Woman looking through the window while sitting at her laptop, drinking from a cup - how to create an online course to sell.

So you’ve decided you want to monetize your blog with courses. But you don’t know how to create an online course to sell.

You’ve got many questions.

Where do you start? What do online courses require? How do you go from your idea to the point where you launch your online course?

It’s all a bit overwhelming and seems like it will take forever to create.

This post breaks down the steps so you’re more organized and have a roadmap from an online course idea to your launch.

It includes info on different types of online courses so you can determine which one is best for you.

And you’ll learn about the essential course creation tools to get you started.

Now read on, so you can get inspired to create an online course that sells!

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.

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Why I Love Creating Online Courses And Selling Them

In one of my past lives, I was most likely a teacher.

I ended up in public relations and marketing, but I still had the role of educator over the years. I created several easy courses over the years.

Training peers and junior staff was one of my duties, and in some cases, it was teaching them, in person, about PR skills and activities they needed to master.

Fast forward to me starting my blog coaching business: one-on-one coaching is very time-consuming.

And there are many supplemental documents that need to be created to help clients fully understand certain skills.

My first online course was my Pinterest course – Pin It Better – because I knew that many new bloggers were struggling to figure out how to get everything set up and started with pinning strategies.

It’s become one of my top-selling courses.

I continue to build up my portfolio of courses because there are many other key skills that new bloggers need to learn and understand.

This is why I’m sharing my tips for how to create an online course to sell – even if you’re a beginner blogger.

What Do You Need To Create Online Courses?

Selling online courses requires you to first build them and house them on a platform that makes it easy for customers to log in.

Aside from a course topic, here are some of the key tools you’ll need to create online courses.

A few resources that you’ll also need are:

If your webcam’s microphone quality is poor, you may want to get an external one.

Yeti microphones from Logitech are great and affordable.

Steps For Building An Online Course Infographic

Create An Online Course To Sell In 10 Steps

What are the key steps for creating an online course to sell?

I’ve broken them down into 10 easy-to-follow steps.

These steps work for almost all types of course formats – from mini-courses to full signature courses.

1. Create An Online Course By Understanding Your Customer

Before creating a course, know the problem you’re going to help solve with it.

Doing an information dump on a topic for a course will not help the customer.

It’ll also be hard to sell if you’re not addressing a problem your readers have.

So, the first step when you create an online course to sell is to understand your target customer’s pain points. That is, the key problem they’re dealing with which requires extra help.

This requires research and talking with your potential customer to understand the details.

Create a successful online course by knowing what the core problem is and determining how you can best solve it.

2. Make Your Course An Easy Transformation

So you’ve talked with a few potential customers about their pain points. You have a general idea for creating an online course.

The next step is to consider how you can provide a simple and speedy transformation through the course.

While you can have information, tips and strategies that offer a long-term solution, including a few “quick wins” is important.

PRO TIP: Make the “quick win” something you share at the start of the course, to keep the student inspired.

3. Research The Viability Of Your Online Course: Is There A Market For It?

Does your course have a small niche market, or is the market broad?

When we talk about “the market”, we’re talking about a potential customer base.

How do you measure this?

Simply by taking the question that your course answers, and checking to see if it’s a popular trending question.

You can use the following tools to check if keywords associated with your course are trending:

You can also use Google and the Chrome browser extension tool – Keywords Everywhere – to see what keywords are trending and have high-volume searches globally.

These give you an idea if the topic is a popular one. If it is, you’ve got a large potential customer base.

Should you only focus on courses with a big potential customer base?

Not always.

If your course is niched down, and there is a legitimate market that would be willing to purchase it, then go for it.

However, in this case, you should be marking up the price higher.

Niche experts can charge more for extremely specific courses.

For example: How To Start A Blog is broad.

How To Start A Real Estate Blog is niche.

Which one do you think should charge more?

4. Write Down Ideas

This next step in creating an online course is what I like to call the “brain dump”.

This is where I take all of my ideas and write them down.

Personally, I like to use a simple ruled notepad.

Others like to use sticky notes because they can take them and organize the ideas into what is the next step: modules.

But before we go there, let’s look at how to create an online course that makes sense.

Here are some ways I go about doing my “brain dump”:

  • List potential course topic-related customer questions on separate pages
  • Write answers to these questions
  • Include how to visually demonstrate the solution (e.g. video, infographic)
  • Note any supplemental tools (workbooks, checklists, podcasts…) that will help

Next, it’s time to get organized!

How to create an online course to sell woman writing notes

5. Organize Your Ideas Into Categorized Modules

Now it’s time to take all of those notes and organize them into modules on topic clusters.

  • One module could include background information and essentials for success.
  • The next module can include some easy quick solutions.
  • The module after that includes long-term, in-depth solutions.
  • The final module includes additional tips and strategies for success.

After going through all of the modules, the course student should have their core problem solved.

At this point, determine exactly what additional materials (workbooks, visuals, podcasts, and so on) will be needed for each module.

6. Start Creating Your Course

It’s time to create your course content!

Whether you draft it in Google Docs or directly on the course platform doesn’t matter.

The goal is to get all of those ideas from your notes written down in a format as close to the final version as possible.

Some people like to write all the text first and then develop and add the visuals next.

Others do these as they go along.

Do whatever works for you!

Remember – not all courses need to be just text.

They can be presentations that you create as videos with your voiceover.

Or they can be a series of videos of you talking, or audio files, like an exclusive podcast series.

This is also the time to create all supplemental digital products such as worksheets, videos and templates.

PRO TIP: When creating visuals in Canva, organize them in folders so you can always edit them in the future as needed. This is particularly true when creating a course that may include a technology platform that changes over time.

| RELATED: How To Create Digital Products To Sell

7. Edit And Format Your Course

This is the final stage for creating an online course and it’s an important one.

You don’t want sections missing or glaring spelling or grammar mistakes.

Read your course out loud if there’s lots of text.

Double-check with a preview function to see what it will look like to the customer.

Is there enough white space to make it readable? Do the visuals appear aesthetically pleasing?

PRO TIP: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your course isn’t complete as you edit. You may find yourself constantly adding to it. This makes you run the risk of creating a bloated course with WAY TOO MUCH content.

8. Prepare The Sales Page

Now it’s time to create the sales page for the online course.

Sales pages are meant to do one thing: sell what the customer will feel once they take the course.

That’s all – how they’re feeling.

Because before taking the course they can be feeling this:

  • Overwhelm
  • Confusion
  • Stress
  • Uncertainty
  • Frustration
  • Clueless
  • Indecisive
  • Insecure
  • Dumb
  • Like giving up

These are just some of the feelings they can be feeling.

It all depends on the course topic.

For example, not knowing how to style your clothing when you’ve gained weight after having a baby can make you feel differently than somebody who is trying to learn how to make their own candles at home.

So you need to determine what is the emotional state of your potential customer BEFORE they take the course, as they are trying to tackle the big problem.

Your intro to your sales page should address this.

Here are the key elements of a sales page:

  • A strong headline that grabs the reader’s attention
  • The problem: agitate the reader by addressing the problem and what they’re feeling
  • Introduce the solution and yourself
  • Show proof of how the solution helped (testimonials, screenshots, etc)
  • The offer: note all they will get with the course
  • FAQs – address any objections
  • The link to the checkout page

This last section may also include a special offer if you’re just launching the course and giving a specific number of customers a limited-time special price.

Depending on your plan with your course platform, you can embed a pop-up link to the checkout page for the course directly.

In many cases, the link that you add in the last section will take the customer to a separate payment page.

PRO TIP: If your theme allows it, use a page builder such as Elementor and a sale page theme layout like the ones from Bluchic. They can save you hours of designing your sales landing page.

| RELATED: Why Podia Is One Of The Best Online Course Platforms For Bloggers

9 / Prepare Your Online Course Launch Promotional Materials

You’re almost there!

It’s time to create the marketing and promotional materials that will be used before and during your launch.

These include:

  • Facebook posts
  • Instagram posts, stories and reels
  • Newsletters (before and during the launch period)

I also recommend that you create an option to follow up via email with your course customers.

Some platforms, such as Podia, have customers subscribed to your newsletter.

You can create a specific group for these customers and follow up with them later if there are any course updates.

| RELATED: How To Use Social Media Strategically To Grow Blog Traffic

10. Make Sure Everything Works

Now it’s time to do a last check-through to see that everything works.

Click to see if the payment link works correctly.

Check to see if everything is correctly linked for your newsletter and social media posts.

You don’t want to re-send another newsletter with the correct link… oops!

If you’re running the launch with a special offer, check that the coupons work too.

And now you’re set to go live!

Get Testimonials For Your Online Course

It’s always good to follow up a week or so after somebody purchases your online course.

Remember my tip above about capturing emails from customers for your email newsletter? Well, this is the way you can follow up with them.

Remind them about purchasing the course (you won’t believe how many purchase and forget!).

Share the login link to your course again.

And let them know you’d love a testimonial. You may want to share with them how you’ll present the testimonial on your site or social media.

PRO TIP: To ensure that you have legal permission to use the person’s name, photo and testimonial, always use a Media Release Agreement.

Different Types Of Online Courses

Before you begin creating an online course to sell, consider what kind of online course it will be.

They aren’t all created equally!

Choosing the type of course you’ll create will depend on various factors shared below.

There are different types of courses you can build:

Mini-Courses

Usually, small courses with one or two modules tackle one specific problem with a quick solution.

These don’t have to be priced high (usually in the range of $27 to $47) and can come with one or two extra supplemental materials.

In some cases, they can be offered in an email format.

Signature Courses

These are broad courses that solve a big problem. However, they also lead to more in-depth courses on specific topics.

They have several modules and are often used as an alternative to coaching.

In addition to this, they offer a unique approach that the coach or expert has created.

For example, my signature course is my Grow It: From Blog To Business, which speaks to all the key blogging skills new bloggers need to learn. However, it’s broad in the information that’s provided.

If somebody wants to learn more about Pinterest or blog growth strategies, there are specific courses available.

Evergreen Courses

These are courses that can be sold indefinitely and they sell themselves.

They are not on timely topics that are trending. Instead, they are those that can work at any time.

They also are available after they are launched.

Some courses – called “launch courses” – will only be available for a short window of time. This could be because of the nature of the course.

For example, some courses have a component where the course creator/coach does live coaching for a period of time within a private Facebook group for customers.

Drip Course

A drip course is one where modules or sections of the course are released at specific time intervals to the course participants.

These could be evergreen or launch courses.

The reason why they spaced out with releases is to give students enough time to absorb previous sections and implement tips/strategies. They also keep people coming back over a period of time to the course.

Can A New Blogger Make Money? Yes, Even With Courses

You may think you need huge traffic to start creating and selling courses.

But that’s not the case.

Sure, you may launch a new course for a small audience of readers.

But you have to start somewhere.

Just like you started your blog and started growing your content and audience.

I always recommend that even though a new blogger’s focus should be on learning essential blogging skills, you can still start experimenting with monetization.

Just don’t get obsessed with it!

Here’s a good idea:

  • Develop a mini course that you can offer
  • Create it with as much attention as you would a bigger course
  • Launch it at an affordable price
  • Generate good testimonials for it: add them to the sales page
  • Tweak your course as needed
  • Set it for evergreen sales

Let the course bring you a passive income with promotion through an email sales funnel (your freebie offer for newsletter subscribers), or the occasional sale.

In the meantime, you focus on building and growing your blog!

Get Started Creating An Online Course That Sells

Ready to launch your online course? Now you know more about these key things:

  • The tools you need to create an online course
  • How to develop an idea so you can create an online course that sells
  • The essential steps for creating an online course
  • And the types of course formats you can create

The next step is to actually get started.

Don’t let fear of failure or imposter syndrome hold you back.

You can start creating online courses and learning how to monetize your blog!

QUESTION: What questions do you have about creating online courses?


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