How to quickly and easily use your content to create an online course

You’ve probably got enough content to get started today!

If you have an established coaching business, or you’ve run a service-based business for many years, I bet you’ve got a tonne of existing content already.

You’ve probably got a blog, podcast, YouTube channel, eBooks or presentations that you’ve used over the years to share your knowledge with your audience. Or maybe you’d created a heap of freebie downloads that you’ve shared with your email list or clients.

This is all content gold when it comes to creating an online course.

The thing is, many business owners create content and then leave it to go stale. They don’t capitalise on its true value.

Why would you let your content go stagnant when you could be converting it into a tidy little money maker?

But why would people pay for my content if it’s previously been free?

Valid question hey!

Well, for a start, you’re not necessarily appealing to people who’ve already downloaded everything you’ve ever put out into the world (if anyone has done this!). So you’re going to find people interested in your content and seeing it for the first time.

You also need to understand how time poor most people are these days.

Sure they could prowl the internet to find everything you’re offering – searching through Google, watching videos, listening to heaps of podcasts – but seriously, who’s got time to do that?

If you’ve compiled all the information they need to achieve a transformation and outcome they’re after, you’ll find they’re willing to pay you for this.

Think of it as a service you’ve offered! You’ve beautifully compiled a heap of valuable content that will ultimately help them.

A quick way to start pulling together your content

You may feel like pulling together all your content is a tad overwhelming. You’ve written so much over the years that you don’t know where to start.

The best way to do it is to set up a series of ‘topic buckets or folders’ that you can pop your content into. Don’t try to organise it just yet.

Then, go through all of your blogs, eBooks, podcasts, videos, etc., and pop a link, or copy the item and drop it in the relevant folder. Before long, you’ll realise the folders with more content than others, and this will help you work out what to create as a course.


8 steps to creating your first online course using the content you already have

1. Idea

Most things in life start with a great idea. But, it’s often the execution of the idea that determines its success!

To start, think about your target market. Who are they, and what pains them? Then look at your ‘topic buckets’ and see what you’ve got to help them. If you need to, create a mindmap with all of your ideas and see what sticks together.

2. Test

Before you put all your wisdom eggs into one online course basket, you want to make sure that your idea will work.

The best way to do this is to create a ‘teaser’ for your course – a downloadable freebie that aligns with your course idea. Think about a problem your audience has and create an eBook around this. Solve their issue.

You’ll share this with your audience and email list and judge its success – was it downloaded, did people go on to sign up for a waiting list for your course, was it shared?

3. Packaging

Once you know that your idea will work, it’s time to determine how you’ll package up your course.

There are some essential items you’ll need to work out like:

  • A name for your course (will you include SEO elements too?)
  • The hook to get people to sign up
  • The structure of the course
  • And the essential part – the cost

4. Content

This is the part where you’ll find having your content separated into topics helps. The beauty of this is that you’ll be able to plan if you need to alter any of your content, add any in, or whether it’s perfect as is.

You can then map out your course content.

Having a big sheet of paper helps with this. Think about:

  • How many modules you’ll have
  • The content for each module
  • The outcome you want your students to achieve
  • The format of your content

5. Tech

This is the part where, as online course designers, we get pumped. We love tech. But we also get that you probably aren’t as enthusiastic as us!

There are a few apps that you can use to get your online course running smoothly. You can check them out here.

But when it comes to platforms, you 100% can’t go past Thinkific. It’s super easy to use, and the support you’ll receive is the best in the industry. If you’ve been following us for a while now, you’ll know how much we rave about Thinkific. And there is a reason – it’s simply the best!

6. Pre-sale

Once you’ve worked out the finer details of your course, it’s a brilliant idea to do a ‘pre-sale’.

To start, choose your official course opening date, allowing yourself enough time to pull your content together, get it set up into a course and working out all the tech side of things.

From there, offer a special pre-sale price to your email list (and a wider audience if you wish) to gauge interest.

This helps to spark curiosity and intrigue. And, it gives you some funds to get rolling!

7. Course

Now you’ve got some paid members signed up and eagerly awaiting your start date, you’ve got to get your content pulled together in the form of a course!

You can either pull your entire course together upfront or at least make sure you’ve got a couple of modules ready. The biggest piece of advice you’ll need here is always being in front of your module release dates (if you’re drip-feeding content).

There’s nothing worse than students logging into their course to get their assignments for the week and having no content.

8. Open your course

You’re ready to go! Your release date has come around; you’ve got students signed up, so it’s time to hit the button and open your course doors.

Always remember it’s about your students and their experience in doing your course. Keep focussed on them and always ask for feedback at completion. This helps you to adjust what didn’t work to create an online course people love and recommend to others.

Are you ready to get started on your online course?  

If you’ve been looking through your content and think, ‘Yep, I can do this!’, get started by downloading our free course creation planner here.

With the online course industry booming, there’s no better time to wrangle in your existing content to create a course.

Please get in touch if you need a hand to create your online course, getting it designed and branded, setting up the tech and promoting it to your audience. We’ve helped heaps of clients create brilliant online courses, and we’d love to see you succeed too.

Alethea Tuitahi

Alethea Tuitahi

Online Course Designer & Founder


Alethea specialises in creating beautiful, conversional, student focusd online courses. Allowing course creators to deliver their course or program to the world… sans tech frustrations and problems. Need help building your online course? As a Thinkific specialist, Alethea is here to help! Book in a free call here.

Disclosure: Some of the links provided in this blog are affiliate links. I only promote services that I personally use and love. I will be paid a small commission if you use this link to make a purchase.

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