The Weekly Course

What’s In My Skill Set to Create 50+ Email Courses in 2024

To create life-changing email courses, we need to pack five skills for our journey...
Ramses Oudt 6 min read
What’s In My Skill Set to Create 50+ Email Courses in 2024

Hi friend,

Last week, I shared why I believe so much in email courses that I'll create one per week in the new year. In case you missed it, catch up here.

This week, I’d like to dig into the skills everyone needs to create high-quality email courses.

After writing online for almost two decades, I think these five skills make up the skill set of every successful content creator:

  • Metacognition
  • Knowledge Management
  • Instructional Design
  • Copywriting and Storytelling
  • Systems Thinking and Automation

Now, I’m not an expert at all of these skills. That’s why I’m doing this crazy project: to force myself to learn — and to learn from you.

Every email course I create next year will fit into one of the five skill buckets. I’ve already thought up three courses per high-level skill to get us started. And I hope you will help me brainstorm the rest.

Speaking of brainstorming, let’s get started with our first skill:


Metacognition is the skill of knowing how you think.

I like metacognition because it helps me learn new skills more quickly. And by knowing how I learn better, I might help others who are similar to me.

That’s why knowing how to think and learn are crucial skills for anyone who teaches — on or off the web.

Here are three email courses about metacognition I have in mind. Please let me know in the comments what you think of them and what other courses you’d like to see:

How to pick a skill set as an educational content creator
In our Information Age, we get paid for having the right combination of digital skills. But before you know it, you're wasting time on skills that don’t bring leverage. In this course, I show you how to pinpoint what skills you need to teach your craft online.

How to design and run learning projects that build your skill set
It’s easy to start learning new skills, but not so easy to keep going. A bit of preparation and reflection get you a long way. In this course, I’ll take you through the simple rituals I do each day to plan, execute, and reflect on my learning activities.

How to read and study like an educational content creator
From books to courses, as a content creator, you’re constantly consuming other people’s knowledge and testing it. In this course, I’ll show you the nitty-gritty details of how I study and turn my notes into actionable learning activities. Once you know how to create educational content for yourself, you can likely create them for others.

Knowledge Management

Knowing how to learn is great, but keeping everything in your head is impossible.

That’s why knowledge management is a crucial skill for any writer. Without a system to help you think, you’ll face a blank page for every new piece.

I’ve written hundreds of newsletters, with and without a note system to support me. Having a system beats not having one every time.

These are three courses I have in mind for this skill. Please let me know what else you’d like to know about knowledge management:

(Personal) knowledge management 101 for content creators
You’ll likely get overwhelmed when you just start out organizing your notes. In this course, I’ll give an overview of the foundational concepts in personal knowledge management for content creation. That way, you can start thinking about your own setup, regardless of what tools you’ll use (paper or app).

How to design a system for curating and sharing useful resources
You’re far from an expert when you’ve just started learning a new skill. And you don’t need to be one if you create a curated newsletter. In this course, I show you my curation process, which I refined by sending hundreds of newsletters. It’s simple and easy to apply to any note-taking setup — and helps you spend more time with your chosen skill(s).

How to collaboratively learn skills online
You learn faster when you teach, especially when you teach what you’ve just learned. In this course, I show ways to learn with others online. With this knowledge, you can start your own peer learning group and progress faster than if you learned alone.

Instructional Design

Learning and storing your knowledge is one thing, but effectively teaching others is another game.

If you want others to understand, remember, and apply what you teach, it pays to invest in your instructional design chops.

Having a few principles when drafting lessons gives you the guardrails to create email lessons that set you apart from 99% of content creators.

These three courses I have in mind for this skill:

How to design email courses for learning skills and building habits
How long should an email course be? How to structure a lesson? And how to figure out what to write about in the first place? That (and more) is what we’ll cover in this course.

How to design and deliver effective online workshops
You thought we’d only talk about writing? The best content format/medium depends on what and how you teach. So, in this course, I show how I plan and deliver live workshops. This one will be handy for when you want to supplement your email course with a live component.

How to create motivating emails that make learners act
Great courses don’t just give you information; they help you to act. So, that’s exactly what we’ll figure out during this course: how to write email lessons in a way that people can’t help but take action.

Making people act ties in nicely with a powerful duo:

Copywriting and Storytelling

If we’re going to make a business out of teaching online, we need to grab and keep people’s attention.

Without copywriting, nobody starts paying attention to your stuff. Without storytelling, nobody keeps paying attention. They’re so intertwined that I treat them as one skill.

These three courses I have in mind to help us become better storytellers and copywriters:

How to never run out of content ideas
Creating content is easier if you know what to write about. In this course, I show you my approach to finding online places where my audience hangs so I can learn what to write about from their conversations.

Storytelling 101 for content creators
This is one course I need myself. When I read and write, I love the abstract. And I tend to skip over the stories though I know they help me remember more. So, in this email course, we’ll dive deep into what makes a great story and how we can create a repeatable storytelling framework for our email lessons.

How to write hooks for email lessons and newsletters
What’s the point of writing great content if nobody sees it? You don’t just need great headlines and hooks on blogs and social media; subject lines and the first sentences of your emails are just as essential to get your stuff read. So, that’s what we’ll cover in this course.

What does and doesn’t work is a matter of testing, which brings us to our fifth skill:

Systems Thinking and Automation

Thinking in systems is probably the highest leverage skill you can learn as a content creator. Systems help you do more in less time and reach people at scale.

By building systems for learning, remembering, teaching, and keeping people engaged, we can make a difference in our lives and that of others. That’s why I believe systems thinking (and, by extension, automation) is a crucial skill for every content creator.

So, it won’t be all meta after all! I’ll be documenting the tools I’m using for this project, the ones I use as a marketer and community builder, and what I’ve used in the past to create email courses.

These three courses I have in mind for this skill:

How to start thinking in systems for content creation
Before we can build robust systems for teaching online, it helps to know a thing or two about the theoretical foundations of Systems Thinking. While normally a dry academic discipline, this course will be practical and focused on thinking in systems for educational content.

How to set up a blog and newsletter with Ghost
Ghost is the open-source publishing platform on which I run my blog and newsletter. It’s not a full-blown marketing tool, but enough for most online creators. In this email course, I take you through the exact steps I took to set up my content delivery system.

How to create a landing page and welcome sequence with ConvertKit
Once you grow your email list and have several products to offer, it’s time to graduate to a proper email marketing platform. ConvertKit is my choice for landing pages and automated sequences, which I'll teach in this email course.

Prompt: What do you want to learn?

Now, this project is about learning from each other. So my question for you is:

What do YOU want to learn to create life-changing email courses?

I’ve mentioned five skills and fifteen courses, but I’m sure I haven’t considered some crucial ones. So, if you want to help me and yourself, please reply to this email or leave a comment.

Recap and what’s next

Phew, this was a long newsletter! It’s time to close off.

To recap, we had a look at five skills that (I believe) are crucial if you want to successfully teach online:

  • Metacognition
  • Knowledge Management
  • Instructional Design
  • Copywriting and Storytelling
  • Systems Thinking and Automation

I pitched you three courses for each skill. And I asked for your help brainstorming the rest of the courses.

Next week, I’ll tell you how I will create and publish all email courses next year — including a bit about my writing process.

For now, please let me know your thoughts by replying to this email or dropping a comment.

Talk soon!


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Learn to create life-changing email courses with storytelling. Shipping 52 email courses in 2024.

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