Are Online Courses Over or a Thing of the Past?

So…let’s take a minute to address the elephant in the room; the question everyone is thinking…


The peak-pandemic panic has subsided a bit, and things are opening up safely. Does this mean I missed my chance at creating more leverage in my business through an online course?

This is a question we’ve been hearing a lot lately. And, it makes sense! The world of eLearning and online courses was discovered by many at the start of the pandemic. Even those that had an online course on their pre-pandemic radar were catapulted into exploring the digitization of their business’s content in the early months of 2020.

Nearing the decade mark of helping experts create their online courses, we’ve seen many shifts in the online course world (from innovative technology to trends in content development and marketing). Of those shifts, it constantly surprises us how industry profit projections far surpass forecasts.

Even back in the pre-pandemic days, the online course world was booming. In 2018, Forbes reported that Research and Markets were forecasting the eLearning industry to grow to $325 Billion by 2025. Now? As of February 2022, Research and Markets has estimated that the Global eLearning Market will reach $457.8 Billion by 2026.

It is an incredibly lucrative time to create your online course.

When the pandemic started, it was no surprise that businesses took a hit. Schools closed, offices told their employees to work from home, mass layoffs occurred, conferences and workshops were canceled, brick-and-mortars closed up, and the world as we knew it changed in an instant.

Coaches, consultants, and anyone with a facilitation/teaching-others type of business generally went in three different directions when faced with a decision to pivot their business.

  1. The first group scrambled into quick action mode. They began to reframe how they did business by creating new offers around their existing experiences. These business owners KNEW that they needed to change the way they did business, and they needed to do it fast. Through research and investing in the support, they were able to build and begin marketing online courses in the midst of our early pandemic days.
  2. The next group decided to try and keep business as usual (as much as they could) by utilizing tools like Zoom or Google Meet. This was a great way for someone to keep momentum going within their business; however, it’s difficult to scale a business that’s still stuck in time-for-money mode.
  3. The third trend we saw were those who decided to hit pause and wait it out. These are the folks that chose to wait for things to get back to “normal.” While they likely predicted their business would take some sort of a hit, they decided that investing in a completely different way of engaging with their clients just wasn’t something they were ready to do at the time. Which is totally understandable in the midst of an extremely unsettling time!

At some point over the last few years, we all began to realize that it was time to embrace this “new normal.” The landscape of how we do business and how customers prefer to work with businesses, is forever changed. You may have planned to wait-it-out at first, but it is still a great time to create digital assets and online flexibility within your business.

Higher Education Follows the Trend

Another major indicator that the world is transitioning to more of an eLearning approach is evident in what’s happening in Higher Education. Universities around the world are offering more digital resources, more online learning course options, blended learning models (expanding in-person learning to also include online components), and more degree opportunities that can be solely obtained in an online setting. This is also creating an adult population who is becoming increasingly comfortable with online learning. This is setting a significant standard for how adults will prefer to learn throughout their lives.

Many of the universal trends in eLearning are present in online courses within teaching others businesses as well. Over the last decade (thanks to modern technology and ample research on how people best engage), we’ve cracked the code of creating leveraged offers that build relationships with your audience.

You can absolutely scale your business all while serving more people who need your support. And, it doesn’t take a huge following up front to get your course out there (yet another reason online courses are extremely lucrative). According to Thinkific platform data, 62% of online course participants in 2021 were part of courses whose creators had less than 10k followers.

Folks that think they missed the course creation wave also tend to think that people are burnt out on taking online courses.

The truth is, people are just burnt out on experiences that don’t produce results!

And there are a lot of lackluster online offerings out there these days…

Think about anything you engage with to learn or grow. Not all learning experiences are created equal, and that’s why learners prioritize options that will bring them value. When you, the course creator, invest in a proven approach to creating an online experience, you will keep your audience engaged and help them achieve a specific end-result.

Today’s successful online course trends are much different than generic training videos of the past. They’re engaging, well-designed, offer interactive opportunities for learners to practice, and are focused on specific results. The ways we can connect with our audiences through online courses are endless.

Here are a few course elements that enhance the value of online learning experience:

  • A community element: Having your audience engage with others as they’re working towards a specific end result is powerful. Hearing different experiences as folks navigate the course’s process can lead to aha moments that may not even be a part of the overall curriculum.
  • Feedback: Adding QA sessions, virtual workshops, or recorded feedback opportunities allow your audience to feel validated as they work through their experience.
  • Structuring your course experience for success: Through learning techniques that address various methods of engagement and learning strategies, you’re sure to engage your audience (no matter what their learning preferences are).

Focusing on creating an engaging, results-based experience including these elements means you can set yourself apart in highly competitive markets. With these proven strategies, you can feel confident and fully equipped to launch your results-driven online course out into the world.

Your dream to help more people and scale your business, all while creating the space to do more of what you love, is within reach!

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to be prepared for the unexpected. Creating an online course creates the insulation your business needs to be able to handle the curve balls that this world throws our way.

Now is the time to grow your business by leaning into the growing demand for online courses.

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