Have you always wanted to create an online course? Have you been inspired by other people who are using online courses to supplement or replace their income in their life? If so, building an online course maybe right for you if you have a specific skill or knowledge of something that could help other people grow.
Most people are put off by the idea of developing an online course, however, because they think it is overwhelming and they assume they need to do everything all at once. That is not the case.
Planning Ahead for a Successful Course
Developing a course can take weeks or even months and it is not uncommon for people to give up before they even get started. I want you to break the mold of that trend, however. You can start with very simple beginnings and refine your course as you go. In fact, I challenge you to set milestones for every single week of something that you can accomplish.
Don’t talk your way out of it by assuming you have to be perfect. Progress is better than perfection, trust me!
My first online course was a hot mess.
I recorded it with a disaster of a microphone that had a huge echo at the background and I recorded the course one module at a time and delivered it to my first students.
Oh and by the way, there were only two students in the course at that time.
The only reason I even developed this course after it was sitting on my to-do list for months at a time was that I pre-sold it to two people and told them it would be available module by module starting the following week. It pushed me to meet that deadline and live up to what I had promised those two students.
How to Brain Dump
What I want to encourage you to do in this blog is to brain dump your way to an online course. Now there are two different ways that doing a brain dump and assist you with building your course based business. First of all, you may not have a clear idea yet for your course and doing a brain dump is a great way to put all of your ideas in one place. If you do already have an idea for a course, a brain dump is a great way to throw in every potential idea, module, and lecture that might become a part of your course.
I don’t want you to do anything more than that.
It is really tempting once the ball gets rolling to not only brain dump all the different ideas that you have and then go from there with starting to create them. But you need some time for these ideas to gel, trust me.
Phase one is the brain dump, phase two is coming back and editing it. You will find later on and that some of the ideas you included might to make sense, should be merged with one another or really are part of a different course altogether. Right now, all bets are off, however. Every single idea counts.
Whether you are trying to decide what course you are going to produce, or what should belong in a course idea you already have, a brain dump is a great way to get started. If you are thinking about which course to generate first, list every potential online course you could make, everything where you have expertise, advanced knowledge, anything like that included in a Google document.
Don’t Limit Yourself- Every Idea Counts
If you have an idea for a course but you are not sure how to structure it, throw in every potential thing that someone leaving that course should know by the time they complete it. Like I said, everything counts. Do not go back and edit or delete. Only add to this document. Use bullet points if that helps you get away from the idea that you must do this in a chronological order.
Don’t Try to Stick to Chronological Order
You are not going to think in chronological order. In fact, you might go to fold a load of laundry and realize that another idea has popped in your head and you’ll run back into your computer and add it in the bottom of the list. This might end up being in your introductory lecture and that is okay.
Clear Out the Clutter Inside
A brain dump is a great way to feel that you have cleared out all of that clutter inside your head about the ideas that you have and put it on paper even if that is in digital form. You can go back later and edit this but I encourage you to wait at least 24 hours between completing your brain dump and returning to edit it because this is a powerful exercise that helps you refine your original concepts and determine what else, if anything needs to be added or deleted.
A brain dump can also show you where your strengths lie. If you are listing various course ideas and several of them surround the same topic, you might combine this into one course or create a course series.
Choosing something that is aligned with your individual audience and a specific goal that can be achieved by the end of the course will help guide you in your brain dump but remember, don’t limit yourself. More ideas are always better. Putting this in a google document also serves as a database that you could return to later when you have more ideas or are curious about what to create next. A brain dump is an amazing tool so I challenge you to go use it today. Give yourself a 30-minute window and write down every single idea that you can think of during that period.