What is the best way to create your content to foster a great learning experience online? Hear Jeanine’s tips for turning your book into an impactful online course.
Want to turn your book into a course, but not sure where to start?
If you’re at the start of your course creation journey, it’s common for feelings of overwhelm to get in the way of you from taking action, leaving you wondering… what content should I include from my book, in what format? What could an effective course lesson plan look like?
To help you shortcut this process and avoid common pitfalls for first time course creators, we talked to course creation expert Jeanine Blackwell for her tips on translating books into online courses.
Jeanine is the Founder of the Create 6-Figure Courses program where she helps people create and launch successful online courses. Over the years she’s helped authors, coaches and entrepreneurs launch effective courses to grow their brand, community, and business.
Watch the video below to hear all of Jeanine’s tips for building a successful online course. She’ll cover what to include from your book, what formats to use, and essential tips for marketing your course!
Instructional Design: How To Create A Course From Your Book
Writing a book is no small feat. Between writing your first draft and hitting publish, you’ve assembled a wealth of knowledge for your audience. Bravo!
If you’ve gotten your book out the door and are starting the course creation process, you have a distinct advantage over those with no book: you’ve already done most of the heavy lifting in creating your content.
Through the process of writing your book, you’ve likely already thought through much of the learning journey for your audience, and chunked off key topic areas into chapters.
As authors, a lot of times, we think of a course as being a huge new project. But you just need to focus on the result your audience is looking for. If you identify the key learnings and results from your book, you can very easily translate them into a course.
– Jeanine Blackwell
Creating an online course to go along with a book means you don’t need to start from scratch!
When Jeanine works with authors to create courses, she starts by looking at their book’s table of contents. Often the content, teaching methodology, and order of the chapters directly translates to an outline for your course.
Here are some key questions to ask as you begin to sketch out your course curriculum.
- What are the key learnings in your book that you’re moving people through?
- What do you want to equip them to do, what does their desired end state look like?
- How can you use the course to support readers in taking action around the topics in your book?
Remember that with an online course, your audience is looking to achieve a specific result, rather than reiterate stories from your book. As a course creator, your job is to create an action-oriented learning environment to help them achieve that result.
Related article: Want a step-by-step guide on creating your first online course? Read our comprehensive article on how to create your online course.
Creating Action-Oriented Course Lessons
Once you have a general outline for what key topics to include from your course, it’s time to get specific on what lessons you’ll include, and what format you’ll present them in.
If you’re not sure what overlap there should be between your book and course or how to make your ideas actionable, Jeanine shared a few tips to help you through the process.
Think about the last time you read a great book. Did you make notes around key concepts that interested you? How did you go about applying what you learned?
Thinking about how the reader is experiencing your content in while reading your book is a great way to start in identifying which areas you might be able to repurpose, and develop actionable exercises or supporting materials in your course to help them implement the learnings.
After each chapter for example, identify what key action steps might be for the reader to put their new knowledge into practice. Then, you can choose a content format like a worksheet or checklist to facilitate interactive learning.
“When somebody enrolls in a course, they are signing up for accountability for getting a result. That’s where we win with online courses. Courses are one of the best ways for authors to make a bigger impact with your work.”
– Jeanine Blackwell
Here are a few formats that may work well to help students turn your insights into action:
- Reflective exercises
- Accountability partners
Jeanine also warns against falling into the trap of thinking that you have to create ‘extra’ content for your course, apart from your book.
Creating a course does not mean that you need to create more content. With courses, more content does not mean better. In fact, the sooner you can get people to their desired result the better. Often this
Instead of worrying about having to create new content simply ask, what is the result that people want in picking up your book? And, what can you provide in the way of focus, support and clarity to help get people get to that result faster through your course?
For more tips on how to connect your course to a book, and Jeanine’s thoughts on effective marketing tactics, watch the video above!