Are you a developer, designer, coach, teacher, or the owner of a shop? Have you created pages and posts on your website? Have you uploaded images and embedded videos? How about creating a contact form? These are all yesterday’s learnings, right? Now it’s time to rocket to another level by offering your audience online courses!
Why you should add an online course to your website:
- Adding courses gives you the chance to share your abilities with others
- Packaging your expertise allows you to leverage what you know
- You are in full control of how you deliver your knowledge.
- Any product you offer helps you build a recurring source of income
- Online courses add to your search engine optimization wins
- Courses help build up a following of customers and partners.
Adding an online course is a win no matter how you look at it. People search (SEO) the internet for solutions to their problems. Online courses deliver exactly that!
Aren’t sure if your idea is worthwhile adding to your current curriculum or list of services? Offer it free for some months to test out the interest and acceptance of people. Fix the bugs online before you offer it in the classroom. It doesn’t get any smarter than that.
Using your website as a platform for online courses might come as a surprise to you. That’s a good thing! You were probably getting tired of adding blog posts and sharing them on Twitter, right? Now you have a whole new type of content to work with.
You already know the power of ownership. Your website gives you control over payment systems, membership, prices – everything that a third-party system decides for you. Without their interference.
If you use these systems, you may be losing control over your marketing and your interactions. You may also be losing income, and your course will become just one of many on that platform. On your website, it will get star billing.
When you can create online courses quickly, easily, and cheaply on your website, you make all the decisions, have all the control, and become a “go-to” destination. As your authority increases, so will the trust in your brand and your products.
“Udemy is unarguably one of the most successful e-learning platforms in the world, so modeling your online course marketplace based on it is a safe bet. Education platforms are sprouting left, right, and center these days, so pick a unique niche or find a way to make your niche unique, to ensure that your platform stands out.”https://wisdmlabs.com/blog/how-to-build-an-online-education-website-like-udemy
WordPress has a huge plugin library
The plugin library is massive. 58,932 plugins to be precise (at the time of writing this article) and most of them are free. You can use plugins to customize the functionality of your site, and you can use these plugins to turn your vanilla website into something of your creation!
When you are thinking about online courses, you will be looking for a learning management system (LMS) plugin. If you look for Online Courses in the WordPress plugin library, you get 30 pages of results.
One of the easiest ways to manage your online course is by using the WordPress plugin Woocommerce. With almost four million active installations, WooCommerce is the world’s most popular open-source eCommerce checkout.
Yes, the core WooCommerce plugin is free as well.
On top of all the great plugins WordPress offers for online course management, you can pick up plugins for everything from contact forms, website optimization, multilanguage sites, page builders, and of course SEO.
Search Engine Optimization
More than half of all traffic comes from organic search. So having an SEO plugin on your website is going to dramatically help you get your online course noticed.
You’re still going to need to write SEO-friendly content for your website, but with WordPress and a good SEO plugin on your side, you have your foot in the door. The best way to ensure customers find you for the right reasons is to have good organic SEO on your website.
Why organic SEO? Organic search results cover more digital real estate, appear more credible to savvy searchers, and receive many more clicks than paid ads. For example, only ~2.8% of all searches in the US click on paid ads.
WordPress offers the features and structures that help make your website SEO friendly. Google loves content – relevant, up-to-date content so people return to Google for their next search. Routinely updating and creating new content – like online courses – makes it so much easier for people to find you.
WordPress is Free
“Free” is not usually a word you think of when planning a website, but it is not a dream. Open Source CMS is free CMS. Of course, you may need a developer or two to assist you … WordPress also currently runs about 50% of all websites that have a CMS backend – which is about half of the billion-plus websites on the internet today. That’s a lot of websites.
No matter how many websites you build, each one is different – much like when you explain WordPress to a new group of people. Sticking to a script is not half as interesting as letting WordPress tell its own story, which is invariably what it does with each new website that uses it.
Now, some plugins charge a fee, but you can also sell your online courses with free plugins, making WordPress a great solution. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s start building!
“To start your own Udemy or Treehouse-like website, you need to enhance the functionality of your WordPress site. That’s where an LMS plugin comes in handy. Now, there are many LMS plugins out there and it’ll be difficult for you to choose the best one for your needs. So you need to first understand your requirements before selecting a particular plugin.”https://wpforms.com/best-wordpress-lms-plugins
Hot Tip! Seniors are a growing demographic, and they LOVE to take online courses. Need I say more? Seniors are a great target group for your online courses. Okay, I said more.
“Online Learning Day was September 15, but it’s something to celebrate every day. Online learning for seniors and other age groups has been expanding over the last several years. However, online opportunities for seniors have exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Like we said, WooCommerce powers almost 4 million websites That’s four with six zeros! WooCommerce lets you set up products, customers, a shopping cart, payment gateways, delivery. The only thing it doesn’t (yet) do is make the product for you.
The developers of WooCommerce designed the plugin in such a way that it can be easily extended with a wide variety of functions. This is important because the legal requirements for online stores can vary from country to country. Other services extend the functionalities in other places – for example:
- WooSubscriptions: allows customers to subscribe to products or services. They can pay for services at regular intervals (weekly, monthly or similar).
- Stripe: Allows a wide variety of payment methods to be integrated into the online store.
- Product Bundles: This service offers the possibility to maintain product combinations. These can then be purchased at a lower price compared to buying them individually.
- Min/Max Quantities: Allows defining minimum and maximum order quantities.
It is easy to imagine how an individual an online store can be designed with WooCommerce and the numerous supplementary functions.
The great thing about WooCommerce is that it’s based on WordPress. That means if you can use WordPress, you can use WooCommerce. You can also set up WooCommerce with an LMS such as Learndash.
“The LearnDash WooCommerce integration is very popular because it provides an enormous amount of flexibility for selling your courses. Woocommerce works with dozens of payment gateways, and there’s a WooCommerce extension for nearly any type of eCommerce functionality you can think of. If you’re looking to build the ultimate eCommerce experience, our WooCommerce integration might be your best option.”https://www.learndash.com/support/docs/add-ons/woocommerce
Now You’re Ready to “Woo” Customers to Your Website!
Creating and selling your online courses means some extra work. However, your time and effort will be rewarded with increased visits to your site, improved SEO, shared content, and extra monthly revenue. In addition, sharing your knowledge and adding another layer to your business means that’s an A+ for all your hard work!
Does this sound like something you’d like to set up on your website? WordPress is a great choice as your online learning platform. It’s simple to set up, and WordPress offers many eLearning themes to help get you started.
If you want to save time and effort and are looking for glitch-free configurations, please contact me! My partners and I will look into your requirements, select the best solutions and set up your products in no time.
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With many thanks to freepik for the photo!School photo created by freepik – jhdbh223-www.freepik.com