ArtsyCourseExperts Create Course Guide Image

How To Create A Guide For Your Online Course?

A guide can be a great bonus resource for your online course.

It can help your students achieve their goals faster than only watching your video lessons.

Bonus materials can also help creative teachers sell more courses at higher prices.

In this article, we’ll review how to create a course resource step by step.

Video Tutorial For Creating A Course Guide

Brainstorm On Course Bonus Ideas

Before you work on any actual course resource guide, you need to brainstorm on what are the various bonuses that you may want to include with your course.

These can be files like:

  • Templates
  • Guides
  • Checklists
  • Cheat Sheets
  • Sample or swipe files

After you come up with a few ideas, you will want to identify about 3 bonus documents to add to your course. Three items look amazing when shown horizontally on a course sales page.

The rest of this article will help you create the course resource documents one at a time.

Break Your Guide Into Sub-Topics

Once you have the topic of a particular guide, then you should start off by creating a list of possible sub-topics to cover.

Don’t worry, you don’t need an exhaustive list like a book.

Once you have a nice set, round up to a nice number like to sound like “10 plugins that graphic designers need for Photoshop”. You may even want to have a few extras as backup in case you need to drop 1 or 2 during the editing process.

These sub-topics will end up being your section titles in your guide. Eventually, they should be updated to meaningful sub-titles.

Leverage Content From Your Course

Since this is a resource for your course, you’ll want to connect the guide to your course.

The guide can expand on lessons mentioned in the course, or the guide can supplement what was learned from the course.

You’ll want to use the same words and voice in the guide that you use in the lessons. After all, you are supplementing the course with this guide.

Create The Content For Each Sub-Topic

Ok, so now that you have the sub-topics for your guide, you’ll want to start writing content.

Don’t get caught up creating the perfect sentences right away, just get the raw data or main points out for each of your guide’s sections.

If you think that you need some visual content, just add notes like [insert picture of Cricut printing machine here]. This way you don’t kill the flow and zag to 3 hours of other stuff while creating your guide.

Add Supporting Photos And Graphics

Once you have the basic section titles and some preliminary content, you may want to spice up the doc with some graphics.

For example:

  • Photos
  • Charts
  • Icons
  • Diagrams
  • Process flow

The content could be homemade using your photos of what you do or a simple picture you created in free Canva.

Alternatively, you could leverage royalty-free images like from Unsplash or licensed stock photography from places like GettyImages. Be careful not to get in legal trouble here as fines could be thousands of dollars and a really stressful long process.

Edit Your Course Resources

Eventually, you’ll have all the basics for your guide and you will have to do a final edit.

A good way to do your final edit is to do a read-aloud of all your text. Try to review big one-page chunks at a time, even if you hop around.

During the editing process, you may want to improve the flow by reordering your content.

Finally, after all this hard work, you may have to remove or trim the low-quality content parts to leave only the best parts.

Put Your Course Bonus Into A PDF

At this point, you may have been editing in MS Word or a Google doc and it’s time to get it ready for production.

Is your raw content in the right orientation like vertical or horizontal format?

Is the document just notes or is it in format that will work? You may need to transfer it into a slide deck or slides that will look like a booklet. Remember you can take a document or even slides and produce a polished PDF.

You’ll also want to take each of the sub-sections and turn those into clean pages or stylized visual containers within your guide.

Add A Title Page And Ending

While you can certainly just jump into your content, you may want to layout your guide with a proper intro and outro.

On the front page, you’ll probably want a nice title page with a proper title or image.

At the end of your guide, you may want to give them more general information.

Examples of content at the end of a guide include:

  • Other tips
  • Samples
  • Copyright
  • Social profiles
  • Related resources (URLs)

Get Feedback On Your Course Resource

Once you have a near final version of your course guide, you’ll want some people to review.

The reviewers could be friends, team, followers, or prior students.

Your feedback may include questions about clarity, missing items, or more how-tos that you need to add to your course.

Another way to give yourself feedback is to print out the document and use a highlighter and pencil to add markups.

Try to get initial feedback quickly followed by more in-depth input from your actual students over time.

Update Your Course Value

Now that you have this new course bonus, you will want to think about the total value of your course.

If your course price is $150, but you have added a powerful bonus resource, you can let buyers know that your course is now worth $200, but you are selling it for $150.

The total value can further increase as you add more bonuses to your course.

Update The Course Sales Page

Now that you have a course bonus, make sure you have a Bonus section on your online course sales page.

Most people add the bonus section near the last third of the page. Often teachers use columns for multiple bonuses.

List out each bonus with a title and short description. You can also include an icon or picture.

Some marketers also list out the value of each bonus item to help convince student buyers.

Update The Course Content

Finally, you should update your course curriculum to add the resource in as a separate content item.

On some platforms, you do this by simply uploading a file to a course resource section or as an extra file for a lesson.

On other platforms, you have to create a text lesson with the title of the resource, write some words about the resource, and then upload the resource as the content of the lesson.

Oh, don’t forget to come up with a good filename like ArtsyCourseExperts-How-To-Help-Teachers-With-Bonus-Materials.pdf instead of a generic ResourceFile.pdf.

Wrap Up

Bonuses have been proven to help sell online courses and they also help you earn premium prices.

For more information on why you should create bonuses for your course – read Include Bonus Content – For Increased Sales & Satisfaction.

You may be surprised to see how fast you can create a decent and valuable student bonus once you start.

For more creative teacher help building, operating, and growing your online courses, check out our ArtsyCourseExperts blog and subscribe to our email for regular tips.

Our Tech On Demand services help creative professionals who teach with everything technical.

Business owners can have their tech work 100%, use free time to create, and grow with real results.

This includes technical help planning, setting up, maintaining, troubleshooting, analyzing, and optimizing all your online courses, membership communities, and coaching websites.

creative professional planning a course with consultant

Plan

Turn your vision into steps and technical blueprint

Set Up

Configure, upload, and launch your new products & services

analysts reviewing tech platform as part of maintenance plan

Maintain

Monitor, check, update, backup, and secure your systems

Troubleshoot

Fix platform issues and student tech-support problems

analysts reviewing tech platform as part of maintenance plan

Analyze

Audit your sales pages, content experience, and configurations

creative professional planning a course with consultant

Optimize

Get better results by using tech to grow revenues and reduce costs

Help Made Specifically for Creative Teachers

Get our Artsy Course Experts tips newsletter with articles, tools, and resources.

You'll get actionable tactics on making, selling, operating, and growing your courses.

Join now and you'll also get our Course Growth Checklist with dozens of quick tips to grow your student base and total earnings.

PS. We'll never sell your info, never send spam, and you can stop anytime.