Take the overwhelm out of building your online course with these tips
Have you ever considered creating an online course? Maybe you have plans to create a course as an added digital product for your online business, but the task of creating it seems overwhelming and time-consuming. In this post, I’m going to cover our best tips to create an online course fast. I’ll also talk about my favorite platforms which make it super simple to get your course published quickly.
Research suggests that the online education industry will exceed $325 billion by 2025. Online courses are becoming increasingly popular because they allow people to get an education from anywhere!
What this means is there is a massive opportunity for you to succeed as a course creator in your chosen industry or niche. If you’ve thought about creating an online course for your business, but you have hesitated because it seems like it would take forever to complete, keep reading!
What can creating an online course fast do for your business?
We see many online business owners struggle with getting their online courses put together and published in a reasonable time.
Many people become overwhelmed by the process and don’t know where to start. Others feel that it’s not worth putting out a course when there might be one (on the same subject matter) already out there.
But the truth is, your audience is craving your expert advice! And every moment you wait or wonder about whether you should be putting together courses is another dollar lost!
If you are able to create courses that your audience wants and needs in a reasonable time, and do this repeatedly, it means you:
- Make money consistently (and orders are made while you sleep)
- You start to become seen as an expert in your niche
- Your audience stays with you because you are constantly serving them and helping them succeed at life (or in whatever topic you teach)
The easiest way to avoid online course creator overwhelm…
The key is to keep your course curriculum simple. Choose topics which are top of mind to your audience and help them with their greatest (or most present) struggle first.
It’s best to cover only 3 to 5 main topics in your course. Break these main topics down into modules and then include just 3 to 5 lessons in each module. The most important thing to remember is don’t overwhelm your audience and then you won’t be overwhelmed with producing the content.
How online courses changed our business for the better
Creating and selling online courses for each of our online businesses was the best decision we ever made!
Not only do our courses allow us to reach more people and have a far bigger impact than we could ever make by working one-on-one, but they have also given us the ability to leverage our time, and build passive income streams.
If you are wanting to create financial freedom for yourself, you need to start thinking about how you can produce income passively and more easily. This is why we love online courses! They give us the ability to automate things and serve more people at once.
Our best tips to create an online course fast
Here are our best tips to help you blast past your fears and overwhelm and get you creating online courses quickly:
1. Use social proof to make a list of best topic ideas
Topic ideas should be based on what is doing well with your blog or business already. This should be apparent with your stats to your site posts as well as likes to your social media posts.
If there is high interest in a topic from your audience, you can poll them or survey them to see if they would like to know more.
It’s important to have social proof that your online course would be interesting and needed before you put in the work to create it.
2. Choose an easy-to-use platform to create your course
There’s nothing like trying to share your knowledge while having a difficult time figuring out how to use a course platform. Dealing with a challenging platform can slow down the course creation process significantly.
This is why we highly recommend using a platform like Teachable to create your online courses. We tested many other programs and platforms, and they left us feeling dazed and confused when we tried to use them.
Teachable has a very user-friendly dashboard. Inputting your curriculum is extremely easy, and the platform is designed to help you flow from one lesson to the next.
3. Outline and create your online course fast
The best method for creating your online course fast is to simply outline key points first. Outlining your modules and lessons ahead of time can help you structure your course.
Start with journaling 3 to 5 main topics and then create 3 lessons for each topic. Once you have these main points developed, go ahead and input them into Teachable in the curriculum section.
This will help to organize your course into a structure that makes sense to your audience.
4. Start filling in your online course
Once your outline is complete, you can fill in the course with content that helps your audience. Filling in the course structure with more details keeps your creative momentum going.
Here are some suggestions for how you can share information effectively in your course:
- Share personal stories about your experience, describe how you overcame a struggle, or share how this new method helped you or your business grow.
- Use a step-by-step sequence to guide them through a process you love.
- Create workbooks in Canva or Word, convert them into PDF’s, and add them into your lessons.
- Record simple videos demonstrating steps.
5. Include helpful links, tips, and resources
One way to improve the quality of your online course is to provide helpful links and resources.
A simple way to do this is to include a section near the beginning of the course dedicated to the resources you love and recommend.
This is a great opportunity to provide your affiliate links to programs. If someone clicks on the affiliate link and buys the program or makes a purchase, then you earn a commission.
6. Just create and be yourself in your content
Don’t spend hours trying to find the perfect words or ways to share your knowledge with your audience. Just think about their struggles and speak to them as if you were a guide and friend.
Speak in your voice and don’t be afraid to be yourself. Your audience connects with you more strongly when you are authentic.
If you are having a hard time discovering your voice or niche, you may want to work through our Start Your Online Business Course. We have helped many new business owners gain clarity about their offers and programs.
7. Don’t worry about creating lessons in order
If you try too hard, this will often shut down the creative process. Allow yourself to write the parts that are flowing in the moment. You don’t have to fill in your course curriculum linearly (meaning, you complete lesson one, then two, then three). You can fill in the lessons that come easily to you and then fill in around the edges later.
Once you are writing, you don’t want to stop. Allowing yourself to write the parts that are flowing will allow you to create more momentum. If you get stuck on a particular point you are trying to make, or you can’t find the right word to use, simply fill in the space with an “XX.” When you go back to edit the lessons, the right words will often come to you.
8. Don’t let perfectionism stop you
I admit I’m a perfectionist. But when it comes to generating courses, I realized it was better to just get the courses created and out to my audience. You are the admin of your course, so you can always go in and make edits, change content, update curriculum, etc.
It’s easy to let things like perfectionism and fears keep you from hitting publish on your course. Realize that your audience needs you to keep creating to help them, and if you are worrying about everything being perfect, you are holding them up from learning!
Note: One way I was able to learn many tricks about improving my content creation was by enrolling in a freelance writing course. Check out this interview with my friend Kristen who makes a living off of freelance writing and developed the course I took. Her course is also a great example of how to engage your audience.
9. Time block your course creation
We noticed a significant improvement in our ability to create an online course fast when we started using time blocking and practiced it weekly.
In the past, we would try to write content whenever we felt inspired. This often resulted in little to no output. When we switched to blocking off time in our schedule to write and create content, we actually got much faster!
When you practice anything consistently, you will see improvement with time. And you can dramatically improve if you practice more often.
As you create your online course, challenge yourself to do things in new ways and experiment.
10. Find your “magic hour” for creating content
Selecting the time of day for content creation for your online course can greatly increase your output speed. Everyone differs in their “magic time” for writing and creating. Some people work best first thing in the morning, and others love to create when the household is quiet at night.
Whatever time of day you choose, you must be in the right mindset and be committed to sitting down to create for a period of time.
It’s very common to feel resistance the first 15 or 20 minutes when you sit down to create. But just work on the parts that come naturally and eventually, you will get lost (in a good way) in your flow!
With consistent practice, you will not only get better at writing and creating, but you will get faster too!
Final tips for how to create an online course fast
My best suggestion for how to create an online course fast is to keep your first few courses on the smaller side. Create simple courses that tackle subjects near and dear to your audience.
Don’t be afraid to take a month or two before creating your course to go live with your audience and talk about the main topics. If your audience is liking or loving your posts, then you know you have a great topic to cover.
This is a great way to get instant feedback and generate ideas for lessons from the questions your audience asks you.
This might also lead to group coaching which can be a great addition to your online course! Many people love personal help, and you can do quick coaching sessions on Facebook live or use a platform like Zoom to interact by video with your students. We use both and have found them invaluable in providing an added personal touch to our online courses.