Creating an Online Course: A Step by Step Guide

The world has witnessed a remarkable shift in the education system after being introduced to the Covid-19 pandemic. Education is being imparted online through video-based platforms, and e-learning is on the rise. This automatically calls for an increase in the demand for online courses.

The e-learning market was already big, and now it is witnessing an even more significant transition. All educational institutions have shifted their academic sessions online. This is a perfect time for those who want to get into the business of online teaching or those who want to teach and train students as a hobby, along with starting their own business. 

For starting an online course, knowledge of the domain and knowing the target audience/student segments is vital. Building a top-notch marketing strategy is extremely important. So, how do you choose a niche for online courses?

Let’s find out how to create an online course, the parameters for selecting a niche for the course, and the essential marketing strategies.

Who can sell their online courses easily?

Social media plays a substantial role in digital marketing and promotions. Similarly, if you have some of the basic marketing strategies required to promote an online course and sell what you are offering, those can come in handy. Some basic digital marketing strategies which can help you in selling your courses online are as follows:

Social Media Account

Having an influential social media account can increase the chances of selling and selecting target based audience online, to a vast extent. Social media is undeniably one of the best platforms for promoting an online course. 

Email list for selling online courses

If you have an email list, you can disburse promotional messages to a large number of recipients for your brand. Email lists have a higher Return on Investment (ROI) compared to other marketing strategies.

Building an email list and working on the target segments can vastly boost the chances of grabbing the market.

Loyal blog followers

Blogs are another source of online promotion and marketing. Having a blog with followers can be of great advantage, as the audience can automatically be introduced to the courses you are planning to sell.

People develop relationships through blogs by connecting with the masses. Generating leads through blogs is much easier and can help you understand the target segments better.

How to choose a topic/niche for online courses?

Expertise for Creating an Online Course

Knowledge is one of the most important and underlying factors for choosing a niche for creating an online course. You have to know about your basics, your strengths, and your genre. Think about the challenges that you solve regularly.

For example: if you are good at a specific programming language, you can use it to build software, websites, or even games, depending upon the skill that you possess. Suppose you wish to create a course on a trending topic, but you do not have adequate experience in that particular field.

In that case, the cost incurred for creating the course increases exponentially. Think about teaching something you wish you had known at the very beginning of your career. This creates an incredible opportunity for sharing your knowledge and connecting with your audience on a profound scale.

Passion for the niche

Developing an online course means investing significant amounts of time, resources, and energy towards it. Possessing a love for what drives you, fuels your motivation, and moving forward without passion is impossible. It is quite common to get into a project, which is profitable, but what if the project does not drive profits?

After investing so much time, money, and resources, does that really seem worth it? You are always driven by passion, and even if a project of your passion fails, it does not seem to go wasted. In-fact, you get to learn and experience something, and it further helps you to move on quickly.

Experience in the domain for creating an online course

People hardly look for full-fledged theoretical courses. Possessing hands-on experience of the course you are going to teach is vital for earning the learners’ trust. This helps you to demonstrate your expertise rather than relying on someone else’s ideas and theories. Another important thing here is building a community that knows you and trusts you and can make it much easier for you to choose a relevant idea for a course and make it profitable.

Look at Google Search Results Before Creating an Online Course

Google keywords that may be relevant to your potential niche. This is how you can find out your main competitors. The competition might be too stiff if the search results reveal too many of them.

On the other hand, if there are very few results, then that indicates that the topic is not much in demand, and it may be challenging to churn it out into a financial success. Using keyword research tools is recommended to discover the demand for the topic.

Place a phrase or a keyword in these tools. For example: “Digital Marketing CourseThis will significantly reduce the time of finding a niche for creating an online course.

How to define the target groups for your online course?

Knowing and defining target groups is important. Compile information on the customers based on their demographics.

Demographics include age, location, language, spending ability, and trends, challenges, interests, and stages of life. All these can help you rank your target segments that may range from amateurs to intermediates or even experts. 

Where to publish your online courses?

When it comes to publishing your online course, you have two options:

One is to create your own website, where you can sell your course to a certain target audience, and the other is to post your course on online course selling platforms. There are many such platforms that provide courses to students and are hugely popular.

The latter one seems much more convenient as they are already popular among the masses, and getting hold of customers who will purchase your course is relatively easier.

Search for course selling platforms and select the best online course providers to publish your desired courses. Through this method, you can get an idea of the people who buy your courses and can help in getting valuable insights from the reviews posted by the purchasers. There are many popular online course websites where you can post your courses. Some of them have been listed here.

How to promote your online course?

Create your ideal learner’s persona

This is a vital step before implementing any of the methods that are detailed above. Critical assessment and understanding of the ideal students prior to marketing your course will help compile messages that communicate directly with the students’ needs and requirements.

Promote your course on your blog

Promoting your course on your blog is a great idea if you publish free content regularly. Every person who visits and reads your blog has the chance to become a potential student. 

Develop an SEO based course title

Proper analysis and research of user search volumes can be of great help. Know about the information that people are searching the web for. What are the search terminologies that are being used to find out the information that people are looking for?

For instance, if you wanted to learn about ‘Web Development,’ you may search for results with keywords such as “Online Web Development Courses” or “How to learn Web Development,” etc. Tools such as ‘Google Keyword Planner’ can be used to determine which keywords are the most popular for online course-related topics.

Identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Go through some of the online courses which have already been published and are related to your topic. Follow the pattern of presentation.

The aim here is to determine how you will make your course stand out from the competitions. Decide the areas of the topics that you are going to cover, which the competitors might have missed out on. Identify your USP and include it in your marketing messages and your course sales page.

List Your Online Course on Online Course Marketplaces 

DAN Institute lists the best online courses for marketers & web developers and designers. If you want to get noticed easily by students you can contact with best online course directories like DAN Institute to get more online exposure and reaching your target group.

dan-best-online-courses-for-marketers

How to make upsells and get more benefits from online courses?

Disburse messages of gratitude

There is no other thing that communicates thankfulness like a freebie. Whenever someone signs up for your course, you can send a message of appreciation along with free perks.

This is an easy and inexpensive marketing strategy and is a boon of the digital age. You can also send them links to other courses that you may have prepared on similar topics when they sign up for a new course. Sending free samples is also a great way to ensure customer delight. 

Display similar courses of students’ interests

This is a technique that can be used to provide course content without discounts and can be used to offer premium access to the students. For example, you can add packages of multiple online courses instead of offering a single course for upselling students on these deals. 

What do you need to have for recording an online course?

The very basic requirement for displaying the course which you created is to get a good quality camera for recording. There are tools and equipment which can be used to record an online course. The very basic tools which you can use are :

Camera or Webcam

This is one of the handiest devices for recording and delivering your course to the subscribers/students. Having a webcam with high-quality resolution can enhance the learning experience of the students. Audiences are always attracted to quality. 

Microphone

For the purpose of audio, microphones are necessary, and a good quality microphone will help in effective communication, and you can connect with the students easily.

Proper Lighting

Having proper background lighting and overall lighting is mandatory for the learners to see the medium you are using to present your course, be it white-boards or notebooks.

Video Editing Software

A good video editing software is required to enhance the quality of the recorded videos and make the necessary edits, wherever required. Download video editing software for this purpose and present course videos seamlessly.


Ensure that you follow these marketing strategies and steps to create a comprehensive online course for your students. Always remember that good content is the key to develop online courses that are effective, efficient, and impactful.