It seems like just about anything can be turned into a profitable business these days.
Don't believe me? Keep reading.
When it comes to online courses, if there is a demand, then it's possible to make a profit. And you would be shocked at what there is a demand for.
I know I was.
People turn to the internet to learn things every single day. All kinds of things!
They're even willing to pull out their wallet to make it happen.
And just because they can find a ton of free information on YouTube doesn't mean you can't make a profitable business on that topic. There is a ton of value in organizing the information so they don't have to try to find all of it themselves.
Our friend Mariah at Femtrepreneur posted an article about proven and profitable courses in strange, fringe niche markets you've probably never heard of.
And since those people are creating profitable courses, you might want to consider getting into these markets.
His course teaches you how to rock your auditions no matter what instrument you play. As a member of the MET orchestra, he has the experience but was not sure how this digital program in a very traditional space would do.
Rob was nervous that because no one else in his industry offers online courses (literally nobody!) that his audience would just not know what a course was or buy one online. When he launched last year, he literally had no other people in his industry to look to as examples.
Well, after a $40k first launch to a very small, targeted list and another launch underway that promises to be even bigger, Rob proved everyone wrong who told him a course about auditioning for the orchestra was way too niche and would never work.
Are you in a niche with no other courses? Great! You can be the first!
Julie Mollo has a successful business as a fashion designer and stylist – you’ve seen her dresses being worn by award winners at the Grammy’s and in your favorite music videos (Beyonce is a fan and client of hers).
However, Julie’s business can be seasonal, and after years of people asking her to please please please share what she knows about running a boostrapped-but-booming fashion brand, she decided to create a course about it.
Again, there are hardly any other people in this niche selling courses. At first she thought this would be a huge obstacle.
Turns out, the fact that her industry has so few people teaching online courses was a huge asset! She now has international magazines, top universities, and major bloggers promoting her course, all because of how unique it is.
The Fierce Grace Collective isn’t your typical course – each month students receive tools, meditations, guided visualizations, live calls, and other resources to help them nourish their souls, connect with themselves and other women, and really LIVE the values of Fierce Grace.
My dear friend and collaborator Carrie-Anne Moss wasn’t sure how her audience would respond to her first big online course launch.
She had never launched before using webinars, email sequences, and price increases – and she wasn’t sure her audience would respond to that marketing that we implemented in her business.
Well, 350+ students/members later, and we know she made the right move!
If you’re afraid that “launching” and “marketing” doesn’t apply to your soul-centered, holistic niche – think again.
Again, a hugely successful course with tons of students – in a niche about magic card tricks.
Look how in depth this course is. It’s crazy. And this is a skill that Asad already had. He had been doing this for fun for years. He probably didn’t realize that it would become such a successful course!
If you have a skill – even one that you think is something that just comes naturally, or something that “anyone could learn for free on YouTube”, or something that you get asked about at parties – that could literally be an online course that makes money.
Bree teaches female indie musicians how to have profitable house concerts and make hundreds of dollars a week putting on local band events, how to market yourself as an independent musician, and even how to manage money and finances as a self-made artist, singer, or songwriter.
Now, I get a lot of people who tell me that their industry isn’t “into” webinars or “doesn’t do or know” what webinars are. And they use that as an excuse to not be the first person doing them! Crazy, I know.
Bree’s niche is like that too. Her audience is women singer-songwriters and indie musicians, not really the “webinar” crowd, or so you’d think. However, she makes a full-time income selling her courses for indie musicians to her audience on webinars.
Many years ago (ha!) I launched my first course about living in a 120 square foot vintage camper. Everyone told me I would not make a penny.
My friends and family didn’t “get” it at all, and my advisor (my course started out as an essay I wrote for school) told me this was a terrible idea.
Well, thousands of incredible students have gone through my life-changing course and gotten absolutely stunning results. And I’ve made six figures from a $97 product. And yes, it’s a big huge success in a little tiny niche that has no business being so successful.
Amelia teaches DIY astrology to compliment her one-on-one services and readings.
Her course Elemental Astrology is “A deep dive into the core elements of stargazing, so you can learn how to practice astrology on your own. In this course, you’ll learn how to interpret the stars like a pro. Eclipses and retrogrades will have nothing on you!”.
It’s a $99 course, the perfect price point to start investing with her and get to know her style before potentially booking more sessions with her!
I love that Amelia has created a super affordable way to “work” with her.
“Living an intentional life” might not seem like a course topic that would become a huge success – but that’s exactly what Jess Lively has done with her program Life With Intention Online.
She’s successfully turned her passions, values, and skills – and figured out how to get paid to guide others through her own transformative processes.
If you can guide others through your journey, helping them along the way, you can create amazing change and impact, and make a living doing it too.
Angela teaches newbies and experienced painters how to create watercolor art. Her courses include “Watercolor Tree Clinic”, which helps you paint natural trees better, and “Winter Wonder Snow Scenes” which shows you how to paint wintery artwork with watercolors.
Can we just talk for a moment about how awesomely, amazingly specific that is?!
I mean, Angela is making a more than full-time income with courses about how to create watercolor art. Something that people do as a hobby!
The point is, people WILL spend money on hobbies and to learn arts and crafts – even if the benefit is just some self satisfaction and enjoyment. Nothing more, nothing less.
I always say this, but value comes in a lot of shapes and sizes. And this Watercolor University is a great example of that concept.
Sean Wes has created a hugely successful course business…teaching hand lettering to beginners! I think this is just so cool. He took an artistic skill he had and taught others who wanted to create hand lettering art too.
He’s famous for growing a huge community around this, and having multiple-six-figure launches, of his hand lettering course. He updates the course regularly and it gets better and better all the time.
Don’t underestimate the demand for a skill that you have and can teach others. Apparently, before Sean created this community and wildly successful course, people were DYING for someone to please show them how to create hand lettering art! The market was there, and he found it!
You know what people struggle with (ahem, ME)? Their inbox.
It seems simple. It seems….so obvious.
And Val realized that everyone struggles with it, and she had some good ideas about systems to help!
These are tips and tricks that Val’s been using in her own business for a long time. Things she was always doing herself, but hadn’t thought to necessarily teach other. I’m going to guess that after fielding tons of questions (probably via email! ha!) she decided to the best way to help people out would be with a course.
This seems so small and simple – literally a course about using email. And yet, it’s a course that people clamor for and rave about.
Joseph helps writers produce better work faster by using the power of Scrivener. He’s now seen as the expert on this platform as well.
This is one of the first online courses I ever read about – and I can honestly say that seeing how someone had created a full-time income (multiple six figures!) selling a course about using a software changed what I thought was possible.
It opened my eyes to what I could do with my own skills (even though my skills were totally different) and I hope that it does the same for you!
I think the idea that you could make a living with an online screensharing course about using a software – that you already knew and used daily in your own life – was just so simple and yet powerful. The software already has a built in customer base, and you’re tapping into that!
Again, I never would have thought that scrapbooking could become a successful course! And yet, Jessica is living proof.
Oh and it’s not just one course – but many income streams all related to scrapbooking, editing photos for your scrapbook, using typography in scrapbooks and more!
It’s like a scrapbooking empire!
This inspires me so much – to see someone who has created a living teaching what she loves.
Scrapbooking is usually something people do at their kitchen tables or in their craft rooms, and Jessica has figured out how to reach way more people than if she taught just local craft classes.
Head over to Femtrepreneur to read more.