What is a Mini Course and How to Create It

What is a Mini Course and How to Create It

by CreativeMindClass • 7 min read

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

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

It's a great way to start with online courses as 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 business as it takes less time to prepare than a full course. A mini course is considered one of the best ways to kick start your 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 helping you create an impactful course in no time.

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

In the case of art, the 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 through sharing BTS details. And it works both ways, 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.

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
  • 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.

Mini course examples

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

  • Take part in an Instagram 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 storytellers, and children books illustrators, 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.

Is it possible to build and create a strong minicourse using only ten or twenty minutes time blocks?

You won't believe how much you can have done in a short amount of time.
You can answer the question of "what can I teach in 20 minutes?"

The hardest part about creating a short online course is that you have to decide what to teach for that. If you are an artist or a creator is a perfect way to just turn on the camera and record your creative process, while you work on a project.

It’s simple, yes. In fact, it’s much more effective and efficient to develop your course on the fly if you want to maximize your learning and mastery with time.

Practical Tips on Creating a Mini Course

As we transition from general information about mini courses to more actionable practices, it's actually easy to incorporate these concepts into your course. There are a number of simple steps we can take when crafting a mini course content:

1. Make research to choose a topic

Mini course: choose topic
Source: How to create imaginative, dreamlike illustrations

In the beginning, there was brainstorming. And it was fun!

When choosing a course topic for your mini course begin with simple brainstorming techniques that you are familiar with. You can write down your ideas for your brief course quickly and without judgment. You'll be able to get a good list of subjects for your class, and your top choice is among them.

2. Prepare a mini course outline: Design a high-level course structure

Create something that is tangible and real, and you will be able to complete it in a short time!

Start with what you know.

The class for sure needs an introduction. You can easily the introduction as your first lesson title! Do your students need any educational materials? Include your overview of the material in another lesson or in the class description.

You get the idea.

3.Take an action: Make a draft

What’s an awesome online course without content, right? You don't need to have your content entirely ready to take the action. You can draft a high-level section and lessons outline for your class. Since it's a preparation stage and your mini course isn't published at the moment, you may experiment with it.

Only you will be able to see the structure of the lesson right now and you can modify it later on! You can create and launch your mini course on CreativeMindClass for free.

mini course lesson outline
Source: How to create imaginative, dreamlike illustrations

Upload some of your works, type in some random text or use the videos you have on your phone - be imaginative and have fun. It could be anything at all in order to have your class begin developing beautifully and turning into an actual reality.

You can create a structure of lessons in just 5 minutes. Create a draft of a class and a few sections and some example lessons. That's it!

4.Add exercises and downloads

In general, a mini course doesn't require any additional educational materials. But if you feel like giving more value to your audience you can create short exercises and provide some downloads or printables. Attach files with a lesson plan, hands-on exercises, sketches, inspirations, cheat sheets or working documents like Adobe Photoshop PSDs or Illustrator AI.

mini course exercises and downloads
Add some engagement to each lesson

5.Set a mini course price

When you think about the price to sell an online course, in the case of a short course, customers will be satisfied with a cost between $10 and $50 but it's not a hard rule.

If you spend time on multiple video recording sessions, perfect the editing, spend hours preparing homework and printables, we encourage you to set the price of your course at around $100, even if it's your first mini course.

6.Get feedback

Take the draft of your mini course and send it to a few friends or co-workers asking them for feedback. Finding out what they think about your mini course can help you improve it before the launch.

What is more, talking to people about your course can really help you gain confidence about your mini course and help you sell video courses online for the future.


launch mini course
Source: How to create imaginative, dreamlike illustrations

Marketing your mini course online also requires less work than promoting a traditional online course. Use your social media channels and mailing list to let the world know about your mini course.

A mini course is a good solution for busy creators

If you want to understand more about the different benefits, here are the biggest reasons to create mini courses with a small amount of time:

  • You can share your knowledge in a short amount of time
  • You can get your audience's feedback within a day or so
  • You can provide a personalized experience
  • You don't have to turn in a finished product
  • You can create it quickly
  • You can customize and improve it

It's more convenient to teach about something that you are interested in rather than planning long online courses that take months or even years to create. With a mini course can create something that will attract a lot of visitors, but will be easy to learn and your content creation and pre-marketing can be much faster.

You can create mini courses on CreativeMindClass.

Smaller versions of a larger concept are a great way to save time, money, and energy when it comes to online course development.

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