How Long Does It Take To Create An Online Course?


Do you have an excellent idea for a course? Do you want to transfer knowledge on a specific topic to other interested parties? Perhaps developing an online course in such a case is something for you!

The range of online courses has increased considerably in recent years. For example, check out YouTube, where you’ll find countless videos with explanations and deepening about specific themes. Also on paid platforms, of which  Udemy is a good example, the range of course material is increasing rapidly. Making an online course is not only fun, but it can also give you nice pocket money! You invest once in setting this up and can then continue to sell it continuously. 

However, how long does it take to create an online course? What steps does the development of course material consist of? How do you prevent a course from being overextended, or too summary? In this article, we will discuss the steps you go through when you create an online course.

Steps to go through when creating a course

We have listed the various steps for you, which you must go through when developing an online course. Which of these steps had you already thought of?

  • Determining the price for an online course, in combination with an extensive market exploration.
  • Devising the teaching materials you want to incorporate into the online course and the way you want to offer it.
  • Setting up a website or separate course page, on which you offer the online course to interested parties.
  • Developing a marketing plan to bring your online course to the attention of others.

In this article, we walk through the different phases, to give you a good idea of the time it takes to create an online course.

Determining the price for an online course

Determining the price for an online course consists globally of two steps: charting your costs and exploring the market. You want to make sure that the proceeds will soon outweigh the time it has taken to make the course. Besides, you have to fit an online course into the existing offer on your theme. If your course is much more expensive than other courses, it is logically less likely that people will purchase it.

We previously wrote an extensive article about determining the price for an online course [Internal link]. In this article, we zoom in further on the factors you need to take into account. 

Devising the teaching material for the course

The most important and time-consuming step in creating an online course is to put together the teaching materials. What information do you want to incorporate into the course? In what order do you offer the information? Do you divide the information about multiple courses, or do you merge everything into one long course? The online course must continue to captivate interested parties, and offer the information in a logical order. It prevents students from being left with questions.

Various possibilities to offer teaching materials

When developing an online course, you can offer teaching materials in different ways. For example, you can choose to write out all the information and sell it as plain text. A popular alternative is a podcast, where you enter the teaching material. As a third option, recording a video may also be worth considering. Many people will like a video or podcast more than a text. In a video or podcast, they are explained, without having to read large pieces of text themselves. 

Please note that a five-minute video quickly takes more than two hours of preparation. With a one-hour video, you are busy for several days! Your preparations include writing a script, setting up a space to record the videos, and editing the final footage.

Below we have listed the tasks for you, along with the time it takes. We have assumed five minutes of the film.

Working out the script for the video45 minutes
Preparation (space, camera, etc.)15 minutes
Record15 minutes
Post-processing60 minutes

Get started with a course page or website

Now that you have further elaborated on the teaching material, you can start with a course page or complete website. You can develop a website completely yourself, but you can also have it done. For a single course page, you can use different systems that allow the provision of online courses. This will save you a lot of time!

Building a course page consists of several parts. For example, you need to work out a course description, add an image or sneak preview, and it is advisable to include some credentials from satisfied students. Together, this will take just under two hours. 

Develop a course description60 minutes
Create a picture or sneak preview30 minutes
Write out student references15 minutes

Marketing for your online course

Everything is ready to sell the online course! Your course will certainly not be found immediately in the beginning. A lot depends on the experiences that the first students have with your online course. Are they satisfied? In that case, chances are they will point others on your course page. There are several ways to sell your course. For example, use ads on social media, invest in ad space within search engines or visit trade shows. Working out a marketing plan and executing it takes an average of about two to three hours. 

Develop a marketing plan60 minutes
Write out ads45 minutes
Placing the ads30 minutes
Ad monitoring30 minutes

All in all, making a course appears to take several days when you professionally approach this. It makes it all the more important to find out in advance whether developing a course is profitable on the chosen topic.

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