What type of online course should you set up?

Here’s a rundown on the top 4 online course types


If you’re considering creating an online course, I’m super excited for you. It’s the perfect time to do it with more and more people looking to upskill or change direction in their career. 

As a coach or consultant, there’s no doubt you’d already have content created. You may have been running in-person workshops that you want to turn into an online course and attract more people. 

Or perhaps you’ve written a heap of blogs or eBooks that were well received, and you’re wondering what else you could do with all your knowledge. 

Or maybe you’ve got nothing more than an idea! 

But the fact you’re even considering creating an online course is amazing.


Online courses are great for business

Don’t be daunted by the work you perceive to be involved in creating an online course. It’s not as hard as it seems, especially with an expert team on your side (yes, that’s us!). 

There may be a little bit of work to create the content (or alter it to an online version), but the reward is well worth the effort. 

Online courses have boomed with the COVID-19 pandemic with the online course industry set to be worth $275billion by 2022! I’m sure you’d want to be a part of that. Once you’ve created your course, (depending on how you set it up), it can be a rewarding passive income earner with little input from you.


Here are the top 4 ways businesses set up their online course

1. Self-paced

Self-paced courses are perfect for people who need flexibility with their time. They may already be working or looking after a family and can’t commit to online lessons at certain times during the week. 

Self-paced online courses:

  • Allow students to enrol anytime and complete the course at their own pace
  • Often have lengthy or lifetime access periods
  • Can be excellent evergreen content machines 
  • Have the least amount of ongoing time commitment for delivering the course 
  • Need very little instructor support
  • Usually attracts students who love this style of learning


2. Group coaching

Group coaching will take a little bit of input from you as the course creator. Not only will you have material for your students, but you’ll need to commit to having online group sessions each week, month etc.

Group coaching online courses:

  • Are often called blended learning as you’ll have content housed in your course platform, along with live support coaching calls 
  • Tend to run anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months
  • Are fantastic for scaling your business as students get to know you and often want more after the coaching has finished 
  • Tend to have a longer ongoing time commitment from you as you need to be present for the coaching calls (and often questions in between)
  • Work the best if you know your target audience and market the course specifically to them


3. Cohorts

Cohort online courses are very similar to group coaching but tend to be used by larger organisations. Sessions are usually run over a set time, and there can be different facilitators used for each cohort. 

Cohort online courses:

  • Are often used for larger-scale groups where the students usually progress at similar pace
  • Involve ongoing commitment from the facilitator while the course is running as you’ll have online learning and live lessons, coaching or feedback on assignments 
  • Often have additional elements such as community or discussion groups on Facebook, or break out sessions and live webinars 
  • Can train more people so are a great form of revenue-raising for your business 
  • Can be an effective way of blending the learning styles to deliver a great result for your participants (who may be in multiple locations) still with the facilitator involvement.


4. Memberships

Membership style online courses ‘drip-feed’ content to students. They sign up on a subscription type of arrangement and generally pay a monthly or annual fee to be involved. 

Membership online courses:

  • Give students access to a private community group to talk to each other
  • Deliver new content each month, drip-fed through in whatever order you decide
  • Is perfect for ‘edupreneurs’ who need to deliver their material over time as they have so much to offer
  • Generally, take up less of your ongoing time for student contact (not like intensive group coaching) 
  • Require you to create ongoing content and support your members with help when they need it 
  • Allows your members time to integrate any new lessons or material in between dripped sessions
  • Awesome for blending in bonus opportunities such as ‘guest speakers or workshops’ 
  • Are great for longevity and set business income
So, how do you choose?

Each of these online course setups has pros and cons, but it depends on you. How much content do you already have to convert into an online course, and how much time commitment and support do you have to give students? 

Most of these course types will also have the ability to allow students to preview lessons, so it makes it easier for you to market your course to the students. You can give them a sneak peek into what they’ll learn and a ‘feel’ for your content.

Would you like a copy of my course planning template? It helps you to nut out your idea, test your idea, work out how you’ll package it, map your content, consider the technology, and how you’ll launch and sell the course. 


You can grab a copy here.





Alethea Tuitahi, Cloud Executive Services

Would you like to discuss building an online course?

If you’ve been thinking about creating your online course, but not sure of all the how-to’s, we’re here to help you. Using Thinkific, we know how to set up online courses that work. You create the content, and we’ll make it look amazing (and sellable) online. 

You can find more info on the CloudXS Digital website

And if you haven’t already, please download your free copy of our online course planning template.

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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