Will your online course be held prisoner?

Photo of locked prison doorThere’s a critical question that should (but often doesn’t) get answered when selecting a platform. Namely, “How easy will it be to move my online course to another platform?

You see, most course platforms provide you with a variety of tools for creating online courses, and that can be great for getting you started quickly. The problem comes down the line when you decide that you either (a) want to be able to distribute your course through additional platforms (e.g., maybe one of your customers already has a platform of their own), or (b) you want to change to a new platform.

Platforms are all a little different in how they approach course authoring and there simply is no “easy button” for exporting your course from one platform and importing into another. In most cases, you are going to run into a lot of headaches trying to do that and you will usually just have to start from scratch when assembling all of your course components in a different platform.

Now, that may not matter much if [Read more…]

15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses (and Counting)

Looking to sell online courses, but confused by all of the platform choices? This post highlights some of the top online course platforms and helps you narrow your list. While you are here, be sure to grab the free platform selection guide to help you make the right choice faster and smarter. And, if you are ready to create online courses and other online education content, be sure to check out the free Learning Revolutionary's Toolbox!

Image of e-commerce related to sell online courses and online course platforms

To sell online courses, it used to be that you had to master an authoring tool, license a learning management system (LMS) – or come up with a workaround – figure out hosting and e-commerce, and then somehow deal with end user support. These days, you can get across the finish line with little more than the digital video camera in your phone, an Internet connection, and one of the platforms listed here.

In this post, I draw on two decades of experience working with online course platforms to narrow down the options and take a quick look at some of the best of what’s out there for helping you create, market, and sell online courses on the Web. [Read more…]

Will your online course platform still be here tomorrow?

dropped ice cream cone at child's feet

In your search for an online course platform, you may have noticed that the market has gotten quite crowded – which means it’s time to be cautious.

I’ve seen this before – circa 1997 (dotcom days) – when tons of e-learning companies were rushing into the market and investors were throwing money at those companies. I think the frenzy is more legitimate now (and investors aren’t acting as crazy), but still, you can bet that a lot of the platform companies don’t have what it takes to survive.

If you are just dabbling, this isn’t a big deal. But if you currently sell or plan to sell online courses as a significant part of your business, you definitely don’t want to wake up one morning to find the company you depend on has shut it doors.

Now, given that a significant percentage platform companies out there right now are privately held, it’s next to impossible to tell how viable each one is financially, but here are some checks you can perform to help give you confidence your provider, or any provider you are considering, will be around for a while: [Read more…]

Getting Serious About Your “Home Base”

Home base Website - photo of baseball player sliding into home base

Where do your prospective learners go to get details about you and your business? Where can they find strong evidence of the value you offer? Where will they return over time to find new offerings and continue their relationship with you?

For most of us, the answer is – or should be – our main Website, or home base Website,  as I refer to it in Leading the Learning Revolution.

Yes, it may be desirable to have a dedicated platform for managing and delivering your online courses, but most of these platforms don’t really have the flexibility to serve as the focal point of your online presence. And you definitely need a strong, evolving online presence if you are going to be a successful learning entrepreneur over the long haul.

This topic has been top of mind for me lately because one of the projects I’ve undertake is to refresh and revamp my various Web sites. (Yes, I actually have multiple sites that serve as “home bases” for different lines of business.)

Here are 3 key aspects of how I manage my Web sites. [Read more…]

But do I really need an online course platform?

Most people end up on the Learning Revolution Web site because they are looking for an online course platform. And not just any online course platform – they want to be able to sell online courses.

Image of wooden platform to suggest online course platform

That’s all well and good – and I’m happy to provide what help I can – but it’s always worth pausing to ask whether you really need a specialized online course platform. [Read more…]