Connect with us


Mike Hunder: How to Choose a Profitable Online Course Idea



As the online coaching market gets bigger and bigger, more and more people are creating courses on all sorts of topics: ‘how to ditch your landlord’, ‘how to take better pictures’, ‘excel for small business owners’, among others. In fact, Gordon Ramsey proved that you can create an online course on just about any topic and make a living. He teaches cooking online! Sounds exciting, right?

But many people are still being held back from teaching online because they do not have a clear idea of what to teach, or how to translate their expertise into a profitable online course topic. Let me walk you through the steps on how to come up with a profitable online course idea:

Begin with your area of experience or interest

If you’re a trainer, a ‘subject-matter’ expert or an experienced professional, you can transform your existing knowledge into an online course idea. Chances are that you have heard comments from your existing audience on the kind of ideas that would create a real impact on them. If you’re an entrepreneur, you can turn your business processes and systems into an online curriculum to help newbie entrepreneurs shorten their learning curve. And if you have passed through some painful experience, you can turn this into a course idea to help others achieve results quicker and with less pain.

What are people asking you for advice on?

Again, you can generate course ideas from things people are asking you for advice on. I read a line about two friends who were colleagues in a previous job. People were always asking them for help on PowerPoint presentations. One day, they said: “If we are already helping people with PowerPoint problems and questions, we may as well pick this as a course topic”. Together, they created their successful PowerPoint online course. So what are people asking you for advice on – customer service, sales, relationship issues, tech help, investments, personal finance, or internal control? You can turn it into an online course topic.

Write down all your course ideas, and wait

Next, write down all the course ideas you have generated from the above steps – from your interest, your passion, your expertise, your business experience or personal painful experience and so on. Then wait! Waiting means not rushing into creating a course after writing down your course ideas, but really taking some time to reflect on the ideas. Wait for a few days or week(s) to see which ideas really stick with you. Then narrow your options down to one to two topics. Ensure you pick a course topic that clearly resonates with you.

Find your target market and their needs

Now, find your target audience and what they want. To do this, you can visit the online communities and social media space where they peg. Then pay attention to what they say; the exact phrase used in their complaints, their concerns, and their hopes. Also, look at posts relating to your subject area and read the comments. Then compile a list of their pain points and how you can help.

Tweak course idea, to suit your audience needs

With a good sense of your audiences’ concerns and what they want, tweak your course topic so it represents a strong alignment with the results that they seek. For example, instead of an initial course topic, “How to build your business website in 2 weeks”, you could tweak this to, “How to build your business website for non-techies, in 2 weeks” – following concerns from your ideal audience about ‘techy stuff’.

Validate your course idea

Now that you’ve gotten a topic, the final step is to test that it is profitable. By this, you create a freebie with a lead magnet – like an ebook or PDF – that would give your audience a way to solve their problem. This will allow you to see if your audience is willing to give you something in exchange for your expertise. In this case, their email addresses are your tool to get your foot in the door!

Now that you’ve done this, you now have a topic that not only resonates with you, but is also very useful to your ideal audience, and finally, profitable!

For additional reading, request “Choose Your Profitable Course Idea: A Workbook” from my website:,

Mike Hunder, a former executive in corporate Nigeria turned online business coach, is CEO Mikehunder Productiverhabits – a foremost online coaching skills firm based in Lagos. He helps experienced professionals turn the experience they already have, into a coaching business online. Get this FREE, “How to start a coaching business online at: Email: [email protected] / Website:

Star Features