How to Start Creating and Selling Online Courses

As you probably know, selling online courses is a popular way to teach and make a living. If you’re interested in creating your first online course and not sure where to start, this article serves as a general guide to help you get started.

Know yourself: What skills or knowledge do you have that you can teach?

This is arguably the most important thing in selling an online course. What are you an expert on? What skills do you have? These are important questions to ask yourself before getting started. This will give you a head start on a lot of things.
What if you don’t know something or you want to teach something that you might not be an expert on? There are people who were not an expert on something when they started, but slowly developed an interest in that topic, and researched their way into an expert. Their courses can also be successful. However, the journey can be much more challenging if you choose this path. It is similar to studying at the last minute for an exam. Some people can still get good results, but normally, people cannot.

Finding Your Niche: Market Research and Topic Selection

Before diving headfirst into content creation, it's crucial to validate your course idea. There could be many topics within the field of your expertise. For example, if you’re an expert software developer, there are front-end development courses, back-end development courses, full-stack, courses that focus on specific coding languages, and so on. How do you know which to go with?
Market research helps you understand if there's an audience for your course and what their specific needs are. Here's how to get started:
Identify Your Ideal Student
Who are you creating this course for? What are their demographics, interests, and what problems are they facing? Try conducting online surveys, joining relevant forums, or interacting with social media groups to find valuable insights into your target audience.

Competitive Analysis
Research existing courses on similar topics. Analyze their content structure, pricing strategies, and marketing approaches. This will help you identify gaps in the market and position your course competitively.

Market Demand
Is there a hungry audience waiting for your expertise? Industry reports, online trend searches, or keyword research can all help gauge the potential demand for your course topic.

Building a Strong Foundation: Researching Your Course Material

Once you've confirmed a viable course topic, it's time to solidify your subject matter expertise. Here are some research tips to ensure your course content is top-notch:

Stay on Top of Your Game
The online learning landscape is constantly evolving. Make sure your course content reflects the latest information in your field. Look for academic journals, industry publications, or attend relevant conferences to stay ahead of the curve. This can also give you a good sense on what courses to create next!

Content Depth
A deep understanding of your topic is vital. As mentioned, being an expert in the topic can help you a lot. Conduct thorough research on all aspects of your chosen theme. This will help you create comprehensive modules and informative lectures that truly engage your students.

Back up your content with trustworthy sources. Data, case studies, and expert opinions can significantly enhance the value and credibility of your course.
Remember, research is an ongoing process. As you develop your course, new information may emerge, and periodically updating your course should be something to consider.
In a nutshell, putting effort into preparations can build a good foundation for your online course journey, and more likely for you to yield good results for your online course. By following the guide and starting to take action, you'll be well on your way to creating a successful online course. The key here is to take action!
Not sure where to sell your course? Here’s a guide to help you with how to choose a platform to sell your online course!
Want to find out more ways to increase your online course sales? We also have an article for that.