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Have you been putting off creating your online course for so long you can’t even remember when you first had the idea of creating one?
The question – how to create an online course – can leave you in a tizzy. And is probably also the reason why you’ve been intentionally and unintentionally putting off the work.
After all, it’s a course that you’re attempting to create, not a hot mug of steaming coffee.
But we’re here to make creating a course easy for you. So without further ado, let’s walk you through the steps you need to take to create an online course. Along the way, we’ll also share Visme resources that’ll make course creation simpler for you.
But first, let’s refresh why you need an online course in the first place.
First things first, if you’ve got a talent for something or you’re a subject matter expert, then it makes sense to create a course on it. Not only does it benefit learners, but an online course also gives you a creative outlet to share your knowledge.
Top that up with the fact that an online course builds a recurring income stream for you and there seems to be no reason not to make one.
Ready to package your knowledge into a bestseller course?
Let’s get to work.
Choosing what your course will cover might seem like a simple thing to do. But there’s more to it than you think.
A chart-topping course is one that pairs the creator’s passion/expertise with market demand. If you like to talk about cottage cheese, but your potential buyers are obsessed with cheddar cheese, you’re likely to only sell your course to one or two people.
So the smart move is to validate your idea by pairing your expertise with what your audience is looking for. Here’s your game plan.
Find out or confirm what you’re best at by asking yourself:
Learn about the market demand by:
Once done, you’ll have a few topics of interest.
Now, put all your findings in a visual format like a mind map such as the one below by Visme to finalize a smash hit topic for your online course:
Your first step here is to decide what your online course will cover. You’re basically going to brainstorm ideas for two things here – your course and its promotion plan.
For the former, find the answers to the following two questions:
The more the details here, the better.
Knowing your students helps you plan your course according to their needs, education levels, and so on. On the flip side, having a USP makes it easy for you to sell your course.
Again, put all the details into a mind map. Then, distill them down to a syllabus using a template such as this one:
As for your promotion strategy, it’s best you work on it in the early stages. This way you can grow your audience as you work on your course.
For instance, decide if you’d like to focus on mobile ads and social media. At the same time, ready social proof to attract students. Perhaps, create some enticing videos too, which you can share on social.
Don’t forget to speed your promotion activities as you near the launch. Pair with influences or appear as a guest on relevant podcasts and webinars. Don’t forget to decide if you’d like to run an early bird discount.
You’d have lots of raw material on your desk by now. Thankfully, summarizing the info into templates will give you a complete picture at a glance.
So what’s next? Make three different goals:
What do you want your students to leave with? These learning outcomes help you create an actionable course.
More importantly, your audience understands what they’ll get from the course, so they’re likely to call the shots in your favor.
Don’t forget to decide where your course would go once it launches. Would it be on your site or a learning management system like LearnWorlds or Udemy?
How much do you want to make from this course? Is there a specific number of students you’d like to target within a set time from the launch date? Decide how much you should charge to meet your goals without over or underpricing your course and put it in writing.
Here’s where you’ll do the rest of the groundwork. When will you complete this course? When will you be launching it? Enlist all the work that you need to do. Preferably write it down. Your brain can only remember so much:
You can also give each step a duration to work on.
This Visme template can help you visualize the entire creation process so you’d get an accurate picture rather than unclear estimates:
Okay so you now have a timeframe and a course creation plan. You know the work that’ll go into it all. Overwhelmed? Don’t be.
Dividing your work into tasks, and sub-dividing them into to-do lists will make things more conquerable.
So, here’s your motto from now on: create your online course one step at a time.
Before we move on, let’s show you some templates for planners, which you can use here to ease your workflow and beat the overwhelm.
Depending on your preference, Visme offers you the whole enchilada of planners – daily, weekly, project-based, calendar-like and more!
We recommend you start off with a project planner:
Then, go on to divide tasks by the week or on a daily basis – this’ll help you stay productive. For a weekly version, stick with this helpful template from Visme’s library:
For a daily one, use this one:
Alternatively, if you prefer a calendar view over a listicle, you’ll find this template a rock star for your course planning:
Each of these templates is editable. So you can easily change the colors or add or delete sections.
If you’d like you can go on to write all your thoughts on the topic and deliver them in a file to your course buyers.
But do you know what would happen if you did so? You’ll lead your reader straight into a den of words – a messy den of words that they’d hardly understand let alone learn from.
So what can you do to make your online course both appealing and digestible, so that it’s easy to learn? Not a tough question – use visuals as part of your delivery format.
Find out some of the most reliable ways to dress your course info below:
Presentations deliver information in slides with an audio in the background, explaining things in detail. Fortunately, you can create powerful presentations using Visme.
It’s always best you start off strong by reading through tips to create killer presentations. First, be sure that you create clutter-free slides so they’re easy to understand and recall.
Use data visualizations. For example, deliver numbers in bar charts, circle graphs or any other chart types like this presentation does:
Design a process diagram to break down complex or long processes into an eye-catching diagram. Here’s what I mean:
You can also include other visuals in your slides. Pick from step diagrams, circle diagrams, cluster diagrams and cycle diagrams.
Bonus: Don’t just make boring presentations. Animate them or add music to their background. The best is to add your voice recording to explain things – either way Visme can help. Simply head to Media on your dashboard left and Add Audio from there.
Flowcharts make it easy for your students to understand a process. These also provide a solid roadmap in decision making. For example, if you’re teaching your reader whether they need a website overhaul or not, you can best communicate the steps using a flowchart.
Here’s an example:
For this format, I’ll leave you with a quick video guide on how to make flowcharts in minutes:
Checklists are pros at making revision a piece of cake – one look at the pointers in a list and everything comes back to mind.
In fact, you should add a checklist at the end of each chapter. This won’t be hard if you’re using a template, which you can edit for each chapter.
Did you know that people are 30 times more likely to read infographics more than a text-filled page? That says a lot about how powerful infographics are. And, that you should use them in your online course.
Visme gives you a pool of options so you can DIY your infographic.
You can also add other visuals in your online course to break text and further learning. For instance, create digital learning cards or sketch differences in concepts using comparison charts. For data, try out line charts and circle graphs. And, for keeping things on a lighter note – design GIFs.
On a side note, learn how to design a chart in 5 simple steps here.
Once you’ve picked the ideal visual aids, get to work. Start with outlining each chapter and then adding a lesson plan to set clear expectations for those who take your course.
A simple template like this one can help:
You can get creative here as well. Pair your lesson plan (or syllabus that you created above) with a short, explainer video of what’s included and how the chapters/course is planned.
Bonus tip: Keep all your designs consistent. Put simply, use a uniform color scheme, fonts and design elements throughout your course.
You want to make your course too good to refuse. This also gives you the opportunity to raise your course’s price. Try out any of the following ideas:
In this final step, look for beta-students to get feedback on your course. Ask them if they find the course easy to understand.
Request them to write their top takeaways from your course and tally those with your learning objectives. Doing so will help you understand how well your hard work is delivering the goals you set.
With all this info on how to create an online course under your belt, you’re only an execution away from creating a course that sells like hot cakes. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for Visme and work away!
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