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


overload.


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


hand-lettering?


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


piece.


- 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


design.


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


student.


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


components.


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


read.


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 unsplash.com and pixabay.com


- 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


out.


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


out.


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


step.


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


Product.”


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.


If you found this video helpful and want more


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