I Want to Create an Online Course… Where Do I Start? by @ScrappyGina

by Gina Onativia

An online course can be a fantastic way to supplement your online business income, help you build your community/tribe online, and serve as another avenue to share your expertise. It’s also a great way for those of you working one-to-one to extend your reach and share your mission with a worldwide audience.

But you may be wondering: Where do I start?

Maybe you’re like my friend, Susie, a long-time nanny and chef who wants to create an online community, and ultimately, an online course. She is building up her Social Media presence and wants to know how to start the course-creation process.

If you’re in the same position, check out these four steps:

1: What Are You PASSIONATE About? What do you want to teach? What are you considered an expert in? What do you want to focus on?

Any great idea starts with what you are passionate (borderline obsessed with). You want to be passionate because you will be spending A LOT of time on this topic, cultivating your content and creating your course.

My friend Susie is passionate about teaching families with toddlers and preschoolers how to create healthy eating routines. So, she could focus on talking about nutrition. Or changing the mindsets of parents.

As a side note: The topic you choose does NOT need to be what you do as a day job. For example, I have a friend who is an incredible Facebook ads manager who is launching a series of videos on knitting.

2: What’s the PULSE of Your Ideal Audience? Who do you want to serve? What are their pain points? How does your solution solve their pain point?

After you know your main topic, identify how your solution is going to help your core audience.

For Susie, her audience’s pain point is clear for any mom—feeding toddlers and preschoolers can be tough! Her solutions seek to help moms and dads with particularly picky kids set up routines that encourage exploration. She always has great recipes for kids that gets them involved in the kitchen, and she even has scripts on how to dialogue with children about food to help them understand why it’s so important to eat a more diverse diet.

The idea here is to start with a real problem your audience has and identify how you are going to provide a unique solution for them.

3: What Can You Start PRODUCING? Start getting into the habit of regularly creating content that solves that pain point you addressed in Step 2.

As a course creator, you’re also a content creator! So, identify how will you produce ongoing content that aligns with your course? Blog? Videos? Podcast? And what are 4-5 topics to start on that solve your audience’s pain point?

For Susie, she’s not “video-ready” (her words) but she’s great at writing. So she could start consistently publishing a blog each week, share it everywhere on SM, and start to build her community.

4: What’s Your PROCESS? What’s your unique system for delivering results? What patterns do you see with your solutions? What’s your step-by-step process?

After you have consistently produced content for a few months (maybe sooner!) you start to see patterns that will become the structure of your online training.

For Susie, she consistently uses the same 4-step system with every family she helped as a nanny. That 4-step pattern could become her signature system for her online course.

Once you’ve gone through these four steps, you’re in the right spot to start thinking about the other (technical) aspects of building your first online course.


Gina Onativia is the co-founder of the Course Creation Boutique, a consulting agency that helps entrepreneurs, speakers and authors build out their online trainings. Gina and her fiery art director hubby, Alex Espinosa, have been the behind-the-scenes secret for many course creators and big brands, including Tony Robbins, Pam Hendrickson, Bo Eason and SUCCESS magazine. Gina shares what’s she’s learned about course creation every Wednesday on her Facebook page. In her downtime she likes to be bossed around by her 4-year-old.

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