What should I teach in my online course?
It’s hard to make the jump from “hey, I’m pretty interested in this subject, and good at this thing” to “you know, I’m going to teach that thing in an online course!”
But think about it: as a writer, you are probably already a born teacher. You share information. You transform people through your words. You introduce people to new worlds and new concepts. You awaken curiosity and whet the imagination. You yourself are a life-long learner.
Here are a few ways to determine which of your many passions would make a good subject for an online course. Keep in mind that this is only a first step. After this step of choosing a subject or two that you can and should share with the world, you need to make sure it will sell. You can find strategies for determining that in our course, Course Creation For Storytellers. In the meantime, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started.
-What am I known for?
-What do people come to me for help with?
Sometimes it’s hard to know what our “signature talent” is. An easy way to find out is to poll your friends. They’ll tell you which talents impress them in you. Also, think back- has anyone ever said to you, “wow, you’re really good at ____!” ? That’s a great sign. Otherwise, is there something that people come to you for help with? Most of us can think of a few examples. In my case, people come to me for help with creative and writing issues, mindset, interior design, podcasting, cooking, and photoshop. That’s a long, general list, and we’ll have to narrow and niche it down, but it’s a good start.
-What do I have in common with the people who gravitate towards me?
This is an important question. I don’t just mean which interests do you share, though that is something you should keep in mind. I mean, think about more mindset-related or lifestyle details ranging from the general to the ultra-specific such as, “we’re super busy and ambitious,” or “we’re single women in our 30’s who want a good quality of life on a budget,” or “we’re overworked executives who still believe that a creative outlet is important,” or “we’re recent empty nesters who want to explore the next chapter,” or “we’re newer writers who suffer from productivity and work-life balance issues,” or “We’re older dads who always wanted to learn to play Stairway to Heaven.” This will help you to determine the tone, format, and content of your course.
-What do I think I’m good at, and what do people tell me I’m good at?
Sometimes there’s a disconnect sometimes between what we think we’re good at, and what others think we’re good at. One of my friends was complaining to me the other day that people always comment on her talent at making impressive, unique cheese plates, when she’d rather be known for her sense of style. “Making a silly cheese board is easy! There are just a few simple principles to follow and you’re done. Putting together my outfits is hard,” she said. I had to point out that her extraordinary cheeseboards are an expression of her sense of style, too, and that people would love to learn these simple principles she’d mentioned. What a perfect, transformational subject for a mini-course! It could give people so much more confidence when it comes to hosting people at home or give them something unforgettable to bring to a party. In its own small way, it’s life-changing. When people point out something, that is a hint that it may be something that other people are searching for on Google. If you create your online course on this, the Google search may land on you.
Now that you’ve had a chance to read about some of the considerations in designing an online course, what are your goals? Take a sheet of paper and brainstorm. Which subjects might you teach? I would love to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to send me an email. And if this all sounds wonderful to you and you would like to use your unique creative and storytelling talents to craft a truly transformational online course, join me inside Course Creation for Storytellers.