How to Create an Online Course: 8 Steps for Creating an Online Course Like A ProJan 16, 2023
There’s absolutely no doubt that creating an online course is one of the BEST ways to grow and scale your business. I mean, come on - you create a stellar, life-changing product and then promote and sell that product, make money, and trade very little of your time in exchange for unbelievable profits.
But truth be told, there are waayyyyyy too many shitty online courses out there. You can tell that those online courses were created by people who were just looking to make a buck and had a total disregard for any learning strategies (aka. creating a product that people can ACTUALLY learn from).
There are also online courses out there that were well intentioned but fall short because their creators didn’t have the resources, support, or time to create a quality and profitable product.
As a done-for-you online course creation agency, Dreampro does nothing BUT create amazing, transformative, profitable online courses for our clients. We know the ins and outs of how to create an online course better than ANYONE!
So we are giving you the full breakdown: our step-by-step guide for how to create an online like a freakin’ pro!
How to Create an Online Course: Our Step-by-Step Guide
1. Choose your course topic
This may seem pretty freakin’ obvious, and you’re probably already there. But first and foremost, you need to know what you are creating an online course about!
More than likely, you’ve got a niche, right? You have a certain set of skills or substantial amount of experience in something. You’ve mastered a technique or you're an expert in your field. YOU HAVE AUTHORITY about something!
So what is that *amazing something* that you want to help others with? This is your course topic - the “it.”
When in doubt, choosing a course topic that is MORE specific is ideal - that way you can break out a lot of niched ideas into more online courses and create that passive income stream you’re looking for!
2. Identify target audience and market demand
You probably already know this stuff too! You need to ID who you are creating an online course for and how in demand this kind of product is.
Let’s say your niche is personal fitness, and you notice that so much of your audience is hyped up about getting fit, feeling strong, and reaching their fitness goals - BUT so many people struggle with creating consistency in their fitness journey so they can actually achieve their goals.
You decide to create an online course about consistency, motivation, and achieving goals in fitness. Great! Now you need to start doing some research:
First of all, try to see if there’s another online course out there that teaches the same thing. If the market is a little oversaturated, how can you position and develop your online course to be unique? If there aren’t a lot of similar courses available, then you’ve filled that gap in the market - and that’s a goldmine!
Second, start doing some market research amongst your audience. Send out polls, quick questions on your social media stories: you want to know how many people are struggling with this issue and how many would be interested in an opportunity to improve in this area.
The research is KEY for creating a desirable, niched profitable product!
3. Corroborate your course idea with a smoke test
An all-too-often forgotten step in the how to create an online course process: the smoke test.
A smoke test is basically a preliminary test, but in the content of creating an online course - this is where you begin attempting to sell an online course without having finished it.
You’re putting out the feelers, you're showing up on your social media teasing this new, exciting product that you’re launching. You’re focusing on the transformation that this online course will give to your audience. And most importantly - you start a waitlist!
4. Create your course outline
Now we are getting into “how to create an online course” steps that you might have been expecting!
It’s time to create your course outline. Maybe you’ve already done a rough draft. So let’s make some final decisions about what will be included in your online course curriculum.
Start fleshing out each of your modules and the lessons included. Don’t forget any supplemental deliverables that you can attach to the course.
You’ll also want to consider the structure or style of your online course: will it be a group program with calls? Is the online course entirely self-led? What is the structure!
Remember: you may have a lot of exciting ideas and materials that you want to include in your course, but you need to keep in mind the goal. What is the transformation that people will receive when they’ve completed the course? You only want to include lessons and materials that support this goal, this journey! Don’t sidetracked! And also keep in mind that if you have a bunch of awesome ideas that don’t make it into your online course - you can always create another course for added profits!
5. Build the online course
This is your biggest undertaking in this process: actually building your online course! All of these steps can be time consuming - I’m not gonna lie. But actually creating your online course will take the most time. You have to create your slide deck, record your lessons and other content, create your deliverables, etc.
This is where the journey slows down for a lot of people. Sometimes it comes to a complete halt.
Usually, there are two reasons why our clients come to us for done-for-you online course creation services: the expertise we have when it comes to research, developing, and launching online courses and the TIME commitment of actually creating a high-quality online course.
So from one online course creator pro to you - try to create a schedule for yourself. Whatever is manageable with your workload and schedule. Create space and time to actually work on your course so that you can STAY ON TRACK!
6. Determine the price of the course
Maybe it seems strange that this step is coming towards the end - but truth be told, you can’t really determine the value of your online course until it’s completed. The content, the supplements, the structure of the course, calls, 1:1s, etc. - all of these add value to your online course.
Not to mention the actual client experience within your online course also adds to the value. To learn more about creating a white-glove service with your online course, click here!
So consider your course, the transformation you are offering, and also any expenses for creation and upkeep!
7. Host your online course
Next it’s time to select a hosting platform for your online course. There are a lot of really awesome options out there: Podia, Udemy, Thinkific, Skillshare. You can check out more here.
But our personal favorite is Kajabi! You can get your free trial of Kajabi through our affiliate link here.
Regardless of what online course hosting platform you choose, aim for one that offers versatility, several content options, integrated marketing, and various design options (again, all of this makes Kajabi our go-to platform).
You can learn more about what makes an amazing hosting platform in this blog post here.
8. Sell your course
Your final step in our how to create an online course guide: time to sell, babe!!
Make sure to have your launch plan and sell sell sell!
You’ve done the work. You’ve created a transformational product and now it’s time to put it out there and change lives!
If you’re looking for info on successful online course launch strategies, we’ve got a couple episodes of our podcast, The Dreamers Lounge, just for you here and here!
And there you have it! Our guide on how to create an online course…
Honestly, the most important thing about creating an online course is crafting it with care. If you care about the quality of your product, about the people you are selling it to, about the transformation - then you’re going to take the time to do your research, create and launch an online course that is truly the cream of the crop!
What if you want to create an online course but don’t have the bandwidth…
That’s where Dreampro comes in! Clocking in at over 300 online courses created and launched for our clients, we are your online course creation experts. Creating online courses that sell AND create real-world results for people is exactly what we do! So if you want to grow your business with online courses, reach out or click here to learn more about our services.
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