Online education has seen a massive growth spurt in the last half a decade. Online education is witnessing this growth majorly due to the COVID.

Today, the facet of education has evolved and isn’t confined to traditional bookish knowledge like it was a few years back.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled online school’s popularity today, it was not an obsolete concept before that. It was just that the exposure to the idea wasn’t very profound. With the world witnessing this sudden shift from traditional classroom-based education to digital means, more and more educators and coaches are now tapping into starting an online school.

And, to be fair, the process isn’t as easy it seems. There are many steps involved, not to mention many various resources that need to be put in place. Here, we have shared every nitty-gritty you need to know about starting an online school in 2021.

Why Should You Start an Online School in 2023?

The concept of education is evolving with every passing day. Long gone are the days when students depended just on the textbooks and library for their knowledge. There has been a drastic shift in acquiring knowledge, and the internet is on the top of the list.

Online schools help students access education from anywhere and anytime that they want. However, the benefits of starting an online school aren’t limited to just the needs of the students. It enables educators to capitalize from it or create it as a side hustle.

online learning statisticsWith the consistent introduction to new technologies and innovations, many platforms are already available with the much-needed software development background. This means that people wouldn’t have to worry about the primary ground conditions.

It is also a myth that only established entities get maximum benefits from starting an online school, especially because of their exposure. But that is far from the truth. The success of an online school isn’t dependent on how big your establishment or outreach is. If you have the needed skills and knowledge to teach, nothing is stopping you from starting an online school.

To sum it up now is the ideal time to start an online school because:

  • The demand is high, with the availability of online schools being less.
  • Students and parents are seeking Covid-safe environments for students to learn from
  • Students are willing to learn outside of the traditional bookish knowledge.

Types of Online School Business Models

If you are wondering about an online school set up and overall available business models, there are three primary categories to choose from:

Night school model – Under this, the students pay a one-time fee to access all the study modules and materials under the course or study program.

Academy model – In this, the students pay a recurring monthly or annual subscription fee to access the online courses.

Combined model – For the students who want to go beyond the realms of traditional and course-bound learning, the combined model allows them to access the standard courses under the subscription model with excess access to the additional premium courses with extra levied charges.

The Academy or Combined business models are the most profitable of the lot, especially since they involve recurring payment options. It ensures that you get monthly profits with no stagnancy in the income.

However, maintaining such online school models is tough, especially since you need to keep up with your content quality. Students will only willingly pay monthly fees if they get value out of the experience.

How to Start Your Own Online School in 2023?

While we have touched base with all the basics of what and why, we discuss how to start an online school. This is crucial because not having a set concrete plan about the online school will only disappoint.

Also, try and build your online reputation first. It could be via a YouTube channel or even an Instagram page. You want to start with a minimal base audience that finds your content helpful and approachable. Otherwise, starting an online school with no outreach will eventually result in a failed business model.

That said, the following are the top steps you need to keep in mind when starting your online school business.

1. Identify your Target Audience

When we are talking about the online school business, we are primarily focused on niche-based options. You want your online school to focus on one niche as a start out. And, your ideal niche of online school would be the subject that you excel in.

If you are good with veganism and vegan cooking, your online school can be surrounding the said subject. That said, keep in mind that your target audience will include people who are vegan or want to convert into a vegan full-time.

Identify your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is crucial because you need to tailor-make your content surrounding their needs. Your prospects, or in this case, the students, will only invest their money when they learn something worthwhile.

Consider their age, demographics, location, the kind of struggle points they have reached out to you with. These are some of the essential pointers that can help you curate your best online school module.

Knowing your target audience and the allied demographics helps you prepare a pricing chart for your school, develop the branding and overall marketing schemes, and the kind of content calendar that you will update for the online school.

Center your knowledge around the problems and shortcomings of the students. Cater them the solution that they are likely looking for.

2. Focus on the Branding and Website

Since we are talking about an online school, it goes without saying that you need to develop a website for the same.

While you are working on the fully functional website, make sure that you simultaneously work on the landing page. This is where you will redirect your prospects and persuade them to enroll in your online school.

However, an online school’s needs don’t stop at a website. You also need to invest in good branding skills. Focus on designing a logo for the school along with the mission and values.

Focus on the Branding and WebsiteAlso, while developing a website, ensure that it is navigable and very minimalistic. You want to space out your content and make it skimmable. Find a user-friendly website template that is easy to scroll through on the desktop and mobile devices too.

  • Besides the landing page, fill your website with different sections that let your students know more about you and your online school objective. Just having a single web-page with the subscription form will seem very salesy and be one of the biggest turn-offs for people.
  • Instead, include sections like “Blogs” and “Promotions” where you can share more inputs and knowledge and even have unique promotion offers that ensure potential conversions in the future.
  • Don’t forget to add a testimonials page too. This helps instill better trust in the potential students’ minds and persuades them to invest in your online school.

Must Read: The secret to create a great landing page

3. Emphasize the Core Skills

Having a set of cornerstone content emphasizing the core skills learned in the online school is crucial. This part of the website will highlight the introductory courses and learning that the students can benefit from under the standard course.

Mentioning a clear notion surrounding the core skills helps you attract new students and nurture the existing ones. It helps everyone have a clear understanding of what one can expect from an online school.

Say, you have an online school that focuses on Freelancing as a Business. For this, you can tune your cornerstone content into three sections –

  • Basics – How to start a career as a freelancer?
  • Acquire – How to find high-paying clients as a beginner in the freelancing field?
  • Sales – How to convert warm leads into high-paying clients?

These are the three excellent skills that your online school might be teaching students and these would be covered under the basic and standard business model.

You just need to ensure that the niche of teaching in your online school is long-term and not something that’s trending at the moment. When you are trying to build your online course surrounding a trending subject, you need to invest consistent time and money in wiring new content every day. This makes the process very hectic and tiresome.

So, try and invest your time in building an online course or an online school that emphasizes a timeless subject.

4. Focus on the Content for the Course

There is nothing more important in your online school than the content you are sharing. You need to invest your time in creating and curating a subject or course that provides value, is unique and profitable for the masses to invest their money on.

The first and likely the most crucial thing you need to do is find an ideal niche for your online school. It could deal with anything ranging from bare schooling essentials for children to a freelancing career niche for adults. The niche needs to be something that you know about.

Start an online school - Content for the CourseWhen developing your online school content, make sure that you divide the process into individual steps. Ensure that you always have your first-course content ready to go before you make your online school live. Having an inventory is extremely important if you don’t want to rush things and make your students wait.

As for the kind of formats you can prepare your content for, it can include:

  • Recorded Videos
  • Pdfs
  • Printable Worksheets That the Students can work on.

Once you launch the first part of your course, you can then have enough buffer to work on subsequent uploads.

Once the course content is ready to go, you can choose a platform to host the accessible teaching modules and content. Sometimes, they can be available via secure logins to the website, and sometimes you can rely on individual platforms to host your school course.

5. Build your video on demand infrastructure 

Selecting the right video-class platform can make or break the flow of content delivery for your online school. You need to find a platform that can help you manage the consistent flow of content, audio and video galleries, and also the schedules involved in the same.

VOD infrastructure to start an online school  

The right online platform will help you keep an eye on the progress and even track the growth of the online school. Since these systems are automated, it reduces the risks of human errors and saves you a lot of time. It also keeps up with the KPIs and helps you track the progress of the learners.

Learning the progress and the performance indicators helps you find the shortcomings and then work and improve on them in the future.

6. Make Emails your Primary Mode of Communication

Much like how standard schools have a principal for seamless communication of the latest updates and new releases, the same goes for online schools too. Only that, you need to leverage a digital means of communication between you and the students.

And, there is nothing that beats Email communication. It is versatile, formal, and accessible from across the world.

Having a formal email channel of communication helps you deliver all the upcoming events and course modules that will be shared or launched inside the school. Emails can be used as a way to:

  • Welcome new students to the school
  • Update students about new course additions
  • Alert students about changes or delays in the uploads
  • Share promotional codes or offers
  • Get feedback about the progress of the online school

7. Indulge in Online Marketing

There is no point investing hours after hours on building an online school from scratch if you are not going to market it to potential students. This is where the majority of the people go wrong. Marketing your online school through the proper channels can:

  • Enhance exposure
  • Channel better sales
  • Promote the growth of the online school
  • Make it known worldwide

The easiest way of marketing is by using your existing marketing channels, be it YouTube, Instagram, or even Facebook, for that matter.

If you have an email list, shoot everyone an email with the recent updates about the online school and the kind of vision and objective you have surrounding it.

Moreover, you can always use your existing marketing channels to drop teasers about the upcoming project instead of just sharing a direct link the day it launched. Teasers and sneak peek build up the momentum and keep your audience on the toes and intrigues about what’s to come.

In case you don’t have a lot of expertise with marketing and branding, you can always outsource the process to a professional to say scalable results.

8. Keep up with the Metrics

Creating your online school doesn’t stop once the course is launched and you have a few hundred students in. That is where your actual work starts – keeping an eye on the analytics.

You must have the metrics measuring tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel in place, especially if you don’t want to see how well the online school performs.

  • Tools like Google Analytics help you get an idea about the website traffic and the website’s content outreach metrics. It enables you to keep up with the on-page timings, the countries you are witnessing the most traffic influx from, and daily visits to the website.
  • On the other hand, Facebook Pixel keeps track of the website analytics and the traffic data to further help you strategize your Facebook ad campaigns.

These are two of the best tools that you can leverage for keeping track of the data and the after-results after the launch of the online school.

2 Best Examples of Online School

If you want to start your online school, you need to start with your basic research. Seeing possible competitors and noting their strategies is an excellent place to start. After all, you need to lead by example. And, for that, you need to perfect the course you are offering.

Here, we are going to share two live examples of online schools that are flourishing.

1. Magic Stream

Magic Stream - Online SchoolImage source

While several online schools are focusing on your traditional science and maths, Magic Stream is very unique. This is for the potential magicians who want to learn new skills and perfect their existing ones.

However, the best part about this online school of Magic is the available content. It is much like Netflix, where you get to access movies and web series online. They have video tutorials and explanations for new tricks that the students can learn from.

Their content is evolving every day, meaning that the developer consistently adds new video tutorials for the students. The best part is that the school is accessible to everyone for a small recurring fee every month.

Here are a few things that Magic Stream an ideal example of online school:

  • Evergreen content with constant updates
  • Affordable subscription fees making it accessible for everyone
  • Easy to manage layouts and themes
  • Have harbored a community of loyal students over time
  • Channels passive income every month

2. HustlePost Academy

HustlePost Academy - Online SchoolImage source

If you are tired of working at your standard 9-5 jobs and want to bring about some good changes, HustlePost Academy is the best online school for that. Developed by Saloni Srivastava, a popular Indian YouTuber and an Entrepreneur, this online school’s primary objective is to transform your life and make the most out of your side hustles.

With HustlePost Academy, you get:

  • 8-hour long foundation course
  • 12 monthly mini-courses
  • Consistent resources in the form of PDFs, webinars, etc.
  • Weekly group coaching calls
  • Facebook group for a thriving community

This online school is built on the night school business model wherein you pay a one-time fee for the entire annual course. But, the reason why HustlePost Academy is an ideal example of a thriving online business school model is because:

  • The founder had enough influence before launching the online school
  • It targets a rising niche, freelancing, where there is less guidance on the internet
  • The content is continually being updated, keeping students hooked and helping bring in more students too
  • Pre-recorded video lessons reduce the constant burden of needing to work consistently on the subjects
  • Affordable subscription fees make the course more accessible

Conclusion: Read to Start an Online School? 

If you are planning to start your online school, there is no better time than now. The pandemic and people’s need for consistent self-growth has propelled people to rely on online education, now more than ever.

You need not be an expert in online businesses for you to make your online business school profitable. All you need to do is proper research, develop ideal investment models, and a long-term strategy for the online school’s growth.

Keep in mind that starting an online school now is exceptionally lucrative. Just ensure that you leverage the ideal resources and do proper research before you end up investing all your life savings.

If you are looking to launch your online school, try Mastera’s free trial