10 Ways To Create An Effective Online Course


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Add Stories

People choose courses based on results. Highlight your successes and those of your students. Don’t reserve these stories for your sales page; integrate them into your lessons.

Within your lessons, share personal stories of overcoming challenges in specific topics. For instance, when teaching Facebook Ads, recall your struggle with understanding Facebook pixel and explain the frustration you felt. This personal touch creates a closer connection with your students, making you relatable and compassionate.

By being open and vulnerable, you express emotions through stories, elevating the course material. Nobody wants to learn from a robot; being human and relatable is key.

Humans seek connections with like-minded individuals who share their values and motivations. Don’t hesitate to incorporate stories in your lessons; they make you more relatable and more human.

People like us do things like this – Seth Godin

Get Comfortable on Camera

Creating my first online course was nerve-wracking. I dreaded being on camera – my voice, pronunciation, and awkwardness made me uncomfortable. However, with practice, it became more natural, and I got used to it.

Videos offer a unique way to convey yourself, showcasing microexpressions like body language, tone, and eye movements. These shape viewers’ opinions and feelings about you, building a connection.

When adding videos to your course, be authentic and showcase your true self. You don’t need to pretend; microexpressions reveal your honesty. While I’ve often used slides and narration for welcoming videos, webinars, or thank-you messages, showing your face and upper body fosters a stronger connection.

Pro tip! Consider using an online teleprompter to help you stay on track and deliver your content and lines more smoothly.

Just be confident in yourself; no need for acting or pretense.

Enhance Learning Worksheets and Checklists

Including worksheets and checklists in your online course is a smart move. They encourage active engagement with the content rather than passive consumption.

Many learners prefer absorbing information but hesitate to take action due to the effort involved. To combat this, make worksheets more engaging by weaving in a narrative. For instance, explaining the importance of completing a worksheet and the consequences of not doing so can motivate students.

This “warning” serves a dual purpose, helping you ensure students follow through with the course requirements. By highlighting why completing a worksheet matters, you prompt students to take action, even if it involves some discomfort. It’s a quirk of human nature, but it works.

Selling the Course After Selling the Course

Selling your online course is great, but monitoring what happens after the purchase is equally vital. Are students completing the course or dropping out?

Course completion is essential for delivering tangible results. To boost completion rates, examine your lesson and module titles. Ensure they spark curiosity rather than sounding bland, prompting students to engage further.

For example, if you’re teaching social media marketing and covering retargeting, instead of naming it ‘Retargeting Basics,’ consider ‘The Outside-Of-The-Box Retargeting Methodology.’ Sell each lesson to your students, encouraging them to continue through the course and take action.

While it’s natural for people’s interests and goals to change, make efforts to keep your students engaged. Accept that some may leave, but focus on those who find what they need and continue.

Maximize Attention

While many say people have shorter attention spans, the reality is that people still watch full-length movies. This signals that people don’t have short attention spans, they only get bored more easily.

Longer lessons signal your course is for those with the patience and dedication for in-depth learning.

  • Advantage: You attract committed, results-driven individuals.
  • Disadvantage: Some may be deterred by the perceived workload.

People crave shortcuts, but true results require substantial effort. Short videos and straightforward lessons cater to a shorter attention span and impatience. Consider your target audience and the results you aim to deliver when determining lesson length.

Guiding to Success

To ensure clarity and a clear path to success, keep your lessons engaging, whether short or long. This approach helps students maintain a clear understanding of the course’s objective and why each lesson matters.

Too long videos can overwhelm and blur the path. Your course should always offer a distinct objective and path to results. Short but information-packed lessons make the course feel manageable, moving in a specific direction.

Reinforce the lesson’s importance and track progress throughout the course. Providing an overview and highlighting the student’s current position and the end goal maintains motivation and encourages course completion.

If a student loses focus or can’t see the end goal, it’s more than likely that you will lose him/her and any future sales.

Inspire with Personal Achievements

Personal stories and accomplishments are essential. They demonstrate the tangible results achievable with the lesson you’re teaching, putting it into context for the student.

These results motivate students to persevere, especially in challenging courses. Share your own experiences and illustrate how the lesson addresses their struggles.

Position yourself as a person who has achieved what your students aspire to. Showcase your results to ignite their excitement and confidence in their potential to achieve the same.

Boost Engagement with Small Wins

Providing small wins between modules or lessons is crucial. Encourage students to complete daily tasks that yield immediate results, keeping their enthusiasm high throughout the course.

These small tasks maintain excitement and lead to an excellent overall experience, ensuring a satisfied student by the course’s end.

Small wins give students a sense of progress, validating their investment. Without such wins, the course’s value could be questioned. Even minor achievements can make or break the overall course experience.

Seamless Module Integration

Content creation alone isn’t the best approach to course building. Modules and lessons should interconnect, forming a cohesive learning journey.

Each lesson should flow from the previous one and lead to the next, fostering a clear, connected path for students. This seamless progression fosters a supportive and easily comprehensible learning experience, enhancing the overall course journey.

When the path is clear, and the lessons can be followed with ease, understanding is created, and a supportive learning experience is born.

Addressing Student Struggles

Don’t just impart knowledge; share how you’ve conquered obstacles on your journey to success. Your students seek solutions to their unique challenges, not just information.

People enroll in courses to obtain results, aiming to overcome obstacles with minimal effort. Remember your own past struggles and how you conquered them. This is the same path your students are seeking to follow, desiring what you’ve achieved.

Assisting students in overcoming roadblocks is a valuable service, delivering on their expectations and the reason they purchased your course.

Feature image credits.



Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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