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If you’re running a successful business, chances are, you have some sort of skill set. After all, you’ve built your business on something! And there’s someone out there who wants to learn those skills from you. Teaching that someone your acquired skills can actually be a profitable online business.

This is why online courses have become increasingly popular (don’t act for a second like you’ve never heard the words online course before because you’re lying 😇), and why it's a great idea for you to create online courses for your business.

Why should you create an online course?

Well, first of all, once you go through the work (and yes, it’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it) of creating, launching, and promoting your course, it turns into a profitable online business with passive income. This means your course will be making you money while you’re sleeping, while you’re on vacation, while you’re spending time with your friends and family, and so on and so forth.

have a profitable online business when you create online courses that teach your skills

Online courses reap some serious benefits in the long run. Sure, it’s a huge time investment up front, but boy is it worth it when you wake up in the morning to find you have made a couple thousand bucks from your profitable online business.

Furthermore, online courses allow you to help an unlimited amount of people. One reason these are such a great product to create is that you don’t have to have a limit to the number of people you accept in your course.

(You absolutely are welcome to do this to create exclusivity and a sense of urgency, but it’s not a requirement.)

You can't sit with us gif about not limiting your online course audience

With nearly anything else you do (especially service-wise), there’s a limited number of people you can help. With coaching or consulting, you’re limited to the number of hours you’re willing to work in a day. When working with clients, you can only have so many until you’re maxed out.

Sure, you can grow your business and begin to hire people to help you (but think of the overhead), or you could create online courses that automatically help an unlimited amount of people, without having to pay for help.

And last, but not least, courses are lengthy informational products that are filled to the brim with valuable content. Because of this, they have an extremely high price point, which is why online courses are some of the most profitable online businesses. If you’re creating a really basic course, maybe you’ll sell it for $97 or $197. But if you’re creating a seriously in-depth step-by-step of how someone can do something that can bring them a considerable amount of income, that is a course worth $497-997+. Per person. If you have 50 people buy your $500 course, you’ve already made $25,000.

That’s crazy.

So yes. You do want to create an online course. Now the next dilemma is determining how to find your most profitable online course idea.

What makes an online course profitable?

First, your e-course should be niched down to a very specific audience. In order to have a successful course, you can’t try to sell to everyone. And that’s true for any business model.

Fact gif, you need to find an online course topic specific to your knowledge base

So for instance, creating a course for blogging success has too wide of a scope. There are so many different types of bloggers, and your steps to success can’t possibly work for all of them. Instead, you should niche down to mommy bloggers, health food bloggers, fashion bloggers, etc.

Second, your online course should provide real answers to getting real results. The best course teaches step-by-step how to do ABC in order to achieve XYZ.

And finally, your online course should address a pain point or problem that your target audience faces and tell them how to solve it. No one is going to buy your course if it isn’t solving a problem they’re currently facing. Your customer is only going to pay money if you prove to them that this is going to make their jobs or lives easier.

So let’s get to the main event, the reason you’re all here.

How do you find the most profitable online course topic?

The big question that we’re all trying to find the answer to. But really, there are so many different ways to do industry research to determine what exactly your customer is looking for and what they’re willing to spend money to learn how to do.

Ready to dive in?

1. Look around online.

Yes, obviously, but where?

Where do I even begin?! There are so many different places to begin your research on the internet. Here are just a few to get you started.

Comments on Blog Posts

Both yours and others in your industry. Read through all of your blog post comments to see if there is a pattern of questions. Do the same with other blogs in your industry. What are people asking? Perhaps the answer to those questions could be the perfect online course topic.

Facebook Groups

Are you in any Facebook groups for your industry or niche? If not, you should be! They’re great to network with other like-minded business owners, but they’re also incredible for industry research. Pay attention to what people are asking or the information people are looking for. Maybe you can create an online course that would solve their problems perfectly.

Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are hour-long chats surrounded by a topic that use a single chat hashtag and are typically hosted by a thought leader in your industry. There are probably a handful of Twitter chats in your niche (use these tools to find one) that you could join to chat with people in your industry. Pay attention to the questions asked during the chat, the responses made by participants, and whether or not any of this information could be useful to your course.

Forums

Are there any major forums in your industry? If so, you should pay some serious attention to these! People are literally going to forums to ask questions! Look at what the most asked questions are to help your research.

Here’s an example of using a forum like Reddit to find questions about your topic (like eating gluten-free).

how to create an online course by researching pain points in your industry

Quora

Another great site that people are literally going to in order to ask questions is Quora. Search for your niche on the website to gather more topic inspiration.

Udemy

What are some similar courses that have already been created? Maybe you can gather inspiration from already-popular course topics to incorporate into your own course.

Your Competition

Similarly, what blog posts and courses have your competitors created that seem to do well? People are obviously interested in that. Maybe you could create a similar course that your audience would rather buy from you. (Hey, you can’t help it if you’re awesome. 😉)

Google Keyword Planner

Using Google’s Keyword Planner is a great way to figure out what people are searching for online. Type in basic keywords in your niche and see which long-tail keywords Google shows to have the highest search volume.

2. Reflect on your most popular content.

Take a trip down memory lane through all of your old blog posts. Go to Google Analytics or Jetpack and pinpoint your top 5 most popular blog posts of all time.

These posts are obviously what your target audience is interested in. Perhaps they can turn into something more?

Read back through each of these blog posts to determine if you could flesh out your content even more to turn it into a full-blown course. Maybe you can mesh a few of the blog posts together. Maybe your blog post touched on the surface of a topic, but now you want to create a course to really dive in deeper.

Looking back through your own most popular content can be one of the most effective ways to finding your most profitable online course topic.

3. Tell your own journey or success story.

How did you get where you are today? If you have an extremely profitable online business, or if you’ve managed to ditch your corporate 9-5 for your dream business, or if you’re making a seriously awesome amount of money in your field, people want to know how you got there.

Turn your own success story into a successful online course. Be very transparent about yourself and your story. Let people know exactly where you started, and exactly what steps you had to take to make it to this point.

It’s so important to share your backstory and be vulnerable with your people. No one would care about Superman if there wasn’t kryptonite. Every great superhero has a powerful backstory, and learning how to share this story is vital to your success!

People love a good happy ending and success story. And you’re living proof that the results you’re talking about in your course are tangible results that people can actually achieve.

[Read also: 7 Best Ways Stay-at-Home Moms Can Make Money Blogging]

4. Teach your skills.

Every business and industry is different, and every business and industry requires a different set of skills to be successful. If you’re in a more creative or technical industry, creating a course where you teach your target audience your skillset might be most profitable for you.

This type of course could work for a number of different skills, but a few popular ideas include hand lettering, coding, and graphic design.

If you have a specific skillset that you either taught yourself, took a course on, or went to school for, then you have valuable knowledge that you could put into your own course. In addition, if you create a product and you often hear people asking how you made it or asking if you could teach them, that’s a great sign you’re onto a profitable online course topic.

5. Create a reader survey.

This is one of my favorite ways to do research to find your course topic. Why not go directly to the source and find out what your readers would actually be interested in buying from you? This is the perfect solution to all of your problems.

Using a tool like Typeform, put together a survey to send out to your readers via email, on social media, and/or on your blog.

Not sure what to ask? Here’s a great list of sample questions to get you started:

  • Out of [top 5 blog posts], which has been most useful to you?
  • Out of [content categories], which do you need the most help with?
  • How likely are you to buy an informational product from a business?
  • What is your favorite type of informational product (i.e., ebook, course, email course, workbook, etc.)?
  • What problem are you having right now in [niche or industry] that you need help with?
  • Would you be interested in buying an online course that solved this particular problem for you?
  • Have you bought an online course before?
    • If yes, what made you go for the purchase? If no, what has stopped you?

Once you’ve created your survey, you want to send it out to everyone you possibly can (who reads your stuff and is familiar with your business).

Send it to your email list. Share it on social media. Consider boosting the post on Facebook only to people who like your Page. Create a pop-up on your blog asking visitors to fill out your reader survey.

Take a look through your results to see if their answers create a pattern and give you an idea for a course topic people are actually interested in buying.

For example, if someone says “yes,” they would be interested in buying a course that solved their problem, you want to pay attention to that entry. That is someone who has suffered enough and is ready to spend the money necessary to solve their problems. You want to create a course for that person.

If you’re seeing multiple responses with the same problem, that’s also a great sign it’s going to be a profitable course topic.

Creating an online course is a great idea for nearly any business. You can continue to sell your regular products and services, but now you’ve got an unbelievable informational product that can generate income while you focus on the rest of your business. When you take the time and do the research to find the most profitable online course topic for your business and industry, you’re setting yourself up for a high-revenue launch and a successful product.

I wanted to write this post because it’s a question I often hear: “Kevin, how do you plan out a profitable course topic without wasting any time or money?”

And I thought, well, I could give some tips, ideas, insights, but why not give you the EXACT blueprint I use in my own proftable online business? And don’t forget to grab the cheat sheet right now because you’re ready to take action!

It’s time to sit down and plan out your big course with this incredibly valuable cheat sheet. I walk you through step-by-step so you won’t miss a beat—plus, I’ve added a few extra tips and tricks that I haven’t talked about in this post. 😉

Just click the image below and get it now!

 

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