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Debunking the Myths of Creating an Online Course

So, you’ve been thinking about creating your own online course to share your knowledge and passion with the world while making some money on the side? That’s fantastic! Before you dive into creating the course journey, let’s address some common myths surrounding online course creation that might be holding you back. Buckle up, because we’re about to bust them wide open!

Myth #1 – You have to be an expert.

One of the most persistent myths is that you must be an absolute expert in your field to create an online course. While expertise can undoubtedly be beneficial, it’s not the sole requirement. If you have a passion for a subject and a genuine desire to help others learn, that’s a great foundation. Remember, learners appreciate relatable and approachable instructors who can break down complex concepts into understandable chunks.

When I was thinking of the best ways to raise my kid, we’d say, “we need to expose them to everything and see what sticks.” We tried to get her interested in everything from ballet to gymnastics to singing to sports to everything in between. One weekend, we went to an “animefest” and saw a workshop on sewing. Well, low and behold, our teen picked up on sewing. Now, she’s creating hats from scratch.

That was a topic that was taught by two teachers who loved to sew and wanted to create a community around sewing. That’s still a huge evergreen niche.

The Top 11 Evergreen Niches

  • Health and Wellness
  • Personal Finance
  • Relationships and Dating
  • Self-Improvement
  • Technology and Gadgets
  • Beauty and Fashion
  • Home Improvement
  • Food and Cooking
  • Parenting and Family
  • Hobbies and Crafts
  • Fitness and Exercise

Myth #2 – You have to build everything from scratch.

Creating an online course doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel. You can curate and adapt existing material to suit your teaching style and your students’ needs. The key is to provide value and a unique perspective, even if the information itself is not entirely original.

When I first started teaching online, it would be a solid 6 month buildout. Then, you’d have to cross your fingers hoping someone would buy your course. Now, with free course builders like Thinkific or community builders like LearnWorlds, you can shortcut the process and get up and running in one weekend.

If you want to compare learning management systems and course platforms, then, we have a few blog posts to help you narrow down your choice.

Myth #3 – You have to be an advertising expert.

Marketing your course is undoubtedly important, but don’t fret if you’re not a marketing guru. There are numerous resources and tools available that can help you promote your course effectively. Social media, email marketing, and collaboration with influencers or like-minded individuals can significantly boost your course’s visibility.

Right now, there are advertising and marketing experts on Fiverr who will market your course and advertise on Facebook and Google. Here are a few that I found interesting:

Myth #4 – You have to be an amazing speaker.

Feeling like you need to be a charismatic public speaker might be intimidating. The truth is, being a great speaker is a skill that can be developed over time. Being authentic, engaging, and enthusiastic about your subject matter will resonate with your audience. You can also use slides, graphics, or animations to enhance your content and keep your students interested.

Keep in mind, you can always to a course on how to become a better public speaker. I found a few courses with 5 star reviews on Fiverr and Udemy. Check these out:

Myth #5 – You have to be an amazing writer.

While good writing can be valuable, it’s not the be-all and end-all of course creation. Focus on clarity and simplicity when conveying your message. You can also incorporate other forms of media, such as videos, audio recordings, and infographics, to diversify your teaching style.

Ai software like Jasper can help with content creation. Not everyone is a professional writer or subject matter expert, and Jasper and Chat GPT can help you product quality content on diverse topics. I use it to get over writer’s block and help outline articles/ebooks. Click here for a demo.

Myth #6 – You have to have a large audience.

It’s a common misconception that you need thousands of followers before creating your course. In reality, a small, targeted audience can be more beneficial. Start with the people who genuinely believe in your expertise and passion, and they will help you grow your community through word-of-mouth and positive reviews.

I remember in the early 2000’s that one marketer was making millions with a list of 300 people. That was it. That was his audience and they were dialed into his courses. When he created a new course, he pitched it to the 300 people and instant buyers. You are building a list, right? These email mailing services are free for up to 500 subscribers.

Myth #7 – You have to complete a course before you can launch it.

Perfectionism can be paralyzing. While you should aim for a high-quality course, you don’t have to wait until it’s entirely finished to launch it. You can start with a minimum viable product (MVP) and refine it based on feedback from early students. This iterative approach allows you to continuously improve and deliver value along the way.

In marketing, a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) refers to a strategy where a basic version of a product or service is launched with the minimum set of features necessary to attract early adopters and gather feedback for further development. The concept of MVP originated from the Lean Startup methodology, which emphasizes the importance of quickly testing ideas and iterating based on real-world user feedback.

The main goals of launching an MVP in marketing are:

  1. Faster time to market: Instead of spending extensive time and resources building a fully-featured product, an MVP allows marketers to get something out to the market quickly.
  2. Early feedback: By releasing a basic version, marketers can gather feedback from actual users or customers, helping them understand what aspects of the product resonate and what improvements are needed.
  3. Validation of assumptions: An MVP allows marketers to test their assumptions about the product’s appeal, user needs, and market demand in a real-world environment.
  4. Cost-effectiveness: Launching a minimum viable product minimizes the risk of investing heavily in a product that might not meet the market’s needs or expectations.

When implementing an MVP in marketing, it’s essential to focus on the core features that address the primary problem or provide the key benefits of the product. The emphasis should be on simplicity and functionality to create a positive initial user experience.

As the product receives feedback and user data, marketers can make informed decisions about the next steps in development, refine the product based on user preferences, and gradually add more features to meet customer demands.

Myth #8 – You need a lot of money to get started.

Starting an online course doesn’t have to break the bank. Many platforms offer affordable hosting options and tools to help you build your course. Basic equipment like a decent microphone and camera are sufficient to begin with. As your course gains traction, you can invest in more advanced tools and resources.

I originally built my course Unstoppable Sponsoring using a membership software called Digital Access Pass. And then, when Thinkific launched their free course with no revenue split, I moved my course to Thinkific’s platform. Now, I do a split test between the two platforms and there is no difference in conversion rates.

Thinkific allows you to get started for free with no revenue split. Plus, you can signup with Stripe to process your payments at no cost to you. And I was able to get my course up and running within a weekend at no cost using Thinkific. Click here for demo.

Myth #9 – I have nothing to sell my audience.

Self-doubt is a formidable enemy, but remember that there are people out there who are eager to learn from you. Everyone has unique perspectives and experiences that can resonate with certain audiences. Don’t underestimate the value of your knowledge and the impact you can make on someone’s life.

There are many ways to monetize your course. I personally recommend building a community where you can charge a monthly fee. For example, if you’re a weight loss coach, you’d build a community using LearnWorlds where you can charge $197 down plus $67 per month.

Also, if you need additional offers, affiliate marketing allows you to sell other people’s products and services and you get paid a referral commission. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, we have a complete training section on how to get started and how to make money with affiliate marketing.

And if you need a beginner’s course on affiliate marketing, check out our Unstoppable Affiliate program that is step by step and more hand-holding.

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