One of the most asked questions not only from new course creators but even from seasoned business owners is: “How do I find a good idea?”
Which really means, of course, is “How do I find an idea that will sell?” 🙂
No one wants to spend days or weeks or more planning, developing and launching a course only to hear crickets on the big day.
You want to know you’ll have at least some measure of success.
But don’t overthink it. The answer is simple. Just give your audience what they are asking for. Find a problem that you can solve. Provide a solution to a problem and show people how to solve that problem.
9 tips on generating new ideas for your next infoproduct, course or ecourse.
- Check out the competition. What are they creating? If you serve a similar audience, then what sells for them will very likely sell for you. Before you break out the “But it’s already been done!” line, keep this in mind: No two coaches are alike. You may create a similar course, but your voice, your experience, your teaching style, and your personality are all very different. No one else is you, and for some customers, YOU are the only one who will resonate with them.
- Pay attention to your ideal avitar. What questions does s/he ask in private groups, in your help desk, and elsewhere? What posts is s/he reading on your blog (check your Google Analytic stats)? These are all valuable sources of intel about exactly what she needs and wants from you.
- Ask. Still not sure what your dream client is looking for? Ask them. Create a survey and ask them to tell you what they struggles with, what keeps them from realizing their success, and even what they may have tried before in an effort to solve the issues.
- Check the bestsellers list. Which books in your niche are outperforming others? These are the ones that offer answers your clients are seeking. Flip through the table of contents and read the online reviews to dig deep into the topics that really resonate with your audience.
- Read the FAQs. Check the frequently asked questions section on competitor blogs and in forums and Facebook groups. Also check blogs for “Start Here,” and “Quickstart” pages. Many times the most common questions and concerns are addressed here.
- Review the available resources. Which are the most common resources your colleagues and competitors are recommending? There are often questions surrounding the use of software and other tools, and these can be great ideas for Courses.
- Check your email. If you’ve been in business for more than a few months, chances are you receive questions from friends, clients and even strangers on a daily basis. What are they asking about? Look for common themes and trends.
- Revisit your keyword research. Review the terms and phrases that your community most frequently searches on, and use them as a basis for your own research.
- Check your search terms. Google Webmaster Tools allows you to check which terms are sending visitors to your website. Since people often search on questions (“how to design a logo” or “how to start a business”) this can be a rich source of ideas.
Ideas are everywhere. Your potential buyers are sharing them with you each and every day, if you just know where to look. So don’t let your insecurities hold you back. Develop the course they are asking you for.
3 Great Places to Research Your Online Course Topic
Are you thinking about creating an online course to offer to your audience? The first and most crucial step is to decide on a topic. The topic choice determines all of the other decisions you’ll make as you plan your course, and it’s the single biggest factor determining whether you’ll see high enrollment or not.
The internet offers a wide variety of places to get ideas for your topic. Simple Google search and social media can help you find an excellent topic idea. But here are three great places for ideas you might not have considered.
Feedly is a news aggregator application that brings you blogs and articles. It takes the work out of searching for you by bringing stories you’re interested in straight to your feed. What sets Feedly apart is its ease of use; it brings you headlines that you can scan quickly to see what’s new.
You choose sources by simply clicking on an “add” icon and then mark the sources by priority. You can create categories and organise your feed to make it as efficient as possible. Checking your feed, you’ll see blog posts and news in your niche.
Feedly is available for various web browsers and mobile devices using iOS and Android.
Quora Q&A Platform
A great way to get topic ideas is to consider questions your target audience asks. What are the things they always want to know from you? Social media is useful for seeing conversations and seeing what people are asking. But Q&A sites like Quora are even better. You can search for questions that users are asking directly. Find a good question and base a course on answering it.
You can also get an idea of how popular topics are. You can see which questions are asked most often on Quora. These high demand questions are good issues to tackle in your course. You can then read answers to get ideas on the kind of advice that’s given.
Reddit is a very active online community and message board with conversations on any and every niche under the sun. Users create “subreddits” for specific topics and questions. Like Quora, it provides a place where people can ask questions and other users can answer. You can search Reddit to find questions for topic ideas.
When you’re looking at these sources for ideas, here are a few things to consider:
- Look for pressing problems that your target market is facing. Your course should aim to offer one unique way to solve the problem.
- Try to consider length. Your online course should be about five to seven modules. Is this a question you can answer in that length?
- Choose a topic that’s timely but also evergreen. If you teach something evergreen, you can run the course multiple times.
- Try to choose a topic you know about through experience if possible (but remember that you can fill in gaps by researching or hiring a writer).
Make a big list of ideas and save the ones you don’t use this time for future courses.
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