How to create an online course for free or next to nothing: 6 tips to put into practice now!

How to create an online course for free or next to nothing: 6 tips to put into practice now!

Learn how to create your product at a low budget

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES – US), in 2014, 5,750,417 students were enrolled in distance education courses. In this scenario, creating an online course can be a promising and lucrative business, as long as the Producer has good content in hands and an effective sales strategy.

But if you think that to create good content is necessary a huge production with advanced edition and wonderful scenarios, you’re strongly mistaken. What defines if your video lesson is relevant for your target audience is how much knowledge you have about that topic and the number of problems your content solves.

To break, once and for all, with the myth that good products are expensive to create, we share tips so you can create online courses for free or next to nothing. Are you ready to get in front of the cameras?

1. Research what kind of camera you can use to record

One of the major questions among Producers who are starting to create content is the type of camera that is more suitable for recording, after all, you want your audience to see value in that product, and it includes a video with the most professional look possible.

Besides existing better equipment when it comes to the quality of the image, the right camera isn’t always the most expensive one but the one that better suits your needs. A producer in the niche of extreme sports can use a GoPro on outdoor footage but this doesn’t mean this is the best equipment for every video he shoots.

Some people will be able to record quality content on a smartphone or even an amateur camera by just using the features these devices have to offer.

If you’re willing to invest heavily, you can buy a DSLR camera, which has more features, such as interchangeable lenses, viewfinder, among other things and, that’s why they require a heavier investment both in the body-only camera and in lenses.

Of course, having a more high-tech device will add more value to your material but we only recommend investing in this kind of device when you have already mastered recording techniques because a DSLR vary from US$ 500 to US$ 40,000, way above most people’s budget and not an option for people who wish to save money. Our advice is to invest when your business has already had a financial return.

2. Careful with the audio

Video footage on a mobile phone can be excellent, however, the same doesn’t happen with audio capture. And why should you worry about it?

It’s a simple answer, really: people even watch videos with poor image quality (homemade videos and hidden camera videos, for example) but bad audio gets in the way of the viewer’s understanding, which can impact the performance of your video, number of likes, shares, retention rate, etc.

But don’t worry, because there is a simple (and cheap!) way to solve this problem. You just need to buy yourself a lavalier microphone, which can be used on the neck of who is presenting the video and connect it to your mobile phone using an adapter.

The good news is that a lavalier microphone can be found for less than US$ 5 to US$ 700, and the adapter will not cost you more than US$ 10. You see? We told you it was cheap!

3. Care for the video lighting

To have clearer and better images, good lighting is essential. In the case of recordings, the more light, the better.

Just like in the example we gave you of cameras and microphones, there are several ways of achieving good results in the lighting of your video. You can buy a LED video light made for studio recordings or you can create a homemade version of a softbox by following tutorials available on YouTube.

But the best choice, that will save you time and money is recording by the window, in a solid-colored wall (preferably light-colored) and take the most out of what sunlight has to offer. Besides being less handful, videos recorded in the sunlight are more natural, which can help you get closer to your audience.

4. Choose the ideal scenario

According to what we’ve talked about earlier in the text, quality content isn’t always the one with the most wonderful scenarios. So, keep in mind that your content needs to draw more attention than the visual elements in the video (except in cases you use props to demonstrate or stage something.)

This doesn’t mean you should record always in the same place or restrict your scenery options.However, if you want to avoid unforeseen events, choose calm places and avoid rooms with perceptible traffic or construction noises.  

You can even record the video in a room in your house! If this is the case, let people know that you’re shooting the video at that moment and that they can’t walk around the room nor interrupt you because this will lead to more work when you’re editing and, in more extreme cases, you’ll need to record the video again altogether.

5. Put effort into the script

Before even creating an online channel, you need to decide what you’re going to talk about. After that, try to identify in this niche, audience demands that are being overlooked and focus on figuring out how your product can meet these demands.

The fashion market remotely talks about plus size fashion. How about creating a product about it? If you dedicate yourself to knowing your audience, you’ll see there are many examples like this one we’ve mentioned. Once you decide what you’ll talk about, the next stages are easier. Especially, writing the script.

But do you really need a script? Many people still have their doubts about this stage because they believe a script can make the content come across as artificial and affect how spontaneous the viewer is.

However, you have to agree with us that when you create an online course, videos can become really long and it is almost impossible to memorize all the content. That’s why it is important to establish a hierarchy for the information so you don’t forget to talk about any topic and affect your student’s learning.

Recently, we’ve written a post only about how to write video scripts. There, we’ve shared some tips for people who want to create valuable content even without having worked with videos before nor needing to hire a professional just for that.  

We’re sure that, after you read this content, you’ll see that writing a script can be simpler than you imagine! Remember, you already have the most important thing, which is knowledge about the topic.

6. Choose the platform to host your product

It doesn’t matter having pristine content if the student is forced to watch your videos in a poor learning environment with few interaction options.

It’s ideal finding a platform that gathers all features you’ll need to make your videos available for your students and still has a friendly layout and it is easy to browse. By doing so, you ensure your students will have a good experience with your product and decreases future objections from buyers.

Producers who choose Hotmart to make their online course available can use Hotmart Club, our exclusive distance learning platform, which has its own video player, among other features that can be used to potentialize the sales of your product.

This is another service we offer our users, free of cost, unless the Producer chooses to use the Club Player. In this case, a symbolic amount of US$ 1.49 per student will be charged.

Now that you already know it’s possible to create online courses for free or at a low investment, how about starting out? Then, tell us in the comments section about your experience!

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