What makes a great course topic and why is it important?
When a new online course kicks off, your starting point is often just a rough concept or idea. So how do you transform this idea into something bigger? A carefully thought course topic will set you up for success.
Choosing the course topic is an essential step in creating the right course for the right people. You have your passion; knowledge, skills, and experience that your audience is willing to pay for. It's time to look at it closer and put it in words.
Learn the process of choosing an online course topic in CreativeMindClass, a free tool used by top creators.
Not sure if the topic you have in mind for your online course is good? We'll try to make it easier for you.
We'll lead you through the process of finding the best topic for your online course. Not only from the perspective of profitability but also you'll end up loving the thing you've chosen. We believe that a secret to choosing a great online course topic is to find out what it is you have that makes you unique and special.
Really, it's that simple!
There is a bit of psychology and motivation involved in this subject so here is the pep talk we all need so much every now and then: You are unique and you have so much to bring to the party! So bring that out, and then let it be seen by others.
We believe that taking a soulful approach and listening to your inner voice is a recipe for success.
But let's first put things in the context. Choosing an online course topic is the first step in the online course creation process. It is followed by the research of the topic, planning the course description, setting your goals, and creating the content.
Choosing the Online Course Topic
Where to Start?
Defining a course topic should be a difficult task. Look at your everyday life. Most likely people already ask you for advice on certain topics or consider you an expert in some area.
What did you master recently?
Focus on your recent aha moments, your fresh skills, and your discoveries. Don't worry now about theories, details, and principles if you don't feel excited about them now, even if everyone else includes them in their classes.
Define things you enjoy doing
If you hate doing something don't choose it for a course topic.
Ask yourself what makes you most excited right now about your work.
It seems to be obvious but you won't believe how often people do something they don't like just because they did not acknowledge that fact in advance.
Calculate a Profit Potential
When you calculate the profit potential look at the problem you are solving. Your online course profit potential is high if you solve a problem people would pay for.
Are people already spending the money on things you are solving? That's a promising sign for your online course success.
Think about what's unique about you
Ask yourself what you bring to the party that is unique to you.
Try to forget about what you think people expect from you. There are so many influences that say you should do this, you should do that. Where you want to be is to hear your own natural voice, and connect to your own natural energy source. You have to locate it, and you locate it through stillness.
Find your true voice
It's the most essential piece of advice - find your true voice, your true self. There's a voice within you that makes you who you are. Your job is to locate it, and re-connect with it.
It's simple. Being still and listening to your body, helps you find that voice. It's there. You're connected to it. It is in the stillness that answers, that messages, impulses, can make themselves known.
Include the YOU
Is it self-discovery that makes you the most excited about your work right now? Or maybe you just realized that you feel very connected to nature? Include that thing in your online course topic.
Your positive energy will make others love your course.
If you're trying to be somebody else, you won't be happy with the results you get. It's not true for you. But when you find your voice, there's an ease to it.
Get back to your basic motivation
Why do you want to teach?
Is it the connection with others that motivates you most? Is it giving back to your creative community? Let that feeling guide you in choosing your class topic. Building a vibrant and connected community around your online courses will make other people's lives better.
BONUS: Don’t teach topics below your skill level
Teaching skills that you are not excited about is dull.
If you are a beginner teacher it’s fantastic to teach the basics, but if you are an experienced teacher don’t choose the basic topics to teach even if they "sell well".
Go for something that is intellectually challenging and exciting for you at the current moment. You can add the basic stuff later on but don’t make it your main focus.
How to test the course topic idea
- Set up a landing page. It will take you only a few hours and you can see who will sign up for your course.
- Presell your online course and check how well the topic you have chosen will do.
- Make a public post on your social media to see if your audience is enrolling.
- Use your mailing list to advertise your online course and get feedback.
Choosing a course topic is 80% of your teaching success
Starting is never easy. We procrastinate. We go to the fridge, open it, have a look, and come back with nothing (or a snack), looking at IG 10 times before starting a new task. That's normal.
It helps to divide tasks into smaller chunks and start with something easy. If you still struggle with choosing the online course topic, here you can find some examples of online course ideas.
Choosing a topic helps you start and complete a tangible and satisfying goal. After this, all other pieces will come together much easier.
🧚🏻♀️ Hands-on: Kickstart your Online Course Topic
🪄 Brainstorm - It's fun!
Start with a simple brainstorming technique that you know very well - Put down all your ideas quickly without judging them. You will get a nice list of class topics with your favorite topic among them.
🪄 Create a high-level course structure
Then make something that is tangible and real and you can complete it quickly! Sketch the high-level section structure for your class. Your class is going to have an introduction, right? Perfect, you can put down the Introduction! Will your students will need some materials? You can put down the Material Overview, etc, you get the idea.
🪄 Make it tangible
You can already put those sections as the lesson sections here. As your teaching space is not published yet, so you can play around a bit. Only you can see the lesson structure now, and you can always change it in the future!
Upload some of your works, type some random text, use videos you have on your mobile - get creative and have fun. It can be anything - all to see your class starting getting shaping out beautifully and becoming a reality.
Here is a sample of the structure of lessons you can put together in 5 minutes. Add a sample class, then some lessons and sections. That's it!
Add the lessons structure to your teaching space.
Research your topic
Research and planning are an important part of online course creation. Well-conducted research will help you get ideas for your online course subtopics.
Use the power of Google
A good thing to do after defining your online course topic is to cross-check with the actual demand. You can start by typing your topic in Google and check what pops up. That's what people search online and ask Google regarding your course topic.
You might have noticed that on Google there is a section "people also ask" with questions people commonly search on Google. It's quite insightful and it might direct your further steps. There are free online tools to group those questions together based on a keyword like AnswerThePublic.
Keep things organized
Anyone who offers a paid course wants to organize the information well.
Use your creativity to imagine what you would like to learn in a perfect lesson and write your plan on a piece of paper or in your favorite app. Internally we like to plan things in Craft, Evernote or when we need a tool for mind mapping we use Milanote. But your mobile notes will also do.
Study your competitors
The fastest way of learning your area and to come ideas with subtopics for your online course is to check on your competitors. Remember to use it only as a base for your research and you can add your expertise, creativity, and ideas on top of it. We highly disadvise blind copying someone's online course. It's simply not classy or as Jim from "The Office" says "It's De classé."
By studying your competitors you can update your ideas and brainstorm the subtopics you might want to include in your online course. What is more, by looking at the market, you can start getting an idea of how to price your online course and what other creators charge for online courses.
Whenever using someone's resources, add external links to your posts. Backlinking is a common practice online so reaching out to the article author and getting backlinked would be also beneficial for your online course SEO.
Keep your information up to date
Being an expert in your topic will make your feel confident about your online course. You might be already an expert in your subject and maybe even have some information collected or prepared assets for your students.
Check if there is some new information available out there. So you can update your knowledge with new, add more relevant examples and most recent discoveries and such.
Plan your Online Course Structure
After researching you will have many ideas for your online course subtopics. Your topic together with subtopics creates an online course outline/structure.
At CreativeMindClass we offer an easy-to-follow template for an online course structure. All you need to do is fill it in with your content.
Set Your Goals
To create a great course it's good to define what you want your students to learn.
Defining the learning milestones will help you communicate to your students about what they can achieve with your online course. It's a part of the planning phase, and it can be done on a high level. Write it down in your notes.
- List your goals on your sales page. You can use it in your online course marketing and repeat it like a mantra to your audience.
In this course I want to focus on: 1. ... , 2. ... , 3. ... .
- Communicate your goals in the course description and mention them in the video introduction.
In this course you will learn: 1. ... , 2. ... , 3. ... .
Create your content
How long does it take to create an online course?
The process of your course creation will go smoothly if you divide it into smaller chunks and plan it in your calendar.
The time you'll spend on an online course creation depends on the value you want to provide to your audience.
If you want to create a full-length course here is a rough time estimation:
- Pre-production (1-2 weeks)
- Content writing (2-4 weeks)
- Video recording (2-4 weeks)
- Post-production (1-2 weeks)
If you are a busy creator you might want to start with something less time-consuming. You can launch a mini course. A mini course can be described as a short, online video course that you can sell for an attractive price. Usually, the time duration is from 30 to 90 minutes and it does not include printables therefore you can create it much faster than a full-length course.
You can create and launch a mini course on CreativeMindClass.
- Include small wins in your online course: They give the audience a sense of accomplishment and keep students excited to learn more.
- Build your content on concepts your audience knows: This way the new knowledge will blend with what they already know.
- Add active learning: Your audience needs to do something to learn. Add some homework or hands-on exercises on top of the video of yourself talking to a camera your screen recordings.
- Include printables: People get excited about things they can print out. It can be downloadable files with a planner, a calendar, a table to fill in, and some theoretical information grouped together (like a list of useful terms or a wheel of colors in the art world).
Including printables in your online course adds a personal touch and alows you to cross the "digital non-digital bridge" as in a way you'll be present in your student house or a working space.
- Trigger a discussion: Initiating a dialog is another way of keeping your audience active. You can increase your students' engagement by building an online community around your course.
Here are some materials you create for your online course:
- Screen recordings
- Blog posts
How do I choose a topic for an online course? ›
- 1) Decide On Your Pricing.
- 2) Brainstorm Your Initial Ideas.
- 3) Niche It Down. Example #1: Example #2:
- 4) Research & Validate Your Idea. 1) Research what's already out there. 2) Gain insight to your audience. ...
- 5) Choose Your Online Course Topic. Finalize Your Course Topic.
- Think about your existing experience and skill set.
- Consider prospective careers and employment opportunities.
- Think about what subjects interest you.
- Talk to your employer, colleagues or peers about which courses are relevant and may improve your career.
- EdX – Best Overall.
- FutureLearn – Best for Accelerated Courses.
- Coursera – Best for Credentials.
- Udacity – Best for IT Courses.
- Codecademy – Best for Coding Courses.
- HubSpot Academy – Best for Marketing Courses.
- Udemy – Best for Business Courses.
- LinkedIn Learning – Best for Creative Courses.
Course Topics are a way to group courses by common subject. Topics are similar to course Majors, but provide additional features: Administrators can set up a hierarchy of topics, creating a drill-down menu experience. A course can be tagged to multiple topics, but only one major.What are the 3 steps in choosing a topic? ›
We've compiled the following steps to guide you through choosing a topic.
- STEP 1: QUESTION. ...
- STEP 2: BRAINSTORMING. ...
- Step 3: Choosing a Topic.
- Brainstorm Some Research Topics. The first and probably the easiest step is to have a brainstorming session to see what topic is best for you. ...
- Select a Topic. ...
- Get Super Specific. ...
- Define Your Topic as a Question. ...
- Research Your Topic More / Create an Outline.
For starters, I have all the skills and experience listed in the job description, and I'm confident that I can make an immediate impact on your company. It's not just my background in leading successful projects for Fortune 500 companies, but also my passion for the industry that drives me to succeed.Why do you choose this course? ›
Discuss your career goals
Discuss your career aspirations, and talk about how the course aligns with your career goals. Be specific when discussing how you hope this specific course prepares you for your career. Share specific career milestones you hope to achieve, and discuss why you chose this specific career.
Right course selection can help students fit in their interests and learn more about a field they're genuinely interested in studying. It is extremely important for students to understand their passion and have clarity about the course they are willing to pursue.Which course is trending now? ›
- Full Stack Developer.
- Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning.
- Cloud Computing.
- Digital Marketing.
Which online course is best for beginners? ›
- AI For Everyone. DeepLearning.AI. ...
- What is Data Science? ...
- Hacking Exercise For Health. ...
- Python for Data Science, AI & Development. ...
- Stanford Introduction to Food and Health. ...
- First Step Korean. ...
- Fundamentals of Graphic Design. ...
- Design Thinking for Innovation.
Incorporate mystery into your lessons – Learning is the most fun when it's surprising. Don't just tell them information; cloak it in to mystery. Be crazy, but show you care – Let loose; laugh; make fun of yourself. Don't worry about sacrificing your authority.What is a topic or course of study? ›
The term Course of Study refers to an integrated course prepared for academic studies. It is a series of courses that every student should complete before they progress to the next level of education. A usual course of study in high school involves classes in the core subject area.How do I choose a topic for udemy? ›
To increase your chances of being successful on Udemy, you want to spend some time really thinking through your course topic. Start with a topic that you're knowledgeable in and passionate about. Then, think about the audience you will be teaching and what they are interested in learning.What is important to consider when choosing a topic? ›
Appeal, Appropriateness, and Ability. These are three main factors to consider when choosing a topic. All three factors are related to one another, but by systematically focusing on each one you will help address the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen topic.What is the most important tip to consider in choosing a topic? ›
Apart from your interest it is also a good idea to think that the topic you have chosen is one that interests students in your class. Having interest in the topic you are studying is important but the topic should be still objective, directional and researchable.What is the first consideration in choosing a topic? ›
1. Choose a subject area that interests you and that will interest the readers. Try to avoid topics that are overly used such as abortion or gun control. It is important to choose a topic that is academic in nature - something that people will be doing research on.What are the 6 factors which influence the choice of topic? ›
- Purpose (your course / specialisation / research project / target journal)
- Your guide.
- Your interest.
- Available resources.
- Your long term goals.
- Fitting the topic to research methodology.
- Literature review.
- Scope for further research – of past research.
- Step 1: Identify and Develop Your Topic. ...
- Step 2: Find Background Information. ...
- Step 3: Use Catalogs to Find Books and Media. ...
- Step 4: Use Databases to Find Journal Articles. ...
- Step 5: Find Internet Resources. ...
- Step 6: Evaluate What You Find. ...
- Step 7: Cite What You Find Using a Standard Format.
- Pharmacology. For a lucrative career helping people, pharmacology is at the top of the list for in-demand degrees. ...
- Computer Science. ...
- Health Science. ...
- Information Technology. ...
- Engineering. ...
- Business Administration. ...
- Finance. ...
- Human Resources.
What courses are trending 2022? ›
Computer courses, digital marketing courses, business analytics, and software courses are some of the top trending courses in 2022.Which course is useful in future? ›
|Engineering ( Aeronautical / Aerospace / Nuclear )||IIST , IIT Madras , IIT Bombay , DTU , etc.|
|Medicine||AIIMS , CMC , JIPMER , etc.|
|Biotechnology||IISc , IITs, VIT , DTU , etc.|
|Management ( Financial / Marketing )||IIMs ( 5- year IPM ) , SSCBS Delhi , etc.|
- Treat an online course like a “real” course. ...
- Hold yourself accountable. ...
- Practice time management. ...
- Create a regular study space and stay organized. ...
- Eliminate distractions. ...
- Figure Out How You Learn Best. ...
- Actively participate. ...
- Leverage your network.
- Product Management Certification Program.
- Business Analytics Certification Program. ...
- PG Certification in Full Stack Development with Job Guarantee* ...
- Certified Financial Planner Certificate Course.
- Certificate Course in Finance Accounting and Taxation. ...
- Advanced Certificate Program in Data Science.
Initiate Debates, Quizzes, or Discussions
Allow your participants to talk about their opinion about the topic being taught in the session. Ask your students to prepare for every class and then promote them to actively participate in the class.
- Online Learning Offers Convenience And Flexibility. ...
- High-Quality Student-Tutor Interactions. ...
- More Students Can Enroll At Once. ...
- Web-Based Learning Will Grow In Popularity. ...
- Better Learning Experience. ...
- More Cost-Effective. ...
- Retention Rates Are Higher.
A research topic is a subject or issue that a researcher is interested in when conducting research. A well-defined research topic is the starting point of every successful research project. Choosing a topic is an ongoing process by which researchers explore, define, and refine their ideas.What is main course of study? ›
Also called core curriculum, core course of study refers to a series or selection of courses that all students are required to complete before they can move on to the next level in their education or earn a diploma.Is course the same as topic? ›
A course is a class that you sign up for. It covers a specific topic and lasts for a specific period of time (one semester, for example) — "Art of the High Renaissance," or "Introduction to Photography". A subject is a general field of study — art history, chemistry, European history, etc.Can Udemy land you a job? ›
Can a Udemy course get you a job? No, taking a Udemy course cannot get you a job in most companies. However, the skills you get from Udemy courses can add value to your resume if they allow you to get hands-on experience.
Are Udemy courses respected? ›
Udemy is not considered an accredited institution, which means courses will not count toward college credit or continuing education units (CEUs). However, many of the courses are worthwhile and can help you develop new skills or improve skills you already possess.Do professionals use Udemy? ›
In short, Udemy is good for: Professionals looking to gain skills. People looking for a career change. Students looking to complement their studies.How do you plan content for an online course? ›
- Define your audience.
- Choose your course topic.
- Build your course outline.
- Structure your lesson plans.
- Design your course storyboard.
- What do I know a lot about? First, be sure to pick something you're knowledgeable about. ...
- What am I passionate about? Second, the topic should be something you have a passion for. ...
- Do I have (or can I get) the necessary equipment? ...
- Is there a demand?
Online learning is more reliant on materials (text, video, exercises) than direct personal interaction (discussion, presentation). To be effective, it requires clear communication and instruction from teachers as there is less opportunity for refinement through interaction.How do you create content for a course? ›
- Consider your goals in teaching this course. Decide what you would like your students to accomplish from taking this course. ...
- Develop topics and subtopics, then narrow down further. ...
- Structure the course with what you have finalized. ...
- Plan your content types.
- Find a Quiet Space for Attending Class. ...
- Create an Effective Work Space for Studying. ...
- Make sure your space is comfortable. ...
- Organize Your Files. ...
- Schedule Your Time. ...
- Stay Organized Online. ...
- Establish a Routine. ...
- Create a Support System.
- Technology. With the new and emerging technology trends, billions of people love reading tech blogs. ...
- Health and Wellness. ...
- Career Advice. ...
- Education. ...
- Food. ...
- 6. Entertainment. ...
- Gaming. ...
- Finance and Investment.
- Identify your interests. Knowing your interests is a crucial step. ...
- Identify problems you can solve. ...
- Focus on individuals. ...
- Experiment. ...
- Gather feedback. ...
- Forget about making money at the beginning. ...
- Look at competitors. ...
- Find your unique selling point.