Course Incubator

How to Plan an Online Course (Templates & Tips)

Arnaud Lejand
Arnaud Lejand


If you’re reading this, chances are you want to create an online course. Whether it’s for your business or just to share your knowledge with the world, there’s a lot that goes into planning an effective online course. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll provide templates and tips to help make the process a breeze. Let’s get started!

Choose your topic and target audience

Choosing the right topic and target audience can be tricky when it comes to writing content. Finding something that will truly resonate with your intended readership is key to getting their attention, but that’s just the beginning. Your topic selection should reflect your brand values and serve as a platform for conveying your main message. Industry trends are also important to consider as it helps to ensure you don’t inadvertently miss out on any vital bits of information. With all this in mind, choosing a topic has never been more important – make sure you choose carefully! It will determine everything from the tone of voice you use to which images and stats you include. Ultimately, taking the time to plan ahead will help ensure your end goal is met and your readers are engaged with your content every step of the way. So come up with something great – remember, if you want them talking about it for days, there’s no room for mediocrity here! Good luck!

Find a niche within your topic

If you’re looking to make your mark within a particular field, it’s important to find a niche. Whether you want to stand out as an expert or contribute something unique and meaningful, a niche is the place for you! To identify a potential speciality, start by reviewing any topics related to your interests. Then consider how you can add value – are there any unsolved problems that you could help solve? Alternatively, look for areas where no-one else is doing any research – these gaps in knowledge could be filled with your insight. Lastly, think about any existing ideas or theories which could be expanded upon; digging deeper into a subject is often rewarding. Finding the right specialty takes time and effort, so don’t be afraid to experiment and explore until you discover what it is that makes your work distinct from everyone else’s. Good luck!  Ultimately, with some patience and enthusiasm, you can make an impact in any area of interest by finding a niche all your own.

Research your competition

Before venturing into any endeavor, it pays to take some time to research your competition. Knowing what people have done in the past and what strategies they employed is invaluable information that can help you avoid pitfalls and maximize potential profits. But just as important is being aware of who your competitors are and what they bring to the table. Are they more established than you? Do they have more access to resources? How do their products compare to yours? Are they using tactics that could draw customers away from you? By researching the competition, you can get a better idea of exactly what you’re up against and plan accordingly. You’ll also be better equipped if someone else attempts to encroach on your turf. So, don’t let ignorance be bliss – make sure to examine the competition closely! After all, being well informed can often mean the difference between success and failure.

Create an outline for your course

Whether you are a professor creating a semester-long syllabus or just need to jot down some ideas for your next class, an outline can be helpful in organizing your thoughts and planning ahead. To begin, list the course objectives and desired outcomes so that you’ll have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. After that, start creating the major sections of your class: What topics will be covered? When will they be discussed? How much emphasis should each one receive? Consider what sequential order makes the most sense and make sure your division of topics into sections follows logically. Also think ahead to how you will assess student performance – this can influence how much time per topic is required and how best to introduce or present it. With a well-crafted outline in place, you’re ready to begin putting together engaging notes, lectures and activities that your students will enjoy! Writing out an outline allows you to plan comprehensively while avoiding the common pitfall of forgetting important details in the excitement of getting started. Sure, it might not seem like the most propitious way to kick off things, but trust us – it pays off in the long run! Especially if it’s going to be an interesting course! So take some time now on crafting your outline; once finished, firing up those lecture slides with ease will make all that effort worthwhile!

Find or create graphics for your course

When it comes to online learning, graphics can be an absolute game-changer. Not only do they make it easier for students to understand complex concepts in a visual format, but they also provide an opportunity for instructors to add flair and fun to their classes. Fortunately, finding or creating graphics for your course is actually much easier than you might think. If you’re looking for something off-the-shelf, there are countless libraries of copyright-free images available with no strings attached. For something truly unique, many software applications have dozens of built-in tools that let you create custom graphics to suit your needs. Alternatively, if you have access to design teams within your organization, then tapping into their expertise could yield interesting visual content at scale. No matter what route you choose for designing or finding graphics, adding them to your online courses will help make them more engaging and accessible—not to mention more visually attractive too! So the next time you embark on the task of creating an online course, don’t forget this key element that could give your course the sparkle it deserves.

Choose a delivery format for your course (e.g., text, audio, video)

With so many delivery formats to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one is the best for presenting your course in a way that’s engaging and informative. However, with careful consideration of your audience and learning goals, you can select the most appropriate format for delivering transformational content. If you’re looking for a format that’s easy to digest and provides dynamic visuals, video may be your best bet. If you’re looking for something more interactive, audio may offer the benefits of recorded lectures with additional opportunities for Q&A and problem-based activities. And lastly, if brevity is key or if you need to accommodate learners with literacy issues, text-based approaches could be just what the doctor ordered. No matter what delivery format you choose, make sure you keep it interesting to ensure maximum engagement while delivering impactful content!

On second thought…you could also just do all three. Have fun mixing it up! 😉

By following these simple steps, you can create a course that not only teaches your audience something new but also sets you up as an expert in your field. With a little bit of effort, you can have a course that is ready to sell. So what are you waiting for? Get started today and see the success that comes from creating and selling your own online course.

Arnaud Lejand
Arnaud Lejand

Marketing researcher and Senior Media Buyer at Course Incubator. Arnaud has over 6 years of experience in marketing gained in agencies, Online Courses and education businesses.

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Article by
Arnaud Lejand

Marketing researcher and Senior Media Buyer at Course Incubator. Arnaud has over 6 years of experience in marketing gained in agencies, Online Courses and education businesses.

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