Each journey of a business ‘edupreneur’ is unique and interesting but what everyone wants to know is how these successful people started their business and worked through their challenges in the beginning. The most important steps are the first ones.
Online learning and training are now playing a big role in our society. Making and selling courses online can be profitable with different kinds of professionals excelling in their careers or unique skills. In fact, they are generating 6 to 7 figure incomes within the growing industry of eLearning.
So you have an exceptional skill or knowledge that you want to share? There are a few questions you need to ask yourself: How can I choose the right topic for me? How can I turn it into a profitable one? What is my competition like?
Choose a Topic that is Marketable and Profitable
Now you’re considering what topic you want to make an online course about. How can you establish the process of turning your idea into a profitable output?
I suggest you choose a topic that you are passionate about, are knowledgeable on, or an expert in. Your course topic will expand on it, and you are going to make a lot of individual sub-lessons regarding on the topic. If it is something that you are not interested in, you may become burnt out just forcing yourself into creating your course, you will get bored, and your students will sense that through your course. Which in the end, would make your lessons less enticing for your students to invest in.
Validate your idea, and make sure that people will find it interesting to the point that they will pay for it.
For example, maybe you love the Settlers of Catan board game, and you are really a pro and can share tips through online courses. However, if no one is searching for information on that topic, then you will struggle to market your course and may not get an audience to pay for online courses on that subject.
The big question here is how you can validate your course, to ensure that paying audiences are there before you invest effort in building it.
See if it is already out in the Market
You can search for courses that are already out and available on Google and online course platforms like Thinkific, Teachable, and many more.
If there are numerous courses that exist about your chosen topic, then that is a sign that you can market it, and there are other people who are earning money by teaching a course similar to that topic you want to create.
If you see many courses similar to your topic, it is an indication that your topic is competitive, or you need to find a particular approach to make your course stand out among the rest of the courses in the search engine.
Identify a Gap in the Market
Find a category where online education is strongly lacking, and offer something new or more diverse in the form of an online course. If you love cooking, there might be a high number of courses available online that already covered this niche by professional chefs, and you might have a hard time competing with them.
You can try to focus on a sub-topic that has not yet been covered, then you can dominate the market by making an online course on those sub-topics.
For example, you might focus on sub-topics such as cooking meals for a paleo or keto diet and find it very competitive. That is fine; just keep on searching. You can perhaps make a course about making keto pastries or other alternative keto snacks and discover that the topic does not yet exist in the market.
Some existing topics may look bland, boring, or have little content. You can use this to your advantage by going into detail about your chosen topic or producing the information in an exciting new way.
Ask your Customer
If you have already numerous followers on your social media platform or have established your email list, ask them what type of course they would be interested in taking. You can directly ask your followers, or you can post a survey by asking them different kinds of problems or challenges they are facing or trying to overcome in your topic.
However, if you do not have a considerable number of followers on social media, you can ask your family, friends, or another colleague or try to post a forum if you are a member of an online community relating to your topic.
Make a Pilot Course
You can do a test run to see if your course will be in demand, by making a smaller pilot course or training video that is priced lower to attract students and followers.
All you need is a great landing page that will lead your visitors to sign up for your course. It is an indicator that there is a demand for your course, and it can be generating money before you fully invest your effort in actually building your course content. The pilot course will really help you determine what to expand on. It will be a mini version of your entire course, with only a few portions of the total content. You can start this pilot course with a small number of users, for an affordable price just to give you some reviews and feedbacks.
Revise and Enhance
Your e-learning business should always be evolving, as your market is always going to be changing. Your audience is a very important part of your business, and in a way will guide your business towards what content you will provide and designing courses that will meet your student’s needs.
You can create multiple courses that cover different areas of the same topic and cross-promote them to your students. Bundling your courses together is always a great option as well, for example, a 3 for 1 deal. That will entice your audience to make a bigger purchase as they will be getting more for their money. Also having a review option for your students at the end of the course is also advantageous for expanding upon your content so they can make suggestions and you will be able to offer more diversity to them in the future.
If your course is based on your personal passion, it might seem like you need to provide your content on a set track. But the most successful business people know that change is a good thing and will find other ways to provide more diverse or distinct content.