The Beginner’s Guide: How to Create an Online Course from Scratch

I'm ericka!

I turn your knowledge into a well-structured online course that students will engage with and finish. 


So you want to create an online course? Can I just say, “Welcome to the good life!’ Creating an online course (even from scratch),  is such a good way to share your expertise, build your brand, and generate income. You may be an expert in your field or have a passion for teaching, whichever the case, developing a structured, engaging, and valuable online course can set you up for success. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you create an online course that not only sells but also delivers real value to your students.

Getting Started with Your Online Course

Developing an online course involves multiple steps, from selecting the right topic to marketing and selling your course. Each step is crucial to ensure your course meets the needs of your target audience and stands out in a competitive market. This guide will take you through each stage of the process, providing practical tips and strategies.

Selecting the Perfect Topic for Your Course

Identify Your Expertise and Passion

Start by selecting a topic you are passionate about and have substantial knowledge in. You gotta know your stuff! That’s important, y’all. Your enthusiasm and expertise will translate into a more valuable, higher-quality content and more engaging learning experience for your students. And you know what that means? Better testimonials and referrals. 

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • What subjects am I most passionate about?
  • What skills do I possess that others might find value in?
  • What topics do I often get asked about by clients, friends, customers or people on social media?

Ensure Market Demand for Your Course Topic

Before you get started with the course creation process, validate your idea to ensure there is sufficient demand. Don’t put out an entire course that no one even wants. Use tools like Google Trends, Ahrefs, and Ubersuggest to research popular search terms related to your topic. Additionally, explore social media groups and online communities to see what questions people are asking and what challenges they are facing. 

TIP: You can even pair your findings with the topics people ask you about.

Examples of High-Demand Course Topics

  • Fitness and Nutrition Coaching
  • Dubsado CRM set up
  • Launching and Scaling Your E-commerce Business

Conduct Customer Research

Understand Your Target Audience’s Needs

Be sure to conduct thorough research to understand your target audience’s needs, preferences, and pain points. This will help you tailor your content to meet their specific requirements. Again, this is how you will increase the value of your course – by talking directly to your ideal student.

Methods for Research:

  • Surveys and Polls: Use tools like Google Forms or even Instagram Stories to gather insights from your potential audience.
  • Social Media and Forums: Participate in relevant groups and forums to observe discussions and identify common challenges.
  • Interviews: Conduct one-on-one interviews with potential students to gather in-depth insights. You can quickly do this via DMs on social media. 

Create a Detailed Student Persona

When you sit down to create your online course, you need to develop a detailed persona of your ideal student, including demographics, goals, challenges or pain points, and how your course can directly help them.

Example Student Persona:

  • Name: Kim
  • Age: 30
  • Occupation: Marketing Manager
  • Goals: Improve digital marketing skills to enhance job performance
  • Challenges: Limited time and budget for professional development
  • Course Benefit: Comprehensive, flexible, and affordable training on advanced marketing strategies

Select the Best Online Course Format

Which Course Format Should You Choose?

Choose a course format that best suits your content and audience. Common formats include:

  • Video Lectures: Engaging and visually appealing. This is my jam!
  • Written Content: Detailed guides, text lessons and PDFs.
  • Interactive Elements: Quizzes, assignments, and discussion forums.

Structure Your Online Course for a Transformation

Organize your content into modules or sections, each covering a specific topic. Ensure a logical flow that builds on previous lessons and leads to the course transformation.

Example Structure:

  1. Introduction
    • Course overview
    • Learning objectives
  2. Module 1: Basics
    • Lesson 1: Introduction to the Basics
    • Lesson 2: Fundamental Concepts
    • Quiz/Assignment
  3. Module 2: Intermediate
    • Lesson 1: Intermediate Techniques
    • Lesson 2: Case Studies
    • Quiz/Assignment
  4. Module 3: Advanced
    • Lesson 1: Advanced Strategies
    • Lesson 2: Application in Real-world Scenarios
    • Final Project

Choose the Right Online Course Platform

Evaluate Different Course Platforms

There’s so many platforms out there so select a platform that suits your needs and budget. Popular options include Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi, and Circle. Consider factors such as ease of use, customization options, and pricing.

Set Up Your Course on the Chosen Platform

Once you’ve chosen a platform, set up your course by uploading your content, organizing the modules, and uploading any assets. You’ll also want to set up any welcome emails. 

Pricing Strategies for Your Online Course

Determine the Best Pricing Strategy

Set a competitive price for your course based on factors such as content depth, market demand, and target audience. Consider offering tiered pricing or bundles to provide additional value.

Offer Discounts and Promotions to Boost Enrollments

Attract students by offering limited-time discounts, early bird pricing, or special promotions. Even payment plans can help boost initial enrollments and build momentum for your course. 

Market and Launch Your Online Course

Create a Marketing Plan

Develop a comprehensive marketing plan to promote your course. Use a mix of content marketing, social media, and email campaigns. You can also use paid advertising to reach your target audience.

Leverage Testimonials and Reviews for Credibility

If you happen to do a beta round for your course, encourage early students to provide testimonials. Trust me, positive feedback can build credibility and attract more enrollments.

Plan a Course Launch

Plan a launch event or campaign to get potential students excited. You can use webinars, live Q&A sessions, and social media to engage with potential students and drive those enrollments in.

Collect Feedback and Continuously Improve

Gather Valuable Student Feedback

Collect feedback from your students to understand what they liked and what could be improved. Use surveys, feedback forms, and direct conversations to gather these insights.

Make Continuous Improvements to Your Course

Use the feedback to make necessary improvements and updates to your course. Regularly update your content to keep it relevant and valuable.


When you decide to create an online course, it involves careful planning, market research, and continuous improvement. By following these steps, you can develop a high-quality course that meets the needs of your target audience and provides real value. Remember, the key to success is to focus on solving a specific problem and delivering a clear transformation for your students.

If you have any questions or need further assistance with creating your course, check out the video editing packages to make your course stand out.