Did you know that by 2025, the eLearning industry is predicted to reach a worth of $325 billion? With such potential for growth, it’s no wonder that you’re reading this article. However, as the industry is highly competitive, it’s imperative to build a stand-out product.
In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in building your own online learning platform, from choosing a niche to marketing your platform after its launch. So, keep reading to learn more.
The Benefits of Building Your Own Platform
There are many benefits to building your own online learning platform from scratch, besides the above mentioned profitability. Here are just a few additional reasons to consider:
- Share Your Unique Teaching Style: Perhaps you’ve developed a new teaching framework that you’re looking to share with fellow teachers and students. Sure, you could utilize an existing learning platform and teach lessons using your unique teaching style, but by building your own system, you can create it around your framework. This will ensure a more robust experience specific to your educational ideas.
- Serve a Specific Niche: You might have identified a gap in the education market–a niche that isn’t being filled. For example, perhaps there is a lack of eLearning websites dedicated to home decorating and you want to be the first to bring such a platform to market. If done properly, this is an excellent way to quickly build a loyal user base who come for your niche-specific features.
- Gain Control Over Features: While there are numerous eLearning platforms available, they may be lacking features or are simply not for you. By creating your own online learning platform, you can take control over features, implementing functionality you feel is important for teachers and students alike.
- Create a Sustainable Business: Once you’ve built a solid user base of students and teachers, if monetized correctly, an online learning platform can serve as a sustainable long-term business.
Now that we’ve explored the above benefits, let’s move on to how you can get started in building your eLearning platform.
Choosing a Niche
Like any project, when building an online learning platform, the first step is to determine a niche. This will enable you to focus your efforts and create a platform that is relevant to a specific audience and also help determine your required functionality. When choosing a niche, you should consider the following factors:
- Your Own Interests and Expertise: Building a platform that not only interests you, but one that you also thoroughly understand, is essential. Otherwise, you may struggle to adequately deal with user and customer service issues, resulting in difficulties in terms of apathy.
- The Needs of the Market: Making a platform for yourself is great, but if you want to build a sustainable business, you’ll also need to consider the needs of the market. Consequently, it’s crucial to explore which features are required based on your target audience’s expectations.
- The Size of the Market: Before moving forward with a certain niche, you’ll also need to determine if your chosen market is large enough to sustain a business. This is because, if your market size is simply too small, your online learning business will likely struggle to survive.
Properly determining your niche and target audience is essential, as it will affect what features you need to develop, your marketing strategy, and your overall planning, which we’ll touch on in the next section.
Creating a Plan
Once you have chosen a niche, you need to create a plan for your platform. This will help you stay organized and make subsequent stages much smoother, ultimately ensuring your platform’s success. For best results, your plan should address the following:
- The Features You Want to Include: What features are relevant to your niche?
- The Technology You Will Use: Is your platform going to be web-based or a cross-platform mobile app based on React Native?
- The Marketing Strategy You Will Use: Will you use paid advertising or attempt to organically market your platform through social media?
- The Budget for Your Platform: How much can you afford to invest in your eLearning platform?
Thoroughly planning your platform will make subsequent stages smoother.
Developing Your Courses
After determining your niche, the next step is to develop your courses. This includes creating the content, assessments and activities, as well as building the technical framework on which the platform will run. When developing your courses, you need to make sure that they are:
- High-Quality: Your course content should use credible sources and not contain any obvious or silly mistakes, such as readability issues. In terms of usability, your eLearning platform must follow proper user interface practice, ensuring interactive elements are clearly highlighted and the interface isn’t cluttered.
- Relevant to Your Target Audience: If your course content and platform features aren’t relevant to your target audience, they might as well use another more generic eLearning platform. For example, if you’re building a platform to teach coding, you’ll need to provide students with access to an in-build code editor and compiler.
- Interactive: Offering interactive courses will help encourage active engagement among students and also make the platform more exciting. This can be done by implementing real-time educational activities, such as solving coding problems, and adding animations to interactive elements like buttons.
Of course, it’s all well and good to recommend your courses are high-quality, but how do you actually build an eLearning platform? Well, you have two options: build it yourself using WordPress and a Learning Management System (LMS) like LearnDash, or hire an expert software development agency to do the work for you.
Marketing Your Platform
Once your courses and platform are developed, you need to market your platform to generate a solid user base and, therefore, a financially sustainable platform. To determine the best overall strategy for your eLearning platform, you should experiment with various marketing methods, including:
- Creating a Website: A website acts as a central hub for information about your online learning platform, providing all essential details and directing visitors to your platform’s sign-up page. Websites also allow for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketing wherein you position your website to appear highly on Google search results.
- Promoting Your Platform Through Social Media: Social media provides an excellent opportunity for both organic and paid advertising. By regularly posting, interacting with followers, and using relevant hashtags, you can make your website discoverable without spending a dime. However, pay-per-click (PPC) ads are also available on most major social media platforms like Instagram and X (formerly Twitter).
- Running Paid Advertising Campaigns: Paid ad campaigns can drive large volumes of traffic to your website, but typically fail to match the customer conversion rate afforded by organic social media marketing. Nevertheless, paid advertising can still be effective in boosting brand awareness.
You should spend some time experimenting with these marketing methods and determine which is best for your platform.
Contact Idea Maker To Make Your Learning Platform
Does this sound like a lot of work? Well, if you’d like to focus on teaching instead of developing your platform, you’re in the right place. At Idea Maker, we have a team of dedicated experts ready to build your platform to the highest degree. So, schedule a free consultation with us today to get started.