Lesson 1: 5 Tips For Choosing An Online Course Subject

'Lesson 1: 5 Tips For Choosing An Online Course Subject' by Tony de Bree


E-learning and online course development are booming since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. I use online courses with different instructional designs myself on a daily basis to ‘right skill’ myself continuously to be honest. 

And that is why I also decided to share a number of free lessons with you on how to design and launch your own online course based on my own experience since 1983 when I started to learn how to design and produce the first online courses at the University of Leyden in The Netherlands, later on as program manager e-learning at the Amro Bank and head of Educational Technology at ABN Amro Bank until 1993.  

Today is lesson 1: 5 Tips for choosing an online course topic 

Starting to create your first online course can be so exciting yet so daunting. Picking a subject for your online course is the most important part of the journey. If you are unsure of where to start here are some tips on picking a course topic.

1. Find what wou are good at according to others

If you want to teach others about something you should pick something you excel in according to thers. You may have studied it and have a degree in it in or you may have learned it in another way that you can demonstrate to others. Make a list of things you excel in and know a lot about and then narrow it down from there.

This will help you to get a number of ideas and options. Then it will be easier to narrow down the subjects and topics once you start looking at all the pieces that have to go into the course after you have looked at what people reaaly need and what is more important, want to pay for.

2. Find what you are passionate about

If you are good at something but not passionate about it then your online course may not turn out great. Being passionate about the subject is a must also. This will make you sound more sincere and get you to work harder on your course. Enthusiasm and passion is also required if you want to use video tutorials with you yourself included!

3. Find what there is a demand for

Supply and demand is the basis of any profitable business, and the same goes for creating and launching an online course. If there is no real urgent demand for what you want to teach then no one will take the course. This means you would’ve done so much work for no return. That is especially the case now in this Covid-19 pandemic. There are many people launching online courses, so you really have look at the right demand for your skills and expertise.

4. Define the audience you envision: your niche

If you have thought about creating an online course the chances are you have also thought about what kind of people would take your online course. If you think long and hard about this you can get an ideal customer. Once you do that you are able to tailor your course to this person.

5. Test your ideas

Once you feel like you have your favorite few ideas go to social media and test those ideas out. On Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you could create a poll and ask people what their real problems and real needs are and which online course they would be most interested in if any.

This way you will be able to gauge how successful a particular topic might be by testing it on a smaller group. This would stop you from spending too much time, money and energy on a subject that will not appeal to a group of people that really would need such an online course and would want to pay for it. 

These are my 5 personal tips for picking a great online course subject however, in the end, it really depends on what difference you want to make with your course. Don’t create a course simply because you believe it will sell well. If you are not passionate about it and there is no real need for it, then there is no point in doing it.

Need help defining and publishing your own online course? 

If you need help you with your online course design and production, do not hesitate to call me via Skype on tony.de.bree or wa on 00316-34387806. Yiu can also send me an email here.

If you are interested in the next free lesson on how to design and launch your own online course, let’s connect and follow me on LinkedIn here, ok?


Tony de Bree

About the Author: tonydebree

Tony de Bree worked in Financial Services including in corporate venturing and e-commerce for 26 years and he made the transition from banker to entrepreneur working from home and making money online with his own "online plan b" with digital products as side-hustles in 2000 and as hybrid business owner since 2011. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, he helps corporates, small business owners, startups & scaleups to define and implement the best digital survival strategy and he helps managers and employees to become a successful entrepreneur with a personal digital-right skilling plan.

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