Selling your services in the form of an online course can be a great way to bring in extra income. Throughout your career and education, you’ve likely accumulated skills and knowledge that can be valuable to others. These can be monetized so that your passive skill is now a passive income. Course creators come in every variety, and course topics can cover anything from pet care to life advice. Whether you’ve been a teacher before with sites like Udemy or this is your first time, teaching an online course is a great idea to bring in some extra money and add some entrepreneurship into your life.
One of the most essential things to consider when setting up your online course is your course topic. If you’re new to being an online course teacher, you may be wondering how profitable your idea is. Your profitability can change greatly depending on the market demand or shortage of available classes in your category. You have to consider your audience when you begin the process of course creation.
We’ve looked at the data and gathered a list of the best online course ideas that people ask for. Use this list to help you choose a profitable online course idea and grow your online learning business.
- What Are The Best Online Courses to Take?
- What Are The Most Profitable Online Courses?
- Which Are The Best Free Online Courses?
- The Bottom Line
What Are The Best Online Courses to Take?
Udemy has become a major player in the digital education market due to its ease of access and quality of the material. The best course topics to check out if you want to improve your career development include business and entrepreneurship classes, personal development classes, and computer literacy.What Online Courses Are In Demand?
Read through some of the in-demand course ideas below to see if any of them might be the perfect match for you as a teacher.
The DIY wave has lifted many budding business ideas to success, and the same could be true of your new online course. If you have a passion for all things artsy or have found success fixing up your home DIY-style, you could have your great online course topic. Because of the popularity of the DIY genre in vlogs, your competition from free content is steep, but the audience is there. The steady and devoted audience is what lands this topic on our list of the most profitable online course ideas of 2021.
Something to consider as you try to find your target audience within this topic is that it is such a wide category. If you’re a parent, you look to DIY for fun crafts and family activity ideas. If you’re a more outdoorsy type, a great DIY course idea that you’d enjoy might involve swinging an axe or using a few power tools. All this means is that your idea can fit directly to your skillset as a parent, an artist, or someone who knows how to use power tools. Crafts like painting and sewing can be folded into a DIY class topic by creating art pieces to hang in your home.
Beauty & Style
2021 is looking to be a great year for makeup (1.), and that is primarily due to the exponential rise of so many “beauty influencers.” The digital sphere is becoming a place where people can launch a skill as an online business and if they find their target audience people will support them. Beauty has always been popular as a topic in magazines and digital content, so why not use it to inspire your course topic?
Launching an online course can be a great way to spearhead your business. If you are a makeup artist or hairdresser, use online courses to improve the visibility of your business while making some money on the side. Other online course ideas that fall into this category are:
- Fashion throughout history
- Sewing or making clothes
- Horror or special effects makeup
- Makeup artistry
- Styling and cutting different hair types
- Dying hair
- Facial hair styling
- Tailoring clothing
Health & Fitness
Now more than ever many people are flocking to learn more about their health. An online course can be a great place to teach students about vegan or healthy cooking. Guide a cook-along workshop where each student’s homework is a shopping list. You can also lead active classes where your audience participates in a guided workout with you. This can be great for anyone with a passion for weight loss and fitness. Online course ideas are plentiful under the health umbrella.
The reason that health courses are such a good idea for bringing in a profit is that there is such a huge audience for it right now. You can see it in the language that advertisers use to sell products. Everyone wants to hear ingredients, see nutritional labels, and know what each workout will do for their overall health. Great online course ideas come from listening to the audience, and in this case, the people have spoken: whether you’re a bodybuilder or the parent of a teenager, health is a trend in your life right now. Harness the power of this major trend by choosing an online course topic within the health field.
Personal development is one of those ideas that are almost always profitable among online courses. When you look at the people who seek out an online course to better themselves, those people often incline toward personal development. You can find list after list of wildly popular personal development courses, seminars, and coaching sessions that people say changed their lives. As an online course idea, therefore, personal development is a great bet for making a high return on investment.
Not sure if your particular skills could fall within the topic of personal development? Here are a few course ideas that could bear this subtitle:
- Public speaking, people skills, and stage presence courses
- Interview coaching and resume editing courses
- Business and personal finance basics courses
- Dating and dating profile courses
- Networking tips and tricks courses
- Parent courses
- Organization and cleaning courses
Not every online course topic has to be about profitability for your client. A huge part of the digital learning market is comprised of people who want ideas to bring more enjoyment into their life. Think about the hours you’ve spent online reading about and practising feng shui or learning photography. Even course topics like gardening, musical instruments, and travel tips can be appealing to students on the market for new online courses.
There is a significant push in the digital market for self-improvement and life enrichment online course topics. The key is to market your hobby course as something that will add joy and fulfillment to your life. While it may not be something all people need, feng shui can help you create harmony in your home. Photography can give you a form of self-expression. Learning to play a new instrument can improve neuroplasticity. If you’ve spent your life accumulating useless knowledge, you could be making money off of it by teaching online courses.
What Are The Most Profitable Online Courses?
Profitability is key when you’re choosing a side hustle. If online teaching is mainly for the paycheck, see if you have the skillset to teach some of these profitable online courses below.
Business & Entrepreneurship
Everyone wants to make money and manage it well. That’s why some of the most profitable online courses and course ideas to launch have to do with an online business, personal finance, and making money. In the digital age, launching a business is easier than ever. There’s less overhead for online stores and you don’t need some large investment to get started. This means that more people need business advice than ever before. Offer the courses that people need to succeed. If you have entrepreneurial, finance, or business skills, people already want to take your course.
Course topic ideas that are huge in this niche include:
- Affiliate marketing
- Accounting courses
- Launching a real estate business (and real estate advertising)
- Project management courses
- How to reach your target market
- Data science courses
- Rights reserved, patents, and more
- Interpreting Google trends
- Learning search engine optimization (SEO)
Make sure that the topic you choose is something you are passionate and knowledgeable about, and a course business professionals feel will help them make money or secure their dream job. People view their online course as an investment in their career. As the teacher of a business course, make sure that you stay up to date on the latest market demand information and keep learning as you teach. One of the major benefits of teaching is that you get to continue learning along with your students. Don’t teach a class on real estate or interior design if it’s not something that you are both knowledgable and passionate about.
Tutoring and Teaching Kids
If teaching children and teens have ever been topics you’ve felt drawn toward, you can make a great income teaching and tutoring high school students and other age groups. Any parent of a high school-aged child is continually searching for help boosting their child’s education to prepare for college. This means plenty of opportunities for language teachers and tutors in particular.
If you want to launch a successful online course, step 1 is to be mindful of your client. In this case, your client is not the teen, but the parent. Advertise course topics that people who want the best for their kids would want to pay money for. Conduct market research and find out what ideas or topics are most likely to improve performance on standardized tests like the SAT. Find out which language classes are common in high schools. Take a look at which of these skills lines up with your course ideas to find out if tutoring students is the right online course idea for you.
Media Publishing & Content Creation
Based on the proven profitability of this emerging industry, there is a huge demand for online courses that educate about content creation. If you know how to create something and publish it digitally, you could be a valuable resource on sites like Udemy for people who want to learn about how to carve out a niche for themselves in content creation and publishing. Some great profitable online course ideas in this field can be scaled down to one specific skill or topic of content like:
- Blogging courses
- Podcasting and audio interview courses
- YouTube vlogs video editing and recording equipment
- Photography and Instagram courses
- Social media analytics and advertising
- ‘Rights reserved’ and other legal terminology
Inform your students that by the end of the online course, they will have the first item or first few items in their portfolio. The idea of a finished product is something people value when taking classes with sites like Udemy and others. They’ll be able to start submitting, publishing and posting to accumulate a following on social media or whatever platform they choose upon finishing the course.
This course idea is particularly valuable for anyone entering or attempting to survive in the workplace right now. It’s something many of the older generations missed out on, and something the younger ones are expected to have mastered already. If you have a background in computers, you have a large, untapped target audience for this course topic. Computer literacy refers to an understanding of and the ability to use many of the capabilities and programs of a computer. A few ideas that people may include in the topic of computer literacy include:
- Using search engines and social media
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
- Google Suite (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and more)
- More advanced audio, sound, and photo editing software
You can advertise this course as a way for people to upgrade their knowledge, perform better on the job, feel less out of control at work and more capable of using their technology, and more. Courses like this on Udemy or other sites do well with almost any client that is career-minded because it is clear to see where the investment pays off. People know exactly when they will use this topic in their daily life and their job.
Which Are The Best Free Online Courses?
There are tons of free online courses available to take online. The best free courses that give you quality content despite being free are usually action-driven classes. Walkthroughs that help with cooking, exercise, and even singing can be particularly valuable because they are practice-based.
The Bottom Line
No matter where your expertise lies, your client is out there. If your skillset lands with any of these course ideas though, you may be headed toward profitability. People want to pay for courses and online course ideas that add to their lives. They want to believe that the course ideas will bring them success, financial freedom, happiness, and more. That’s why the most profitable courses and topics out there are the ones that combine passion with practicality. Give people a course that helps them to advance their career or brighten their day, and the profits will follow. Trust these course ideas to get you started.