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Your Burning Online Course Questions – Answered

September 1, 2020

If you’re at the beginning of your digital course creation journey, you probably have some questions.

From coming up with a course topic, to picking a name, to finetuning your content, there are a ton of steps involved in taking a course from idea to delivery and without a little help, you can quickly lose your way.

Fortunately for you, I love helping passionate professionals create and launch their online courses. In fact, it’s kind of my specialty. So if you’re tired of late-night Google sessions and need some direction stat, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are some helpful answers to real digital course questions I get in my online communities and Facebook Lives.

How do you get all the knowledge you have in your head out to teach?

Three words. Make. An. Outline. You can create an online course outline in five easy steps. The first step is to pinpoint your course’s specific problem and promise and your course modules (i.e. the overarching steps that your students will make throughout your course). Once you’ve done that, the next step is to define the lessons and results for each module.

Step three is when you can really start brainstorming. At this stage, I recommend course creators open up a fresh digital doc and start jotting down the examples, stories, insights, case studies, experiences, research details, strategies, and tips that will make up the bulk of their course. You can dive back in and organize everything later.

I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur and have about 20 ideas for a digital course. How do I choose which one will be best? Do I need to pick just one?

You don’t need to choose just one, but at the same time, you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. There are three effective types of digital courses — Starter, Spotlight, and Signature — but each style works for different entrepreneurs and online businesses so I suggest you pick one to start. 

To begin, there’s the Starter Course. This course type is a jumping-off point where you help your student get started in your area of expertise, like my student Louisa Deasey’s “30-Day Journaling E-Course.

Next, we have a Spotlight Course that takes more of a deeper dive into one specific area of a more general overarching topic. Case-in-point: my student Clare Le Roy created a Spotlight Course called “SketchUp for Interior Design Beginners.” 

Lastly, A Signature Course is a comprehensive, all-in-one-style course. It’s super detailed and includes the entire framework for a total transformation. For example, my past student Reah Reid has a Signature Course teaching rising pro photographers how to run a successful photography business. 

How do I know how to price my digital course?

Ah, pricing. I get this question a lot. You want to come up with a price that reflects the work you put into your course and the material’s value, but finding that pricing sweet spot can leave many first-time course creat

ors scratching their heads.

Before you dive into pricing, you should first solidify the kind of course you want to create. A Starter, Spotlight, and Signature Course all deliver different transformations and the price should reflect that. As a rule of thumb, the price range for a Starter Course is typically $100 to $200. A Spotlight Course falls in the $200 to $500 price range and a Signature Course can cost anywhere from $500 to $3000 or more. 

Once you choose your course type, you can start researching your competition to see what prices they’ve set for their courses. Then you can start playing around with your pricing style. Do you want to offer some of the cheapest, but most valuable courses in your market? Do you want to be on the high-end and offer premium pricing for your premium courses? Or do you want to land somewhere in the middle?

While it can be tempting to lower your course price to attract more buyers, this can work against you. No matter what price you set for your course, someone out there will always be able to beat it and competing on price can hurt your brand and attract buyers who are only looking for a deal. Plus, selling a low priced course is just as much work as selling a higher-priced one.

When in doubt, try to quantify the value of your course’s transformation. For example, if your course helps your students’ save money, save time, or increase their income significantly, the price will seem like a no-brainer investment in comparison.

How do I find content to keep giving? I struggle with ideas and time!

One of the easiest ways to come up with content ideas is to ask your audience. Put a poll in your next Instagram Story or post questions in Facebook or Slack groups asking people for content suggestions. Then compile all the ideas and start making some incredible content.

Now when it comes to content distribution, remember that content has nine lives. That blog post or podcast episode? You can break down the highlights of those larger pieces of content into smaller social media posts, and now you’ve got marketing content for days.

What time frame are we looking at from start to finish to launch my first course?

That depends on a lot of different factors. Are you creating all your videos ahead of time or running the course live? Are you building a comprehensive Signature course or a Starter or Spotlight course with a narrower scope?

All of these factors will impact how long it takes you to create your course. However, to give you a little context, my Signature Course — Digital Course Academy®️ — is a 12-week program that takes students through the entire process of creating, launching, and selling a digital course. 

What do you think about doing a digital course as a side hustle?

I love it! That’s the beauty of an online course. While you can go all-in and turn your digital course into your main hustle, many of my students use their digital course as an additional revenue stream to support their families. 

Take my student Lauren Kilgore, for example. She’s a full-time accountant, mom of two, and crafter who sells her work on Etsy. After a couple of years, she realized that there were many people out there who loved crafting stuff that they could sell online but didn’t know where to start.

She started a mastermind group and then turned that into a digital course. After enrolling in Digital Course Academy®️, she generated over $36,000 from her course launch and the rest, you could say, is history. 

How many email subscribers should you have to put a course out there?

250 is the magic number. You should set a goal to have at least 250 email subscribers on your list before you start to create your digital course. 

Why 250? Because an email list is a huge asset to your business. With email marketing, you don’t have to deal with any social media algorithm shenanigans. You have an instant and direct line of communication with a community of people that, by subscribing to your list, have indicated that they want to hear from you.

If you’re starting from zero or have less than 250 people on your email list, then it’s time to get to work. My free list building masterclass is a great place to start. I’ll show you how to get results fast with tried-and-true list building strategies. 

If you’re near or past the 250 mark, you can start creating your course and promoting it to your audience.

As you get into course launch mode, you’ll want to make sure you’re visible to your audience every day. Even if your audience is already interested in your course topic in a broad sense, you need to start educating them on why they need to learn more about what you’re teaching specifically, and why your online course is the best way to learn it.

Now that we’ve got those FAQs out of the way, you’re probably itching to get started and I’ve got just the tool to help. My Ultimate Course Creation Starter Kit is a must-have resource for all new and aspiring course creators. You’ll learn how to pick the perfect topic, choose a high-converting course name, and make a commitment to yourself to take your course creams off the backburner and turn them into a profitable reality. If that sounds like it’d be right up your alley, you can get instant access to the guide here

Results are not guaranteed. Please see earnings disclaimer for more detail.

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