The course creation “Catch-22”​

Why content is the illogical first step in creating a course

Glen Long
2 min readFeb 9


Photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash

I’m a logical kind of a guy. I like doing things in the right order.

And if you’re serious about creating an online course, creating content definitely isn’t the most logical first step.

In truth, it barely makes the top five.

First you need to work out your market, then decide the result your course will deliver, then work out a rough curriculum.

Then, maybe, you can think about creating some content. (Although I recommend creating just enough to launch a beta version of your course.)

But here’s what I’ve discovered.

When people step through the course creation process in the “correct” sequence, they often make steady progress… right up until the point where they need to create some content.

Then they hit a brick wall.

And it’s not because any single part of the process is very difficult. It’s just that a whole set of new skills is required all at once:

  • You need to be able to plan your lesson content
  • You need to create your materials (e.g., slide deck)
  • You need to overcome any fears about how you look and sound when presenting
  • You need to wrestle with the technical side of recording and editing your work

And when you combine those things, it’s no surprise that people get bogged down.

That’s why I now recommend that you build some content creation skills before getting too deep into planning your course.

After all, if it turns out you hate the content creation process, it’s better to find that out sooner rather than later, right?

Yes, it’s a kind of Catch-22. But I still think it’s the best advice.

By the way, if you need some help building those content skills, I’m currently creating a low-cost class (working title Course Video Confidence) that teaches a pain-free method for creating simple but effective video lessons based around a no-frills slide deck.

Join the interest list here.

See you soon,


Curious about course creation? Subscribe to The Art of Course Creation or join my fun, fast-paced (and free!) class, the Online Course Sprint.



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.