If you have the ambition to grow your podcast’s audience and increase revenue, this article “How Podcasters Can Create Successful Online Courses” is a must-read.
The best way to grow and monetize your audience is to create content your listeners would be willing to pay for. If you have an established audience who views you as an authority on your podcast topics, plenty of opportunities exist to offer valuable inside information for a fee.
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One of the most proven ways to monetize your podcast is to create and sell an online course to your listeners. This allows you to pull an income from your podcast that is not reliant on advertising or charging your listeners a fee to access your podcast.
If this scenario sounds good to you. Keep reading! “How Podcasters Can Create Successful Online Courses” explains, step-by-step, how to create and sell an online course to your listeners. It also covers other types of content you can publish to support your podcast.
How to Create a Successful Online Course Related to Your Podcast – Step-by-Step Guide
Before diving into our complete guide, it is worth highlighting Podia, a leading online course publishing platform. It has been used by over 150,000 creators, of which many are podcasters.
This beginner-friendly platform makes it easy to assemble, publish, and sell your online learning course. Once you are finished, all you would need to do is offer your podcast listeners a link to your course. Podia offers first-time users the opportunity to create a free account, so there is no financial risk in trying it out.
Now that you know where to build your podcast, and where to publish and distribute it, let’s get into our step-by-step guide.
Step 1. Come Up with an Idea for Your Online Course
While the type of online course depends on your area of expertise the process for creating and selling an online course is rather similar.
-Determine Your Niche & Where Your Expertise Would Be Most Effective
The first thing you need to ask yourself when coming up with an idea for an online course is what is unique about your podcast. More specifically, what is it about your podcast that could drive revenue?
You might be surprised to learn how many of your listeners would be willing to pay to learn more about a topic that interests them from a voice they are familiar with and trust.
Once you have determined what people would be willing to pay money to learn more about, you are on your way to creating your online course.
The potential topics you can teach with an online course are limitless. You can even teach your listeners how to create podcasts of their own!
-Ask Your Listeners About Prospective Online Course Topics
Another effective way to develop an idea for an online learning course is to simply survey your listeners. After all, it is your listeners that you will rely on to sign-up for your online course. Why not ask them what they would like to learn more about?
If you publish your podcast on YouTube or any other platform that allows viewers and listeners to leave comments, you can simply pose the question during one of your podcasts and instruct the listeners to leave a comment below.
You can also post a poll of potential online course topics on one of your social media channels and ask your listeners to answer with what they would like to learn more about.
Step 2. Begin Planning the Content and Format of Your Online Course
Once you have decided on a topic your online course will cover, it’s time to move toward the content planning phase.
Break down the various steps required to help your students gain in-depth knowledge on the chosen subject.
-Do Not Overwhelm Your Students
Remember, you can’t just overwhelm your online course students with information in a disorganized way. The aim should be to educate them so they understand and retain the information you cover.
This is why you must carefully plan your online course’s format. Determine what information is needed to create a basic foundation of knowledge, then move toward the more advanced subjects. Assume that your online course subscribers know nothing about the topic. Your students are blank slates, so the early lessons should be very basic and introductory.
Write down a clear lesson plan on a piece of paper. You can begin filling in the point-form notes on what each lesson or module will cover after you have come up with your rough lesson plan.
-Make Sure Your Students Understand What They Will Be Learning
It is always important to explain the end goal of your online course during the first introductory module. They should clearly understand what you will be teaching them and what sort of knowledge or skills they will learn by completing the course.
Step 3. Begin Putting Your Online Course Content Together
To build any type of online course, you will need to create content. There are many forms this content can take, so focus on the most beneficial for your prospective students.
You can educate your students with engaging videos, audio recordings, downloadable PDF guides, digital worksheets, and plain text in the form of point-form slideshows.
Depending on your skill set and the topic your online course is covering, you may also want to create images that accompany the text in your online course. Images can help your students visualize and retain the information you are trying to convey. They also help keep things interesting, as too much text can be boring.
-Focus on the Content You Believe Will Be the Most Beneficial
Naturally, you want to focus on content that will help your students learn; however, it is also worth considering creating content in a format that you are comfortable with. Videos are great for online courses, as they combine audio and imagery. This can make it easy for your students to retain information.
With that said, some podcasters are only comfortable recording audio. If this applies to you, focus on text, audio, and images to convey information. Essentially, you want to find a balance between your strengths and what you feel will be the most effective way to educate those that enroll in your online course.
Step 4. The Final Details
Once you have created the content, it’s time to put it all together. As discussed above, Podia makes it easy to put everything together, as you simply have to upload your content and put it in the proper order.
-Come Up with an Effective Name for Your Course
You also need to develop a catchy name for your online course that will effectively communicate its purpose. Simplicity can be useful, as it can convey the benefits students will get from the course.
For example, if you host a bartending-themed podcast and want to create an online course to accompany it, you might go with a name for the course like “Bartending Skills & Secrets: Learn How to Be an Expert Bartender.”
We also recommend putting the name of your podcast right in the course description rather than the name of the course, as this will help listeners make that association, but it will not put off non-listeners and give you a wider audience.
-Price, Publish, and Promote Your Online Course
Now that your online course is about ready to go, you need to develop a pricing strategy. How much will you charge students to enroll in the course, and will you offer podcast listeners a discount?
Consider how much work you put into your course and how valuable the skills or knowledge the online course will teach can be. If the information you discuss is available in many other places, you can charge less for your course, as your students will be choosing to enroll in your course because they want to support your podcast or they trust you as a teacher.
You can justify charging more for your online course if you teach a rare skill.
Once your course is published, you can begin promoting it. Naturally, you will want to promote it on your podcast, as your listeners will likely become a major source of subscribers to your online course. You can also promote your podcast on your social media channels and email list. Consider paying for advertisements on other related podcasts and various social media platforms.
-Congratulations, Your Online Course Is Ready to Go!
Once your online course has been published and you have promoted it properly, you can monitor it and gauge interest. You may need to adjust your pricing structure and promotion efforts, but you have already done all the hard work!
Other Ways to Promote, Monetize, and Support Your Podcast
Online courses are a fantastic way to engage with your podcast listeners and monetize your audience, but there are many other ways to do so.
Other content you can create to support your podcast can include the following:
- Transcripts – Offer written versions of your podcasts, especially if the information you cover is complicated. This can help those looking to learn from the information you cover in your podcasts. You can charge a small fee for individual transcripts or even offer them free to those who pay to support your podcast through Patreon or another platform.
- Bonus Content – You can also monetize extra content that your listeners can subscribe for. This can be more in-depth discussions on a particular topic you covered on the main podcast or simple bloopers, additional interviews, and more.
- A Website and Email List – It has never been easier to create your own website. Having a website dedicated to your podcast can be a way for listeners to communicate with you. You could even host a message board where listeners could communicate with each other. Starting an email list and encouraging listeners to sign-up is also beneficial. It allows you to communicate directly with listeners and keep them up-to-date with upcoming developments.
Your website will also be a great place to publish a podcast blog, which can help you interact with your listeners.
- Social Media Channels – It may sound obvious, but you should also make social media profiles for your podcast on all major channels. This will help with promotion and gaining new listeners. It also allows listeners to share their thoughts and opinions in the comments, which will help them feel engaged with you and the podcast.
For more information about promoting your podcast, we recommend reading How to Promote Your Podcast. This complete guide explains everything you need to know.