What Online Course Should I Create to Sell? (+ Examples)
Creating online courses is a popular way for bloggers and online entrepreneurs to monetize their websites. However, deciding what online course you should create can be a very daunting task. Don’t get frustrated. Choosing what online course to make can be very simple. So, what online course should you create to sell online?
You should build an online course in a topic that you know really well. Building an online course can take time, so it should really be in a subject that you love. Your online course should be helpful to people and fulfill the needs of your audience. Online courses that solve some type of problem sell really well and are among the most successful.
This may seem like a simple answer. So let me help you through the process of deciding which online course you should make.
Deciding What Online Course You Should Create
First of all, every time you consider spending your valuable time making something new for your online business, be sure to do your research. A couple hours of research could save you months of work, or even be the difference that makes your product a success.
So, do your research.
Personally, I also like to ask myself questions to help me figure things out. Let’s start with a few basic questions.
Why should you create online courses?
What do you know really well that should make a good course topic?
Who is your current online audience?
Are there any problems you’ve found that you know how to solve?
How would you market and sell the online course you create?
What is the purpose and goal of having your own online course?
How much time and money are you willing to spend to create your online course?
Okay guys, this part is important. Answer these questions as precisely as you can. Be specific, relevant, and think about yourself as a person.
Believe it or not, once you’ve done that, you will know exactly what online course you should make and how you market and sell it.
Now, I’m going to go over some of these questions, using an actual functioning example… The very first online course I ever created for myself. Which, to be honest, still pulls in about $30,000 of income per year.
First, you have to have a brief background of me. I’ve created eLearning (online courses) for over a decade, but most of them were for other companies and government agencies. Eventually, I decided to develop online courses to sell myself to make money.
Why Should I Create This Online Course?
Now, I didn’t ask this question to myself before I built my first online course. My best friend at the time did. I told him I was thinking about creating it and he asked me why.
My immediate answer was “Because nobody has yet and I needed it last semester.” Although there were several reasons to create this online course, this was the most prominent and immediate reason I could respond with.
You see, I was in college studying for a national standardized exam that countless students had to take all over the country. I looked for a practice test and there was absolutely nothing I could find. So, a year after I took the exam, I started to really consider this idea of creating one.
Like I said, there were other reasons why I should create this online course. To help other people take this crazy test and understand how to take it. To make extra money.
The truth is, there’s no wrong answer to this question, as long as you have a decent answer. Your answer could be, “I want to create an online course to sell and make money.” But hopefully there’s a little more motive than that. Solving a problem, fulfilling needs, and helping others are great reasons that drive a great motive for building an online course.
What Do I Know Really Well That Would Make a Good Course Topic?
Well, after I took that exam, I had experience taking it. I knew the format really well and the type of material on it. So I created a practice test (or mock test) that mimicked the exam. When I finally built it as an online course, I made a video solution to show how to solve every problem on my practice test. The online course topic was taking that national exam.
Honestly, I also had to know the subject matter that the exam covered really well. For some reason, to this day, it’s actually still a little embarrassing. The exam was in college chemistry. So even though the topic was in college chemistry, the real motive for building the course was the experience I had taking that specific exam.
So that’s definitely something that I knew really well that made a great online course topic. Is your brain starting to explore topics yet? If so, feel free to let me know in the comments at the bottom. But keep reading, we have more questions to answer and decide what online course YOU should make.
Who Is Your Current Online Audience?
If you know anything at all about online business, or internet marketing, you probably know the term “Audience” as online users that you have access to through your website, email list, or social media. Well, I didn’t have any of these at the time.
If you do already have an online audience (blog, newsletter, Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers), consider the needs of Your Audience. For example, if you have a travel blog, your readers (that’s your audience) are targeted to the topic of Travel.
Ask your audience questions! Send out a newsletter, reaching out to see what type of course they might be interested in. You can even offer it to your existing members for free or discounted when it comes out for taking a survey. If you already have a good idea of what you want to build, you can describe it to your audience and ask for feedback.
Now, if you don’t already have an audience, look more at the “Demographic” of people you would target, or even relate to.
So who was my target audience or online demographic for the course I built? Remember, earlier I said be specific. Here it is.
My target audience is college students, in the United States, ages 18 to 25, that take general chemistry 1 and 2. Simple right? But like I said, if you already have an audience amongst your online ventures, who are they? That might help you decide.
What Problems Have You Found That You Know How to Solve?
Like I said, the best online courses to create and sell are the ones that solve problems and help people. Therefore, if your course doesn’t do either of these things, you may not have a good online course idea.
Well, it seemed pretty obvious to me that there was a huge problem with a national exam not having some sort of practice test available. So, I felt like creating my online course would help people all over the country. And you know what? It did… and still does.
How Would You Market and Sell the Online Course You Created?
The best answer for this, would be to offer it to your online audience if you already have one. So send it through the newsletter, post it on Instagram, promote it on YouTube, pin it on Pinterest, blast it on Facebook, and all of the other platforms.
Now, I want to tell you right now, that a Facebook account with 200 people on it is not a sufficient audience. Honestly, in my personal opinion, if your audience is under 10,000 people, you need to work on growing your audience some more.
However, if you have a blog that gets 25,000 unique visitors every month, I would say that’s more than enough traffic to start plugging your online course.
Like I said before, I didn’t have an audience. So when I launched, I turned to Google Adwords and paid for clicks. Initially, that was my plan to see if it would even work. And if it did, what was the conversion rate? Well, it worked, and I got my conversion rate. I figured out all of that with less than $25 in Adwords.
My Click-Through-Rate (CTR) for my Targeted Search Phrases was ~5%
Then, my Conversion Rate for my Targeted Paid Traffic was ~4%
This simply means that 5% of the people that searched for my keyphrases, made it to my website. Each one of those people cost me around $0.36 per click to get to the online course I created.
Then of my total paid traffic, about 4% of those people actually purchased my online course. Those are actually really good numbers. My calculations allowed my to figure out that on average, I would make about 4 times what I spent on Google Adwords.
Organic Search Traffic is important though. To this day, search traffic is over 90% of my traffic, even MAXing out the adwords as much as I can. Organic search dominates, but it takes some time to get. So, I would say it’s important to learn how to rank on Google and get organic search traffic.
What is the Purpose and Goal of Having an Online Course?
If you immediately said, “The purpose and goal is to be rich!” Then you need to get your head out of that and into learning mode. Set your mentality on learning new things and helping other people with a problem that they’re having.
If you aren’t the type of person that enjoys helping others, you probably don’t need to be teaching anyone anything. Even if it’s online.
When I set out to make my online course, my goal was to provide an additional study method to students, that they didn’t have before. Some of the people that knew about my little project were trying to convince me to not have the solution videos for every question on my practice test.
Not only did I make sure that every question had a video showing how to approach and answer the question, but I made sure that it was user friendly and easy to use.
I made sure that the learner didn’t have to leave the question to see the video, but they also didn’t have to access the video until they wanted to. I also built it to make sure that their progress was saved exactly where they were at, just in case they had to stop, change computers, or their computer crashed.
I had a clear vision, with a solid goal. My purpose was to give students an awesome, full blown, useful study tool, for a small fee.
How Much Time and Money Are You Willing to Spend?
First of all, this is a very important question. It’s not free or easy to make a good online course. But how much you are willing to put into it, can really determine what online course you should create to sell on the internet.
For me, the answer was easy. I planned it in advance. I was going to build my online course on a $500 budget in about 200 hours. I decided that it could be done in under 12 weeks with my availability at the time.
This time and money budget was to cover everything. The domain, website, development, videos, learning management system platform… everything.
If you wanted to build a comprehensive online course in a highly competitive topic, you would need a lot more time and money. Also, if you don’t already have your own audience to market and cater to, it could require much more of your resources.
Do You Have a Better Idea of What Online Course to Create?
Finally, I want you to know that whatever your specialty is, there’s probably a market for it. You may have some competition, but there’s a market.
As of 2021, 98% of corporate learning is through online courses.
I wish all of you good luck in your online course designs. Additionally, I hope that at the very least, you’ve learned something here today.
I have a huge favor to ask of you. Please 🙂
If you have any questions related to creating online courses, please ask them in the comments below.
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