Information Gathering Tools for Online Courses – In-Depth Reviews with Tips, FAQs & More

Once you’ve decided on what your online course’s topic is going to be, the next step is to start scouring the internet for relevant information. 

We don’t need to tell you this but the internet is huge and it can be overwhelming trying to note down and organize information effectively. 

Luckily, there are many information-gathering tools and software you can utilize to make your job a whole lot easier. 

Let’s have a look at these tools and how they can help you gather knowledge of the internet as an online course creator


Any tool that you may have utilized to determine the market value of your course topic can be used to gather information for that topic as well. 

A prime example of this is Ahrefs

During the course-topic-choosing phase, you were determining the market value and demand for your potential course topic. 

However, during the information-gathering phase, you’ll utilize Ahrefs to find keyword suggestions that could open you up to further information related to your topic. 

Let’s look at how you can do this:

Keyword Explorer

First, you need to go to Ahrefs’ keyword explorer by clicking on it in the top access bar as shown below:

keyword explorer

Next, you should make a list of all the keyword variations you can think of related to your course topic and then enter all of them into the text field.

Note that you can enter all keyword variations at once by separating them with a new line as shown:

keyword explorer

Once you search, look at the different options on the left-side that say “Matching terms”, “Related terms” and Search suggestions”. 

When you click on any of these, Ahrefs will present you with a ton of keyword variations and keyword ideas related to your course topic. 

You can note down these keyword ideas manually or you can simply download the entirety of the list(s) as .csv files.

So, now that you have a new list of keyword ideas, what do you do with it? 

It’s simple: You now use these keyword ideas to search for information on Google. Using different keywords for the same course topic on Google will result in new pages coming up in the search results which you may not have explored before. 

This can open you up to a wealth of new information related to your course topic that you can take advantage of. 

One more thing that you can use these keyword ideas for is to use them within your online course’s content once you actually start writing it. 

Hence, once you’ve gathered the information for your course topic, don’t throw out those keyword ideas lists! You’ll need them later. 

Content Explorer

We discussed how you can use the keyword ideas generated by Ahrefs to make searches on Google. 

You can also apply this same strategy to Ahrefs’ content explorer. So, what you need to do is first perform the entire process of generating keyword ideas list from Ahrefs’ keyword explorer and then, use those keyword ideas to find content from Ahrefs’ content explorer. 

The content explorer is a highly powerful tool in terms of the metrics that it shows. 

You’ll really be able to easily look at competitors, the keywords and ideas they use, and what works best for them and what doesn’t.


And of course, since the content explorer shows you popular web pages based on your keywords, you can simply go to these websites and gather relevant information from them as well. 



Reddit can be a wonderful place for gathering content since it’s an organic community that will be filled with enthusiasts who are similarly passionate about your course topic. 

Start by finding and joining all popular subreddits related to your course topic. You can find them easily through a quick Google search. Just type “<your course topic> subreddit”. 

Once you’ve joined the relevant subreddits, you can start going through their posts and gathering relevant information for your course topic. 

Not only can Reddit be great for gathering content but it can also be a powerful tool for building an audience. 

If you actively post in subreddits related to your course topic, you can build up karma (Reddit’s reputation/point system) and become a prominent member of the community. 

Then, when the time comes to launch your online course, you can make a post about it in the different subreddits you’re a part of. 

This can really help you kickstart your online course and get it off the ground. 


SEMRush does essentially the same job as Ahrefs and thus, you can utilize it in the same way as you would Ahrefs.

For SEMRush, you can utilize its keyword magic tool to generate keyword suggestions that you can then enter into Google search to find unexplored content. 

keyword tools

Unlike Ahrefs, SEMRush does a much better job of refining its list of keyword suggestions so you’ll have to spend a lot less time sorting through junk and irrelevant words.

Furthermore, you can also use SEMRush’s rank and position tracking tool to inspect up to 10 competitors to see what keywords they’re using to rank well. 


You can use these keywords as inspiration to use within your content.

You can also use them to search on Google in order to explore websites and articles you may not have come across before. 

Facebook Groups 


The idea here is similar to scouring subreddits related to your course topic. 

In case you’ve been interested in your course topic’s field for a long time, chances are that you may already be an active member of such groups. 

If not, then it can definitely be a good idea to look for and join such groups where people are having discussions related to your course topic. 

Not only can this allow you to gain access to relevant information and knowledge but it can also help you identify what people are talking about and what problems they’re facing. 

Observing the frequency of certain problems within communities such as Facebook groups and subreddits can be a great way of identifying modules that you can create within your online course.

Similar to subreddits, Facebook groups can also be a great tool to find an audience for your online course if you become an active member of those communities. 


Moz is another great keyword research and SEO tool that you can use to discover keyword ideas for your online course. 

You can then use these keywords to search on different search engines and find better and more relevant content for your course topic. 

Moz’s keyword explorer is great because while it does present you with standard metrics such as keyword difficulty and search volume but it also has its own custom metrics. 


These are metrics such as “opportunity” and “potential” scores. They are generated by analyzing different metrics such as click-through rates (CTRs), search competition, organic traffic, etc. 

This can allow you to easily identify rankable keywords which you can then use in the two ways we’ve already discussed above (using them in search engines and incorporating them into your content). 

Another great thing about Moz is that its keyword manager is very handy and easy to use. 

You can save a keyword and add it to whatever list you want. You can create many different lists for different projects, goals, and objectives.

Once you have all the keywords you want to save within different lists, you can then go through them and start gathering information online. 

Moz also does a great job of visualizing the different keywords in terms of their rankability, traffic value, and many other different metrics. 


Note: Take a look at our SemRush VS Ahrefs VS Moz review to have a better understanding of the pros and cons you will have for each of them

Wrapping Things Up… 

The internet is filled with endless resources related to any type of content you want. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing. 

Gathering information is the stage where a lot of online course creators quit because they’re at a fairly early stage of the process and the onslaught of endless information can get overwhelming for a lot of them. 

However, with the right tools and approach, you can easily organize the content you find into digestible chunks which you can then use to effectively build your online course. 

How do you gather information for your online courses? Let us know in the comments below. 

Interested in finding out how to get into online course business easily, take a look at the complete guide on our website