Episode 94

3 Business Models for Online Course Entrepreneurship for WordPress and Other Technologists

As a digital technology professional there are many opportunities open to you, including online course development. In this LMScast Chris Badgett describes 3 business models for online course entrepreneurship for WordPress and other technologists like you.

Technology, coding, and programming courses were among the first to be offered online. Languages and technologies such as WordPress, PHP, Python, or Ruby on Rails change constantly. The only way for students and technicians to stay current is to either learn on their own or find online courses, because traditional college computer science programs simply can’t keep up.

You may have seen or taken courses through Codecademy or Treehouse. If you’re a good teacher and you know your subject, there’s no reason why you can’t teach the latest technologies, too. All you need is a desire to become an online course entrepreneur and an idea of where to start. We’re going to give you 3 business models to help you decide.

The first model is the simplest: Teach a course on the language or technology you know best. Even if your market is already saturated, you can outshine the competition and present a fresh approach to an existing market. You can design and build your own course environment from scratch using a course development platform like our LifterLMS, or hire a service like our Boost service to build it for you quickly and professionally.

The second business model is to create a platform for others to publish their own courses. You would charge a fee or commission to support courses at WordPress, WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, and others. You could also offer your own courses on advanced WordPress, custom theme creation, and building plugins on that platform. A great example is WP101, which is powered by LifterLMS.

Your third business model option is to create online courses and learning management systems for other people who want to teach online courses, but don’t want to build it themselves. All they have to create is the core instructional design and content. You can provide this service for any industry such as fitness, business, languages, music, or technology.

If you’re looking for a fresh approach to doing what you do best and an opportunity to scale your business globally, then these 3 business models for online course entrepreneurship for WordPress and other technologists can get you started. And if you want someone else to set up your learning management platform so you can get busy teaching, we offer that service as well. You can find out more at our LifterLMS WordPress Courses page.

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris: Hello and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and in this episode we’re going to be talking about three business models for online course entrepreneurship for WordPress and other technologists. What are we talking about here? We’re talking about experts in technology, be that WordPress or other types of digital technology. There’s a big opportunity in the online course space. Just to paint the landscape, a lot of history and eLearning actually began with technology courses as kind of a beachhead market. It’s no secret that a lot of college computer science programs and things like that have had a really hard time keeping up with the rapid pace of change and introduction of new technology.

What ends up happening is if you want to learn a technology like WordPress, or PHP, or Python, or Ruby on Rails there’s really two ways to go about it. One way is to do it yourself and just start messing around with it, and literally teaching yourself. The other way is to try to find a course. What’s happening more and more is that with these … These technologies are changing so rapidly and just new ones are appearing so quickly that the traditional school system can’t keep up with those. That’s why there’s been this proliferation of online courses in the technology, or programming, or coding space to meet that very heavy demand. You may have heard of online course platforms for technology like Codecademy, Team Treehouse. There’s courses on Udemy and so on about WordPress and all these technologies, so if you’re a technologist there’s a really big opportunity with online courses that’s probably not new to you.

You got to make the decision to move forward if you want to pursue that as another business model. If you are a technologist you might be just trading your time for money doing technology as a service, either as a freelancer or somebody who executes inside of another business. If you’re interested in pursuing creating some online courses and you’re a good teacher, you have the raw ingredients to make the course there’s really three business models I want to draw your attention to if you’re interested in online course entrepreneurship.

The first is simply just your technology courses. That’s where you teach. You put up a website, a platform where you teach courses. Whether that’s WordPress or specific parts of the WordPress ecosystem, or eCommerce, or whatever it is. How to build membership sites, whatever your niche is, you put up your courses. You can do that on a hosted solution somewhere else. You may end up in a very crowded marketplace which can be good if your course is really good and there’s already people over there. You can start from scratch and build your own platform and your own courses. That’s your technology courses.

The second model is your technology course publishing platform. Now, there’s a lot of opportunity here. This is where you take a step back from being the expert and putting your courses out there, and perhaps you’ll still do that but, what you’re also going to do is you’re going to create a platform where other people are going to also publish their courses on your platform so that you create more of a publishing model. Kind of like the way the book industry works where you’re the publisher, you have some kind of royalty or commission structure with your other instructors courses and you put that out there. An example of that would be if you have a WordPress course or you’re in the WordPress niche you could have courses on basic WordPress. You could have courses of WooCommerce. You could have courses at Yoast SEO. You could have courses on more advanced WordPress programming and dealing with custom post types, and building themes, building plugins. Getting into all kind of the nooks and crannies of what makes WordPress wonderful with all these different kind of ecosystems and niches that surround it as a tool. You could create a platform like that.

If you want to see a great example of an online course platform for WordPress, check out WP101. That’s wp101.com which is actually powered by LifterLMS. That platform is starting to have more as a publisher business model where besides the owner there’s other courses coming on their taught by other people and so on.

Now, the third business model that you can do is you can create online courses or learning management systems for other people as a service business. There’s lot of experts out there who are not interested in becoming masters of technology. We do that at LifterLMS. If you go to lifterlms.com/my-wp-courses. If there’s a technologist out there who’s interested in having us get the platform up in five days so that all they have to do is record their screen capture videos and teach the content … Do that instructional design and collect all the expert material. We can get that platform up and running super fast in five days, so that that person is then ready to roll. You could also do that. There’s so many industries out there, even outside of technology whether that’s health and fitness, think about yoga classes, or some kind of marketing course, or a language learning course, or music course. There’s a lot of experts out there who need a technology partner to help bring them into the modern opportunity, the modern online course opportunity, and get their courses on the web. You can do that as a service business for other people.

That’s three quick business models for online course entrepreneurship for the WordPress community. Really any technologist out there who has some kind of technology, there’s an opportunity to scale that and teach that at global scale on the web. If you are interested … If you’re a technologist and you have your programming language or whatever your technology is, whether it’s WordPress or not, and you’re interested in having somebody else set up the actual learning platform, the online course platform, I’d encourage you to find out more at lifterlms.com/my-wp-courses. We can continue the conversation over there. Again, that’s lifterlms.com/my-wp-courses. All right.

Well, just because the online course ecosystem is full of a lot of technology courses it doesn’t mean that the opportunity is over there and whoever taught the first course on WordPress, or PHP, or Ruby on Rails, or what have you is done. Because these technologies are changing so rapidly and new one are coming to market there’s always more opportunity, especially today, to use one of these business models and develop a solid business around that.

All right. Well, thank you for listening to this episode of LMScast, and we’ll catch you in the next one.

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