information product, once you have created it, you can sell it time and time again. In some cases with the affiliate marketing model, it can be tricky trying to find quality products to suit your market. When you design your own products to sell online, you can make them as value-rich and beneficial to your customers as possible.The Pros and Cons Of Affiliate MarketingThe biggest benefit of affiliate marketing is that the product is fully produced and is ready to sell to its target market. The company, who creates the product you are promoting, manages all the customer payments, customer service, returns and customer inquiries. Your job as an affiliate is to get prospective customers to visit the product’s sales page or website.

Affiliate marketing is easy, simple and probably the fastest way to make money online. But here are some negatives to consider. You may have reach a sales threshold before you get paid or have to wait several weeks before you receive your commissions. Even if you enjoy a great relationship with an affiliate company they can change their affiliate agreement overnight. This can seriously affect your income and you have no say in the matter.In many cases, the terms of service of an affiliate are lengthy and detailed. If you make a mistake, even the smallest way, you can find your agreement with a company terminated without notice.