How To Create Online Courses

I am in the middle of the creation of my new online course for men. I thought it might be helpful to those contemplating this route to freedom to understand the process of how to create online courses. How to open up.

What is the product

It's called 'How To Love A Woman Course'.

It's for men whose relationships are in crisis or whose relationships seem to constantly fall apart. It's intended to be beyond dating. It's about that point were a connection has been made but not yet permanently.

It's presented online as a course to undertake over 12 weeks. Each weekly session will incorporate a video training session, a worksheet to help think through and analyse your response to the session and an exercise to carry out.

How To Evolve Your Niche

It is critically important to start by deciding on the niche you are going to work in.

This should involve two questions:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What is the need you are satisfying?

A product is not there for you to display your knowledge. it's there because there is need that people are trying to fill.

People search online because the want an answer to a problem they are experiencing. What is the question that your product is an answer to?

It's also important that you can provide the answer with passion, involvement and insight.

I am already working in the subject area of men and from traffic on my site I learned that 'How To Love A Woman' is a hot topic, and one that has sufficient pain.

Decide On Your Product And Price Point

There are many different ways of packaging your material, ebook, online course, membership site, blog posts, video series etc. Decide what is most appropriate from the point of view of how will people best absorb your material, how much material is there and how much engagement you want.

You need to decide the price point based on how much you are providing and how much you feel people are willing to pay for it.

I have a lot of material and I want deep engagement so I went for a high price point and a lot of material in a timed online course format. Video is my chosen format because I want engagement and a willingness to sit down, learn and get involved.

Writing Your Material

If you are passionate about your niche and chosen subject you should have no difficulty with this part.

My product started life as a series a 40 blog posts written over 40 days early in 2011. The series was published throughout Lent and was designed as a challenge for men to become better men. The range of content evolved organically as I wrote constantly over 40 days.

If you are unsure of how to evolve your content this is a great way to start. Create a structure to work in and sit down every day for a set period of days.

My structure was:

  • A title which made the challenge clear.
  • Two paragraphs about the subject in general.
  • An appropriate small image.
  • An appropriate quotation.
  • Two paragraphs on and incident in my life that clarifies the subject.
  • A set of four questions to provoke the reader to look at his own response.

I find structure important, you may not.

That material has now been collated into an ebook which I will shortly be publishing.

It was the inspiration behind my product but I felt that it had to be stronger and more direct to answer the pain I had identified. So I went through an iterative cycle of re-structuring and re-writing the material from a series of 40 posts to a series of 12 lessons on the subject. I went through around 5/6 different formats until I felt it was strong and powerful enough.

Creating Your Product

I decided on a format of 30 minute video, worksheet with four pertinent questions and longer exercise each week.

Using Scrivener (a great writing program for a mac) I broke each week into the following sections:

  • Introduction: Explanation of the session and of the division of that week's material into three complementary sections.
  • Why: How does this session answers the needs/questions of the reader.
  • What: This is the meat of the session with teaching material in each of the three sections.
  • How: Specific action steps to be taken.
  • What If: An immediate action step to take.
  • Quotations: Appropriate quotes to use throughout the material.
  • Personal Story: To be slotted in somewhere in the material.
  • Worksheet: 4 questions to provoke appropriate responses.
  • Exercise: A specific action exercise to gain a deeper understanding of a critical aspect of the session.

Using the why, what, how, what if formula is critical if you want to achieve clarity for your readers.

I used scrivener to align the various sessions and ensure there was a flow with no overlap.

Now I am in the middle of the following process:

  • Write each section in note form aiming for around 2,000 to 2,500 words.
  • Record each section on audio aiming for around 30 mins. Speaking it live allows you to embellish the notes and give it immediacy.
  • Send off recording for transcription. I use Elance to find someone to do this.
  • Edit transcription for flow and clarity.
  • Turn edited transcript into a video script indicating where slides will be used and where live video will be used.
  • Create an opening and closing sequence to be used on all videos.
  • Video the slide sequences using Quicktime on my mac along with a decent mic, I use a Samson Meteor..
  • Video the scenes of me speaking using the mac camera and the Meteor.
  • Edit the final video in iMovie 11.

This may not be the most sophisticated method but it works, it's cheap and it's fast. I also delivers great quality.

Next Steps

There is a lot further to go.

  • Sort out the online presence.
  • Market the product.
  • Arrange Affiliates
  • Plan the Launch
  • Launch!
  • Invest the proceeds!

I'll look at these steps in a later post when I get there.

I would like to acknowledge the help given in this process by:

  • Chris Howard and his Million Dollar Round Table.
  • Eben Pagan and his Guru Masterclass product.
  • UrmilaMedia who provide graphic, editing and conceptual development work.

Without them I would not be nearly as far on as I am.

If you want more information or help with this process go to the contact page and send me a message.

Have fun with your project.