3 Steps to Choosing the Right Online Course for You

by Vincent King · 3 comments

Online education

Most people want to earn more money — either online, offline, or both.

Some people take up affiliate marketing to help them earn extra cash — yes, some do it the spammy “get nowhere fast way,” but others take it seriously and do it right, opting for the long and hard, but effective road.

Some people try starting a business online, only to find that they didn’t really understand what was involved.

Then, there’s the guy who just wants to get ahead at the office.

All of these people have one thing in common: they need an education.

Where Can They Get Educated?

Sure, they could spend weeks or months reading blogs, sifting through endless web pages on topics they’re interested in — or they could opt for a legitimate education.

And by legitimate education, I’m talking about an online course with an accessible instructor. With the multitude of options out there, however, it’d be easy to pick incorrectly.

So what happens if you choose the wrong one? At best, you’ll be out a little time. At worst, you’ll get bad advice that leads you down the completely wrong path, causing you to restart completely and lose even more of the time and money you’re trying so hard to keep.

Imagine paying a thousand dollars on an online course where you get nothing but a handful of automated emails sent to you every week, without any instructor interaction. If you don’t understand your lesson, you’re left to the wolves. Yes, you can email and complain. You might get your money back, but even a best case scenario will never return a minute of your time.

So you must know how to decide wisely… and frugally.

How to Choose the Right Online Courses for Your Needs

Choosing the right course or courses (sometimes you need training in more than one area) will put you on the right road to reaching your goals and earning more money.

By following the steps below, you can make an informed decision about which courses to take.

1. Do Your Research

Do an internet search for courses of a similar nature. See how much they’re selling for and what they’re offering.

Follow the teacher on social media for a while. Get a sense of their personality — can you see yourself working well with them? Also, look at their social media influence. Do they have many followers? Do they earn comments on their blog posts?

If they don’t have a following of at least a thousand people, you might want to reconsider their level of expertise. If you’re not seeing engagement on social media or their blog, that’s also worth noting.

2. Ask Questions

Talk to your online network and ask them what they know about the course. Ask the person selling the course. Ask former students. And no matter who you ask, start with the right questions:

What will I be able to do at the end of this course?
How is the course set up?
Is there any teacher/peer interaction?
Is there any peer-to-peer interaction?
How long will it take to master the information? What if I don’t?
Can I speak with former students? (If the answer to this is “no,” run away!)

Questions for former students:
What did you get from the course?
Was it worth your time and money?
Did the teacher respond to your needs quickly?
What type of education did you have before you took this course?

3. Consider Aesthetics

Sometimes it’s okay to judge a book by its cover. If their website or book isn’t professional-looking, don’t drop $500 on their course. Because if they’re selling that course like they say they are, then they’ll invest at least some of that income on their web design and copywriting.

Above all, make sure they offer a “no hassle” money-back guarantee. Even if someone else rocked that course and came out all shiny at the end, it doesn’t mean you will.

The bottom line? Before you lay down big bucks in the name of education, make sure you’re buying an online course that’s well worth your time and money.

Have you taken any online courses? How did you choose them?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonathan February 18, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Excellent advice, especially about following a teacher on social media for a while. By doing so you get a sense of their personality and whether you’ll be able to connect with their style of course delivery. I’d also ask freinds for course recommendations too :)

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artesanatos February 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm

I have taken some online courses already but I always checked its credibility first. You should check who is the institution behind the course, for how long it has been providing courses and if it is recognized by the state as a professional institute.

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Peter June 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Money back guarantee is a must for me. I think it’s the best research you can do. You can do you due diligence and talk to people, but you’re only getting someone else opinion.

Nothing beats taking a look for yourself.

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