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Published by: Al-Rakeesh Alexander on 20-Sep-22
Chapter 4: Quick & Easy Outlining

Outlining your course is very important. It will not only provide you with the groundwork for your training, but it will ensure that you don’t spend too much time on one module and end up overlooking an important step in the process.

When outlining your course, you should begin by breaking down your content into step-by-step action plans (otherwise called modules) and then creating one video (or other content format) for each task.

Begin by thinking about exactly what you want to teach, as well as how many steps are required in order to complete a task.  

For example, if you were to teach a lesson that required 6 steps to complete, you could break that down into 6 individual videos that were each 10 minutes long.  That would give your students an hour’s worth of content, which could serve as the complete course!

Try to make sure your course is at least one hour long. This might feel like a lot of work, but if you create your outline and break your videos down into 5-10 minute modules, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to do. Doing this will also help you stay focused on guiding your students every step of the way.

If you need help coming up with an outline, turn to Udemy!

Udemy is one of the leading marketplaces online when it comes to selling courses, but it’s also a goldmine of information when researching niche markets and possible digital products.

In fact, Udemy is one of the easiest ways to not only evaluate the profitability of any course topic you’re interested in, but you’ll be able to instantly come up with a complete outline in a matter of minutes.

Here’s how to do it:

The first step is to uncover courses that are actively and currently selling, but that have also been well-received, meaning that people have left positive feedback relating to the course.

You’ll be able to spot these top-selling courses by paying attention to the number of enrolled students, as well as the number of reviews.

The number of students enrolled in the course indicates overall popularity, while the number of reviews (and more importantly, the feedback included in those reviews) will give you an inside look as to the quality of the course, and whether students are happy with their purchase.  

Both are important when it comes to helping you create an outline for your own course.

Begin by searching Udemy using relevant keywords pertaining to your niche.  Sort by “most reviewed” so you’re able to pinpoint the most popular courses.

You can also search by category.

You’re looking for:

Courses with at least 75 reviews (called ratings on Udemy). Any less than that and you won’t be able to accurately determine the quality of the course.

Keep in mind that many Udemy instructors will give away coupons providing free access in exchange for reviews, so the higher number of reviews, the more accurate your research will be.

Courses that include a variety of lectures. You should pay most attention to courses that include at least 10 lectures (also called modules), as this will give you a detailed breakdown of all that’s included in the material.  

You’ll also be able to see how many hours of video training is included with every course.  This will give you a good idea as to how thorough the course is.

Number of Students: This information is extremely important because it tells you how many people were willing to pay for the information.

You won’t find the number of enrolled students from the main search page so you’ll have to click on a course that interests you and then look at the top navigation as shown below.

In the example, over 5,000 people have paid for access to this course. This tells you that the demand is there!

Finally, you’ll want to read through the lesson plans so you can get a good idea as to the type of content being offered, and the overall coverage.

This is a great way to create a detailed outline for your own course so when it comes time to writing the lessons (or outsourcing it), you’ll have a plan of action.

So, scroll down until you find the section that outlines the full listing of course content and take notes of everything you find.

Next, you’ll want to identify weaknesses in some of the more popular courses.  This means you’ll want to focus on what people are saying they felt was missing in the course.  

That way you can create a course that goes above and beyond people’s expectations while delivering an in-depth training program that fulfills buyer expectations.

Creating a best-selling course requires knowing your audience.  The better you understand what your average student needs help with, the easier it will be for you to create a solid outline that offers the information they are most interested in.

So, ask yourself:  Who will enroll in your course and what are they hoping to learn?

Your course should always focus on a specific skill or experience level as well, such as “Beginner”, “Intermediate” or “Advanced”.

Doing this will ensure that your course offers the information that your students are looking for and can understand, rather than confuse them with information they’re just not ready for.

For example, if you are thinking about creating a course that teaches graphic design, you’d want to target it towards a certain skill level.  

Are your students brand new to design and likely haven’t mastered the basics of Photoshop?  Then you’d want to create a course geared towards beginners.

Or, are your students somewhat comfortable with the popular design programs and are looking for help with specific design methods that a newbie wouldn’t be ready to master?

If so, you’d want to create a course geared towards intermediate students.

A course that is geared towards a specific skill level will always outsell a training program that attempts to be everything to everyone. People want to learn a specific skill, especially when they’re just starting out.  You need to get down to their level so you can create a course tailored towards their most pressing needs.

You’ll also want to create content in a variety of formats, including video, PDF files and “takeaway” material that people can download and refer to at a later date.   

People prefer to learn using different methods so someone might prefer to watch video rather than read a module, while others find it easier to absorb information if they can re-read it. Try catering to both audiences by providing both video content and transcripts they can download.

Again, analyze the top-selling courses in your market using websites like SkillShare, Teachable and Udemy, and pay attention to the various content formats that are offered. You’ll save a lot of time when researching what people expect from a course in your market.

See you in the next chapter

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