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How to create and sell online courses

Step-by-step guide to creating profitable online courses in record time

Making a steady income by selling online courses?

Yes, it’s possible!

Take, for instance, Daniel.

He whipped up a Twitter course in around a brisk 16 hours.

And guess what?

The course pulled in an astounding $80,000.

Today, Daniel runs a successful cohort-based business where he mentors students weekly.

With all that said…

Here’s a little background on why we’re discussing Daniel.

His success story resonated with my experience of churning out courses in record time.

That’s why I want to walk you through my foolproof method to create profitable online courses.

This is the exact blueprint I’ve followed for my courses and some of my clients.

The “Micro” Online Course System to build it fast

Crafting Profitable Courses in Digestible Bites

Over the years, I’ve raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars from selling Micro Courses.

So, what exactly is a micro course?

It’s a brief 60-90 minute training session that you can sell for $50-$200.

Between 2021-2023, I guided clients in launching their courses using a straightforward, easy-to-digest method — the same one I will share with you.

Case in point?

Consider the WiFi Money Machine, a course I created that pulled in almost $200,000 in sales.

My business partner and I developed this in just a week.

I’ve also used the micro course system to create:

Here are some of the micro-courses I’ve created for myself and my clients.

It’s worth mentioning that I’ve been able to create these courses quickly because of my strong expertise in this domain. As a newbie, you might not be able to follow the steps seamlessly. Even if you do, your course might not hit the mark.

But, given that you’re already skilled (I see you!), my step-by-step guide to creating Micro Courses could be a game-changer for you.

Why do people fail to create online courses?

Let’s cut to the chase: fear.

Folks typically carry the weight of creating the “best ever” course and dread the consequences if they fail:

  • Facing criticism
  • Launching a flop course
  • Quitting midway

It’s natural to feel scared.

I’ve been there too…

Terrified of launching courses.

This fear led me down a path of overloading my courses with information, an error many make.

You see…

Giving away too much information is the #1 mistake first-time course creators make.

And it’s also why many of them quit before launch day.

Before I started making waves with my courses, I backed out numerous times — always following the same pattern.

The pattern was always the same.

First, I wrote the outline.

Then, I wrote the script or part of it.

Next, I created the graphics.

But I never got around to recording the course.


It seemed too daunting.

I had a misguided notion that for a course to be valued, it had to be as lengthy as the 16-hour courses I watched on when learning web design.

Fast forward to 2019:

I launched Straightline Web Design.

Despite the grind of recording and then re-recording because I wasn’t satisfied with my first attempt (the first course I had recorded in English), it turned out well and garnered over $100,000 in sales.

However, the time consumed was significant.

So I had to do something about it.

And that’s how the Micro Course system was born.

How to Bypass the long, dreadful hours of creating a course?

Here’s the thing:

The fear of creating a course won’t go away.

But with a conscious decision and commitment to making it happen, you can conquer it.

And guess what?

You can pull it off with a reasonable 6 to 10 hours’ commitment.

The process to create an online course is simple:

  1. Step 1: Identify a Problem
  2. Step 2: Create a roadmap
  3. Step 3: Details—focus on the details
  4. Step 4: Design Time
  5. Step 5: Record Your Course
  6. Step 6: Edit your recording
  7. Step 7: Create the graphics
  8. Step 8: Upload course files onto Gumroad
  9. Step 9: (Bonus) Include bonuses

These steps have served me well repeatedly.

And I recommend them to my clients.

Working with clients typically involves providing talking points, identifying their audience’s concerns, and mapping out the journey.

All that’s left for them is elaborating on these points on individual slides during the course recording.

Now let’s dig deeper into each of the steps.

Step 1: Identify a Problem

Start by spotting a problem your audience consistently battles with.

Get to the root of this with this simple market research:

Ask these three replay-worthy questions consistently for 2-4 weeks:

  1. What’s the #1 question you’ve always wanted to ask me but haven’t yet?
  2. What’s your biggest hurdle regarding [Your Subject] right now?
  3. This one, courtesy of Pat Flynn: If you had a magic wand, which problem would you ‘poof!’ away instantly?

These innocent-looking questions penetrate the subconscious, revealing what your audience desperately wants a solution for.

Rephrase, re-jig, and reinterpret these questions.

Over time, you’ll find repeating patterns.

And whatever you see often is the money-making topic your course should be about.

Step 2: Create a roadmap

Lay down the crucial points your audience needs to cover to move from their current situation (Point A) to their dream spot (Point B).

Go easy on the details.

Pull back a bit.

Zoom out.

Just broad steps or milestones will do.

Think of these milestones/steps as slides in your presentation.

Each of these steps can be a slide on your keynote.

Here’s a hint:

What you’re reading right now could literally become a course because I’m detailing the steps I take to create micro courses. All I would have to do is put this on a keynote presentation and record it.

As I’ve said to many of my students…

“A course is simply an article read aloud.”

And three things pump up the value of the course:

  1. How crisply you explain the solution to the issue
  2. Eye-catching visuals that make learning a pleasure
  3. Extra goodies you offer (think templates, checklists, discounts, and so on)

Step 3: Details—focus on the details

With your roadmap in place, add a couple of bullet points on each slide.

Can you feel the course coming to life?

Polish the draft until you’re happy with the result.

But—hold on—don’t even daydream about design at this phase.

For now, the presentation should be nothing but monochrome—a white backdrop and black text (no doodles, graphics, icons, nada).

Mix and match things till it feels just right.

And add some notes so you know what to talk about when recording.

Only once you’re happy, go to the next step.

Step 4: Design Time

Use a straightforward keynote template or hire a designer.

Stick to minimalist designs — a couple of icons for each bullet point should do the job.

Treat each bullet point like a new slide or an animated pop-up.

And once they appear on the screen, you talk about it while recording yourself talking.

If you want nice photos, try Unsplash.

Need a few icons? Check out IconFinder. Ensure you’re in the clear to use their freebies for commercial purposes—basically, their copyright allows you to use their work in your paid content.

Step 5: Record Your Course

Hang tight.

We’re nearing the end.

Time to grab your notes and hit ‘Record’ on Loom, Zoom, or any recording app you prefer.

Want to show your face? Go ahead.

Don’t want to? That’s fine.

Just remember, you’ll be recording for roughly 90 minutes or maybe even less—talking slide by slide about each idea.

While recording, don’t try to be Mr. Perfect.

Let the filler words (umm’s, err’s, you know’s) and lengthy pauses be.

If you’re unsure about what you just said, repeat it without stopping the recording.

Let things be organic.

Why, you might ask?

You can edit out the bad parts later on.

Tips To Record The Course

  • Make sure the microphone is working—I once recorded a one-hour course, but the microphone was off (true story)
  • If you are showing your face, take a look at yourself in the mirror to see if there’s something weird stuck between your teeth or face (yeah, that happened to me too)
  • Find a quiet place to record, free from background noise and distractions.
  • If you have kids, tell them you’ll be recording something. Show them what you’ll be doing so that they understand. And ask them to stay silent.
  • Do NOT practice your delivery beforehand. Wing it. Trust me with this. You’ll do great. And remember, you can always edit out the bad parts later on.
  • Buy a nice microphone. Audio is KING when it comes to course. The BlueSnowball or Blue Yeti USB Microphone is a great microphone.

Step 6: Edit your recording

I love Descript.

Descript is my magic wand for course editing.

This app helps you trim out those annoying filler words and awkward silent spaces for smoother course narration.

And it does wonders automatically—thanks to the power of AI.

Check out this short tutorial I created for my baby sister who is learning how to edit (note: this is an off-the-cuff recording—expect long pauses and filler words)

Tips To Edit The Video Course

Here are some tips for editing a video course:

  • Use simple software like Descript or Screenflow. You do not need high-end software like Premier Pro or Final Cut Pro
  • Add relevant visuals or animations to the keynote—that way, you don’t have to add them during the editing phase.
  • Preview the final product before publishing to ensure quality

Step 7: Create the graphics

Your course creation journey leads you to Canva territory.

Canva is a free graphic design app.

Here’s another thing — it’s a breeze to use.

With it, you can create a simple, eye-catching cover page with your course title and a compelling subtitle.

Feel free to use one of the templates because it’s free.

By the way, you can also create the keynote presentation with Canva.

Step 8: Upload course files onto a platform like Teachable or Gumroad (I prefer gumroad)

Once ready, head to Gumroad and upload your course files.

And poof — you’ve made it!

A few dedicated hours or one determined week of work, and you’re the proud creator of a fantastic online course.

With dedication and focus, you can even wrap this up in as quick as 2-3 days.

Step 9: (Bonus) Include bonuses

Let me come clean:

I have bought courses just because of the bonuses the creator offered.

In my opinion, the following are the most persuasive bonuses you can give that’ll take you an edge:

  1. Checklists
  2. List of resources (tools, software, apps, etc)
  3. Templates & worksheets
  4. Case studies
  5. Expert workshop (literally another course)

That’s why you see a lot of course sellers giving you basically the same type of bonuses. It’s just that these items are easy to create, and they are deemed extremely valuable by the market.


Before you start celebrating, remember that it’s not over until it’s out there for the world to see — the real test arrives with the launching of your course.

I’ll cover this in my next installment, so watch for it.

Addressing your concerns about creating Micro Courses Online

“But I have a 9 to 5 job,” you might say.

I understand.

Finding the time to record a course is a pain, primarily if they work full-time.

But remember…

That’s why I developed the Micro Course system.

It’s a low-risk, high-reward process.

You could start by investing one hour a day for a few weeks, and you’ll get it done.

“Will people actually buy a 60-minute course?”

Have you ever bought one?

I certainly have – many of them, in fact.

What I love about them is that they show me how to solve a specific problem, which is valuable to me.

I don’t want to spend hours trying to figure out what to watch, what to ignore, or what to pay attention to.

I want the solution ASAP.

I believe that your audience also needs a fast solution to their problems.

And your micro course might be just that for them.

“I don’t want to put in all that work and have it not sell.”

Then don’t do it.

I am not here to cheerlead you.

I’m here to guide you on how to take action.


Even if the worst-case scenario occurs, you’ll learn from it, such as what works and what doesn’t.

“What if I get negative reviews?”

A negative review is better than no review.

Think about that.

“I don’t want to be seen as a fraud or imposter.”

Brace yourself.

You will be called a fraud, a scammer, a thief for selling online courses.

This is just what happens when you sell them.

It’ll happen.

And when it happens, you have three choices:

  1. Monetize the online hate you get
  2. Ignore it
  3. Make a fuzz about it and look weak (do not do this

“I have to create the best course ever.”

Then go ahead.

Do it.

The process of creating a micro course and a longer one is the same.

The difference is how profound the courses are.

But I’ll leave you with this thought:

A bigger course is nothing more than a collection of micro-courses.

Hope you liked my approach.

Here are 2 ways I can help you:

1. Need an automated sales funnel? Book a call with me.

2. Crashcourse Copywriting: Learn the art of persuasive writing.

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