A Mini Course: The Best Way to Start with Online Courses

A Mini Course: The Best Way to Start with Online Courses

by CreativeMindClass • 18 min read
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If you're just at the beginning of the online course business, a mini course might be the way to go. If you want to start with your online course today, without much risk, it's the best method to test the waters. Also, it's the fastest way to create a successful course if you don't have much time and want to expand your online course business in the future.


This list provides you with a general overview of what makes a good online course (incl. a mini course) as well as some practical tips that will help you in creating an online course that will make your online course business thrive.


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What is a mini course?

Simply put, a mini course can be described as a short, online video course that you can sell for an attractive price. Usually, the time duration is from 30 to 90 minutes.

A mini course is a short, online video class without downloads and printables.

When it comes to creating online course content, the mini course is smaller in time duration than a traditional online course, and generally doesn't include other resources, like printables. It's a powerful tool for creators to build their businesses as it takes less time to prepare than a full course. A mini course is considered one of the best ways to kick-start online courses.

If you want to record and sell online video courses, there are lots of ways to approach it. Some creators approach the mini course in a generic way to start teaching and attract multiple users. But as is the case with any commodity, you must sell the mini-course in the context of your industry.

As you read, keep in mind these are only some benefits of mini courses with workable examples, and they aren't covering the variety of what's possible! Experimenting on your own is always the best policy.

We'll start with the general information and move to tips to help you create your own online course in no time.

As mentioned above, a mini course can be described as just a 30-minute video course that you could sell at a lower cost. Particularly a mini course is shorter in length than a complete course and typically doesn't include additional resources, such as printables. Overall, it will take less time to make.

what's a mini-course

You can launch your own mini course on CreativeMindClass.

Your audience can be content with a small-sized course for an affordable price of $10 to $50. This is also a wonderful marketing option for those who are busy with their side hustles and don't have time to devote big blocks of time to making digital courses.

However, if you plan to invest time in multiple recordings, master the editing and then prepare homework assignments and worksheets... it's lots of work. In order to make your online course profitable, we suggest you decide on the cost for your course at about $100, regardless of whether it's your first time making an online course.

The price of your mini course is mostly based on the amount of time you have put into it. If you put in the heart and effort, it should have a reflection on the price you set for your online course.

Where do mini courses fit in the context of online courses?

In the case of art, a single piece of art can be a base for the mini course. You want to sell the original artwork and other products related to it, such as canvas prints or earrings that match the featured painting.

When you are creating an art piece, you might as well record the process to increase the attractiveness of your artwork by sharing BTS details. And it works both ways, and when you're also selling the mini-course, it's an opportunity to sell the painting as well. So your mini course should include a  description of the painting and a brief story about its creation.

In the case of some specific industries, an illustration and some additional writing may be all that is needed. In this case, your mini course is really a standalone piece of content.

Mini course Examples

To give you some ideas and inspiration for launching your own mini-course.

  • Take part in a creative challenge and record the process
  • Indroductionary course about you and your passion
  • Make a video that shows your workspace
  • Work on a commission and record the creation process
  • Pair up with other creators for a cool project and make a video of brainstorming and working
An excellent example of a mini course is the teaching demo sample with a video produced by a Visual storyteller, and children books illustrator, Jennifer Gast. Jennifer added her mini course to the How to create imaginative, dreamlike illustrations. You can create and lunch a similar course here on CreativeMindClass.
Create your mini-course for free with CreativeMindClass
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Why do mini courses work

Starting with a mini course is a wonderful marketing option for those who are busy with their side hustles and don't have time to devote endless hours to building online courses.

If you are still wondering if you should sell your courses with a subscription model or a single purchase model, mini courses go perfectly with the latter because it takes off the pressure of creating content on a regular basis.

What is more, starting up with a mini course allows you to test the waters and validate the online course ideas with your audience. Compared to the full-length course, it takes the pressure off investing lots of time in something that you are not certain about.

What are the Mini course benefits?

A mini course is a short online course and there are a number of benefits for creating one.

  • You don't need any previous experience
  • Easy to set up
  • No huge investments of time or money
  • You have the opportunity to provide a high-quality course quickly
  • You can develop it in your own time
  • You are more flexible to create at a moment's notice

You can launch your own mini course on CreativeMindClass.

Larger online courses may have particular things you want to say about an issue or to cover a particular subject. Minicourses are usually quick and easy and are ideal for giving something of interest to your audience.

With mini courses, you can work in your own time and create it at your own pace. You won't have to dedicate months or even years of your life to create a full-length course when you're unsure of how to reach your goals.

Additionally, you can create a mini course with the mindset of developing it as much as you can in the shortest amount of time possible. What is more, it enables you to get feedback from the online audience, iterate and improve it with time.

How the mini course helps to get feedback from your audience

The best way to validate the perceived value of your course is to talk to your audience or try to sell it.

Talking to your audience on social media about your online course can do wonders.

You can get valuable feedback about your online course ideas course curriculum to improve its quality. You get lots of information and have a chance to keep it exciting for your customers with your updates leading to your online course launch.


Building a Teaching Platform was never that easy. Want to turn followers into students with your own video course platform? Everything you need to launch engaging video courses and to build an online community. Start for free!

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How to Create an Online Course, Quickly.

How to create an online course
How to create an online course quickly

You are here because you want to create an online course, and you want to do it fast. An online course needs a great website to sell it. Whether you're a designer, marketer, photographer, coach, or visual artist, this collection of online course templates will help you get started and create a successful website for any online course.

Developing an online course used to require immense skills in different fields, including coding (if someone wanted to create a course using creators like Wordpress). But today, with the introduction of online course platforms, you can create an online course from scratch,  in record time. It all comes down to the content.

If you don’t know where to start, or you’re worried that creating the course will be time-consuming, then this paragraph is for you.

First, choose the online course topic, then do some research about it. Next, plan the course outline and test the idea in the real world. If you've done that, you can  create your content. If you are starting a new online course right now, you can check out our full guide on how to create an online course.

After that, it's time to set the price and put your course online. Finally, launch and promote your course among your audience and build a community of returning students.

We recommend starting from a mini course and then scaling up to a regular size course.

Online Course Content

Creating a mini course content is similar to creating a regular online course (but faster). Below you can find the step-by-step guide on How to set up an online course (or a mini course).

  1. Choose the perfect online course topic
  2. Research your course topic
  3. Plan and Outline the Course Content
  4. Test the course topic idea
  5. Set the Course Goals
  6. Create your course content

Whatever you do as a content creator, a great way to make a mini course and earn some extra money is to show people the process of your creation. Low-hanging fruit is to simply turn your camera on and record how you make the work done. You can make a short video while doing your work and sell it as an online course on a course platform to feed your audience with some special BTS content.

Do you need more details on how to create an online course content? Here is a full guide on how to get started on CreativeMindClass

What makes a successful online course:

The most effective online courses are planned carefully; they're not created on the spur of the moment. Defining course goals and learning objectives during the course design process results in a well-thought-out and interesting online course.

1. Choosing the perfect online course topic

choose the right topic

Choosing the course topic is an essential step in creating the right course for the right people. You have your passion; knowledge, skills, and experience that your audience is willing to pay for. It's time to look at it closer and put it in words.

Defining a course topic shouldn't be a difficult task. Look at your everyday life. Most likely, people already ask you for advice on certain topics or consider you an expert in some area.

Check out the guide on how to choose a course topic, you'll learn the pragmatic approach to choosing a topic for a course that you'll love to create and your audience will love to buy.

2. Researching your course topic

research the topic

Online research for course topic ideas is an important parts online course creation. Well-conducted research will help you get inspiration for your course topic. It can be an extensive Google search, checking on competition, social media dive, as well as going through related books on Amazon.

3. Planning and Outlining the Course Content

plan your course description

It's time for the building blocks of your online course, a blueprint. After the research, you will have many ideas for your online course content. Planning the entire online course can be overwhelming. Sorting through piles of content creates a risk of confusion about what should be included in the course.

A clearly defined course outline will make sure outlining is manageable. A course outline is a simple but incredibly useful way of planning your online course lessons. Check out our guide on how to create a course outline.

Don't stress out about making your course outline; it's a blueprint, a draft. Most of it will remain, but as much as 20% of it will be changed or removed.

4. Testing the course topic idea

Now that you have your ideas on the table, it's time for evaluation. Run through your topic ideas again. Do online research if it is in demand. Are there any competitors offering similar courses? Can you find any books on the topic on Amazon? If you are into SEO, check the ranking potential, and if the keywords you want to use have some traffic.

How To Choose An Online Course Topic: Step-By-Step Guide
A course topic is a crucial element in creating a successful online course. Brainstorm ideas, name your course, craft an offer, and test ideas.

You can also ask people if they like it and explain why. Be prepared to welcome suggestions and make improvements. As you work on the offer, it's important to find someone motivated enough to pay money to learn about it.

5. Setting the Course Goals

set your goals

To create a great course, it's good to define what you want your students to learn.

Defining the learning milestones will help you communicate to your students about what they can achieve with your online course. It's a part of the planning phase, and it can be done on a high level. Write it down in your notes.

6. Creating your course content

create course content

Engaging, interactive, and fun content creates a great learning experience for online students. The best way to deliver learning outcomes is to mix different multimedia: videos, screen recordings, presentations, audio, hand-outs, and exercises. Learn the pragmatic approach to planning and recording video lessons, preparing bonus materials like downloadable files, and engaging students in active learning with exercises in how to plan and record video lessons for an online course.

The process of your course creation will go smoothly if you divide it into smaller chunks and plan it in your calendar. The time you'll spend on an online course creation depends on the value you want to provide to your audience.

and there is more...

7. Recording the videos

We are all familiar with recording fun videos on our phones.

But how to record professional videos for an online course? Start by assembling your gear:

  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Lightning
  • Editing Software

To record your content, you need a camera, microphone, and editing software. It would be great to get some additional lighting, like LEDs (if you are recording indoors), and put them on tripods.

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PRO TIP: Audio is essential for an online video course, so if you have an echo in your recording room you try to can put some blankets on the walls and floors.

Related article:

Everything your need to know about video recording for online courses
You have an idea for your online course, you made a lesson plan and now you are ready to get to work on your content. It’s only natural to focus on the quality of content first. You’re going to think about the topics, video formats, publishing frequency, and

Various shots make your video more engaging

An important aspect of setting up your recording space is deciding how many different scenes you want to create for your video. There are two main types of scenes for video courses: face shots and work shots.

  • Face shot
set up your space

For the course introduction, you can show your workspace, and your favorite places in the neighborhood to let students get to know you better. If you want to keep it short simply start by saying "Hi" in your classroom or your own room and get straight to the topic of your course.

  • Work shot

The work shot can be done by screen recording if you create a course where the main action is taken on a computer, a phone, or an iPad.

set up your space

If you want to include yourself in the work shot before you hit record need to set up good lighting, check the focus of the camera lens, and choose the angle to record your work (without accidentally covering it with your body or a coffee mug).

set up your space


Sell your first course

The decisions you make when creating an online course, from choosing the subject to pricing the course, when done right, will help you make money. An important factor in selling an online course is also choosing the right online course platform for the size of your audience.

When starting out with no audience, placing your online course on a grouping platform can help boost your sales.

But, if you have an audience already you can sell to, it's best to use a course-building platform for an individual creator like CreativeMindClass that allows you to sell one or multiple online courses from your own website and scale your business globally.

  1. Put your course online
  2. Determine your course price
  3. Launch, promote, and build a community
  4. Sell an online course

1. Put your course online

Source: creativemindclass.com

Online course websites and templates

A clear, benefit-oriented website will sell the course for you. It all comes down to answering this simple question: Why should someone choose your coure over another? Present the promise to your customer, so they know what to expect. Check out our guide on how to create an online course website.

How To Create An Online Course Website: Step-By-Step Guide
A clear, benefit-oriented website is an essential tool every creator needs to sell an online course. It includes attention-grabbing copy and visuals.

It would be great to have a ready-made course template, wouldn't it? A ready-to-go template makes it much easier to build your online course website and lets you focus on its content and structure.

An online course needs a great website to sell it. Whether you're a designer, marketer, photographer, coach, or visual artist, this collection of online course templates will help you get started and create a successful website for any online course.

A good online course website template offers:

  • A course outline with sections
  • A course website layout
  • A course website design
  • Your bio section or an author page
  • A course landing page with the course trailer, time duration, description and other multimedia
  • Headers, paragraphs, and image placeholders
  • Buy buttons
  • A checkout page

From a preset outline to a checkout page, a good course template helps in creating and selling your course, keeping the best conversion practices in mind.

6 inspiring templates to create a stunning online course
An online course needs a great website to sell it. Whether you’re a designer, marketer, or coach, these online course templates will help you start.

We have good news for you. On CreativeMindClass, there is a ready-use template for your online course. All you need to do is to fill it in with your content, no designing, no coding, no struggle, really!

2. Determine your course price

Pricing is a crucial factor in the success of beginning your online course. After spending time making content, pricing is the next thing to do. The decision of what price to charge is a crucial element of any business and may cause a little bit of anxiety. However, putting a price on your abilities doesn't have to be a daunting task.

Frankly, it's simple. When you develop or offer online classes, the best price is one that brings about the feeling of fairness and satisfaction for you and your customers.

3. Launch, promote, and build a community

Launching your online course is an exciting moment. Don't feel shy about promoting your own course. Be proud of what you make and share it with the world.

A good and consistent promotion pays back in new students.

It's best to promote your course (high convertions) on your own blog and with an email newsletter. If you have a well-performing social media it might become your significantly converting channel.

When you convince people to buy your course, it's important to find a way to make them stick around. A community is the best way of doing that. Students can share their experiences on the Activity Feed; they can talk about courses and help each other learn. And when you perhaps launch a new course they will be the first ones to find out about that.

How much should you charge for a mini course?

Mini course can be marketed as an early access courses with a discount.

A short video course is a great way to engage your audience in the process of creating your art and getting paid for that. Creators usually set the price of short video courses from $10 to $50. However, how much you’ll earn depends on how you price your online course and its value to people. If you put your heart into creating the video and promoting it on social media, you can make an additional passive income on each of your artworks by showing people how you made it.

If you're looking struggling to decide if a mini course is for you, here's our top recommendation. Just do it! It's the less risky way to start your online platform. Start from a mini course, and charge $10-50 for it. Then, find ways to enhance its value to $100. Finally, opt for a premium price of $250.

A mini course and its price are based on value-based pricing and on the belief that the lower the cost of your course, the less time you'll devote to developing an online course. This means you can offer multiple mini courses at $10-$50.

The rule of thumb in how to price your online course is that the lower the cost of the course then you must convince more people to purchase it, which means you have to need to be more aggressive in promoting it. With the higher cost of the course, you will need to convince fewer people, meaning you spend less time on promotion.

Related article:

How to price your online course - The CreativeMindClass Blog
Online course prices generally go from $10 for a mini course to a premium price of $350. But how to know what price is best for you? We lay it all out.

The low cost of courses comes with their own challenges; generally being said they're not the best long-term option for an entrepreneur. The sooner you can increase the cost of your courses and the higher the general viability of your online business.

How long should a mini course be

When creating a mini course you might wonder about how many hours students should spend on your course and how many lessons it should have.

The ideal online course length allows your students to learn the information in the shortest possible time. And its structure: lessons, chapters, or modules need to help in that.

On average a mini course is a short video. Usually, the time duration is from 30 to 90 minutes.

The full-length course is 120-180 minutes and a premium course is similar in time duration to the full-length course but additionally includes printables, attachments, and exercises.

How many hours does it take to create a mini course?

Recording an online course is a serious time commitment.

For the content planning and routine creation, you can spend two weeks.

It might take from 25 hours up to 3 months to create a mini course. It depends on the course content, length, and if you decide to provide additional learning materials.

Including video content in mini course might take additional 10 hours to 50 hours of recording and several days for editing and post-processing.

Generally, with the online course making consider that it might take longer than you think so don't get discouraged. It's worth the effort.  

Final remarks

If you are optimistic about online dedication, it's definitely worth it to launch a mini course.

An online course platform is a better choice for a mini course than Youtube as it's optimized and built for online learning (and getting paid). Youtube is a good platform, but it's quite random and cluttered when it comes to recommending videos, so a specialized online course platform it's better for the student learning experience.

For a beginner creator, a mini course is a good way to start with online courses. Here are some takeaways:

  • It's a short course.
  • It helps to start and test the waters.
  • Setting up a mini course is similar to creating a traditional online course, but it's much faster.  
  • You can sell it for $10-$50, depending on the content.
  • Usually, the time duration is from 30 to 90 minutes.
  • It takes from 25 hours up to 3 months to create a mini course depending on the course content.
  • Finally, we have a ready website template for a course that helps you create and sell your course with a ready design, layout, buttons, and checkout page.

Are you ready to create a mini course? Check out the CreativeMindClass features and start today.


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