How Long Does It Take To Plan And Build An Online Course

At first glance, it may seem easy when it comes to the question of how to build an online course: record yourself talking about your topic of expertise, add in some flashy graphics, and call it a day! Yaay!
But in reality, however, planning and producing an online course takes time and effort, and if you don’t plan out your course properly, you could waste both your time and money. 

In reality, there are many questions like –

How long does it take to create an online course or how long does it take to make an online course or how long does it take to build an online course? These questions might be coming to you when building plan for your online course. 

To give you an idea of how long it takes to plan and produce an online course from start to finish, we will go you through the process step by step so that you know exactly what to expect when developing your own online course and how long with it take. 

Let us take a timeline of 20 days and look at the procedure on how long does it take to build an online course. 


  • Brainstorm ideas (Day 1 – Day 5) 

Brainstorming is the initial and one of the most difficult stages. Take an ample amount of time on your hands and brainstorm the best ideas that you can execute. While building plan for  your online course, you’ll need to decide on a topic. There are several ways to approach your topic. You can start with an idea and work outwards from there. Or you can look at what people are interested in buying and building a course that fits their needs. Whatever you choose, it will take time to research and plan out every aspect of your online course before you’re ready to produce anything. When it comes down to the question – how long does it take to build an online course? The answer is – as long as it takes for you to plan everything out.

  • Create a dummy class (Day 6 – Day 9) 

Before you jump into any online course marketing, it’s a good idea to create a test group of students to try out your course content. Although it doesn’t cost much to build an online course, it will still cost time and effort to launch and market. When you know what your audience really wants (and how many people are willing to buy), you can create a more streamlined and profitable online course service. The bottom line is that you want to make sure there is demand for your products before you invest a lot of time in creating them. 

Before we move on to the content further, here is a quote –

Do not spend time creating your course, sell your idea first and then create the course.” ― Chinmai Swamy

Therefore it is immensely important that you sell your idea to your audience, gather feedback, and then create the real masterpiece of your online course.

  • Gather Feedback from the group (Day 10 – Day 12)

There’s no better way to really make sure your idea is one worth pursuing than by sharing it with a test group. This can be done through online surveys or, even better, in-person interviews. Before you start production on your online course, you’ll want to know that there is a market out there for what you have to offer. Building plan for your online course is like building any other type of product; before you create it, you need to know if anyone will buy it. 

  • Create the courseware (Day 12 – Day 14)

While it’s easiest to plan an online course if you already have something to teach, that’s not always possible or even helpful. If you can, pick a subject area and material you already know well and refine it down into a format that makes sense for teaching. From there, all it takes is time: how long does it take to make an online course? How long did it take you to produce your first class or unit? Create the best courseware that would suit the needs and style of your online course audience. 

  • Format it well (Day 15)

There are still a lot of things to finalize in terms of format, such as chapter titles and subtitles. Once you’ve decided on your format (there are lots of different formats for online courses), you’ll need to make sure your words fit into it. For example, if you decide you want each section in your course to be 5 minutes long, you’ll need to write your content accordingly. If you have videos, you’ll also need to factor that into your timing. If there is an audio element, how much time will that take? How about an interactive element? How long will that take? All these questions should be answered before you start writing or recording anything. You don’t want to spend hours working on something only to find out it doesn’t fit!

  • Record your videos (Day 16 – Day 17)

Creating videos is easy enough, but it’s not exactly a quick and painless process. Though you can use any camera to record your screen and voice, if you want to make a polished video, you’ll need more than just basic software and hardware. When creating an online course, for example, consider investing in software where you can edit and export videos. Or simply take advantage of one of these free options Camtasia (Windows only), Windows Live Movie Maker (PC only), or Video Edit Magic (Mac). Once you have all that set up, you’re ready to start recording. If possible, try to get everything set up at least a day before you plan on shooting so that there are no hiccups when it comes time to film. Also, make sure that everything—from lighting to sound quality—is where it needs to be before hitting the record.

  • Edit the videos (Day 18)

How long does it take to build an online course? Once you have all of your videos, it’s a good idea to go through and edit them. You will likely want to cut some parts out and make sure that each video flows well into one another. Most videos can be edited in a quick 15-20 minutes.
Edit The Scripts: How long does it take to build an online course? Once you have all of your scripts, it’s a good idea to go through and edit them. You will likely want to cut some parts out and make sure that each script flows well into one another. Most scripts can be edited in a quick 15-20 minutes.
Create/Edit the Graphics: If you’re creating graphics for your courses, how long does it take to create an online course? Once you have all of your graphics designed, it’s a good idea to go through and edit them. You will likely want to change things like colors or create new ones altogether.

  • Promote your course (Day 18 – Day 19)

Once you’ve created your product, you’ll want to promote it everywhere: on your website, social media profiles, and of course via various affiliates. Make sure you get paid affiliate commissions for every sale made from your promotional efforts—you worked hard to create that course and deserve a cut! If you have other products or services (as most solopreneurs do), make sure they are promoted alongside your new course. You never know where people may find value in what you offer, so diversify and cast as wide a net as possible.
You could read our blog on – 5 Highly Effective Strategies to Promote Your Online Course

  • Launch your course (Day 20)

The day you make your course available for purchase. This is a big milestone—and it’s also a very stressful one. You’ve spent months (or years) working on your content, and now that it’s finished, you have to hope that people will actually buy it. But there are some things you can do to ensure that the launch goes smoothly. First, don’t just rely on word of mouth; be sure to promote your course with an email campaign or social media blitz. Second, make sure you have enough inventory to meet demand; if not, say goodbye to sales! Third, plan out how you’ll handle customer service issues in advance so they don’t become roadblocks between customers and their success. Finally, once you start seeing sales come in, take a deep breath: You’re here. Your course has launched successfully. Hurray!! 

Once, you’ve gone through this whole 20 days procedure, you need to sit back and track the success rate. You need to make sure that you also maintain the ratings and revamp content from time to time.

Here is a video on – Top 10 Online Course Creation Tips


Hope reading this blog helps you to build an online course business that runs successfully. Stay tuned to read more such blogs on Teachmore

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