Ever thought about launching an online challenge that captivates and spreads like wildfire?

You’re not alone.

Imagine creating a buzz that draws in thousands, sparking transformations, and building your brand.

The potential is immense, but the question remains: where do you begin?

What makes an online challenge irresistible, and how do you ensure it resonates with your audience?

Fear not!

We’re diving into the essential steps of creating an online challenge that not only goes viral but creates a real impact.

First things first

Why are you running this challenge?

find your why

It’s vital to kick off your online challenge with a clear purpose, one that deeply resonates with you on an emotional level.

Why is this so important? Well, the most impactful challenges are typically those where you, the creator, have gone through the transformation you want your participants to experience.

Your belief in the outcomes and your enthusiasm in promoting the challenge stem from this deep personal connection and alignment with its purpose.

As Simon Sinek suggests, to find your why, it’s important to understand it as the contribution you make to the world. This understanding should reflect both your professional and personal purpose.

This ‘why’ becomes a lens through which you view the world, influencing your decisions and life direction.

You can discover this pivotal ‘why’, by considering the following steps:

Golden circle
Credits – Golden circle concept
  • Familiarize yourself with the Golden Circle concept by Simon Sinek. The ‘why‘ corresponds to our limbic brain, which is responsible for emotions and decisions but lacks language. This is where our gut feelings originate. Understanding this can help you align your challenge with the emotional and decision-making part of your brain, making it more authentic and impactful.
  • Have a conversation with a close friend, asking them why they value your friendship. This may seem a simple exercise, but it requires depth and introspection. It’s about getting to the core of what makes you unique and the value you bring to others’ lives.
  • Create a clear, simple statement that reflects your contribution and its impact on others. It’s not just about what you aspire to be; it’s about who you are at your best. This introspection and discovery are essential before moving on to the specific aspects of your challenge, like the target audience and the challenge’s structure.

👉 For example, in the 90 Day Year challenge by Todd Herman, participants start with a deep reflection on their personal motivations behind each goal, thereby aligning their 90-day objectives with their broader life purposes. This method transforms their journey into a meaningful pursuit of personal and professional growth.

Now that you’ve identified your ‘why’, you’ll be better positioned to create an online challenge that not only resonates with your audience but also aligns deeply with your values and beliefs.

The next step involves understanding who the challenge is for.

Who is the challenge for?

find your audience

Understanding your audience is pivotal in creating an online challenge that resonates and connects deeply.

This understanding goes beyond mere demographics; it delves into the psychographics, pain points, behaviors, and language of your audience.

When you understand these elements, you can create content that not only addresses their needs but also speaks their language, fostering a profound connection.

First, you need to identify the major pain points in the market that you can address. For this, you can reflect on all the problems you have solved in your life and consider whether you have the capability to make a difference in someone’s life. Or else, you may have trouble resonating with your target audience and serving them effectively.

Here are the steps:

  1. Understanding pain points: Recognize the specific challenges and problems your audience faces. This involves empathizing with their situation and understanding the obstacles that hinder them from achieving their goals. Knowing their struggles allows you to tailor your challenge to offer effective solutions.
  2. Understand them: Go beyond basic demographics to understand their values, interests, lifestyle choices, and behaviors. This helps in crafting a challenge that aligns with their worldview and daily life, making it more relevant and engaging.
  3. Learn their jargon: Every community or audience has its unique way of communicating. By understanding and using their language, you create a sense of belonging and relatability. This not only makes your content more accessible but also demonstrates that you truly understand and are part of their world.

To make your online challenge effective, it is crucial to truly understand your audience. Reddit and other online forums can offer valuable insights into their interests, language, and problems they seek solutions for. By participating in these platforms or doing keyword research, you gain a deeper understanding of your audience’s needs and can identify common themes to address in your challenge.

By aligning your content with your audience’s vision and values and relating to their experiences, you can foster a deeper emotional connection.

In short, the more accurately you understand and empathize with your audience, the more effective your online challenge will be. This understanding sets the stage for content that educates, inspires, and transforms.

Now, let’s move to the next step – choosing a name for your challenge, which is key to capturing its essence and making it appealing to your target audience.

Name your challenge

Name your challenge

Naming your online challenge is a critical step in the process, as it’s often the first point of contact between your content and your potential participants.

The name needs to be compelling, resonate with your target market, and encapsulate the transformation or outcome that the challenge promises.

  1. Resonance with market and result-focused language: The name of your challenge should immediately convey the value and transformation it offers. Use clear, results-focused language that speaks directly to the outcomes your audience desires. For example, the 30-Day Vegan Transition Challenge!
  2. Fostering a sense of community: A great name can also foster a sense of belonging. It should make participants feel like they are joining a community or embarking on a journey with like-minded individuals. This sense of community can be a strong motivating factor for participants to stay engaged and committed. For example: Vegan Notion!
  3. Brandability and alignment with promotional strategy: The name should be brandable and memorable, making it easy for word-of-mouth promotion and marketing campaigns. It should fit seamlessly with your overall promotional strategy, reinforcing the core message and values of your brand.

Now, keeping these guiding principles in mind, let’s go through the practical tips of brainstorming and selecting the perfect name.

steps to create online challenge name

These are some of the practical tools and tips to brainstorm a perfect name for your challenge:

  • Employ online naming tools: Tools like Answer The Public, Questions DB, Nameboy, Wordoid, Lean Domain Search, and Panabee can be instrumental in generating creative and relevant names. Moreover, AI tools like ChatGPT can also aid in brainstorming and refining ideas.
  • Use mind mapping tools: Leverage mind mapping tools like Xmind or MindNode to layout the details of your target audience and their pain points. This visual approach can help in brainstorming names that are directly aligned with your audience’s needs.
  • Consider the structure and end goal: When naming your challenge, consider the structure and the end goal. Visualize the transformation or journey you want your participants to undergo and work backward to create a roadmap. This approach ensures that each module of your course contributes meaningfully towards the end goal.
  • Align with brand and promotional strategy: Your course name should fit seamlessly with your overall brand message and values, making it easier for promotional efforts and word-of-mouth marketing. For example, “30-Day Yoga Challenge with Adriene” aligns with Adriene Mishler’s focus on accessibility and wellness in yoga.

Remember, the name of your online challenge is more than just a label; it’s a promise of the journey and transformation that awaits your participants.

It sets the tone for the entire course and can significantly influence its success and impact.

Design the challenge

It’s necessary to design a challenge that’s not just a journey but an adventure packed with levels, daily quests, and moments of reflection.

This creative endeavor shapes the success of a challenge. So, let’s craft a challenge that not only captivates but also transforms.

Set outcome

Set challenge outcome

When designing your online challenge, the first critical step is to set a transformative goal for your students, commonly known as the outcome.

This outcome should be structured as a SMART goal, which stands for:

  • Specific: Your goal should be clear and specific, avoiding any ambiguity about what is expected, why it’s important, and who’s involved.
  • Measurable: It’s crucial to have criteria for measuring progress toward the accomplishment of the goal. This helps keep track of the student’s progress and stay motivated.
  • Achievable: The goal should be realistic and attainable to be successful. It should stretch their abilities but remain possible.
  • Relevant: Ensure that the goal matters to your students and aligns with other relevant goals.
  • Time-bound: Every goal needs a target date so that there’s a deadline to focus on and something to work toward.
How to apply smart goals

To effectively apply the concepts of SMART goals in transformative coaching experiences, consider this simplified approach:

  • Set clear timelines: Setting a specific duration, like a 30-day, 90-day, or 5-day challenge, is effective for marketing and gives participants a clear timeframe for achieving their goals.
  • Break down goals: If a goal takes a long time to achieve, breaking it down into smaller, more achievable targets is beneficial. For instance, in a niche like blogging, where it takes time to get results, instead of setting a goal like “earn $1,000 per month from blogging,” you can reframe it as “earn your first dollar from blogging.”
  • Define success metrics: This allows both you and the participants to track progress and evaluate the effectiveness of the challenge.
  • Document success stories: Documenting measurable outcomes is also crucial for gathering testimonials, case studies, and success stories, which are valuable for marketing and demonstrating the impact of your challenge.

By aligning your challenge with well-defined SMART goals, you create a structured path for your participants, leading them toward tangible results and personal growth.

Next, let’s discuss setting milestones within your challenge.

Set milestones

Set milestones

Setting milestones in your online challenge is about creating a series of actionable steps that lead participants toward the final outcome.

These milestones are critical in maintaining engagement and motivation throughout the challenge.

Here are some tips:

  • Logical progression: Ensure a fluid and logical progression from one milestone to the next, maintaining steady engagement.
  • Building on learnings: Each milestone should expand upon previous learning, gradually guiding participants towards the challenge’s ultimate goal.
  • Checkpoints: Treat each milestone as an important checkpoint, serving as achievements and motivators.
  • Celebration points: Celebrate the completion of each milestone within the community, fostering a sense of accomplishment.
  • Feedback and support: Provide feedback and support at each milestone to reinforce learning and commitment.

Basically, well-defined milestones are key to a successful online challenge.

They provide structure, encourage continuous progress, and create a sense of achievement and community among participants.

By thoughtfully designing these milestones, you ensure that your challenge is not just a learning experience but also a journey that is engaging and rewarding.

Here’s an example of a milestone challenge plan for a challenge titled “Vegan Transformation Challenge”.

Milestone NameDescriptionCheckpointPoints
Introduction to VeganismParticipants gain a comprehensive understanding of veganism and its benefits.Completion of a quiz on veganism principles.Based on quiz results
Vegan Nutrition BasicsParticipants delve into the nutritional aspects of a vegan diet.Creation and submission of a personal vegan meal plan.Based on the creativity and nutritional balance of the meal plan
Cooking Vegan MealsParticipants learn and experiment with simple vegan recipes.Posting photos of their vegan dishes.Based on the presentation and variety of vegan ingredients used
Advocacy and Community BuildingParticipants engage in advocacy and share their vegan journey on social media.Sharing posts on social media about their vegan journey.Based on the engagement received on their posts
30-Day Vegan Challenge CompletionParticipants complete 30 days of veganism and reflect on their journey.Reflection on their vegan journey and participation in a virtual gathering.Based on their reflections and participation

Set levels (gamification)

Set levels gamification

Introducing a gamified structure with levels to your online challenge can significantly enhance participant engagement and commitment.

This approach not only makes the learning process more exciting but also taps into the natural human drive for achievement and progress.

Here’s how you can structure these levels:

  1. Level 1 – Tripwire: This is the entry point for your audience, priced at an accessible rate, typically less than $100. The purpose here is to offer a breakthrough experience that provides substantial value without a significant financial commitment. This level acts as a teaser, giving participants a taste of what they can achieve, whetting their appetite for more. It’s crucial at this stage to deliver enough value that participants feel they’ve made a great investment, encouraging them to consider moving to the next level.
  2. Level 2 – Core product: This is where the core learning takes place. It can be a pre-recorded course or a live session focusing on action and implementation. If Level 1 was about introducing concepts and principles, Level 2 dives into the practical tactics and tools necessary for participants to achieve their goals. This level is priced higher than the Tripwire, reflecting the deeper level of engagement and value provided.
  3. Level 3 – Profit maximizer: This is the most advanced level, possibly a high-level one-to-one consulting product or a high-ticket group coaching format. Here, you’re offering personalized, intensive guidance, which justifies a price range of $1,000 – $10,000. At this stage, participants are fully invested in their journey and are looking for tailored solutions and direct access to expertise.

The gamification approach offers many benefits:

  • Enhances experience: Incorporating gamification into each level enhances the experience, making it more exciting.
  • Fosters a sense of achievement: As participants progress, they should feel a sense of accomplishment, always eager for the next challenge.
  • Builds deeper relationships: This approach not only helps in building deeper relationships with committed and like-minded students but also focuses your attention on those most likely to benefit from and appreciate the higher levels of the program.
  • Strategic filtering and identification: This tiered approach is strategic in filtering and identifying the students who resonate most with your values and are committed to their transformation.
  • Creates powerful success stories: By focusing on those actively engaging and achieving results, you create powerful success stories- turning them into a potential marketing tool.
  • Effective resource management: These levels help you manage your resources effectively, concentrating on students who are genuinely invested in the challenge and are more likely to achieve and share their success stories. In turn, this enhances the credibility and appeal of your challenge, drawing in more participants who are eager to embark on this transformative journey.

Incorporate daily tasks into online challenge

Incorporate daily tasks

Incorporating daily tasks into your online challenge is a powerful way to keep participants motivated and aligned with their transformation goals.

Essential for achieving the larger objectives of your challenge, these tasks serve as crucial daily routines or habits.

The idea here is to integrate small, manageable actions into each day of your challenge. These tasks should be directly related to the overall goal of the course, ensuring that every activity contributes to the participants’ progress.

This approach not only keeps the participants engaged on a daily basis but also instills a sense of discipline and commitment to the system you’ve presented.

One effective way to facilitate this is through a habit tracker.

Google sheets to track tasks
Credits – Google Sheets for tracking daily tasks

For instance, using a publicly shared Google Sheet allows participants to track their daily tasks.

This not only serves as a personal reminder for them but also adds an element of communal accountability. When participants see others making progress, it can be a powerful motivator and create a sense of community and shared journey.

Moreover, this approach reinforces the concept of progress through small, consistent efforts.

These small steps result in significant changes and, ultimately, transformation when you build a routine around it.

In turn, this makes participants more committed when they see the cumulative effect of their daily actions.

Incorporate a reflection mechanism

Incorporate reflection mechanism

Setting a reflection mechanism in your online challenge is a critical component that fosters deeper learning and personal growth.

It offers numerous benefits:

  • Encouraging deep consideration: Reflection allows participants to pause and consider what they’ve learned, how they’re applying it, and the challenges they’re facing.
  • Reinforcement and adjustment: This process is invaluable for reinforcing learning and making adjustments as needed.
  • Insight and personalized feedback: Reflective practices provide a clearer understanding of each participant’s journey to offer personalized feedback and guidance.

To foster a reflective culture among participants, consider these strategies:

  • Structured reflective assignments: Incorporating a reflection mechanism can be achieved through assignments or reflective exercises. Utilizing a course platform (like Kajabi) that supports assignment submission and custom file uploads can streamline this process. Participants can document their experiences, challenges, and insights, which you can then review.
  • Peer groups for accountability: Establishing peer groups within the challenge can serve as accountability partners, encouraging participants to share their reflections and support each other. This peer-to-peer interaction can be highly motivating, as it creates a supportive community where participants can discuss challenges and celebrate successes together.
  • Regularize reflection opportunities: By embedding regular reflection sessions, participants internalize their learning, recognize their progress, and identify areas where they need more support or focus.

This ongoing process of reflection and adjustment is key to achieving the transformative goals of your online challenge.

Choose a platform

Let me assist you in navigating this platform or tools selection process, ensuring that your online challenge achieves its maximum potential.

Selling platform

Selling platform

When it comes to selecting a selling platform for your online challenge, there’s a common tendency to use WordPress integrated with Thrivecart. This combination allows for robust customization and effective sales processing.

However, if you’re looking for simplicity and less technical hassle, an all-in-one platform might be a better choice.

All-in-one platforms like Kajabi offer the convenience of managing both your landing pages and sales mechanisms in one place.

This all-in-one approach can provide valuable insights into your marketing efforts, such as tracking the most effective traffic sources and understanding conversion rates, including the sources with the highest refund rates.

Community platform

Community platform

To foster a sense of community in your online challenge, it is critical to select a platform that boasts robust gamification and feedback mechanisms. This type of platform, which rewards participants and frames the challenge as an engaging journey, can significantly enhance engagement levels.

Additionally, consider a platform with a strong mobile presence. This allows participants to engage with the community and the challenge content at their convenience.

Lastly, it’s important to choose a platform that not only facilitates community interactions but seamlessly aligns with the overall goals and structure of your challenge.

You can utilize a variety of community management platforms for your online challenge. I’d recommend using Kajabi, an all-in-one platform known for its comprehensive community features, particularly after its recent update.

Circle specializes in community and course creation but lacks website and email marketing tools. Also, the automation workflows are restricted to its premium plan. You can choose either Circle or Kajabi.

Alternatively, Skool is an excellent option as well. It has a strong focus on gamification.

Create sales landing page

Create landing page

Creating an effective sales landing page for your online challenge is crucial for capturing your audience’s attention and converting visitors into participants.

A well-crafted landing page typically includes several key elements:

  1. Compelling headline and sub-headline: These are essential for immediately grabbing the visitor’s attention. Your headline should be clear and concise and communicate the core benefit or value proposition of your challenge.
  2. Engaging copywriting: This should highlight your unique selling proposition and the benefits of your product. It’s important to focus on how your challenge addresses the customer’s pain points and provides a solution.
  3. Testimonials and social proof: Including testimonials or success stories from past participants can significantly boost the credibility of your challenge. These elements help build trust and demonstrate the value and effectiveness of your offering.
  4. Clear call-to-action (CTA): Your CTA should guide visitors on what to do next – whether it’s signing up for the challenge, downloading a guide, or watching an introductory video. It should be prominently placed and easy to find.

You don’t need to be a copywriter to write a really good landing page.

According to Alex Hormozi’s approach in “$100M Offers“, the key to effective copywriting lies in understanding the audience’s problems and transforming these into solutions.

Here are his steps:

  1. List all the micro-steps people need to take to achieve the desired result.
  2. Identify all potential problems they might encounter during these steps.
  3. Transform the top 20% of these problems into solutions and name them.
  4. Use this reversal of problems into solution-oriented language as the basis for effective copywriting.

Your copy should reflect this process and illustrate the results, for example: “70% of our clients achieved their goal in the first 30 days without having to face the usual obstacles.”

If you are struggling to find the right words, you can seek help from Jasper, which is specifically designed for copywriting. They offer a wide range of templates for different copywriting scenarios, allowing you to generate persuasive copies.

The One Funnel Away Challenge landing page exemplifies a strategic approach to creating compelling sales copy for an online challenge.

Their landing page begins with a compelling headline and a straightforward call to action to join the challenge. It highlights the benefits, like daily training and live coaching. It also features impactful testimonials and creates a sense of urgency to prompt visitors to join quickly.

It skillfully uses persuasive copy, social proof, and a clear call to action to attract and convert visitors into participants.

Create engaging content

Engaging content is the bedrock of captivating your participants and keeping them committed to completing the journey.

It’s about blending relevance, creativity, and value to construct a challenge that not only resonates but also educates and entertains.

Create interactive content

Interactive content in your online challenge is key to keeping participants actively engaged and committed to the learning process.

Credits – BoldVoice exercises

For example, you can incorporate exercises and quizzes that pause the video and require immediate action, similar to what apps like BoldVoice do, can significantly enhance the learning experience.

These interactive elements ensure that participants are not just passively consuming content but are actively involved in their learning journey.

Community centric content

Fostering a community-centric environment within your challenge encourages daily login and participation.

Creating content that facilitates community interactions, such as Q&A sessions and live webinars, helps in building a sense of belonging.

Couch to 5k Facebook community
Couch to 5k Facebook community

For example, Couch to 5K (C25K) Running Program guides beginners from inactivity to completing a 5K. The program fosters a sense of community through forums and social media groups where participants share progress and celebrate achievements.

This can also serve as a powerful motivator, providing real-life examples of transformation and achievement.

Motivate them

Motivational content is crucial in maintaining participant enthusiasm and commitment.

This can be achieved through motivational videos, sharing transformation testimonials, and using stories and anecdotes for reliability.

Tailoring content to match the audience’s interests, especially in areas like mindset and productivity, not only attracts the right audience but also retains their attention throughout the challenge.

75 Hard Youtube channel
75 Hard Youtube channel

For example, Andy Frisella’s YouTube channel offers a wealth of motivational content, including the transformative 75 Hard Challenge, which emphasizes mental toughness and personal accountability.

Through engaging stories and practical advice, his videos inspire viewers to push their limits and pursue personal growth even after 70, relentlessly.

75 Hard Challenge

I really liked how he is breaking the pattern of conventional sales landing pages by starting with the disclaimer. He has also used only two colors, black and red, in his landing page copy. This is quite effective for his target market, people above 70, who are relentless.

Promote the challenge

Successfully launching and promoting your online challenge is as crucial as the content itself.

It’s about putting your challenge in front of the right eyes, sparking interest, and converting that interest into active participation. Here’s how you do it.


When it comes to launch, it is crucial to highlight the transformative aspects of your challenge.

It’s about creating anticipation and showing the potential impact of the challenge on participants’ lives.

Utilizing strategies like Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula can be effective in promoting your online challenge.


You can leverage targeted social media ads, particularly on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, can effectively reach your intended audience.

The choice between these platforms depends on whether you’re aiming for push marketing (Facebook) or pull marketing (YouTube), where ads are shown to users already demonstrating an interest in your topic.

5 Day challenge to grow Youtube subscribers
5-day challenge to grow 1k subscribers

As you can see in the above example, Sean Cannell has leveraged Facebook ads for an online challenge like “YouTube 1K Challenge”.

Video series

Creating a YouTube series or podcast documenting the success stories of your students can serve as a powerful marketing tool.

This not only showcases the effectiveness of your challenge but also helps in building a community around your brand.


Creating giveaways using Rafflepress
Credits – Creating giveaways using Rafflepress

This approach can help in expanding your reach and attracting more participants to your challenge.

Implementing giveaways using tools like Rafflepress and creating viral loops can enhance audience engagement and lead generation.

Engage with participants

Engaging with participants is critical in ensuring the success of any transformational challenge.

Treating them as part of a team, with regular check-in calls and personalized feedback, can significantly enhance their experience and get them rapid results.

Creating a supportive community forum where they can share progress, celebrate milestones, and offer peer-to-peer support fosters a collaborative and motivating environment.

This approach helps in building a strong community where participants feel connected and are more likely to achieve their goals.

👉 Remember, people connect with people, and this human element is crucial in any successful online challenge. The technicalities you share doesn’t matter. People need people and IT’S ALL ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY.

Track and measure success

In transformational online courses, tracking and measuring the success of participants is essential.

This involves using various tools to monitor participants’ progress, collect data on engagement and completion rates, and solicit participant testimonials.

Moodle Activity Completion Module
Credits – Moodle Activity Completion Module

The use of tools like Moodle’s ‘Activity Completion,’ ‘Restrict Access,’ and ‘Course Completion‘ can provide insights into how students are interacting with course materials and fulfilling tasks.

These tools allow instructors to see individual or group engagement with specific items in the course, contributing to a better understanding of student progress.

Further, it’s important to assess behavioral changes and goal attainment among participants. This can be achieved by setting clear learning objectives and using digital tools to track these metrics.

Regularly collecting feedback and analyzing engagement data helps in understanding how participants respond to and internalize module content, their performance, and social interactions within the course.

Provide rewards or recognition

Offering course completion certificates or badges can be an effective way to recognize participants’ achievements.

However, the significance of these rewards is often tied to the reputation and perceived value of the issuing organization.

TwoCommaClub ClickFunnels Award
Credits – TwoCommaClub Award

Publicly recognizing transformations, such as through awards or stages of accomplishment (like the ClickFunnels Two Comma Club), can also be motivational.

Furthermore, providing them access to exclusive resources like masterminds, inner circles, or opportunities for further coaching can be highly valuable.

In turn, it inspires others to achieve similar feats!

Gather feedback and iterate

Finally, gathering feedback and iterating on your course structure is crucial.

Typeform survey template
Typeform survey template

Tools like Paperform or Typeform can be used to conduct surveys for participant feedback.

This information should be used to analyze areas for improvement.

Reflecting on feedback and continuously evolving/iterating the challenge will enhance its impact, ensuring that participants achieve their goals more effectively. It will also create a barrier for competitors, solidifying your course’s unique position in the market.


Crafting a viral online challenge requires a blend of meticulous planning, engaging content, and strategic promotion.

Start by pinpointing your challenge’s purpose, the transformation it’s focused on and understanding your audience. Then, design a challenge that is both enjoyable and transformative, incorporating gamification and daily tasks to keep participants engaged.

Choosing the right platform and creating captivating content are vital for building community and maintaining interest.

Similarly, effective promotion, active participant engagement, and a feedback loop to refine and enhance future iterations are essential to your challenge’s success.

By focusing on these elements, you can create a memorable online challenge that not only resonates with participants but also achieves widespread acclaim.