Everyone (including you!) knows something that others want to learn.
You might not consider yourself an expert in anything. But as long as you know more than your students, you can create a valuable learning resource for those interested in what you have to say by building an online course.
But first, you have to choose a topic.
Your online course gives you the chance to share your skills and knowledge with others. That doesn’t mean that you have to choose a topic that you have ten years of professional experience or a degree in. You might be a wizard in the kitchen and have come up with the perfect cookie recipe. Or maybe you’ve been trading stocks for years and know the ins and outs of the market.
If you’re ready to build an online course but are stuck on what topic to choose, then this guide will point you in the right direction.
What are you passionate about?
Have you ever watched a TED talk and felt super inspired afterwards? Or maybe you’ve listened to a friend tell you about a new project they are working on and felt motivated to do something yourself? That’s called passion.
When you’re passionate about what you’re teaching, people are more likely to listen and engage. When choosing a topic for your online course, you should first think about what you’re passionate about. You might be an expert in accounting, but if you’re not passionate about it, your course content will reflect that.
Make a list of everything that you love to do. Write down everything that comes to mind, even if you think there’s no potential for a course there. This list will help you as we move into the next step.
What are your strengths?
Next, you need to think about your strengths. You may love drawing portraits, but unfortunately, you’re not very good at them. Choosing the best topic for your online course means finding a balance between something you’re passionate about and that you’re good at.
Are you super organized? Maybe you want to host a course on organizing digital files such as Google Drive, email inbox or external hard drive.
What comes easy to you in your line of work? What do people praise you for? If you can’t think of your strengths, ask people in your network. Your network could be colleagues, employees, friends or family members.
Choosing a topic that comes naturally to you will make the process of building your course easier. When you’re creating content, it will be evident if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Jot down a list of your skills and strengths to use for reference as we move into the next step.
Training and experience
Students will inevitably want to know why you are the authority in the course topic you’ve chosen. While you don’t need to have a degree in business to teach someone how to become a dropshipper, it never hurts to select a topic you have some thorough knowledge of.
Training and experience are a combination of various things, including formal education, workshops, online courses, books and even YouTube videos. It also includes the amount of time spent developing and learning skills, what you’ve achieved in the industry, and unique insights that you’ve gained on the topic.
What do you have the most experience in, or what training have you had that makes you the authority to talk about specific topics?
What topics are eLearners looking for?
For your online course to be successful, you need to choose a topic that people actually want to learn. You might have a great topic idea that you know a lot about, but if no one wants to learn it, then your program won’t do well.
Identifying the pain points of your target audience will enable you to choose a topic that is in demand and will actually be helpful to them. So how do you identify your target audience and their pain points?
An excellent place to start is your current network since they will be the easiest to market your course to once it’s up and running. Your network could include your social media followers, business clients, industry connections, online communities that you’re engaged with (like Facebook Groups), colleagues, friends and family etc.
After going through the above steps and narrowing down some topics you love, are skilled in and have experience with, reach out to your networks to see which topics might resonate.
For example, if you’re considering creating a course on how to do email marketing, do a poll to see what precisely about email marketing your network is struggling with. Are people having a hard time coming up with content ideas for their campaigns? Do they need help creating funnels? Or do they want help growing their email list? Knowing the specific paint points will help you with the next step.
Get super specific
By now, you should have a few great topic ideas to work with. The more specific you can get with your online course topics, the better. If the topic idea is too broad, it will be much harder to create and market your course.
Let’s take a look at the example above – an email marketing course. Instead of creating a program on email marketing in general, focus on something more specific, like how to increase open rates or how to write strong subject lines.
The more specific you can get on your topic, the better you’ll be able to create the course material and market it to your target audience.
Creating an online course with MycoLearn
Creating your online course with MycoLearn allows you to connect with other vegans and provide a valuable learning resource on your chosen topic. Once you’ve picked a topic, you can easily build your course within the platform and start creating passive income whenever people take your program. Best of all, you get access to a market of vegans who want to learn from you!