Ask anybody who's ever built an online course, and they will tell you that one of the hardest parts is deciding what to call it. So if you're at the planning stage, you're probably struggling with knowing how to name your online course.
The right course name is vital. It's the key to unlocking more sales, letting your students know what to expect, and ultimately, it's part of having happy members!
And thinking about how to name an online course doesn't have to be a struggle. You can try these 5 tips to generate online course names that excite your audience and convert into more members!
If you want more support in building your online course and community, come join OUR Mighty Community for free and meet other new and established community owners! We’d love to meet you. Join for free!
In this article…
Make it clear and specific
When you start to think about your course name, it’s tempting to start with clever puns and buzz words. This is probably a mistake.
In fact, the most important things about choosing a great name for your online course are to make it CLEAR and SPECIFIC! Your potential members should get a pretty good sense of what the course is about from the title.
Having a course called “Fireworks” might be a catchy name, but it’s really not clear what the heck it’s about.
But adding a subtitle: “Fireworks: The Foundations for a Lasting Relationship,” all of a sudden makes more sense.
The trick to a great online course name is that your audience should understand what it’s about from the title. While it’s not always easy to balance this with something that makes your course pop to the people who are taking it; they should at least know what it’s about.
And if given the choice between adding clever word play and having a name that clearly states what the course is about, choose clarity.
But the second part of this is, don’t just make it clear; make it SPECIFIC. As specific as you can.
If your course is on how to use Facebook ads, don’t call it “Digital Marketing Course.” Call it “How to Find Clients with Facebook Ads.” Or, you could make this even more specific: “How to Find Coaching Clients with Facebook Ads.”
Just look at these examples of how adding clarity makes a course name BETTER:
- Relationship Mastery Course (Ok) - Keeping Your Relationship Strong After Kids (Better!)
- Fitness Secrets (Not great) - How to Run Your First Marathon, Even if You’re Not a Runner (Better!)
- How to Build Your Online Course (Ok) - Make $1,000 Week with a Cohort-Based Course (Better!)
Adding some clarity about what the course will actually help your members accomplish will make it way easier to sell. Plus, it won't take as much copy in the description to explain what the course is about.
Include the results in the title
If you look at the examples of course names above, you might notice something. Each of them promises a result from taking the course.
- Keeping Your Relationship Strong After Kids (Result= Have a strong relationship)
- How to Run Your First Marathon (Result = Run a marathon)
- Make $1,000 Week with a Cohort-Based Course (Result = Make more money)
Your members are looking for something specific to happen in their lives. They’re looking for a RESULT.
That’s why they’re taking your course.
So rather than shrouding it in mystery and hiding it in your description, could you just add the result to your title? This might not always be possible, but where you’re able to, it will make it way easier for your members to buy.
By the way, you should know why your members are taking the course, and what they’re hoping to accomplish. You can figure this out by going through a process we call Community Design™, which we introduce here.
Make it pop
Ok, so we've covered clarity and added results. This is the part where we ask: How can you make your course title interesting?
If you’ve got the things we talked about above, you can think about how to make your course title pop.
THIS is where you can bring the puns, the alliteration, the buzz words, and whatever else; as long as you don’t sacrifice the more important points we talked about above.
So, coming back to our example from above, “Fireworks: Foundations for a Lasting Relationship,” is clever, but it’s still clear what the course is about.
So, if you’ve got your clear, result-based title, can you add something to make it a bit more catchy?
- How to Run Your First Marathon = 26 Mile Club Pass: How to Run Your First Marathon
- Make $1,000 Week with a Cohort-Based Course = The Rich Teacher: Make $1,000/week with a Cohort-Based Course
Don’t sacrifice clarity! But if you can add a bit of sparkle, why not?
Think about SEO
So we’ve talked about the components of a good title above. But one thing that’s definitely worth thinking about it, how are you marketing your course?
This is where you might want to think a bit about what we call SEO (Search Engine Optimization). That is, will people find your course by typing it into search engines?
The practice of SEO sounds complicated, but there are some basic steps you can take to make sure your course is searchable. And part of this can be choosing a name that people actually search for.
So if 3000 people a month type “How to create an online course” into Google, by including those words in your course title, you’re telling Google that you’ve got JUST the results they’re looking for!
Now, let’s say that 5 people a month search “How to instruct students online.”
Naming YOUR course: “Rich Teacher: How to Create an Online Course That Sells” might be better than “Rich Teacher: How to Instruct Students Online,” because it matches what people are ACTUALLY searching for.
But don’t only think about search volume. Think about your niche too.
Sure, 4,000 people in the U.S. search for “online cooking class” every month. But if you teach a vegan cooking class, you’re much better to focus on the 250 people a month who look for “vegan cooking class,” because they fit your niche!
SEO isn’t just for Google either. If you choose to build your course on a course marketplace platform like Skillshare or Udemy, having a title that matches what people are searching for makes it much more likely your course will be discovered. (Of course, this competition isn’t an option if you choose to build on Mighty Networks.)
One of the final secrets to a great course name is to include numbers in it. For some reason, our brains love numbers. It’s why we can’t stop clicking on BuzzFeed posts like, “5 money mistakes people make in their 20s.”
There are different ways to include numbers in your course title. Here are a few ideas:
One option is to add time frames to your course, to give your students an idea of how long the course will take OR how long it will take to see results.
Which of these two options sounds better:
- Better Body Bootcamp
- 2-Week Better Body Bootcamp
This is clearly connected to your results, but if your course name can tell them how long it will take, it can be a huge selling point.
Obviously this should be a reasonable amount of time too, since we love results FAST. “The 2-Year Better Body Bootcamp” just doesn’t have the same ring.
Another way to include numbers in your course name is with reference to money. This is especially true for business or money related courses. Here are some examples:
- How to Build a Coaching Business (Ok) - How to Build a $100k Coaching Business (Better)
- Make Money in the Stock Market (Ok) - How to Make Your First $1,000 in the Stock Market (Better)
- Extreme Couponing: How to Save on Groceries (Ok) - Extreme Couponing: How to Save $1,000/mo on Groceries (Better)
One final example of a way to include a number in your title (and this list ISN’T exhaustive) is through steps. For example:
- The 12 Step Plan to Launch Your $100k Coaching Business
- The 10 Parts to Your Profitable Dropshipping Business
Adding a numbered process that you will take people through gives them a really clear idea of how your course will deliver!
If you follow these 5 steps, you will be well on your way to having an online course name that sells! Remember, the best online course names aren't the ones that are clever gimmicks or puns. They clearly identify the value that the student is going to get.
If you're looking for the right place to build and sell your online course, try out Mighty Networks! We built an amazing, intuitive course platform that will help you deliver a ton of value at scale.
Ready to start building your online course?