What are Best Topics for Online Courses?
It seems that it takes most people a while to nail down a topic for online courses. Many of us have so much that we could teach, that picking a topic feels impossible. It is like taking a child to a big candy shop and telling them that they can only select one item.
I was recently speaking to a woman who wanted to begin creating online courses. The idea excited her and she asked me what the best topics for online courses were. My response was, “You know those things that are super easy for you? They would be great topics for online courses”.
Oftentimes people think that when they find something to be super simple, everyone else also finds it to be super simple. So they don't consider teaching that. But that is not necessarily true that everyone finds what is easy for you to be easy for them. For example, I love succulent container gardens but I've killed every last one of them I've every owned. But you are a succulent goddess thinking about creating a step-by-step course to easily maintain a thriving succulent container garden. I would happily invest in your course to learn this because I've been struggling in that area. People will pay to learn from someone who has taken processes that they find challenging and simplified them.
The best topics for online courses are usually about things you do best and things people come to you for advice on. What skills have you mastered? Do you have any hobbies that you're really passionate about? Have you undergone a personal transformation like overcoming anxiety, quitting binge drinking, or successfully removing a narcissist from your life? Create a list of possible topics you could create a course on, then start to narrow that list down.
Conduct research to determine if there is a demand for the topic. It's a good sign if you find that other online courses already exist on the topic because that indicates relevance.
Are there enough people who are willing to invest to get the knowledge you want to share?
Wonderful. Think of the thousands of pie recipes available. They all share the same basic ingredients, but YOUR recipe is superior. Courses work in this same way because the other offerings aren't by YOU. Even though the course topic may be the same, you will be offering it in your unique way. When you select your topics for online courses, just put your unique spin on it or discover a narrow niche. For example, there are a gazillion photographers in the world but there are a lot fewer photographers who specialize in golf course photography.
If you aren't going to enjoy teaching a topic, your students will detect it and they won't enjoy the course. You should select different topics for online courses or brainstorm ways to make it interesting for you. Say that you are a tech guru and can teach basic computer skills but it doesn't light you up. But, if you are also passionate about music consider creating a course about basic computer skills for musicians.
It's important that you pick something that you absolutely love--that you are completely passionate about. Your topics for online courses will be things you are going to give birth to. It will feel like a baby to you for a while because you're going to have to do plenty of work to make it wonderful. You'll be marketing this course for a long time, which will be painful if it's not something you adore. When you're sharing your content with the world, it's going to be obvious if there's not a spark of passion there.
To get your ideas flowing, draw three columns on a sheet of paper. In column 1 write down 50 things that you love. Perhaps start with people you love, food that you love. From there think about topics that you love. Look at your bookshelves--which books do you love? What films and movies do you love? What do you love helping people with? What do you love talking to people about? What do you love sharing advice about? Don't think too much about it--just put down everything that comes into your head.
The second thing that is important for you to consider when it comes to selecting Topics for Online Courses is if you are good at it. It not, it's going to be a struggle for you and that will come across in your teaching and in the questions that your students ask. These days, lots of people select topics for online courses purely because it's trending and they want to jump on a profitable bandwagon. They create a course on a trending topic hoping to profit from it. If the topic is not something that you're naturally good at, what will you do when your students ask questions? Go away to research it first? I'd question whether or not you're going to be providing stellar service to your students without a full source of information. history and experience that you can draw upon to really contribute to the unique situations of each of your students.
Column 2 is for things you are “good at”. Write down 50 things that you are good at. To get your creative juices flowing, think of things that you can do easily--whether it's making a cup of tea or a certain dish, and then start to fill out things that you're good at in your job, things that you're good at in your business, things that you're good at in terms of your hobbies, things that you've good at on your job. These don't have to necessarily be skills. Think also of your personality characteristics: are you good under pressure, good in a crisis, good at working with people who are distressed?
In Column 3 simply write down everything that you have experience in. This is important because your credibility significantly increases when you can tell people that you have been doing a thing for X number of years.. It doesn't necessarily have to be formal experience or formal training. It can be life experiences. You have worked in a particular industry your entire life, you have overcome a trauma, perhaps you have had a successful experience or event in your life and you want to share with people how you achieved that particular successful result. This can also be formal and informal training that you've completed, qualifications that you have, work experience that you've gained, etc. This would be anything that you can say look, “I've done this or I've experienced this myself so I understand how you feel and I'd like to share with you what I did."
You should have now three columns with 50 things in each and you'll probably start to see some patterns emerging. Go through them and start scoring them from 1 through 10:
Look at everything that you have scored “7” or above and if you find things that cross (common things that crosses love, good at, have experience in) and they all have 10 out of 10, those are the topics that you will use to start exploring further. Because those are the absolute core ingredients that you need to have a topic that is going to work for you--that is going to be something that fits within your zone of genius, that naturally is part of who you are and what you love and what you are going to shine the most in when it comes to putting the rest of your course together.
I can help make your course creation as easy and stress-free as possible with my done-for-you services. Schedule a quick call with me and let's get that amazing knowledge out of your head and into the hearts and hands of the people who need you.
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