A step-by-step guide to create an online course

A step-by-step guide to create an online course

A step-by-step guide to create an online course

  • EzyCourse Team

  • 10 Dec 2022

  • 8 minutes

Years have passed since you gathered knowledge in your field, and now you want to share that knowledge with others. Intelligent creators understand that failing to commercialize their knowledge means passing up a great opportunity. Creating and marketing online courses is more than simply another way to make money online; it is a powerful business concept.

Starting an online course, the first thing you have to establish is a well-structured online course that gives actual value to students. 

And if you want to learn how to achieve that, you've come to the correct place.

This guide will show you how to construct an online course step by step. By the end, you'll have all the necessary knowledge and skills to create your first online course.

Additionally, there are many linked resources throughout the guide, so look through those as well to get the most out of them.

So, let’s get started.

What is the need of Creating an Online Course?

There has been an explosion in the popularity of online courses, and they are only expected to continue to grow. The industry grew at the fastest rate at the start of the pandemic, with an estimated 36.3% growth rate that year alone.

This expansion is projected to continue in the future years. In fact, it is predicted to surpass $1 trillion in size by 2027.

Selling online has so many benefits. Apart from the market size, what we appreciate is that you can keep the revenues coming in for a long time.

After you have completed the initial effort to build a course, you may sell it to new students on an ongoing basis. And because you only need to change the content on occasion and provide some student support, it's quite scalable.

Furthermore, effective online courses have a good impact on your pupils, which helps you establish yourself as an authority in your field.

Lastly, an online course can be used to support your core business. If you own an instrument store, for example, you could upsell a course on learning to play the piano when someone buys one.

Likewise, you can use a free course as a lead magnet, a bonus to boost your sales, and more.

So there are no drawbacks to developing an online course. All you need to know is how to make and sell one. Once you've mastered it, you'll see all of the rewards pour in for your company.

There are some frequently asked questions to be answered:

Who can create online courses?

Anyone with skills in a specific field can design online courses. To teach an online course, you need not need a formal qualification or a degree. Furthermore, your niche is unimportant because profitable online courses exist in all niches.

How much can you earn by selling online courses?

While some course designers earn $50,000 or more each month, the majority earn between $1,000 and $10,000. However, your real course revenue is determined by a variety of criteria, like your niche, price, audience, and so on. Check out this guide to assess your prospective earnings.

How much time does it take to develop an online course?

There is no defined time frame for developing an online course. It can take anything between 20 and 500 hours. A shorter course can be created in a few days. More content requires more time.

What is the cost of creating an online course?

In general, creating your own online course might cost somewhere between $140 to $10,770. Of course, it could be more, as much as, or much less.

Can I create an online course for free?

Yes, you can establish an online course for free, but you will have to perform all of the work yourself. In addition, you should record your course using your smartphone camera, and free editing software, and publish it to a platform like EzyCourse, which has a free subscription.

How long should an online course be?

If you want to deliver value to your target audience and cover the information thoroughly, your online course should be as long or short as necessary. Overall, it can be a 2-hour course teaching a specific topic or a 25-hour one covering a much broader topic.

What technical skills do I need to create an online course?

In most circumstances, no technical skills are required. You'll need to learn a few things, such as video creation and building up your course website, but even if you're not tech-savvy, you can do these.

Where can I host my online course?

There are various platforms available for hosting your online course, but EzyCourse would be the best among all of them. EzyCourse enables you to create an online school and deliver online courses. You will also receive sales and marketing tools.

What should the price of your online course be?

We'll go over these in greater detail later in this article. But for now, let's get started with the steps.

1. Get the Right Attitude

First and foremost, you must comprehend what you are getting yourself into. While developing a course has a positive effect, several moving components must come together for it to be successful.

All of this movement might be intimidating for certain people, which is when impostor syndrome sets in.

The term "imposter syndrome" refers to a set of feelings of inadequacy that continue even when achievement is visible. Many people are plagued with chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence, which overpowers any emotions of success or external evidence of competence.

According to one survey, 84% of entrepreneurs and small business owners suffer from mild, regular, or severe impostorism.

“What if I don't know enough about the subject to teach others?”

“What if I can't answer all of your questions?”

“What if I am unable to finish the project?”

“What if I lack the necessary technical skills to complete XYZ?”

“What if no one buys the course and the whole thing fails?”

Even though these doubts may weigh heavily on you, you shouldn't let them stop you If you're taking the time to create this course in the first place, you're qualified, you have the skills, and you're motivated.

With a positive attitude, you can accomplish anything, including large projects like creating online courses.

2. Determine What You Wish to Teach

When you decide to establish an online course, you must address the question, "What am I going to teach?"

Deciding what to teach is tricky because it needs to be something you’re knowledgeable about, but it should also have the potential to attract a fairly large number of students.

The following are some suggestions to help you narrow down your course topic.

The Best Course Niche for You

Before you can narrow down a course topic, you must first narrow down your niche or wide subject.

The idea here is to discover the sweet spot, or the confluence of your talents and knowledge, your hobbies and passion, and your earning potential.

Begin by considering what you're good at, what special skills you have, and what people seek your advice on.

Have you been in the IT business for a long time?

Do you work as a business consultant?

Do you have any professional certifications?

Do you have a day job where you teach academic subjects?

Having a skill like this can be your niche for an online course.

But what if you lack these professional skills or qualifications?

In that scenario, consider what kinds of personal struggles you've faced or personal growth you've attained.

For example, you may have grown more productive while working a full-time job or lost weight by eating clean for months, allowing you to teach a profitable course on this subject.

You may now be competent in several areas, and you may be able to teach classes in all of them. In that scenario, you should prioritize these niches based on your level of interest and enjoyment.

Create Online Course Concepts

Once you've decided on a wide topic, you must narrow it down.

For example, let's suppose you have experience in web development and want to teach others. Despite having sufficient knowledge and expertise to instruct others, you can not create a complete online course on “web development”. There are so many various things that may be taught in the specialty. You might be better at one than the other.

Dig deeper into the niches to make things easy, one can try to target one of the following sub-niches inside the web development niche:

  1. Front-end development
  2. Back-end development
  3. DevOps
  4. Full-stack development

Once you analyze which sub-niches you like or will be able to pull it like a master, you can think about all the specific topics under it. This is where one can come up with online course ideas:

  1. Front-end Development Tips for Beginners.
  2. Back-end Development for Learners.
  3. Full-Stack Web Development.

The more concrete your course ideas are, the easier it will be for you to get started. This is due to the fact that specific courses are considerably easier to develop, and recruiting students is quite simple.

Determine the Demand for Your Course Topic

The next step is to validate your online course concept. While there are various methods for validating your course idea, the simplest is to examine search volumes for similar terms.

Assume you wish to design a vegan cooking course. In this scenario, you should consider the search volume for keywords such as vegan cooking, vegan cookbook, and so on. Upon analyzing the results, you'll see that the main keyword has a high search volume along with several related keywords with decent search volumes.

It's important to validate your idea beyond just market data.

To begin, examine the discussions in prominent Facebook Groups or online communities. You may also take it a step further by directly contacting potential clients and soliciting feedback.

Sell Your Online Course in Advance

Hosting a pre-sale is another technique to validate your course concept. You can sell your course before developing any content once you've decided on the course topic.

You may achieve this by selecting your most engaged audience and sending them an email about your course concept. Your email should include a survey asking for their feedback on your idea. You can ask them if they are interested in taking the course at the end of the survey.

You should now contact people who answered "Yes" with further information about the course, how it will benefit them, the anticipated launch date, and a pre-sale discount offer.

This email provides an excellent opportunity to introduce scarcity. For example, the discount may be limited to the first few students who sign up, or you could offer a countdown timer when the pre-sale closes.

Pre-selling is an excellent idea if you already have an established audience. You not only get to validate your idea, but you also gain money for your course development project.

3. Plan Your Online Course Creation

This is the most difficult phase of the process. Because course development typically takes months, you must plan everything carefully.

Consider developing a course to be a project. Several things are involved, and you can't execute them well until you break them down into milestones and tasks.

Decide the Type, of course, to Create

The very first choice is whether to construct a live or pre-recorded course.

A live course requires you to plan your course content ahead of time and then deliver it live weekly via technology such as Zoom. You can upload the recording to your course site after the live session.

In contrast, in a pre-recorded course, you record all of your course videos ahead of time and upload them to your course area all at once or in batches.

For your online course, we recommend that you use pre-recorded content. With this method, you can edit your movies to remove flaws and even make retakes if necessary.

As a result, your finished project will be more polished. More importantly, you will only need to create your material once.

Following that, you must consider the many forms of online courses. There are three types you can target:

You'll help your students make small but valuable steps toward their long-term goals with your Introductory Course for absolute beginners.

Examples: The beginner’s course to pottery, The fundamentals of puppy training, etc.

The goal of a Specific-Outcome Course is to enhance skills and knowledge in one area by focusing on one main area. It's ultra-niche and offers hyper-specific information, usually with a step-by-step approach.

Examples: How to improve your English vocabulary, Learn to design graphics in Canva, etc.

Signature Courses are in-depth, comprehensive courses that cover the entire topic from beginning to end. As a result, students undergo a complete transformation.

Examples: Web design mastery bootcamp, AWS certification program, etc.

In general, the spotlight course is the easiest to produce and market. What is the reason behind it? Because you're targeting a specific audience when you make the course-specific. When you target a specific group of people, they are more likely to be interested in the topic.

A beginning and signature course, on the other hand, targets a larger audience and will face more competition. That is why I do not advocate taking one of these two varieties as your first course.

Make a Comprehensive Course Outline

Following that is the course outline. An outline specifies the framework of your course and also serves as a blueprint for creating an online course.

Always begin with the student's goals in mind when drafting an outline. Consider the various steps students must take to achieve these objectives. These are called modules, and most courses have seven or eight of them.

Multiple lessons are included in each module. A learner will need to complete these classes in order to reach the milestones.

Your ability to develop a fantastic online course will increase as you can add more detail to your plan.

For example, you must include information about your lessons and a bulleted outline of everything you want to cover. You can also include information about the delivery mode and lesson length.

Furthermore, when drafting your outline, keep the following course design ideas in mind:

  • Keep the text brief: Nowadays, people have shorter attention spans, so divide your content into manageable chunks.
  • Include minor successes: Throughout the course, students should make progress, which will encourage them to finish it.
  • Assessing students' knowledge: It's crucial to test what you have taught when a lesson is over. Therefore, you ought to incorporate a test or an assignment at the conclusion of each module.
  • Create Interactivity: You shouldn't only provide your course in one direction. Instead, it ought to be interactive. You might incorporate group projects or live courses in your outline, for instance.
  • Give Recommendations: Provide the learner with detailed and helpful feedback on their development.

Set aside plenty of time to design an online course outline because it takes time to do so. Getting all of your thoughts together can take a few weeks.

Before creating a formal plan in a program like Google Sheets, you can gather your ideas on sticky notes, a whiteboard, your phone notes, etc.

Compose Enticing Learning Objectives

The further step is to create a strong learning objective for your course, its modules, and lessons. They'll aid in the development of your modules and help to maintain the modules' goal-oriented focus.

List the outcomes you expect your students to achieve at the end of the course. Depending entirely on the type of online course you're going to teach, your learning objectives will change.

For your online course, some examples of learning objectives include :

  1. Students should safely show how to hold a knife during a cooking session after a knife-holding lesson.
  2. Students should be able to recognize the rising action, climax, and falling action on a diagram by the end of the story-telling module.
  3. After completing the pitching module, students will be ready to create a pitch for potential clients.

A crucial first step is to write your learning objectives so that you can match the content of your course to them. Additionally, you can use them in your course description and sales text.

Pick a Perfect Name For your Course.

It's time to decide on a name for your online course right now. Although I'm sure you have some ideas for the name of your course, we'll present some creative course title examples to help you out.

If you're developing an introductory course, your title should convey to students what the course will cover in general. You may also add keywords like "Basics," "Beginners," "Complete," etc. to make your title more appealing.

Examples of titles for introductory courses are provided below:

  • The Complete Ethical Hacking Course
  • Python for Beginners - Learn programming from scratch.

In order to create a Specific-Outcome Course, the title must also be quite specific. Include your goal in the course title according to the formula for this particular course type.

Here are some specific-outcome course name examples:

  • Clustering & Classification With Machine Learning In R
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Life Coach Certification

A more recognizable name is preferable if you're developing a Signature Course. In addition to your main keyword, your course title should also contain a strong phrase like "program", "formula", "bootcamp", etc.

Here are some great signature course titles examples:

  • Web Development Bootcamp
  • Advanced Excel - Top Excel Tips & Formulas

Another tactic is to research your competitors before choosing a name. By doing this, you can make sure you don't come up with a name that is already taken and discover what is available. It may also inspire you with new thoughts.

4. Create Your Course Content

You can now begin producing material after generating an outline and organizing your ideas.

You must produce movies, downloadable PDFs, and more as a part of it. So put on your artistic cape and get to work!

Make a Recording Strategy Decision.

You must choose your recording strategy before you begin making your course videos, and part of that decision is whether you want to record talking heads or screencast recordings.

You can record your screen and all the activities there as a screencast video. The creation of tutorial-style or presentation-based lessons works really well with this kind of video.

A talking-head video, on the other hand, has you speaking the lecture while being filmed. As you establish a personal connection with your audience, they might be incredibly interesting for them.

Video screencasts are more simple(and less expensive) to produce. As a result, if you don't feel comfortable speaking in front of the camera, we advise using only screencast videos for your course. You still have time to make one talking-head video to welcome your students and establish that first bond.

You should employ both formats, though, if you feel at ease in front of the camera, as combining a talking head with a screencast can make your films more interesting.

Create Captivating Course Videos

We're entering the final stretch. Now it's game time you need to put all the plans you've made so far into action.

Making screencast videos is a simple process. A computer, a good microphone for voice recording, and screen-casting software are a few of the essential tools you'll need.

Additionally, if you're planning to make a video that is based on a presentation, you'll need to generate the slides.

When it comes to talking-head videos, the procedure is a little more challenging. Additionally, you'll require some other tools like a camera, a backdrop, and a lighting setup.

But recording a top-notch talking head doesn't have to be expensive. The camera may be used with your phone. Additionally, for a few hundred dollars you may put up a respectable home video studio.

Here are some additional pointers for producing interesting course videos:

  • Create a screenplay and a plan for the topics you want to address in your video.
  • Keep a close eye to getting high-quality audio on camera. Make sure there is no echo or background noise in your recording.
  • Don't make your videos boring. Instead, combine and contrast your video clips, other visuals, screen actions, and camera feed.
  • To make your video look more professional, edit it to remove errors, eliminate pauses, add video and audio effects, etc.

Make additional materials for download

The process of making course videos is just the beginning; you also need to provide takeaway materials.

The purpose of these downloadable resources is to give students access to extra tools that will improve their ability to absorb, remember, and apply what they have learned.

You can include the following common downloadable content kinds in your course:

  1. For people who enjoy reading, video transcripts make it simple for them to follow along with your courses. For each video lesson, a PDF transcript is available.
  2. Use checklists to make sure students don't forget any required actions. You can create a checklist by breaking the procedure you teach in your lesson or module into several phases.
  3. Workbooks can aid pupils in writing down their thoughts. It has a straightforward structure in which you emphasize the key ideas from your class and then leave space for your pupils to take notes or brainstorm.
  4. With the use of cheat sheets, students can swiftly review your courses without having to watch the whole video. You want to have a cheat sheet with all the crucial lessons on it.
  5. Students don't have to start from scratch because content from swiping files can be used as their own. Copy for sales sites, social media posts, legal pages, etc., may be included.

Your choice of educational tools will be based on how your pupils learn best and make the most progress.

While extra materials like this can enhance the value of an online course, you shouldn't overdo it, especially if it's your first course. Starting with a minimal viable product and then improving it along the way should be the goal instead.

5. An emphasis on learner engagement

We cannot emphasize enough how important engagement is to a successful online course. Students who are actively involved in the class are much more likely to complete the assignment and feel happy with the course.

And when they're done, they'll recall it and tell their friends and family about it. So, here are some ideas for improving engagement in your online course:

Be Present and Communicate Frequently

Giving your pupils a ton of pre-recorded information is insufficient if you want huge see high levels of engagement. Instead, you must invest time in and engage with your pupils to foster engagement.

To begin, make a welcome video in which you identify yourself, describe the lessons the students will learn, and wish them well. Here, it's important to be visible so that your kids can see and hear you.

A good and simple technique to pique students' interest in the course is to show them an opening video. Additionally, it enables you to develop a deeper level of intimacy with them.

However, you shouldn't only watch the introduction video. Instead, you must keep in constant contact with your students. For the same, consider these suggestions:

  • Every time new content is released or updated, send out an email update.
  • Check in with your kids once a week and find out if they require any assistance.
  • If a user is inactive for more than a week, send them a notification.
  • Whenever a student completes a module or a test, congratulate them.
  • Respond quickly to all emails and questions from the students.

This kind of student communication has the advantage that the majority of it can be automated, making it a low-hanging fruit option for raising student involvement.

Create an Online Community

Is there any community in which you have ever participated? If yes, you must have had a strong sense of involvement and loved the opportunity to learn from and with your peers.

The most effective method to increase student involvement is to create a learning community. It can be beneficial in a few ways:

  • When a student is a part of a social group or community, they are more likely to stay on a platform longer.
  • It ensures that they don't get stopped and makes it simple for kids to ask for assistance.
  • Being a part of a community increases accountability, which produces greater results.
  • There are a lot of opportunities for your students to make friends and network with others.

For example, Ezycourse community is a great medium for students to connect with their teachers and fellow classmates. They can also privately chat with their respective community members.

You can now create a community just for students who have completed the program. They'll usually talk about stuff like how to enhance your skills in particular fields.

It's a wonderful opportunity for you to keep contributing by responding to questions. The best part is that you can use this network to promote additional courses you create.

Although Facebook is the foundation of many learning communities, you can also create your community on a specialized platform.

Frequent Feedback Gathering

To get feedback is a different method of engaging students. Gather feedback midway through the course to determine if any students are having difficulties, and again at the end.

What counts most is the feedback you get at the end of the course. Students will be more willing to give candid comments now that they have had time to consider how the course has affected them overall.

By designing a survey, you may gather feedback using the simplest method possible. The survey can be included into the lesson(s) of your course or emailed to the students.

How can you improve without feedback? Of course, there will be instances when you hear things you don't want to hear and there may occasionally be strange criticism. However, it's an essential step in creating a course and will ultimately help your course become better.

6. Prepare Your Course for Sale

Your first online course is now ready, and you can get it ready for sale. Before your students may sign up for your course, there are a few things you need to accomplish.

Put Your Online Course Online

Putting your course online is the initial stage, and you'll need an online course platform for that. There are several great options that you can choose from, but we recommend choosing EzyCourse.

Ezycourse is an all-in-one platform that lets you do everything from a single platform – you can host your courses, create a website, host a blog, do email marketing,use customised site builder etc. It’s a great option if you want to keep things simple and don’t want to patch together multiple tools to run your business.

If you want to know which platform will be best for you, you can read our article regarding this and make your best choice.

Choose the Course's Optimal Price Point

Let me start by offering some advice to help creators who are having trouble setting the correct price for their online courses:

  • Determine whether a competitor's course offers more or less value than yours by comparing prices.
  • Consider the subject that your course covers. Does it aid in monetary gain or monetary preservation? If so, you are free to set a greater price.
  • Clearly define your target audience. If you're selling to middle-aged business leaders, for instance, you can charge more than if you're selling to college kids.
  • Analyze how well your course is taught. For instance, you might charge more if you use quality recording equipment and a good microphone.

No matter what, we advise that you charge at least $100 for your course.

Pricing your course can be challenging; a price that is too high may result in few sales, while a price that is too low may cause students to doubt the overall worth of your course.

Sadly, the majority of creators choose the latter. To draw in more students, they offer their course at a lower price. Underpricing has the drawback of increasing course sales without increasing profits.

Looking at the problem you are solving for your students and how much it is worth to them might be a fantastic method to consider price. When you approach it from this perspective, you'll see how much more valuable your course is and how, with the appropriate marketing, you can charge more for it.

Additionally, you can give out extras to increase the perceived value of your course.

Offering even one extremely valuable bonus is a significant benefit for your course, even if you don't develop a large bonus stack.

Create a Sales Page That Converts Well

You have the opportunity to sell potential students on your online course by outlining its benefits on the sales page. It must simultaneously pique their interest, persuade them, and impart knowledge.

Is it really a wonderful sales page if you don't optimize it for conversions?

A few factors form the basis for creating a sales page that converts well:

  • Recognizing the factors that influence your target market's decision to make a buy. Sell them on the benefits they will experience and the issue your training will address.
  • Make an intriguing title and subheading. Since this is the first thing readers will see, make sure it is engaging and concise.
  • Include a sales video that summarizes all the course's key points.
  • Describe what the students will learn in an informative course description.
  • Create an author bio that establishes your authority, highlights your experience, and lends credibility.
  • Justify the length. If it's too long, you'll lose interest, and if it's too short, there won't be enough information. As a general rule, it should be as long as is necessary while yet being concise and instructive.
  • Make a pricing section that details the cost of your offer and the benefits readers will receive.
  • Include a money-back guarantee that reassures your users that their investment is risk-free.

When it comes to selling online courses, creating a compelling sales page will make a big difference in your conversion rate.

Since marketing online courses is outside the purview of this tutorial, we won't discuss it here. However, we go into great length on course marketing methods in a separate guide.


We really hope that this guide has assisted you in gathering all the information and materials needed to produce a successful online course.

The process of creating a course has a lot of moving pieces and might take weeks or even months to complete. Therefore, it's crucial to approach it like a project, segment it into tasks and milestones, and set due dates for each of them.