Start by taking other courses you’re interested in: Not only is this important competitor and opportunity analysis, but it also gives you an idea of how a course could or should look and feel. What’s the pacing like? Is it via email, video, in-person chats? Once you understand how you want your course to look, it’s time to decide what it should include. Those same courses are a great starting place. How can you make your course better or more interesting? Do you have experience others don’t?
Ramit Sethi is a world-renowned personal finance expert who took his blog about money and turned it into a multi-million-dollar company that teaches people how to make money from all kinds of work (online and traditional). His approach began purely as financial advice — how to “be rich” in the monetary sense. But in the past several years, he decided that there’s more to being “rich” than just money.
Anything from Amember to Quickbooks is fair game here. In the hosting industry, iDevAffiliate and Plesk Billing were the pieces of software we would have paid a lot of money to have someone else deal with. The more niche and more complex/annoying/frustrating the software, the better! Even if the software company offers free installation, you can make hundreds or thousands of dollars training business owners or their employees on its usage. Focus on one piece of software and become the trusted expert. Create videos and tutorials using screencast software like Camtasia to increase your profitability; this may also lead into a niche product that you can sell. (Amember offers “free installation”, but it took my boyfriend and I over 10 hours to configure it properly. That’s definitely something I would outsource next time!)
If you don’t fit in to any of the above, you could look at building a blog / community / following / group around one of your particular interests. Say you’re really interested in camping. You could build a blog (very simple to get started and cheap) and start writing great content and building that network/following. As you build your audience and eventually when you are trusted by your audience, you can start to sell other peoples services/products on an affiliate basis, where you will take a small percentage of each sale.
Here’s a good example of how lead sales can work in real life: My second website, Life Insurance by Jeff, brings in a ton of traffic from people who are searching the web to find answers to life insurance questions. While I used to have the website set up so I could sell these people life insurance myself, it was a lot of work to process all the different requests and clients. As a result, I started selling the leads I gathered instead.