When it comes to creating an online course that sells, content is king!
Your content is what your students are paying for and you want it to deliver everything you’ve promised (and more if possible).
Creating your online course content is going to be hands down the most stressful, nerve-wracking and time-consuming part of building your membership site, so make sure you leave plenty of time for it.
You’ll wonder if you have the right content, not enough content, or too much content.
You’ll write and rewrite your course content over and over again until you get it just right.
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of work it will take to create and launch a great course but believe me when I tell you that however long you think it’s going to take, double it!
Now while the actual content you add to your course should be your priority (we’ll talk about that in a different post), you also want to think about how you will deliver that content.
There are many different types of content that you may want to include in your course and you may be wondering how you could or should be delivering your content to your students:
- A combination of any of the above?
The truth of the matter is that your course students are going to have diverse learning styles. They each come into your course with different preferences, experiences, backgrounds, careers, and so on.
Some will prefer to listen to the course on the go. Some will prefer to read handouts and fill out worksheets. Some will prefer to watch a video with engaging visuals.
So, let’s talk about the types of content you may want to consider and the benefits of each one when creating your course:
01. Videos content.
Most people think of video when it comes to creating an online course but there are many different types of videos you can create:
When done right, video can be the most interactive and engaging type of content you can create for your course. Having visuals not only helps to hold your students’ attention, but can also aid in communicating your points by giving students an extra level of clarity and understanding through the use of graphs, diagrams, screenshots, and illustrative graphics.
Now from a monetization point of view when you add video to your course the perceived value increases which means you can charge more. Producing video takes more effort and can be a little intense. You have to create slides in some cases or have the equipment to record your screen and editing can be time-consuming. So because of these things – the increased time commitment and possible financial investment video courses are always seen as more valuable.
If you are considering video for your course here are some options:
- Screenshare videos: These are typically used for how-to type tutorial videos or videos where you want to talk over a slide presentation.
- Face-to-camera videos: useful for connecting with your audience and discussing topics without a need for visuals.
- Webinars: your online course can be a series of webinars that is streamed live using something like Zoom, GoToWebinar or Facebook Live. The recordings can then be added to your course training hub for anyone who wants to rewatch or couldn’t make it live.
02. Audio content.
Creating audio content for your course makes it super easy to produce a product quickly.
Audio is easy to create and with the popularity of podcasts it can be a great option for delivering your course content.
You don’t have to worry about creating slides, or what color blouse to wear, if your hair or makeup is on point and you don’t have to worry about your facial expressions.
If you mess up it’s much easier to edit versus editing a video where if you mess up you may have to go back and reshoot an entire section.
With audio you can still infuse your personality and give your course character because people can hear you – hear the tone and the emphasis in your voice but the biggest drawbacks with audio is that audio obviously lacks that punch of visuals that video and even written content can give you and it’s easier for students to get distracted when you’re not asking them to look at a slide or image.
If your course topic is highly visual where you need to demonstrate steps of some sort in order for your students to pick up what you’re teaching, then audio just isn’t going to be a good option.
Now, one more point I want to make in regards to audio. When using audio in your online course, it is important to make sure your audio quality is high.
There is nothing more annoying than trying to listen to someone whisper or talk over background noise.
03. Written content.
Lastly there is written content. While there may be a lot of writing you have to do, you don’t have to worry about things like building out slides, or getting in front of a camera, and there is typically less production time and money invested.
Written courses are your email courses or series, newsletter, blog posts, ebooks or lesson plan type of courses where everything is in worksheet form.
The drawbacks of a written course is that it leaves it up to the student to give your course personality and life so it lacks that unique tone or essence that makes it easier for your students to connect with when you are using audio and video.
your full list of content types!
When it comes to creating content, I always recommend using a variety of different content formats to accommodate people’s different learning styles.
I will typically do video + a written component such as a PDF or workbook.
One of the reasons I often recommend adding video to your course in some shape or form is that not only can you charge more, but you can take video and repurpose it into audio format by simply separating the audio from the video and saving it as an mp3. – You can also offer a download of your video slides or turn your video or audio content into written content by getting it transcribed.
Full list of content ideas.
- Screenshare Videos: Create a slideshow presentation using Cavna, Google Slides, PowerPoint or Keynote to outline your course content.
- Case Studies: Share success stories and experiences of your customers and clients.
Quick Tips: Who says you have to record long videos? Share a daily tip that your students can take quick action on.
- Inspirational Quotes: People love quotes. Incorporating quotes in tour course content, whether it’s in your slides or workbooks, can give your students a spark of inspiration that keeps them in the right state of mind.
- Product Comparisons: You may be recommending various products or tools for your students to use throughout your course. When your students might need to make a choice between products, make it easy for them to compare features and benefits.
- Interviews: Audio, video or written – interviews are relatively easy to put together.
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) Answers: Alot of course creators don’t think of this as “course content” but ask your students to submit questions and then create a FAQ module or section within your course that gives them the answers they need.
- Questions for your students: Turn the tables and let your students create the content. Ask them questions that will get them thinking and self-reflecting.
- Flowcharts: For your visual learners, a flow chart illustrating a process might come in very handy.
- Instruction Guide: If there’s one thing that’s lacking in many online courses, it is detailed instructions for people to follow. Give your readers an extra hand by giving them handy instructions that make it easier for them to execute. These are great when you have a lot of tech tutorials, or need to break down a task like an exercise!
- Content Summaries: Summarize long pieces of content or videos for your students, that help them grasp the key concepts you’ll be teaching in your lesson.
- Fill-in-the-Blanks: Give your readers a chance to apply what they’ve learned and self-reflect by giving them a fill-in-the-blanks sheet.
- Resource Lists: Everybody loves good resources. Share your rolodex or resource list. Your students will love you for it. P.S. don’t forget to add your affiliate links.
- Spreadsheets: Help your readers keep inventory, do calculations and stay organized. I love using Airtable for things like this but you can also use Google Spreadsheets as well.
- Glossaries: Keep a glossary of key words, concepts and terms for your students. I added a glossary inside of my Digital Product Planner!
- Coloring Sheets: I remember taking a branding course that had coloring sheets. It gave a new and refreshing twist that kept me engaged and having fun as I took the course. Coloring isn’t just for kids!
- Quizzes: Quiz their knowledge, personal suitability, and more.
- Questionnaires: Get their feedback or make an opportunity for your readers to self-reflect on their answers.
- Photographs: Take pictures and incorporate it into your online course content.
- Illustrations: Whether it’s hand-drawn or computer-generated, you can show statistics, share an idea, and more.
Which content type should you go with?
When making your decision on what types of content to include in your course, here are some things to consider:
- How much time do you have? If your time is limited…Do you have money to hire someone to create content for you? If you don’t have the time but do have the money, consider outsourcing certain elements of your content creation if you can. Maybe you can hire someone to edit your videos, a graphic designer to create a template for your worksheets, or a VA to create your transcriptions. Yes it will cost more, but it could save you a lot of time and stress in the long run.
- Does your course require visuals where people need to see it to understand it?
- Do you have access to the right equipment? This is especially important for video content. Make sure you have a good mic for sound quality and a decent camera and lighting if doing face-to-camera videos. This doesn’t have to be expensive!
- Do you have the skills to use that equipment properly? And if not, do you have the budget to learn how to use the equipment or hire someone who can do it for you? For screenshare videos invest in something like Screenflow or Camtasia to make the recording and editing process easier. For audio files, auphonic.com provides some good, free, post-production options. For text or workbooks, create styled templates using Canva, my go-to tool!
- How does this course fit into your overall income goals? How much are you hoping to charge? If you have a course goal of $50,000 putting a little more effort upfront to create a video course so you can charge more, in the end, may be well worth it if it brings you that much closer to your goals. So if you can charge $500 for a course with videos vs $100 for an audio or written course, then you can get to your goal 5 times quicker with video.
- Do you have students that you know will buy at various price points? If you want to have various price points to give your budget-strapped students an opportunity to buy from you, you can price your ebook or email course at one level and your video course at a higher price point. This is called a tier pricing strategy you can consider, and when creating your content, it’s something you will want to think about.
- Lastly, Which medium are you most comfortable with? If video is not something you are strong at right now, don’t force yourself to do something that packs on added stress or puts you on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Effective teaching comes when you are in your zone, when you’re sharing comfortably and organically, and not worrying about all the things you’re not good at. Play to our strengths.
At the end of the day you want your content to do what it’s supposed to do and that gets your students the results they want! So, the focus is not to get it perfect but to get it published. Because no matter how good your content is, you can’t create the impact, influence, and income you want if you never get your course out into the world!
If you’re thinking of creating your own passive income-generating online course, be sure to check out additional resources at the bottom of this page. You can also join us inside of the FREE WomanpreneuHER FB Group for more tutorials, tips, and training on how to create 6-figure success with online courses and digital products.
Here’s to your 6-figure future!
P.S. *Use the Viral Content Startup Kit to get 365 Days of social media prompts, content, and live ideas to attract your ideal customers and clients. Click HERE to grab yours now.*