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How to Start an Online Course in Two Steps by Kitty Bucholtz

June 9, 2016 by in category It's Worth It tagged as , , , with 0 and 0
Home > Columns > It's Worth It > How to Start an Online Course in Two Steps by Kitty Bucholtz

You probably know that I’ve been teaching online classes for about eight years now, maybe longer. I absolutely love to teach! The “usual” tech for doing this for the last decade or more has been to have your students sign up for a Yahoo Group that you create, and then you send them emails with the lectures, the students email you questions, and you email the group back with your answers.

That was a great way to do it for a while. But I wanted to add more to the classes – audio and video and live Q&A interaction. Enter the new online class platforms.

There are a lot of websites, platforms, plugins, and course-building sites out there now. A lot. I’ve tried a few, but I’ve recently moved everything to CourseLauncherHQ. I want to tell you a little about it in case you’ve been thinking about creating an online course that’s hearty enough to satisfy the needs and expectations of your 21st century audience.

[Note: I’ve recently applied to the affiliate program for CourseLauncherHQ. That means that if you use this company to launch your online course, and you use a link I gave, or you give them my name as the person who referred you, I may get some kind of affiliate commission. Please understand that if I make a mistake here about what they do or don’t do for clients, that is my mistake. I don’t work for the company, so I may not explain everything 100% correctly. Whew! Now that that’s done, let’s continue!]

The basic two steps for creating an online course are 1) pick a platform that allows you to focus on teaching, not having to learn a lot of new technology, and 2) design your course lessons. In this blog post, I’m going to focus on step one.

First of all, the best part for me about CourseLauncherHQ is that everything is already included and integrated. All the parts are already working well together. The learning platform is LearnDash on a WordPress site, and students can pay using PayPal and/or credit cards (using WooCommerce). Then the email list is integrated into both the landing page (where people first learn about your class) and the classroom itself (after people pay – therefore separating your email list into two parts automatically – potential students and paid students).

The second best part is that the customer service is amazing!! I feel I’m pretty tech-y, but I’ve never used any of this tech. Sometimes a little knowledge can be worse than none at all. But every time I have a question, someone answers. If necessary, they arrange a video call with me to answer my questions. I can pay extra for them to do everything for me, but even though I’ve chosen to learn to do most things on my own, if I “break” my site by doing something ignorant, they’ll fix it for me! The class sites are all backed up every night so no data is lost!

And in the class they just started on Monday, you can learn everything you need to know and get your site up and running – and even start getting paid if you get students to sign up – in just four weeks! That’s what I did in December, and I’m going through the new class again now to make sure I don’t forget anything when adding in my class that I’d originally hosted on another site.

The best way to understand all this is to read the information on the page here, CourseLauncherHQ. If you decide you’re interested, you can still get into this class through next Monday, June 13. And if you mention my name, you can get in at the discounted pricing of $1597. I know, it’s a lot of money. But when I tried to put together all the little pieces myself last year, I spent more than that and had no one to help me when I screwed things up. Plus there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee!

This may not be at all what you’re interested in doing, but I didn’t want to not tell you about it and find out later (especially after the price goes up) that you could’ve used this information. Or maybe you have a friend who needs to know about this. Anyway, now you know. 🙂 I hope you find it helpful!

Kitty Bucholtz

 

 

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon. The free short story “Superhero in Disguise” and the new short story “Welcome to Loon Lake” are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.

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