Want to make money selling an online course? If not, you should. There’s never been a better time to pick a profitable online course idea and make money teaching something you love.
But which course topics are the most profitable? In this article, I’m going to go over the best course topics to make money in 2021.
Why start an online course?
Online courses are very profitable
The online course industry is huge, and it’s only going to get bigger. By 2026, e-learning will be a $375 billion industry (source).
Online courses have exploded in the last few years – and it’s no wonder why.
They’re a quick way for learners to digest information and learn new skills. More interactive than an ebook, online courses are often a bit more pricey but still affordable.
For sellers, they’re an excellent way to make money while sharing your expertise with the world.
You can build passive income
Invest the time to create a stellar course once, and sell the same product over and over again. Win-win.
While you should update your course every now and then, there are many evergreen topics that don’t need much updating.
Build enough courses and you’ll set yourself up with a great passive income stream.
You can use the power of community
Start by creating a high-quality course and providing awesome customer service. When people buy your online course, they are largely buying it because of you. You are your biggest differentiating factor.
So don’t undervalue the importance of building your following. You should set up social media accounts to build your brand.
Once you’ve built a big audience, you can market additional courses to them and use the power of community to sell your courses by word of mouth.
How to start an online course
Choose an idea from this profitable online course ideas list
I’ll go over the best online course ideas in the next section.
Write your outline
Create a layout of what you plan to teach. You can look at courses in your same niche to get an idea of how others structure their course.
Choose a platform to host your course
Choose an online course platform from the list below and start building your course.
Create your course
Take your time and create an amazing course, making sure to underpromise and overdeliver.
Enroll in a popular course in the same topic to see the quality of the course. If you can create a course of similar (or better) quality, you have a chance to replicate their success.
Promote your course
The best way to promote yourself as an online course creator is to use content marketing. This is when you have a website and create content to drive traffic to your articles.
You can get a step-by-step guide on how to start a website and get an audience here.
Best online course ideas to make money in 2021
Making money online
The “make money online” niche is one of, if not the most profitable course topic. It’s obvious why people would want to pay money to learn how to make money.
If you have specific knowledge on any of these topics, consider sharing your wisdom and make money selling your expertise.
- Blogging & writing
- Building an audience
- Using Instagram Insights to grow your following
- How to create a content marketing strategy
- Starting a business as a social media influencer
As people gear up and begin planning their trips, they’ll be on the lookout for travel inspiration and advice.
People are particularly interested in:
- How to travel the world on a budget
- Travel writing course
- Make money as an Airbnb host
- Live the digital nomad lifestyle and become location independent
- How to rack up travel credit card rewards points and travel for free
Health and Wellness
Health and wellness will always be a hot topic, as people are always looking to improve this area of their lives. People are often searching for a way to reset and refocus – if you’re qualified, you can help with this.
- Mindful nutrition (specific diets, cooking how-tos, baking, etc.)
- Fitness (At home workouts, gym guides, yoga, stretching, flexibility, etc.)
- Work-life balance
While you cannot take the place of a counselor or psychologist, perhaps you have expertise in the mental health space.
If you’ve shared openly about your own mental health journey on social media, this might be the best course idea for you. Consider the following topics:
- Overcoming grief
- Positive mindset
- Building healthy, long-term relationships
- Effective communication
- Recovering from breakups
Arts and Creativity
Adults tend to lose their creativity as they age. What used to be a fun hobby has been replaced with responsibilities and other activities. As adults, we often need a little push to help us get back into the creative mindset.
If you’ve built a following by sharing your own art, you likely have followers who want to learn how to create. From general to specific, consider the following topics:
- Boosting creativity
- How to get into the creative mindset
- 30-day creativity challenge
- Instrument specific (vocals, guitar, piano, etc.)
- Spoken word (Acting, poetry, songwriting)
- Photography (Photo editing, videography, video editing)
- Art mediums (Oil paint, watercolor, colored pencils, calligraphy, pastels, etc)
- Graphic design
Home and Lifestyle
As people shift into different stages in their lives, they’re always looking for guidance. That might be becoming a young adult with new responsibilities, becoming a parent, buying a house, changing careers, or getting your first pet.
With more people than ever staying at home, there’s more demand than ever for guidance on these topics. Do you specialize in any of the following?
- DIY activities for kids
- Petcare (How to choose a pet, dog training, cat training, etc)
- Organization & decluttering
- Planning & scheduling
- Remodeling your home on a budget
- Redecorating your home
- Finding your style
- Capsule wardrobe how-tos
Have you been sharing your makeup looks on Youtube for years? Or perhaps sharing your favorite skincare routine on TikTok?
Think about your specific niche and consider the following online course ideas in the beauty niche:
- Makeup for beginners
- Advanced makeup courses
- Special effects makeup
- Wedding and special events makeup
- Haircare (Hair growth, curly girl method, updos)
- Skincare (Building a routine, specific products for aging)
- Nails (How to do them at home, products needed, finding the right shape, etc)
With the gap between the rich and poor growing every day, personal finance is on the rise in popularity. More people than ever are looking online for advice on how to make more money and what to do with it once they have it.
If you have experience in this area, there’s a huge market looking to gain your expertise. Consider the following online course ideas:
- Money management
- Budgeting & saving
- Getting a promotion at work
- How to quit your job and find your dream career
- Negotiate your pay and ask for a raise
- Side hustles (Renting your house, blogging, etc)
- Investing (How, where, and why)
- Taxes (How to save money)
- Real estate investing
Blue-collar jobs are disappearing and there’s more demand than ever for tech careers. With this shift, people are also realizing that they don’t need a fancy, 4-year degree. Many folks in tech are self-taught, and people are looking to follow in their footsteps.
If you are an expert techie, think about how you can share your knowledge to help others change their lives.
- Web design & coding
- Data science
- Excel and Microsoft certifications
- Google & Facebook Ads
- Social media management
- Automation & dropshipping
- App development
Perhaps you have a more niche following. A lot of influencers gain a following simply by being themselves, sharing their random hobbies, and their own personal development journey.
You might be able to offer your following a course on bettering themselves – is there a skill you’ve worked hard at internally that you are knowledgeable about? Consider the following topic ideas:
- Productivity (Time blocking, 5-minute rule, getting the most out of your day, etc)
- Emotional intelligence
Wrapping it up
Regardless of your niche, there’s definitely a course topic that’s right for you to teach.
Focus on creating a high-quality course that is engaging for your students and be sure to offer excellent customer service.
Choose something you’re passionate about, and that you wouldn’t mind answering a million questions on. Follow these steps, be ready to put in the hard work, and you’re sure to have a successful, profitable online course.
Until next time,