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Digital Publishing for Profit

Before you start recording lessons for your first online course, there are three things that you need to do to get started: brainstorm, choose, and outline. Following these three steps will help you create the perfect course that you can teach.

Step 1: Brainstorm All the Skills You Possess for Your First Online Course

Firstly, you need to brainstorm all the possible skills you have that you can create your first online course on. To begin, you need to get out a piece of paper and start jotting down all your skills. Put down anything you know how to do – even things that might not seem like a good course. For me, for my first online course, I would put down obvious things like self-improvement, wealth creation, financial freedom, career development, selling online course, and so on.

First Online CourseI would, in addition, put down other skills I have like: knowledge in Microsoft word and powerpoint, living frugally, financial literacy. Also to be included would be starting a Bible school, starting a blog, building a website with WordPress, making money online, and writing eBooks. Write down everything you know how to do. From there, we’ll choose your first course (or your next course, if you’ve already done one).

Step 2: Choosing the Skills You Want to Teach for Your First Online Course

Secondly, choosing a course to teach is one of the most important steps in the process of creating your first online course. Moreover, this choice can determine if you’ll make a great course if you’ll make a lot of money and if you’ll have fun doing it. I suggest balancing your desire to teach a course with the prospect of selling a topic.

What do I mean by that? Well, some courses just aren’t going to sell. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eventually teach that course. It just means that if you’re trying to make money from a course, there are some that just aren’t going to sell. For example, teaching a class on adopting a cat will not make as much money as teaching a more desirable skill (and one that people would be willing to pay for) like editing videos.

Out of all of your skills, which ones are the most marketable? Which one could you actually get paid for? You can do a quick search on course marketing platforms such as Teachable.com or Udemy.com to see if there are other courses in that subject. If there are, that’s a good thing! If there are other courses that are selling (so check to see if there are students in those courses) then that means there is a market for that skill!

Now you have a few skills that can potentially be sold as an online course. What do you WANT to teach? Some of your skills might not be fun to teach. If they’re not fun, the resulting course won’t be engaging. You won’t put as much effort into making a high-quality course. Therefore to start teaching online, pick the subject that is a balance of being marketable and fun to teach.

Step 3: Create a Course Outline First Online Course

Finally, once you have that topic, it’s time to create a course outline. Here, you need to break the topic down into 4 to 6 sections. These sections will be your major sub-topics that will each contain 3-5 lessons. Each section should have a mini-intro and a recap.

Check out this sample outline for a course I put together on freelancing:


  • Welcome to the Course
  • What does freelancing mean? And why should you do it?


  • LESSON: What skills do you have?
  • LESSON: Following your passion – good or bad advice?
  • LESSON: How to Have Self-discipline
  • LESSON: Moonlighting – a Great Way to Start
  • LESSON: Define Your Goals
  • QUIZ


  • LESSON: Make Your Own Website
  • LESSON: Building a Portfolio and Getting Testimonials
  • LESSON: Joining Freelance Networks
  • LESSON: Business Cards – How one piece of paper can change your life. CHALLENGES
  • QUIZ


  • LESSON: Where can you find work?
  • LESSON: Crafting the Perfect Project Proposal
  • LESSON: Pricing Strategies that Get You Jobs
  • LESSON: The Importance of Having a Workflow
  • QUIZ


  • LESSON: A Bit about Taxes
  • LESSON: Money tips for success
  • QUIZ


  • The Steps to Success
  • Thanks and What’s Next?

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As you can see, the outline is not too in-depth, but it has a lot of structure. Keeping an organized structure for your outline is the first step towards a great course! Do your own brainstorming, choosing, and outlining!

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