eCourse Ideas

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6 Steps to eCourse Ideas for Any Niche

by Charles L Harmon

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You may be sold on the idea of eCourses as a great moneymaker, but you’re afraid of what’s required of you. You don’t know if you can actually create an eCourse or not. You probably don’t have a clue as to what to teach, so even if you were to outsource the job you can’t even provide an outline at this point!

Well it’s not as hard as you might think. There are ways to cut through all that self-doubt and negative self-talk.

Here are six ways:


1) Use Mind Maps

A mind map is a great way to overcome any type of inability to develop new ideas. You start with a clean sheet of paper; write the main topic (your niche) in a circle in the middle of the paper. Suspend all judgment and start writing different aspects of your niche down. Make a line from the center, to subtopics, then lines from subtopics to even smaller topics all related to the center circle that is your niche.

Want to do all this on your computer instead of by hand? Try downloading FreeMind – it works on both Mac and Windows.

Tip: You can find mind maps about almost anything already on the net. Do a search for your niche and “mind map”.

ecourse and mind map


2) Focus on the Fear

The next thing you need to do in order to come up with good eCourses is to focus on the fear in your mind map. Within the mind map are going to be some frustrations that your niche will have that you need to find solutions for. If you can come up with a solution to any problem you can create an eCourse about it.

Think in terms of “how to” do anything; how to write better, how to learn better, how to cook better, etc. It’s all very simplistic right now, but you want to find one main idea from which you can create an eCourse.

You can also look to a few useful online sources to discover what the top fears are in your niche:

  • Look at what people regularly discuss in forums,
  • Search for questions about your niche on Yahoo Answers,
  • Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. What do they care most about? What holds them back? What frustrates them?

ecourse ideas - yahoo answers

3) Ditch any Doubt

Right now it’s highly possible your negative self-talk is at an all-time high. You’re wondering why you should be the one doing this. Who are you to teach anyone anything? Well, the fact is, you are the right person to teach anything that you already know about, or are willing to learn about.

Teaching can be daunting, but while you’re having doubts, why not write down all your doubts and make them into positives. That’s right, if you doubt that you’re the right person for this course, you can improve your situation by learning more about the subject. If you hate how your course looks, make it better. Just don’t stop.


4) Get Ideas from Others

Most teachers actually get their initial ideas from others, and then they add in their own personality to the mix. You can do that as well, even in an eCourse. No, don’t plagiarize, but you can read tables of contents in “how to” books to help come up with your own ideas you can use. It’s even okay to use someone else’s book to teach a course, that’s exactly what teachers do. You simply point your students in the right direction, with select quotes and suggestions for further reading.


5) Break it Down into Small Steps

Once you have an idea of what you want to teach, break it down into small steps. It might help you to actually go through whatever it is that you’re teaching, taking notes along the way so that you don’t miss any important steps. Name each step something creative that gets your student’s attention, then focus on the minutia of each step. Don’t leave anything out.

For instance, if you’re telling them how to bake bread, you don’t want to leave out a lesson about the difference between regular flour and self-rising flour. You’re teaching someone how to do something that they have no idea about, so don’t leave out any information or step no matter how minor.


6) Build in Interaction

To make your course even better, you can, if you want to, build in some type of interaction such as sending a survey to your students during the course to find out what they’ve learned so far. This will help you create even better courses. All of this can be automated so while it will feel interactive to them, you won’t have to do anything but set it up, create a thank you letter and send it out to them. The students’ actions trigger the next automatic response from your autoresponder.

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