Yesterday’s post provided tips on how to pre-sell your course, but if you need inspiration on how to fully drill down and find the right topic that will be beneficial to you and your audience, hopefully these next three tips will generate just what you need to create it.
Maybe you’ve seen someone doing a course on a topic you were interested in and thought, “I could teach that,” or you know you want to create a course but are stumped on what topic would be good.
Instead of just creating a course on any old topic, you want to be strategic about it. This can mean the difference between generating $0 and $34,000 in a month. The right topic is one that your audience is ready and willing to give you their credit card for to learn about.
A profitable topic for a course should be:
- Something you are interested in and are able to teach
- Something that your students need and will pay for
Topic Idea Generator #1:
The first step in choosing a topic is to brainstorm ideas. What stuff do you know something about? Even if you already know what you want to teach this exercise will help you narrow down your topic.
At this point you’re just throwing out ideas and looking at areas you could potentially teach others. Grab a pen and paper or open a blank document and begin writing down what you know something about. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started thinking.
- If you’re a freelancer or consultant, take a look at what you help your clients with the most.
- Some type of personal transformation you’ve overcome, such as quitting smoking, overcoming anxiety, beating depression, beating a health problem, etc.
- If you are a business owner or expert what are you already talking about, helping people with or knowledgeable about? Prepare a list of topics you’re an expert in. For example, if you’re an SEO expert it might look like this:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Link building
- Keyword research
- SEO Tools
Just keep going until you’ve exhausted your list. Once you’re done you can begin narrowing it down to what topic you want to create. Don’t worry about market demand, competition, or any of those things yet.
Identify what your potential students are currently struggling with. Think of the solutions to their problems as course topics. You might already know some of their pain points based on your experience working with them. You can also follow conversations in Facebook Groups, on niche forums or other online communities like Quora.
Pick two or three topics out of the ideas you’ve generated that appeal to you the most. Begin working on who they will help and what is the outcome they will achieve from your course.
Topic Idea Generator #2:
Research current courses for ideas. Look at what’s already being taught. Go to Google and search for: “(your course subject area) online course”. Look at what is out there in a broad since first. Then narrow it down to a more specific term. If others are creating a course on a topic that interest you, that’s okay. You can create your own spin on it to make it unique.
If you already have an online audience or work with existing clients, you are in a position to find topics through your audience needs. Ask your audience or your clients what they would like to learn more about. Or ask them what problems they need help in solving. You can reach out to them through:
- Your email newsletter
- Facebook posts
- Facebook groups
- Blog posts
- Facebook ads
- Wherever else you are connected with them
You can create a simple survey or ask them open questions in an email or message.
If you don’t have a connection of potential audience to find out what their pain points are, you can find them where they hang out online in forums, Facebook groups, Quora questions on your subject, Reddit, or Amazon book reviews. Look for examples of their pain, problems or desires and what they need help with.
Topic Idea Generator #3:
What are people’s biggest fears? Think of things that people or you are too embarrassed to do in person or something you don’t have time to do in person. For example, yoga. Many people carrying extra weight are comfortable doing downward facing dog in front of a mirror with 20 people watching. That’s why yoga is a hot topic in the online course arena.
For people who don’t have time, for example, to build their own website. Is there a skill you can teach them about this “in 4 hours or less” to make learning easier for these people?
Researching your Topic
You can have a great topic but it might not be the right one for you to turn into a course, at least not yet. You need to research the topic and validate how well it will sell.
One way to determine if your topic is a good on is to pre-sell your idea. You can do this by inviting people to sign up before the course is created. This way you can gauge interest. If no one buys you have saved yourself time and resources. On the other hand if people buy, then you have a winning course idea.
Test people’s interest in your idea by creating freebies and lead magnets related to your course idea. These can be checklists, infographics or a guide. Offer it to people in groups and forums on Facebook Twitter. You can publish articles on LinkedIn or your own blog.
Do This Next
Finding inspiration for course topics is everywhere. Decide what niche you are interested in, what skills or knowledge you have, and what experience you have.Finding inspiration for course topics is everywhere. Decide what niche you are interested in, what skills or knowledge you have, and what experience you have. Click To Tweet
Ask yourself what you would like to learn, what transformations you’ve made that you can share with others who need the information or what passionate hobbies can you teach others?Ask yourself what you would like to learn, what transformations you’ve made that you can share with others who need the information or what passionate hobbies can you teach others? Click To Tweet
By now you should have a whole list of topics to build a course around. It might seem overwhelming to have so many but now is when you can start narrowing them down to the one that you want to start with. Keep the list of other ideas for topic inspiration for future courses.
Need more course topic inspiration? Contact me to discuss how we can take your course from an idea to collecting payments before and after its launch.
Please keep in mind that I may receive commissions when you click my links and make purchases. However, this does not impact my reviews and comparisons. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.
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Ideas are never my problem. It’s the time for the follow-through!
Now that’s a challenge! Who has the time for all the follow-through to create courses and programs? Well, that’s where you hire help to put this together for you. 🙂
For my first course, I know my topic and my customers’ pain points around that topic, so I’m good to go with this one. Your information will be useful for the next one for sure.
Awesome, Jen! Look forward to seeing what you create. I’ll have to follow you to keep in touch.
Good suggestions for topics for a digital course. Market research is the best thing for making sure that your digital course will be profitable.
Most definitely, Camilla. It’s also good to scope out your competitors and see what they’re doing to get ideas, but make it uniquely your program or course. How can you differentiate what your competitors are doing to get the attention of your audience? Just another tip to consider. 🙂