Some of the best things about the Internet are the possibilities and opportunities it brings; there are so many ways to start a business, monetize your knowledge, and find your own niche – you just need the idea and to be ready to put in the work. One of the ways you can monetize your knowledge and even build a whole business is through online courses – or better yet…creating an online school.
In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to use online courses and e-learning to monetize your knowledge.
What is an online school and why should you care?
Another great thing about the Internet? It allows anyone in the world of any age, gender, occupation, and income to learn: through articles, blogs, Wikipedia, webinars, online courses, and so on.
And, if they’re really serious about it, they can even join an online school and take interactive courses online. And there are a lot of people who are serious about.
Why not, after all? It’s usually cheaper than traditional courses and schools, you can do it from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection, and if you want, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
That’s why the e-learning industry is absolutely booming right now and expected to continue to grow at a pretty dramatic rate: while in 2016 the global e-learning market was worth close to $50 billion, it’s expected that by 2022, it will be worth 5 times as much.
This presents a huge opportunity for anyone who has the knowledge and wants to share it, and what’s even more exciting is that you can decide exactly how much time and resources you want to invest in setting yourself as an online teacher. You can:
- Create occasional webinars (live and pre-recorded)
- Create online courses as long as you want and as many as you want
- Or build an entire e-learning business to capitalize on your knowledge
So basically, if you already have a business, then online courses and webinars can be a great way to make more money, grow your business, and establish yourself as a thought leader. Or, if you want to make this your full-time job, you can start building an online school with numerous courses and more added regularly: it’s completely up to you.
Whatever your choice is, the great news is, it’s very easy to create webinars and online courses and even to build an entire school.
So, where do you start?
How to start building your very own online school
Obviously, you’re going to need a tool to help you put together your school. I’ve been trying out HowNow and loving it – I’ll show you how easy it is to set up an online school and start monetizing your knowledge.
That’s because HowNow lets you create all kinds of e-learning materials, as well as build an online school from the ground up; and it’s so easy to use, you don’t even need a web designer to create your school or your website.
So if you have the knowledge and you have the content, all you need is the technology to help you monetize it.
To start building your school, the first step is to customize the look and feel of your school: using your logos and favicons, your preferred fonts, and your brand colours to create a unified, branded visual experience. Because just like any other type of business, branding is essential to growth – and thankfully, HowNow is completely white-labelled.
Then, customize your school’s domain, and you’re good to jump to the next stage: putting together your homepage:
As you can see above, you can customize your homepage with your own content to help convince visitors that your school or your courses are the right choices for them.
You can even upload a video trailer to help people decide whether they want to join or not and add a selection of your best courses to feature at the top of your homepage. Furthermore, you can work at convincing people to join your courses by listing up to 4 selling points/benefits:
As well as add a call to action to your homepage:
It really is as easy as it gets.
And if you want to add more pages, it’s just as easy; just click on “add new page” and you can add a new one in minutes.
Another very cool thing that you can do at this stage is set up tracking for your paid ads. Whether they’re Google ads, Facebook Ads, or other types of social ads, you can easily track them directly in your school dashboard, so everything you need to know about your school is in one place.
In terms of payment, you can sell your courses pretty much any way you want: charge a one-time fee for joining your school, set up different payment plans to suit your audience’s needs, offer bundled courses for one special fee, and set up subscription plans. You can easily connect Stripe or PayPal and sell courses in different currencies, in over 150 different countries worldwide.
How to build your courses
Once your school is ready, it’s time to start populating it with actual content. You can upload and use literally any type of online content you want: videos, images, assessments, presentations, and so on.
When you set up your course, you have a lot of useful features, such as adding a “discussions” option (so that your learners can leave comments and have discussions about your lesson), adding a Page Title and Meta Description to improve your SEO and make courses private or public.
As for the actual lesson, you can make it compulsory for all students (so that they have to take it if they want to progress to the next one) if you so choose. To put it together, all you have to do is add all the different pieces of content you want:
However, you can also hold live courses/webinars, not just pre-recorded ones; live courses can hold up to 15 learners (and they are automatically recorded so you can re-use them if you want), while pre-recorded lessons and courses can hold up to 1000 learners from all over the world.
The lessons in your courses can be published all in one go (or as soon as they’re ready) or you can slowly roll them out for each user based on the date they started the course:
Promoting your online course
As I mentioned earlier, HowNow is an end-to-end platform, so you can set up everything you need with one tool.
Like creating a landing page with testimonials, FAQs, and course benefits:
As well as the checkout page for after they select a course:
In order to promote your course, you can create all kinds of promotions (like course bundles, as mentioned earlier), such as coupons:
Plus, you can even set up drip email marketing campaigns to help nurture leads and make sure they attend their courses.
Managing your online school
You can manage your online school directly in your HowNow dashboard; you’ll be able to see at a glance course participation and enrolment stats, what live classes you have coming up, and other useful information about your school:
As I mentioned earlier, you can set up ‘discussions’ to encourage your learners to engage; and plus, you also have a messaging system to further help your learners:
You also have access to detailed reporting, both in terms of your lessons and learners:
As well as the revenue generated:
HowNow aims to help you engage your audience as much as possible; not just through the chat, but also with other useful tools that help you deliver a more personalized experience.
For example, the Smart Assessments feature allows you to track all of your learners and their progress so you can easily identify any “knowledge gaps” and thus recommend more content to suit their particular needs.
Another useful feature is gamification; just like you reward students in “normal” schools with good grades, here too you can reward them, but with things like virtual badges and official custom certificates that demonstrate their newly-acquired knowledge.
Online learning presents a huge opportunity for anyone who has the knowledge and wants to monetize it. Whether you want to help people build a better business, teach them how to play an instrument, show them how to cook French food, and anything in between, you now have the possibility to easily do so.
And if you want to start monetizing your knowledge, HowNow is the perfect solution because it allows you to fully manage everything that forms your online school (from creating your sales page to promoting your course and to analysing your results) and, plus, it’s super easy to set everything up, no coding whatsoever necessary.
Have you ever considered teaching or even setting up an online school? Have you attended any online courses or webinars? Leave your comments below and please share if you enjoyed the post 🙂
Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.