6 Online Course Creation Tips to Minimize Overwhelm

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I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

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How to Combat the Overwhelm of Creating an Online Course

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Calling all course creators and future course creators, this one's for you! Online course creation is NOT easy. It's daunting, often very overwhelming, and it can be tough to start and build momentum to keep going. However, I think online courses are worth it, but it's not all "no work and easy money," as some people presume. It can be hard to fit the time into your business to create a course, and overcoming the overwhelm of the process can be so challenging that you never finish the course. 

In this blog post, I'm sharing six ways to fight the overwhelming feeling of creating a course and making the process much smoother for your life and business! You'll learn about my experience as I created my course, Booked Out Designer, and how these six tips came out of that experience of creating a massive online course in just a few months. I hope this gives you a breath of fresh air and motivates you on your course creation journey! 

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A little about the beginning of Booked Out Designer

My course, Booked Out Designer, is all about how to create an in-demand business as a brand and website designer. I had a beta launch in February 2021, with only one module recorded. Despite this, the course very quickly maxed out at 40 outstanding students! I created the initial course after the first sale. Since then, I've been through 2 carts open/closed launches. Then I moved the course to evergreen, and it's available to buy now if you're interested! 

Booked Out Designer has brought multiple six figures in revenue to my business since I created it. Sometimes people see those numbers for a course and think, "That's so easy! I want that!" In reality, creating extensive online courses is HARD. It is especially tough if you do it right and make it high quality. It's completely worth it, but it comes with plenty of overwhelm, mental exhaustion, and many decisions throughout the creation process before you can get to those nice revenue numbers! 

Looking back on the creation of Booked Out Designer and now being in the process of creating my course on teams and hiring, I want to share my online course creation tips to minimize overwhelm and make the whole process easier on yourself. 

1. Don't work in the order that the lessons/modules will appear. Instead, work in the order that makes sense to your brain. 

Try to work according to what your brain is interested in and what you have the most to say about. You likely already have an outline for your course and the logical order in which you think the lessons should go. This may shift as you get further into the creation process, but you have a general outline at least. 

It's almost instinctual to start with module one as we outline and record, but to be honest, starting with the first module is SCARY! You are probably not the most excited about starting the super foundational stuff for the course. You're probably more excited about what's in the later modules of the course, so create in the order of your passions. 

In Booked Out Designer, I started with three intro videos in module 0, then three videos for module 1, which I didn't finish right away. Instead, I jumped to module 3, networking, because I was excited to teach on that topic. I released it all as I recorded it for my founding members, so they got everything out of order, which is fine! I even made the lessons within each module out of order. So do what works for your brain; you'll make better content that way. If your mind wants to move in a logical order, go for it! If you need to create based on what you are passionate about on a given week, do it that way! 

2. Beta launch without a promise to get the content to people by a certain date.

It's so much less pressure on you! I am all about beta launching, especially on giant courses that will take months to create. Don't put yourself on a schedule if you don't work well under pressure. You will benefit by seeing the demand for the course and getting some money upfront. I benefited from having students I could bounce questions off while creating the course. I used to be anti-beta launching, but I'm glad I changed my mind.

I recommend beta launching with the understanding that the students will get all the content by a specific date that you know is 100% doable for you. If you think it will take 3 months, give yourself an extra month or two and pleasantly surprise your students. If it makes sense for you and your students, deliver it module by module. It's best to underpromise and overdeliver. 

Relieve any pressure you’ve put on yourself. Not all modules are created equal, so don't overwhelm yourself and interrupt the creative flow by rushing the process. Beta launching, in general, is super helpful to combat the overwhelm of online course creation. It is also super motivating to already have people eager to learn from you. 

 

Additional blogs to read about beta launching

Should you beta test your course? Episode 110 

Behind The Scenes Of My Multi-Five Figure Beta Course Launch (That Sold Out In Less Than An Hour!) Episode 114 

3. Have a designated place where you write the content that is separate from other business activities.

One of the most significant parts of online course creation is outlining each module and designing the order and structure of it all. Writing and outlining usually mean naming the lesson and figuring out everything you plan to say in the video or audio that goes along with it. I like to plan and outline it all beforehand to prepare for recording each video.

Pick a place you enjoy going to that you can designate as your 'writing place'. This could be a room in your home, a different chair in your office, or somewhere completely different. It doesn't mean you can't do course writing in your office, but that's your place just to zone in and do THAT.

For me, it was the coffee shop near my house at the time. It was so quiet and full of people working quietly on their computers like me, which was perfect for writing course contents. Sometimes I would outline a few lessons, then come home and record those two lessons. It helped me associate the coffee shop with writing, and it helped me remove all the distractions I had at home.

4. See it as small pieces versus one giant thing.

Divide up your course by modules. No matter the size of your course, it can be daunting to deal with thoughts like - "I have nine modules worth of content I want to create, and there are 80 lessons total." Anyone would get overwhelmed by that. So instead, look at it lesson by lesson and module by module.

For Booked Out Designer, I made a master outline with a highlighting key for lessons I had started on, were ready for proofing, were ready to be made into slides, and then were done. . This helped me stay on track and see clear progress even when it felt like there was so much left to do. You can also create goals like completing several outlines per week, moving through an "outline, record, outline, record" model, or outlining everything before recording it all at once. Whatever helps you the most is the best process for you!

If you're in the middle of course creation and feeling overwhelmed, look at your outline and consider highlighting your progress. Count up all the highlighted pieces so you can be reminded that you are working hard to create this course.

Booked Out Designer Lesson Outline Sections

5. Quit adding more to your course just because you can!

If you're a course creator, you likely love educating and teaching. This means it often feels like there is more to say. You probably have a LOT of ideas you want to add to the course, and they may be fantastic points. But that doesn't mean you should just keep adding things.

Creating a huge course full of unnecessary information will likely overwhelm you and your students. Instead, you need to fill the course with content that focuses directly on what the course is about. Keep it as simple as possible while meeting the needs that you promised. The best way to know if you should add something is to ask yourself, "Does it relate to the promise and goal of the course, or is it just extra? Is it needed to solve the problem?” If It's not needed, it probably is not necessary for your course.

You can always add content later if your students find gaps or have needs that your course did not meet. To start, though, keep it to the basics. Your initial outline will probably expand from your original plan. For example, you may have one lesson that you realize needs to be two lessons based on the content length. You want people to get quick wins in your course, so keep the content easy to digest. You can also have a section for nonessential "bonus content" that your students are not required to consume.

6. Set aside time to work on other parts of your business too.

If you're in a place to create a course, you probably have things that existed in your business first, like clients or customers for other products. Don't let those parts of your business slip or be neglected. You also need to be able to scale those areas back during your course creation season to keep from getting too overwhelmed throughout the process. If you keep the same workload, then add online course creation into the mix, you will be stretched too thin. Course creation works best when you can go all-in on creating that specific offer while scaling back the other pieces of your business. 

For example, I didn't make new templates while working on Booked Out Designer. I did one client project for a sales page during that time which helped keep me in the client mindset. I also wasn't recording tons and tons of podcasts at that time. The overwhelm from content creation was real, so I scaled back where I could. Most of us can't neglect the rest of our business while creating a course, so it's essential to learn the balance that works best for you. 

To recap:

1. Don't work in the order that lessons/modules will appear. Instead, work in the order that makes sense to your brain.
2. Beta launch without a promise to get the content to people by a specific date.
3. Have a designated place where you write the content that is separate from other business activities.
4. See your course as small pieces versus one giant thing.
5. Quit adding more to it just because you can!
6. Set aside time to work on other parts of your business too.

Breakthrough Brand All Access

If you feel you need more after reading this blog, I encourage you to get on the waitlist for Breakthrough Brand All Access. Inside of All Access, you can get my specific help with your online course creation process or any other offer in your business. Get on the waitlist before the doors open again! Breakthrough Brand All Access gives you amazing content, access to me to answer your specific business questions, and a fantastic community with business owners like you!

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July 12, 2022

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gabby podcast kit

Oh, you wanna know more?

design

business

marketing

template showcase

personal

listen to the podcast!

I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

Hey there!
of the year

@ELIZABETHMCCRAVY

Let's be friends, yo.