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How To Create An Online Course

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  1. Welcome To How To Create An Online Course
    1 Topic
  2. Start Here: Building An Effective Course
    6 Topics
  3. Fundamentals Of Creating An Online Course
    8 Topics
  4. What Do You Need To Create An Online Course?
    6 Topics
  5. Setting The Stage For Your Online Course
    7 Topics
  6. How To Create An Online Course
    8 Topics
  7. What To Do After Your Course Goes Live
    4 Topics
  8. A Summary Of Creating An Online Course
    1 Topic
Lesson Progress
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Creating courses can take a fair bit of time, so you don’t want to waste time on the wrong things
or make mistakes that you have to come back and clean up.

In this lesson, I’ll show you how to work smart you need to “plan, test and template”.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning is just a matter of allocating and tracking tasks like you would with anything else. You can use productivity apps or a spreadsheet to do this.

Break down the creative process into logical stages for each module. I like to structure my plan inline with the ADDIE instructional design model which includes the phases Analyse, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate.

For each of these phases you’ll have tasks to tick off such as writing your script, refining your script, filming, editing etc.

I’ve included a spreadsheet that you can use to help you through this. The linked spreadsheet is “Read Only” so make sure that you make a copy for yourself so that you can modify it as we go.

2. Testing and Evaluate

Working smart is not just about planning, you will also need to test…particularly up front. This could be testing your audio or your workflow or even testing a module on your audience.

Testing is about avoiding mistakes that cascade, so that you save time in the long run.

Testing can also save you money, for example if you plan on using paid advertising for your course you many want to test a lower ad spend and only bump it up if it works.

Testing then leads us to templating. If you test something and it works then lock it in.

For example you may want to focus on creating one module first to iron out the workflow of lighting, audio, editing and designs… then you can lock that in to rinse and repeat across your other modules.

Testing and templating then loops back into planning by indicating how long a particular task can take so you can then multiply this out in your plan.

3. Outsourcing Your Creative Process

Another way to work smart can be to outsource part of your creative process. This will come at a financial cost and if not managed well will come with it’s own share of headaches.

A good example of how to do this would be to film during the day and outsource the editing process to the other side of the world overnight so it is ready when you wake up.

Or maybe you only need a logo and you don’t want to spend days learning how to make one. It’d be far better to just pay a small fee to get someone else to do it and move forward.

I suggest reading Outsourcing 101: How To Outsource [Step-By-Step] and paying special attention to the following lessons:

4. Overcoming Mental Blocks

Putting a system in place to work smart will also counteract some of your potential mental blocks.

Creating a course is a massive job and can feel overwhelming. However, by breaking it down, you can tackle it bit by bit and before you know it, it will be done.

The other blocker is chasing perfection. Your goal is however is to help people, so in order to do that you need ship your course.

Consider what your students will accept as a minimum and draw that line and plan out your tasks accordingly. This will allow you to spend the time where it matters most to your students.


Set your self up for success by working smart to save yourself time and ship your course to your students as soon as possible.

Action For You

Set your self up with the tools you need to work smart.

Let Us Know In The Comments

What’s your best tip for working smart?


  • Awesome Course Creator spreadsheet – use this to assist you to work smart
  • Planning apps –  Trello and Things
  • Outsourcing – Fiverr, 99Designs


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