How To Create An Online Course in 7 Easy Steps
Are you wondering how to create an online course so you can help your audience achieve their goals and make more money at the same time?
Creating and selling courses from your blog is the best way to scale your blog and your income. Online courses are easy to make, and once created they require hardly any ongoing work.
This makes selling online courses a great passive income stream in which you can sell them again and again for years to come.
Sounds like the perfect business model?
Alright, let’s find out how to create an online course in 7 easy steps!
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How To Create An Online Course Step by Step
Let’s have a look at all the steps you need to take to create a successful online course.
Step 1: Who is your student
Before you create a course you need to be clear on two things:
- Who is your ideal student
- What will you help them achieve
You don’t want to be vague about this. The more specific you are about your target audience, the more successful you will be at selling your course.
You need to show them that you understand their problems and make it very clear that this course was made for them.
The only way to do this is by picking a very specific target audience. So, for example, instead of choosing the target audience new moms, try to get more specific and maybe choose:
- New moms with twins
- New moms with 3 kids under the age of 5
- New moms with depression
- New moms who want to lose 5 kilos
Being specific about your ideal student will help you sell your course later on.
Step 2: What Will You Help Them Achieve
No one takes an online course just for the heck of it. You take a course to overcome a hurdle, to get a desired result or to go through a transformation.
So after you’ve decided on your specific target audience, you need to figure out what goal you will help them achieve.
If you already have an audience on social media or on your email list, you might have an idea what they are struggling with or what their recurring questions are. If you’re not sure, just ask them what they would like help with.
Another great way to figure out what your target audience is struggling with is to join some Facebook groups that are related to your niche and see what the common questions are.
Step 3: Create A Course Outline
Once you know what problem you will solve in your course, you can create a course outline.
When I first start brainstorming my course content, I like to write down every topic and subtopic that comes to mind. To deliver a good course you want to answer all your students’ questions, so write down any question they are likely to have on this topic.
If you come across certain topics that are related to the main topic but not absolutely necessary to achieve the course goal, you can turn these topics into course bonuses or lead magnets or tripwire products.
Creating related products is a great way to increase your total sale amount in a funnel with tripwires, bump offers and up-sells.
So when I create a course, I always create a free lead magnet, a tripwire product that’s usually priced somewhere between $5 and $17 and possibly a related bump offer.
Funnels are a great way to get your readers exposed to several of your products and they’re a must-have tool to automate your business and sell products/courses on autopilot.
A great tool to create beautiful user friendly checkout pages with bump offers and up-sells is ThriveCart.
Step 4: Write Your Course Content
Once you’ve planned out your content and funnel products, it’s time to write your course content. You can do this in Word or Google Docs or you can write it straight into your course platform editor.
If you’re planning to create videos in which you talk directly to a camera, you may not need to write down everything, but to make the recording process a bit easier it will help if you write down the main points you want to cover.
Step 5: Decide How You Will Deliver Your Course
Next you need to decide what format will work best for your course.
You can deliver your course material as:
- Text tutorials
- Video tutorials/ screen share
- Slides with voice-over
- Audio files
You can use one of these ways or use a combination of two or more.
I’ve created several courses with both text and video tutorials and I guess it depends on your course topic what will work best for your online course.
Here’s a few examples of course delivery for different course topics:
- Screen share tutorials tend to work best for technical tutorials so your students can follow along with you.
- Audio files are great for courses on life coaching, manifesting, meditation etc.
- Slides and video tutorials work well for most topics.
Step 6: Record Your Audio or Videos
Now you’ve decided how you will deliver your course, you need to create your slides or record your video or audio. A great tool for this is InVideo.
InVideo is a video editing software that is perfect for creating high quality videos and audio. You can try it for free here.
If you record your voice with your computer I highly recommend getting a good microphone, as this will improve your sound quality quite a bit. There’s no need to get a super expensive mic, I got the Razor Seiren mini and it works very well.
Step 7: Selecting A Course Platform
Once you’ve got most of your content created, you need to pick an online course platform to host your courses on. Course platforms can be very pricy and most will charge around $100 per month.
When I made my first online course I thought it would be risky to lock in to monthly payments without knowing how successful my courses were going to be.
So I decided to try a WordPress plugin called MemberPress which had a yearly payment of around $170. I started creating my course on MemberPress but I didn’t like it that much and the checkout pages were very hard to customise and so they looked pretty unappealing…
I had heard about ThriveCart and how good their checkout pages were, so I thought I’d invest in that to improve my checkout experience.
But then I found out that ThriveCart had just added a course platform to their functionality. This was very exciting news to me, because it meant that I could have my checkout pages and course platform all in one place!
And the best thing?
ThriveCart doesn’t charge monthly fees!
They offer a limited time lifetime deal for only $495. No ongoing monthly payments, just a one-time fee. This means you could save around $1200 on course platform fees every single year!
I was so happy I came across this deal just in time. I could still get a refund on MemberPress, so I got rid of that and started building my course on ThriveCart Learn instead.
ThriveCart is BY FAR my favourite blogging tool and I’ve earned back the initial investment many times over within my first year of using it. Plus ThriveCart doesn’t charge transaction fees either so every dollar I make is pure profit. It can’t get better than that!
If you want to find out more about ThriveCart’s course platform Learn and follow a quick tutorial on how to use it, make sure to read my full review here:
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These are the basic steps to creating an online course
I hope you now have a clear framework on how to create your own online course. If you have any questions, make sure to ask me in the comments below.
Plus don’t forget to check out ThriveCart’s Lifetime Deal before it’s gone!
Good luck creating & selling your courses!