June 17, 2020

5 easy steps to create an online course

Pinterest Cards 5 easy steps to create an online courseWelcome to the Course Builder Academy! Online course content is one of the fastest-growing and most profitable corners of the internet. We built The Course Builder Academy for people who wanted to learn how to create an online course, after realizing the massive potential in the online education space for our clients and having a desire to help people grow and sell online courses.

The biggest challenge for most course creators is just getting started with an idea. Will people actually want to pay you to learn? Do you enough of an expert in your field for people to trust you? Is it even worth my time?

People are buying online courses at a faster pace than ever before and there are some really unconventional courses KILLING it right now. For example, in the COVID-19 shutdowns, Bread Making became a high-ranking keyword and a massive opportunity for online video content and e-courses. Other creators like florists, authors, business coaches, crafters, and even dog trainers are creating courses and doing really well. Check out these 10 unconventional courses that are in high demand right now


Why should I create an online course?

Online courses are one of the best digital products you can create to generate income, serve your audience, and carve out your expertise in your niche. If you have knowledge that you could transform into teachable content, you can create an online course with minimal investment.

Online learning is expected to grow to generate over $325 BILLION by 2025 and the average course maker generates around $5000 per course. So, there’s definitely a huge opportunity to generate income through teaching online, which far outweighs what most YouTube creators and bloggers generate.


How do I choose my course topic?

Take a moment to brainstorm all the things you’re interested in, knowledgeable about, or see the potential for people to desire. Now, think through the following:

  1. Which one could I be most excited about?
  2. Which of these could be the most helpful for people?
  3. Which of these could I make good money on?

Define the problem you’ll be solving for your course members and figure out who the should be on the other side of the course, or what skill they should obtain.

Another way to find a topic to teach is to ask your audience. This is easiest when you have an existing social media presence or an email list. Create a simple Google Form and send out a survey with potential topics

It’s important to note that you don’t have to have a P.H.D. in whatever field you’re thinking about creating a course for. Heck, you don’t even have to know much about it. Consider that bread making example from earlier — It’s something that people in quarantine were highly interested in. Even if you don’t know how to bake bread, you could go to YouTube and learn for yourself. Then create a simple method that anyone can do without messing up and create a course around it.

Once you have your idea, start outlining how you would teach the course. How many segments do you need? Do you need to create a workbook or PDF guides? What format makes the most sense?


Smoke Test Your Course

Before you go through all the work to create an online course, take a moment to test out your concept. Before you invest hours and hours on creating an online course, you should set up a Smoke Test.

You’ll want to create a landing page through a site like ConvertKit and start funneling interested individuals to your email list. Decide what success looks like and measure success after your campaign. For example, you might want to have 100 people sign up to be notified by email, or look to covert 5% of your page visitors.

Choose your e-course platform

There are a ton of options available for people interested in creating an online course when it comes to choosing the actual host for your content There are turnkey options like Kajabi and Teachable and self-hosted options that integrate directly with your WordPress site.

create an online course with kajabi

Whether you’re seasoned with content marketing or just getting started in this area, we highly recommend Kajabi! Kajabi is an all-in-one tool for creating an online course and being able to launch it successfully. They have built an incredible community of creators and made some of the best tools available online. With Kajabi, you’ll be able to run your website, email list, sales funnel, automation, webinars, and obviously your course, with one login.

You can sign up for a free extended 28-Day trial of Kajabi.

Using that link will give you an extra two-weeks beyond their standard trial, and we’ll receive a commission if you choose a paid plan - rest assured this is something we only recommend because we use it with our clients and for our own courses as well.


Build your content

Now that you’ve validated your course idea, it is time to outline your content! This is definitely something you want to do upfront and not just wing it and see what happens. Always focus on what transformation you’re looking for your course students to have and create your content towards that goal.

We’ve created a free Trello Board to help you brainstorm, outline, and work through creating an online course. Get access to it below! 

You’ll want to decide the right format for your course - is it going to be fully built and pre-recorded at launch? Are you going to do live training with Q&A’s and then post those as content? Are you going to drip content over weeks or months?

If this is your first time to create an online course or you don’t have a large following, a pre-recorded course will probably be in your best interest. If you have an existing community of followers who are engaged in learning from you already, a live training course makes a lot of sense and provides your students the opportunity to engage and get even more value from your course.

The simplest method to getting started with creating an online course is to repurpose and expand upon your existing content. You can also gather insight from questions that have been asked and how people have responded to that content. Then do more in-depth research on your topic - find case studies and other data to support what you’re teaching and use that to write the rest of the content to fill in your outline.

Most online course platforms break down your content into Modules or sections. You’ll want to break up your content into modules that have a natural flow from beginner to mastery of your topic.

Online Course Modules

Launching your course

Before you start promoting your course, it’s worthwhile to have a small beta test group as your first group of students. However, this might not be possible if you’re teaching your course through group coaching calls.

This group will be critical to making sure that your course content is ready and on-target to meet the needs of your audience and that it lives up to how you are selling the course. This is also the people who will be your first case studies to help promote your course, as well as advocate for your new content!

Once your course is polished and ready to go, it’s time to make the big announcement! If you haven’t already, decide whether your course will be open for enrollment continuously, or only open for a limited time. DripScripts has an excellent resource for customizable email sequences to help you with your sales messaging. Plan a sequence of sales emails to announce your launch, prove the value of the course, and encourage sales. After a few weeks, you can also run social media advertisements to help funnel people to your course.

Don’t forget to consider building a community of people who invest in your courses. This could be a private community in your course software or a private Facebook group. Encourage discussion in your community and hang back on some topics to allow members to interact before inserting your thoughts or opinions on matters.

I hope this helps you in your journey as you work to create an online course. Don’t forget to join our email list below for weekly resources and tips on creating and managing your course. Also join our Facebook community to share your journey, questions, and ideas with other creators!

If you're feeling overwhelmed and need help getting started with creating an online course, we offer 1:1 consulting as well! 

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