How To Select & Gather Your Online Course Content

How To Select & Gather Your Online Course Content

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Selecting and Gathering Your Course Content

Many people make the mistake of jumping straight to creating their content when they sit down to create a course.

There are 10 major steps to creating a successful online course, and this is step 5.  Yes! We don’t get to the stage of creating our course content until we are halfway through the course creation process!

If you are planning on creating a course, and want it to be successful – please do not skip steps 1-4, which are:

  • Step 1: Pick The Perfect Topic For Your Online Course and
  • Step 2: Ensure Your Course Idea has High Market Demand
  • Step 3: Select Your Course Type, Business Model & Pricing
  • Step 4: Craft Your Learning Outcomes


You can get all of these steps inside my FREE Course Creation Starter Kit.




This is the stage where you start creating the actual content for your online course, and, the stage where many course creators risk falling into ‘The Hole of Eternal Procrastination’.

The main reason we get stuck here is often because of the sheer volume of information we have in our heads or all around us in books, on our hard drives, in our notepads and so on.

For others, the fear of not having enough content can stop them dead in their tracks.

The art at this stage is not just about what we should include in our course, but what we need to leave out of it.

This is where the research you will have conducted in the market testing phase and your learning outcomes, now come to serve you again.


Let’s Keep It Simple

Since this is the stage of online course creation when experts begin to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knowledge that they have in their heads and get lost trying to pick and choose what to include.

Before they know it, the course in their head is bigger than a university PhD and they hide under the bed.

Remember, if this is your first time, you should be creating a simple lead magnet or mini-course which are not complex processes – and especially if you are part of my Concept To Course 30 Day Coaching Program where I personally guide you to get it done (and done right!)


It Will Always Be Evolving

When beginning this process, remember that your course WILL grow and evolve constantly, it is NEVER going to be a ‘finished’ product if you are ‘doing it right’.

It will forever adapt, iterate and change as more and more students go through it, give you more feedback and you become more experienced and adept at delivering your content online.

Despite the fact that I have been teaching online course creation for many years; my program changes every single time I teach it.

This is because every time we complete an intake of students as course creators, we should ALWAYS:

  1.  review and respond to student feedback
  2. adapt course content according to the questions and queries raised by students along the way
  3. go back to the market to conduct continuous market research
  4. respond to the changing world and ever-changing customer needs
  5. Survey your prospective students and existing customers to find out what their current barriers and questions are in regards to our topic to see if they have changed

Since your course will never be ‘final’, please don’t panic about whether it is perfect or if you have included everything in your first version.

Create a mini course first. 

Take it to market. 

Put students in it. 

Get their feedback. 

Update it.

Check the market again.

Update it. 


That’s all there is to this process and you just keep doing that over and over again.  Forever.


The Size & Length of Your Course

“The value of your online course is not determined by how long it is; but instead by whether or not it delivered transformation to your learners beyond their expectation”

-Sarah Cordiner

In this step, we will answer the following major questions:

  • How many modules should your course have?
  • How many lectures per module should your course have?
  • How long should your videos be?
  • How long should your course be overall?

A common question asked by new course creators is ‘how long should my online course be’?

The quick answer to this is that the value of a course is less about the duration of it, but rather in whether or not it delivers the learning outcomes that it promised in the sales copy.

However long it takes to provide the promised outcomes, is how long your course should be – provided that the delivery was as ‘to the point’ as possible.

Great courses are about their OUTCOMES, not their HOURS.


Online Course Length and Duration Tips

It is important to note that there is no right or wrong when it comes to course length – courses that are 15mins long can be as impactful and valuable as courses that are 15 weeks long.

It’s all about delivering what your target market wants, and what your course promised.

Therefore do not take the following guidance as ‘instructions’ or ‘rules’, but purely as suggestions based on my experience to help inform your process – YOUR process.

Remember that YOU are the course creator and YOU get to say ultimately how long your course is. 

A guideline for online course duration is to:

  • Keep to one key point or tip, per slide
  • Keep to one key point or tip, per video
  • Make sure every video answers a question / problem / query / search term
  • Cut out anything that doesn’t directly deliver a learning outcome
  • Answer the question in 2-9 minutes in your video
  • Get the student to the learning outcome as fast and directly as possible

“Great courses are about their outcomes, not their hours”

-Sarah Cordiner


How To Gather Your Course Content

Think in Tips

Time to grab your post-it notes my friends!

Post-it notes are not scary, and so your course is going to be born on them – please do it this way for now!

I want you to pull yourself as far back from complexity as possible.

You are creating a FREE lead magnet course, mini course or cheap kickstarter course for now; and as such, you only need to be coming up with between 3-25 TIPS.

That’s it.

As we go through this stage, keep that in mind.


Don’t panic about what you don’t know!

Many course creators get paralysed by worrying about all of the things that they don’t know about their topic.


  • You do NOT need to know EVERYTHING about your topic
  • It is IMPOSSIBLE to know EVERYTHING about your course topic
  • Forget what you don’t know
  • Only teach what you DO know
  • Your course can grow with you – add new content later


The Big Brain Dump: What you DO Know

Your people come to your course because they want to learn how to do something, or they want to gain knowledge about something or to change their feelings about something.

So the purpose of your course is to get them there by providing information and guidance.

And the easiest way for your students to learn what you have to teach is in the form of tips.

In fact online learners like tutorial videos to be quick, sharp, short and straight to the point.

Therefore, aim to keep your videos to between 2-9 minutes.

If your students aren’t watching your content until the end, they aren’t getting everything they need to learn which means they are less likely to become raving fans who promote your course to their friends.


No more time to waste – here’s a reminder of what you need to do today:

  1. Start by doing a massive brain dump of every tip you can think of in your topic
  2. Write each tip on 1 post-it note. 
  3. Stick them all over a window or a wall where you can see them all together and get them out of your head.
  4. Do this process until you’ve reached your limit of what you can think of.
  5. Watch the video for more…. 

Congratulations, you’ve just gotten out your immediate knowledge out of your head!


Find More Content To Include in Your Course

Next we’re going to work on recalling the archived knowledge that’s stored away in your head…

Disclaimer: Before I give you this step to gather more content for your course, a word about copying anyone else’s work or plagiarizing anyone else’s content… 

First, It’s illegal, immoral, unethical and it’s absolutely not ok. 

And secondly, if you did copy and plagiarize you would end up creating a course that’s the same as what’s already out there and much more difficult to sell anyways. In summary, don’t copy or plagiarize.

Now what I am about to teach you is for the purposes of jogging your archive memory and to be inspired to remember all the things you could share in your own unique special way.

Where to go to pull up archived content from your memory bank

1) Listicles

If you don’t know what Listicles are they are articles that are written in a format of ‘tips’ or ‘bullets’.

If you’ve ever seen articles like, “10 Ways To Change Your Life”  or “5 Ways To Lose Weight In A Week” or “7 Ways To Be Happier” etc – then you’ve seen listicles.

They are really useful tools for jogging your memory about things that you can teach – but forgot that you knew it!

You can find listicles by simply going to Google and typing in “ways to your topic

This will pull up listicles related to your topic.

As you go through them and find things that you know how to teach in your own unique way – then add those tips to your post-it-note pile too.

2) Amazon

The next place that you can look for more content ideas is Amazon books.  

Go to the book section in and in the search bar, type in “how to (your topic) and that will bring up all the How-to books related to your topic.

Note: As of the writing of this, this doesn’t work very well on mobile devices but if you’re on a laptop or desktop, you can actually look inside a few pages of a book without having to buy it first.  Although the inside peek is limited, we are able to view the most important page we’re looking for and that is the table of contents.

See if this method can again jog your memory for things that you already know how to teach in your own unique way and add them to your post-it-notes.

There are a number of other techniques that I teach to help you select and gather your online course content, but they are reserved for the students in my ‘Concept To Course’ program.

However, by now, you should be able to have written out at least a couple of dozen tips on your post-it notes.

Also, your list of tips do not have to only be reserved for your course.  You can use them to create blog articles and YouTube videos, etc.  

Finally, as you are reviewing your content, always strive to create something different and better than what you find is already being offered.

If you do that, you won’t compete in your niche because your course will be so much better than the competition that you’ll dominate!

So there you go, we are now done with step 5 and tomorrow we will continue this process with Step 6: Put Your Modules and Lessons in Order.

Before I sign-off for today, I want to check in and see if any of these emails have been helping you?

It would mean a great deal to hear from you, so do hit reply and let me know if these emails are useful?


If you’d like to get some help to create your own online course, then make sure you grab one of the limited places on my Concept To Course 30 Day Coaching Program.

Here are some of the things you get in the Concept To Course program:

MODULE 1: Plan & Profit

Ensure your course is profitable.  In this module you will learn:

  • How To Plan Your Online Course Topic 
  • How To Ensure Your Course Will Sell 
  • What Type Of Course You Should Create
  • How To Pick The Perfect Topic For Your Online Course
  • How To Define Your Target Student
  • How To Find Your Target Student
  • How To Create a Course That Sells
  • How To Conduct Your First Market Test + Swipe Copy
  • How To Niche Your Topic For Higher Market Demand
  • How To Check Your Market Demand
  • Online Course Pricing & Profitability

MODULE 2: Course Content & Delivery

Create your course content and structure; and learn how to deliver your course in a way that your students will love.  In this module you will learn:

  • How To Determine The Size & Length of Your Course
  • Guidelines for Course Length by Course Type
  • How In Depth Should Your Course Content Go?
  • How To Gather Your Course Content
  • How To Organise and Structure Your Course Content
  • How To Craft Your Magnetic And Specific Learning Outcomes
  • The Difference Between Course Aims, Objectives and Outcomes
  • How To Construct Excellent Learning Outcomes
  • How To Use Accredited Course Frameworks To Help You With Course Design, Content And Integrate Industry Standards
  • How to Title Your Online Course, Your Modules and Lessons
  • How To Conduct Market Research To Ensure Your Course Will Sell (Part 2)
  • The Different Content Delivery Methods
  • The Different Content Delivery Features of Your Online School
  • How To Use Activities And Practical Exercises
  • How To Create and Complete Your Online Course Outline
  • PowerPoint Slide Tips
  • How To Create Your Learner Workbooks, Slides & Document Handouts
  • Filming Delivery Tips – Your Video Structure & Presentation
  • What You Must Know About Adult Learning & Engagement
  • The 7 Principles of Adult Learning
  • How To Maximise Your Learner Completion Rates


Online Course technology, equipment and filming.  Set-up your online school, email marketing and online course tech + launch your course.  In this module you will learn:

  • Your List of Course Creation Technology & Equipment – Visual Chart
  • How Your Tech Fits Together and What It All Does
  • The Three Main Ways To Host And Sell Your Online Courses – and Which One You Should Use
  • How To Set-Up Your Online School (With Live and Recorded Demos)
  • How To Set-Up Your Email Marketing Software
  • How To Set-Up Your Online Course Email Automation Sequences + Swipe Copy


Online course launches and course marketing.  In this module you will learn:

  • How To Write Your Online Course Landing Page/Sales Page + Template
  • How To Launch Your Online Courses + Examples of Different Types of Course Launches
  • Step By Step Overview of My ‘Enrolment Deadline Launch’ For a High Ticket Program
  • Email Guide for Launch + Swipe Copy
  • Critical Functions of Your Website
  • Your Long-Term Online Course Content Marketing Strategy

MORE INFO ABOUT: >>  ‘Concept To Course: 30-Day Course Creation Group Coaching Program’.

This is an ‘online’ coaching program, where I personally work hand in hand with up to 30 participants over a period of 30 days to help you get your online course planned, created and PUBLISHED on your own online school!

It includes:

  • My personal unlimited support, guidance and advice DAILY for 30 days 
  • Lifetime access to the accompanying online tutorials, demo videos, workbooks, templates (including all future upgrades) 
  • Lifetime access to the secret Facebook group where I personally support and coach you daily, answering all questions and providing livestreams to help you through anything you need
  • Group progression.  We all step through each module TOGETHER and you’ll be as supported by me as you will by your fellow course creation colleagues
  • Re-join future intakes as many times as you wish for free
  • LIVE Q&A call with me every week to have all of your questions answered, live demonstrations and walkthrough

MORE INFO ABOUT: >>  ‘Concept To Course: 30-Day Course Creation Group Coaching Program’.

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