How to Create Your Own Online Learning Products

Also known as e-Coaching, e-Learning, e-Training, online or digital learning, online teaching can be in the form of eBooks, special reports, whitepapers, podcasting, video, and/or private membership sites. These digital knowledge products can be sold individually or be combined into complete online courses.

Online teaching can be:

  • A business on its own, featuring your expertise (Infopreneur)
  • Used to compliment an existing online or offline business (bringing in clients or sales)
  • Deployed for personal or corporate branding
  • Developed to generate multiple streams of income.

The Business of Online Knowledge

There are some very successful “infopreneurs” out there and a lot of them make a very comfortable living with downloadable learning products.  Many successful online businesses also use digital products as effective lead magnets for list building and lead generation.

More recently, businesses have been forced to pivot, adapt and prepare for an uncertain future. They’ve had a chance to give their emergency plan a run and realized it comes up short, if there aren’t multiple revenue streams. They need a backup plan that lets them reach consumers and generate sales.

“We are seeing a dramatic increase in online course creation across every single industry right now – everything from business and marketing to personal development and fitness,” says Andrea Merson, the director of marketing at Thinkific.

E-learning products provide ongoing revenue and add another revenue stream in good times too.

Proven Benefits

There are plenty of benefits to offering your own information products that extend well beyond a nice revenue stream:

  • Online learning is a hot market. People are paying for information at an incredible rate of $355 million dollars/day. That’s expected to triple within the next five years, according to Forbes. We’re in a new era of teaching and you & I are the teachers.
  • Digital products are inexpensive to create, requiring little more than your time.
  • Canada Post won’t impact your sales with their outrageous prices because all products are downloaded.
  • Info-products and eBooks are an amazing way to score clients, no matter what business you’re in.
  • Digital products are a source of recurring revenue, along with endless up-selling opportunities via sales funnels.
  • Your info-products are the perfect place for affiliate marketing, creating yet another revenue stream.
  • Unlike hard products like books or DVD’s, online training products can be easily updated, expanded, or repurposed.
  • Digital Info-products make an excellent branding tool.
  • You can establish and prove your expertise, which increases sales and invites opportunities like interviews, speaking engagements or book deals.
  • If you don’t already offer private coaching, consulting or public speaking services, your info-product will provide a springboard into the coaching industry.
  • Share your message with a wider audience and make a difference in the world while growing your personal brand.

Online Coaching Info-Products

Getting Started

  1. Choose a topic with which you are very familiar and have advanced knowledge in.
  2. Write your course outline, including the topics you’ll be covering and the order you’ll teach them in.
  3. Decide what delivery methods you’ll use (written, video, audio, printable, etc). This step may necessitate learning how to use new tools and possibly equipment purchases. It’s important to use as many delivery methods as you’re comfortable with so you will appeal to all learning styles.
  4. Make a conscious choice about which method of instructional content delivery will make each module easier and/or faster to learn. For example, if you’re a Canadian home-based business coach using primarily text, you may want to add a video to demonstrate home office organization. If you use a lot of video, consider using a transcription service for your students who prefer text. Also consider going mobile for some of your coaching by providing podcasts.
  5. Start a text file with basic information as a reference for updates, including fonts, colour scheme hex codes, settings, etc.
  6. Gather any existing material you’ll use, such as your past webinars or blog posts, interviews, Private Label Rights (PLR) content, royalty-free products, and so on.
  7. Gather all of your reference materials, including books, guides, studies, or affiliate copy.
  8. As you begin to develop your course, save templates of both your written work and visuals so your course is consistent. It’s a real time saver too! Remember to add your company, website and copyright information to each document page, slide, video and other course materials.
  9. If you don’t already have a website, you’re going to need one with shopping cart integration for automated downloads.  Read the Top 8 Ecommerce Platforms for Digital Product Downloads for more tips and suggestions.
  10. Many online coaches sell their digital courses or ebooks through affiliates. You can opt for an in-house affiliate program or go through a third-party affiliate network like Clickbank.

One of the most important things to do in the beginning is to build an email list, but building a digital sales funnel is where the money is.  Virtually all creators who have found notable success with digital learning products use sales funnels to optimize upsells and seriously increase profits. Leadpages offers lots of funnel functionality for small businesses on a tight budget.

Online Coaching Content Shortcuts

You can round out your product line or beef up your eCourse with royalty-free eCoaching products, Private Label Rights (PLR) content and other rebrandable content.

If you don’t have the time or creativity to write or produce your own course content, hire the talent you need to help you bring it all together. That may include writing, video content, transcription, production management, or anything else you don’t have the time or expertise to do yourself. You should earn the cost back in under a year.

??? Do you plan to get into the knowledge business? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below or discuss this and other online business topics in the Online Business Canada Facebook group.

✔ You may also be interested in reading:

Top 3D Cover Design Tools for eBooks, InfoProducts, Etc.

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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Katarina

I’m in the middle of creating a course and it’s a ton of work but it should pay off. Let’s hope! Thanks for the tips!!

Jazmyn

I ghost write for a living and have done a ton of digital products like this. The most important part is making it valuable and not holding anything back. There’s so much junk out there that gives general info to a point that its almost common knowledge. Be better than that! Do a ton of research to let people know you’re an expert in your field with lots to teach them. Otherwise you’re wasting everybody’s time including you’re own.

And when you’re all done make sure you edit edit edit! I know not everyone can afford to hire a ghost writer but at least make sure you hire an editor.

Bren

So inspiring, thank you. I’ve written short ebooks for clients but taking it up a notch is enticing.

Belinda Trenton

I downloaded Design Your Online Course and WOW! I burned through it in no time and will go back over some parts but I just couldn’t stop once I started learning about it. I can’t wait to get started with my own coaching products.

Lee-Anna

LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!!! It’s something I can work at on the side and I’d really enjoy educating more people about the power of herbs.

Shelly Green

Wow! There’s a whole new product line in this! I’m really excited about it…thank you!

Chuck

I’ve taken a few courses like this and luckily they’ve all been great quality. I’ve heard complaints about some. It’s important to choose reputable courses and create one you’ll be proud of or you’ll do more harm than good to your brand.

Jess Liston

Nice guide! A friend of mine is on her second online course and she made a tidy sum on the first one plus landed a VP of Marketing title. I’ll pass this along to her.

Brian

This is something I’ve always wanted to do but it seemed a little intimidating. I mean who am I to call myself an expert? Now I see the possibilities more clearly. Thanks for another encouraging post.