How to Set up Your First Online Course – Fast, Easy & FREE!

Now is the time to get your online course created – the one that you’ve been meaning to create for the longest time!


The two main reasons people struggle to create their first course is:

  1. They don’t know where to start and
  2. The platforms and technology needed can be expensive when starting out
  3. There are so many options to choose from the choice can be overwhelming


In this video I share with you the quickest, easiest and cheapest way for you to get your first online course up and running…


There are 5 phases to creating an online course:


  1. Creating the Content
  2. Hosting your content
  3. Securing Your Content
  4. Creating a Sales Page
  5. Managing payments


1.      Creating your content

You are an expert in your field you have lots of knowledge and practical experience and people will be willing to pay for that knowledge to save them time in finding it themselves and save them money because of the time you’ve saved them in acquiring the knowledge .

Get Visible on Video Course Bundle – 3 for 1 Courses

Once you’ve structured your knowledge into digestible chunks or modules you have to  record that knowledge in whichever way will best serve your audience either in written, audio, or video form.


Video content is the most obvious choice as it’s the easiest to digest and allows people to consume the knowledge using more of their senses which means higher likelihood of retention. Recording your video can be as basic as hitting record on your phone and speaking to the camera.

If you’d like a little extra help getting confident speaking to camera then I have a Camera Confidence to help you get setup with your tech and to find your confidence while being in front of a camera lens. Here’s what one of my recent students sent me…

2.      Hosting your content

There is an abundance of platforms on which you can host your course ranging from the very basic and free to the very complex and expensive.

The more complex and expensive of the platforms are the dedicated LMS services or learning management systems like Learndash, Kajabi and Teachable among others. These platforms are excellent plug and play platforms but do carry a fairly hefty monthly price tag especially for South Africans who would have to pay their fees in dollars with a very weak Rand .


The next tier down would be platforms like Udemy or Skillshare where there is no cost to you up front, but they do take a percentage of your sales. This makes it a very accessible option when starting out however in the long run you might find that your earnings are not as profitable as what you might like given that these platforms often discount your courses heavily without your say. I started out on Udemy in 2016 and still earn a few dollars every month from there.

These platforms are great, because they host and secure your content so your customers can’t share your content with others who haven’t paid for them.


3. Securing your content

The third option, and the one that I’m going to help you with here are the free options.


The benefits of this option is that obviously they are free so are the easiest to access for anyone wanting to get started with building an online course with the lowest possible expense involved. However they do come with their own set of compromises which you do need to be aware of.


When it comes to using free platforms for your online video courses, because they are free, you have no say over what those platforms do with your content. If, for example, YouTube decided to close your channel for whatever reason you would have very little recourse because you’re using their platform as a free service.


As far as free platforms go for hosting your course videos, the most obvious option is YouTube.


YouTube is the forerunner platform on which you can hack a free online course by making your videos unlisted which means that only the people with the link to the video can watch them, although, and this is what you need to know –  that doesn’t stop them from sharing those links. So you have no way of protecting your content on YouTube if somebody chooses to share it.

Also your videos will be branded with the YouTube brand and other video suggestions will appear at the end of each of your videos. This could be detrimental in keeping your audience focused on your content.

In the video above, I share with you and show you how you can set up, sell and protect your course videos for free, using 3 free platforms, one of which you likely use every day.


4.      Landing Page (Sales Page)

You don’t even need a website to create a sales page. You can use a free service which I show you in the video above.

When people can sign up on your landing page, you can set your thank you page to direct them to the next step of the process which is…

Get Started with MailerLite now.

And we have a tutorial video on how to get started with Mailerlite inside the Academy Toolkit.

Sign up to access this and all the other amazing content!


5.     Managing Payments


When setting up your landing page you can link to your payment gateway, on the Thank You page. In this case I would recommend for South Africans to use Payfast but you could also use PayPal and include a link to the payment.

Once the person has made payment you can re direct them to your course content, so only the people who’ve actually gone through the payment process would get that link to your content, AND because of the way you’ve set up your content, you can vet who gets access anyway, so you can cross reference them with your successful payment notifications.




The benefit of the systems I’ve described in this video is that they are all free up to a point. You can manage the privacy and accessibility of the content that you’ve created and for the most part the process is mostly automated.

So you set it up properly once and then the system takes care of the rest. Except that you would need to vet those who ask to access your content. (although this can also be automated if you want)


I will reiterate that although this free approach is extremely appealing because they are free, bear in mind that because they are free they will have the branding of the platform in question as the dominant brand and you would have no recourse should your account be blocked or taken offline for some reason.

However as a starting point to begin helping people with your knowledge and expertise and earning money in the quickest and cheapest way possible, you won’t find a better way.


My advice: once you start earning money from your online course you can upgrade your systems and platforms accordingly.


Knowing what I know now, if I were starting from scratch with creating an online courses – this is the way I would start.


So how do you create an online course that’s FREE to create & host, and still protects your content so only those who’ve paid can access it? Watch the video for a step by step sequence…


And let me know – what’s the first course you’re creating?


Comments on How to Set up Your First Online Course – Fast, Easy & FREE!

  1. Retha Webber says:

    Hi Thank you for your information. I want to do an online course for children age 6 to 13. They will make a gift for mother’s day and decorate a recycled gift box.

    1. Abigail says:

      You’re so welcome Retha! I’m glad you found the video useful. I love your idea! That will make many moms happy!

  2. Kim Harrison says:

    Thank you Abigail, so useful.

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