Do you ever wonder if an online course is worth your money?
Do you have a hard time knowing what courses are worth investing in when there are so many courses out there?
That’s something I struggle with too, sometimes.
Let me make a confession. I’m an online course junkie.
When I have a few extra dollars, I’ll often splurge on an online writing course, a blogging course bundle, or a course subscription site.
Some online courses have been worth my money by increasing my skills. Other online courses were a waste of my time and money. And there are many more courses that are collecting virtual dust.
I love courses so much, I even crossed to the creator side and built two transcription courses.
Maybe you’re like me and have a bunch of online courses you’re meaning to take one day, but you never get around to it. Perhaps you have been burned by poor courses or just don’t feel like you have the time as a busy mother.
Yet you know there are good courses out there that can help you with your business and goals.
So how do you know when you should splurge and invest a course or skip the “buy” button and move on? Here are 7 ways to help you decide that an online course is worth your money.
The course aligns with your goals
The most important rule is to only buy courses that align with your goals and where you are. If the course won’t move your progress forward, then why spend your time and money on it?
So I ask myself, “Is this the right course for me, right now?”
Maybe your focus this quarter is on building your website to attract new clients. So an advanced course on how to create Facebook Ads is a distraction. That course may be helpful to you in a few years. But it distracts you from working on what’s most important to your business right now: building a website.
Instead, you should be teaching yourself how to build a website, put together a portfolio, and market to new clients.
Courses that focus on those skills align with your current goal.
The instructor is top notch
The next thing I look at when I’m thinking about buying a course is the instructor.
A good instructor can help you build your skills at a faster rate than you piecing together material on your own or learning by trial and error.
A poor instructor will waste your time and money.
Many instructors offer a small free course or let you sample a section of their paid course. This is a good way to see if their teaching style meshes with you.
If you’re amazed at the quality of their free material and what you learn, chances are that you’ll be impressed with their paid course.
You can also search through their blog or website to see the quality of material they offer. Browsing their site also gives a general sense of how much experience they have and if they’re an expert in their area of expertise.
The course is well o
Some courses jump from topic to topic without much thought.
Others are designed to take you from point A to Point B.
You can get a sense of how organized the course is by browsing through their curriculum and the lesson titles. This helps you see:
- What the course covers
- The skills you’ll learn
- Materials needed
- How much time to dedicate to the course.
When I’m building completely new skills, I like step by step courses that guide me from beginning to end.
If I’m more familiar with a topic, I might be looking for a specific skill or lesson and am ok jumping around the course.
Understanding how the course is organized will help you decide if it’s a course that’s worth your money.
You’ll gain a new skill you can use right away
This idea goes along with the course aligning with your goal(s).
Courses that give you hands-on experience and practice projects are significantly more valuable than courses that don’t have you actually creating anything of value or working on your business.
Maybe you’re trying to learn how to market yourself as a freelance tutor online. Then a course that takes you through building a simple website and some techniques on marketing yourself gives you the skills that
For a writing course, hands-on experience might be writing a sample article.
For a design course, it might be creating an ad or social media graphic.
The online course fits your b
Online courses can range from $5 to $599. Sometimes the $5 course isn’t worth the money, and other times the $599 course is well worth the investment.
Either way, I recommend only purchasing courses that you can afford and that align with the state of your business right now.
If buying a course threatens your family’s budget or diverts your business funds from more profitable opportunities, wait until you can save up for the course.
Many courses come with a money-back guarantee which can be helpful if you want to make sure the course is worth your investment.
You can also see if the instructor offers a more basic ebook or if there’s comparable courses for purchase online from other high quality instructors.
I’ve gotten some good deals on courses through getting on instructor’s email lists, purchasing a learning course bundle, or by investing in a subscription site like Lynda that offers many courses for a set fee per month.
You have the time to learn the m
Life is busy. Even more so for moms.
If you don’t make the time to go through a course then it doesn’t do you any good.
Some courses can be completed in an afternoon, while others may be more in-depth and take weeks.
If you’re short on time, maybe you start with a cheaper beginner course and then purchase a more in-depth advanced course when you can dedicate more time to learning.
The course has good support and community
Learning alongside other students can be a great way to develop your skills and get feedback. Some courses come with closed Facebook groups, a discussion forum, or limited support from the instructor.
By discussing what you’re learning with others you can gain insight, get feedback, and support each other. You may even develop relationships that will help you with your business.
Making the final decision on whether an online course is worth your money
When deciding whether an online course is worth your money, it all comes down to finding the right course for you at the right time. If you have a tight budget but more free time you will be looking at different courses than someone who has a higher budget but less time.
The main thing is finding the courses that will develop your skills and move your business forward.
If you want to get ideas on some courses that will help you learn new skills and maybe even work from home, join my email list on the sidebar. Each week you’ll receive