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How to Create an Online Course and Monetize It

How To Create An Online Course

Table of Contents


Steps to Create & Sell an Online Course

Step 1: Pick a Topic
Step 2: Identify the Goals of Your Course
Step 3: Do Your Research
Step 4: Determine the Course Order
Step 5: Choose the Right Tool
Step 6: Create the Content
Step 7: Organize Content into Modules
Step 8: Put Your Course Online
Step 9: Distribute Your Course


Today, creating and selling an online course is not the privilege of only professors, corporate trainers, and instructional designers. Anyone with expertise in an area who desires to share it with an audience can create online courses. If the course is popular, you might even be able to make some money off of it.

With trainers and instructors increasingly taking learning out of physical classrooms into the digital world, the need to create online training courses is on the rise. If you’re trying your hand at online courses, here are nine steps on how to create an online course and sell it:

Watch This Video to Know How to Create an Online Course

Step 1: Pick a Topic

The first step to create an online course is to identify a topic. What will your course be about? Ideally, this will be an area where you have not only a high level of knowledge but also a high degree of passion.

Never choose a topic that is too broad as that would take you a year or two to do justice. Instead, narrow down your topic into something that can be distilled into a six or eight-week course.

Depending on your need, the training course can be longer or shorter, but these days the tendency is toward shorter versions. For instance, rather than ‘Communication Skills’, try ‘Oral Communication’, ‘Written Communication’, or ‘Business Communication’.

Step 2: Identify the Goals of Your Course

 Identify the Goals of Your Course

What will your learners be able to do after they have completed your course?
  • Will they be able to explain the causes and effects of World War II? 
  • Communicate better in writing? 
  • Paint a picture?

The learning outcomes you identify will guide you on how you develop the training material.

One of the easiest ways to identify learning goals is to first identify your learners.

Are they sales representatives who need to brush up on how to find new sales leads? 

Or are they HR executives who need to learn a new development in their profession?

Once you identify your target audience, the question of how to create online training courses becomes much easier. After that, you only need to work on the training content for your courses, which leads us to the next step.

Read More:- 5 Simple Steps to Plan Your Online Course Content

Step 3: Do Your Research

“To do successful research, you don't need to know everything - you just need to know one thing that isn't known.” – Arthur Leonard Schawlow, American physicist

Research mainly relates to the course content. This is the stage where you should need to spend the most time.

Research your topic and understand it thoroughly to make sure you have a comprehensive presentation of the topic. It is better to start with a large amount of content and cut it down to size than not having enough content to justify a useful course.

Remember, good research is half the work done. After that, you just need to put the content in different places on the course creation template. Turning the data or pool of knowledge and information into online courses shouldn’t take much time with a user-friendly learning management system (LMS).

Step 4: Determine the Course Order

Determine the Course Order

How would you like your learners to navigate through the course? Obviously, it should follow a logical order. For instance, if you are creating a history course, the order is according to the timeline.

Learning paths also influence the order that a course takes. One common strategy is to start out with the most basic and general information and then drill down to the specifics as you go into later sections. This will help build up a tempo and make learning easier for the course attendees.

Some of the leading online course creation software tools let users do the following:

  • Bundle courses together
  • Provide guided learning
  • Set rules to ensure compliance
  • Collect feedback on courses

Step 5: Choose the Right Tool

In order to create online courses, you’ll need modern authoring tools. For this, you should first identify the nature of your audience and their learning needs. This will give you a fair idea of what to look for in an online course builder.

Consider all the pros and cons of these tools before you decide because it is not feasible to change them frequently.

Generally, users prefer eLearning software solutions that are easy to use, customizable, and scalable. In addition, tools with tracking & feedback systems, multilingual support, and reporting are always in demand.

Make sure that whichever tool you finally choose offers comprehensive solutions that any course creator would need.

Step 6: Create the Content

Create the Content

Now we have come to the most critical part – creating the training course.

When you use a cloud-based learning management system such as ProProfs Training Maker, the task of creating an online course becomes fun. Using these online course builders, you can customize your courses and add videos, quizzes, PDFs, podcasts, infographics, and other visuals to make learning more appealing and engaging. 

This helps you create awesome online courses that sell.

Create the content

(Source: elearninginfographics)

While you are creating your online course, keep the 10-minute rule in mind. Whether it is a text, presentation or a video, each piece of content should take only about 10 minutes for learners to complete. 

If it is too long, learners tend to lose interest soon.

Introduce gamification into your courses to make learning an enjoyable experience. Game elements inject a dose of excitement in learners, and learning is no longer a mundane activity. Few elements you can use include:

  • Learning paths
  • Levels
  • Points
  • Badges
  • Scoreboards

You can also add customized certificates that course takers can receive at the end of the course to make them feel rewarded:

Customized certificates

Here’s a video on creating a customized certificate using an LMS:

Step 7: Organize Content into Modules

Organizing courses into modules is one of the indispensable steps you need to remember when you are out to create online learning courses. Each module usually contains all the content related to a particular topic and the assessments.

For example, a course on the history of American theatre would probably have one module dedicated to Broadway musicals and another on Post-World War II theatre.

A module serves the same purpose that a chapter does in a book. It deals with different themes and topics that are nevertheless related to the book’s title. Such independent yet related units of content make comprehension easier for learners.

Read More:- 8 Ideas to Create Engaging eLearning Courses

Step 8: Put Your Course Online

You have done all the planning and groundwork necessary to create your own online training course. After you design your courses, it is now time for the take-off. Upload it online because that’s where your audience will find it.

Believe it or not, making a course available online is probably the easiest step of all. You can upload it on your website, ProProfs Store, or any e-commerce site.

So, if you’ve been wondering how to create and sell courses online, a good learning management system can help you with it. This is because they provide all the support that instructors, trainers, or instructional designers need to monetize their online training courses.

Put Your Course Online

Step 9: Distribute Your Course

After you create your own online training course and make it online, it’s time to distribute it. Share your courses with learners easily by embedding them on a website, blog, or social media platform. You can even share the course link via email or other channels to distribute it to any number of audience.

You can also sell it on an online course marketplace and make some money for your work. You can keep the course either public or private and send course invites.

For more on how to distribute a course online, read this guide.

Interesting Read:- Best Moodle Alternatives that You Need to Know About!

Ready to Create an Online Course and Profit from It?

If you’ve been wondering how to create an online course and sell it, follow the steps discussed in this blog post. It would definitely help you. But for that, you first need to choose an eLearning authoring tool.

Create interactive online courses and share your knowledge with the world through ProProfs Training Maker.

Take a tour and sign up free to get started. Or ask for a demo today.

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About the author

Michael has more than eight years of experience in the enterprise software and eLearning industry. He is passionate about online training and has a deep understanding of how organizations can leverage online training for maximum success. In his free time, he enjoys power walking, zumba, and reading.

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