From cooking to painting, public speaking to accounting, you can learn just about anything online nowadays. But if you have a strong passion and a keen skill for a particular topic, have you considered turning this into a source of income by creating your own online course?

With some time and effort invested in preparing cohesive, practical content in an engaging format, you could be sharing your favourite hobby with the world. Here are some basic steps to consider if you want to get started crafting courses online.

What will I teach?

The simplest way to answer this question is to consider two things: what do I love, and what am I good at? Chances are if something springs to mind immediately, this would be a great topic to start with.

This may be something creative – from music, to fine arts, to writing or digital media. It may even be a professional skill like giving presentations, pitching to investors or negotiating contracts. Regardless of the subject, if you’re passionate about it there’s a strong chance someone else in the world is too – and would like to learn more about it from another fan with some skills.

The internet is a democratized place – you don’t need to be formally qualified to teach online. But if you can provide real value and tap into a market that is otherwise crying out for information, you may have found your audience.

pile of paintbrushes covered in colored paint

Who is my audience?

Following closely from your choice of subject is determining who you’ll be teaching. Is your course designed for absolute beginners or people with some experience? Hobbyists or aspiring professionals? Older or younger? Where are they located? What language do they speak?

All of these factors will help you craft your story by giving you a clear ‘picture’ of who you’re speaking to. This can influence the language, format, length, complexity and structure of what you produce as well.

What’s the best way to deliver this content?

Online courses can take a number of forms, with the content delivered in written, video, or audio format, or a combination of these. Obviously the skill you’re sharing may dictate this (it would be hard to demonstrate painting purely via audio!), and this can also be influenced by your comfort in presenting or your budget for producing materials.

Just some formats you might consider could be:

  • Lecture-length videos with accompanying printable resources
  • Fact sheets and readings accompanied by short video summaries of each module
  • Interactive, guided tutorials followed by online quizzes

This also prompts the question of where you’ll host your course. There are plenty of online training and short course providers that allow you to make money through your own online course, such as Skillshare, Udemy and Teachable. Often these platforms provide some structure and support for beginner instructors, but you’re still largely required to do your own marketing and the providers may take a cut of your course’s income.

On the other hand, with the help of a .courses domain name and a simple website building platform like Wix or Squarespace, you can develop your own site and control your whole learning platform. This means you’ll have greater influence over the way your course is offered, and you ‘own’ all the traffic and analytics on the site. Even better – if you’re looking to make money from your course, this means it all goes straight in your pocket!

When choosing your .courses domain name, remember to keep it short, relevant and memorable to assist you in branding your course. Why choose “learnwatercolorpaintingonlinewithsallynow.com” when you can register “watercolorpainting.courses”? You can capture an entire category with a clever domain choice!

woman in front of video camera recording talking head presentation

With these three key questions answered, you’re well on your way! Have you turned your passion or side-hustle into a thriving online course? We’d love to hear your story! Reach out to us at info@get.courses today.