The popularity of online courses has been greatly increasing recently and in fact it has become a billion dollar industry.
Their income potential is huge and they are convenient. The student doesn’t need to move out of his room in order to study, in fact anyone can study on the bus, train, etc on a free schedule.
On the delivery side, the course doesn’t require an instructor, renting a lecture hall, which can greatly decrease the costs.
You can find online courses on almost any subject, from web development to cooking, insurance sales.
There are several ways you can host an online course.
1. Sell your course on an existing course platform
This is the most popular solution for non-techie people. Such platforms are easy to customize and also offer a sales avenue for your course. Building your course is all done on a dashboard, and when you’re done, you may get access to the millions of potential students in their community. They may drive sales to your course because of their popularity and help you generate more income, at the same time they own your customers and can market to them someone else’s courses.
They are also easier on your server, because visitors that sign up for your course don’t use your CPU and bandwidth. The integrated high authority site gives you a better chance of improving SEO.
At the same time these platforms can both increase and cut into your profits. As an example, the pricing of Teachable ranges from $29 per month to $299 per month, which is a high expense.
2. Build a course on your own blog
The good news is that there are a multitude of WordPress online courses plugins that you can use. Having a course on your own website increases your ability to brand your course.
The bad news is that these may not fit your exact needs, therefore you will have areas where you need to compromise.
Selling your course may be tricky and you may even need to pay for an off-site shopping cart.
Alternatively you can use PayPal or WooCommerce.
Another downside of this method is that you will need to use several plugins. The main plugin may only contain the actual course platform and you will probably need to add a sales and/or a membership functionality.
Multiple plugins will result in increased server load, therefore you will need to invest into a higher quality hosting/VPS. Your website speed will probably suffer, driving away potential customers.
3. Hire a developer
Building a course professionally requires many skill-sets that you may not currently possess or have a desire to learn. Therefore your only solution is to hire a developer.
This is the most expensive solution, but gives you the highest level of customization. There are freelancers you can work with, however quality is not guaranteed. It is better to go with real professionals.
You may also need to hire graphic designers and illustrators to create the image you desire.
Whichever method you choose, don’t forget that the main thing is to get started. Don’t go for perfection at the start, you will always need to make improvements later on.