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As with any marketing strategy, your free course ideas are limited only by your imagination--as long as you keep three rules of thumb listed above in mind.
Develop Your Course Once, Teach It Thousands of Times
The best and most cost-effective way to develop and deliver your free online course is to use an autoresponder service that allows you to set up several (five to eight) messages which will be generated automatically to those who sign up for class.
Set up each outgoing message as one "lesson" in course; in first lesson, you might provide a complete overview of what information course will cover, followed by more specific information in lesson two, and so forth.
Each lesson needs to be no longer than a short article, ranging from 500 to 900 words.
You might also want to include little "assignments" at end of each lesson,encouraging your students to put into action material covered that day.
As for pacing your course, select an autoresponder service that allows you to preschedule time intervals between lessons.
You can then choose to send a new lesson out each day, every other day, once a week, or whatever.
You only need to develop your course and set up mailing strategy once, and let autoresponder take it from there.
Using Free Course to Promote Your Business
Keeping in mind that your free online course is a marketing tool, you will of course want to somehow refer your students back to your business Web site.
This means incorporating additional products or services that you offer, along with your URL, into each and every lesson.
The goal here is to strike a balance between sounding flagrantly self-promotional and being too subtle.
In other words, you do not want to chase off those who have signed up for your free course with a barrage of hype; most of us already see too much advertising daily, and have become desensitized to it.
At same time, you want your "students" to know where they can find additional information or tools on subject--at *your* site.
You can accomplish this by covering each lesson in greater depth on your site (e.g., "For more information on today's lesson, visit http://www.yoursite.com"), including a trip to your URL as part of each day's assignment, or simply posting a brief advertisement for your site at end of each lesson.
If your course-takers feel they have benefited from free information they have received from you, they will be much more inclined to at least take a look at what else you have to offer.
Many Internet entrepreneurs currently offer free online courses to gain exposure and expand their clientele.
Although developing your own course requires a good deal of effort up front, pay-off in terms or increased traffic and sales is tremendous.
Incorporate "teach'em to reach 'em" philosophy into your marketing strategy, and watch your business soar!
Mr Killian is the author behind the Rapid Reply.net Corp. Find out sure-fire ways to promote your online business at http://www.web-site-promotion.gr/cgi-bin/axs/ax.pl?http://secure.ibill.com/cgi-win/ccard/rscookie.exe?RevShareID=Maxout&returnto=http://www.rapidreply.net