Woman working on a beach with a laptop

There’s no shortage of ways for travelers to make money on the road. If you have the skills, you can freelance or coach via Skype. If you have a blog, vlog, or podcast with a large enough audience, you can sell advertising spots or try affiliate marketing.

But there’s another approach that requires very little upfront investment in either time or money – creating online courses.

Why Wanna Be Digital Nomads Should Create Digital Courses

Of course, there are many reasons to create an online course. Here are some of the main ones.

1. Online Courses Can Make A Lot Of Money

person workingIt’s not just the big names in the online education space like Pat Flynn and Joanna Penn that are making the big bucks. Thousands of digital nomads you’ve never heard of are making five to seven figures each year by teaching all sorts of skills, from hand lettering to healthy eating.

Well-presented courses that deliver specific outcomes for their students can command high prices. In this age of digital distraction and information overload, students are willing to pay top dollar for convenience and a good user experience.

A recent study by our course creation platform Teachable found that the top schools charge an average of $177 per course. With premium prices like this, it doesn’t take many sales to generate a good income. Just one hundred sales would bring in $17,700 and, with very few costs involved in putting the course together, most of that would be profit.

2. It’s Quick And Easy To Get Started

laptoppWith online course creation platforms, creating a course is easy, quick, and very affordable. You don’t have to spend years building a loyal blog following or weeks learning some technical piece of software; you can be up and running in a matter of days.

In fact, the best courses include an average of just five hours of video content. If you batched your recordings, you could get your videos in the can in one weekend or less.

Even better, the most successful online schools typically only take fourteen to seventeen months to get to where they are. In just one year from now, you could be up there with them, having made $75,000+ from your courses.

3. Evergreen Courses Generate Passive Income

passive incomeIf you choose to create an evergreen course – one that is always available to buy -, once it’s live, it can generate passive income for you no matter where in the world you are. You can genuinely make money in your sleep.

After the initial setup period, you’ll be free to travel, work on other business ventures, or create even more courses, knowing your first course is quietly making you money in the background.

4. A Courses Will Establish You As An Expert

expertIf you have dreams of being a speaker, a coach, or a consultant, you could create a course to help position yourself as an authority on your topic.

When a visitor comes to your website and sees that you have a course on a specific subject, they will immediately assume that you are an expert on that subject. In this way, course creation can serve as branding or positioning. You may even be able to use your course to get some media attention, for example from podcast hosts looking to interview industry experts.

How To Create A Successful Online Course

If you think digital courses might be for you, you might be wondering what’s involved. How do you deliver a great learning experience for your students, while ensuring that you get the best return from the time you’ve invested in creating your course? Here are a few pointers to get you started.

1. Keep The Course Short

short courseIn a world of declining attention spans, the easiest way to lose your students is to make your course really long. The ideal length for an online course is ten lectures. If it has to go longer than that, it should not exceed fifty lectures.

If you have so much content to cover that shortening your course would affect its quality, break it up into levels. The sense of progression this will create will keep your students motivated.

The other advantage of keeping your course short is that it’ll take less time for you to create!

2. Use Video

video cameraVideos are one of the best tools for those who teach online. They are easy to create, they make it easy to explain complex concepts, and they are great for capturing the attention of students. Videos are used by the overwhelming majority of successful online course creators.

Most phones have cameras that can create high-quality videos. In most cases, you do not need any special equipment to create an awesome video.

3. Keep The Videos Short

video courseHolding anyone’s attention for a long time is difficult in this world of Facebook notifications and other distractions. Your videos should last no longer than ten minutes. Sticking to this length will ensure you keep hold of your audience and help them to process and remember what you teach them.

4. Include Quizzes

quizQuizzes are a great way for you to help your students remember what they learn. Include short and non-graded quizzes after each lecture or level, to help your students review the content and see how they’re doing.

5. Include A Discussion Forum

working on laptopIn an online course, your students will have few opportunities to meet and help each other. By creating a discussion forum for them to use, you will give them the chance to ask questions about what they have learned and support each other.

Forums are a low-cost and low-effort way to increase the value of your course. They’re also a way to gain an insight into your students’ minds and to understand how they’re finding the course. You can use this information to improve it over time or even to find ideas for future courses.

What Will You Teach?

Online courses have a low barrier to entry, which means they’re an ideal way for those with limited time and money to make an income online. By taking just a few days or weeks to create your first course following the tips outlined above, you’ll create an asset for yourself that will make you money no matter where you are.

What are you waiting for?


About The Author
Eduardo Yi is the lead content marketer at Teachable, a platform that allows everyone, from creative individuals to established organizations, to easily teach online and create profitable businesses.

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