In today’s digital world, people have grown accustomed to pulling up an online video when they need to learn how to do something.
And with the rising costs of higher education and declining rates of economic support for pursuing college degrees, people are more often turning to online courses as an affordable alternative.
To meet this demand, more people are contributing to the growing online course industry by turning their wealth of knowledge and expertise into accessible, engaging, and economical sources of virtual education.
Have you always wanted to share your specialized experience with more people but don’t know where to start?
Explore the hot, trending topics
Do your research by exploring the most popular course topics, and consider which of these aligns with your own skill set.
It’s also a good idea to consider up-and-coming topics that show signs of upward mobility. Being on the cusp of a rising trend can be risky, but it can also reap major rewards over the long term.
You want to make sure that people are willing to pay for a course on a certain topic, but you also need to leverage your own niche topic so it stands out from the crowd.
Draw from your strengths and social networks
Take some time to carefully think about your individual skills and strengths related to knowledge, practical applications, or artistic abilities.
Do you find people asking for your advice or expertise in a certain area, like proofreading a letter to the editor or lending suggestions for decorating someone’s new apartment? This is evidence that people value your input on a particular topic.
Once you narrow down the possible topics for your online course, conduct some basic market research with your social networks (online, offline, or both!).
Ask friends, family, coworkers, and even your social media connections about their feelings on your topic, the challenges they have, and how solving those challenges would help them.
This information will be vital in marketing your course and convincing prospective customers that your course will support their goals.
Prepare, pilot, and pitch!
Begin preparing your online course gradually by starting with your technology of choice.
How familiar are you with the technology you want to utilize? Whether your tech includes videography, editing, music, or other visual effects, you’ll want to refine your skills to ensure crisp, effective delivery.
In some cases, a small upfront investment in devices or skill development for creating impactful video content will reap major rewards in your online course profits.
Next, start piloting your course with a small number of participants, gauge their feedback, and incorporate revisions to improve upon any gaps or flaws.
Finally, be sure to invest adequate time and energy into pitching your course outline to key audiences. For example, if you’re creating a course on character-themed baking, embed yourself in relevant online cooking communities to better reach audiences who will be the most interested in your product.
The bottom line
Everyone’s an expert in something — all you have to do is determine what that is, research the market, and curate your course so you can share your knowledge and skills with the world.