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The online education industry continues to boom as more and more people enjoy the convenience of studying anywhere, at any time. You could tap into the potentially lucrative field of e-learning by teaching your knowledge and skills to people all around the world, right from your computer.
Read on to learn what you need to know to start your own e-learning business.
E-learning is essentially any training or education that's delivered online through digital devices such as a computer, laptop or mobile phone. This type of learning, which is also known as online education, uses a variety of media and software to create engaging courses that can be taken at the student's convenience, often without the need for scheduled or in-person lessons with a tutor or lecturer.
Broadly, there are two main avenues to consider when starting an e-learning business, and the one you choose will depend on the expertise you have to offer. You could teach one specific skill set, such as website development or yoga and sell a range of courses within that specialism. Alternatively, you could be a more general learning designer and create courses for several different industries. Whichever options works best for you, it'll undoubtedly help to have some background in certain fields of expertise that are linked to the courses you intend to offer.
If you do plan set up an e-learning business as a learning designer (also known as an instructional designer), you'll need a strong background in education and several educational technology skills.
As a minimum, the necessary skills you'll need include as follows:
If you're still unsure of the way to shape your company, you might start by thinking about your work history or hobbies and what you could teach that people would pay for. Our guide outlines the main types of online course platforms available.
If you're setting up an e-learning business which focuses on one specific area of skill, you won't necessarily need any formal qualifications. You can just take your expertise and turn it into one or more online courses that you can package and sell online.
On the other hand, if you want to build a business as a learning designer who creates e-learning courses for companies, it will help to have some formal qualifications.
One of the most recognised qualifications for this field of work in Australia is the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. TAFE offers this course, as do other registered training organisations. It can take between six months and two years to complete, and costs around $1,580 on average, according to Smart and Skilled NSW.
As well as a good-sized laptop or desktop computer, you'll want to add some software and technical equipment to your toolkit:
Before you dive in and start creating courses, you'll want to get clear on your vision for your business. Deciding on a business structure is an important part of getting your business off the ground.
In Australia, these are the main business structures to consider:
Getting all your legal documents in place from the start will help you avoid potential problems down the line. These may include:
There are a range of factors to consider when setting your prices for your online courses, including the cost of creating and marketing the course, your niche, your target audience and competitor rates. Online course prices can cost as low $10 right up to $5,000 or more.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary of an instructional designer (or learning designer) in Australia is about $110,000 per year. Of course, in reality, you could make far less or, on the other hand, significantly more when it comes to your own business.
Building a following through social media, email newsletters and a YouTube channel will give you an audience to sell your courses to. Think about your target audience by considering demographics such as age range, background and interests, then consider putting these marketing tools in place:
Where can I operate my e-learning business?
You can operate your e-learning business from home. All you need is a good office space, desk, chair and computer. You will most likely need a space to create your course content, such as a room to record videos and a sound-proofed area to record quality audio. Read more about how to start your business from home in 2021.
Is it expensive to create e-learning courses?
There are a wide range of course creation tools that vary in prices. You might choose to start with a small budget and use low-cost platforms like Thinkific or Teachable, both of which have free trial options.Back to top
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