How to Launch Your First Online Course in 60 Days

Morgan Timm

| Aug 09, 2018

So many people set the goal of creating their first online course but never make it happen. They love the idea of being a course creator, and dream of the financial freedom that could come with their own online course business, but when it comes to executing it’s hard to know where to start.

Creating an online course is a huge task, but it’s one that can be broken up into many, more manageable, sub-tasks. 

Things like coming up with your online course topic or outlining your scripts will only take a day or so to complete, and crossing these sub-tasks off your to-do list can help you build momentum and stay motivated.

In this blog post, the steps you’ll use to create and launch your own course and how long each step should take to keep you on track.

Creating your online course

Alright, you’ve seen the impressive course creators who have already taken on the challenge of launching their online course in just 60 days. Now, it’s your turn. 

Creating an online course is a rewarding process, but not one that doesn’t come with a bit of commitment. Luckily, if you go in with a plan, creating your online course doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process and with a bit of planning your can easily create and launch your online course in just 60 days. 

Step 1. Choose your topic

My guess is, you’ve already got a vague idea of what you’d like to create your online course about. You’ve got your own interests and passions, and perhaps you already have an online business.

Lets take your vague idea and turn it into a money making course topic.

The key here is to marry your passions and skills with your audience’s wants and needs and narrow those ideas down. 

Narrow your course down by:

  • Figuring out which would be the easiest, fastest and least expensive for you to create. This will eliminate potential blockers.
  • Which course will you enjoy creating the most? If you’re having fun creating your course you’re less likely to get burnt out or lose motivation.
  • Which topics align with your long-term goals? Creating a long-term and sustainable business means thinking ahead.

Finish step one on day one. It shouldn’t take too long!

Step 2. Build your audience

Growing an audience online is easier now than it’s ever been. There are tried and true tactics that internet marketers employ time and time again to skyrocket their audiences. 

Luckily, we’ve perfected our audience growing tactics and have created a fool-proof formula to help you explode your audience.

This video will walk you through the audience building portion of launching your online course.

Begin step two as early in the process as possible and continue building your audience while you progress through the rest of the steps. The earlier you begin, the larger the audience you’re launching to will be.

Step 3. Create your curriculum 

Your curriculum acts as the skeleton of your online course. You’ll build everything around your curriculum, it acts like an outline.

First, identify the different milestones your students will meet through taking your online course. For example, if you’re teaching a course on salsa gardening, by the end of your online course your audience might: 

  • Know how to prep their garden plot
  • Select high-quality seed from their local nursery
  • Plant each seed according to the specific needs of that plant
  • Tend for the garden
  • Harvest the vegetables
  • Bonus! Share your salsa recipe

Once you know what your milestones are, you can further break them down into lessons.

Let’s take a peak at what that might look like.

  • Milestone: Prep your garden plot
    • Lesson one: Scouting your land for the best garden location )
    • Lesson two: Pest-proofing your gardening area
    • Lesson three:  Enriching your soil and preparing it for seedlings

Continue this same process for you each milestone you’ve created.

Step three should be completed by the end of day 5.

Related: How to Plan Your Course Content

Step 4. Create your course content

Types of content for your course

Online courses don’t have to consist of just videos, in fact, if you don’t want to, you don’t need to create a single video! There are five main content types we often see course creators use.

Text and photo lessons: These are made up a lot like this blog post. Utilizing written word and photos to get a point across. These are the easiest lessons to create and they take no advance skill. 

PDFs, spreadsheets, and other documents: If your course has a workbook, a cheat sheet, or resource material that you want students to easily reference, you may want to make it available for download in PDF form. 

Screencasting, or screen recording: With screencasts, you can demonstrate a topic on your computer and record the screen. Often, when screencasting, you’ll also include an audio voiceover, which you can record at the same time or after you have the video recorded. T

Video: Here you can speak directly to your customers. Sitting down on video is a great way to really make that connection with your audience and get your points across. Video is a great content choice, but there are times when text & photo might be better, like when there is too much information to recite on video.

If you opt for creating video for your online course, there’s a lot that goes into it! Refer to this guide to setting up a DIY Recording Studio in your own home.

Plan on completing your course content by day 40. 

Step 5. Build a sales page

Create a sales page

Your sales page is one of your most powerful marketing tools, after all, it’s the last hurdle your potential customers need to get over before purchasing.

Use your sales page as an opportunity to educate your audience and share why your course is the best possible solution to their problems

Writing sales copy

There’s a well established principle in the world of sales copywriting called the 40/40/20 rule. 

This rule says that there are three key factors that contribute to someone’s decision to buy your product. 

The first is your offer, which includes your course and maybe a special bonus offering or discount. The offer accounts for 40% of their reasoning. 

The second factor is whether or not they are your target audience, so 40% of someone’s decision to buy your course will depend on if you’ve attracted the right audience. 

The third and final factor is your creative, which includes the sales page, your emails, the design, and everything else. This creative, or your marketing efforts, only account for 20% of someone’s decision to buy your course.

Despite creative only accounting for 20% of your audience’s decision to purchase, it’s not something you want to get wrong. 

For more on creating a beautiful sales page (with examples!) check out this blog post.

Complete your sales page by day 45 so you have enough time to execute your launch.

Step 6. Launch your online course

This is the most exciting part of your entire journey, you’ve been working towards this for weeks! When you finally open your doors and launch, that’s when all of your hard work begins to pay off. 

But you’re not out of the woods, yet. You see, not all launches are created equally, and some launches have higher success rates than others. To simplify it, we recommend launching to your email list and holding a open-close launch.

An Open-Close Course Launch just means that you make your course available for enrollment for a limited time only. Instead of making your product available year round, your course will have launch windows and you can only purchase within that time frame.

You might feel like this is counterintuitive, afterall, you want as many people as possible to buy your course, right? Well, watch this video to better understand why an open-close launch might be the right option for you and your business. 

When it comes to the in’s and the out’s of actually launching your online course, there are several different strategies you can follow. If you’re interested in our preferred method, check out our guide to launching your online course in 2018.

Begin your online course launch by day 52, and you’re done!  

You did it!

Congratulations! You’ve hosted your first launch in just 60 days and I’ve got a feeling that you killed it. If you have any questions, make sure to let me know in the comments!

Morgan Timm is a content marketer at Teachable with a background in blogging and social media. She runs Mostly Morgan, a life and style blog that reaches an audience of 40,000 people monthly.