How to Choose a Profitable Online Course Topic

You’ve made the leap and decided to launch your first online course. The next step is to choose a topic that will generate lots of interest – and sales! 

You might already have training content that you’re delivering to customers in-person, or you might have a wealth of specialised knowledge and experience that you want to share with the wider world. In both cases, you have valuable knowledge that you want to share with a broader market, and creating an online course is a great way to achieve this goal. If you have specialised knowledge in a particular area, you can probably put together lots of online courses!

Choosing the right topic for your first online course is about working out where you can make the biggest impact. These five questions will help you to choose a profitable topic for your first online course.

1. Who needs to learn what you can teach?

Figuring out your target market is the first thing you need to do, no matter what type of course you’re selling. Brainstorm a list of people who could benefit from what you have to offer. This could include groups you already have a connection to (e.g. current customers, affiliates) or groups you have a particular interest in (e.g. people interested in health and wellbeing). Start by brainstorming broad groups, then narrow these down based on the types of problems they are trying to solve.

2. What problems can you solve for people?

Your current training content or expertise is likely to be great for solving a problem in at least one group of people’s lives. Think about what this problem is – personal, professional, or a combination – and how your knowledge can help.

It’s important to identify both the problem your target market is facing AND the solution you can offer, so that you can shape your online course topic to address this pain point.

3. Who can you reach?

If you’ve got specialised knowledge and experience in a field you probably have dozens of ideas for great online courses that can solve people’s problems! But which groups of people can you reach most easily? Do you have an existing network of past or current customers, suppliers, or affiliates who you could market your course to? Are there any groups or networks you have an existing connection with either personally or through others?

Starting with a topic that appeals to a group or network you have an existing connection with can give you a big head start with successfully marketing and selling your online course.

4. What’s already on offer?

You’ll also need to do some research on your topic and what information is already out there. Start with a trusty Google search and check out what’s already on offer. You might find there are already online courses available in your area – but don’t let that put you off! If anything this tells you there is demand for your topic, which is a great start.

The next step is to work out how you can set yourself apart from the competition.

5. How can you stand out?

People buy something because it offers value, and online courses are no different. Think about how you can communicate the value you offer to your target audience, and why they should choose your online course. In other words, what’s your point of difference? Maybe it’s that you have 20 years’ experience in the field, or you are the go-to international expert in a specialised area. Or maybe your local knowledge sets you apart and makes you a valued and trusted resource.

When you know what makes you different - that’s positive and valuable to your target market – you can use this to choose an online course in an area where you know you’ll be competitive and can stand out from the pack.

Once you answer these five questions, you’ll be well on your way to choosing a topic for your first online course that will engage and excite your target audience!

If you want to start creating your first online course today, sign up for a 30-day free trial with CourseGenius!

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