Design vs. Develop vs. Marketing an E-Course: What’s the Diff?

Currently, there are educational offers on how to create an e-course that focus on choosing a topic for your market’s needs, how to brand and deliver your course, perhaps build a mini/test version, initiate your launch process and scale up your business. All super important marketing topics.

But what about the intricate design required of a course? There are so many ways to create, weave and present your course that depends on your vision, audience, topic and learning goals.

Then, there is the actual development (the building) of the course. How much content should be in each lesson? What is the best exercise or engagement for each one? Would an illustration be better than a video? What can you reasonably expect your students to consume, complete and produce?

Because of these critical aspect, going forward I plan to focus on the design and development of a course and leave the detailed marketing courses to the others – who are doing a terrific job.

My main reason: I LOVE to design – in fact, my professional role is an Instructional Designer (aka course builder). Check out my Praise page and Portfolio video to see the work I’ve done for solopreneurs, start ups, medium-sized corporations and academic institutions located all over the globe.

So, let’s begin. Below is the natural sequence to create and launch an e-course with the first 2 steps explained below.



The Course Idea

The first thing that is involved in designing a course is the actual idea. This is probably the biggest stumbling block for anyone wanting to create an e-course.

You may have been at this point: “Argh, what do my peeps want to learn, that’s not already offered, and be willing to pay for!?” You need to check that out! Seriously, don’t guess as you could waste tons of time, money, energy and motivation.

To help, see how to determine your course idea in my blog post on discovering demand.

The Course Theme & Flow

After you determine the course idea that’s in demand, it’s off to the design drawing board. Here is where I get super excited. See below all the wonderful things to determine in your course design.

I always consider these design facets for any course I create (i.e. mine, my clients or my students) and covert the ideas into a course blueprint. In turn, the blueprint guides the development of the course, with little concern if it is being built right.

Completion Timeframe: 10-15 hours

Course design process



This is the part where we get our hands dirty. Woohoo. I follow my blueprint to the Nth degree (sometimes I deviate if I get a better idea for a lesson.) Ask any of my clients and they will all tell you that I adhere to my processes closely and carefully with great success.

Completion Timeframe: 2-3 months

e-course development process


Creating a course is a wonderful creative process. It provides a learning experience for people who are  thirsty to consume and try new ideas, skills and practices, because they want to learn how to improve their lives in many ways.

As humans, we have a natural instinct for survival and betterment. So teach them.

Your course and students deserve an exquisitely executed learning experience. Don’t you think?

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