7 Productivity Tips for Online Course Creators

April 14, 2019

7 Productivity Tips for Online Course Creators

Many people have turned their knowledge and skills into a steady stream of passive income by creating online courses.

While some of them find it difficult to manage their time and resources properly, others have enough time to pursue other hobbies in addition to running a successful online course business.

The good news is that creating an online course doesn’t have to be a tedious activity. In this post, we’ll look at some of the ways you can improve your productivity and get more done in less time.

Let’s get started!

1. Make Co-Instructors Feel Comfortable With the Camera

The simplest way to make your work environment more productive is to help team members (such as co-instructors or co-authors) be more relaxed and open. Most course instructors are not used to working alone in a room and talking straight into a camera.

One way to make the recording environment more comfortable for your co-instructors is to brief them on how online courses work behind the scenes and walk them through the process of recording a course video.

It’s also important that you take steps to instill confidence in your co-instructors. Keep reminding them that they already have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed as a course creator.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to help co-instructors beat the learning curve and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. And, as a result, there’ll be less mistakes and fewer retakes meaning you’ll be able to finish recording your course content in no time.

2. Capture All of Your Ideas as You Go Throughout the Day

Another great way to boost your productivity is by jotting down your thoughts and new ideas as they come to you. So, whenever you get an idea about a new course you could offer or a new lecture you could add to the course you’re working on, simply jot it down on a sticky note, in a notebook, or on a productivity app (like Trello).

Always keep a pen and notebook in your pocket so you’re able to write down new ideas as you go. The best part is that you don’t necessarily need to evaluate them on the spot. Instead, you can revisit your list of ideas at the end of the day and think about them in more detail. For example, you might ask yourself Will this enhance the student’s learning experience? Is this something prospective students might be interested in learning about? You can always go back and modify your ideas, make improvements, or cross off the bad ones.

Taking inventory of your thoughts helps you generate new ideas for your online course or membership site and enables you to get a grasp of your thinking process. One way to better organize your course ideas is to use a tool like Trello. It lets you visualize ideas at a glance and keep track of them overtime. For example, you might create lists for Ideas for Courses, Updates to Existing Courses, or Ideas for Student Assignments.

3. Do Everything in Batches

Batching tasks is one of the best ways to get more done and increase your productivity. The idea is simple: instead of burdening yourself with different tasks try to do everything in batches.

As an online course instructor, you probably already know that creating a course is a tedious job. You have to work on several different things such as drafting lesson outlines, recording videos, editing them, and producing assignments for students.

Switching between different tasks costs significant time and effort not to mention the decrease in work motivation. However, working in batches helps you do more work, faster. As a result, you are more focused and can easily build and maintain your flow.

The easiest (and most efficient) way to work in batches is to go through your weekly goals, group similar tasks together, and plan to work on them in batches. For example, if you have three outlines that you’d like to draft, two course videos you want to record, and two assignments you want to create in a week, you might batch them as follows:

Day 1: Draft Outline #1, Outline #2, and Outline #3.

Day 2: Record Video Lecture #1 and Video Lecture #2.

Day 3: Create Assignment #1 and Assignment #2.

4. Offer Free Content to Entice Prospective Students

Everybody loves free stuff! You can reach out to your subscribers and offer them a free mini course.

Using a mini course as a lead magnet is a great way to qualify leads and create segmented email lists. It lets prospective students know what to expect from your course and encourages them to purchase the full course. Additionally, you’re able to compile a list of subscribers who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

Here’s how you can successfully incorporate a free mini course in your email marketing strategy:

Start off by creating a mini version of an existing premium course. (If you’re just starting out and don’t have a paid course yet, you might consider creating an e-book or downloadable checklist instead.) Next, make the downloadable resource(s) available through your course website and link to the landing page from your marketing email message.

5. Just Start

First-time course creators mostly talk about not having enough knowledge or skills for creating an online course. So, they spend most of their time planning and procrastinating.

Instead of looking for the perfect solution, you should take action and learn new things as you go. As you gain more experience and learn more, you’ll find better ways of delivering high-quality content. Remember: you don’t have to be right the first time around – you will (and should!) modify your course outline, material, and lecture before making it available for students to purchase.

For this reason, your goal should be to just get started. Taking affirmative action is the one thing that’ll instill trust in yourself as well as make the entire course creating process easier and more productive.

All you need to do is figure out what you can start with. Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself:

  • Have I done enough research to create a course outline?
  • Do I need to gather more research material?
  • Can I record a video lecture with what I already have?

6. Repurpose Content

Productivity doesn’t just apply to the time and effort you spend on creating your online course. It also has to do with how you’re producing the course content. What this means is that you should focus on getting the most out of the content you’ve already created – in other words, by repurposing it.

For instance, if you organize live trainings you can record your training sessions and package them up as online courses or lead magnets. Similarly, if you’ve written an e-book, you can use that content as a starting point to create a complete online course.

There are several benefits of repurposing content. First, you’ll never run out of content since you’ll always be able to modify old content and combine it with new learning material. Second, you can use the repurposed content to offer as a free mini online course which will help you bring in new students.

Repurposed content can also help you offer more value to your existing students. For instance, you can give away the recorded video of a live training session to everyone who’s joined your membership program.

7. Work With One Paying Client

Many times, first-time course creators aren’t sure where to start and find it difficult to come up with a teaching style or format. If you’re unsure about how to start creating your online course or how you’ll teach students what you know then consider recording a session with one of your paying clients and use that as content to curate your online course.

This way, you’ll have a better idea of how to teach your online course. Simply put, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t. In addition to this, once you see yourself talking to a client face-to-face and helping them achieve their goals, you’ll feel more comfortable designing an online course that caters to the needs of your students or members.

You’ll also be able to improve your course content and refine your teaching methods. What’s more is that a recorded teaching session can also be used as content for future course videos or for drafting an outline for an online course you plan to offer.


As an online course creator, the best thing you can do is devote some time every day to creating your online course. Between determining market demand, drafting course outlines, producing course videos, and setting up a website, there’s so much that needs to be done to create a successful online course.

We shared some of the ways you can be more productive when creating your online course. Hopefully, by following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating high-quality online courses with less effort and more confidence.

Do you have any productivity tips of your own that you’d line to share with other course creators? We’d love to hear from you so let us know by commenting below!

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