There are many types of content you can create and many ways to create it. In this post, we will be talking about the structure of your online course as well as some different tools you can use to make content creation easier for you. You can check out the podcast video below or keep scrolling if you prefer to read.

Creating content for your online course can seem like a daunting undertaking. You probably have a lot of information swimming around in your head and don’t even know where to start. The best place to start is by getting it out of your head.

Brainstorming Your Course Content

Brainstorming your content is a simple way to get everything out of your head so that your head is clear to move forward. There are several ways you can do this. If you like to use online tools, you can use mind mapping software. There are a lot of them out there.

My personal preference for this is a software called Miro. Miro is a visual collaboration software. Miro has a lot of templates you can choose from, including mind mapping templates. Miro does have a free plan, so using it for this will not cost you anything. I did a video a while back about how to brainstorm in Miro using their software.

If you prefer a low tech solution, you can also achieve the same results with a stack of post-its and a wall or whiteboard. The idea is the same. You want to brain dump everything there is about your topic and put it somewhere so that you can look at it. Once it is all out of your head, you will be able to see what you have to work with and start putting it all in categories.

Organize Your Course Content

Just like writing an outline for a book, you will want to put everything in an order that makes the most sense for your students. This could be a linear process as in a step-by-step process. Even if your course is not a linear step-by-step type of course, you will want to choose an order that you think will keep your students engaged and moving through your course. Having goals and wins along the way is a great way to keep your students motivated.

Think of the steps that your students need to go through to reach the overall goal of your online course and start putting things in order. Pull out everything that is unnecessary to reach that goal. You want to make sure your online course is not bloated and intimidating.

A huge online course can scare a lot of people away. You are asking your students to spend a lot of time learning instead of just giving them what they need to reach the goal of the course. We don’t want that. We want them to see that your online course is manageable and something that they can succeed in doing.

How Do You Create Content For A Course?

Choose Your Online Course Format

Now that you have the lessons out of your head and sorted in the order you like, you want to consider the format. What is the best way to teach each lesson? What are you most comfortable with? Look at each lesson and ask yourself what will help my students the most?

  • Do you need video to show what you are doing?
  • Do you need to include PDF checklists?
  • Do you need to include a spreadsheet, swipe files or some other sort of template to help them out?

If you take the time to look at each lesson and ask these questions, you will begin to see the best format to use in your online course. Most of the time, your online course is going to contain a mix of formats.

You may want to create a course that is purely text based with some supporting graphics. There are a lot of people out there that learn better through reading.

If you are teaching something like crochet, a video course might be a better choice. Your students can watch and see exactly how to do what you are teaching.

If your students are busy and always on the go, an audio course may be the best choice. It gives them the freedom to learn without being tied to a computer.

Tools To Help You Create Content With Ease

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For every format, there are different tools you can use to help you create your online course with ease. I am going to cover just a few of my top tools and what I use them for in this post. I have a complete playlist over on YouTube of online course tools that I will drop a link to in the show notes.

If you are looking to create video for your online course, either headshot or screen share, look no further than Zoom. Zoom records in HD and has a lot of features you can use, like a white board and even the ability to screen share a presentation.

Speaking of slides, if you are somewhat creative, Canva is a great place to make any slides, PDFs and other graphics you may need for your online course. The nice thing about using Canva to create all your graphics is it is easy to use their templates and adjust things to match your brand.

Another software I recommend is Otter. Otter is a transcription software with many uses. It can be used to make closed captions for your videos. You can upload a video or audio to Otter, and it will give you the text version. If you are creating a text based course, you can use it as a speech to text and simply speak your online course into existence.

If you are planning to create an audio course or have an audio version of your course, I recommend Audacity for that. Audacity is a free, but very powerful audio software. It can look a bit intimidating, but once you learn some basics, you can easily record and edit your audio. I use Audacity to record these podcasts.

Create An Online Course Fast Pin

Are you ready to create your online course?

Take The 5-Day Mini Course Challenge.

I will walk you step-by-step through the process of creating a mini course that you can use to…

  • Drive Leads To Your Main Course
  • Build An Email List To Sell To Later
  • Sell As A Low-Cost Product Right Away

Are you ready?

Tips For Content Creation

After years of working with online course creators, I have learned a few things along the way. I would like to share some of these tips with you to try to save you a lot of stress and extra work.

If you are using video in your online course, make sure to rename your video clips with the module and lesson number in the clip name. You don’t want to go in your files later and be faced with a bunch of video clips and have no idea what is on each clip.

Batch process everything you can.

  • Try to shoot all your video in one day
  • Create all your graphics while you’re in your graphics software
  • Write out all your lessons at the same time
  • Create all your marketing emails and posts at the same time

Each of these tasks requires you to be in a different state of mind and using different tools.

The time it takes to jump from one to the other will compound if you are jumping around all over the place. Jumping around is a great way to waste a lot of time. Make a plan including what day or days you will be working on each type of task.

Always give yourself extra time for tech issues. Tech issues are going to happen. Having a buffer built into your schedule will keep you from going completely mad when they start popping up.

I personally like to plan my work for 3 days of the week. That gives me a 2-day buffer for unexpected issues and things that take longer than I thought they would. That also means I still have my weekends free to relax, unplug and recharge myself.

Creating an online course is a lot of hard work and will take a lot longer than you expect. But with good planning and a few tools, you will be able to get your online course content created in no time. Don’t get overwhelmed with all the tasks. Just make a checklist of things you need to do and focus on one thing at a time. Keep your project out in front of you and not in your head.

If you are looking for a little more help, you can schedule a one-on-one call with me. I would be happy to help you get things in order, so you can get your online course launched.

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