If you’ve ever wanted to create an online course or program but got overwhelmed by all of the tech and tools needed then this post is for you.
There are soooo many tools you *could* use, which ones *should* you use? It can be so frustrating, right!?
Plus technology can be scary if you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing! Like anything, you have to learn how to use it and that in itself can leave your head spinning!
In this post, I want to make it super easy for you especially if you are just beginning. I’ve used a lot of different tools over the years – some good and others not so much.
The list below is what I use to create and promote my online courses. I want to make getting started super easy for you.
Obviously before you get started you need a domain name and hosting. I love and use BlueHost. After that you can build your course site with WordPress. Install WordPress easily through your hosting provider.
OptimizePress (Highly Recommended)
To make a professional course site you need design skills OR you can use this WordPress plugin – OptimizePress (OP). It is what I use and HIGHLY recommend. OP has everything a beginner needs AND will save you a LOT of time. The benefits of OP is that you can create professional opt-in pages/landing pages, sales page, member pages, and it will secure your content. It also automatically gives people a password and adds people to an email list. Plus you can start small and then scale with OP adding more and more courses if you like. If you are not tech savvy or do not have design experience then this is the perfect solution. No need to look elsewhere.
Building your email list is the most important thing you can do in your business. So you’ll need a tool to help you collect emails. I use and love AWeber. If you are on a budget you can start off with MailChimp, however, you will want to upgrade to a paying account so you can automate emails.
Inside OP, you can create an opt-in page and connect your email account so you can easily build your list. Create an irresistible freebie offer that will provide value and lead people to buy your course.
You don’t need to buy Leadpages.net if you have OP.
To create videos all you really need is a smart phone. I use my iPhone and the app iMovie to edit. If you want to only record the screen you can use Camtasia (PC) or Screenflow (Mac). If you’re just starting out and need something less expensive you can use Snagit. You’ll also need a mic and/or headset.
Video files are huge so you don’t want to store them on your hosting account. So I use and recommended either Amazon S3 (very low monthly charge depending on video view or usage) or Wistia (free an pro available). Both connect with OP and are easy to use.
To promote your course, I recommend doing webinars. Webinars are a great way to engage and connect with your audience. If you are unsure about webinars, but want to try them out, you don’t have to purchase webinar software. You can use Google Hangouts On Air and embed the video into your own page by using OP. Use ChatWing to add a chat box to your page. Here’s a video on how to do it (you don’t have to use Leadpages as in the example, you can use OptimizePress).
Facebook Ads (Optional BUT Highly Recommended)
To build your list and awareness of your online course I highly recommend using Facebook ads. You can start with a $5 per day and get results. Facebook ads is about trial and error and strategy. Start with getting people to sign up for your freebie offer. So ad goes directly to opt-in page. Target pages that your ideal clients would ‘like’. The other thing you should make sure you do is set up a tracking pixel on your website so you can retarget visitors that come to your site. Learn more about how I can help you with your ads.
And of course you’ll need a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe.
These are really the ONLY tools you need to get started creating and launching your first course. Now you have zero excuses! It’s time to get it done. 🙂