How Do You Create Course Content Online

One of the quickest and most efficient ways of getting your knowledge out to a global marketplace and then making consistent money is to download the ideas on your mind and turn them into a lead-generating, money-making, life-changing online course. In fact, the journey of creating online course content doesn’t require a large chunk of money. If you know what you are doing, you can develop profitable online course content at no cost whatsoever

In this article, you’ll find an overview of some necessary stages of online course creation:

  1. Choose the right subject matter
  2. Choose something easy for you to teach
  3. Choose something others want to learn
  4. Identify your Target Audience and Buyer Persona
  5. Pick a Platform to Deliver Your Course
  6. Create your Course Outline (with Templates)

These points will provide you with an overview of the key markers, and direction along the way to help you know what to anticipate as you create your content for your online course.


1. Choose the Right Subject Matter

The topic you choose to teach is entirely in your hands and this can pretty much be anything. While the possibilities are just about endless, the right subject matter is a determining factor in an online course’s success. Your plan for making an online course should begin with choosing the primary topic of focus.

Making up a topic at will without any thought to it as you go along has a high chance of ending up with you flat on your face unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. The course subject matter is important because it determines your audience, your method of teaching, and a lot more factors.

The main reason for evaluating your online course’s topic is to know whether it appeals to both you and/or your audience.


2. Choose something easy for you to teach

The topic for your online course should be one that you’re already familiar with or are enthusiastic to devote in learning painstakingly. Either way, you need to be passionate about the subject of your course. The fact is once you have a course subject that you have sufficient experience in, as long as you enjoy it and it is capable of helping another person, then we believe you have something you can monetize. 


3. Choose something others want to learn

More importantly, recognize your target audience and the demand for the topic at hand. You can do a pilot study with friends, as well as your existing audience, to know what their opinion is regarding the subject you have in mind. Test these opinions out by sharing polls or online forms for your audience to fill out. Better still, here’s a tip, rather than trying to guess what students want, go to the web. Use tools such as Google Trends to see what type of courses people are searching for.

This will significantly help improve your chances of creating a course that will be attractive and valuable to your audience. Whatever route you decide to go, the important thing is for you to know that your idea is high in demand.


4. Identify your Target Audience and Buyer Persona

Carefully define your audience so that you are best equipped for later creating and advertising the course. The importance of identifying your audience should be to use the information gathered to create content that would help your students move from point A to B. What is your student’s experience level? Do they enjoy interactive learning?

While understanding your target audience is important, your buyer persona is just as important. The buyer persona is a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience. Define your buyer persona by age, location, language, spending power and patterns, interests, challenges etc.

For instance, if you’re targeting business professionals (target audience) and Alice belongs to your target audience, your persona description could be:

Alice is an accountant at Bank of Success, Texas. She is 26 years old. Alice is constantly looking to improve her skill in Accountancy to get Certified Public Accoutant (CPA) license. As a result, she watches many YouTube videos and reads articles because she prefers online teaching. She also hangs out with friends in Facebook groups and checks her emails daily.

User persona

Identifying your target audience and defining your buyer persona helps you pinpoint your audience’s demographic and psychographic information, interests as well as what they would love for the best online learning experience.


5. Pick a Platform to Deliver Your Course

Where are you going to put your course? Do you want to host it on other sites? Or do you want to own your website and enjoy white labeling by creating your online course using a platform like Pledre? Each choice has its implications, since the platform that hosts your course is important to the success of your course.

Owning your website means you have absolute control of your page, your identity, and your pricing. Of course, you also have to get the word out about your course to attract students and receive payments. This is why choosing a platform carefully is key as some of these issues are solved by Pledre.

Many times, what stands you out is your unique offering- a well-structured online course delivered using a combination of videos, quizzes, live classes, chats, and community- all of which is possible in your online academy built using Pledre.



6. Create your Course Outline (with Templates)

You have an amazing idea for your online course. Great! Next, you need a course outline which is best broken into modules and content or main topics sub-topics. The course outline helps you focus your thoughts, deliver your course and guide learners on what you’re teaching them.

A great course outline usually includes learning objectives, supporting material, assignments, quizzes, reflections, and project.

How do you create your course outline?

  • Write down and organize your topics from scratch
  • Use existing course templates
  • Write down learning objectives
  • Decide your instructional content- videos, assessments, files, notes, live class etc.

Write down and organize your topics from scratch

Here’s how I organize my course outline in my course. First, I do my research to know topics I want to teach and take notes. Then, I divide my topics into modules and content/ main topics and sub-topics. A module is like a folder that contains all my course content.

Here is an example of my course outline from scratch:

Module 1

Video: Introduction

Quiz: Quick knowledge test

Video: Sub-topic

Quiz: Quick knowledge test

Video: Sub-topic

Quiz: Quick knowledge test

Discussion: Chat

Live class


Module 2

Video: Introduction to Module 2

Quiz: Quick knowledge test

Video: Sub-topic

Quiz: Quick knowledge test

Video: Subtopic

Quiz: Quick knowledge test




Use existing course outline templates

If you are still not 100% sure of how to create your course outline, you can use existing course templates directly or as a guide. To create a course outline, you can either create your module template from scratch or use our existing templates.

Access over 50 course templates on Pledre here.

Write down learning objectives

Stating your objectives and goals in your online course set expectations for your students and help them know the value they would gain from your course content.


Decide your instructional content

Pledre offers various instructional content types to give you and your students an effective and efficient online teaching experience. They are video/ file(s), note, live classe Quizzes, whiteboard, discussion etc.

  •  Video: one of the most effective ways to engage your audience is through videos. We live in a generation where people would rather watch a clip or a short video than read a book. Hence, our video should not be too long. A long video would bore your audience. So always keep it short and simple, most preferably 3-5mins chunks. You can learn more about why instructional videos are important here. You can use simple devices like your mobile phone to create really great videos. And if you can, you can use professional cameras and lights depending on your goal. Also, on Pledre, you can use the creator suite to create amazing videos without expensive equipment. You can record yourself speaking to the camera, and record your screen while you talk in the background.
  • Live class: one feature that could help your content stand out is the live class. With it, you get to establish an interpersonal relationship with your students. The advantage of this is that you can schedule a favourable time with your student to teach them live. 

live class

  • Assessments and gamified quizzes: Everyone wants to have fun. So we create a content type that accommodates learnings that can be interesting. By creating gamified quizzes and assessments as your content type, your student would have something to always look forward to. It is a great way to connect with your students. You should create assignments for each of your lessons. These can be downloadable files, which students can print or view on their computers. Other options include objectives and theory.
  • Discussion: we identify that community is very important. Hence, by creating a forum for your students, you can encourage meaningful discussions that would help them improve as a group.
  • Note: Many of us forget things (I do all the time). However, recall will be greatly aided if there is a note to refer back to. So you can make notes for your students to refer to at any time.

All the points in this article are a way to give your students an enjoyable online experience in an effective course that you can monetize. You can get started with creating amazing online course content here!


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