People always say that getting started at anything is the hardest part - and after this week I'm inclined to agree. I've been talking about starting to teach online with my own online course for ages and made every excuse in the book to postpone.

Now that I've actually gotten the ball rolling, I'm excited about the next six weeks, and even more excited to share what I did over the last 7 days, plus what I'll be covering next week.

During week one of my course creation journey, I came up with my course idea and validated it. Coming up with your online course idea shouldn't be too tricky if you know how to get started - and I'll walk you through my process.

My course idea

My online course is covering how to create an Instagram Theme. For those of you who don't know what an Instagram theme is, it's how your entire Instagram grid looks together in your profile. 

Instagram themes are great for bloggers and online businesses who are looking to create a clean, cohesive, and visually attractive brand across their social media. Having a branded theme makes your Instagram profile look more professional and intentional. Here's mine!

People always say that getting started at anything is the hardest part - and after this week I'm inclined to agree. I've been talking about starting an online course for ages and made every excuse in the book to postpone.  Now that I've actually gotten the ball rolling I'm excited about the next six weeks, and even more excited to share what I did over the last 7 days, and what I'll be covering next week.

How I came up with my course idea

I am in an advantageous position as a blogger, and I was able to look to my most popular posts to come up with my online course idea. 

People always say that getting started at anything is the hardest part - and after this week I'm inclined to agree. I've been talking about starting an online course for ages and made every excuse in the book to postpone.  Now that I've actually gotten the ball rolling I'm excited about the next six weeks, and even more excited to share what I did over the last 7 days, and what I'll be covering next week.I went to Google Analytics and checked out which of my posts have been performing the best over the last 6 months, and my post "How to Theme Your Instagram" won by a landslide.

How you can come up with a course idea

Maybe your blog doesn't have a clear winner when it comes to popular posts, or perhaps you don't have a blog at all.

No worries! There are still plenty of ways you can come up with your course idea.

First, let's make a list. You don't need to fill it out with course creation in mind, just answer with whatever pops into your head naturally:

  • What are your passions? You know, the things you could talk about for hours and hours?
  • What are you skilled at? When people come to you for help, what are they asking about?
  • What are you experienced with? Maybe you've got experience with a career path or an online program.

From there cross out any topics you definitely don't want to create an online course on. What's left is your list of potential course ideas. 

To help you track your ideas, you can download our Profitable Course Idea Workbook

From that list, come up with potential transformations.

Transformations are what people will gain from taking your online course. For example, if you're teaching web design, you're taking a student from no skills to the competence to create their own website. Or if you're teaching cake decorating, you might be taking your students from Betty Crocker frosting and a spatula to beautiful fondant wedding cakes. 

createcourse-outcome.pngIf you can't come up with a good transformation, you should consider tossing that course idea to the side.

Now you might have three or four course ideas floating around your head. Maybe you're like me and already know exactly what you want to create your online course on, or maybe you're still up in the air about which of these ideas is the best.

Which brings us to our next step...

Validate your ideas.

Basically, this just means make sure that people actually want to take an online course on what you have to teach. Now, I truly believe that anyone can make an online course on just about anything, but some topics are going to be a bit trickier to find an audience, if you don't have one already.

To find an audience that's eager to take your online course, you can go check out different communities and see if anyone is asking about your course idea.

If you don't know where to start looking for communities try these:

For me, I validated my course idea in Facebook communities by searching "Instagram Theme" into the community's search bar. In my very first community, I found a ton of people asking questions like this:

instagramtheme5.jpg

These questions reassured me that Instagram Themes were a topic that people were curious about and that there is a large audience wanting to know more.

"But Morgan! I haven't been able to find anyone asking any questions about my topic!"

This isn't fun to say, but if you can't find an audience you are going to have trouble selling your course and thus, you'll have trouble making money. Luckily, we came up with more than one idea, so you should go back to one of your earlier thoughts and try to validate that instead!

Pssst! You can take a quiz to see if your course idea will be profitable here!

What's next?

I am so excited for this upcoming week, (I may or may not have gotten started a day or two early...) and that's goal setting! 

We are going way in depth into setting goals and how we're going to reach them! For the next week I want you to mull over how much you'd like to make from your online course, and then next week we'll go from there.

We have a simple and accurate formula here at Teachable that helps us predict about how much anyone can make from their online course launch.

 

And if you haven't already, you can check out my introduction post and video here!

How did ideation go for you? Are you feeling confident in your online course idea?

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Morgan Timm

Written by Morgan Timm

Morgan Timm is a content marketer at Teachable with a background in blogging and social media. She runs Mostly Morgan, a lifestyle blog with over 4 million lifetime page views, and she recently started a blogging and business site, MorganTimm.com.