To all the bloggers out there wondering how to transition into online courses, your prayers have finally been answered! Today we’re going to teach you how to build an online course from your blog.
Blogging comes easy to you, but an online course may be completely new territory. Maybe you’re unsure of what you want to teach, maybe you’re confused as to what e-learning platform to get started with, or maybe you don’t even know if an online course is right for you. Whatever stage you’re at now, we can help turn your uncertainty into confidence.
Here are five tips on how to turn your blog into your online course:
- Choose a good topic.
One of the differences between a blog and an online course is that a course is very specific and outlines the nitty gritty details of a subject. Although a blog can be more general in topic, a course cannot. Its role is to provide a learning opportunity, which means that your blog ideas need to be narrowed down into one teachable subject. We recommend using your audience as a focus group and surveying them to see what they’re interested in learning. Your students will most likely be your existing readers, and so you want to make sure to get their approval first.
- Chart your course curriculum.
Like a blog, an online course needs direction. It needs a beginning and an end, and you need to make sure the path to get there is as painless as possible for the student. Take your time going through your former posts to see what content is transferable to your online course. However, don’t get stuck trying to maximize the recycling of your blog material. One of the biggest blunders you can make is trying to brand a course like your blog, rather than branding it as the most marketable course it can be.
- Create (visual) content
In a blog, you can get away with having plain text on a basic background. However, there are so many multimedia options in an online course builder that a text-based course would feel lifeless and mundane. So, before you import your blog as a fifty-slide text lesson, take advantage of Thinkfic’s content builder. Turn your blog content into a presentation, infographic, or video lesson. Add a quiz to test students on how much they’ve learned, or play with discussion forums to hear students’ opinions. There is so much you can do with online course builders that you shouldn’t be limited to plain text.
- Deepen, don’t duplicate, content
This piece of advice is almost a reiteration of Tip #1, but it is so important that I wanted to make it a tip of its own. The goal of your course should be to take a deep dive into topics touched on at a higher level on your blog, not to simply offer another way to deliver the exact same content. If your course is a duplicate of your blog, you will be losing students faster than you can say “online course.” Your blog and course should not be mirror replicas of each other. Rather, make your course a more in-depth experience. Start with a popular post or series from your blog as the framework, then provide a deeper understanding of the material by making the user experience engaging. Your blog should support your online course, and vice versa.
- Blog about it
What better way to market your course than to blog about it? By being an established blogger, you’re one step ahead of many other instructors: you possess a loyal group of followers itching to check out new content. Leverage your established audience, give your readers weekly updates on your progress, and thicken the anticipation by doing pre-sales and offering promotions to your course. That way, when you finally launch, your fans will be ready for it.
What do you bloggers have to say? Have you tried creating online courses before? What worked and what was difficult for you? Share in the comments!