Do you love the idea of creating an online course to generate passive income? Want to make an impact by sharing your knowledge with others? Launching a course doesn’t have to be hard or take forever! In fact, you can do it in two weeks or less by following the steps below.

This guide will break down course creation step-by-step – from choosing a profitable topic to outlining and developing your course. I will show you all the steps and resources to develop an impactful course.

Step 1 – Pick a Profitable Topic

Validate your Course Idea

To validate your course idea you need 3 main things – expertise, passion, and an interested audience in your topic.

  • Expertise – If you have more experience and knowledge than your target audience (even if you’re just ONE step ahead of them) you’re already an expert.
  • Passion – Pick a topic you could talk about for hours. Your passion will make you radiate with excitement and sell with ease. Your audience will be able to relate and connect with you.
  • Interested Audience – Conduct market research find out what kind of content your ideal customer is CRAVING

Market Research

Pain PointA pain point is a specific problem they are experiencing. What do they struggle with? What challenges are they facing? What’s keeping them awake at night? What would make your life or business easier right now?

Solution or TransformationWhat change or transformation do they want to achieve? Why is now the right time to make a change? What solutions can you offer that your competitors can’t? If they could have anything what would it be?

Fears and ObjectionsWhat objection do they need to overcome? Is there anything holding them back from achieving their goals? What kind of negative experiences have they made in the past (bought a course that didn’t meet their needs, etc.)

Here are 6 ways to get to know your audience better and validate your course idea:

  1. Send a survey to your email list to find out what their problems and pain points are
  2. Hop on a few Market Research Calls (15-20 min) with your ideal student
  3. Instagram– Use polls, question stickers, the quiz feature, or DMs to find out what they need
  4. Use Pinterest and Google Trends to find out what’s trending and successfully selling for others
  5. Join Facebook Groups to connect and interact with your ideal students – what are some common questions they have?
  6. Use Quora to find topics your potential students and readers are most interested in learning about

Step 2 – Course Outline

Start by reviewing your market research findings. What kind of transformation or result is your audience looking for? Brainstorm and write down EVERYTHING you can teach them related to your course topic.

Now you can set up your course framework. How can your course get your student from A (where they are now) to B (their desired result)? Organize your brainstorm notes into modules and break them down into lessons. Map out the details and key concepts for each of them and keep track of all supplemental materials you need to create.

Let’s say you want to create a course about Content Marketing. You break down your course into 5 modules and each module has 3 lessons. Your outline for Module 1 could look like this:

Module 1: Content Marketing Basics
Goal: Comprehensive Overview of Content Marketing to emphasize importance

  • Lesson 1: What is Content Marketing? – To Create: Tutorial Video, 3 worksheets with prompts to fill in
  • Lesson 2: Why every business needs a Content Marketing Strategy – To Create: Case Study to follow along
  • Lesson 3: The most important Content Resources you will need – To Create: PDF Guide with Resource Overview

Keep your course as SIMPLE as possible to maximize your students’ success and completion rate. Decide which content is essential to achieve the desired course outcome and get rid of everything else (or include it as bonus material).

Pro Tip – Use Project Management Tools (such as Asana or Trello) to track your Course Creation Progress. Need more help? Check out the Ultimate Online Course Planner:

Step 3 – Course Content

The most exciting step! Time to record your videos, design worksheets, create training slides, write content and decide how you want your course to be delivered. 

Choose a Format

A combination of videos, slides (presentation to follow along), and screencasts (recording your screen) is the most popular way to create online course content but there are many other formats such as worksheets, audio files (e.g. meditation), or text.

Content Recommendations

Your course will likely be a mix of a few formats so when planning what to create consider these resources:

Course Slide DeckStructure your course content visually with slides and bullet points. You can screencast your slides with tools like Screencast-O-Matic while explaining each course concept for easy and appealing video footage. 

Course Guidebook and WorkbookSummarize your course content in a Course Guidebook so your students can follow along. Create all checklists, worksheets, and other supplemental materials with a Course Workbook.

Course Welcome GuideA Course Welcome Guide is a great way to get your students organized and excited once they purchase your course. You could include it in your purchase confirmation email or as a “Read me first” section on your course platform.

Facebook GroupIf you offer an exclusive Facebook Group as part of your course you can design Facebook Group Banners and Prompt templates to create structure and encourage engagement.

Content and Slide Design Tips

TextAvoid lots of text when creating your slides as it can be overwhelming and makes it harder for your students to follow along. Instead, break it up with bullet points and reveal your text progressively to keep your audience engaged and interested.

Font and SizeStick with one font for headlines and one font for your body text. When sizing your fonts, keep in mind that the text should be large enough to be read easily.

ConsistencyUse the same or related typography and colors across all your slides. Curated Stock Photo collections (similar images with the same main theme or colors) are great for cohesive imagery.

Course Delivery

Choose a hosting option that works best for your course (such as Teachable, Kajabi, or Thinkific). My favorite one is MemberVault. I use it to host my All Access Pass Template Hub and my Subscriber Bonus Hub. I love how engaging and user-friendly it is. They have a completely free plan so you can test out all their features and start selling your course without paying any kind of monthly fee! If you want to try MV out in your own business, grab a forever free account here.

Step 4 – Course Promo and Selling

Your Launch Strategy

While you’re developing and creating your course keep in mind that you need a launch strategy to sell your course. To have a successful launch, get your audience engaged and excited by building up your Know, Like, and Trust factor BEFORE selling. Provide them with valuable content, share your knowledge generously, and show up as an authority. 

This process will take some time so make sure you start this process before launching your course. Here are some ideas to create hype around your new course:

  • Send regular value-filled emails to your email list
  • Create lead magnets and freebies to capture course leads
  • Publish blog posts and resources related to your course
  • Host a free webinar or masterclass to promote your course, generate new leads, and show your expertise.
  • Create targeted promo and launch graphics on social media (mockups, course details, quotes, stories, etc.).

Pro Tip – Utilize Pinterest Pins to promote your webinar and course frequently. The lifespan of a pin is the longest of any social media platform so create 5-10 different pins every month for your long-term promo strategy. 

Selling your Course

Sales Page – The course sales page has all the details about your online course. The structure of your sales page is very important to convert visitors into buyers and should include the following:

  • the problem you’re solving
  • who the course is targeting
  • Course Mockups to showcase and promote everything that’s included in your course
  • details about the structure and modules of your course
  • testimonials and case studies
  • an overview of everything that’s included
  • a short bio about yourself and your expertise
  • FAQ’s and lots of Call-To-Action buttons

Course Creator Template Dream Bundle

Are you worried about ALL the content and design effort that goes into creating your course? Psst…There is an easier and faster way to create your course! Design and Launch your first (or next) Online Course in just two weeks with this all-in-one Content and Template Course Creator Dream Bundle. All the graphics, templates, checklists, and tutorials you need:

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