In the recent past, many individuals have seen the benefits of taking classes online from their own homes. Learners can save time as they don’t need to commute to campus, and they can complete course material during breaks from work, on weekends, or whenever it is suitable for them to do so. As a response to this need, you’re looking to sell such courses through your website and want to learn how to do so. Providing a virtual course has other benefits for you as well.
Develop a Specific Focus
Before you can sell online courses from your own website, you need to develop the class. Make the focus of the class as to specific as possible. For example, a course in creative writing or mathematics is too broad. Visitors to your site might feel overwhelmed. Let interested parties know if you’ll be teaching poetry, short stories, or memoirs or if you will focus on particular topics within geometry or algebra. A specific focus makes the class more manageable for you and more appealing to prospective students.
Identify Goals and a Time Line
Potential students will want to know what they can expect to learn from the course and how much time achieving those goals is intended to take. You might be planning to teach the basics of knitting in a system that takes six hours to complete, or you might be offering a class where students can learn the fundamentals of Spanish over an eight-week period. Before signing up for a class, people want to know how much time they will need to put into the endeavor and what they can expect from their efforts.
Build the Course
Now that you’ve found a focus for the class, you have to build the class. Decide what materials you want to use for the class. You have to determine if you’re going to employ hands-on lessons, quizzes, writing exercises, portfolios, virtual meetings, or other teaching tools. While building the course, you must develop a syllabus too. Make a list of tasks that students should complete with each lesson or module.
Building the course also means developing ways to provide feedback to the students. Your students will want to know how they are doing in terms of meeting the goals, and they will wish to have personal feedback to guide their success. You might require the submission of regular assignments for written feedback, or you may meet with students individually through virtual platforms to assess the quality of their work. Make clear how often you will provide feedback.
Incorporate Ethos into Your Site
Students enrolling in such courses want to know that the instructors are skilled experts in their fields. If you have taught classes before, either virtually or in person, present that information on your website. Reviews from former students can be particularly helpful. Put a virtual portfolio of your artwork or sewn products on the website, or add a link to your online storefront. Before signing up for the class, interested parties are going to want to verify that you are a professional in the area.
Offer a Small Sample of a Mini-Lesson
Don’t put an entire lesson on your website, or someone else might steal the idea. Doing so could also encourage interested parties to simply complete that one lesson and then not sign up for the rest of the course. Still, though, you do want to give learners a taste of what they can experience if they enroll in the class. Include a small segment of one mini-lesson on the website. In other words, provide site visitors with a small preview of what they can expect by enrolling in the course. Using this strategy helps to keep you safe while also advertising the class.
Be Upfront with Details
People interested in taking the course don’t want to dig around for the details. If they have to spend too much time figuring out how long the course will run for, if the work is asynchronous or synchronous, and what the price of the class will be, they might simply decide to go to a different site. In addition to this information, provide details about what the technical requirements are for taking the class. Make all of these details visible on the website so that visitors can see the necessary information right away and decide if the course is for them.
Be straightforward and honest with your target audience members. If your site looks like a scam, you can be assured that individuals are not going to enroll in your course. Don’t provide suspicious deals either. While everyone loves a discount, if your site is loaded with these types of offers for reduced prices, visitors are likely to wonder why no one wants to pay the full fee for your course. Consider taking a look at the way colleges promote course descriptions on their websites to get a feel for the formality and style.
Find Your Target Audience
Think about the people who are most likely to take your class so you can gear marketing efforts and your website toward these individuals. For example, if your target audience members are users of specific social media platforms, advertise your course there and include a link back to your website so interested parties can get more information. In determining your target audience, consider who has the most need for the skills you’re teaching and who has the time and money to enroll in the course.
Building and promoting a course on your own website are both exciting endeavors. You have the opportunity to boost students’ knowledge in this area and share your passion with others. However, this course has benefits for you as well. You might decide to continue building courses and make a prolific career out of doing so, or you may choose to pursue a career in teaching. All of these advantages can come from a simple spark of an idea for a class.