3 Great Places to Research Your Online Course Topic

By Andrew Wilson

Are you thinking about creating an online course to offer to your audience? The first and most crucial step is to decide on a topic. The topic choice determines all of the other decisions you’ll make as you plan your course, and it’s the single biggest factor determining whether you’ll see high enrollment or not.

The internet offers a wide variety of places to get ideas for your topic. Simple Google search and social media can help you find an excellent topic idea. But here are three great places for ideas you might not have considered.

1.         Feedly

Feedly is a news aggregator application that brings you blogs and articles. It takes the work out of searching for you by bringing stories you’re interested in straight to your feed. What sets Feedly apart is its ease of use; it brings you headlines that you can scan quickly to see what’s new.

You choose sources by simply clicking on an “add” icon and then mark the sources by priority. You can create categories and organize your feed to make it as efficient as possible. Checking your feed, you’ll see blog posts and news in your niche.

Feedly is available for various web browsers and mobile devices using iOS and Android.


2.         Quora Q&A Platform

A great way to get topic ideas is to consider questions your target audience asks. What are the things they always want to know from you? Social media is useful for seeing conversations and seeing what people are asking. But Q&A sites like Quora are even better. You can search for questions that users are asking directly. Find a good question and base a course on answering it.

You can also get an idea of how popular topics are. You can see which questions are asked most often on Quora. These high demand questions are good issues to tackle in your course. You can then read answers to get ideas on the kind of advice that’s given.


3.         Reddit

Reddit is a very active online community and message board with conversations on any and every niche under the sun. Users create “subreddits” for specific topics and questions. Like Quora, it provides a place where people can ask questions and other users can answer. You can search Reddit to find questions for topic ideas.

When you’re looking at these sources for ideas, here are a few things to consider:

  • Look for pressing problems that your target market is facing. Your course should aim to offer one unique way to solve the problem.
  • Try to consider length. Your online course should be about five to seven modules. Is this a question you can answer in that length?
  • Choose a topic that’s timely but also evergreen. If you teach something evergreen, you can run the course multiple times.
  • Try to choose a topic you know about through experience if possible (but remember that you can fill in gaps by researching or hiring a writer).

Make a big list of ideas and save the ones you don’t use this time for future courses.

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