What To Do If You Have Too Much Content For Your Online Course
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“What If I Have Too Much Content?!
I have so much content, so much research, so many topics that I could choose from, that I don’t know where to begin or how to break it all up!”
Ever heard yourself say these things?
If so, this article is or you!
Most edupreneurs and course creators that I work with don’t have the problem of not having enough content; usually, they have too much.
They come to me with a list as long as Rapunzel’s hair of online course ideas and a laptop case full of hard drives with ‘content’, research and information on them that could be included.
One of the biggest problems that we have to solve is not what needs to be added to our courses, but actually what needs to be taken out.
These days, most online learners want practical information delivered as quickly as possible. So although we must ensure that our training is designed to meet and deliver all of the learning objectives and outcomes, the question we always need to be auditing our course development with is ‘how I can I simplify this further’.
By ‘simplify’, i don’t mean reducing the depth of skills and knowledge delivered, but the length and method of explanation and transmission of the skills and knowledge.
In short, if you can teach something perfectly well in 3 minutes, why waste 15 minutes of your learner’s life explaining the exact same point?
There are certainly places for long, ‘big mumma’ online courses; however, for the everyday course creator, start with the smaller courses until your market demand a huge course. If it’s too big to fit into somebody’s lunch break, then the chances are that you are trying to cram way too much content into a single online course.
What to do when you have too much content:
- Go back to your learning outcomes – if the piece of content or information you are questioning does not directly help the learner obtain the learning outcome, then leave it out. This is about separating the ‘need to know’ and ‘nice to know’.
- Focus on the learner and how their life will be different by the end of the course – what will they be able to do, know and feel by the end of it?
- Break it down into its smallest parts. The brain can only process so much at a time. Rather counter-intuitively, the smaller the course is, the more effective it is and the higher the completion rates are going to be. As givers, we need to know when we are being over-generous to the detriment of the learner’s knowledge acquisition and to our own bottom line.
- Decide whether your program will be better from a learning experience perspective – and commercially – if you made multiple mini courses instead of one huge course. You can still make it the same price (eg 10 x $10 courses instead of 1 x $100 course). This will also open up a market that may not have initially entered at the $100 mark, as well as provides more options from a pricing perspective.
Eg, with 10 courses you could now offer a subscription model, or a payment plan, or drip release your content over a 10 week period, helping your learners implement in stages for the purpose of helping them get the results they are after. It also makes it more manageable for you to produce as the smaller parts reduce the overwhelm.
- Create an ‘appendices’ or ‘bonus’ section in each course that houses all of the content that goes above and beyond the basic delivery of the learning outcomes. That way you are providing additional value in the form of further reading without overloading and overwhelming your learners
- Cut the text down. Replacing your long-form text files into checklists, bullet point lists and simple cheat sheets will be far more useful and consumable to your learners. By all means keep the long form in the appendices section, but remember that all people want is the answer in its most direct form.
Don’t feel like you have to cram an entire lifetime worth of knowledge and expertise into one course – save some for other courses too.
Create folders in a Google Drive, OneNote, EverNote or Trello boards that are dedicated to housing content ideas for future courses. That way you won’t feel like you’re taking anything away from your learners, and you’ll be starting to build out other courses at the same time!
Too many online course go unmade because we get too overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge we have to share.
My biggest advice is to start small and slowly build your way up to bigger courses as your familiarity and confidence with the process increases.
Start off by creating a ‘5 Day Challenge’ on your topic of some kind, or a ‘7 steps to XYZ’ – something that is easy for you to create and deliver good value on.
My free ‘5 Day Create Your Course Plan Challenge’ had over 2,000 people join it in its first 8 weeks and continues to attract new customers every day. It was easy for me to create as I simply broke down one stage of my course creation process into 5 simple steps and made one video per day to provide the training for each step, then accompanied that video with a practical task to ensure they all had a result (the finished course plan) at the end.
That then leads into my bigger courses for those who want to continue their course development. What would your ‘bigger course’ be after a 5 day challenge in your topic?
Start small, keep it simple, reduce the overwhelm, and later you can start adding more content to turn it into a formal program and have the benefit of an existing audience whom you can survey and gather direct information from about what they’d like (and not like) included in your next one.
This is an extract from my book ‘Awaken Your Course Creation Mojo’.
If you’d like to start creating your online course, you can join the 5 day ‘Create Your Course Plan’ challenge right here: ‘5 Day Create Your Course Plan Challenge
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