How to Select A Class Topic That Your Students Will Love
Written by Stephanie
December 30, 2022
One of the great things about having your own business is deciding what you offer. You as an online tutor / teacher / coach /mentor /guru can be in charge of what topics and issues you cover in your classes. It is immensely empowering. Believe us, that’s a freedom worth its weight in gold!
However, there will be times when you may be stumped about what topic to do next. Maybe you’re out of ideas or in a creative funk. Or perhaps you’re about to start your online business and are unsure or panicky what topic to first tackle. What then?
Don’t fret! The good news is that there are a host of tips and tricks you can use to find the perfect topic for your next (or very first) class. A few of the best options will be explored in this article.
Selecting the Perfect Topic Part 1
You can start by ‘going within’ yourself. That means making the personal (i.e. your strengths) into a potential topic. To achieve this, you need to ask yourself:
- What is my niche?
- What am I an expert in?
- What unique skills or knowledge can I share with my students?
- What sets me apart from other professionals with similar skills?
Acknowledging your strengths is a quick, easy way to establish potential topics. What if you’ve covered most of the topics you thought you knew? Well, you’d be surprised how many topics are still out there that you can teach or tutor. Most professionals and skills evolve, sometimes without even specialists being fully aware of them. Even ‘set’ knowledge such as languages or dance can evolve or can be taught from a different angle.
It’s a lot easier if you’re just starting out or still a relative newbie. Learning experts have come up with a simple sentence you can use for a topic: My course teaches how to [the learning objective or outcome] for [the type of student or client]. Fill in the blanks with what you can do and who your target students are and there’s your topic!
Selecting the Perfect Topic Part 2
If looking ‘inward’ hasn’t helped you with a new topic, then your next bet is to look ‘outwards’. Your very students could inspire you with new topics. How so? Listen to them during classes. What are your students talking about? Why are they taking your course, for example? Are they perhaps taking it to overcome a personal block or struggle?
For example, maybe one of your students is taking your yoga class because they’re going through a bad divorce. That may inspire you to have a class entirely devoted to how yoga can help overcome personal challenges, rather than the usual focus on being supple and relaxed.
Or perhaps you have a couple learning French because they plan to attend the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Well, there may just be a class topic in there somewhere! You decide.
Another way of looking outward is to do searches for trends and potential topics online. Knowing how to use search engine optimisation (SEO) from another angle is a clever way of doing that. How? Well, one usually uses SEO to drive more organic traffic to your website, blog or profile. But SEO is also at the heart of the ‘Google People Also Ask’ feature, which are the questions answered closely related to a search term on Google search engine results page, or SERP. That’s a nifty way of finding what are the questions (i.e. topics) trending on Google.
Just one hugely important tip: don’t fall into the trap of copying others and their exact topics. Just because certain topics seem really popular online doesn’t mean you should copy them. Rather than ‘marketability,’ focus instead about what unique value you can provide to your students. Try always to be as unique as you can be with your ‘special’ topics.
Teach Your Passion!
What are you truly passionate about? As you know, we suggested at the beginning that you ask yourself what your niche or expertise might be. But topics may also come to you if you know what your passion is. Why? For one thing, passion is contagious. Students thrive on that. For another, any passionate interest is a great source of inspiration and, thus, material. Just ask the most successful authors in history!
Also, don’t make assumptions about what your passion is. A modern misconception is that any online tutor should anyway ‘love’ everything that they teach. Right? No! Any tutor or teacher will know that is not always true! Just because you love your chosen subject, doesn’t mean you’re passionate about every aspect of it. For example, a German teacher might love teaching students how to speak the language but still find explaining verbs tedious!
All the more reason to find your real passions within what you teach and explore ways you can turn them into fascinating topics. Remember: your students will pick up on your passion and likely respond well to it.
Oh, and one final tip: remember Yip. Being a Yiper means having access to potential students from all over the world, coupled with the security and features that our learning platform offers all tutors. Having the freedom of not having to always worry about securing students and getting paid on time means you’re less stressed out. That means your mind is more open to new concepts and ideas and, yes, new topics.
Having to decide on your very first topic or your next exciting topic that wins over students can be tough. It’s the freelance tutor’s equivalent of ‘writer’s block! Fortunately, there are so many ways to find the needed inspiration and topic. It’s really rather easy once you know how.