Myth #1: Build it and They Will Come
The romantic notion that all you have to do is create something, and people will flock to it isn't just wrong...it can be devastating. You have to consider market demand above all else. Is this what the market wants? Is the targeted audience motivated to solve their problem? You may have an excellent idea for an intriguing course, and you may even create a perfect product around that idea. But if it isn't what the present market wants, it will collect dust like many other courses designed without first validating the concept.
Conversely, you may have a course that the market wants, but the way you present it doesn't appeal to potential students. A beta launch is one of the best ways to launch a new course for a new audience. Beta testing allows you to try out your course in real-world conditions with real users. It lets you ask for and receive feedback and suggestions with a clear purpose in mind. Whether you're just learning how to create an online course or you're a seasoned pro, beta launches are crucial to success.
Myth #2: More Content is Better
I see lots of overloaded and bloated courses that unfortunately don't deliver value for the students. This stems from the mistaken belief that value equates to the quantity of information rather than quality. Many times, course creators overfill courses with too much information that leaves learners overwhelmed. This is a big reason why the majority of online courses aren't completed.
The truth is, useful content is best. When people suffer from information overload, they give up and move on. Your topic may be involved, and it may require a ton of information to learn. Even so, I don't recommend that you stuff 10 years' worth of knowledge into a single course. Focus on giving a few key points in a comprehensive yet concise manner. If there's more to say, then let your course be a series.
When you approach online course creation from this angle, course completion increases. Then learners will want to know more, and you will be their trusted authority. This establishes you as their go-to person for the topic. Keep it focused, engaging, and straightforward.
Myth #3: You Have to be an Expert
This myth is a half-truth, which is why it's so dangerous. You do need to know what you're talking about, of course. The myth is in what you consider to be an "expert." The title of an expert is subjective. Do you know enough about the topic to teach others? Can you provide results? Can you offer a transformation for students?
Many online course creators struggle with imposter syndrome. The truth is, if you have a proven process, methodology, framework, or information that improves lives and helps people get results, then you could be a successful course creator.
Consider a kindergarten student and a toddler. The student is just beginning his or her formal education. He or she is a novice compared to the high school graduate. From the toddler's perspective, though, that kindergartener is an expert about certain things.
The kindergartener can teach the toddler shapes, colors, and letters. These concepts form the foundation of the toddler's understanding. There's no deception going on. The kindergartener is sharing knowledge with someone less informed.
Once you recognize these myths about how to create an online course, you can create a course that is effective and will sell. Know yourself, know what you have to offer, and know what the market wants. Resist the temptation to tell everything you know in one go. You have something valuable to sell. Be confident in that. We can help you with everything else.