You have this brilliant course idea that you can't wait to jump on. You're so sure that the course will change people's lives and so you're bursting with excitement.
But before you invest your time, money, and effort into creating and launching this online course, there's one important question that keeps hitting your mind - Will my course sell?
I get it. It's a normal question that plagues every course creator.
When imposter syndrome hits, you start thinking that maybe the course idea only makes sense to you and may not appeal to your target audience.
I faced similar fears and uncertainties when I started my journey as an online course creator. However, the good news is that there are certain telltale signs that can help you determine whether your course will be a hit or a miss.
So, how can you tell if your course idea will sell?
Here are the key indicators to help you tell if your course idea is profitable or not:
- Are you passionate about the course topic?
- Are people asking questions about your topic?
- Is there a demand for your course within your target market?
- Is your course more valuable than similar courses in the market?
- Does your course have a strong value proposition?
- Did you record enough sales during course preselling?
- Do you have a strong "Why" for starting an online course business?
- Do you have a large specific audience?
- Does your course price align with its value and the needs of your target students?
- Is your course marketing plan strong enough?
I will explore each of these key considerations, noting the things you should look out for.
In the end, you'll either be inspired to go back to the drawing board and work on your course idea or move ahead and create your online course.
So, buckle up and get ready to discover the secrets of creating a successful online course. Without much ado, let's dive right in!
You can also check out all the free guides available at the Course Creator Academy by clicking on the Academy link on the top menu.
So, how can you tell if your online course idea will sell?
#1. Are you passionate about the course topic?
This is the first factor that determines whether your online course will sell or not. Does the topic excite you?
Remember, you're going to be working on this for weeks and even months, so it's important that you're passionate about your course niche and topic, especially. If you're not, you'll not enjoy the process and will tire easily when challenges spring up.
Your passion for your course topic will push you to create a high-quality course that will resonate with your target audience.
You'll be more invested in the process and will work tirelessly albeit happily to provide real value to your students. By putting in the required time and effort, you'll create a valuable course that will ultimately attract and retain your target students.
Additionally, your passion for the topic also means that you'll be more knowledgeable about the topic.
You'll constantly be looking out for the latest trends and development in that niche which will help you create a timely and relevant course.
Overall, the more zealous you are about your course niche and topic, the higher the likelihood that your course will sell.
#2. Are people asking questions about your topic?
Passion aside, your course topic must also be something a lot of people are interested in. You're not creating the course for yourself, after all.
You can’t launch a course on a topic nobody cares about and expect to make sales. Instead, you want to make sure that the topic is something that your target students are struggling with.
Your course will only sell if it’s an in-demand problem.
So, what's the best way to find out if people are asking questions about your course topic? It's simple!
You can find out through online forums like Quora and Reddit. Also check out the Facebook, and Linkedin groups, where your ideal audience hangs out.
Simply type in your proposed course topic in the search button on each of the platforms to see the volume of searches by members made so far. Go ahead and read their conversations around your topic.
You should also use Keyword research tools like SEMRush, and Ubbersuggest to check the search volume of your course topic.
The key here is to ensure that people are asking questions about your online course.
#3. Is there a demand for your course within your target market?
Your course will only sell if there is a demand for it within your target market. And how do you figure this out?
Remember, you're not the first person to create a course on that topic. So, you need to check what your competitors have done and the number of sales they have recorded so far.
You can check online course marketplaces like Udemy and Skillshare, and look for similar courses in your field and the number of students that are currently enrolling.
For example, let's say your proposed course topic is "Python and Data Analysis." From a quick search on Udemy, you'll see that a similar course already has more than 190k students.
This means that the course topic is high in demand and will definitely sell out.
I know it's easy to see numbers like this as a hard competition to surpass but that's where the next factor comes in - how valuable is your online course?
#4. Is your course more valuable than similar courses in the market?
Aside from monitoring your competitor's audience and how much sales they are making, you also need to observe and find out areas where their courses are lacking and take care of that when creating your course.
In other words, you should focus on creating a course that is more valuable than what other course creators have in the market.
It will not only set you apart from your competitors but also gives your potential students a reason to choose your course over others.
Before students purchase an online course, they usually compare multiple options before making a buying decision. So, if your course offers more value, they will more likely go for it, even if it's more expensive.
Also, value can be defined in different ways. It could be in the quality of your content, how interactive your course is, the level of student support, better value propositions and outcomes, and certification.
#5. Does your course have a strong value proposition?
The strength of your value proposition determines whether your online course idea will sell or not.
Generally, a value proposition is a statement that clearly communicates the unique benefits of your online course including the solutions to your audience's specific need or problem.
It explains why your course is the best in the market and why students should choose your course over others.
If your value proposition is not clear or compelling enough, your potential students are likely to choose your competitor's course instead.
To come up with a strong value proposition, you should first understand your target audience, identify their points and needs, then list how your course will address those needs.
#6. Did you record enough sales during course preselling?
Another factor that determines whether your online course is profitable or not is the number of sales recorded during the preselling phase.
Preselling is where you validate your course idea by selling to your target audience to test whether they are willing to pay for it.
If you record many sales during this phase, it suggests that people are interested in your course topic. It also signifies that your topic is highly relevant and unique.
Low sales could mean that the topic needs to be revised or improved. Or simply that you need to go back to the drawing board and come up with another course idea.
Overall, just pay attention to the sales generated when preselling the course idea. The higher the sales, the better your chances of launching a successful online course.
#7. Do you have a strong "Why" for starting an online course business?
The success of your online course business also depends on the "Why" behind it. What are your reasons for creating this course?
Having a clear "Why" gives you a clear direction for your course creation. It will also be your source of motivation when things get tough.
Creating and selling an online course is a tough business but when you have a clear sense of purpose, you'll easily stay focused and motivated to push through the challenges.
While money is a valid goal for any course creator, ensure that it isn't your primary goal else you'll be setting yourself up for failure even before you start.
When you're only motivated by money, you may not be able to create a course that resonates with your audience. You may be too impatient to put in the required work and research to make your course stand out.
Also, you may be forced to prioritize profits over your students' satisfaction. This can lead to a low engagement rate, and negative feedback all of which will result in lower sales.
Generally, your passion and expertise in your course niche should come first before your financial goals.
#8 Do you have a specific audience?
Having a large specific audience is essential in determining if your course idea will sell or not.
Aside from indicating that there is a demand for your course, it also helps you to tailor your marketing efforts to align with the needs and interests of your potential students.
For example, a course topic on "Marketing for business owners" carters to a broad audience as there are small, medium-sized, and large corporations.
You'll likely struggle to come up with a compelling marketing message that will speak directly to your prospective students.
However, a course topic on, "Social Media Marketing for Small Business Owners" which caters to a more particular audience will be easier to sell.
Also, having a specific audience makes it easier for you to establish yourself as an expert in a particular niche which increases the trust and credibility with your students.
You'll easily sell your course and even charge a higher price for it.
#9 Does your course price align with its value and the needs of your target students?
Your online course will only sell if the price makes sense to your potential students.
If the price is high, your students may not be able to afford it and if it is too low, the students might question the quality of your course.
Essentially, you should find a price point that reflects the value of your course and also aligns with your student's expectations.
So, check out the prices of similar courses in your niche. Also, consider your efforts and the quality of information you've shared in your course before arriving at a specific price.
You should also check out some scientific pricing strategies that work well while pricing online courses.
#10. Is your course marketing plan strong enough?
No matter how valuable your online course is, if you don't have a strong marketing plan to follow through, you'll not make enough sales.
So first, you need to create a compelling landing page that will drive sales, figure out which social media platform your audience spends the most time and create accounts on them.
Finally, prepare a strong marketing plan for your course. You can take ideas from how your competitors are marketing their courses.
Overall, check out these helpful guides with proven marketing techniques to help you craft your marketing plan.
- How to sell online courses: proven strategies
- Proven ways to sell online courses on social media
- Effective ways to advertise your online courses
- How to market an online course
Conclusion: What's Next?
After you have evaluated these factors to determine whether your course will sell, it's time to pick a suitable hosting platform and start creating your course.
OnlineCourseHost.com lets you create, promote and sell your online courses. Its professional sales page and built-in lead-generation tools will help attract more course sales.
The platform is super easy to use as there are no design or coding skills required to get started.
If you need more information to grow your online course business successfully, you should check out the Course Creator Academy.
You will find everything you need to become a successful online course creator all in one place for free.
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Ready to learn how to launch your first course on OnlineCourseHost.com? Here are the helpful guides for you to check out:
- Best Online Course Platforms (Ultimate Guide)
- How To Create An Online Course (In 15 Super-Practical Steps)
- How To Choose An Online Course Topic That Sells
- How To Record And Edit Your First Online Course
- Affordable Online Course Equipment - Complete Practical Guide
- How To Hire An Online Course Team
- The Ultimate Online Course Launch Checklist
- How To Create The Perfect Online Course Sales Page
- Create A Powerful Brand For Your Online Courses (In 5 Steps)
- How To Sell Online Courses? The Ultimate Guide
- How To Promote Your Online Course - Complete Guide
I hope you found this post helpful, let me know in the comments below what other topics you would like me to cover, or any questions that you have?
Thanks for reading… and enjoy the course creation process! 😉
Course Creator Academy, a community by OnlineCourseHost.com
Founded by Vasco Cavalheiro
Online Course Creator