Online student with her laptopSo you’ve gotten into the online course game. Hey, we’re on board with that. We’ll be your biggest cheerleader.

In previous posts, we’ve talked about why online courses are the next big thing and covered the ins and outs of designing a good one. Now, it’s time to talk next steps: what happens after you’ve built your course?

Here are three things to keep in mind as you move forward with your online course:

  1. Your content should constantly evolve
  2. You can’t really control who accesses your course
  3. Marketing is a continuous game

Your content should constantly evolve

Yes, the lessons you’ve already produced are great. But are they still as current as they were when you created them? No field is immune to development, and your course shouldn’t be either.

We’re not telling you to rewrite your course once a month. It is important, however, to stay on top of the conversation going on in your field – and even better, to contribute to it. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great ways to connect with others in your industry and keep track of trends.

For example: if you’re teaching a course geared towards young athletes, it’s important for you to know what their favorite sport is, right? If new market research shows you that the tide is turning from lacrosse to soccer, you want to make sure your course content – be it written or visual – keeps up with the Joneses.

Similarly…

Since you can’t really control who accesses your course, your content should be easily digestible

Unless you’re a Fortune 500 company, you probably don’t have the budget to precisely geo-target your audience. That means your course will be open and available to anyone who discovers it: maybe they happen across it while browsing your website, see a friend’s tweet about it, or hear about it through the grapevine.

What does this mean? It means that your course should be tailored towards your audience, but not too tailored. Sure, you might keep things a little more specific in the beginning. But as your following grows, so should the approachability of your course. What was once a funny aside that only the most loyal fans could pick up on might need to be rewritten to appeal to a wider audience.

Basically, we’re telling you that content development is a continuous game. In fact, so is marketing.

Marketing is a continuous game

You’re probably getting the idea by now. Online courses are a great source of passive income, but not all of the income is passive. You have to evolve your content; more importantly, you have to continuously evaluate, change, and perhaps widen the lens of your marketing strategy.

Maybe you’ve been using email marketing to increase your number of students. Sure, that works for awhile, but every strategy will hit a plateau at some point. If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau, either reinvigorate your existing strategy or think about a new one.

Or maybe you’re happy with your current strategy. Guess what? That’s not a passive game, either. Even if you’re content with the results email marketing is bringing in, you’ll always need to write more emails.

If this sounds like a lot of work, don’t panic. Sweet Rose Studios is here to help. Not only can we help you design and concept your online course, but we can also help you evolve it. We can stay on top of the trends in your field. We can translate your content for a wider audience. We can – and we will – sustain a kick-a** marketing plan.

No matter what stage your online course is in, we’re right there with you.

Click here to get started.

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Julia Weiss

Julia Weiss is a content marketing intern at Sweet Rose Studios.