How Long Does it Take to Create an Online Course? (+Advice From Expert Creators)4 minute read
How much time will you need to create an online course?
Many aspiring creators ask themselves this very question when they are looking to start a new online course.
The time you will need to put a course together really depends on your specific case, however it generally takes anywhere between 25 to 500 hours to craft an online course.
There is no way to know for sure how long it will take you to finish a new online course, so our advice to creators is to not underestimate the length of this process and allow you enough time to complete the online course, build an audience and start promoting it.
At Heights Platform online course creation software, we deal with creators every day and many of our customers often tell us that they underestimated how much time they needed for their online course creation.
"We began in June 2020 and gradually offered short classes and tutorials over 6 months to understand what our peeps want and need. We launched our first big course in December to great success."
This is the testimony of Laurie McCarriar & Mary Lynn Michal, online course creators using Heights Platform. In this case, their first online course took more than 6 months from the idea to launch.
Another great piece of advice that we often hear from our most experienced customers is to just get started. Generally, new online course creators worry about many different pieces of the puzzle and delay the launch of their business for a number of reasons: either they believe that their online course is not ready, the lessons are not perfect, their audience is not big enough, their website is not appealing enough and so on...
It is perfectly normal to doubt yourself and what you have created, the best way to get over this initial fear is to simply launch your online course!
"If I was starting my online course business from scratch today I'd spend less time worrying about which course platform to use, pick one (Heights obviously) and get course building!"Michelle Reeves
Another online course creator, Michelle Reeves, recommends not wasting too much time choosing an online course platform, and getting right into building your online course! If you too are struggling with finding the perfect online course software, we wrote a simple guide to help you pick one: Top 10 Things to Look For When Choosing the Perfect Online Course Platform
And finally, another one of our customers left us this great testimony when we asked her: What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Read More Advice From Our Creators
"The longer you wait to act, the more time you have to convince yourself it's a bad idea, that you're not capable of it, that you should put it off and wait for a better time. 99% of the time this is just the anxiety in our brain trying to stop us from doing something new and scary.
So if you're thinking about making an online course, just start. Don't wait for a time when you're less busy, or when you have more money, or when you're not juggling so many things because that time won't come -- if it had, you would have changed your life years ago! Be brave, and take that first step."Paris Hansch
What Takes You The Longest When Creating an Online Course?
There are many steps to creating an online course. First of all, you need to figure out the topic and niche of your business: what is your online course going to be about?
If you already know what you want your online course to be about, this step will not take you a long amount of time. All you need to do is try to understand if your chosen topic is in demand: carry out some online research within your niche, check if there is competition, ask your friends and network if they would purchase your online course and so on...
On the other hand, if you have no idea about what topic to focus on, this step will - and should - require more thorough research. We recommend you take your time to figure out the ideal topic for your online course.
This is not something you want to rush on, as it can significantly impact the outcome of your online business.
We have created a list of 40 Ideas for Profitable Online Courses, to help you find inspiration for your new online course. You can download it for free here:Download Your Idea Guide
Once you have a clear idea of the niche you should be focusing on, and what topic is in high demand, it's time to move on to the next step: structuring your online course.
Structuring the outline of your online course requires a longer time: we also believe that you should not rush this step, as creating the right outline for your course will make the rest of the process much easier and faster.
The good news is that you can save time here by using Heights Platform's Climb Outline. This tool can help you structure your new online course by quickly adding new lessons and modules, tweaking the order of things by dragging and dropping elements and getting a birds-eye view of your entire course.
Finding the right topic for your online course and structuring its outline is generally what takes creators the most time. Now that you got these steps out of the way, it's time to actually start creating content for your online course.
Depending on your course type and individual situation, this step can also be extremely lengthy. The good news is that you don't necessarily have to create the whole content of your online course at once.
If you are short on time, you can actually start selling your course before you completed its content creation. How?
This strategy allows you to put your course up for sale before it is even finished. Pre-selling is a great idea if you want to collect a few initial sales, validate your business idea before investing too much time and money, and grow an audience interested in your product.
Creating an online course from start to finish can take a long time. The good news is while you need to invest a lot of time, there are very few costs involved to get started with your online course.
Also by using tools designed to help you build an online course, you can save a significant amount of time and create a better product.
Heights Platform is the ultimate all-in-one course creation tool: easily lay the foundation of your course with our Climb Outline, get full flexibility on branding and structuring your program, access detailed analytics about your students, get the tools to effectively promote your online business and much more.