How to Create an Online Course People Can’t Resist [6 Steps]

How to Create an Online Course People Can’t Resist [6 Steps]

The process to making an online course and making money

Online courses can make you thousands a month but you have to do it right and you have to know the process. That means learning how to create an online course people can’t resist and knowing the steps to finish your course once you start.

In this video, I’ll detail the six steps to developing an online class from getting ideas to getting online. You’ll learn everything you need to know including all the details you don’t hear about from Create a Course programs.

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how to create an online course for passive income

How to Create an Online Course from Scratch

We saw in
our last video how nearly half of the course creators on Teachable are making
$50,000 or more a year and how I’ve booked almost $10,000 on my first course
over the last four months.

We talked
about those five biggest hurdles to creating an online course and the three
keys to success and a lot of you asked, “OK so how do I create a course?”

exactly what we’re going to do today. I’ll detail from start-to-finish from
picking a course topic to getting it online and everything in-between. We’ll
cover developing your idea, producing the content and everything you’ll need.

It’s all part of our three-video series to making a course and making money. In our next video, I’ll show you how to automate your marketing so you make money every single month. I’ll be releasing that video in the next few days but I’m leaving a free checklist to everything we’ll be talking about in the videos. Not only will it give you an easy list to follow but I’ll also give you a bonus report, the 10 Critical Steps to Creating and Making Money on a Course.

Download your FREE checklist to creating online courses

Finding a Topic for Your Online Course

Your first
step in creating a course, and this is something we talked about a little in
the last video, is picking a topic.

Start by
just brainstorming a list of hobbies, interests and what you do for a living.
Don’t worry about if something is popular or whether you think people want to
learn it. We’ll get to that but what’s important here is finding something in
which you already have some experience, personal stories and knowledge.

That idea of
personal experience is important. It’s the stories about your own journey
learning the topic that you’ll be able to share to help people relate. People
don’t buy courses for that checklist of how to do something, they can get that
anywhere online. People buy courses for that personal experience, to be inspired
by your story and learn how to make it their own.

With this
list, we can start vetting some of these ideas for popularity and getting ideas
on how to develop the course. For this, there’s no better resource than Amazon
and Udemy.

Udemy is an
online course platform, not necessarily the one I recommend using and we’ll
talk about that but a great one to research your own course. Clicking through
to the site, you can browse categories here in the menu and see that it
drops-down with a list of categories and topics on the right. It will even show
you these popular topics within each so you can see what’s selling.

You’ll also
want to just type in some of your ideas here in the search. So if we search on
how to invest, you get some suggestions. This is important for developing your
course because it can give you some ideas on narrowing your topic to appeal
more directly to a specific group so we see different investment types like
stocks, options, real estate and even crypto.

If we click
to search, you’ll see a bunch of classes offered and you can click through to
see what other course creators are covering. You’ll see some marketing language
which will be helpful in putting together your own marketing. Then if you
scroll down to the course content here, you’ll not only see the topics but how
the sections are laid out. Looking through a few of the courses available,
you’re going to get a great idea of what you can talk about as well as what you
might add.

You can do the same on Amazon, and this is the way I research for my self-publishing books, looking through the table of contents in books on the site. You might even buy a few books in the topic to brush up on your knowledge and get some new perspectives. Kindle books are usually less than ten bucks each so it’s a great way to research on the cheap.

Developing an Online Course

Once you’ve got
your topic, it’s time to start developing the idea and what you want students
to get out of the course.

There’s an
important idea I’m going to talk about here that will be critical to making
course creation easy. This is not only going to help make the process smoother
but will help not get caught in that challenge of including too much.

What you
want to do is start with the transformation, that’s the change you want to
bring in your students. What exactly do you want them to be able to do when
they finish your course?

What you’re
going to do is work backwards from that transformation to know what you need to
cover in the course. What do you need to show your students to get to that

Here you’ll
also want to think about your target audience because that’s going to be a
factor in what they need to know. For example, if I’m trying to teach someone
how to pick value stocks, whether I’m trying to target beginner or advanced
investors will have a big influence on what I need to teach them.

While you’re
thinking about your target audience, start thinking about their pain points.
Why do they want to achieve this transformation you’re promising, what are the
problems they’re trying to solve.

This is going to be helpful not just in developing your course but when you put together your marketing materials and it might not be what you’re thinking.

A lot of times, these pain points or problems people are trying to solve are not the most obvious reasons. For example, investors aren’t necessarily trying to make those big returns. Instead, that underlying problem might be trying to achieve financial freedom or just the thrill of beating the market. So we’re talking about the deeper desires and needs to which your course speaks.

The last step here before we start outlining your course is to ask yourself if you can narrow the niche further. Your niche is that specific group that will find your course irresistible, that group of people you want to speak to directly.

For example,
you wouldn’t want to create a course just about investing. It’s too broad,
there’s too much you’d have to include and it really wouldn’t appeal to anyone
directly. Instead, you might create a course about investing in penny stocks or
even more niche, penny stocks of tech companies. You’re going to be able to
include much more detail here, really make it a valuable course and anyone
interested in that niche is going to be drawn like a magnet to your course.

If it
applies, you can also niche into specific demographic groups by sex or
generation. Even if the content isn’t necessarily different, you can still
create that personalized feel by targeting your course to a very specific

Now I know a
lot of you are thinking, but won’t that limit how many people buy my course? If
my course is Investing in Tech Penny Stocks for Millennials, doesn’t that miss
out on a lot of other people that might want just a penny stocks course?

Let’s just look at an example. There are over 79 million Millennials in the U.S. alone and the term penny stocks is searched for over 135,000 times a month on Google. If we consider that Millennials are about 30% of the investing age population, then we get about 40,500 searches a month on Google by the group and interested in penny stocks.

Do not be
afraid of defining your audience too narrowly. What you’re trying to do is to
appeal specifically and personally to a group of people and you can’t do that
if you’re trying to sell something to everyone.

Here you can
begin outlining your course, actually writing out the steps from your
transformation back to the beginning. A lot of this can come from what other
creators and authors are talking about, so from your research, but you also
want to add some steps of your own.

important are going to be including your personal experience, those stories of
your journey into each chapter, each and every chapter. Include stories from
your experience, examples from other people, any story where you can inject a
little emotion and a little real-life narrative to the transformation.

Finally in
developing your idea, go through each chapter to structure your course. This is
going to mean what content types you’ll offer in each chapter, we’ll talk about
that next, as well as what you want students to learn in each chapter or

Content Types for Online Courses

A big part
of your course is going to be the different content types and how you use each.

Here we’re
talking about different ways of delivering your course; so videos, text, audio,
workbooks and checklists. Using the different content is important for a few
reasons. First it makes your course more dynamic. You’re not just asking people
to sit in front of a video for three hours. After watching a video, they can
refresh with a brief handout, write out how the chapter applies to them with a
workbook and even test their progress with a quiz.

This makes
your course more engaging and interactive as well. One of the biggest problems
with courses is student dropout and that leads to refunds. You need to keep
your students interested and engaged.

We’ll talk
through a couple of notes on the content types here and then hit them in more
detail when we talk about creating your course.

Video is the
backbone of your course and what most courses use. I’ve seen a few lower-price
courses that just use pdf workbooks and text but by far most use some video

That’s a
sticking point for a lot of creators because they get hung up on getting in
front of the camera. Your videos don’t have to win an Oscar. In fact, some of
the best video courses are simply screen shares where you show people exactly
how the process looks on computer.

Most courses
will also include some kind of a presentation, something as simple as bullet
points on a PowerPoint presentation. Another easy content type is just to
transcribe your video into text and offer that as a book so people can follow

For those of
you still camera-shy, I’ve also seen courses that included audio instead of
video. It’s tough getting some detail across so you might still consider doing
video for that computer screen walk-through.

Lastly here
for types of content, and this is a great marketing trick as well, is to offer
bonus content. This might even be something you would have included in the
course anyway but you can label it as bonus content to let people think you’re
offering something for nothing.

Besides just
offering extra chapters or videos, some great ideas for bonus content include
online communities like a private Facebook group, a weekly group meetup online,
recorded interviews or a live Q&A webinar.

These can be included as incentives to get people to buy or work great as upsells after the purchase. Most online course platforms like Teachable will let you direct people after they purchase to a page where you can offer these upsell ideas for ten or twenty bucks more each sale.

One warning here before we cover how to actually start putting your course together is to be careful about over-promising on your course or trading your time for money. For example, offering a private Facebook group means one more think you’ll have to manage.

Selling those weekly mastermind calls is going to mean a few hours each week so just understand what you’re committing to when you design your course and develop that bonus content.

Starting on Your Course

With all
that decided, you’re ready to start creating your course, so actually putting
together the content.

A lot of this is going to depend on the types of content you’re offering so whether you script out everything or just work from notes. Even if you’re doing video and not offering the text, you might consider writing everything out as a book and then film from that. Not only will this give you a detailed idea of what you want to cover, you can publish the book on Amazon and use it as marketing for the course.

While you’re scripting, make sure you make notes on how you want the video to go. For example, scripting out this video, I’ve got notes in the margin to tell me where I want to include a graphic or a video. This is important for two reasons.

how to write a video course
How to Script a Video Course

First you can make sure you get all those graphics and other things in your video. You don’t want to have to go back after filming to try remembering where you wanted to show a screenshare of the computer or a image. It also helps to make sure you have some kind of interrupt at least every minute during the videos. That’s a graphic, bullet list, anything that brings the audience back to pay attention and not just zone out for the entire video.

I’ll show you how to use screen capture software in the next section to share your screen as a video but there are a few notes you’ll want to make on filming your videos. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create your videos. In fact, you can get quality video, lighting and sound for less than $120 on Amazon.

Also, spend
an extra 10 minutes to save an hour in your filming. What I’m talking about is
reading once more through your script or your notes before you film. Get a good
idea for what you want to cover and don’t worry about little flubs. People like
talking to a real person when they’re watching a course so don’t worry about
little mess-ups or the occasional like or uh. Just these two tips, reading
through once and not trying to be perfect are going to save you hours editing
your video afterwards.

While you
are filming, you want to break your course into manageable chunks of no more
than 15 minutes or so. Now I realize the irony here coming from a guy that is
recording what will probably be a twenty-minute plus video but I wanted to make
a one-stop video for creating your course. When you have a two or three hour
course though, break it up into shorter videos that don’t stress your students’
attention span.

Equipment to Create an Online Course

Now let’s
talk about what kind of equipment you’ll need to create a course and some of
the online platforms you’ll use.

Again, I
don’t want you to think you have to spend a lot of money developing your
course. You can get everything set up for less than a couple hundred bucks.
That includes all your equipment plus some of the platforms you’ll need to
deliver and automate the process.

First, let’s
cover equipment and this is really just three things you’ll need; a webcam, a
lapel mic and a ring light.

For a really high quality webcam, go with this Logitech C920 which is pretty much the standard used by everyone. It gives you quality HD video for less than seventy bucks. This is actually going to be your most expensive piece of equipment but totally worth it.

Now for
lighting, understand that you can’t use just your regular room light. Without
going into a big photography class, room light bulbs are different from what
you need for good video. It’s why sometimes you’ll see a YouTube video where
people look yellow, because of the light bulb temperature. For quality lighting
that makes you look great, go with a ring light that you can set up over your
webcam. Doesn’t need to be expensive, you can get a ring light for less than $60
and it’ll last forever.

One piece that most course creators miss is audio and it’s going to surprise you how much good audio can mean to a course. You won’t get good audio just using the integrated microphone in your laptop or webcam but you can get it cheaply with a lapel mic or a lav mic. For these, no more than $20 can get you a really good sound.

That’s really
all the equipment you need. I know it’s surprising but that’s all you need to
record your course. You can use a free screen capture software like Screenflow
to start out. I use Camtasia which is a couple hundred bucks but that’s only
because I use it so often for the channel here and other projects.

That’s it
for equipment but I want to cover four platforms you’ll use to deliver and
automate your online course. A couple of these will be critical while a couple
will just make your sales easier and make more money.

First is Teachable and this one’s a must-have. This is the website that hosts your course and delivers it to students. I’ll show you how to set up your course on Teachable in the next section but this is really an all-in-one resource for your course.

How to Create a Course on Teachable

Teachable will collect payments from students, including recurring payments or one-time. You can manage all the students’ questions and comments from the platform, set up sales pages test different marketing. The platform will even allow you to sign up other people to sell your course for a commission as affiliates.

Another platform that’s going to be critical is ConvertKit, an email marketing provider. This is something we talked about in our video series on setting up affiliate buyer funnels for passive income and it’s going to work the same way with your course. With ConvertKit, and we’ll talk about this in our course marketing video next, but you’ll set up a special email list that will help you sell your course. Y

ou’ll also use the service to send out a series of emails after someone buys the course, to guide them through and make sure they stay engaged. The idea here is that you set these email series up once and they go out automatically to anyone that signs up on a specific form. This is how you’re going to set up your course to make it completely passive for cash every month.

Next is you will probably want a basic website or blog to help sell your course. This isn’t a must-have because you could do all your marketing through a YouTube channel but a blog can also be an amazing income source and it’s own asset so I wouldn’t avoid it. Besides, it’s easy and inexpensive to set up a blog.

I negotiated a special rate of just $3 a month on BlueHost, the webhosting you’ll need for your blog, for everyone in the community here.

Finally here is a webinar software I use called Everwebinar. This is another nice-to-have and can get pricey at $500 a year so I don’t want you to think you have to start with this or that you can’t make money with a course without it.

With EverWebinar, I can create a webinar that looks like a live event. Basically, I do one live webinar, record it and can replay it to look live anytime someone wants to attend. Where you’ll use this is in that buyer funnel we talked about setting up. The idea here is that you offer this free webinar, something that will give people some real value, as an incentive for people to sign up to your email list.

How to Sell an Online Course on EverWebinar

Once they’re
in this email list, you can upsell them into your course as well as putting a
sales pitch at the end of your webinar. It’s just a really powerful incentive
to get people on your email list and connect with them before you pitch your
course. Again, we’ll talk about setting this up and automating it in our
marketing video.

How to Get Your Course Online

Once you’re
ready with all your content, you’ll need to get your course online and price it
for sales.

I’ll walk
you through getting your course online and setting up Teachable next but want
to talk a minute about how much to charge for your course.

I know your
ears just pricked up, didn’t they?

This is
probably the biggest mistake I see among new course creators, not charging
enough for your course. We talked about this in our first video and I want to
repeat it. We see here that more than a quarter of classes charge over $200 and
half charge $100 or more.

how much to charge online course

Create a
premium online course and charge a premium for it! What I want everyone to do,
think about a price you think you might charge for your course and then double
it. You can discount the price down a little for marketing but I wouldn’t
consider selling a course for less than $100, my time is worth more than that
and so is yours.

Now I’ll
show you how to set up your course on Teachable though the platform makes it
extremely easy and has some great features we’ll talk about. So you’re here on
teachable and you can click to add a course in the left menu. The first thing
you’ll see is a screen to name your course and add the instructor’s bio, add a
sub-title here, just some basic stuff.

Next is to add
your course material and structure. Here a lecture is like a chapter and then
you’ll have modules in each lecture. So your course might have five or ten
lectures, each of those might have a few modules. Now you don’t necessarily
have to structure your course like this, it’s just how most do it.

Adding video
files or handouts or just about anything is really easy, just a few clicks or
you can drop the file into the box here. You can also add text instructions or
notes to each and allow comments on any section in the course. Quizes are a
great way to keep your students engaged and show them they’re learning.

Adding new
sections or adding new lessons within a section, all pretty easy with just a
couple of clicks. I will say that sometimes it takes a bit to upload long video
files so if you have a lot of these, don’t wait until just before launching
your course to do it. Start the upload process as soon as you have videos done
and you can use this Bulk Upload button to do it all then just let it run.

If you ever
want a little more detail on a page, there are these help links all over the
place and the support section is really thorough. You’ll find posts on
everything from creating a course to setting up your class online and even how
to market the course.

Next we can
click through to price our course and Teachable offers four options. You can go
free if you’re using the course as a lead magnet or subscription to get that
monthly recurring revenue. For most courses, you’ll select this one-time
payment and payment plan option. Again, real simple to just put in your course
price here. Giving students the option for a payment plan is always a good
strategy so we’ll do a three-month payment option here.

One of my
favorite options is to add a coupon code, so a great marketing strategy here.
You can have as many different coupons as you like for your course. You can
also bundle your courses for a discount price, maybe like a Black Friday

And that’s
it, you click publish and your course is online. You can put together a sales
page directly on Teachable and the platform will collect money and transfer it
to you each month.

Now you’ve
got a course online, you’re ready to make the big bucks…and suddenly all you
hear are crickets.

Anyone with an online course will tell you, it’s all about the marketing. It’s about getting that course in front of the right people, at the right time and making the sale. That’s exactly what I’m going to show you in our next video, how to sell a course and how to make the process completely automated for true passive income.

Don’t forget to click through and get your free checklist for creating a course along with that special report on the 10 critical steps to making passive income on a course. We’ll be talking about that marketing strategy in our next video but you can get that checklist free right now.

Read the Entire Make Money Creating Online Courses Series

Published at Tue, 02 Nov 2021 13:45:00 -0400