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How to Know How Much Content to Include (or Leave Out) of Your Online Course

What to include in your online course? What to leave out? 

These are big questions that can easily trip you up in getting your course to the finish line. 

Let’s talk about how to figure out the “just right” amount of content you need to create a wildly successful online course. 

Here’s the thing: Some of the bestselling, high impact courses out there have far less content than competitive offers.

Here’s my take on why more content doesn’t always mean more sales: We are all content fatigued. 

There’s just so much content coming at us…

 in our inbox

 in our social media feeds

 in the free webinars we attend

It’s a bit exhausting. 

On the flip side, we are attracted to offers that can help us get the results we want with less content to plow through. Less content means your audience can get results faster.

To be able to deliver results with less content means you have to do the work of figuring out what content is “nice to have” and what is “need to have” to get results.

The only way to deliver high impact with less content: narrow your focus. 

Two Steps To Narrow Your Course Content 

Step 1: Narrow Your Audience 

The first way to narrow your course content is to narrow the audience. 

Narrowing your audience allows you to get more specific about who you’re serving in the course. It’s essential to do this first so that you can easily narrow the problem your course will solve. 

Step 2:  Narrow Your Problem 

When you narrow the audience, you are set up to narrow the problem that your course will solve. 

Here’s an example

A few years back, I was creating an online course focused on leadership development. My intention was to create an experience that addressed the desire to “be a better leader”.

Kind of broad, right? I needed to get more specific or this would sound like a Leadership 101 course.

Here’s how I narrowed the audience:

Step 1: Example of Narrowing the Audience

Broad: All leaders (small business, big business, etc.)  

More Specific: Leaders in small businesses (all industries)

Really Specific: Leaders in small businesses in the professional salon industry

Zoning in on a specific audience equips you to get more specific on problems you can help them solve. Share on X

Step 2: Example of Narrowing the Problem 

Once you are clear on the audience, you can think about the specific challenges this audience faces. 

To get input on this, I asked salon owners to share their biggest challenge as a leader.

One salon owner shared that her biggest challenge was “being better at coaching my team”. She went on to share that she felt like she had the same conversations over and over without results. 

This is a great example of a specific problem to build a course around. I decided to laser in on how to lead effective coaching conversations around common performance issues.

Specific Audience: Salon Leaders

Specific Problem: How to Have Effective Coaching Conversations

When I coupled the narrow audience with the more narrow problem, I had a highly marketable course. I launched the course as a 4-module course delivered over roughly 30 days. 

It is a very successful online course, both in terms of my students getting results and revenue generated. The content is tactical, easy to apply, and can be put to use quickly.

Next Steps: Work Backwards From the Problem 

Think about how you can narrow your focus. 

Who would you like to work with?
Is there potential to get more specific by choosing a subset of this audience?

What problem can you help them solve?

This is the very first thing we do together in our Create 6-Figure Courses Virtual Bootcamp. We work together to narrow your focus and test the sellability of your idea until you are confident that you have a winning course idea.

How are you narrowing your focus? Would love to hear!

One Comment

  1. Thanks Jeanine for another great post.

    I’m thinking of another course for business leaders, owners- CEO’s on why to address addiction and mental health in their workplace. and how to – big pieces of the puzzle to put in place for a great program to bring great results.

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The key is to figure out the one thing you can do that will make the


Then, do that ONE thing first.

-Jeanine Blackwell

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