Do you want to learn how to teach online? Then read this teaching guide! I’m about to share my best teaching tips and insights after spending entire seasons producing digital courses. I’ve launched a handful of fantastic online classes and have interacted with fabulous students from all over the world. I want to share my best teaching tips with you. For free!
After teaching a handful of fantastic courses that have attracted well over 14,305+ students from 140+ countries, the following are my best online teaching tips and secrets. Please enjoy the read!
How To Teach Online Tip # 1 – My Top Secret For All Prospective Online Teachers Of Any Skill Level
I am about to show you my top teaching secret after teaching for years and enrolling countless thousands of students. But first, I need to tell you how I got here.
I produced my first online course during the cold New England fall of 2014. 2014 was many years ago. However, I remember the course launching experience like it was yesterday.
I fell asleep on my bed with my laptop by my side. I woke up several hours later with several dozen new student notifications in my Gmail inbox. The inbox notifications were coming through every minute.
I remember rubbing my eyes – I had no idea what all these new email notifications were. Imagine my delight when I discovered that they were students enrolling to watch my newly launched course.
My life changed immediately. People were subscribing to see what I had to say about email marketing. I did not have a big social media following, a fancy guru voice, or a million-dollar mansion on Instagram.
It was just me – a nerdy blogger who hides behind his dimly lit laptop keyboard.
I’m Just A Nerdy Four-Eyed Geek And Blogger! If I Can Teach And Launch Online Courses – Then You Can Too!
I remember watching my Gmail inbox with delight as more students kept enrolling throughout the next 72 hours. I knew then that I could become an online teacher. Teaching was my destiny. I also knew that teaching was a worthy cause. Finally, something that I could focus on with confidence, clarity, and pride.
Fast forward a few years. Many thousands of incredible students from over 140+ countries have taken my courses. My courses have earned many hundreds of 4 and 5-star reviews. New course marketplaces ask me to include my courses. I have even had students send me praise and positive wishes!
I am not saying that you can get the same results. I got lucky during my first-course launch. Being an online teacher is a lot of work. And despite what many teaching gurus love to boast, there are no instant riches for teachers! However, there is one critical tip that I share with any prospective teacher.
How To Choose The Best Course Topic To Teach? Choose What Sounds Like The Most Fun!
Teach the course that seems like the most fun for you. My first courses were on the topics of email marketing and writing. These are the topics that I love. These are the topics that I obsess over and think about nonstop – even at 3 in the morning. My first courses still attract new students many years later.
My best teaching secret is the mindset. I strive to find topics that excite me the most. My top secret is to become inspired and motivated to teach. Only then will I ever summon the creativity, energy, and charisma required to create worthwhile content in the first place! I encourage you to seek the same fire.
That way, you are likely to produce courses with energy, confidence, and passion. In my opinion, your students shall be more likely to notice your exuberance. As a result, I believe everyone wins, and you will hopefully receive positive feedback and continue your journey as an online teacher – which is always more than half the battle.
Pssst. Online courses aren’t the only digital product creation idea! Here’s a list of 5 digital product creation ideas that rock for our new economy.
How To Teach Online Tip # 2 – My Top Secret Regarding Producing A Course Without A Big Budget
Some of my students erroneously believe that I am a filthy rich millionaire who lives in a New England castle. The truth is that I am a lazy slacker who tries to do as little work as possible! However, I have a few clever teaching secrets that I can share with you – especially for teachers on a tiny budget.
The good news is that you only require a few things to produce a digital course. A big fancy guru budget not being one of them!
Here Are The Things You Need to Produce An Online Course:
# 1 – A Laptop Or Desktop Computer.
Some of my friends will tell me that it is technically possible to launch an online course using a Smart Phone or a tablet. However, I am old school and advise that online teaching requires a full keyboard, a full monitor (or two), plus a laptop or desktop computer!
However, your desktop or laptop does not have to be fancy.
I produced my first online course with an old laptop I purchased back in 2009! Even if your laptop or desktop computer is not in the best shape, I bet it can still manage a PowerPoint slide, a word processor, and a screen recording app without stress.
# 2 – A Cheap Microphone And Camera To Record Your Presentation.
You do not need a camera to create a course. Having a camera is an excellent bonus, and I think there are many branding benefits to having a good camera. A decent camera will cost you a few hundred bucks.
If you are on a budget, do not panic. You do not need a camera if you do not wish to appear on camera. However, you do need a microphone.
Your laptop probably has a microphone that is decent enough to record your voice. However, I like to get fancy with cheap USB microphones.
I say a cheap microphone half-jokingly. Your microphone does not have to be inexpensive if you wish to use a classy model. However, I use two economical USB microphones – the Samson GoMic, and the Blue Snowball. Either microphone records well enough for my fancy, and I think I sound great. You can buy either on Amazon for less than $100 each.
There are also more USB microphones popping up all the time, so it should not be hard to find an affordable option in your price range.
Here’s an excellent guide I wrote about how to create presentations that sell – perfect for new teachers who want to craft a beautiful video sales letter without stress.
# 3 – An App To Create Slides Or Presentations.
Whenever people ask me how to teach online, I tell them that Microsoft is my secret weapon! Microsoft Office 365 and PowerPoint slides are the heart and soul of my digital courses. However, Microsoft Office is not your only option for creating slides.
Canva is another genius option for creating brilliant slide presentations for your course. I use PowerPoint 365 the most. I pay for Microsoft Office 365 anyway because I need a reliable word processor. Therefore, I make use of Microsoft Office’s ready-made presentation themes. However, Canva also has some gorgeous presentation slide decks that you can use.
Adobe Spark Also Rocks For Digital Course Production! Here’s Why I Love Adobe Spark For Online Teachers.
Another option you have is a free web application called Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark can help you put together a beautiful-looking presentation for a short online course.
Adobe Spark is different because you can use Adobe Spark to produce your entire course – including beautiful graphics, music, and animations. You can even record your course audio within Adobe Spark.
When you finish, you can then export your video file right from within Adobe Spark. Spark is a powerful and fun little app – and it is free!
You might wonder, can you sell your course once you produce and record everything? If so, then read our epic guide that teaches five genius ways to sell your online course without bending over backward.
# 4 – An App To Record Your Desktop And Create Video Files.
What is an online course? An online course is either a module or a series of modules that teach a topic. I have some courses that are one lecture long. I also have others that contain dozens of modules. Usually, the lectures are in the format of an MP4 video file. Let’s talk about creating the MP4 video files of your course.
Once you have your PowerPoint presentation or slide deck images, you need to have a way to record your desktop, your microphone, and optionally your camera. You also require a way to create an MP4 video file of your presentation.
The cool thing is that there are apps that can do ALL of these. I am talking about desktop screen recording apps.
I love Camtasia the most. Camtasia makes it very straightforward to record online courses. You can import PowerPoint slides, videos, images, and audio files. You can also add all kinds of special effects if you wish to get fancy! However, I keep things simple – for the sake of sanity!
I have tried many screen recording apps. In my opinion, Camtasia is the golden standard for online teachers – especially for those of us without a Hollywood-sized budget.
You can also export your video course lectures in crisp HD format using Camtasia. The best thing about Camtasia is that it is very straightforward to use. No advanced or fancy video editing skills are required. The biggest downside is that Camtasia is not free. Camtasia usually costs a few hundred bucks.
Active Presenter And Camtasia Both Rock For Digital Course Production And Online Teachers!
There’s never been a better time to be a teacher! That’s because we’ve never had this many choices to help produce our courses.
Active Presenter is an excellent alternative to Camtasia if you are on a tight budget. Active Presenter is another brilliant desktop screen recording app that offers free and cheap plans.
Camtasia and Active Presenter are my two favorite screen recording apps that I have found after studying this stuff for years. I happily recommend both apps for capturing your desktop, importing PowerPoint slides, recording your audio, and exporting as crisp HD video files.
# 5 – An App To Record Your Audio.
I also want to talk about one of my favorite apps named Audacity. Audacity is excellent for recording your audio. You do not necessarily need Audacity because you can use the screen recording app from step # 4 to record your audio. In other words, either Camtasia or Active Presenter can record your microphone’s audio just fine.
However, I love the powerful editing features of Audacity – so I use Audacity to record all my audio. Whether I am recording a Podcast, a massive course with 25 lectures, or a short 20-minute recording, I use Audacity!
Audacity is free, and it works on Linux, Mac, and Windows – so they get bonus points.
# 6 – Motivation And Passion
I emphasize again that having the motivation to teach is the most critical thing that online teachers require to launch a beautiful course. Without the motivation to do work, then even the fanciest production studio will not do you any good!
How To Teach Online Tip # 3 – My Top Secret For Recording Your Course With Confidence
The following is my biggest teaching secret that has enabled me to streamline my course production process. The following secret is also how I produce short, pithy compact courses. The next secret also empowers me to record with confidence, even if I am tired or have other things on my mind.
I am talking about how I meticulously plan and write a full script before I even begin thinking about recording or producing my course.
Here’s Why I Recommend Writing A Full Script For Your Digital Course Before You Record Your Presentation!
Every single word is written in Microsoft Word before I record my course lectures. That way, when I use Audacity to record my presentations, I know for a fact that everything sounds perfect. I have rehearsed everything. Every single word gets planned carefully, so it sounds great, makes a profound impact, and wastes as little time as possible.
I believe that when you teach courses, you have a responsibility to your students. Please strive to make your course content as short and as helpful as possible. Plan your content and your script and optimize for efficiency.
Carefully draft your course script so you can make the highest impact. Eliminate all fluff. Make your course shorter, not longer. Run your course text through Grammarly.com to ensure that it is grammatically correct and flows like a raging river.
What will happen as a result? In my opinion, your students will appreciate your brief, bite-sized, actionable content much more than a longwinded boring lecture riddled with unnecessary tangents and disorganized information!
I Also Have One Big Tip About Promoting Your Course!
I just shared my top three teaching secrets for launching a course. I also want to share my best secret for promoting your product. It doesn’t matter if you know how to teach online if nobody buys or enrolls in your course!
As you launch courses, I advise you to spend a lot of time promoting your work. Hustle hard spreading the word and sharing your creation with the world! One vital component of the course promotional process is writing the perfect sales letter. In my opinion, your course’s sales letter is as equally important as your course itself. You might have the best digital class in the world. However, if you can’t convey your ideas effectively, you may find it troublesome to attract students.
Your sales letter is the window into the essence of your course. Your students gaze into your sales letter to behold what they shall become as your student. In other words, let your course sales letter tell a story about how your student will transform into something better.
Spend time on your sales letter so that it rocks.
You Can Also Download The Ready-Made Perfect Webinar Script To Help Sell Your Course!
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The Perfect Webinar Script is the same script that Russell Brunson uses to sell his digital programs. Russell Brunson is one of the most popular and hippest digital marketers on the planet, which is why I proudly recommend his webinar script to all teachers, marketers, business owners, and experts alike.
Russell Brunson is one of the most excellent marketers in the world. You are getting access to the same script that he has crafted over the years through many trials, tribulations, battles, and victories. You can download the ready-made script for only seven dollars, which is a ludicrously good deal.
You get access to a ready-made sales script to help you sell just about anything – from one of the world’s trendiest marketers – for just seven bucks.
How To Teach Online FAQs
I’ve spent a good chunk of time developing, brainstorming, researching, and teaching online courses. I’ve encountered a handful of how to teach online FAQs that I’m happy to expand upon and explore. Let’s discuss more my best teaching insights. Sound good?
# 1 – How Can I Advertise My Online Course To Get More Students?
If you have an advertising budget to work with, then advertising your course is a piece of cake. Before you spend a penny on advertising, though, make sure that you look for free advertising coupons. I’ve saved at least a few hundred bucks on free advertising over the years by being picky and cheap!
Before you invest a penny in paid advertising to promote your course, ask around and search for free advertising coupons from your favorite social networks or advertising networks. It never hurts to ask – and closed mouths don’t get fed.
If you’re unsure which social networks and advertising networks will sell you some advertising, I put together a small list of advertising networks below.
Advertising Networks For Online Teachers And Small Business Owners:
Paid advertising isn’t the only way to promote your course! You can also use old-school content marketing methods. AKA – work hard and hustle by creating lots of organic content that advertise your product.
You could promote your digital courses on your social media channels, in your email newsletter, on your Podcast, within your blog posts, in friendly social media groups (if you have permission), or anywhere within your reach. Hustle hard and promote your course everywhere!
If you don’t have much of a reach, look for guest blog post opportunities, Podcast outreach opportunities, or joint venture opportunities. Don’t stop hustling. Promote your course!
# 2 – Does Webinar Marketing Work For Selling Digital Courses And Increasing Enrollments?
Yes, I think that webinar marketing rocks for digital teachers and the online learning industry as a whole! Webinars aren’t the only sales funnel idea for online teachers you can use – but they’re one of my favorites.
One of the best benefits of webinar marketing – especially for teachers – is that webinars help build your email list. Your email list is your secret weapon as a teacher, and webinars are also a genius branding method to help break the ice with your new subscribers!
Services like ClickFunnels, EasyWebinar, Demio, Stealth Seminar and GrooveFunnels are massive players in the webinar marketing world. These companies swear by webinars and, I’m also an advocate of webinar marketing.
I’ve also noticed that many of the top gurus and experts love webinar marketing. They must love their sales funnel metrics!
If you look closely at the ClickBank marketplace, you might find a top offer or two that’s using an automated webinar or a video sales letter as their main landing page!
# 3 – Are Third-Party Course Marketplaces A Good Way To Promote My Digital Courses?
Yes, for sure! The best part about course marketplaces is that they provide potential exposure to novice online teachers. If you wish to launch an online class, but you don’t have the most substantial marketing budget or reach, then the third-party course marketplaces are a dream come true.
Advantages Of Third-Party Course Marketplaces:
- Of course, the best potential advantage is the course royalties you may earn as a teacher!
- Most course platforms are free or low-cost for the teacher – so you don’t pay anything upfront. Some course platforms may take a percentage of sales, though.
- Some course platforms help teachers advertise their course – perfect if you’re a flat broke teacher operating on a tiny budget.
- Some course platforms allow you to promote your website and social media channels in your teacher profile. If you have a blog or a website, any free advertising is a nice perk, in my view!
- You can collect reviews, testimonials, feedback, and interact with your students – on most eLearning platforms, at least.
- Some third-party teaching marketplaces have sizeable affiliate programs built into the platform. You can invite advocates to promote your courses.
Most third-party course marketplaces also make it easy and painless for the online teacher to upload, host, market, and sell their online courses. No annoying tech hurdles are preventing you from launching your first digital course!
# 4 – What’s The Best Length Of An Online Course?
Some of my online courses go for over 6 hours. Other courses are barely 50 minutes! I think that there’s no real ideal length to a digital course. Here’s a better question to ask – how long will it take for you to transform the lives of your students?
Your digital course is a metamorphosis for students. Your course content transforms your students into something and someone better. Your students leave your course with an elite, fun, and worthwhile skill that they didn’t have before your course. How long will it take for you to deliver those results?
How Does Your Course Transform Your Students?
- Transform your student from dieting newbies into conscious health gurus who can prepare seven delicious yet healthy meals without stressing or breaking the bank.
- Transform your student from computer science newbies into fierce Python and data science machines capable of basic systems programming and machine learning analysis.
- Transform your student from internet marketing newbies into self-reliant small business owners who can build landing pages, generate leads via banner ads, and launch elite email courses.
- Transform your student from helpless and clueless gardeners into wise green thumbs capable of growing thick, robust crops even in cold New England climates!
How long would it take to teach your students and to change them? Would it take 5 minutes? 10 minutes? 45 minutes? 5 hours? If you can answer that question – then you’ll know the ideal length of your course without second-guessing.
# 5 – Do I Need A Degree To Teach Online And Become An Online Teacher?
It depends! Where do you wish to teach? I’m sure that some full-time teaching jobs require you to have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, an accredited teaching certificate, or teaching credentials.
I’ve also noticed that some of the “English Teaching Jobs” found on Indeed, Monster, and other job boards require that you have a bachelor’s degree to teach. But your results may vary! If you wish to teach online courses at a prominent college university, then the requirements are probably even more stringent.
However, even if you don’t have a teaching degree yet, don’t fret. Nothing is preventing you from launching a private digital course online and inviting students from all over the world to register. You could create a digital product and share it with the world – no college degree required!
You can use a platform like Teachable, ClickBank, ClickFunnels, Thinkific, Udemy, SkillSuccess, SkillShare, among others, to help host, launch, market, and sell your course. New learning platforms are launching all the time – so keep your eyes open for new and exciting marketplaces to help launch your program.
Thanks For Reading My How To Teach Online Guide! You Rule!
I hope you had fun reading my teaching tips. After teaching a handful of fun courses, these were my best experiences that I thought could help you.
Online teaching is one of my favorite topics, so I thank you again for viewing this presentation or reading the guide.
Please enjoy a beautiful day.
Cordially and humbly yours,
You have been listening to Mike DeVincent of MrComputerScience.com, and I am signing off.