How Much Content Should You Include in Your Online Course?

You determined that this is the year you launch an online course for your business. You’re ready. You signed up for Teachable. You got some rough notes and ideas jotted down but there’s one thing stopping you. A question that you can’t seem to pinpoint an answer to. How much content should I include in my online course? I want to answer this nagging question for once and for all so you can move forward and launch your course.

Here’s the scenario, you start outlining and creating your course and then you think “would anyone buy this for $1,000? Maybe I should add a couple more modules or worksheets.” Before you know it your 4 module course is now 12 modules.


More Content ≠ More Value

Shoving more content into your course does not equate to more value or being able to charge a higher price tag. What it does often lead to is overwhelm for the course creator and assuming the course launches the students.

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There is such thing as too much content.

I’m sure you’ve already gone down the rabbit hole of what offering too little content in your course would look like. People confused, dissatisfied, and no one buying your course. But have you considered that too much content could be just as detrimental? Too much content can create just as much confusion, dissatisfaction and ultimately impact your repeat sales as having too little content. So what do you do?

There is no magic number but there is this rule.

You want to include only what your students need to get the results you promised. I know you were hoping for an actual magic number, which I will discuss a little later but what’s more important than an exact number is this. You want to include the essential information your students need to get the transformation your course is offering or be able to do the “thing” you’re teaching them to do. If you need 3 modules or 15 modules – both are right.

I’ll give you some numbers as a guideline.

However, I know that some of you are like me and you just want or need a number. So I’ll give you some numbers you can use a guide but remember these are not a rule. What’s more important than how many modules you include is that you are delivering the information your students need to have success, write you an amazing testimonial and tell all their friends about your course. That’s what going to sell it over and over again.

The amount of content depends on the type of course among a few other things.

Based on my experience there are 4 types of courses you can create. The signature course, a comprehensive course. The excerpt course, Debbie Hodge of Teach What You Do defines this as a course that focuses on a specific area. The beginner course or what I refer to as a 101 course, this is a foundational course. The introduction freebie course or as Debbie refers to it an Eye Opener course, a course that introduces the student to a solution they hadn’t thought of. This is typically used for freebie courses as a marketing tactic. As you probably guessed the type of course you create determines the amount of content you should consider including.

  • The Signature Course 7+ modules

  • The Excerpt Course 5-7 modules

  • The 101 Course  5 modules

  • The Intro Freebie Course  No modules just a few (3-5) light and easy to digest lessons.

Remember these are just a guide. If you have more modules than what’s suggested here that’s totally fine. Live courses often have more content and usually, students stay engaged because of the live nature. Your delivery format and how students consumer the content can also impact how much content you can get into your course without underserving or over serving.

If you’re unsure ask yourself this question.

If you’re ever unsure about a piece of content ask yourself “how does this module/lesson/worksheet help my student achieve the end result?”  If it’s not an absolute must then leave it out.

Now that we know how much content should go into your course let’s get that course outlined.

If you’ve been struggling to turn your thoughts and ideas into lessons an Outlining Intensive might be what you need. Together we will take your rough notes and ideas and organize them into your course curriculum. You’ll leave with a detailed and actionable outline that your lessons will basically write themselves. Click here to grab your intensive now.

Ready to create your online course?

Grab my online course checklist that I use with my private clients to create and complete online courses fast.


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