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I'm Mara — I help creatives create and launch digital courses and profitable products. I love chatting about online marketing, design and goal setting!

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4 of My Most Controversial Opinions About Online Courses

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Let’s get a little bit controversial. Over the last 5 years, I’ve worked on over 150 online courses and in that time I’ve learned a lot about what I think works and doesn’t work so today we’re exploring 4 of my most unpopular opinions about the online course world. 

1. Just because you did something once doesn’t mean you should teach it

I’ve seen some really shady things in the behind-the-scenes world of online courses, where someone does something one time and then they make a signature course about it and over-exaggerate their own results to make the course more appealing.

This might be things like not being honest about financial numbers, not sharing how large of a team they have helping them behind the scenes or creating a course about something that they have only done once themselves. I’ve even seen some business owners create courses about things that they never did themselves but someone on their team did instead.

 2. Software doesn’t matter as much as you think it does

There are so many different online course platforms out there Kajabi, Kartra, ThriveCart, Teachable, etc… Figuring out the right one for your business is important (and I have a quiz that can help you do that), but so many people get completely lost in making a decision about what online course software to use that they never pick one and actually launch their course.

Most software has similar features and you can always change your mind later, but there’s never going to be one perfectly magical software that solves all of your problems.

3. Most course creators don’t spend enough time supporting their students

Sometimes course creators are so focused on selling more and growing their business that they forget to focus on the students already inside of the course. Creating an engaging experience that actually helps people is key to any online course but it’s often overlooked.

Here are some things you can do to better support your students:

  • Regularly updating the lessons and reviewing them to make sure they are effective
  • Sending email reminders encouraging students to go through the lessons
  • Hosting coaching calls and challenges inside of the course
  • Adding interactive elements like quizzes 
  • Finding ways to make the course fun – creating bingo cards, sharing prizes for big wins, joking around with students
  • Surveying your students to ask where they need help and what content they want to be added to the course

4. Having all of your lessons be a past live training

This last one is a big personal pet peeve of mine and if using recorded live sessions is the only way you will ever get your course out into the world then that’s ok but…it is usually a really annoying experience for students. Watching long one hour Zoom recordings is really tough for students to be able to do and you also end up wasting a lot of their time as most recorded trainings include a bunch of unnecessary time where you’re talking to the live chat or referencing something no longer relevant.

Re-recording your course content instead of only using live trainings creates a better course experience and if re-recording things isn’t in the cards now, at least try to edit your videos down or add timestamps so students can easily find the information they want to. 

Read More: How to Film Your Online Course Videos

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