My Course-Creation Checklist

One request that comes up often in my Creating Courses Discord group is for a list of steps to follow to create a course.

There are so many different and valid ways to approach developing courses. Here are the basic steps I go through when I’m building a course.

Content Creation

  • Define the topic
  • Define the audience
  • List learning objectives/intended outcomes
  • Define why this topic is important/relevant to this audience
  • Write what I know about the topic / repurpose what I’ve already written
  • Research what I don’t know, then write that up
  • Break the content up into modules and short lessons
  • If it needs to fit within a certain format, like number of lessons or modules, look into expanding or narrowing the content
  • Develop exercises to cement ideas or help people explore the concepts
  • Come up with ideas for dinosaur photos for each lesson
  • Write course description

Content Production

Toy dinosaurs holding signs: "Hi," "Hello," and "How's it going?"
  • Create graphics for complex topics
  • Shoot dinosaur photo illustrations to break up text (they say hi 👋🏻)
  • Edit photos
  • Record welcome and thanks, bye videos
  • Create PowerPoint for each lesson using graphics, photos, and text *
  • Record audio in PowerPoint for each lesson and export as mp4 *
  • Upload videos to Descript to edit, create captions, and transcripts
  • Create worksheets in Word
  • Export worksheets as PDF
  • Create website, newsletter, and social media graphics in Canva

* for courses with video lessons

Course Production

  • Set up new course in Podia
  • Upload sales page content
  • Upload images, videos, text, captions, transcripts, and worksheets to each lesson
  • Set the price and launch date
  • Check the course settings
  • Check the course functionality
  • Create coupon codes: newsletter launch, beta team, scholarships


  • Get beta users
  • Run the course in beta
  • Apply feedback from beta team
  • Get the course checked for typos and oversights
  • Apply changes


  • Share some stuff about the course-in-progress to networks
  • Add course description to website
  • Write and send launch, coupon-reminder, and scholarship reminder newsletters
  • Post about the course on social media
  • Ask networks to help spread the word


  • Select scholarship recipient(s)
  • Run the course (if instructor-led, if not, let it run itself)
  • Collect and upload testimonials to sales page

And that’s what I do to get a course off the ground. I’ll use a more granular checklist for a lot of these steps to help me stay on track and feel like I’m making quantifiable progress.

Want to join a community of people in publishing creating courses? I’ve got a Discord group you can join. Just shoot me an email and let me know what course(s) you’re thinking of developing.

Are you interested in exploring ideas for creating courses or other “passive” income opportunities? Check out my self-paced workshop Exploring “Passive” Income.

Want one-on-one support as you develop and build a course? Check out my Business Coaching for Editors.