There’s never been a better time to start an online course. Worldwide, the e-learning market is set to pass $243 billion in 2022. If you’re good at what you do and think others would benefit from tapping into your knowledge, setting up a course can be a terrific way to reach a wider audience, boost your income, and assert yourself as an expert in your field.

If you’re thinking about setting up an online course, there are a several steps you can tackle that will help set you up for success and make marketing your course much easier. 

Understand what you bring to the market. Like launching any new product or service, it’s crucial to understand your place in the space. What problem are you solving for your customers? What makes you different from other content creators offering something similar?

Let’s say, for example, you’ve been a recruiter for years in a variety of industries and have seen what really works and doesn’t work when candidates are looking for jobs. So now you want to apply that experience and create a course to help clients find and secure their dream jobs. That’s awesome­, but broad. It could be difficult to find the right audience in a crowded space.

But then you think about it and realize that who you really care about is not every jobseeker, but moms—specifically moms who are heading back into the workforce after a career break. You do some research and while there are many career coaches, there aren’t many targeting this group of people, and helping to solve their very specific problem. You’ve homed in on your area of expertise.

Do your audience research. Now that you know what problem you’re solving for your potential customers, it’s time to zero in and learn more about them. This will help you create a course that appeals to the people you’re going after and lend insight on where and how to market it. The easiest way to do this it to build an audience persona.

Essentially, you’ll create and describe your ideal customer by answering questions about her:

  • How old is she?
  • Where does she spend her time online?
  • How much money does she earn?
  • Is she in a big city or somewhere smaller?
  • How much free time does she have?
  • What influences what she spends money on?

Answering these questions will arm you with the information you need to create a course that speaks to and appeals to the right buyer, whether it’s the price you charge for it, where you advertise it, or how you set it up.

Build your course website. Your website is one of the most important tools for your online course. An easy-to-remember URL, like one using a .courses domain, will help you stand out and make it easy for people to find you. Whether you want to claim an entire field or use something more niche, the right web address will make a difference.

Once you’ve snagged your web address, don’t forget to include an about page, where you offer more information about who you are, what makes you credible in this space, and why you’ve created the course; a sales page that offers more details on your course, who it’s for, and pricing; and a contact page with details on where to find you on social media and how to reach out with any questions.

Getting the building blocks right for your online course will help make the journey a whole lot easier—and more fun.