Welcome to Soft Ahead

Learning Course Software of the Future

Info on the Kindle Store

I would recommend you always have a working book template and I would recommend that even if you are writing fiction books, okay something most fiction authors tend to overlook. They are missing a really great way of marketing their books. Regardless of what type of book you are writing, just title and the subtitle. The title is primarily the attention grabber never … this is a really important tip so make a note on this. Never … if you’ve got a great title, never sacrifice a great title just for the sake of forcing keywords into it. Hang on to the great title that’s going to grab the attention and use the subtitle to incorporate the keywords.

I’ll come to this idea in a moment but that’s how they work together. For getting the title, it’s a two stage process in terms of the keyword research. First thing we are going to do is we are going to use the Google keyword tool to create a short list. Then the second thing we are going to do is filter that shortlist through Amazon’s Kindle Store search. What I’ll do rather than try and talk this through on a slide, I’ll just show you a quick demonstration. Now anybody who’s not familiar with Google’s keyword term I’m guessing you probably are but if not just Google it, it will come up. You see there it’s come up as the first result on the page.

Going into that and I’m just going to give you an example of paleo diets. This is the Paleolithic diet thing, this is a very popular book at the moment or seeing for books. There are a lot of books on paleo diet coming out. If I search for it, it will takes a couple of seconds for the results to come up. What I’m going to do is you should be able to see my cursor here. If I click in that the keyword ideas, we got a whole list of different keywords here. Of course on the right side we’ve got the number of monthly searches globally and locally. Now these local searches here I think are this is set for the UK. What I would want to do is change that so I was actually if you are having guest time living in the UK.

Learning through Books

Amazon.com is the world’s biggest bookshop and last year they sold over 400 million Kindle Books, probably going to double that this year. It’s the world most trusted online retailer and they’ve got 400 million credit cards on file which has one click purchasing for Kindle Books. Which makes it into a fantastic impulse purchase, which makes our lives a lot easier as Kindle Book publishers. Because we get to sell a lot more books. For all of these reasons it’s a great platform to build your business on. Especially if you are building your own list outside of Amazon so you have control over that list. What we want to do is want to leave … get a book to that tipping point that I talked about earlier.

This is where Amazon starts to promote our books for us and then doing the heavy lifting. What that does is of course it puts your book in front of a super highly targeted audience. These are Kindle Book buyers interested in your topic. The result is long term organic sales where you keep getting sales months and months down the line without having to necessarily do any extra promotions. Any promotions you do after that are it’s like a bonus but you are still getting sales anyway months later. That’s the overview and here are the six steps. Step one is to have an attention grabbing title.

Excuse me while I just get a sip of water. As I probably do this much talking. Step one, an attention grabbing title. This is critical because if you don’t grab somebody’s attention with your title, you’ve already lost the sale. It doesn’t matter how great the book is you’ve lost a sale. A title has two roles, one is to grab attention and the second role is to help your book like in search. First and foremost on Amazon because that’s where your bar is up. Also you have a chance to rank on Google as well because Amazon is such a high authority website. If you are targeting a particular keyword phrase and your Amazon page is optimized around that phrase, there is a good chance that you’ll rank on Google for that.

That can generate hundreds of extra sales every month potentially. Obviously it depends on the keyword but very powerfully. You’ve got much, much more chance of getting your Amazon page to rank on Google than you have the same page on your own website. What I want to do is deal with the search part first and then we’ll go back to how to craft the headlights that you grab people’s attention. Because it says, it’s got this jewel role so, what we want to do ideally is include a mixture of short, medium and long tail keywords in your title. The way we do this, is we have the title and the subtitle work together.

Online Courses for Who?

In the last post, we touched on the far reaching effects of online education and included an example of a course that can help with stress and neck pain conditions.

It got me thinking: if you can teach an online course on how to recover from TMS or other kinds of back pain, could you teach a course on things like taking blood pressure?MC900439590

I started looking into what was available and I was surprised at what I found.

Naturally, as one would expect, there are scads of courses for becoming educated in the health industry. I’m talking though about personal health.

Could you educate yourself on things like how much sleep you need, what kind of pain is dangerous and what can be “walked off”. Additionally, could you get an online education in supplements that help with joint pain as you age? Or how much walking you should do for optimum fitness? It seems like there should be an online course out there for personal health, but I have yet to find it!

Dr. Oz does show after show on this very kind of thing. It seems like a natural extension to put an online course on his website for people with chronic pain or people who just want to be healthier.

Maybe there’s a possibility here for someone to create a class such as this, but maybe the real reason it hasn’t been done is that no one would take the course.

If you know of a similar course, that I’ve described here please contact me and let me know. If you’ve taken such a course or are currently teaching one, please get in contact with me. I’d love to hear how it’s going.

Online Courses for Back Pain?

As outrageous as it sounds, online learning has finally moved beyond the typical math, history and science and into personal growth. By this I don’t mean a Photoshop skills class or online cooking instruction. I’m talking about your health. Is it taking it too far to treat our health online?

It certainly wouldn’t seem unreasonable to teach healthy eating habits or new work out regimens through an online course. However, what if I were to tell you that you could address something as complicated sounding as Tension Myositis Syndrome from your home computer?

This just tells you that the software for eduction has become incredibly affordable and increasingly available. Not only that, it must be awfully intuitive to use.

The class I referenced earlier is a course for a type of chronic pain condition discovered by Dr. Sarno. He retired and no longer treats it, and thus there was an unmet demand for learning about this type of pain syndrome.

The guy apparently treated thousands of patients. These were people that were desperate. No one else could seem to help them. Many claim he transformed their lives. Some even say he saved their life. Imagine how many people he could have helped if he had an online school to reach out to them. Unfortunately at that time there was no software available to achieve something along those lines. We didn’t even have an effective way to interface on the web, let alone convey information to desperate people.

Now, his legacy will live on through online courses that can continue to reach people through their laptop or home computers. All of this is thanks to software. Without it, this simply would not be possible. On that note, people can also access the course on a tablet–even a phone, though it’s not recommended. Patients get to interact, fill out histories and develop insights through assessments operating on a basic software that nearly any school can afford–and it costs the patient nothing more than the price of tuition.

Find more info on it here.

Better Learning for Tomorrow’s Students

With the wave of online learners flooding into the rapidly growing e-learning market, also comes a wave of software trying desperately to keep up. The major universities and of course, Khan, are surprisingly ahead of the game and didn’t wait to become irrelevant as did so many companies (think Sears).

US News and World Report did an article examining the top online learning universities in the country (click here to read). Instead of read their article, you can view our summary below.

Top Online Universities:

  • Central Michigan University (for undergraduate)
  • SUNI College of Technology (undergraduate)
  • Indiana University (MBA programs)
  • Arizona State (MBA programs)
  • Indiana University (graduate teaching)
  • University of Illinois (graduate teaching)
  • Columbia University (graduate in engineering)
  • University of California (graduate in engineering)

These universities are trailblazers in the fields of education and use fairly sophisticated software that uses standardized systems for education. SCORM and Tin Can standards. Several software systems exist to serve these customers and costs start at $15,000 and can go up to an unlimited amount depending on customization and maintenance requirements. Additional costs include staff training, software updates and course creation.

The investment, however, is well worth it for these institutions. It amounts to something resembling a fixed cost and little overhead beyond it. An unlimited number of students can fit into the virtual classroom and can even take exams through the course software. Automatic grading enables quizzes and tests to be marked instantly without paid staff.

Question pools ensure that not all students receive the same questions, making it more likely they will have learned the material to earn a passing grade. Time limitations further mimic the classroom setting and reduce the likelihood of cheating.

For the Little Guy

While large universities and other institutions have access to robust software, surprisingly impressive options are available for smaller companies and services just getting started. For roughly $100, small to medium sized companies can purchase WordPress compatible education software that provides a platform to deliver unlimited courses, broken down by modules and lessons.

Further, quizzes can be added that are timed and require a certain level of passing grade before proceeding to the next lesson or module. Though they lack some of the sophistication and flexibility, SCORM and TIN CAN are available with some of these systems.