Don’t Overthink Your Online Course

I have fielded many questions related to online courses over the years, and the biggest obstacles preventing them from launching are often self-imposed.

Online courses offer a significant opportunity to earn extra income, supplement a consulting service, or to even start a business. The concept is pretty simple. Create a course that is split up into logical lessons and then sell it. As easy as it comes in terms of setting up.

But not everyone thinks that this configuration is right for their learning program. There is nothing wrong with wanting something different, but just know that the more elaborate your pre-launch needs then the more costly and time consuming the set-up process.

What’s worse is this may all be for nothing, especially if you are starting from scratch and don’t have any paying customers yet.

Prove Your Concept First

The mistake that many people make when starting their online course venture is that they over-complicate it before it has even launched.

I have seen instances where potential LearnDash customers have asked if it is possible to force registration prior to being able to purchase a course, but when the user is registered they are only allowed to access certain courses. If their customers purchase a course from a certain list then they then get a discount on another set of courses.

This gets convoluted quite quickly. And while getting this configuration is technically possible with WordPress, it’s going to take quite a long time setting everything up, implementing custom code where necessary, and testing… all before a single sale has been made.

In my mind, the better alternative is to put energy into creating a really great course and then make it possible to purchase in a standard manner that everyone can understand. In other words, don’t put in place unnecessary obstacles before you have even made a single sale. Simply make it possible to purchase the course and to get access after purchase. If you start making a lot of sale then you can evaluate whether you need to alter this process.

Keep it simple in the beginning. Get your course to market and then iterate based on customer feedback and experience. It’s the quickest way to profit from selling courses.

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | Clarity | LinkedIn

2 Responses

  1. Well file this post in the “I wish I read it sooner file”.

    I made this mistake. I have two courses over at Camp Chroma. Some of the content overlaps so I give veteran Campers 50% the second course.

    Once you get sucked into that vortex, it’s really hard to get out.

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