Creating a digital product that sells and scales doesn’t just sound incredible, but it can really be if you put in the effort and take the proper steps at the right time. In recent years, online courses have become more accessible than ever and are a brilliant source of income, but only when appropriately handled. As a result, most first-timers make mistakes and fail, which discourages them from attempting them again.
In this article, some of the common mistakes in online course creation are extensively outlined and discussed. Doing this will help to avoid learning from experience as to how bad they can be.
1. Not Laying a Proper Foundation
The actual process of creating an online course is the same as building a house. Building a house calls for securing its foundation against any unforeseen damages. In addition, you don’t build a roof until your foundation has dried properly.
Thus, it is critical that you validate your course idea and identify your target audience in advance of recording the course content. Moreover, you are required to select a name and a proposition for your product that best describes your course results in just one word or maximum in one sentence. If you pay attention to building a solid foundation at the start, you will be on the right path to scaling efficiently.
2. Selling Before Having A Finished Product
According to some creators, you should start marketing your course before it gets created and before it is finished. Although it can lead to more sales, momentum, and a sense of urgency, it is usually not a wise idea. First of all, online course creation is creative work, and creative projects rarely go as you had imagined them.
As your project progresses, you may realize that there is an alternative direction you can take. Besides, it’s possible for you to discover that you are incapable of creating enough content for an entire course on your chosen topic. A lot can go wrong, and your buyers won’t like it if they get a course that is different from the one they expected. Therefore, make it a rule to create first and sell later.
3. Taking Your Audience For Granted
Creating online courses is time-consuming and expensive. It is a waste of time and money to produce a course that nobody will purchase. Nevertheless, you will be amazed at how many course creators create courses just because they think they have a great idea. Additionally, they don’t pause to consider if there is an audience for their course.
So, before you begin online course creation, determine what your readers want to learn more about. A reader survey is an excellent way to understand what your direct audience wants to know and in what form. By doing so, you will learn more about what they need and find topics that will make them smile.
4. Not Defining Skills of Course Participants
When you are an expert, you tend to take things for granted and forget that your audience may not understand them. Newbie courses in some fields would be worthless to professionals seeking continuing education. Modules should be differentiated according to difficulty level so that beginners receive beneficial basics and veterans gain in-depth tips. A pre-course questionnaire like this one helps professionals determine their knowledge level so they can skip the modules they already know.
5. Thinking Negative Reviews Are Bad
The worst nightmare of any online course creator is to receive a bad review. It can be heartbreaking or even frustrating when people leave a negative review of your course after you put so much love, effort, and sweat into it.
Typically, online course creators delete these comments as trolls or refund seekers. Nevertheless, bad feedback is the most valuable feedback you can receive. Ignoring negative reviews is a major mistake associated with online course creation.
6. No Visuals Added to the Course
Since it is easier to write than to represent concepts with images, no visuals are added to the course at times. Besides, the production of video requires time and money. Therefore, some courses tend to contain abundant text and lack visual resources, apart from not mentioning multimedia. However, the reality is that students often scan instead of read. Images capture their attention, while videos hold their interest. Hence, ensure the videos and images you include are high quality and of sufficient length; anything less will not suffice.
7. Too Much Information In One Course
It is evident that most existing courses on reputable online educational sites are focused on narrow topics. You will not find these programs trying to teach you everything there is to know about a certain field of knowledge. Instead, they choose their purpose and do not deviate from it.
This will prevent two things from happening: first, you’ll end up with a course that covers everything but is an inch deep (that is, you will ignore anything that students can find in public sources); secondly, students will experience information overload. After your course, they will feel overwhelmed rather than excited about what they’ve learned. Hence, be careful when choosing your topic and make sure it’s relevant. Don’t include anything unnecessary and allow some space for future courses.
8. Putting Your Course Into Big Chunks
Typically, a modern online course consists of bite-sized content. Nowadays, technology and ever-shrinking attention spans make it impossible for 40-minute videos to explain a theory effectively. Since most people don’t have much time to devote to learning, they take their courses during short periods of time (while commuting, walking, waiting in line, etc.). As a result, you should divide your course into bite-sized modules that can be consumed anytime.
9. Requiring Too Much Commitment
In general, people can’t commit 10 weeks to learn a new skill (because they have too many responsibilities) or are in a hurry to accomplish that goal. In general, they prefer micro-courses that offer an absolute minimum of theory and a maximum of practical application. Give them an easy way to learn the skills they need without getting overwhelmed by non-essentials. Besides, those who want more profound training can always take a more advanced course.
Hopefully, these tips will be sufficient to help you avoid some of the typical first-time mistakes involved in online course creation and ensure a successful entry into the world of creating online courses. When you avoid these mistakes, you do significantly increase your chances of launching a successful eLearning course, but it does not guarantee your success. To ensure your efforts are not in vain, you should work actively with professional course creators. Creating a high-quality online course, producing fantastic content that your audience wants, and figuring out how to market it effectively, both short-term and long-term, takes effort. So, if you succeed, you’ll undoubtedly reap the rewards.