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6 Ways To Validate An Online Course Idea [Ep. 78]

By Jessie Festa. This episode sharing course validation ideas is sponsored by Teachable and includes affiliate links to trusted partners!

Interested in learning how to validate an online course idea?

Well, you’re in luck, as in this episode of The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast, we’ll be going over 6 effective course validation ideas that can help you determine if your audience truly wants the online course you plan to create.

By the end of this episode, you’ll understand how to:

  • Test and validate your online course idea
  • Grow a targeted email list of subscribers to market your course to
  • Increase online course sales even when you’re away from your laptop
  • Guarantee people will purchase your course before you create it
  • And more!

In short, if you’re not sure if people will be interested in your online course idea, this episode can help you ensure they will be—so that you don’t waste your time building a course nobody purchases.

How To Validate An Online Course Idea [Podcast Episode Audio]

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Create An Online Course With Teachable (Bonus Included!)

This episode is sponsored by Teachable, a platform that helps you create online courses, coaching products, and digital downloads. They’re also the online course platform I’ve been using for the last 6 years!

When you’re a blogger, you’re always looking for new ways to monetize—and Teachable offers the perfect solution. With Teachable, you can create and sell online courses, coaching products, and digital downloads.

Their no-code platform is easy to use and gives you the best of it all: high-quality learning experiences for your audience, flexibility to get paid on your terms, and the power to grow your earning potential.

And if you’ve never considered creating an online course or you’re not sure where to start, try out Teachable’s AI Curriculum Generator. All you need to do is put in the title and a brief description of your course, and in seconds, it gives you back a full course outline. You can re-order or edit it as you see fit, or start building out your lessons immediately.

🎁 Bonus: To get started, go to to sign up for free to check out the platform. If you want to take advantage of their advanced features, use promo code JESSIEFESTA2023 to get a month free of the Pro Plan.

Free Travel Blogger Resource Library

To help you really jumpstart your blogging success, I’ve added 55+ blogging resources like printables, video tutorials, and workbooks into a FREE resource library for travel bloggers.

These resources are meant to help you grow your traffic, community, and income faster and with less overwhelm!

See Course Creation Success With These Helpful Tools:

Teachable. This is my digital course creation platform of choice. One neat feature is their AI Curriculum Generator, which can help you quickly create an outline for your online course and start building it out. Click to try it for free, and if you want advanced features use code JESSIEFESTA2023 for 1 free month of their Pro Plan.

Free Course Pricing Calculator. This handy tool from Teachable can help you determine how much to charge for your online course — something important to consider before you validate an online course idea.

ConvertKit. Most of your online course marketing will be done via email, so it’s important to have a feature-rich and user-friendly email marketing platform – like ConvertKit. My affiliate link gets you a 30-day free trial — no credit card required! Alternatively, you can join their free plan here.

how to validate an online course idea

Validating Your Online Course Topic [Episode Transcript]

One popular type of digital product for bloggers to create and sell is an online course. We’re already teaching about a topic through our blogs, so it makes sense to take that knowledge sharing one step further and package it into a more premium educational product like a digital course.

Alternatively, you may have a certain content creation skill you’re known for — like growing your blog traffic, writing captivating stories, or taking amazing drone footage — that you might choose to create a course around.

While creating an online course can be an exciting opportunity to make money by sharing our gifts with the world, it also comes with some fears — like what if nobody buys?

If you’re nodding along then you’re in luck, as in this episode we’ll be going over a number of ways that you can actually validate your course idea before creating it.

Free AI course curriculum generator

But first, before we discuss how to create profitable online courses by validating our ideas, I want to remind you to grab your bonus gift from Teachable.

Teachable is the course creation platform I’ve used for years — though you can also sell coaching programs and digital downloads too.

Using their platform, you can use all types of content to create your course, and they even host your videos. Some of my other favorite features include:

  • The ability to create an affiliate program to help boost course sales
  • Analytics and reporting to help you better optimize course content
  • Flexible payment options like Buy Now, Pay Later as well as recurring payments (which I use for my membership)
  • Automated tax filing to save time and stress
  • Built-in AI tools to help with writing lessons, creating content summaries, making quizzes, and outlining courses
  • Automatic subtitles on video workshops
  • And more!

Get started quickly with their AI Curriculum Generator at You can try it as well as the platform for free. If you’d like advanced features, use promo code JESSIEFESTA2023 for a free month of Teachable’s Pro Plan.

Free resource library for creators

Additionally, make sure to grab my free Travel Blogger Resource Library.

Inside you’ll snag access to 55+ resources from cheat sheets to workbooks to workshops to video tutorials that can help truly turn your blog into a profitable business – including resources to help you create a profitable online course.

I’m all about implementation and I really want to make sure you don’t just listen to the episode and forget about it, but that you actually use what I share to make your blogging life easier. Feel free to even pause this episode to go grab those resources.

You back? Then let’s dive in!

Course validation strategy #1: Listen to your audience

This tactic is all about listening to the needs of your audience and better understanding what they want from you. This can be helpful whether you’re creating a digital product, an opt-in freebie, or even blog and social media content.

Personally, I like to keep a spreadsheet of all the questions I get asked via email, DM, Instagram comments — anywhere I interact with my audience.

Then when I see the same question coming up over and over again, I know it’s a really important one to address — and potentially a good one to create an online course around.

Course validation strategy #2: Ask your audience what they want

If you have an engaged audience, you can also ask them what they’d like to learn from you. You can do this in an email newsletter, an Instagram Story, a Facebook group — wherever you regularly engage with your community.

For this, I recommend giving people a general topic to work with.

For instance, instead of “I’m thinking of creating an online course, what should I create?” you can say something like one of the following:

  • I’m thinking about creating a course for solo female travelers. Would you buy this, and what topics and questions would you want addressed?
  • I have so many course ideas swirling around in my head but I don’t know what to create first! What is your biggest struggle right now that you wish you had a course to help you overcome?

Course validation strategy #3: Create an opt-in freebie first

An opt-in freebie is a free piece of content meant to help your audience solve some kind of problem or pain point.

So, if you’re thinking about creating an online course to help people take better travel photos, you could create an opt-in freebie that also aims to help people improve their photography skills.

While this doesn’t directly tell you that people would purchase your course, it can provide some validation on the actual course topic.

If lots of people are grabbing your travel photography opt-in, you know they’re interested in honing this skill.

Bonus: You’ll have a targeted list of people to market your course to once it launches!

Course validation strategy #4: Host a free webinar

Like an opt-in freebie, a free workshop or webinar can help validate the course topic. An added benefit of this strategy is people will also get a sense of your teaching style — which can make them want to buy from you.

This is also why many people host a free live webinar as part of their course launch strategy, with the webinar segueing into a pitch for the course, often at a discount or with special bonuses to make the offer more enticing.

And if it goes well, you can also turn your live webinar into an evergreen offering that is available all the time to make course sales on autopilot.

If hosting a live webinar using webinar software or in a Zoom room seems intimidating, you can always start by teaching live on your favorite social media channel, like Instagram or TikTok.

Course validation strategy #5: Host a paid workshop

This kicks the free webinar strategy up a notch as you’re not only validating your course topic but also that people would pay money to learn about it.

Just keep in mind that when people spend money on something they expect real value, so make sure to deliver it.

In fact, aim to make people feel like they got even more than they paid, which can help build that know, like, and trust factor with your audience and help turn them into repeat customers in the future.

Course validation strategy #6: Presell your online course

In my opinion, this is the very best way to validate your online course idea. It entails actually collecting payment before your course launches — so you know beforehand if it’s truly something people want.

Now I know some of you may be thinking, “How do you sell something you haven’t created yet?”

You’ll definitely want to have your course mapped out so that you can sell the idea and the transformation. People do need to know what they’re buying, meaning you need to know what you’re selling.

Plus, you’ll typically want to create a sales page to share with your audience so that they can sign up.

However, what you can do is teach each module live, let’s say once a week.

From there, you can create the new content week by week and take student feedback into account. This allows you to add even more value to your course, as you’ll truly be addressing the problems and pain points of your students – vs guessing what those are beforehand.

Another benefit? Teaching live also allows you to charge more for your course, as this is a premium course asset. If you’re not sure what to charge, Teachable offers a handy free course pricing calculator.

Alright, now I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you feel inspired and empowered to validate your online course idea and start monetizing your blog with this powerful digital product type.

I’d also like to thank our sponsor one last time, Teachable, for helping to make this episode possible. Remember, you can go to and get a month of Teachable’s Pro Plan for free with the promo code JESSIEFESTA2023.

Also, don’t forget to grab access to the free Travel Blogger Resource Library. There are a ton of resources in there on growing your community and increasing your blogging profits.

And of course, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes sharing these bite-sized strategies for bloggers who want to turn their blogs into profitable full-time businesses.

Happy blogging!

Be A Guest On The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast

If you have actionable strategies to share to help bloggers grow their traffic, community, and income, as well as create profitable and healthy online businesses, I’d love to hear from you!

Note that interview episodes will also be livestreamed on YouTube, so guests need to be comfortable on camera and should have access to headphones, a microphone (or headphones with a microphone), a strong internet connection, and nice lighting (such as studio lighting or a room where you can sit in front of a window).

Please click here to fill out the podcast guest application form.

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I’d also be extremely grateful if you’d leave a review right here and let me know your favorite part of the episode or a takeaway you walked away with. By leaving a review, you help the show be seen by more people, helping the episodes to have a greater impact.


Each month, I’ll be choosing one reviewer at random to win a FREE seat inside one of my travel blogging courses.

Winners can choose from:

  • How To Grow Your Blogging Income Through Facebook Ads
  • How To Land Paid Press Trips As A Travel Blogger
  • How To Make Money (Fast) With Affiliate Marketing
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Winners will be chosen at random from the reviews and will be notified via email, so make sure to send me — jessie (at) jessieonajourney dot) com — your email address so I have it. 


The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast is a podcast for bloggers wanting to increase their smart passive income, grow their communities, and monetize their websites.

Have a question about one of the strategies explained in the show?

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This not only allows you to interact with the community, but I’ll also be monitoring and adding to the conversation to answer your questions and connect with you, too!

Master Course Creation With These Helpful Past Episodes:

How To Make Money Travel Blogging With Online Courses

How Niching Down Can Help You Grow & Monetize Your Blog

How To Find Niche Keywords By Doing Competitor Research

How To Reach Your Blogging Goals Faster With Outreach Days

How To Be Comfortable In Front Of A Camera

How To Grow Your Email List (For Free) As A Blogger

Best Digital Products To Sell Online As A Blogger

How Long Does It Take To Make Money Blogging (One Year Or Less)

Best Travel Blogging Courses For Taking Your Blog Full Time (Free & Premium)

Click here for all profitable blogging podcast episodes.

What are your favorite ways to validate a course idea?