“Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.”
– Anthony Volodkin, founder of Hype Machine
Using new technology to deliver online courses will transform and grow your business. If you are feeling nervous or overwhelmed at the prospect of using this tech then it’s perfectly normal and you can learn what is needed to deliver your course in-depth and engaging online courses.
So what does this tech look like and how much tech will you need to learn in order to share your online course to the world?
When it comes to delivering your digital course, there are 3 main options to choose from:
- OPTION 1: Self-hosting through your Wordpress website
- OPTION 2: Online Course Marketplaces
- OPTION 3: Learning Management Systems
Let’s dive into each of these options:
OPTION 1: Self-hosting through your Wordpress website
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular content management system (also known as a CMS) for websites. You can power up your WordPress site by integrating additional functionality in the form of plugins. Premium WordPress Learning Management System (LMS) plugins are considered to be robust and provide a lot of features.
With a WordPress LMS plugin, you own the platform and have complete control over it. You’ll also have direct access to the how you set it up and the database that sits behind your site. This means you won’t be reliant on a third party for any updates or maintenance.
If you are building an online course, you might want to consider building it on a sub domain so that it’s kept separate from your main website. You will need to discuss this option with your web developer if you are not website-savvy because it can get a little messy if you don’t know what you are doing.
OPTION 2: Online Course Marketplace
Online course marketplaces are where students go to find courses on subjects they wish to learn about. There are some benefits of selling your courses via these platforms like Udemy, Udacity and Upskill. One of the key benefits of using these platforms is that they take care of the marketing of the courses.
These platforms spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in SEO and paid advertising every month to bring students through their doors. They also have an established student base and highly targeted audiences.
Now something to be really aware of is that if you choose this option, you won’t have access to your students email addresses which shouldn’t be overlooked. Your email database is a business asset that needs to be grown and without these all important details, you won’t be growing your email list.
You need to be aware that the marketplace acts as an affiliate and keep 50% or more of every sale they generate. This is why I personally don’t advocate for them. Also, you have no control because it’s the marketplace that decides how often you can communicate to your students.
OPTION 3: Learning Management System
This is the the most popular option…
So what is a Learning Management System?
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a web-based technology platform that you use to deliver your online course through. All you have to do is sign up for an account, upload your course content and you are good to go! With a LMS you have full control over setting it up so that it becomes your own private digital school.
The main difference between Learning Management Systems will be the different levels of functionality on offer which also determines their price points. Podia is a monthly fee of $39.00 for an easy to use, course building platform. Kajabi is a more premium product at $149.00 a month and offers a lot more functionality to support the launch and selling of your course.
I would encourage you to take a look at what each platform offers and then make a decision based on what aspirations you have for your business. The cheapest option may not be the right option for you because of its limitations. Think about what it is you are looking to achieve and then work from there.