How to Know if Your Online Course Idea Will be Profitable7 minute read
Do you have an idea for an online course, but you are unsure whether it will sell?
Before investing time and money into producing the content for your online course, you should do your best to ensure that people are actually going to buy your program and that there is demand for your online course idea.
This is called validating an online course idea, and it is an extremely important step in your course creation journey.
In today's article, we will share our tips on how to validate your free or paid course topic and how to know if your course idea will be profitable.
The main ingredient of a successful course is a high-demand topic. If a lot of people are interested in learning the skill that you teach, you will have greater success with your online course.
If you are still struggling with finding the right idea or topic for your course, check out this article from our blog, which includes our list of profitable online course ideas: How to Come Up With an Online Course Topic [+ 40 Profitable Online Course Ideas]
The best way to validate an excellent course idea is by conducting market research. Market research doesn't have to be a complicated process. It can be as simple as searching your course topic on Google or asking people from your target audience whether they are interested.
Check out this article from our blog to learn more about market research: Why You Should Do Market Research Before Starting an Online Course Business + How to Do it
How to know if your online course idea is profitable
Let's see what are a few actions you can do today to validate your online course ideas, conduct market research and find out whether your online courses will be profitable or not.
#1: Search on Google
This might be an obvious step for many online course creators. However, a simple Google search can help you gather important insights about the validity of your online course topic in minutes!
There is much information you can gather from searching your online course idea on Google. First of all, you get to see the level of competition in your niche. Competition is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to selling online courses, and we will cover more about how to handle competition later in this article.
Searching on Google can also help you understand the level of demand for your course topic. How many people are interested in learning this skill? You can assess this by simply seeing how many courses, articles, resources, communities (etc...) exist around your topic.
You can go deeper and check online forums, communities or Facebook groups to see the level of understanding that people have around your topic.
Are people confused about specific subtopics? Are they actively looking for guidance? Are there enough resources out there that cover your same topic?
Make sure you are aware of the most prominent resources or online communities that exist around your topic, and visit them regularly to understand people's needs and demands. For example, if you visit a community, you might notice that members tend to ask the same question over time: this might give you an idea of a sub-topic to stress in your online course and what people are generally confused about.
#2: Ask people directly
Another simple way to understand if your course idea will sell is to simply ask people and collect feedback.
If you already have an audience, following or email list, you can share a poll or simply contact your audience to ask whether or not they would be interested in joining your online course.
Here are a few ideas of how you can do this:
- Simply have a conversation with friends and family about your next course idea (this should not be your only method of validating a course idea because friends and family tend to support you no matter what)
- Find people online who are struggling with learning your course topic or are in a relevant community and contact them.
- Send an email to your mailing list with a poll
- Ask your followers on social media sites
- Join communities centered around your course topic idea and post a message there
When you are asking for feedback, it can help to explain your course idea in detail and cover the main topics you will include in your course, together with specifying the result that future students will gain from joining your course.
What's great about contacting people individually is that you also make contacts for your future sales. Not only do you get valuable feedback and insights about the market demand for your topic, but you also get to build a relationship with future potential customers.
People who want to buy an online course are also looking for personalized guidance and the ability to ask for help when needed. By contacting prospects directly, you are letting them know that you are available for them, and they can reach you with their questions.
#3: Check for competition
Did you Google your online course idea and see that other people are selling courses around the same topic ideas?
Many first-time course creators get discouraged when they see that there are a large number of competitors in their niche.
While a high level of competition can make things harder in terms of marketing, it also has benefits that creators frequently fail to recognize.
Competition proves that your online course idea has demand!
If there are a lot of online courses already in your industry, this means that there are many people interested in learning this new skill that you are teaching.
Competition is significantly less threatening when it comes to online courses. Each online course is unique, even if they cover the same exact topics. Teaching style, course content and one-on-one support with the course creator make each online course different than the others.
So if you see that there is a lot of competition in your niche, you should not be discouraged. Instead, try to make your online course better than the competition by offering a better learning experience and filling in potential knowledge gaps.
Check out this article from our blog to learn more about beating your competitors: 8 Powerful Ways to Beat Your Competition When Selling an Online Course
#3: Do keyword research
Keyword research means looking out for trends and terms people search on the internet, and this practice can help you better understand what your target audience is looking for and validate your online course idea.
There are many tools out there dedicated to keyword research that you can use to better understand if your online course will sell.
Software and tools like Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, and Google Trends are great ways to explore the most popular keywords that your target audience looks for in your industry and understand the latest trends in online courses.
Keyword research can also help check out your competitors, understand how much interest there is for a specific keyword, and get new ideas about topics and sub-topics you might not have considered yet.
#4: Refine the result of your course
Another factor that will impact the success of your course is the result you provide. What kind of result or transformation does your course offer its students? What will they learn upon completion of your course?
You might have a great online course idea, but if you do not communicate the result well enough, your course sales might not be as good as expected.
The result of your online course answers the question: "why should anyone buy it?"
Whether your ideal customers want to learn a new recipe, lead a healthier lifestyle, become experts in cryptocurrencies, or make more money, you need to make sure that you are clearly communicating what kind of result your course is going to provide.
If you combine this with a great marketing strategy (we will talk more about this later) and thorough market research to validate your idea, you will have better chances of creating a successful online course.
Learn more about this here: The Most Important Thing You Need to Know When Selling an Online Course - Build it Around a Result
#5: Come up with a marketing plan
Do you already know how you are going to promote your online course?
You should have an idea of what kind of marketing strategies you will use before you launch your online course.
You could create the best online course in the world, but it will not sell itself. Creating a marketing plan can help you get a better idea of the number of sales you will get and understand your target market at a deeper level.
How will you promote your course? Will you create free content on social media or choose paid advertising? How much money can you invest to market your course?
We have written detailed articles about promoting courses for all creator types. Check them out below to come up with a marketing plan that works for you:
- A Complete Guide on How to Promote Your Online Course and Boost Sales
- 5 Tips to Grow Your Business With Content Creation and Build an Audience Around Your Online Course
- Get Your First $100k Without Paid Ads - How to Grow Your Online Course Business Organically
#6: Run a beta-launch
Another way to know if your course will succeed is to run a beta launch.
This strategy is known by many names: pre-sale, pre-launch, beta-launch, beta-sale and so on... but the concept is generally the same.
With a beta launch, you are essentially letting students inside your course or letting people purchase your course before it is 100% finished. You can decide to simply create a sales page and let people purchase the course but grant them access at a later date: this is most commonly known as pre-selling an online course.
Check out this article from our blog to learn all about how to pre-sell an online course: How to Pre-Sell Your Online Course and Profit Before the Launch
Another option is to offer access to your online course to a selected group of people with the purpose of obtaining your first feedback. This is mostly referred to as beta-launching, and here, your first students actually get immediate access to your content, even if it might not be 100% finished.
In this case, you can offer your course at a lower price or even let your beta students in for free in exchange for helpful feedback and potentially some early testimonials.
How to turn your course idea into reality with Heights Platform
Now that you validated your topic and found a profitable course idea, you know that you came up with a great topic idea that people will buy. All you need now is an online course platform to make this a reality and start creating your program.
Heights Platform lets you create online courses, membership sites, and sell digital products. You can set up a private online community for your students and even build your entire course business website using Heights Platform.
If you want to validate your online course idea and apply the information of this article, Heights Platform also has features that allow creators to pre-sell their courses and try out different launch strategies.
Start your online business with Heights Platform. Create a free account today!Create Your Online Course Today