How To Sell Online Courses: How to Create Your First Online Course

How To Sell Online Courses: How to Create Your First Online Course

Written by Jono Petrohilos from Course Creator Community

The most stressful component of becoming a Course Creator is creating your first online course! Like anything else in life – the first time is always the hardest, most difficult, most stressful, AND… you usually suck at it :p! 

But after you’ve done it once, the next time it becomes A LOT easier and you become better at it.

Here’s where it gets a little tricky for Course Creators though… Most Online Course Creators take over 12 months to create their first course (from idea to research, to choosing the platform, to creating the powerpoints, taking the videos, editing the videos, uploading to the platform, creating the sales page etc).

Now, this is where it becomes problematic… 12 months is a LONG time to wait to get better at something! Let’s compare it to some other examples

  • You want to get better at running, you go for a run every week – each week you’ll get a little better… 12 months later, you’ll be running half marathons!
  • You want to learn French, you practise every week – each week you’ll get a little better… 12 months later, you’re almost bilingual
  • You want to learn the piano, you practise every week – each week you’ll get a little better… 12 months later, you’re going to have a whole array of songs!

For a Course Creator, you need to wait 12 months for that improvement! 


There is a way around that!

Only spend a week creating your online course… Or better yet, just pick one day this weekend and create it then! 

And I know what you’re thinking… Is this guy serious? Create a whole online course in a weekend? No thank you, I actually want to create something good! 

But here’s the thing…

Your first course should be…

A free mini-course! 

Your first course shouldn’t be your ‘signature course’… That’s just crazy! It’s kind of like – your goal is to run a marathon, so you just enter and run the marathon with no training! People would think you’re crazy! And don’t get me wrong, with a bit of heart – you’ll finish the marathon… but you’re not going to get a good result, it’s going to take you so much longer than it should have and it’s going to be painful! 

That’s the same thing that’s going to happen if the first course you create is your signature course! 

Your free mini course is your ‘training’ or that ‘free fun run’ you enter before the marathon and here’s why…  

Reason 1: The Words “Free” and “Mini Course”

These two words just take so much pressure from the Course Creator! Part of the reason why it takes 12 months to create a course is because the Creator wants to charge a decent penny for it and wants to be a decent length so the students get good value for the money. 

But a free mini course? The course is only going to be about 30-60mins of content! No matter what your topic – you’ll be able to create a full mini course in a day – the planning, recording, editing, and uploading! 

Reason 2: Learning Curve 

By the end of this mini course you are going to learn so much! Both from the creating side of things – how it sounds, how it looks, how to use the platform… and the promoting side of things – where to post it – do people want it.

And you’re probably going to make a heap of mistakes on both of those topics! But how much better is it that you’ve made these mistakes on your free mini course as opposed to your signature course!

Reason 3: You Can Start To Build Your Following

Another common mistake Course Creators make is they spend all their time creating their course and then when it comes time to sell the course – they have no one to sell it to because they have no following. 

With the mini course strategy, once you’ve got your mini course finished you can plug it all over social media while you’re building your signature course. That way once you’ve finished your signature course – you already have a following to sell that course too!

Reason 4: Identity 

Once you’ve finished your free mini course, you are now a Course Creator! Yes, it may only be a free mini course but it’s a still course! 

And there’s a big shift identity wise between someone who’s “putting together a course” and a “Course Creator”

So that’s it – don’t delay it any longer! Pick one day this weekend – either Saturday or Sunday – block it out, put your phone on silent – create this mini course and thank me later :)!

Bonus Tip:

I like to make a post on Social Media before creating my mini course. Something simple like “I’m thinking of creating a free mini course on (insert topic), would you be interested in a copy?” or even “I just created a free mini course on (insert topic), comment below if you’d like a copy”. If you get a lot of interest – create the course, at least you know you’ll get a few students. If you get little to no interest, don’t create a mini course – go back to the drawing board and think of a different topic. Do this during the week – so come the weekend, you already know what your topic is going to be.

At the Course Creator Community we have a Facebook Group specially for Online Course Creators. Everyone in there is super supportive and we all share tips and ideas. We would love to invite you to join the Group.

Click here to join the Course Creator Community Facebook Group

Blog Author

How to Sell Online Courses: Top 5 Book Recommendations for Online Course Creators

Jono Petrohilos

Director at Course Creator Community
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