How to Create, Teach, and Sell Your Own Online Course - A Step-By-Step Guide

Updated: Mar 26

Any time a person is an expert in something, the ability to share that knowledge with a broader audience is extremely powerful.

Whether it’s solving algebraic equations, creating compelling advertisements, or making the perfect buttercream frosting, there’s something that you are uniquely suited to teach others from your perspective.

But having that knowledge isn’t all that matters- the way you deliver the information and how you reach an audience is what allows you to expand your reach.

With the internet at your disposal, it’s possible to turn any topic into an online course that can reach thousands or even millions of people without ever leaving the comfort of your home.

While it can seem intimidating to start building out a course, websites like Teachable are available to make course creation simple and accessible to everyone.

Not sure where to start? Keep reading.

Find Your Niche

The heart of your course will be the topic it’s centered around.

You may have a thriving business or an underutilized skill that you want to share so badly that the curriculum writes itself. If f this is the case, you’re ready to begin.

But what about those of us who don’t have a ready-made topic in our lives?

It’s common for people to feel like they aren’t the “expert” in any given skill or concept.

That might be true, and that’s okay!

You don’t have to be the world’s leading scholar to teach a practical online course on the topic.

You simply need to be passionate about whatever you teach and find an angle that is unique to you.

Think about something as simple as a course on how to use Microsoft Excel. Many courses exist on this topic, and you may feel like the market is so saturated it’s not worth it.

But in thinking about your own skills and experience, there’s often a way to present this information in new ways that may reach a different audience.

Many Excel courses aim to create pivot tables or large data sets and overlay formulas, so why not make an Excel course specific to people who want to create puzzles and games with the tool?

Finding a niche will make your content unique and help with marketing or make your course stand out from others.

It can also be the start of building a brand, where you are associated with a topic and become the center of that niche online.

Any topic you are passionate about, knowledgeable about, and have a perspective on is a good place to start.

Of course, you also want to be sure that people are both interested in your topic and willing to pay to learn about it.

If many similar courses exist, this may be enough to prove that there is an audience. But what about the more unique courses?

You can perform a series of simple market research tests to help understand if there is an audience for your course, who it might be, and how much they’re willing to pay.

Start by looking at Google Trends to see how popular related searches are and then drill down into the exact volumes of these searches.

Be sure to search any terms that are even vaguely related to your topic.

You may also type in these searches to Google yourself to see what questions people ask on websites like Reddit or Quora.

These searches may also help you see what classes exist on the topic today.

If there’s a massive volume of courses, be sure to consider how you can stand out from the crowd to make your course more appealing or aimed at a different audience.

Searching through other classes should also give you an idea of what people are willing to pay.

Be sure to read the good and bad reviews of existing courses to see what people want to gain.

Study For Your Own Class

It’s easy to feel like we already know everything to teach a class- after all, that’s why we’re the expert!

It may be true that you have all the information needed in your head, but this is also one of the biggest reasons people procrastinate on getting started.

Getting all of that information from your head and onto the page can be overwhelming enough that you may avoid the task.