How Long Should Your Online Course Videos Be? 3 Simple Tips For The Perfect Video Duration

How long should your online course videos be?

Here are 3 simple tips for getting the perfect online course video duration.


Us human beings have incredibly short attention spans, and it’s getting shorter and shorter as we continue to be bombarded with information and distractions.

Successful online instructors get to the top, because their students enjoy their courses, watch all of the videos and complete the course.

If your online course videos are longer than they need to be, or do not meet the points below, your students are less likely to enjoy and complete your course.


The fact is, that there is no ‘set’ duration that is good or bad, right or wrong; nor does the perfect ‘duration’ just come down to the actual number of minutes your video is.


Here are three simple tips to get the perfect online course video duration to maximise your student engagement and completion:



  1. Keep to one key point per video



As online instructors we can often be tempted to over-deliver and over-explain.  

This means that sometimes we address multiple points, concepts or principles in one video, and ideally we want to be avoiding this as far as possible.  

To get the most out of your course videos, cut them down so that you only have ONE, singular point being made in each one.


There are a number of reasons for this, and some I discuss in this article too.  But in short here are the top reasons why:


  1. People’s attention and concentration spans are short.  If you are discussing multiple concepts in a video it is likely to take longer, and you could lose your students simply because they get bored or distracted.
  2. Our brains can only process so much information in one go.  By providing less information per video, you actually help your learners remember more
  3. By having one key point per video, you actually end up producing more videos.  This shows the true value of your course to your potential learners when they read through your course outline.
  4. When you have one point per video you can better use them for targeted marketing (read more on this here)


  1. Make sure every video answers a question


People want information, they want practical tips, they want to know ‘HOW’ to do something, or get a certain result.


If your videos waffle on with content that does not answer their burning questions or tell them HOW to do something, they will very quickly turn off and will be unlikely to return.


By focussing your attention on turning every video into a ‘How To’, you can make your course even more actionable and valuable to your learners.


By turning your video lecture into the answer to a question you do a couple of things:

  1. Enables your learners to see the immediate reason and value in watching each video
  2. You can use each individual video to answer that specific question in social media groups and online forums as part of your marketing


Answer the question as concisely as you can and cut out all unnecessary content.  If it doesn’t answer a question, ask yourself if you really need it in your course.


What is ‘unnecessary’ video content?

Although the following components can add significant value to your course when used in the right places, unless they directly make a point, answer a question or reinforce an example, keep these to a minimum in your course videos:


  1. Talking about yourself for too long (unless your story makes a point, or it’s your ‘about the Trainer’ video)
  2. Talking too much about your opinion (unless it adds value and your students want to know it).  
  3. Talking about people or situations they don’t know or cannot easily relate to


When you are preparing your video, ask yourself if every word directly contributes to answering the primary question that video addresses. If it doesn’t, cut it out generic equivalent viagra.  

If what you have cut out is valuable, then make that another video lecture.


  1. Try to answer the question in 2-9 minutes.


I said earlier that there is no ‘right or wrong’ when it comes to video length – as if it takes 30 minutes to appropriately answer a question and it’s delivered in the right way, then so be it.  However, statistics show that the average viewing time of online videos is between 2-9 minutes.  

Therefore, if you want your students to get the most out of your videos, try your best to break your content down into videos within this timeframe.  

It doesn’t mean your videos are ‘bad’ if they are longer than this, it just means that your students might not get all the way to the end of it and could miss critical content that you share.


Not only does having shorter videos make your course more digestible, a course simply looks more valuable when it contains 6 x 5 minute videos, rather than 1 x 30 minute video – even though it’s exactly the same length.  It’s all in the psychology.


As you are preparing your video, ask yourself: Can I answer this question in a more concise manner?

People hate fluff and despise their time being wasted; so if you can answer a question in 2 minutes, for the love of your students sanity, please don’t answer it in 3 or more minutes!


I have struggled with this in the past, as sometimes I have a tendency to get too technical and advanced with the way I explain things.  


Here is a simple tip for making sure your explanations are as simple and straightforward as they can be:  It’s called ‘The Man in a Bar’ test.

Simply imagine that you are sat at a bar, sipping a nice cold beverage of choice, when the man sat next to you asks you the question you are trying to answer in your course video.

How would you explain it to him so that he understands?
I find that the ‘man in a bar’ test significantly simplifies my explanation, makes it much more accessible and shortens it to it’s most efficient version.



So, there are 3 simple ways to get your online course videos to the perfect duration.

If you found this article helpful, please do share it!


To get more killer online course creation and online course marketing tips, join the community of Edupreneurs in my online course community: HERE


[yvi_playlist videos=”730″]

Subscribe to receive up to date information, training and news about edupreneurship, education, training, course creation and successful education business development from Sarah Cordiner

Let's connect! Click the links below to connect with me on social media:

Share this article with others:

Let me help you create your online courses and build a successful education-based business

There are 3 Ways To Create Your Online Courses With Sarah


Join the Edupreneur Academy and become a master course creator yourself!  My academy includes my most popular online course "How To Create Profitable Online Courses".  The Edupreneur Academy contains well over 30+ online courses, detailed video tutorials, templates and books (all designed and delivered by me), that will ensure you hone the skills and knowledge to create and sell your own online courses and build a successful education-based business without ever needing to hire help again! JOIN THE 30 DAY FREE TRIAL


Let me do it all for you in my 'One Day Set Up' service.  I will build your online school, set up your automatic course email sequences, design your course plan outline AND you will spend an entire day with me personally, one-on-one planning your profitable edu-business model and filming your online course.  MORE ABOUT THE ONE DAY SET UP.


Attend The Course Creation Bootcamp and spend 3-7 days with a small group and me personally on a face-to-face 'get it done' immersion camp.  You will walk away from Bootcamp with your entire edu-business modelled out, your online course planned and filmed; your entire online school built and live, your course auto-email sequences active, a master class in becoming a go-to authority in your industry, including how to turn your course into a published book - AND 100% of my students have made SALES of their online courses before they leave Bootcamp. Find out more about BOOTCAMP

sarah cordiner will create your online courses for you

Become a master course creator. Get everything you need to know, guided tutorials and templates in the Edupreneur Academy.

sarah cordiner filming online courses

Hire Sarah Cordiner for a whole day for your own personalised course creation service

filming online courses with sarah cordiner

Film your whole online course & build your online school on 'The Course Creation Bootcamp'

Not Sure Which Option Is Best For You?

Send me an email or book a quick chat call with me to tell me a bit more about your business and where you are at so far, and we can make a plan on the best path for you personally.


Learn how to create your own online school and profitable education-based business in the 'Edupreneur Academy'

In the Edupreneur Academy, you will join thousands of other online course creators.

You will get access to over 30 of my online course which will give you every step, demonstration and instruction videos you need to create your online courses, build your own, profitable online school, become a leader in your industry and create a successful education based business by sharing your expertise with the world.

You can get a 30 day FREE TRIAL today.

Edupreneur book cover sarah cordiner

Have you read the 'Edupreneur' book yet?

In this book (available on Amazon in print and on Kindle), you will learn how to monetise your expertise and create a successful education based business.

OR you can get it for FREE along with 3 of my other published books when you join the Edupreneur Academy.  

Get the first 30 days FREE if you join now (cancel ANY time).

Attend the next 'Course Creation Bootcamp' with Sarah Cordiner

Create your online course, film it, build your school and launch in 2 or 5 days

Latest Articles by Sarah Cordiner