“Should I write e-Course content upfront or on the go?” is a question I get asked by e-Course creators all of the time. While there isn’t one answer that suits all e-Course creators, I do believe that there are benefits and limitations for each approach. So let’s dive into the benefits and limitations and help you decide which avenue to take.
Write e-Course content on the go
There is a very common product development strategy or process in the online marketing world and that is to design and launch your e-Product before you actually write the content.
So what you do is design your e-Course structure and high level content and then go straight to a sales page and launch. This strategy means that you only write modules if you get enrolments to the course.
The benefits of writing content on the go include:
Testing your idea: Writing your e-Course on the go allows you to test your e-Course idea before you spend hours and hours creating content for an e-Course that might not sell. If the course doesn’t sell then you can refine or change your concept without having invested a lot of time into the e-Product.
Writing to an existing audience: If you’ve already enrolled participants into your e-Course then writing your content on the go means that your content can be tailored to the participants that you’ve already enrolled. This doesn’t mean swaying from the course outline that you created before launching, it just means using your participants as inspiration for more tailored and specific examples in the content. For example, half of your participants might be health coaches and you can use this information to provide specific examples that are more relevant to them.
Motivating deadlines: Writing content can be hard and some e-Course creators need a tight deadline and a little bit of pressure to be able to produce the goods. Having participants already enrolled in your e-Course means you can’t procrastinate writing that module that you’ve been stuck on for weeks. You just have to do it. Note: this strategy is not suited to everyone!There is nothing more motivating than an upcoming deadline! Click To Tweet
The limitations of writing content on the go include:
Strict deadlines: Yep, this is can be a benefit and a limitation! Strict deadlines can put a lot of stress and pressure on you to be able to deliver what you promised in your sales page. As mentioned previously, writing content on the go is not a strategy suited to everyone. Some people would prefer to skip the stress and write content upfront.
Unexpected events: Writing content on the go means that you have less of a buffer between writing content and delivering it. This can be a nightmare if something unexpected pops up and not being able to meet deadlines isn’t great for your reputation.
Risk not being able to deliver what was promised: Launching your e-Course before you create the content could mean that you promise something on your sales page that you can’t deliver when it comes down to creating it.
Some content creators don’t feel comfortable writing their content upfront and much prefer to let their content evolve as they write it and then launch their sales page. So let’s chat about writing it upfront.
Write e-Course content upfront
To write e-Course content upfront means that you have all (or the majority) of your content written at the time of launching your e-Course.
The benefits of writing content upfront include:
Being able to deliver as promised: Writing your e-Course content upfront means that you know exactly what you can deliver to participants and can base your sales page on what you’ve created (and not just an outline). This is great for e-Course creators who don’t feel comfortable writing an outline and sticking to it. Some people love the freedom and flexibility to allow their ideas and plans to evolve.
Allowing space for changes: Following on from that idea, writing your e-Course upfront gives you the space to change your mind and play with different ideas and topics. It also means you can get to know your content more intimately and might gather deeper insight for your sales page and promotional materials.
Focus on the task in front of you: Writing your e-Course content upfront allows you to focus on the task in front of you. Write the content. Promote the content. Deliver the content. It provides a clear sequence of events. The lines get blurred when you write your content on the go, having to focus on writing the content while you’re also promoting and delivering it.
The main limitations of writing content upfront include:
Creating content that doesn’t sell: Yep! Let’s face it: writing your content upfront does mean you run the risk that you spend hours writing and no-one (or very few people) buy.
Procrastination: Writing your content upfront can make space for procrastination. Without an existing audience to write to, it can be way too easy to push back your deadlines and do the content next week, next month or next year.Don’t let your want for perfection become procrastination - Danielle LaPorte Click To Tweet
Lack of commitment: On a similar note, writing content upfront can lack a sense of commitment. You could write content for months and then decide that you don’t want to launch it or that you have a better idea. You don’t want to be someone who has a bunch of written content that’s never seen the light of day.
So how do I write e-Course content?
The way I have written my e-Courses in the past was a bit of a mix. I generally liked to have at least the first couple of modules written before the e-Course started but then the rest were written on the go whilst the e-Course was live.
These days I am so confident in my ability to write modules from a high level outline I can launch a program with no content written and then write the whole thing on the go.
This really is a personal choice and comes down to which risk are you happier with – the risk that you spend hours writing and no-one (or very few people) buy or the risk that you don’t deliver the content as described in the sales page on time.
So take a moment to revisit the pros and cons outlined above and sit with your two options for a moment. How will you write e-Course content?
Now: which option feels more aligned to you?
Only you know the answer.
The e-Course Idea Generator is a proven system to help you hone in on a profitable idea for your e-Course.
If you’ve got no idea, it will help you brainstorm a bunch of viable options. (Like a shot of jet fuel for your creativity, it will get your juices flowing and your cogs cranking like nothing else.)
And if you’ve got too many ideas (Hello, Ms Multipassionate!), it will help you discern which one you should focus on.