If you know how to produce teleseminars and webinars based upon your book, you now find yourself in the perfect position to take the next step: creating online courses. Online courses can prove a phenomenal way to build a business around your book. They are easy to create once you know the system for extracting information from your book’s chapters for speeches, talks, classes, workshops, teleseminars, and webinars. And they provide you with an inventory to sell from your own website at any time—even 24/7. This also serves your readers with what they desire: a deeper level of access to you and your information.
How to Produce an Online Course From Teleseminars and Webinars
Even if you have not begun using teleseminars and webinars, you can use the following steps to create an online course. Just create it as you go using the information from my previous posts (links above). I have done this successfully for my Author Training 101 class and for my Author of Change Transformational Coaching Program. If you decide later you feel you could have done a better job, simply hold the course live again and rerecord. You can also continue to add supplemental materials over time.
- Create a sales page for your course. This needs to include a way for people to actually purchase your product, such as with PayPal.com.
- Create a “Thank You” page on your site. Make this “private.”
- Set up a list with your email provider that is specific to this course. Create an opt-in form for this list. Place it on the Thank You page, and direct buyers to that page after they purchase. Tell them they must sign up for that list to receive their course materials. (PayPal has a way to send someone to a particular URL once they purchase.)
- Take your existing teleseminars and/or webinars (the videos and/or audio) and place them on pages you save as “password-protected.” You will need a heading and some explanatory text to accompany the materials. If you have worksheets, homework, both webinar and teleseminar, etc., include all of this on the same page for the appropriate lesson.
- Use your email provider to create “autoresponders,” emails delivered on a schedule (daily, weekly or monthly), to tell your new customers how and when to access the password-protected course pages on your blog. (You are only emailing those on this new list of course buyers.) Of course, the first email you send has to give users the password.
- Deliver each lesson on a schedule by sending an email telling students that particular lesson is available and providing the link to the password-protected post. Or, rather than “dripping” the material out over time, you can simply provide all the links to the lessons in one email and allow them access to the whole course at once.
Here’s an additional way to deliver the course: Provide the whole course as a series of autoresponders (emails). That means you place all the material—the text and teleseminars/webinar—in separate emails (one for each lesson) instead of following step #4. None of the content resides on your blog except the sales and Thank You pages. Each email gets sent on a schedule using the autoresponder function of your email provider.
The Most Effective Way to Create Online Courses Around Your Book
While the easiest way to create online course might seem to be with your email list and autoresponders, especially if you are familiar with that system, the most effective way to do so really is with a full membership site. It integrates all of the aspects mentioned above—payment, mailing list, and delivery, including scheduling. It also looks very professional. (I’ll be writing more on this soon; in the meantime, read this or this.) A simple plugin, like Premise by CopyBlogger or Wishlist, allows you to turn your site into a course-making machine. Plus, it creates super sales and landing pages whenever you need them.
Be sure you advertise your new course in a widget on your blog (in the sidebar). Also use your mailing list to let subscribers know it’s available. It’s easy to send them to the sales page by including the link and get them to sign up!