What are the best practices to create online courses and content for educational websites?
E-leaning is huge now, and only growing, with a lot more opportunities for anybody with specialty knowledge to fill a niche and get paid. Meanwhile, for the average person who wishes to learn something, online courses are convenient, too, so everybody wins.
We have been seeing a growing category of entrepreneurs known as edupreneurs, focused on the online education/e-learning industry. And in any situation with more and more people coming in, it becomes more and more about competition and less and less about being smart or clever.
With that said, let’s look at some good practices for making an online course, especially to sell on an online store like Udemy.
Here are nine best practices and tips for creating online courses and content for educational websites:
#1 For selecting the topic of the course, make sure you picked something that’s actually in-demand, that has a market. Looking at competitors can help with this. Has anyone ever complained about there not being a course that teaches a certain topic a little differently, the way you do it? If so, look for more comments like that, and if you find them, you’re probably on to something.
#2 Make the course actually compelling. You have zero obligation to follow the traditional textbook format and take up a year of people’s lives with a 100-hour course on every pitifully minute detail of a subject. What do people really need to know, to improve their daily lives, regarding this topic? Keep it simple and practical.
#3 While selecting and gathering the content of the course, do your research. If you do get something wrong, that’s okay, just fix it as soon as you’re told and it’s proven to indeed be incorrect. Courses that are freshly updated as of the present year are often considered more valuable than ones that aren’t, especially if the one that isn’t updated is also more than five years old.
#4 The content of the course should be optimized for SEO.
#5 The content of the course should be structured in the form of modules.
#6 Add self-assessments and challenge the student to actually remember things, apply the knowledge you taught them, and improve themselves.
#7 Visual content in the form of high-quality images and videos certainly doesn’t hurt. Websites are a visual experience first and foremost, and interesting, quality images or videos draw attention.
#8 The pricing of the course should be set according to the market and the amount of value you offer compared to market expectations. Be realistic. Even if you’re awesome, if you’re still starting out, try to price yourself more in the “good” ballpark. Not cheap, and not free, never free, but good.
#9 For text content, ensure that the language is readable, easy to understand, and there are no grammatical errors. For audio, make sure you speak clearly, that your actual audio levels and quality are pleasing enough to listen to, and that you do not speak in an irritating or boring way, or use distracting mannerisms or speech crutches. If you’re not a native or at least a very fluent speaker in the language of your main target audience, it’s okay depending on the context. But sometimes it just makes more sense to get other people to narrate and handle the writing and text organization.
You will probably, over time, come up with other best practices specific to your particular field/topic. If you want to create an online course, then I would recommend implementing a specialized method that handles a lot of the stuff I wrote above in the easiest, but most effective, way possible. One such method is Perfect Product Creation (PPC). I came to know about PPC from an edupreneur who has successfully created and sold many online courses. If you are interested in what PPC teaches, you can read a review on my website.
Feel free to reply if you have any questions.