How to create a digital product/course? I have the knowledge but struggle with how to organize it and what format to present it in?

I've been creating educational content for online business for years, have millions of views and have created over 1,000 videos. While previously providing for free, I've finally decided to try to monetize it. My problem is I have the knowledge, but struggle to organize the info into modules. Also, I am not sure what format to present the info in ie, video form, a book, slideshow, etc. I've sat down to attempt to create courses a couple times and I wind up with single chapters, 20 pages long, where I shoot off in all different directions. I also struggle with what format to release this information in. I have a tendency to ramble and also have so much info to share, I get off track and try to share it all at once as opposed to breaking it down. Any advice for a first-time course creator in terms of how to organize the info? For example, by category and short 1-3 minutes modules or larger chunks of 10 or 20 minute videos?


This is not a simple question to answer, but one I can relate to because I am currently creating an online course and I initially struggled getting passed the outline phase. I found the driving factor to determine the best organization of instructional content is understanding what your audience wants (or needs) to learn from your course.

There are several organizational methods you can use. I’ll list a few examples, and I’d be happy to discuss further if you need help structuring yours.

1) Sequential: This method is best used to teach a step-by-step process, like the installation of a computer system.
2) Hierarchical: This method is best used to teach content which requires that a learner master subordinate skills or knowledge to advance to a higher level skill. For example, in order to teach someone how to trade stocks, they would first need to learn about the stock market.
3) Importance: This method is best used when teaching policies — commonly used by companies for internal training where they explain the important topics first, and progress to less important, ancillary topics.
4) Complexity: This method is best used when the topic you are teaching is difficult and may turn off your audience. You ease the audience with easier, generic topics, and progress to more difficult topics.

Hope this helps! And request a call if you need assistance designing your course.

- Armando

Answered 6 years ago

As Armondo said, challenge question to answer.

The book Oliver suggested might help.

And also, you might also be served to hire a coach. Someone who lives by providing information.

Be sure to choose someone with your same personality style or maybe pick an Introvert, as they tend to make more money because they come up with systems to sell without dealing with people.

Trick: When I start designing new courses, I search Udemy + print out course modules titles for related courses.

I do the same with Amazon, printing out related book Table of Contents.

Then I write an entire outline of the course first, so module titles. Then flesh out modules.

My guess is make your process less organic + more structured, so start with your entire course outline first.

Anything tangential (related + slightly off topic) goes into a file for spin off courses.

Answered 6 years ago

Get Julie Dirksen's book Design for How People Learn – it's great and will help you with exactly that.

If by format you mean whether it should be video, an ebook, audiobook, etc – my best advice is to ask your audience, and look at which formats do best (competitors' competing products).

Answered 6 years ago

Focus on your target's pain. Break this "pain" into little micro-pains within the Theme. Use index cards for each chapter/module...

Choose a specific time every day to write. Turn all the B.S. disturbances off! Focus. Either write like you speak or record your talking points and pay Fiverr or whatever to transcribe.

Assemple a PDF. Get/build a Wordpress site focused on your chosen niche. Blog min. 2-3 times/week. Create great content that matters and share your knowledge in each Post. Do not holdback. QUALITY.

Build your list; Aweber or Constant contact or whatever. Prominent signup form! Build a drip campaign. Allow 6 months to get any traction.

Build your brand. Consistency... IE: like for me, it's Teacher… Lender… Consultant...Resource… Answers… The Business of Lending to the Masses.

Leave INTELLIGENT, INSIGHTFUL comments everywhere related content appears. I've made front page of Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, NYT... Reporters NEED content. THEY ARE LAZY. Do the work for them.

Be controversial. As Altucher writes, "If you're not afraid to hit Publish, if you're not scared SH&&***less, your writing sucks.

Youtube, Instagram... sure! Everyday and everywhere!

Start today. Focus. Do the work. Iterate. It's hard "work" BUT if you choose a niche you dig, the future is yours. Fail to be scared and do what need to be done, you will still be HERE!

I know, and more importantly, YOU KNOW this works!
Best ,
Jer - Trihouse Consulting

Answered 6 years ago

If by format you mean doc, ebook, powerpoint, video or audio, the answer is all of them. That will give you the widest reach and it's fairly easy to do with free software.

Start with the text to map out the course then add that to powerpoint. Make a screen recording of you running through the powerpoint slides. Extract the audio from the video. By the end you should have a transcript, powerpoint, audio and a video version.

You can package these separately then bundle them together or split them at at different price points (always stacking the deal towards the full bundle).

This will give you the greatest reach across platforms and higher product value.

To extend this you would add the buyers to an email list and continue to market to them into the future. As the saying goes, the money is in the list.

Answered 6 years ago

I can relate to this - I have developed online (video) courses and having to distill knowledge down into the bare essentials was something I struggled with initially.

Armando’s answer is a good one - you should look closely at that.

I would add the following:
* You say you end up with long chapters when you try to create a course. That indicates that writing a book may not be so difficult for you. Your publisher/editor would work with you to cut out the fat, and so that part of the work will also be taken off you.
* If you do write a book it’s contents will be easy to convert into a number of training modules, if you still wish to do that after becoming a published author. The structuring of the book in partnership with your publisher would have clarified a number of questions about the specific problems you are helping people solve and the issues you can address.
* You say you’ve already got a huge trove of video material. So how come you sound as if you want to start from scratch again? Or is it that you don’t own the rights to the materials you’ve done in the past? Simply repurposing the existing videos (breaking them into smaller videos and perhaps adding some commentary to update the material or provide further context) sounds like a very quick way for you to get materials out with little effort while avoiding the temptation to ramble.
* The medium often determines the message format.
— Udemy and Skillshare are good if you don’t have your own traffic, but you can’t put the same format on both. Udemy works with lectures that are 5-10 minutes in length, while Skillshare tilts towards 2-5 minute videos. You sound more like a Udemy guy!
— If you have traffic already then I want to assume that you are already conversant with all the good stuff you can do with Youtube. If you want to have your own platform to which you can direct your traffic I’d recommend Thinkific. Teachable is good too though.

Answered 6 years ago

I have a few tips how to design the perfect training online course.

First of All, What is a Training Module?

A training module is a component of an online course that focuses on a specific objective and is designed to teach on a specific topic.

Learn more at

2) Pre-work activities to ensure your attendees are engaged and ready for learning

It’s important to give your attendees the right expectations and prepare them for your session. Doing so can help them feel more engaged and be successful in the session.

What are possible pre-work activities you can do to ensure that your attendees are ready for training?

- Send an email with reminders about the session and its objectives

- Send a survey to get feedback from your attendees on what they want from training

- Ask questions about their work, their industries or other topics relevant to the workshop

3) Content selection and how it should vary based on learners' motivations and background knowledge.

-Collect their contact information

-Introduce them by name

-Provide a brief overview of the program

Section 2: What to do during the session

-Introduce the presenter and any co-presenters

-Distribute handouts

-Introduce agenda and explain how it's going to unfold

-Introduce the presentation topic and the structure of the presentation

-Summarize the key points of what you'll be covering in the presentation

4) Presentation style & format - What does the instructor need from their slides?

The objective of a presentation is to communicate one's message to the audience. Presentations can be formal, casual, colloquial, or even a mixture of different styles.

In order for an instructor to present their ideas effectively they need to have a slide deck. This is a visual display of all the content that will be communicated during the presentation. A slide deck can include images, text and video clips or anything else that will help convey the instructor's message. They should have a clear introduction and conclusion so it is easy for people who are listening to follow along with what they are saying as well as some slides that stand out from the rest of the material in order for those listening to remember key points from the presentation more clearly.

If you have a question that is not on this list, please email me.

Answered 3 years ago

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