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6 tips for developing your own online program or e-course

Online programs are getting more and more popular. As a student, online courses provide access to experts and allow students to absorb the information at their own pace, wherever they are. Creating your own online program or e-course is also becoming increasingly popular. Let me help you get started.

This summer (during a heatwave!) I recorded my Dutch online program ‘Zo schrijf je een boek!‘. I recorded about 60 videos with all my tips and examples of how to write, promote, and publish your book. I really enjoyed creating this e-course (except for the heatwave…) and I am happy and proud that it can help so many writers with their books. Join me on a journey of discovery into creating e-courses. These are my 6 most important tips:

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  • Choose a topic that you love, something that you have a lot to say about, and/or something that you get a lot of questions about. For me, this subject is writing books. I’ve written about 30 myself so far, and I have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs bring theirs to life. Especially now that we are all dealing with the lockdowns and restrictions of this pandemic, there are more and more people who want to fulfill their long-cherished dream of writing a book. Which subject makes your heart beat faster?

  • Before recording an online course, you need structure. Have you previously created a course or training, a presentation, or maybe even a book that you can use? I used the chapter structure of my book ‘Zo schrijf je een boek!’ to comprise the modules of the online program. The PDF of the book, plus the workbook, is included in the e-course. Students have both written info and videos, which is really useful because everyone learns in a different way. In the videos, I cite additional examples and tips, so I don’t repeat or read what is already in the syllabus or on the slides. Do you have material that you can reuse, merge, or use as a basis for your online program?

  • Provide a good quality video and sound. Nothing is more annoying than a grainy picture or – even worse – audio that you can’t hear clearly. I always use the same background, film with my iPhone 11pro’s brilliant camera on a tripod, and use a small Shure microphone for great quality sound.

  • I host the online program on Teachable, a platform that is very user-friendly for both the creator and the student. You can start for free and upgrade to a paid version when you have more than ten students. This gives you the flexibility to get started easily.

  • Provide a catchy sales text. Your ‘sales page’ should explain who your e-course is intended for and what you are going to teach your students, but above all, it should clearly state what result they can achieve with your course. For example, the first sentence of my page is: “This is the starting point for your writing adventure, whether you are writing an (auto) biography, a management book, or a novel.”

  • Collect reviews from ‘trial viewers’. I asked a number of friends and followers to go through the program from start to finish, then to let me know about any mistakes and feedback, and to write a review. That produces wonderful testimonials, such as this one: “Everything you need to get started with your book. I like that Esther tells her own stories, shows examples of other books, and gives practical tips in the videos. Super inspiring. A perfect addition to the book. and workbook. ” – Greta van Buuren

I hope that you also have a lot of fun and success in creating your online program!

PS: Maybe you’d like to use my online program as inspiration for yours? Possibly you may even be interested in writing a book? Check out the English ecourse ‘This is how you write a book!’

Are you serious about writing your book?

Don’t reinvent the wheel, like I did. As the author and co-author of more than 30 books, writing coach for hundreds of people and organizer of 20 writing retreats, I have finally found the best system for writing a good book: the ‘Reverse Writing’ method. If you begin at the end and create a good structure before you start writing, you will be able to follow your energy, instead of the page numbers.

Learn all tips & tricks in the live online workshop

Everything you need to turn your idea into a bestseller: practical advice, examples, and inspiration about writing, publishing, and promoting your book. Check out the ‘from idea to book’ workshop.

werboek back front cover - Why you should start promoting your book while you're writing it

Personal guidance

Private writing coaching is a unique opportunity to work on your book with my personal guidance and support. Book a single strategy session or plan a series of 1-on-1 calls. Do you want the best for your book?

A writing retreat in an exotic location?

During the online writing retreat@home or an all-inclusive retreat on my favorite islands or in the French Alps, you will work with like-minded people and get 1-on-1 guidance. The daily workshops help to get started, followed by focused writing time, delicious food, and personal guidance & feedback. Where will we go?

The book ‘Reverse Writing’

Learn my Reverse Writing method (start with the back cover) in my brand new, the super-comprehensive book ‘Reverse Writing’ and the companion workbook. You will find a step-by-step explanation, lots of examples, inspiration, and practical tips about writing, promotion, and publishing your book.

Original ideas and proven formats for your next bestseller

A successful book starts with a good idea. Check out the 10 best ‘formulas’ I’ve found for successful non-fiction books. Each of these ten proven formats gives you a different perspective, inspiration, and examples you can adapt for your own book. Subscribe to my ‘interested in writing’ list for book inspiration & tips and immediately receive the PDF with 10 ideas for a successful non-fiction book.