Where Should You Publish Your Online Course in 2021
Whether you’re new to online courses or you’ve been around for a while, you must have realized how overwhelming the choices are, when it comes to online course platforms. It’s true that the competition is now stronger than ever, and it’s safe to assume it will only get stronger from now onward. That being said, here’s a brief guide to help you narrow down your choices for publishing your next online course this year.
Marketplace platforms are, perhaps, the most widely-known places through which you can publish your online courses. These platforms have the biggest advantage of introducing you to a big audience, contrary to building up your audience yourself. You’d better understand how these platforms work by looking into a few known names; if you’ve come across Udemy, SkillShare, or OpenSesame, then you already know how they work. These platforms enable the author of the course to publish their course on an already established marketplace, after which the author can sell the course themselves or hire the platform for help. The pricing of each platform differs according to the plan and services.
If you’d rather have full control of your online course, starting from creating the course to managing your online presence, then all-in-one platforms are your better choice. Platforms like Kajabi and Kartra offer you the ability to create online courses as digital products and not just an educational course. That means that you can expect a content management system, marketing tools, and customer relationship management tools all in one place. These platforms are great for integrating the online course with an already established website, which helps you in both marketing your business and driving sales through your courses.
Standalone platforms are best used by small businesses and edupreneurs looking for a turnkey solution for creating and selling their own branded courses online. While marketplace platforms like Udemy are practical, they take away the author’s ability to control the user data and course sales. For instance, edupreneurs always favor platforms like Teachable and Thinkific as opposed to Udemy and other marketplaces. While the two platforms are close competitors, this comparison goes over how Teachable is better when it comes to sales, while Thinkific is more superior in terms of content creation. Ultimately, both platforms are focused on helping edupreneurs and small businesses succeed in creating online courses while giving them full control over their digital products.
WordPress Plug-Ins and Themes
On the other hand, you may be running a WordPress site and wondering how you can efficiently integrate online courses. For many course creators, integrating the online course into their WordPress site sounds much more plausible than starting from scratch on a different platform. If this is what you’re looking for, you’ll be glad to know that there are a few WordPress plug-ins and themes you can choose from to publish your online course on your own website. WordPress learning management system (LMS) plugins like LearnDash and AccessAlly can do wonders in helping you achieve that feat. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that this route will require a tad more technical skills compared to other platforms.
Learning Management Systems for Medium to Large Enterprises
Speaking of learning management systems (LMS), they’re the best option when it comes to medium to large enterprises. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a comprehensive solution like an LMS if you’re a larger business looking for a way to publish more advanced training courses. For instance, you’ll probably need an LMS if you’re selling B2B courses, need to separate portals for every client, planning to build course catalogs, need complex assessment tools, or want to use the same system to manage offline and online-based courses.
It may sound strange to devote a section for video platforms; after all, all of the previous platforms allow authors to record or at least upload videos. However, the uploaded videos are limited to the built-in video player with little regard to the responsiveness of the video player on different devices. For a better video-delivery experience, it’s better to use video platforms like Unscreen to distribute content through over-the-top (OTT) channels, such as FireTV, AppleTV, and Roku. This option is the best when it comes to creating visual content designed to be viewed through a screen, such as fitness training and artistic online courses.
While online courses have been thriving on their own, their popularity skyrocketed even more following the recent pandemic. With a lot of free time on their hands, many people started looking up online courses to enhance their personal and professional skills. As a result, we can expect to exceed the previously forecast $325 billion mark by 2025. This makes 2021 the best time to start creating and publishing online courses, so be sure to join the wagon!