July 9th, 2019 Business

If you have created an e-book then you are well on your way to an online course (and more profit)!

Do you have an e-book? Is it doing well?

Most people feel satisfied if they have an e-book that is selling well and leave it at that, ultimately missing out on an opportunity to grow their business even more. The next logical step involves converting your e-book into an online course. It is also an excellent way to build your credibility online, establish yourself as an expert, and boost your income.

If you have an e-book (whether it is selling or not), the following steps outline how you can leverage your e-book to create an online course.

Step 1 – Create a Course Outline/ Course Structure

The course structure is a roadmap to understand where you are going with the course. It helps you know what you need to cover, and when you should introduce it.

You first need to take the information in your e-book and organize it into lessons. Specifically, you must decide how much information each lesson should have in the online course and how detailed it should be by making a prioritized list of key points you want emphasized in the course.

One way to do this is to organize your course based on the organization of your chapters. You can use the chapters as lessons, and then divide those lessons up into smaller “bite-size” chunks.

Step 2– Line up each Lesson with its Objective

When students enroll for a course, they’re not just looking for information; they also need an outcome. So when planning your online course, focus more on building value into the course and on how each lesson will lead to specific results.

Your course should be carefully aligned to students’ needs. Start with the desired goal and work backwards. To accomplish this, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the results you want your students to achieve by taking your online course?
  • What should your learners be able to do after completing the course?
  • How will the learners get to achieve their outcomes/ learning goals, i.e., breaking down the goals into smaller learning chunks/ lessons?
  • How will the course help learners be more successful?

One added benefit to clearly defining your goals is that it will help you to form your course sale page.

Step 3 – Create Your Content

Your course content must be appealing and presented in the proper sequence to maximize a learner’s memory retention. Therefore think of the best way to present the online course. There are several formats which you can choose from:

  • Video
  • Audio
  • PDFs
  • Text
  • Images
  • Text
  • HTML5

Each format has its pros and cons, and they also aren’t mutually exclusive. Video-based courses are often considered more interesting, engaging, and build a strong relationship between the student and teacher; however, videos are time-consuming to create.

Audio courses are also good as the student can take the course on the go and listen anywhere but can easily get distracted, requiring them to play the audio back again and again. Make sure you include a transcript for any audio you use.

PDFs in courses are the most effective as the student can always go back and make reference. They also walk the student through the work in a more systematic way. However, they also require the student to download the file (for later use) and that can get messy.

Text is the most common way we consume information. It works, but it’s boring in a course. Never rely on just text.

HTML5 is the most engaging, but requires a lot more time to create and configure (arguably more than videos). Popular programs for creating engaging HTML5 content include Articulate, iSpring, Adobe Captivate, and H5p.

Step 4 – Engage

It’s important to ensure that the learners are getting value out of the course. To do this, regularly interact with your learners.

  • Configure an email autoresponder to check in and prompt learners to do the exercises.
  • Add an online community, where learners can discuss their projects, post questions, and get feedback.
  • Organize group projects and encourage everyone to participate in forums.
  • Allow for periodic assessments throughout the course.

The BuddyBoss platform is perfect for creating engaging online course communities!

Step 5 – Connect the e-book and the Online Course

Once you have created your online course, it’s time to get people from y our e-book to enroll. There are two immediate things you should do:

  1. Email existing customers about your course.
  2. Link your e-book to your online course directly.

When referencing your course in your e-book, include the course link at the beginning and at the end, plus a couple of times in the middle as not everyone finishes every e-book they purchase. This will ensure they see the link even if they stop after chapter one.

Next, you should set-up an autoresponder series for anyone who purchases or downloads your e-book (especially if the e-book is free). Each day, send an email or tip to the individual. Make sure you provide value – don’t spam them! After several content-based emails, you should mention your course. Here’s a tip: even though you don’t mention your course in the content-based emails, you can include a link to it in your email signature.

Step 6 – Launch

Even though you have cross promoted your course, you still need to launch it. Your email promotion to existing e-book customers is a good way to create initial excitement, but having a live launch will motivate your prospects even more to enroll (buy the course) before the live launch period closes.

You need to provide an incentive for people to show-up to your live event. Teach them something useful and only at the very end discuss your course. Price the course favorably to existing customers by offering discounts, bonuses, and other free resources such as membership to a website, video tutorials, coaching, or any other type of material that will add to the online course. You may consider giving away the first one or two lessons to get people “in the door”.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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