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Developing an Online Learning Product from Start to Finish

Creating an online course, membership site or digital learning platform allows you to share knowledge with students globally while earning income. But launching a successful learning product from scratch takes strategy and execution.

This comprehensive blueprint covers how to develop online learning products systematically from initial concept to launch. Follow these steps to create high-impact educational resources people willingly pay for.

Why Create Online Learning Products?

Digital learning products offer major benefits:

Scalable Revenue

Sell access to your expertise through automated delivery platforms for residual income that keeps earning over time.

Flexible Lifestyle

With courses online, teach and earn passively from anywhere in the world on your own schedule.

Broaden Your Reach

Digital products expand your student reach from dozens to thousands by removing geographic barriers of in-person teaching.

Establish Authority

High-quality educational products position you as an influential thought leader and industry expert that audiences look to.

Higher Profit Margins

Online products eliminate overhead like facilities, supplies and staff. Keep more earnings.

Make an Impact

Share knowledge with people globally who otherwise lack access, funding or opportunity for world-class education and personal growth.

The opportunities to educate at scale await. Now let’s dive into actually building successful online learning products from the ground up.

Phase 1: Identifying Your Niche and Audience

Start by getting crystal clear on positioning. Assess these elements:

Your Domain Expertise

Take inventory of your credentials, experiences and skills to identify teachable topics you offer respected authority on.

Student Demographics

Get specific on the profiles of who most needs your training – their titles, goals, challenges etc. Tailor to their precise needs.

Knowledge Gaps

What misunderstood topics or outdated practices could use your insider modern perspective? Where will you refresh understanding?

Pain Points

Note the recurring struggles and unanswered questions that arise in your niche. Solve these and your product sells itself.

Existing Competition

Review existing learning options to assess competitor strengths, gaps in offerings and opportunities to differentiate yourself.

Conduct thorough audience research and analysis to identify overlooked needs perfectly matched to your capabilities.

Phase 2: Defining Your Learning Product Concept

Once your audience focus is clear, decide on your learning product format:

Online Courses

Multi-lesson digital courses teaching specialized skills through video, audio, text and exercises. Best for step-by-step training.

Membership Sites

Ongoing learning through content libraries, communities and coaching access. Ideal for continual professional development.

Live Workshops / Events

In-depth training through live virtual workshops and seminars. Perfect for high-touch teaching.

Digital Books

Long-form ebooks teaching through text, images and downloadable resources. Useful for visual learners.

Video Tutorials

Short video lessons delivering quick tips on specialized tactics. Easy to digest for mobile users.

Online Communities

Discussion forums and social networks for niche knowledge sharing between peers. Great for crowdsourcing solutions.

Consider your audience’s preferences, learning styles and context to select the ideal digital product format aligned with your skills as an educator or subject matter expert.

Phase 3: Structuring Your Learning Product Details

Now outline product specifics to guide development:

Core Benefit Promise

What tangible mindsets, skills or outcomes will successful students gain by using your product? Get very clear on the concrete transformation.

Format and Structure

Map out how content and training will be organized and delivered through your chosen format. Sketch curriculum, units, sections, etc.

Interactive Elements

Determine interactive components like assessments, discussions, worksheets, gamification, expert interviews etc. that actively engage students beyond passive content.

Complementary Bonuses

Plan additional resources like workbooks, checklists, summaries, mp3s and slide decks to enhance learning value.

Pricing and Access Model

Decide pricing tiers and how students gain access – one-time purchases, subscriptions, bundles, usage-based etc.

Thorough planning at this phase ensures you develop a cohesive, high-impact learning product later that delivers extreme value.

Phase 4: Creating Your Learning Content

Next, it’s time to actually produce the educational content and training materials that make up your online learning product.

Demonstrate True Expertise

Back up lessons with credible statistics, cited research, real-world examples and client results that prove your qualifications for teaching this material. Demonstrate mastery.

Explain Concepts Clearly

Break down complex topics using simple language, relatable analogies, examples and metaphors. Structure content for maximum comprehension.

Add Multimedia

Bring concepts alive through well-designed slides, worksheets, audio, video interviews, animations, and other interactive elements tailored to diverse learning styles.

Tell Compelling Stories

Use intriguing anecdotes, case studies, and personal experiences to illustrate key lessons and transform abstract concepts into something memorable and relatable.

Guide Application

Focus on tactical, actionable knowledge learners can implement immediately vs vague theoretical content. Equip students with clear frameworks and step-by-step processes they can follow to put lessons into practice and produce results.

Create materials focused on driving understanding and real-world student success vs impressing with complex jargon. Simplify concepts while overdelivering on value.

Phase 5: Building Your Learning Platform

You’ll need a robust delivery platform to share your educational products online. Top options include:

Teachable

One of the most popular course and membership platforms. Provides beautiful templates, marketing tools, analytics and apps.

Thinkific

Intuitive course platform focused on marketing, community and student success tools to boost sales.

LearnDash

Leading WordPress LMS plugin for selling courses seamlessly integrated on your own website.

Kajabi

All-in-one platform combining course creation, email marketing, landing pages, and membership sites for a full online academy.

Podia

Combines powerful course creation features with marketing automation and student communication flows for selling online courses.

Evaluate critical factors like video streaming, bandwidth, custom design options, student management and analytics. Test options completely before fully launching.

Phase 6: Pricing Your Learning Product

Finding the optimal pricing strategy is key to attracting students while maximizing profit.

Research Comparable Products

Evaluate competitor product pricing models in your niche. Compare features offered at various price points to find gaps and opportunities.

Test Different Price Points

Launch your product at 3-4 different price points with the same marketing to quickly identify which converts best. Start with a wide range before narrowing.

Offer Tiered Packages

Sell bundled packages like good-better-best groupings with your product at ascending prices paired with added extras at each level. This appeals to diverse budgets.

Try Hybrid Pricing

Combine one-time purchases like your course bundled with recurring payments for membership site access. Mixing models diversifies revenue streams.

Promote Installments

Offer payment plans over 3-6 months to ease large one-time investments. Breaking bigger purchases into smaller installments improves affordability.

Avoid undervaluing your expertise and overvaluing frugality. Price based on the dramatic ROI and outcomes high-quality education provides.

Phase 7: Marketing Your Learning Products

Raising awareness of your product takes consistent, multi-channel promotion:

SEO Content Marketing

Publish blog posts, guides and videos that attract organic search traffic by ranking for educational queries in your niche. Search drives huge visibility.

Facebook & Instagram Ads

Create targeted social ads optimized with lead magnets and promotions. Allocate at least $500-1000 per month for testing and scaling campaigns.

Webinars & Podcast Interviews

Get interviewed on podcasts and host free webinars relevant to your product topic. Warm qualified audiences convert better.

Affiliate Marketing

Recruit credible partners and influencers to promote your product to their followings in exchange for sales commissions. Leverage their platforms.

Retargeting Ads

Remarket your product across the internet to past website visitors. Repeated brand exposure nurtures conversions.

Budget time and money specifically for promotion. Without awareness of your product, you have no business. Combine organic and paid channels.

Conclusion

Online learning products present lucrative opportunities to share your knowledge with students globally while earning substantial income. With the right strategic approach, you can develop high-value educational resources, market them effectively, and achieve your dream teaching impact at scale.

Remember to always put student outcomes first. Continuously improve your products based on learner feedback and metrics. Keep innovating new offerings over time.

The possibilities await to educate at scale on your own terms. Now get out there, serve students, and start monetizing your expertise through online learning products! You’ve got this.

By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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