Have you ever wanted to share your knowledge with others while making money—regardless of where you are or the time of day? This guide will show you the most important reasons to create an online course . . . and why you should start today!
The reason why you should create an online course is that it is an excellent business model with low to no overhead cost that allows you to teach while making passive income. The online course business is a growing industry, and now is a great time to be a part of this increasingly popular standard of education.
After speaking with hundreds of course creators in a variety of niches, I have narrowed down the main reasons why most instructors create online courses in this article. I hope you enjoy it!
When I ask online course teachers why they teach, the number one response I get is this: teaching online courses gives you the chance to share your knowledge with others.
Most people desire to do something great, and teaching others can be a way to fulfill that desire. The type of person who should create an online course is someone who has the drive to share their knowledge and to give back to their community.
The simple act of showing someone something you know how to do is rewarding. It feels like you’re helping that person, and that act triggers the natural feel-good chemicals in your brain. Suddenly, you feel better and are more motivated to continue helping.
It’s satisfying to know that people out there care about the same things you care about. Even more, those people are open to what you have to say.
If you can share your knowledge but decide to keep it to yourself, you are doing the world a disservice. We need the information you have, and only you can give it in the way you do. Understand that there are people out there who will listen to what you have to say, and you can dramatically impact their lives by educating them on a subject matter or solving a problem they are facing.
Generation by generation, humans have taught each other. Helping others and providing guidance is in our DNA. Creating an online course in this age allows us the opportunity to do that on a massive scale.
Don’t wait any longer—someone out there wants to hear what you have to say!
Technology has built a brand-new world where we can share information that someone on the other side of the planet can immediately access. That means by the time you’re done reading this article, you could have already pulled out your phone and filmed yourself teaching a simple subject or uploaded content to an online course selling platform.
Advances in artificial intelligence give us new tools like language translations. Nowadays, there are many applications on the market—even ones built into hosting platforms—that can translate your content into another language!
For example, you can upload your course in English and have it automatically translated to Spanish. Now you have a chance to reach a global market that was previously inaccessible to you.
Most topics can be translated into any language. Your course on playing the guitar or programming that you recorded in English can be watched and enjoyed by someone in India.
How amazing is it that you now have the whole planet to share your passions with?
Right now, online courses and online education are seeing explosive growth. The revenue of this industry is projected to have a $350 billion market value by 2025.
This creates a massive gap in the market; investors, programmers, educators, and instructional designers are already seeing it. Every day, new platforms and other channels that provide content in fun and engaging ways emerge.
With this growth, there is a need for more content. This gives you, me, and everyone else a great chance to capitalize on our expertise and gain a share of the market.
Along with the technology to reach people across the planet, it also allows people to consume information from just about any format. Whether you are listening to an audiobook in your car, watching a video from the comfort of your home, or reading an article on your tablet before bed, you can get the help you need anytime, anywhere.
We are in a rapidly changing world that gives us new ways to educate ourselves, and a lot of this is now being done in our own homes. Online schooling, homeschooling, and college degrees can be accessed from the comfort of your own kitchen or living room. With each passing year, the way we attend to our education is becoming more digital.
Online courses provide an easy way to enter this growing market where you can share your passions—and get paid while doing so.
Speaking of making money, there is a no better way to create recurring, passive income online than with informational products. Once I learned about informational, or “info,” products, everything fell into place. Gone were the days of trading my time for dollars, because info products gave me a way to make money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Simply, an info product is information that you package, which can be downloaded, used, or read. Some examples are e-books, online courses, and software. But the main idea is that you take information and put it into a product that can be stored as a digital file, bought by a customer, and then delivered.
There are a lot of great info products out there, but in this post, we’ll focus primarily on selling online courses. An online course has a much higher perceived value than a simple PDF. This means that you can typically get a higher price and provide more value at the same time, all while building your trust and authority in the industry.
Online courses are uploaded to a hosting platform like Teachable and can be purchased any time of the day. This means that while you are mowing the lawn, taking care of your children, out partying with your friends, or sleeping in the next morning . . . you can be making money.
Recurring passive income is money where you create the product upfront, and then have a system in place to make sales no matter what else is going on in your world. The freedom that comes from being able to make money while you sleep is very liberating. I won’t say it’s easy money, because it takes work and dedication. However, once you get the systems in place, you can reap the rewards for years to come.
This is what I consider one of the best reasons to begin an online course: it allows you to work from anywhere.
For some people, being location independent isn’t really a big deal. They’re OK driving to a job every day, clocking in, working their 8-hour shift, and driving home. Having a 9-5 job means that they are stuck to that schedule. If they want to go on a vacation, they are subject to the time the job gives them to leave and come back. This really limits their options.
I realized that lifestyle wasn’t for me; I wanted to be able to travel whenever I’d like.
Or what if something major happens and you need to move or relocate? Creating digital info products like online courses gives you the freedom to pack up and move whenever you want. That doesn’t mean that you have to be a digital nomad, but if your family member in another state gets sick, you can take your business with you.
Once my wife and I started doing our online business full-time, we began traveling the country. This has been an amazing experience for my family and me because we now get to see things we have never seen before. Having a business that I can pack up and take with me has been so convenient.
Along with location independence comes time independence. Just like having the ability to go wherever you want, you can also go whenever you want. This does come with a caveat, because, like with any business, you still have to set a schedule or meet deadlines you’ve set for yourself.
Still, you’ll be able to work the hours that are best for you. My wife and I found that with our children and natural biological clocks, a typical 9-5 day just doesn’t work for us. So, we adjusted to a schedule that fits our needs, and in doing so, our business, family life, and personal lives have improved.
Just like the example of visiting a sick relative in another state, you aren’t held to traveling within a specific timeframe. As we travel, I always have my laptop with me. It doesn’t matter where we are or what time of the day it is—I can work on the business and generate income for my family.
Unlocking the shackles of time and location will give you the chance to make massive changes in your life, even ones you never thought were possible.
Online courses have a high perceived value in the eyes of the market. In creating a course, you become the expert in that field, which raises your brand awareness. As a student goes through your online course videos, they sit with you, regardless if the video had been pre-recorded or not. They spend time listening to you, learning from you, and getting to know you.
Anyone who comes out the other side of that process will either enjoy your teaching style or they will not. It’s OK if there are people who don’t like your teaching style. They will move on, and you won’t be wasting time with someone who isn’t your ideal customer.
The people who do stay are invested in you and your brand. You have started a relationship with them and gained a level of trust that will make them want to stick around longer.
Those who really enjoy what you have to say will then go on to tell their friends and colleagues, which could result in referrals to your product. If you want to kickstart your authority in a niche or industry, creating an online course is a great way to boost your brand quickly!
One great reason to start an online course is that it can supplement your existing business. An online course is a digital asset that you own, just like a piece of equipment in a gym. The great thing about an online course is that you can give it to your customers as a bonus or even as a separate product to complement what you’re selling.
In the gym example, your main business is all about getting customers through the door. A smart method is to use the online course as a way to get someone aware of and interested in your brand. Once they sign up to learn more about your online course, you can promote your gym by way of email or text message.
Basically, you can create an online course of home workouts and promote it to your social media following. People will enroll in your course and see that you can solve their fitness problems. The more your workout course is out there, the more people will be interested in joining your gym.
Or you could flip that around and give your members the bonus of an online course, which shows them home workouts and proper training techniques.
These are just a few examples, but hopefully they give you an idea of how you can use online courses for your business to generate leads, provide more value, make additional sales, and increase your customer base.
Those who are new to online business need to understand the importance of an email list. No matter the website your business is based on—Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, or any other platform—you do not have control of your business or any customer information. Posting on Facebook is a great way to generate leads and funnel people to your business, but Facebook owns that customer information . . . and they’re not too willing to share it with you!
Even worse, these companies can ban you, block you, or shut you down for any number of reasons. It’s actually becoming pretty common nowadays to hear people say their account has been canceled—which means they’ve been cut off from their customer base!
This is why an email list or some kind of customer acquisition process is so important. You want a way to gather customer information so you can contact them directly if you need to. This can be through a simple form in WordPress that asks for your guest’s name and email address.
Generally, an email is an easy, low-barrier type of information that a customer is willing to give in exchange for value. But it doesn’t have to just be an email address; you can ask for their mailing address, phone number, payment information, or any other info that can keep your relationship with that customer going.
Since online courses have such a high perceived value, people are usually willing to exchange their information for access to your course. It can be a paid course, or it can be a free mini-course where they submit their email to get into the course. Either way, it’s important you build a business where you are in control and have a way to contact the customer no matter what platform you’re using. An online course is a terrific way to make that happen.
If you want to learn more about building email lists, as well as using organic SEO to drive your online presence, listen to this interview we did with Rob Cubbon on the podcast.
Another reason to create an online course is the crazy high margins you get in this type of business. Think about it . . .
If you are creating an info product, you only need a bit of time, a platform to host your product, and a way to accept payment.
This is all done online, which means there is no storage space needed other than the cost of hosting the information where people can download it. This is pennies compared to the type of investment you’d put into a brick-and-mortar business.
Having the freedom to work from home also means that you are saving on other costs, such as labor, rent, insurance, electricity, water, sewage, and other factors that go into running a physical business.
There is also no cost of goods. Having digital products eliminates inventory and gives you more cash flow. Your money won’t be tied up in buying more goods, and you won’t run the risk of your products just sitting on the shelf. By eliminating overhead costs and goods, your margins greatly increase, which means higher revenue and higher profit for your business.
By now, you’re probably pumped up by all the ways online courses can benefit your life. But you think it’s complicated, right?
It doesn’t have to be!
Technology has made it easy to get courses up quickly and at a low cost. Platforms like Thinkific offer a free plan to upload your course and get students enrolled. You can learn more about Thinkific and strategies for marketing your content on our podcast.
With the phone in your pocket, most people already have the equipment you need to create an online course. Phones today are typically equipped with a microphone and HD camera. I have met successful course creators who have built a million-dollar business with just their smartphones!
Later on, you may want to upgrade to newer equipment, but in the beginning, there is no reason why you shouldn’t just use what’s readily available to you.
Don’t overcomplicate the process. It’s simple:
If you provide value and get someone the result they want to achieve, then it doesn’t matter what camera or fancy microphone you use to do it.
There are many people out there who need your help. You can get started right now—and in most cases, for free!
As you can see, there are many great reasons to create an online course. You’ll make an impact on the world, and at the same time, you’ll reap the benefits of success in your own life. I highly suggest you consider creating an educational info product and start getting your knowledge out there! The world will thank you.