How to Create an Online Course in Five Simple Steps

Written by Azat MardanApril 01, 2017

Create an online course to learn something yourself, to promote one of your other products, to help others and to make millions. Here are the five simple steps.

First, pick a topic. To create an online course, you are NOT required to have expertise in a topic. Although having it will speed up the process from a few weeks, or even months, to a few day, or even hours. Seriously. It took me 0 time to create my first online course on Node. I just invited a friend to record my workshop. I already knew the material. The course has close to 20,000 students now.

Then, create an outline. Give it to someone who is not your lover or close friend because they are NOT likely to give you an honest feedback. Even better, ask someone to pay you for the course based on the outline. It’s called MVP and pre-sales. It’s the best way to test an idea.

Third, create slides. I use Deckset but you can use Powerpoint or Keynotes. Whatever you already know or the fastest to learn. Google presentation is the best choice after Markdown.

Fourth, find a quiet place, and then record voice overs. If you’re on macOS, then you can just use QuickTime. I use Screenflow which is just $100. You might need to re-record a few times before you get it right. It’s normal. No pressure. No one will see your failures.

Fifth, upload videos somewhere. You can use simplistic YouTube or Vimeo, or more advanced Teachable or Thinkific. It doesn’t matter at this point too much, so don’t spend hour upon hours on research. The goal is to find at least 10 customers for your course and get their feedback. After that you can always update slides, re-record videos or change platforms.

To summarize,

  1. Pick a topic
  2. Create an outline
  3. Create slides
  4. Record voice over videos (slides + audio)
  5. Upload videos

What are you waiting for? Your students need you. Go and create a course!

PS: If you are interested in hearing my full story on how I transitioned from writing coding books to being an online course creator, then I wrote a book about it. Check it out. It’s called ProgWriter 2.