How to Create an Online Course in 4 Easy Steps

You’ve been wanting to make an online course for a long time, but haven’t quite gotten around to it yet.

What if I told you there was a way for you to create and publish your online course in just 90 minutes?

What if after watching this video you could make and launch your first course today?

We’re going to get you there in 4 steps.

Let’s get into it.

If you’ve been dragging your feet making your first course, that’s all going to change today.

The following four steps are going to get you on the path to creating and publishing your first course!

Step 1: Write an outline

The first step is to outline your course material.

This is a relatively quick, but very important step in the process because everything else depends on it.

The most common mistake in this step is to

brain-dump everything you know and try to

organize all of that information into a course,

which can leave your students with information


The goal of your course is not to deliver

as much information as possible, but to deliver

a result.

The question you want to answer before you

write anything else is, what end result do

I want for my student?

To make sure we stay on track, we’re going

to use a course outline template we’ve created.

If you’d like to get the outline and follow

along, you can find the link below this video.

As an example, we’ll outline a course around

the subject of hand-lettering.

Rather than writing down all the things we

know about hand-lettering, we’re going to

focus on a goal.

What kind of result might a student want from


Maybe they want to learn how to make hand

lettering art that they can turn into physical

products and then sell and enjoy for themselves.

That sounds like a great result so we’re

going to put that at the very top of the outline.

Now that we know what outcome we’re trying

to produce, we can break that outcome down

into its component parts.

Think of the various steps involved in producing

the final result:

- Your student will need to find or write

a quote they can turn into a hand lettering


- They’ll want to make rough drafts to find

out how best to organize the text to make

their message stand out.

- You’ll want to give them specific pointers

on letter forms and styles.

- You’ll get into the tools and techniques

for making a finished piece.

- You’ll want to teach them how to convert

their hand-drawn design to a digital format

that can be printed.

- Finally, you’ll want to tell them where

and how they can print and sell their finished


Now that you have an overview of the various

components, you can decide how to break these

up into individual modules.

We’ll use the outline template to break

these steps down even further to provide more

specific instructions and a clear path to

the result we’re trying to produce for our


Normally we’d talk about writing down which

content types to use for each of the steps,

but because we’re trying to get this done

in 90 minutes, we’re going to stick with

something simple for now.

The great news is, now that you’ve got this

outline, there’s no reason you couldn’t

go back in the future and remake this course

using several different mediums.

Step 2: Create slides

For step two, we’re going to use our outline

as a guide for creating slides for a visual

representation of the material.

Our slides are going to consist of 3 different


Text, pictures, and screen captures.

We are going to use Google’s free Slides

tool to put our presentation together.

You can build your presentation from scratch,

or you can use one of their pre-made templates.

You’ll want to create separate presentations

for each of your modules, and put your course

title, along with the module and lesson title

on the very first slide.

Before we get into creating the slides, let

me share a few pointers on the 3 components,

text, pictures, and screen captures.

- Text - When you add text, you want to make

sure the information is clear and easy to


Organizing your information into bullet points,

adding titles, and bolding key takeaways are

some of the ways you can design your text

to be as clear and effective as possible.

- Pictures - If you are taking your own pictures,

you’ll want to make sure that your subject

is well lit, properly aligned and centered

in the frame, and that there aren’t other

objects cluttering the image and distracting

from the main subject.

If you are using photos from the web, make

sure you’re using royalty free images so

you don’t get hit with a copyright claim.

Take it from someone who had to pay shutterstock

$275 for a placeholder image.

Some of my favorite places to find images

are and

- Screen captures - If you’re using a PC

there are several free screen capture tools

out there.

One of my favorites is Jing.

On a mac, you can open the built in screen

capture options by using command+shift+5.

Be sure to avoid showing sensitive or personal

information in your screen capture.

Once you’ve got all of your images and screen

captures ready to go, create your slides as

you follow along your outline.

As you’re sharing info in your outline,

remember that you don’t have to write everything


In the next step, you’ll be going more in-depth

on each section, so for now just focus on

the key points and take-aways.

Step 3: Screen record each lesson individually

For step 3 you will screen record your presentation

while you deliver a voice over of each lesson.

A quick note before we get into this step…

if you’re concerned you might have trouble

delivering your course material off-the-cuff

from your outline, you may want to add a step

before this and actually script your course


It may take you an hour or two of focused

writing time, but if you’re not confident

you can deliver your course without it, it

may end up saving you some time in this third


For screen recording you can download a free

tool called “Free Online Screen Recorder”

by Apowersoft.

This app is available on Mac and PC and allows

you to select which audio input you’d like

to use, and lets you select a specific portion

of your screen to capture.

This will allow you to use a good quality

microphone to deliver your course material

as you screen record your progression through

the slides.

Be sure to set your destination folder and

name your recording files so they will be

easy to find and upload once you’ve worked

through your lessons.

Step 4: Upload your videos and write your

course description

The simplest way to share your course is to

upload it to a learning management platform.

A learning management platform is a website

that allows you to upload and sell your courses.

They’ll often provides sales data and other

services related to digital products.

For this example, I’ll show you how you

can use Podia’s dashboard to upload and

sell your course.

[Instructions] From your dashboard, click

on the “Products” tab and then click “New


When the pop-up window appears, select the

“Online Course” Option and then type the

title of your course into the “Product Name”

field and then click “Create & Continue.”

Now it’s time to add your course content.

We’ll start by adding our first section

by clicking the “Add section” button.

Following your outline, title your new section

either based on the modules or component parts.

Repeat this step until you’ve added all

of your course sections.

Next we’ll add your video files.

Click the “Add Content” dropdown in the

section that corresponds with your video,

choose “add files,” then drag and drop

your video file to upload.

Once you’ve uploaded your file you can click

on the edit button next to your file and add

a title, description, and thumbnail.

Repeat this until you’ve uploaded all of

your course videos.

When you’ve finished uploading your course,

click on the Settings tab.

This is where you can edit your course title,

url, and categories.

You can also set a specific start date if

you want to start selling your course now

and launch in the future, or if you want your

students to work through the course at the

same time.

In this section you can also add integrations

for ConvertKit or Drip.

Near the top of the settings section, look

for the following: “To set a product image,

write a Storefront description and change

how your product appears on your Storefront,

visit the Editor.”

This is where you’ll want to add an image

and description for your course.

Remember the result you’re creating for

your student?

That will be the focus of your course description.

In a few sentences, describe the problem your

student might be experiencing, then make it

clear what result your student can expect

once they’ve finished your course.

Now we’ll click on the “Pricing” tab.

Enter your course price and if necessary,

change your currency.

You can also add a payment plan and coupons

in this section.

For our final step, we’ll click the “Draft”

dropdown on the right of the page and select

“Published” And that’s it!

Congratulations, it’s a course!

If you haven’t made your first course yet,

I want to encourage you to give this a shot.

The reality is every course is different.

You could get it done in 60 minutes, or it

might take you a day.

The point of this exercise isn’t to make

a course as quickly as possible, but to make

your course, period.

You can’t improve on what you haven’t

created, so get started today.

I want to hear from you!

What kind of course are you going to work

on and what result do you want to create for

your students?

Write your answers in the comments below.

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