Build a course

Online Course Idea: How to generate?

Want to generate online course ideas for your academy? Here is a step by step guide on how to come up with ideas and implement them.

Generating a profitable online course idea is no easy task. That’s why we have decided to help you with a step by step process of how to come up with ideas.

Did you know that most courses do not generate the expected revenue because very little thought process went in creating them. In order to make your course a top selling one, all it takes is to have a well-designed course idea.

Coming up with Ideas

A course idea is a foundation slab of any online course. People have been continuously on the look-out for online courses to quench their thirst for knowledge and to upgrade themselves in the modern age. This means that there is always room for new courses with a strong content managed by a structured teaching pattern. Online course ideas can be created with the below 3-step method.

  • Idea Generation
  • Evaluation
  • Selection

Idea Generation

Brainstorming is the key to the creation of a successful course topic. It is never possible that all your course ideas will be good. But do not put a barrier to your thoughts. Just make a list of all topics that comes to your mind and then evaluate them. There are two options for coming up with online course ideas. One is to think about familiar and comfortable topics and the other one is to go for any profitable topic. Let us now dive deeper and understand how to brainstorm for ideas.

Finding a profitable idea

Sometimes, it might be comfortable to work on a topic from your educational background. You might even have extensive training and research on the specific subject. This might make it extremely easy for you to create an online course on that subject.

However, a known subject might always not be profitable since your interest may not meet others’ requirements. On the flip side, courses can become more profitable if you find topics based on the students’ needs. The best place to start is Google. Search for the topics that are most popular amongst students. Or simply search like how a student would search. In the below example, by entering the keyword Learn mathematics, we get the suggestion for learn mathematics for data science. 

Online Course Idea

This shows that data science mathematics is pretty popular among students and you should try creating a course on that topic.

Further Reading: How to teach an online course?

Here are some other tips that you can consider while searching for a topic.

  • Create a commitment

The first and foremost thing is to give your full commitment to your new exploration. Leveraging your commitment towards work shapes your course in an organized way. You don’t need to be an expert in creating content but being passionate and believing in yourself is more important.

  • Have a peer

Having a peer to work with makes your work easier and is one of the best ways of brainstorming. When you discuss your ideas with someone, you get more ideas. Subject matter experts are the best people with whom you can brainstorm for topics for your online course. Your friend or relatives who are experts in the subject can also be of help.

  • Keyword search tool

Another option on hand is to make use of the keyword search tools available on the Internet. These tools will give a reasonable count of the number of times a specific keyword has been searched. You can use this statistic to your advantage by finding a topic using that keyword. Ubersuggest is a popular Keyword search tool.

Online Course Idea


The next step in creating a profitable course idea is the validation of the chosen topics. You might be having a list of ideas created brainstorming. These ideas should be filtered using a screening pattern and the best course idea should make its way to the website. Here are a few methods by which you can evaluate your topics.

  • Competitor analysis

Researching your competitor topics will give you an idea about the mindset of the learners. For instance, if your competitors are already providing content in a specific area and it sells well in the market, then it is the best topic to start with as a beginner. Conduct a small survey about your competitors before you narrow down your course topic.

  • Focussing on the target audience

Though you have made a detailed analysis of your competitors, you should also focus on your target audience at the same time. Giving exactly the same course as your competitor to the wrong audience will not work. Hence it is important to give equal weightage to your target audience as well. The simple mantra is – create a course that the students want.

After evaluating your course ideas based on the above parameters, you will be left out with a handful of ideas. The next step is to refine and select the best from those ideas.


With the left-out ideas, you have to choose one topic and that will go through to the next stage of the process before making its way into the e-learning market. While selecting your course, always have a consideration towards your learners and the market demand for that course idea. If you are thinking about brand new content where you don’t have any competitors or target audience, it would be a little more riskier than tried and tested topics.

Planning your content

Once you have chosen your course idea, we go to the next phase of developing the idea into a detailed online course format. The majority of first-time creators tend to put everything they know into their course which does not work with the audience. You need to put in only what the learners need to know so that the course gets sold at a high rate.

With the course idea on hand, it is time to plan how you are going to present your course idea to your learners. In other words, you should choose the format through which your course is to be presented. It might be either a video course, an audio format course, or a combination of both.

Some profitable online course ideas

Now that you have a fair idea about how to create a course and how to validate and select a topic, here are some profitable online course ideas subjects that you can use as a guide to create your content and your courses.

  • Personality development
  • Science and Engineering
  • Language courses
  • Culinary arts
  • Housekeeping ideas
  • Freelancing courses
  • Photography
  • Homeschooling
  • DIY crafts; and so on

These are some popular categories of courses, where you can get a high level of audience and earn a higher profit.

Support from Learnyst

Learnyst LMS is the perfect platform for you to create content for your courses. The LMS has never before seen features to manage courses and sell them from your own website. You can make your courses in any format and also track learner’s performance and progress.

Already have a  profitable course idea? Check out our website and grab your 14-day free trial and enjoy the benefits of creating a profitable online course and watch your revenue climb up the graph.

Similar posts

Get notified on new marketing insights

Be the first to know about new B2B SaaS Marketing insights to build or refine your marketing function with the tools and knowledge of today’s industry.