How 31 Successful Online Course Creators Plan for the New Year

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The beginning of the New Year is often a time where businesses try to plan out what they’ll be doing for the next 12 months.

For online course creators, there are a few activities that always result in increasing our revenues. Things like improving our courses and adding to our products, increasing traffic, and increasing our conversions. But how do you know which to focus on next?

I asked 31 successful online course creators and digital trainers how they choose what to focus on for their New Year’s planning. Here are the responses I got back:

Annalise Green1. Annalise Green

~ Annalise is the Happiness Coach and the founder of Luxe Aesthetics Academy.

“In January all course materials will be checked and updated if required with any new information or techniques. Improvements from former critiques are also applied.

A price rise will go ahead in February if required.

A flash sale is applied for every holiday throughout the year.

However, given how 2020 has unfolded, I’ll also be going forward with an open plan. That way I can adapt it to the environment we find ourselves in as we go.”


2. Jay Lee

~ Jay is the Owner and Director of uAcademy a site offering Mortgage Advisor/Broker courses.

“We are focusing on the economy and what is happening in our target location for the courses we create. For example, if there is a housing market boom then we would consider what people would be looking for in relation to something like DIY courses, property development, saving for a home, etc. We also look at the competition for each particular course. That way we can see if there are existing training providers with the same course. Then we can determine if there is sufficient demand for it. Keyword research tools also help us to determine monthly search volumes.

We are continually monitoring our old courses and update them according to any changes in the law. These changes might affect the course content, changes in lending behavior of banks and mortgage providers as well as feedback from our students. Specifically, we’re interested in feedback that helps us add relevant additional resources like videos.

We are also focused on adding relevant linked courses to our existing courses. For example, if we were selling English Language courses then we may add a linked course for Advanced English or even Sign Language. We try to focus on a niche area that we are experts in and expand on that.”

Alejandra Marqués Méndez

3. Alejandra Marqués Méndez

~ Alejandra is a Time Management and Productivity Mentor and founder of Your Plan A.

“As a time management and planning expert, I always design a plan for achieving what I want, especially in the New Year!

The first step is always the same: Analysing the situation. If you don’t know where you are standing, then there is no way you can track your improvement. Or even decide what your next move will be.

So before finishing 2020, you need to see which courses were successful and which weren’t. You need to focus on the results. But more importantly, you need to focus on the things you did so you can repeat what functioned and change what didn’t. Asking for feedback is a great way to see what worked. You might be surprised by the responses.

The second step is preparing all you need to get started before January hits. That way you can start working without getting distracted by everything that might cross your mind.

The third step is writing down your goals using the SMART system. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Once you have it all set out, you can start the year with full focus on what you want. Then you can make those courses even better than they were.”

Elizabeth Malson

4. Elizabeth Malson

~ Elizabeth is the President of the US Nanny Institute.

“While 2020 has been a challenging year, the US Nanny Institute created and launched a new eLearning Facilitator Certification to help parents and nannies manage distance learning.

As we plan for 2021, we are focusing on the latest trends for online learning, managing remote faculty, and developing classes and programs that support emerging needs facing students, faculty, and parents. We’ve created a Supporting eLearning class, Helping with Homework course and we are enhancing our student and teacher engagement through our online Learning Management Platform.

US Nanny Institute’s overall focus in 2021 is flexibility – for our students, staff, and faculty as we realize working from home is a different dynamic that changes how we all manage our time.”

Robert Kienzle5. Robert Kienzle

~ Robert is the Senior Consultant at Knowmium and creates and manages public courses at Radically Remote.

“Our 3 courses focus on virtual facilitation, working from home, and negotiation basics.  As 2021 approaches, we are considering two actions for this site:

  1. What courses should we add to this public site? We focus on live training with our clients and the public site is exposure for us, so it’s not a priority as we don’t use it for our direct clients.
  2. What resources might we add to the existing three courses on the site?  The second platform we use is a private LMS for our paid clients. We use the platform mainly for pre-program engagement and post-program self-paced learning. As 2020 ends, we are backing up all our content so it is easily transferred to a new, more efficient LMS. Since many of our clients have a lag in training needs from mid-December to mid-February, we use this downtime to work on backend projects like LMS projects.”

Gina Swire

6. Gina Swire

~ Gina is the founder of and is a self-love mentor and manifesting queen on a global mission to help a billion women fall madly in love with themselves.

“My motto in my business is ‘easy and fun’ so at NY and halfway through the year I have a session of planning. I love manifesting so I use a manifestation technique to plan.

On the first timeline, I wrote down what is happening throughout the year. Ie. Christmas, and bookings I already have, retreats I have planned, birthdays, etc.

On the second timeline, I plot what I am manifesting. So this could be 3 launches of 12 Step Self-Love transformation through the year. I like Jan, April, and September. My book launch is in there, a Ted Talk, and a team trip to the Maldives. I intuitively and playfully place the projects on the timeline. Asking myself ‘what would be the most fun’ and ‘is there any way that seems easier for me’. I do all of this in pencil so I can move it about. I also ask myself what went well last year, how can I simply repurpose what I’ve got already. This year I upgraded a very popular 2-hour workshop about self-love for weight loss into a group program and sold it out 2 times in less than 24hrs. So I know that’s on my radar for next year.

Then on the third timeline, I do my absolute weirdest dreams. So I tune in and pop down anything that would ‘blow my mind’ eg getting signed for a Netflix series about self-love. Getting engaged. Being able to buy 4 investment properties outright.

For bonus points.. on each manifestation, I write two action steps that would speed up the manifestation. Eg Ted Talk – write the talk and get a speaking coach. “

Yoann Bierling

7. Yoann Bierling

~ Yoann is the founder of and is an instructor on

“Before creating a course, I always start by having a look at the hot topics list, which basically is an ordered list of the most searched terms on the e-learning platform, and cross-reference it with existing courses and my own knowledge. If there is already an existing course, I will update it. If there is no course, or if the amount of searches is large enough to delve into the topic, I will create a new course on the subject, which will contain the exact search term in the title, and go deeper from there. There are generally always good courses ideas coming from these hot topics, and in case there isn’t, then I have an overview of my existing courses, and see where a new course would fit to give a full overview, such as a simpler introduction for beginners, or a parallel course on deepening connected knowledge.”

Ben Taylor

8. Ben Taylor

~ Ben is the founder of, a portal for aspiring freelancers. His course, Freelance Kickstarter teaches students how to get started in the world of freelancing.

“It may not be a very proactive strategy but I see the new year as a good time to NOT have any particularly firm plans for course creation in the year ahead!

There are certain things on my “to do” list, with one course to update and enhance, and another to launch at some point in the year. However, many course creators begin the year having recently worked through Black Friday and holiday promotions. The luxury of not having those deadlines provides an opportunity to take stock and have some all-important thinking time.”

Edwin Contreras photo

9. Edwin Contreras

~ Edwin is the founder of Do Six Figures.

“I look at my best selling course and see if there are any complimentary courses I can create. I find it’s easier to sell those courses to past students who want more help.”

10. Chelsea Baldwin

~ Chelsea is the Founder of Business Bitch, LLC. She provides digital courses and training, as well as 1:1 business coaching to help new and growing entrepreneurs start & grow their business to their first $300,000 per year.

Chelsea Baldwin

“I actually keep my yearly launch plan pretty open-ended. I have a set catalog of courses that I occasionally add to based on the most pressing needs my audience has in their business niches, and know that I’m more than likely going to be “launching” one of them each month. But I let the conversations with my audience ultimately decide what gets launched and when, so I can better help people when they need it most.

I do, however, know that I’ll be doing one major launch each year that takes a lot more planning and content product (like sales pages, email sequences, etc.), so I’ll usually take some time at the beginning of the year to plan out when I’ll take the time to write all that, implement it, and then start the ramp-up to the launch to make it more successful.”

Ben Currier photo11. Ben Currier

~ Ben is the owner & creator of Excel Exposure, an online training program for Microsoft Excel.

“Going into the New Year, I’m mainly focused on three key goals for the new year:

1) Start hosting live online training with my students and really get more into the interactivity that online learning can be, rather than focusing on pre-recorded self-paced video lessons.  I look forward to all the crazy curveballs that go along with doing it live!

2) Work on a new paid course to bring my students to the next level.  My first training, Excel Essentials, is really all of the Excel tools you would need before you would specialize down a specific career path.  My new course will be related to FP&A and Financial Reporting, and all of the complexity and stress that can go along with it!

3) Get better at hosting & recording/editing my Failure Guy podcast.  I am only about 10 episodes into the podcast and am still figuring out how it all works.  I look forward to leveling up my skills in the department for 2021!”

Kyle Greenfield photo 12. Kyle Greenfield

~ Kyle is the founder of, an online school for meditation, happiness, and personal empowerment. 

“We break new course development down into 2 systems. For brand new courses, our team keeps a running “wish list” of topics that we would like to expand into. Some of these topics are suggestions from our current students, while others are ideas our team develops that feel like a natural extension of our current offerings. For example, many students in our meditation courses asked for help quieting the mind while at work, so we launched a “Stepping Back Playbook” to help them with shorter exercises they could apply anywhere.

The other half of our new product development revolves around current course edits, improvements, and re-launches. If a course is underperforming, we will look into why that is the case, and have found that often simple edits to the content structure, title, or marketing images can have a major impact on how the course is received. So, for example, we may have a test re-launch in which we change the title and key points of an existing course, and then, if successful, will further adjust the course to align with that shift.

In this way, we stay on top of our students’ needs, while also addressing topics that we feel are important and relevant for spiritual and personal development.”

SEES group.

13. Carmen Rogge

~ Carmen is an Optometric Communications Manager for the SEES group.

“Our organization has offered in-person continuing education programs for several decades, but due to COVID-19, our model was forced to shift drastically in the way we offer our continuing education courses in 2020. As we enter 2021 we will have hosted our courses exclusively online for the previous year.

As a data junkie, I rely heavily on our attendee feedback to plan future content.

How do I do that? I’m glad you asked! At the conclusion of a course, an attendee is prompted to complete a survey (right now we’re using the native survey in Go To Webinar, but have used things like Microsoft Forms, Survey Monkey, etc. to collect feedback). We gather data about the course they just completed, but we also ask for input on what they would like to learn about next!

We then sort, cull, and sometimes merge their suggestions to prompt new course designs.

This feedback loop ensures that we’re providing courses that will be in high demand upon launching.”

Jennifer Hancock

14. Jennifer Hancock

~ Jennifer is the founder of Humanist Learning Systems, an online learning company.

“I don’t plan anything special for the new year, my planning is based on client needs and suggestions and RFPs that come my way.  Basically, if I get asked to create a course or address a specific topic, I put it in my queue and as I complete a project.

I look at the queue and think about what am I most interested in or which has the most demand and work on that. It’s a year-round process rather than set in time for a specific date unless I have a deadline.

As for updating old programs, most of my content is evergreen. Upgrades are done as technology improves. Whenever there is a jump in tech, I go through the catalog and make sure everything is updated.  I basically go into the new year, not knowing what is going to happen.

Last year I was sure I was going to lose a government contract because the person who took it over really likes in-person training and he had told me he wasn’t planning to renew.  And then Covid happened and suddenly, everyone needed online learning and I was valuable to him. My approach is a combination of ongoing tasks, plans for the future, serendipitous opportunities and mostly, stead plodding get it down work.”

Cassie Pipp

15. Cassie Pipp

~ Cassie runs the family finance website called Living Low Key where the goal is to help families take control of their finances so they can start saving more money and focus on paying off debt.

“Going into 2021, I’ve already started planning a new course launch. I spent the entire year collecting data from my subscribers on what they are struggling with the most and where they need help.

In October I started combing through the data and came up with a new course idea for 2021. Now that I have the course idea, I started creating a timeline from inception to go-live.

I like to develop a detailed timeline of events that shows due dates for outline creation, content creation, course completion, marketing strategy, and launch date. Having that timeline with good detail and deadlines for each phase helps me ensure I stay on track and launch when I want to.”

Nance L. Schick, Esq.16. Nance L. Schick, Esq.

~ Nance is the founder of Third Ear Conflict Resolution, an online school to help keep managers and small business owners out of court while also building their conflict resolution skills.

“In the coming year, I will continue to update existing courses and add new ones to help business leaders navigate explosive topics such as race, gender, and religion.

Many organizations thought these issues were less likely to arise in work-from-home environments or with reduced workforces. Others have been too busy adapting to pandemic conditions or concerns to address them. I want to make it easier for them to succeed and continue to invite feedback. In short, my plan is to keep listening and adapting, which is also what I train my clients to do.”

Lucy Johnson

17. Lucy Johnson

~ Lucy is the founder of SHīDO and operates a vegan learning platform where all the courses are taught by vegans, or have some sort of help for vegan-curious people.

“We are most definitely putting a plan in place for the New Year. For our online nutrition course, we are gearing up ready for the January New Year’s Resolution ‘health kick’ phase. We are doing this through organic marketing – building up content based around the benefits of the course and leading people to take on a free version of the course to prepare them for the new year.

– Naturally, a nutrition course is the perfect fit for the new year.

We are also preparing in a similar way for the content writing course. Many people in the New Year will also be wanting to learn new skills and find new work – especially with the pandemic, people losing their jobs, and many people wanting to work remotely.

We are building up email lists for this course, by offering free automated challenges and guidebooks.”

Steffi Trott

18. Steffi Trott

~ Steffi is the owner and founder of Spiritdog Training where she offers online dog training courses.

“Here is what I do in preparation for the new year:

Improvement of old courses

Every lesson in my courses has a comment section, and in these comment sections, my students can ask questions, get clarifications, inquire about additional options for a certain exercise, etc. For every course, there are specific, recurring questions that pop up time and time again.

I try to incorporate the answers to those questions into the lessons themselves.

For the new year, this means that I will go through the existing content and add any information that students have repeatedly asked for in the past, to improve their learning experience and let them get the answers to their questions before they even have to ask!

New courses

I have a similar approach to new courses. Current and prospective students often inquire about whether I have a course on this or that topic. There are a number of topics that I am planning to release a course about because they get mentioned frequently by my clients.

With both improving old and creating new courses, it is the best idea to let the students tell you what they are looking for!


In the dog training field, certain training requests are seasonal. For example: In the winter dog owners are looking for indoor activities (such as tricks to teach to their dogs, or puzzles to make for them, etc.) whereas in the summer they ask for leash walking advice, or how to teach their dog to come when called. I match the launches with the season and weather to make sure I can provide exactly the kind of training my clients are looking for at a given time.”

Kronda Adair

19. Kronda Adair

~ Kronda is the CEO of Karvel Digital and an expert marketing coach, course creator, and entrepreneur.

“Planning starts with looking at how my business performed in the previous year and where I want to improve. Then I brainstorm a list of possible goals and pick the top 3-5 for the next year. Next is mapping out what projects need to happen to reach those goals and adding a timeline. Finally, I outline all the tasks. This way I know that the things we’re working on are always mapped to a larger goal.”

Sagan Morrow

20. Sagan Morrow

~ Sagan is the founder of, an online course creator and productivity strategist.

“When planning ahead for the new year with my online courses, there are 3 main questions I consider:

1) What goals do I have for my business, and what direction do I want to take it within the next year?

2) Which online courses have been the most well-received by my students, and what lessons/materials have they found to be most valuable?

3) What can I improve about those top e-courses to simplify and streamline the student experience, and/or supplement the existing content?

Connecting the dots between my own interests, the wants and needs of my students, and what’s working (or what’s not) with an existing course, is all vital for making decisions about prioritizing various courses with launches and content updates.”

Carly Jo Bell

21. Carly Jo Bell

~ Carly is an Authentic Brand Coach and the founder of WholeCo Media.

“I have both an evergreen course and a Mastermind Academy, which I live launch twice per year.

When planning for the new year, I always choose my live launch months first and then move into monthly planning for how to hype my evergreen course. Usually, this looks like an exclusive bonus that’s only available if you sign up within a couple of weeks (i.e. a bonus 1-on-1 coaching call or a bonus PDF resource), or I use a low-cost live training on a customer pain point that gives them a “quick win” and then pushes them into the evergreen course.

I’ve chosen my two courses based on what my Ideal Customer needs at different points in their life: the evergreen course is available to the first-year entrepreneur generally making less than $3k/month, and my Mastermind Academy is for the $5-10k entrepreneur who needs firmer foundations in order to scale.

I stick to these two courses so I can become known for one thing and only market one thing, instead of constantly trying to reinvent myself and meet an ever-growing list of needs my customer might have. This allows me to stay in my zone of genius, and therefore to serve my customer better even as I grow.”

David Welch

22. David Welch

~ David is the founder of the Rugged Sports Blog.

“I’ve experimented with many different planning processes. A few key things that I keep in mind are:

  • How much time to devote to course creation varies greatly. As indicated by the blog,  I have a very fast pace in my portfolio. I launch several new courses each year. This keeps me on my toes regarding my new courses.
  • Keeping a portfolio of online courses and a trail of where I launch ideas can be useful. This helps me along my creative process as well as achieve my personal goal of making a name for myself in the online world.
  • Where I choose to launch my courses depends on what I view as the best fit for my market.

I try to constantly keep an eye on what’s interesting; what courses are earning the most cash, what types of courses are in demand, and what average spending has been on my past courses.”


23. Cassidy

~ Cassidy is the founder of Hippie On Holiday.

“I hate the idea of going into the new year blind, so instead, when Q4 starts I know it’s time to get to work on the new year’s plan.

I usually have had a few course ideas tumbling around in my head – but there’s always one that market research clearly points to as the winner.

From there, I’ll set a revenue goal, and based on previous launch metrics I can set up a specific step-by-step plan that makes obtaining my goal easy as pie.”

Miriam Schulman 24. Miriam Schulman

~ Miriam is the Chief Inspiration Officer of The Inspiration Place where she helps passionistas, and passion-professionals reconnect with their creativity or profit from their passion.

“I’ve been building online art classes since 2013 and in the past, I’ve made the mistake of making too many classes that appealed to too many different types of art interests. That’s why in 2021, I’m only going to have only two main offerings, my signature classes Watercolor Portrait Academy which teaches students how to paint portraits of people in watercolor. Then I also have Pet Portrait Academy which teaches art students how to paint pets in watercolor.

These 2 packages will each be offered twice during the year, once per quarter. What I’m looking forward to this new approach is that the audience I attract during each launch would be interested in my other class. As for the other 18 online art classes that I’ve decided not to create formal launches around, they will be available as upsells or during flash sales for quickie promotions. The specific cart open close dates are only planned out at the start of each quarter, but at the start of the year, I have a good idea of the classes I want to offer to make sure I hit my income goals.”

Christian Pinedo

25. Christian Pinedo

~ Christian is the founder of LeanWithStyle where he helps people lose weight WITHOUT giving up their favorite foods.

“I have multiple online courses in the weight loss niche. So I can tell you that planning your course is important. But improving your course after it’s been published is CRUCIAL for the success of any good online course.

In my case, my course, which I host via Teachable, is part of a book that I sell on Amazon. It’s marketed as a companion course for the book. It’s really necessary if readers want to get the most value out of their book and what they learn.

Because I gather their email in exchange for the extensive course, I can ask them what they liked and didn’t like about the course. On top of that, I can dig into the analytics of Teachable and see what video lessons were watched all the way through and which ones weren’t.

With the feedback and reviews from my readers and the analytics that I can look at, I can see EXACTLY which lessons are “boring” and need something more. This not only helps improve the course for my readers, but it also shows that you CARE about your audience and that is what will help in the long-term.

I do this whole process every 6 months to make sure my course stays fresh and is always improving. I believe that is what helps online course creators WIN.”

Chloe Bisson

26. Chloe Bisson

~ Chloe is the founder of Queens In Business, number 1 best-selling author, international speaker, and multi-award-winning business owner.

“I started my own online course business after being diagnosed with severe clinical depression at the age of 24. Now known as “The Automation Queen”, I’ve been helping female entrepreneurs build their own profitable online businesses for the last 3 years and I’m passionate about sharing the knowledge I’ve gained over these years with new entrepreneurs looking to take the leap and build the online business of their dreams.

In terms of how I’ve planned for the year ahead, it’s got to be a delicate balance. That includes both creating new courses AND generating traffic to them. You need both to get the maximum results! This year I generated over £200,000 in revenue with my education business. It was due to balancing the creation with the selling process. From my experience, there are three key steps with planning for 2021:

  1. Start with the ultimate goal for the year. What financial goals do you want to achieve? How many people do you want to help with your course? Set your goal and be specific with numbers!
  2. Design how you’re going to achieve this. What courses do you have already that you plan to continue to offer? What other courses could you create that compliment your current courses? Most importantly, what is your audience asking for? Design that and plan your launch into the calendar!
  3. Get selling! The biggest mistake I see with course creators is they love the creation part but often they get so absorbed in creating lots of new things, they don’t actually dedicate time to selling them. So they’re constantly struggling financially. The key to successfully planning for the year ahead is actually planning your sales strategy. This applies whether you’re selling through a free challenge, a sales funnel, or a webinar. Set a date in the diary and stick to it!”

Andie Rowe

27. Andie Rowe

~ Andie is the founder of The Dancing Guide.

“There are several things to consider when planning for the New Year. I take each month and start by writing down the monthly goals that I want to accomplish for that particular month.

As I accomplish these monthly goals I then begin to write down the monthly goals for the following month. I continue this process until I’ve completed a list of goals for the next year. I’ve always found that when creating goals I’m more likely to accomplish them if I’ve already thought about them in the future and I’m prepared for that moment.

Another way I plan out my year is by mapping out all projects that I will complete in the new year. As I complete these projects I go back and write another project on the TODO list. Then I continue this process for the next year. As I go through the planning process I oftentimes think of other projects to add to my list. I find that having this list of projects really keeps me inspired to work on something new and an incentive to complete something.”

Katie Gootenberg

28. Katie Gootenberg

~ Katie is the founder of Digitally Enhanced, LLC and offers the Client Connection Formula that teaches service-based entrepreneurs how to reach their ideal clients and stop wasting their time on marketing that doesn’t work for them.

“What I’ve been working on in preparation for 2021 includes:

  • Refining the course’s marketing materials based on this year’s learnings about what prospective students need, what this course delivers (via student testimonials & wins).
  • Lining up partnerships & affiliates to help get in front of prospective students.
  • Mapping out 2021 goals and clearly tying them to weekly actions.

For a little more context about 2021 planning, originally this year I had a few educational options, but as a way to really focus my time, energy & attention, I’m going into 2021 focused solely on scaling CCF.”

Steph Woods

29. Steph Woods

~ Steph Woods is a learning designer and course creation expert specializing in value-focused educational experiences. 

“Working as an instructional designer at Stanford, I’ve mastered learning design techniques that I now bring to business owners, educators, and entrepreneurs. I also enjoy leading our local chapter of The Rising Tide Society, an international resource community for creative entrepreneurs.

Fun Fact: My dad owns a small business and my mom is a teacher. So I have been steeped in both worlds my entire life!

When I start thinking about what direction to take my courses in the new year, there are a few things that I recommend my clients to think about!

The first is to look at the data. If you have more than one course, look at which ones are getting the most interactions, not just sales. Most learning management systems (like Kajabi or Teachable) keep track of how far your students are getting in your course. That insight is gold!

If you have a course that is selling like hotcakes, but nobody is actually finishing the material, it’s perfect for a revamp! You’ve got the marketing nailed down, and are speaking to your ideal student. They just need a little more support to get them to their goal. Look for patterns about where they’re falling off, and that’s a perfect place to start.

On top of the feedback surveys that are linked in the description of every single lesson, at the end of the year I try to have conversations with as many of my students as I have time for! I recommend scheduling calls with a few students every once in a while to keep tabs on where they need extra support. The new year is the perfect time to dig a little deeper. Start with the question “What could I do to support you better to get you to your goals?”

Not only will you give them a little boost to get back on track to finishing your course, but you’ll also gain great insight into what slowed them down in the first place. Record the call and have it transcribed (I use That way you can really be a part of the conversation, rather than trying to scribble down notes. Bonus: You might also get a few new testimonials from their positive feedback!

Taking the extra time to listen to your students (and their evolving needs) will give you so much insight about where your course can be tweaked to serve them better. Also, every time you release improved course content, you have an excuse to relaunch, find more students to serve, and up your price!”

Tom Elliott

30. Tom Elliott

~ Tom is the founder of

“Our weekly community calls will continue. We will be adding live-streamed interviews with creative professionals. Plus we will be crafting new resources to help creatives become more productive and hit their goals.

The best improvement we can always make is the expansion of the community. The more members, the more connections, insight, referrals, ideas, jobs, momentum, and big wins! We want Focused Creative to be THE go-to community of creative freelancers.

Any new launches. We’ll be launching a podcast sharing some of the ideas we discuss in the community. These inspire other creatives to pursue their ambitions. Later in the year, we’ll also release ‘Focused Living’ which uses the same framework, to craft a life plan document for those who sign up. This will help them to clarify their vision and how their creativity fits in with the bigger picture.

I’m working on planning one ‘release’ or project within Focused Creative for each quarter of the year. So in quarter one will be the podcast, with some developing ideas for releases in Q2,3,4.”

Dan Netting31. Dan Netting

~ Dan Netting has sold courses and membership sites online in motorcycle performance riding and now helps other coaches and consultants take their expertise online.

“I plan in quarters. I look at what I want to achieve for the first three months of the year. Then I plan my efforts around that based on my priorities. Typically my big goals will fall into two categories. Sell more courses, and improve my courses. The results we get for our students are a key driving force of the business. So I’m always working to improve my courses and programs so that I give them the best chance to succeed. That way their results can be fed back into my marketing.

I launched a new course in October. I am currently still delivering and I plan to deliver it again in January. With that in mind, I am taking all the feedback that I’ve been getting over the last few weeks. Then I’m planning to make a number of improvements for the next round of students coming in. Then it’s simply about planning how I am going to increase the number of students coming in for the next round.

For me, I am a big fan of challenge-style launches as it plays to my strengths. Right now I’m planning what I’ll help people during that experience. Plus I’m working on getting people into it for the launch toward the end of January.

One big key to planning is knowing what your goals are and what you can realistically achieve with the time you have. Think ahead to where you want to see yourself (for me it’s in 3-month increments). Then consider what resources you have available to get you there to plan your efforts accordingly. I also find it helps to have a central theme for what you want to achieve. Letting 80% of your efforts be working toward that particular theme.”


You’ve seen how other online course creators will plan out their New Year for success. So you now have some great tips.

I’d urge you to take the next step and think about yourself now.

What will you focus on this year? Start now by putting a plan together.

At a minimum focus on increasing your top metrics. This should include growing your list of subscribers or even better, your list of buyers. Make the New Year one with lots of business growth!

Lisa Parmley
Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of After gaining a Master's degree, she worked in research for about seven years. She started a training company in 2001, offering a course helping people pass a professional exam. That course has earned multiple 7 figures. She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 22+ years of experience in the trenches creating and selling online courses. Get help starting and growing your online course business here.

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