Date: December 10, 2021

This trick turns a topic into a tribe

One of the largest and most in-depth courses I ever worked on at Smart Blogger was called Freedom Machine, and it taught the steps to build a blog earning $1,000/month.

And the biggest challenge of creating that course was helping students to pick a blog “niche” (or topic) and a specific “tribe” of people to focus their efforts on.

Those two concepts were so foundational we needed to teach them right upfront, but they were also two of the toughest ideas for people to grasp.

(Ideally when designing a course you want to start with something simple to ease students into things gently, not start with the hardest material.)

So I spent hours distilling those two concepts into their simplest, most practical forms and figuring out the best way to teach them.

I think we got there in the end and helped people navigate a safe path between “too vague to be useful” and “too narrow to be profitable” when thinking about their blogs.

But it remains a thorny problem and if you want to create an online course, you have to solve a version of it to decide your focus.

Most aspiring course creators already have a topic in mind, but many are fuzzy on their target tribe, the people they hope will become customers.

Maybe they know they want to teach people about mindfulness, but they’re not clear on exactly what types of people would buy a mindfulness course.

So here’s a little trick to help you move from topic to tribe…

Think about WHY people would be interested in your topic.

You should find that distinct groups of people start to emerge.

For instance, people interested in mindfulness for dealing with stress will be different to those who hope it will help them be more creative.

So make a list of reasons people might be interested in your topic. Then work out what types of people align with those reasons.

Then you can decide which group to focus on.

It could be the group you understand best. Or the group you’re most able to help. (In fact, those are probably the same group.)

Do this and you’ll be in a strong position to create a course that real people actually want.

Make sense?

See you soon,


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