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Easy ways to teach an online course

Easy Ways to Teach an Online CourseDid you ever think of teaching an online course?

Bloggers want to stand out.

They want to build their authority and their following.

And, you know, this is a really great way to do it.

You’ve seen others do this.

But perhaps you’ve written it off as “too hard to do,” or “takes too much time” or “too technical.”

I just want you to know that you can do it.

But not by standing on the sidelines and watching the parade of other successful bloggers pass you by.

There actually are easy ways to teach an online course.

I’ll show you what I mean.

Should you teach an online course?

I’ve worked with people who wanted to teach a course, but got so caught up in the technology that they gave up.

And that’s too bad because it’s really something you can do.

So I want to show you some of the ways to overcome those hurdles.

But first, ask yourself if you should even consider this.

Well, the answer is “yes” for most bloggers.

Here’s why.

If you have something of value to share with your crowd, then an online course is the perfect way to share it.

What Bloggers Can Do To Stand Out In A Crowd
Teaching a course makes you a credible authority in your niche.

It steps your game up a notch from simply blogging and posting things on social media.

Your followers will take you much more seriously, and your prospects will soon become your followers.

You will grow your audience, boost your reputation, and get noticed by more of the “big players” in your niche.

It can also have a direct impact on your business by helping you get more people on your email list, and even earning a profit directly from your courses.

Teach a free course

As with most things online, you can teach a free online course, or you can do it for profit.

There are definite benefits to each.

But before we talk about those benefits, let’s look at 4 easy ways to teach an online course.

Email sequences

Probably the easiest way is to simply invite people to subscribe to your email list.

In exchange, you offer them a 7 day course, or 30 day course, or whatever fits for you.

Then, you simply write a series of emails that teaches your course.

Think of it like you were teaching a course at a community college.

You might promise a semester course on Victorian Literature.

In a semester, you’d probably have something like 24, maybe 30 classes.

You stand in front of the class and teach for 45 minutes.

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But you could probably summarize each class in a page or two.

So, now for your online course, you just take those class summaries, and turn them into an email sequence.

That’s your free online course!

Or, you could link out to something like a 10, 15, 30, 45 minute video you recorded on your topic.

Alternatively, you could link out to a pdf you wrote.

That could easily be a paid course.

Facebook Live series

Now, this is probably even easier than writing a lot of emails for your “course.”

All you have to do is show up on Facebook Live at the time you have pre-scheduled.

Then, teach your course!

When you do a Facebook Live event, it’s pretty much the same as standing in front of a class.

Simply teach whatever your subject is, and it will play for a live audience, and also will replay as a recorded event.

Just like with the email sequence method, your classes can be done at specific intervals.

Do a series of 10 for 10 consecutive days.

Or 1 a week for 10 weeks.

It’s all up to you.

Conduct your live event for 45 minutes, or 5 minutes.

All the numbers I’m giving you are just arbitrary examples.

The actual numbers of lessons, timing of videos, etc… it’s all up to you.

But ultimately, of course, it’s a matter of what your audience likes best.

In any event, a Facebook Live series is an easy way to teach an online course.

Serial blog posts

Just like the other methods, serial blog posts give you a format for delivering a drip-feed of content.

And you can drip-feed your blog posts any way you want.

So you might do a 10 part blogging series on your subject.

Each article can show people different aspects of your main topic.

And you can link articles to each other.

So “click here to learn more about this,” is a great way to send your readers to another, related article you wrote in the series.

Or maybe a video you recorded.

A blog post series is also a good way to get people to visit your blog regularly.

Simply promote it on social media sites, for instance:

“Free 12-Part Course”

Then link to your blog post “Part 1” or “Day 1” etc.

At the end of the Part 1 blog post, embed a button or link that says “Click here for Part 2.”

That will redirect readers to your “Part 2” blog post.

Just repeat that technique up through “Part 12.”

If your blog posts are public, then you will most likely be suing them as a free course.

But you can also make it a paid course, simply by making the blog posts private.

Only paying students can access them.

So, that’s an easy way to teach an online course in the form of a blog post series.

YouTube series

Just like posting a blogging series in the form of an online course, you can post a video series.

Publish your series to YouTube to take advantage of it’s tremendous search engine feature.

Your videos could be published all at once.

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But I think it’s best to do it one day at a time until your course is finished.

You can shoot your videos in a face-to-camera style, but naturally, that tends to get rather tedious.

I recommend you use a slide-show presentation, instead, like Powerpoint or Keynote.

You could even do a voice-over through a series of still images.

Whatever presentation style you choose, just shoot your videos and instruct viewers to “go to the next video,” until your course is complete.

Like with your blog post series, a free course could consist of public videos.

A paid course could be a series of private videos so that people must pay for access to them.

Publishing a series of videos on YouTube is yet another easy way to teach an online course.

Get paid for your online course

Now, each of the methods I just showed you for creating a “free online course,” can easily be converted into a “paid online course.”

You just need to re-package the very same content into a paid format.

The method is like taking a gift you were once given, putting it in a nice new box and sticking a price tag on it.

So here’s just a few ideas for repackaging your free courses.

Let’s say you did a 7 day email sequence called “How to publish your first book.”

So, you have 7 emails, all done.

Now, shoot a video of each email you wrote.

You could simply narrate the email message.

Or you could post it up as a slide presentation.

Just copy and paste right from your email.

Now, you have a 7 day course you can sell as a video training called “How to publish your first book.”

Embed the 7 videos on a webpage and you have your course.

Maybe shoot a new video called “Introduction.”

Just talk about what people will learn in your course, and maybe how to navigate through it.

You could tell them how to contact you if they have any problems.

And, of course, you could also put some banner ads on the page for something like a service you provide, or an affiliate product, etc.

Very simple.

Really easy, once you’ve already done the work for the free email course, right?

So these are easy ways to teach an online course.

Rinse and Repeat

Just like you can convert an email sequence into a paid course, you can do the same thing for any free courses you already created.

Collect your Facebook Live or YouTube video “courses.”

You did them for free on Facebook Live and YouTube, but now you can repackage and sell them.

Use the same repackaging method I just showed you.

Then, rinse and repeat!

Do the same thing with your free serial blog post course.

There are just so many easy ways to teach an online course.

Don’t get overwhelmed, though.

Pick one method and do it.

Once you’ve got the idea, you can just keep doing the same thing, or try some of the other ideas.

They all add up to giving people really good value for a fee, or in return for their subscription to your email list.

How I converted a free course into a paid one

I once did a free 30 day challenge course showing people how to profit from Facebook Live.

And actually, I produced the entire challenge on Facebook Live.

Like this…

Facebook Live raw take for course

After giving it for free for the initial 30 day challenge, I converted it into a paid course.

It looks like this…

Facebook Live course #1

It includes over 30 video trainings.

Like these…

Facebook Live course #2I’m still selling this course on a regular basis, getting new email subscribers, paid customers and building a clientele from this one course.

And you can too!

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Remember… it requires work.

But it’s actually very easy if you’re willing to do the work.

Easy ways to teach an online course

There are many benefits of teaching an online course.

With free courses, you can build your email list by offering the free course as incentive to join your list.

You can also get people to your blog, your YouTube channel or your Facebook Live events by promising to deliver a free course on those platforms.

As people go through your free course, they come to know you better, and build a trusting relationship.

They see you as an authority on your topic.

And, in fact, you are, if you are able to teach a course on your topic.

So give it a try.

If you need help, contact me, or sign up for some private coaching with me.

It’s often much, much easier to go through all the mechanics with a seasoned coach the first time around.

Learn about Donna’s Top Tier private coaching program…Top Tier Coaching

So, what do you think?

Leave me a comment below and let me know.

Could teaching an online course help build your business?

Are you ready to implement some of these easy ways to teach an online course?


PS: Kindly share this article on your social sites. I greatly appreciate it 🙂

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.


7 Responses to Easy ways to teach an online course

  1. Marquita Herald
    April 24, 2021 at 12:13 pm #

    Lots of great information and ideas to work with Donna! I’ve used the email option several times. The delivery method is super easy, but of course, it takes time to build and write a course that delivers meaningful content. Happy to share this post since I know a lot of people are interested in this topic and online learning is hotter than ever. Cheers!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..What It Means to Be a SurvivorMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 26, 2021 at 6:39 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      I love to use email especially because all the social networks are upside down. People leaving one social platform for another. I’ve learned over the years that email becomes our own property just like our blogs. We have to constantly give good content to those who opt into our email list. I find I do more socializing with my list than I do with social media these days.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How much time should it take you to write a blog postMy Profile

  2. Ryan K Biddulph
    April 23, 2021 at 1:40 pm #

    Giving up because of tech issues seems to be an issue for bloggers, Donna. Bloggers have oodles of knowledge to share but become intimidated by trivial tech stuff easily solved with some research or a simple ask. Techies all around help you through issues. This is why we need to build our blogger buddy networks freely.


    • Donna Merrill April 26, 2021 at 6:41 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      I know oh so many who have given up blogging because of tech issues. But there is always help from other blogs, to even hiring someone to do some things for you. There are so many techies we know that can help us through an issue. And so true this is a good reason to build our blogger buddy networks. We are all in this together so why not help each other. This is what I love about our blogging. buddies.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How much time should it take you to write a blog postMy Profile

  3. Ash
    April 22, 2021 at 10:34 am #

    Hey Donna,

    It’s like you read my mind?

    The idea for teaching courses has been marinating in my head for a long long time. I even created a few courses (just to see if I can) and put them on Udemy (I think that was a bad idea since Udemy barely pays me anything after sales happen).

    Those initial courses have been rotting away there (with just a few measly dollars here and there — and I don’t care).

    Teaching courses takes bloggers up several notches. Suddenly, they get more credibility, authority, and confidence I think.

    I also wanted to take to online training for multiple other reasons:

    — Gives me a new path to go on, after years of freelancing/agency thing.
    — Helps me create impact. Like, truly help and make a difference to the community.
    — Allows me to finally sell something that I can call my own (apart from services, and I think it’s better than productized services even)

    Wish me luck, Donna 🙂

    Question: I know doing livestreams is awesome and all that, but will it get awkward to do it when there’s almost no audience watching you live? And how do you beat camera shyness (or the fact I keep thinking that millions will judge me?).

    Ash recently posted..WordPress eCommerce: The Only Guide You’ll Ever NeedMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 28, 2021 at 9:27 am #

      Hi Ash,

      Yes Udemy pays peanuts when it comes to putting our stuff on their platform.

      Marketing your own courses is a great way to go. All you need to do is find the right people who need the information. Sometimes I like to go to Quora and answer similar questions. Once I get to know peeps there, I can mention to them I have my own product that will help them if they are open to it. A little tricky not to be spammy but it can be done.

      Also setting up a campaign whereby you can advertise on Facebook and choose a target audience. That’s just an example of how to bring attention to your course.

      And of course, if you have a healthy email list, it would be awesome.

      To answer your question on live streams: It doesn’t matter if you don’t have an audience at first. Just do them. However, if you have a program like Screenflow, you can capture every live stream and shop it around Youtube and other networks. You can even use it in your blog posts.

      As for shyness, I have written a whole course on this. What I can tell you is that it is all in the mindset. You are out there giving information to people, so focus on that. You can start with screen shares and have that up while you speak. After a while you can put your face in front of the camera. Don’t think how people will judge you. You don’t need those in your life. However, there will be some that are attracted to your message and start following you.

      Shyness is such a common problem. Most of my clients are shy to do live-streams, but after a while they get the courage to get in front of that camera and speak their message loud and clear.

      Hope this helps and keep in touch of how you are doing.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Easy ways to teach an online courseMy Profile

      • Ash
        April 29, 2021 at 11:33 am #

        Hey Donna,

        Thank you for the motivation. Earlier, I just had a fledgling YouTube channel (with simple and short videos on various things to do with digital marketing (which is what I do).

        So, with that, I went ahead and started a new website, already blogging on it, set up social presence for it, and created videos for a course on freelancing.

        For videos, I just used Quicktime and Loom and shot most of my videos as screenplays.

        Now, I need to complete the rest of the pending modules for the course, and start doing what you suggested: youtube videos, livestreams, webinars, and what have you. I also need to do more courses (both for the new site and the fetchprofits academy (not up yet).

        You made an impact, Donna. And how ! I’ll forever remember you for this 🙂

        Ash recently posted.. WordPress eCommerce: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need

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