Making money while you sleep is wonderful if you can make it happen. If you are a coach, consultant, or thought leader, at some point you will be advised to create an online course.

Just like writing a book, people can buy your course and engage with it on their own schedule. Online courses showcase your knowledge and add an additional revenue stream, which is always a good thing.

But the part that people don’t tell you is many online courses don’t sell well.

And many, quite frankly, aren’t very good.

I reached out to my friend, Lorraine Minister, who is a learning and development expert and digital learning specialist to share her best practices for creating online learning, keeping learners engaged, and getting people to buy your course.

Minister has 20 years of experience creating online courses for big and small companies, and government agencies. She recently went through the process of selecting a learning platform and building this applied behavioral science course for Matt Wallaert, a respected thought leader in behavioral science.

Minister stressed that you need to build your community before you start creating your course. Get them interested and engaged. She also suggested that you talk with them about what content they would like to have in a course. She said that surveys can be helpful, but you get better and richer information by talking with people.

She also recommended that you try out your content and frameworks first to see how people react.

And here’s another pro tip: You can sell your online course in advance or create a wait list to try to gauge interest. (You don’t want to build something people don’t want to buy.)

We talked about why she selected Kajabi as the learning platform, and what you might want to look for as you evaluate platform options.

I highly recommend watching this interview if you are considering creating an online course.

Do not believe the hype, folks. If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. Like any other product or service launch, an online course needs to be created intentionally and with marketing support.