So, you have a great idea for an online course. But will it sell? With tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of courses out there you want to be sure to do some research up front before spending time, money and energy creating a course of your own.
But where do you start?
Why not start with the “King of Content” when it comes to book sales…Amazon. A book is simply a version of an information product. So is an online course. If people are already investing in books (hard copy or digital) then it stands to reason that this is a good sign that other info product types on the same topic will be popular too. In fact, a LOT of authors are using their books to help increase sales of their courses and services.
(I have an in-depth article covering 5 ideas to research your online course idea that you can find here)
Getting Started With Amazon.com
The first thing to do is head over to Amazon.com. Once you’re there you want to browse the categories section and look for one related to your topic idea.
I like to search by department and start with Kindle books.
Once you’re there you can scroll down and look to the left until you see “Kindle eBooks.”
Then find the topic that’s most closely related to your own. So, if you have sales experience and would like to begin your online adventure as a sales coach, trainer and mentor then start browsing the “Business & Money” category.
You might want to check out the “Best-Selling” books in your category, but don’t let that distract you. What you want to do is see if there are already successful books being sold on YOUR topic.
Now that you’re in your general category, go ahead and enter a search for your specific idea. E.g.: “Sales.”
Then start browsing some of the books there.
With a topic like sales, we already know that this is an incredibly popular topic so you’d actually want to niche down your course idea rather than create a “how to make more sales” type of product, but this research can still provide some great insights.
One interesting strategy is to go to a couple of the books that are listed first and see their Amazon sales rank. It looks like this:
You can see here that not only has this book been ranked #1 in a few sub-categories, but it’s ranked at #10,296 in the Kindle store overall. That is tremendous. Anything under 250k or so would be a good sign that this is a popular topic given the vast number of books sold on Amazon.
Dig into some of the reviews for these books. Read both positive and negative reviews to find out what people are saying. What do they like? What’s missing? This can provide some GOLDEN ideas for your course content.
If a lot of people are complaining about something being missing; why not try to add that to your course and highlight that in your marketing?
I hope this helps!
Be sure to leave a comment below if you have any questions or tips of your own to share.