3 min read

How to Narrow Down My Ideas for an Online Course

narrow down my ideas for an online course

If you are like most content creators, you have a new idea every minute. Most online entrepreneurs have more ideas than time to make them a reality.

Whether we want to face the truth or not, we need to narrow down our ideas to one good one if we have any hope of progress.

Nothing will slow down your growth more than chasing too many ideas at once.

Trust me, I’ve tried.

What’s the better approach for you over the next 30 days?

  • Option 1: Move five projects to 10% completion
  • Option 2: Move one great project to 100% completion

I don’t know about you, but the only option that has the ability to add value or earn more revenue is option two.

Why do we think we are better off working on multiple ideas at once?

I’ve often pondered the answer to this question in an effort to curb my own propensity to chasing too many ideas at once.

Here are two reasons why option one doesn’t work:

  1. Everything takes 50% longer to complete than what we think. Entrepreneurs are mostly optimistic by nature. Because we are more visionary than detail-oriented, we truly believe we can complete four major projects in 30 days.
  2. Valuable time is always lost switching between projects. I learned this truth from Todd Herman’s 90 Day Year Program and from Cal Newton’s book Deep Work. You are far better off to fully immerse yourself into a single project.

How do I decide between so many good ideas?

A few years ago, I created an Idea Filter Scorecard to help other course creators chose the single best idea now for creating an online course.

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Take your three best ideas and answer each of the following questions on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best). After you are done total up your score to see which idea is best.

Question 1: Do I enjoy learning about this topic?

Don’t just select a topic based on the financial viability. I believe you need to select a topic you are personally invested in. Which topics do you love to learn the most about? On a scale of 1-10, how much do you love to learn about the topic you want to create an online course?

Question 2: How passionate am I about this idea?

The truth is if you are not passionate about your idea you won’t see it through. When the process gets hard, you’ll quit. When it’s time to record a lesson, you’ll procrastinate. You have to believe in the overarching message of transformation that your course can deliver!

Question 3: What’s my level of experience or skill with this?

You don’t need to be an expert in a topic to create a course on it. However, you need to have figured out some things along the way or at the least achieved some proven results. On a scale of 1-10 what’s your experience level or skill with this topic?

Question 4: How well does this idea solve a problem or satisfy a desire?

Don’t miss this. Successful online courses do one of two things: either solve a problem or satisfy a desire. If your idea doesn’t accomplish either, don’t move forward. This is why nailing down your audience by creating an Ideal Customer Profile is so important.

Question 5: Are other people earning income with this idea (or a similar one)?

Creating an online course on a topic that no one has covered online is generally a bad idea. When you come across online course topics that have been hugely successful, that’s a good sign. Your course idea is financially viable and the market has said yes we want this.

Don’t let it discourage you that someone else has already created a course on your topic. Your course will be different. You have different experiences, knowledge, insights, and results.

Once you’ve walked through the above five questions, do the same thing with course idea number two, three, four, etc. Then add up your scores in each column to see which online course idea comes to the top. Now, with confidence, go make that course!

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