Top 5 Challenges Course Authors Face While Creating Online Courses
The popularity of online courses is rising day by day as they provide the opportunity to get better results for reduced costs and even for no cost at all. If students want to enroll into a particular study program, in many cases this means traveling away from home, family, and friends to another place. By taking courses online, users can learn new skills and enhance their knowledge from any time and from anywhere.
And even though some might say that it won’t be easy for new course creators to break into an e-learning industry in 2022, we believe that this statement is nothing but a misconception. Yes, coming up with the right learning solution that would make a huge spark of interest from learners might not be that easy. But nothing beats the extensive real-world experience that, if shared with others via online courses, can improve learners’ professional lives or change their career paths for the greater good.
Got lots of real-world case studies which you resolved successfully or a bunch of unique insights? Have any cool tips/hints to share about your job/skills? If yes, then create an online course! Simply get it done and start selling. However, learning beforehand about the necessary steps that you need to take as a beginner is always a good move. See what challenges are out there and be prepared! Certainly, there will be a fair number of concerted efforts that you are going to face and which might require some patience from you, while others will require a high level of skills. Some require resources and the others require time. So, be aware of these challenges before developing an online course content and creating an actual course. And you’ll succeed!
In this blog post, we outlined 5 common challenges that e-learning course creators have faced in 2021. Read this article to learn what these challenges are and what you can do to overcome them.
Challenge 1. Content that Would Solve Learners’ Problems
Most people only attend those courses which help them to solve their problems or achieve their goals. If students didn’t see what helpful skills and new useful knowledge they can obtain, they wouldn’t be interested in enrolling. So, making sure that you create good and well thought out content is very important. Keep in mind, your learning content is the primary thing that will be marketed as something worth buying. And this is what your prospective buyers will look for to finally come on board. So, use the right strategy while building your learning content. For example, instead of talking all about how awesome the IT industry is (features), build your content around the idea of how exactly your course will rock learners’ world. In other words, give them the value based on learning outcomes they’re going to get.
Challenge 2. Pricing the Course
People can spend years creating programs and courses for brick-and-mortar education. And most of them feel like they’ve seen it all. However, shifting into an online landscape, finding your audience, and coming up with correct pricing for the course are some of the toughest challenges for course creators.
We suggest paying attention to the following aspects while pricing an online course:
- total course length;
- amount of time you actually spend on your course;
- amount of articles/videos/whatever you provide to learners;
- an opportunity for students to ask questions or express concerns;
- budget for course promotions and your future expenses;
So, get online and see what other courses out there on the same topic as yours. Check how they’ve been priced by different course authors. By figuring this out, you’ll be able to come up with the “golden middle” for your course price.
By the way, Grinfer marketplace gives a chance to its course authors to make money with both: selling under subscription and offering for a single price. The subscription option will let you make money out of the watch-time. It’s about how much time (in minutes) people spent over the month watching your content on the platform. As of the single-price option, you’re the one who decides on whatever price to put on a price-tag. It will be totally up to you.
Challenge 3. Course Marketing
Yes, running marketing promos is one of the crucial components of every business. And the e-learning industry is no exception. The main point of marketing: if you’ve got fantastic products but can’t sell them – it’s all pretty much meaningless. So, it is very important to develop a good marketing strategy for successful promotion of your eLearning course. If you haven’t looked into it yet, we can tell you right off the bat that there are a good number of promotional strategies for selling e-learning courses effectively. Let’s go over them real quick:
1st, if you are using a third-party eLearning platform for selling your courses, odds are there will be less worries. If you choose an LMS platform/service that will be able to provide you with free SEO tools and share their marketing solutions, it can greatly assist you in overcoming marketing challenges.
Luckily, some platforms (like Grinfer) offer course promotions for FREE. For instance, Grinfer offers free referral links to any registered course creators. Once they have an online course published on the marketplace, they will be able to generate a referral link for this course for further promotions in social media and private network channels. What’s the deal? See how it works:
Private promos: course authors generate referral links in their Personal Author’s Page. Then a course author picks one of the courses, if he/she got several of them on the platform (this works just fine too if an author has just one course published) to drop down the price and run sales. Now is the time to use private channels (like social media accounts, blogs, your own website, etc.) for running referral promos.
Basically, you need to advertise your limited-time deal everywhere on the web to your audience and followers. What’s the main benefit? Brought more learners to Grinfer via referral links and they, indeed, made a purchase – 96% of the sale stays in your pocket and you can do whatever with it!
Public promos: everything works the same way as we described previously, except that referral links are good for 7 days and can be used once a month. The whole trick is to toot your own horn on the Internet as loud as you possibly can so everybody would know that you offer awesome discounts for your eLearning content. What’s next? Every time a new user heads on Grinfer via referral links that YOU promoted and hits a “Buy Now” button, again, you get 96% out of the deal!
Public promotions will:
- give you more recognition
- expand outreach
- boost engagement
The more people are aware about your e-learning content, the more revenue shares you get!
Course “giveaways”: once you publish an e-learning course, Grinfer offers you an option of giving your course up to 50 folks as a gift straight for the whole month. Basically, this means generating and distributing free-access links among 50 people who you are acquainted with. Why offer courses for free? Because that way you can grow the following and drive more learners to your author’s page where they’ll find even more cool courses from you and like you even better. Plus, you get a great chance to see more awesome reviews from these people about your courses, as well as course ratings on the Grinfer platform. Awesome!
2nd, start paid ad campaigns. Google ads campaigns can help you reach out to more people and grow a following. Or try the Facebook Niche Targeting method. This method works well if you need to boost enrollment quickly. Facebook Ads have been quite powerful making people click and convert into customers.
Before you start off, do some homework to know how to target the right audience by segmenting your Facebook audiences properly. It doesn’t matter what topics you’re covering in your e-learning courses, you’ll have several niches within learners. This means different groups of students having different needs, different skills, and different goals.
So, research and know your target audience well before using Facebook Niche targeting method. Once you start targeting properly, this method would help you promote and sell online courses much more efficiently.
3rd, send email newsletters: if you already have the student base, then build an email list and start sending newsletters.
4th, promote on YouTube: use YouTube for both paid and free marketing. Like every other creator, you can create some good videos and get attraction from the students.
5th, promote in social media: social media is one of the biggest platforms for digital marketing. This arena can give access to both paid and free word of mouth marketing. However, for a starter, it’s better to rely on an e-learning platform to promote your course(s).
For example, Grinfer designs single custom-made powerful landing pages for its best-selling authors for FREE to capture leads and promote specific activities featured by the authors. For instance, upcoming webinars, new courses in particular categories that were just launched on the marketplace, etc. Such pages show product description, telling users what’s in the course/webinar, giving info about extra bonuses, and providing a sign-up form so learners can hop into the webinar/platform right away.
6th, tutoring is fun and rewarding, don’t you agree? You can make real money by consulting others from your own platform. Or you can sign up 1-1 consultation service on Grinfer for providing tutoring/consulting services. By the way, you won’t be charged for registration or anything. And… We’ll provide you with everything you need to get started!
Challenge 4. Users Engagement
The biggest challenge for online instructors is engagement. How do you get students to attend classes and do the work? Even with different features enabled on different learning platforms, the main challenge is engaging the audience when courses run over longer periods of time. Mere training via educational videos is often preferred because it’s easier and less expensive. And since, for the most part, e-learning courses consist of a sequence of educational videos, don’t forget to throw in other types of media too, such as: images, audio bites, PDFs, e-books, quizzes, etc. Basically, include anything to make the process of learning more interesting! Or make a scenario for your assignment that would require doing a research paper and writing discussion board posts. Also, some say that blended learning is one of the best options for online learners. For instance, in-class virtual meetings combined with eLearning can deliver the best learning experience.
Yes, some online courses leave out the practice part or jump all over the place in their explanations. This does nothing else but confuses students and leaves them feeling as if they are actually not able to apply acquired knowledge/skills. So, we can conclude that such online courses that have alignment of goals+content+application (online activities) will be most engaging and beneficial to online learners.
Challenge 5. Building a Personal Brand
Building a personal brand, it’s of utmost necessity. This can be done by having an active FB page or Twitter handle. Instructors and professors who have a mass following find it much easier to sell their courses or lectures. We suggest the following:
- Create a FB page for a group of like-minded people in your niche. Make frequent posts and invite enthusiasts with the same skills/knowledge.
- Be proactive in responding to students’ doubts and queries.
- Incorporate feedback from the community on your coursework.
- Have offline meetings with students/users so you can know them better.
- Give out some free courses online.
- Spread the word about your free courses.
- Get as much feedback from users as you can and add necessary changes to your course(s) accordingly.
- As the user base grows, try push ads.
- Give basic course content for free and charge for intermediate and advanced level (if your course is good, users will definitely enroll).
- Skip parts of videos in the free sections and ask them to pay for the full videos. However, the best time to do it is after you build a strong user base.
- Do some research to see what topics in your niche your targeted audience shows most interest in and then create a series of “how-to” videos on these particular topics.
Try these out and stick to the strategies that work best for you. And don’t think you need to be everywhere to make a dent. Be hyper-focused on where you spend your time. It’s more about the connections you make, but not so much about spreading your personal brand all over the web. Second, make sure it’s something you’re deeply passionate about. Once you establish your brand, changing it can often be tough. We suggest looking at Rob Percival’s personal e-learning journey since he has built a highly successful brand for his eLearning business and already made millions of dollars selling courses worldwide. Check him out on Grinfer!
The biggest challenge of the e-learning industry is keeping a constant stream of customers. Anything a marketplace can do to help creators with attracting and converting customers would be a win.
Besides, making sure the course topics you pick are in your expertise is important. Because the more knowledgeable you are in your subject, the more unique content you are creating. When you are known as an expert in your area, you will build trust with your students. And this is something that money can’t buy.
So, get on the Internet and see what similar courses are already out there and create content that is unique and engaging. Head out to the Grinfer platform to learn step-by-step about building an awesome online course with our “Build a Course in Just 30 Days!” video tutorial. Get into it and we’ll provide you with everything you’ll possibly need!