3 approaches to content creation

Glen Long
2 min readJan 9

Which one fits you?

Photo by Letizia Bordoni on Unsplash

If you’re serious about course creation, at some point you’ll need to create some content.

Obvious? Sure. But it’s a common sticking point for many would-be course creators.

Your exact process will naturally depend on the content you’re creating — a “talking head” video, a narrated slide deck or a text-based (blog style) lesson.

But I’ve found that people tend to gravitate towards one of three different approaches.

✍️ There’s the Script First approach. This is the seat-of-the-pants method where you sit yourself down in front of a blank page and just start writing. You write and cut and edit and rearrange until you have a draft you’re happy with.

This works well for people who enjoy writing and those who don’t know what they want to say until they try saying it. The downside is that you often end up changing most of what you write — the discarded content is a by-product of the process.

📋 Then there’s the Outline First approach. This is the “big picture” method where you thrash out the main points you want to make upfront, before drilling down into the details later on.

This works well for people who are good at thinking structurally and those who already know what areas they need to cover. The downside is that it can feel too abstract for some people who find it tough to step back from the specifics.

🖼️ Finally, there’s the Slides First approach. This is more of a “scattergun” method where you start with an empty slide deck and drop slides into it left and right as ideas occur to you, evolving the structure as you go.

This works well for visual people and folks who know the details they want to include but don’t know how to group and order them. The downside is that lessons can easily become bloated with too many ideas and it can take discipline to trim the fat.

Which approach suits you best?

There’s no right or wrong approach by the way. But if you’re not sure which one will work best for you, why not give them all a try?

Because one thing’s for sure: using the wrong one for you will make content creation way harder than it needs to be.

See you soon,


P.S. Enjoy the festive season! I’ll be back in the New Year. 🎄

If you’re curious (or getting serious) about course creation but hate all the hype, take a look at my newsletter, The Art of Course Creation.

Glen Long

Surprisingly hype-free course creation mentor and trainer. Publishes The Art of Course Creation newsletter and runs the Build Your Best Course online program.