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Need tips for writing an e-courseViews: 2064
Jul 10, 2006 5:19 amNeed tips for writing an e-course#

Barb Desmarais

I've recently been encouraged to write an e-course as a way to generate passive income as well as provide an affordable product to my target market. I've never put one together before so I've been looking around at others to check prices, length of courses and how they're presented on websites.

Does anyone have at tips for me? I'm a parenting coach so the course would be specifically aimed at parents and my plan is to write short courses that focus on a particular age group.



Private Reply to Barb Desmarais

Jul 10, 2006 11:53 pmre: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Ron Amundson
It really depends on what you intend to achieve.

A me too course is easy, its pretty much a verbatim copy of something you would create in a book format, with maybe a few q-a at the end. They are a dime a dozen and easy to create, but have little unique value, other than perhaps a slightly different spin on a topic. If you are marketing to an established client base, and just want to brand something, this is simple and fast.

The other extreme is the creation of a learning environment, leveraging the capability of the web. Multimedia, interaction, team based projects, interactive testing and achievement statistical measurement, programmed learning, etc. The sky is the limit. Otoh, the overhead to create such a presentation is intense, and you really want to be sure that your market is interested before going down that path.

And its not an either or, the vast majority of e-courses are aligned with the me too variant, yet a few take steps towards the learning environment approach. My guess is that over time, more and more people will gravitate toward the higher end approach, as the me-too arena gets saturated.

Thank you

Private Reply to Ron Amundson

Jul 11, 2006 12:37 amre: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Dan Cadieux
Hi Barb,

I am going to be getting into the writing area also in about a month and have been doing some research. There are a number of websites offering to help you write (which is what you are ultimately doing). One such website that I have found useful is www.SoYouWantToWrite.com . I will likely be purchasing one of their products when I am ready to start writing.

I hope that helps and good luck writing!


Private Reply to Dan Cadieux

Jul 11, 2006 6:19 pmre: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Shari Thomas
Hi Barb,

A few years back, I wrote an e-book that was a "how-to" for customizing a dedicated search engine. At the time, I was working for them as their primary customer service rep.

I know this is a lot different from parenting, as I had a framework to work from... I simply provided a simple explanation of each screen and a direct interpretation of the help files... (written by the program creator).

Before I put a price tag on the book, I asked the membership what they thought would be a fair price, and used their responses as a guideline.

The responses ranged from "I don't believe you should charge anything... The program owner should pay you big bucks and then give it away." to... WOW! I'd give an arm and a leg for this book.

In the end, I settled at $29.95 as that was the "going price" for e-books of it's kind. It contained information that was not readily available and cut many hours off the learning curve for that program.

We (my partner and I) successfully sold over 400 e-books. In fact, I just sold one the other day.

Bottom line, don't be afraid to ask the folks who want you to write what they're willing to pay. Also ask what they want to know... that way you can better target your information.

Hope this has helped.
Shari Thomas
Professional web copywriter and e-book author

Private Reply to Shari Thomas

Jul 12, 2006 6:31 amre: re: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Barb Desmarais
Ron,Dan and Shari ~

Thank you for the feedback and tips. I appreciate it a lot.

Shari, congratulations to you on the success of your e-book. I've written one and would love to see those kinds of numbers.

I have a very strong presence on a couple of online communites for moms. I think I'll put together a poll to get some idea of what people would buy.

Thanks again.



Private Reply to Barb Desmarais

Jul 12, 2006 10:27 pmre: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Michael R Clayton
Hi Barb,

There is a community called writingup. It is fairly new but growing fast.

As the name suggests it attracts people interested it all types of writing and from what I have seen there are many good writers there.

You may find the information you need.

Visit my ryze profile for a link.

Regards Michael

Private Reply to Michael R Clayton

Jul 13, 2006 5:04 pmre: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Ken Lee
Hi Barb,

I would say that the first question before you write is to ask. What is the greatest demand for? I am old enough to remember Dr Spock books, etc. Today is a far different world, probably because of Dr Spock (tic). Probably you are going to need to narrow your field also because of WAHM,D, busy lifestyles, home schoolers, etc.


Private Reply to Ken Lee

Jul 14, 2006 4:06 amre: re: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Barb Desmarais
Thanks Michael and Ken!

There are a zillion parenting books on the market so I would love to write something that hasn't been written before. I think the e-book I've written is a gem but I've done a poor job of marketing it.

You've given me something to think about. I think I'll come up with some different e-course titles and run a poll.

I'm grateful there are so many talented and knowledgeable people here!



Private Reply to Barb Desmarais

Jul 14, 2006 4:17 amre: re: re: Need tips for writing an e-course#

GiGi Gaggero

Barb it is good to see you back again....

I assume you will be plugging this course on your radio show eh?

Please make a book for moms surviving pre-teen girls.............

Kids Culinary Adventures...Where Math, Reading, Science and Art mix with kids!

Love Food? Listen to talk radio? Come and get” In the Mix with me!!” Love what you eat... and eat what you love!

Private Reply to GiGi Gaggero

Jul 14, 2006 4:57 amre: re: re: re: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Reg Charie
>>>>Please make a book for moms surviving pre-teen girls.............

Better make it a series and include the teen years too.

Reg .. Been there.. done that.. Arrrrrghhh.

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Jul 14, 2006 10:49 amre: re: re: re: re: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Denise O'Berry
Barb --

I'm thrilled to see that our MYOB members have come through with some great advice once again. One of the things you'll want to make sure and do is test your price point. That's the best way to find out what is going to work with your target market. A small adjustment in price one way or another can make a big difference on your bottom line.

Take a minute to hop over to my blog and read Pricing Your Products -- Art or Science?. And make sure you get a copy of the downloadable report that is identified there.

Best regards,

Denise O'Berry
MYOB Network Leader

P.S. Got the cash flow blues? Here's your solution - "Small Business Cash Flow:
Strategies for Making Your Business A Financial Success" (Wiley, Oct 2006)
Find out more at http://www.cashflowtruth.com

Private Reply to Denise O'Berry

Jul 14, 2006 7:16 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Need tips for writing an e-course#

GiGi Gaggero

Hi Denise, Long time, I know.. Kids Culinary Adventures has been experiencing an unexpected growth spurt.. Yippee! Hence some growing pains.. OUCH!LOL !

Anyway, Wow ! I just went thought your article! Loved it..

I usually find all your stuff informative.. this one seems to really grab me.

I also went on as suggested,to see the marketing experiment on price testing.

As I followed though the experiment.I did flinch a few times, as it felt I was back in the old statistics classes in college...

This info is no joke.

Thanks for this very valuable information... I think it deserves it's own thread!


Kids Culinary Adventures...Where Math, Reading, Science and Art mix with kids!

Love Food? Listen to talk radio? Come and get” In the Mix with me!!” Love what you eat... and eat what you love!

Read what the San Francisco Chronicle had to say about Kids Culinary Adventures!

Private Reply to GiGi Gaggero

Jul 14, 2006 7:42 pmre: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Hi Barb,
As an instructional developer, I approach an e-course in terms of first what is it that you want to teach, specifically, and who wants and who needs to learn it. Because you are looking at this from a product perspective with perhaps the idea of selling as much of it as you can, the starting point is more like who wants to learn what, specifically. The specificity is the important part. (Think more than one course). Once you've identified the body of knowledge you're passing on, you break it down into specific learning objectives, then decide how to meet each one in a way that addresses the learner's needs, motivation and enjoyment. You'll have to balance the enjoyment and the weight, or meat of the topic. There's a wealth of vehicles you can use; for example, a pre-quiz works well, which can be followed up with a post-course one. A post self-assessment of some kind is important, for the human being wants to know that they have learned something, gained knowledge: ROI. Your field is wide-open for a wealth of topics. I've developed e-courses and learning materials, etc, from the smallest to the biggest, for casual to most formal situation, and can tell you the basic principles (of human cognition, learning, motivation) applied are the most successful. This is getting too long, so feel free to contact me to talk more, if you like. I'm a little busy right now, but I *will* get back to you.


Private Reply to bellascribe

Jul 15, 2006 12:46 amre: re: re: re: re: re: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Barb Desmarais
Denise, I read your blog on pricing. Wow - there really is a science to this. The longer I'm in business and the more I learn about marketing, the more I realize I don't know.

I'm on a parent's network here on Ryze, I might run some of my topic ideas by them.

Peg, I like your idea of the assessments. People like to be to guage how they're doing.

Now my head is spinning.

Been there done that, heh Reg? I see you survived it all.

GG - we'll have to chat about pre-teens. Get ready.



Private Reply to Barb Desmarais

Mar 19, 2008 2:11 amre: re: re: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Linda Walker

I'm just now finishing the first eBook of my Maximum Productivity Makeover program and am getting ready to test it with a few good clients.

To develop it and make it relevant to your business, I would strongly suggest that you consider the following questions:

1. what are the building blocks that your clients have to go through to finally become "great parents", ie. what information do they need?

for example, 1) they need to understand their role; 2) they need to learn the best ways to discipline their kids... 3) how to communicate so kids listen; 4) how to create communication channels that allow kids to talk to you.... I don't know, just making things up from my own experience as a parent.

Once you've done that you can either develop each block separately as an ebook or write a bird's eye view of what parents need to learn to be great parents.

You can then develop programs from that directed at parents who purchased your ebook... the sky's the limit.

Good luck!


Linda Walker
Entrepreneur Coach

Private Reply to Linda Walker

Mar 19, 2008 2:27 amre: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Linda Walker
By the way, forgot to mention, it's really really really important to make in your life to write. I find my best most creative time is in the morning so every morning, I have breakfast and write for an hour. Great way to advance in your project if you make it a non-negotiable time, that is, if it's a firm commitment with yourself. Good writing! Linda

Private Reply to Linda Walker

Jun 25, 2008 3:04 pmre: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Susan James
I was getting ready to post on my books turning into my own
bookstore, when I saw your message on ecourses..

Ive done well with mine, and they were based on my books, so Im
able to do lots of cross promos..

I first designed them as ecourses delivered thru email,
then I turned them also into paperback book forms which I sell thru amazon for 69.00.

Ive sold all but 2 of the 500 that I had printed...
and thru my new bookstore, Im now offering the courses
in ebook form and at a lesser price.

I have one of the courses offered thru an online university
program..which is how it all got started...as they asked
me to offer my courses thru them.

Best Success with your ebook courses...they have been one of
the best things Ive done, that I dont have to re-create.

Id be glad to answer any questions, if you feel I may be of
some assistance.

Susan James

Private Reply to Susan James

Jun 29, 2008 1:21 amre: re: Need tips for writing an e-course#

tony harris
There are a lot of softwares too that can help you out with writing an ebook or making an ecourse. You are heading to the right direction too by joining business networking group to gain info and knowledge about your interests. You can also do business networking at http://www.schmoozii.com there are a lot of guys there who knows about writing an ebook or doing an ecourse..


Private Reply to tony harris

Oct 20, 2008 8:50 amre: Need tips for writing an e-course#

Paula Millar
Hey, Barb,

Look into a new elearning site, www.Coggno.com. They have an interesting self geneating elearning site. All the tool and even some tools for engineers to data that really specific.

The neat part is that it takes you courses and markets them to different catagories. As long a you stay in the system it doesn't cost anyting but if you do your own marketing out side of their system it will cost you a 7$ licencing fee.. Cheap!
It's all pretty clean and simple.

Paula Mary

Paula Mary, eWings Biblical Coaching

Private Reply to Paula Millar

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