55 PROVEN, PROFITABLE COURSE TOPICS IN FRINGE, WEIRD NICHES YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF
There’s one thing that drives me absolutely nuts about running this online business teaching online business.
People assume that only people who sell marketing advice can make real money. People literally tell me “you have it easy, you sell business training. I could never do that in my niche! I talk about saving money/quilting/holistic herbalism/whatever.”
It’s the great big internet marketing lie: that success is only for people selling “make money online!” courses and programs.
Oh my gosh I want to punch a wall right now - because this is SO NOT TRUE!
Case in point:
I’ve made six figures from a course about living in a vintage camper. (Yes, me! You didn’t think I only have one business all about online business did you? No way!).
I've taught people in the construction industry, in fashion design, in the knitting niche, artists, interior designers, holistic healers, fitness trainers, and everything in between how to create courses in their niches too.
Yeah! So now just try to tell me your excuses about how “your industry isn’t good for making money with courses”, because I will prove to you it is.
You think of it, I’ve probably helped a person launch a course in it.
Now, just because you don’t see your niche on here doesn’t mean it won’t be successful— there are hundreds of niches I’ve left off here just so this blog post isn’t a million pages long.
If you have the right systems and strategies, you can launch a course in ANY niche and be successful.
And to prove it to you, I’m just straight up showing you 55 examples of courses that are successful, profitable, and making a real income for their creator in all sorts of weird industries and topics.
So please, please, please - do not dare tell me your industry or niche just won’t work with online courses.
Stop telling yourself EXCUSES for why you can’t - and start working on making it happen. Because you absolutely can.
Get inspired. Get your mental gears turning. Start to see what’s really possible.
If you think your industry just isn’t cut out for selling courses, think again.
The examples you will see below of successful course creators in just about every niche, are from my own clients!
If you want to work with me and my team on YOUR online course business (no matter what you teach), you can check out our group coaching program the Accelerator here.
Another great way to get started is to watch our free masterclass on how to launch your course the simple way, which you can watch right here now!
Let’s dive in!
My Accelerator client Sandy Sitron uses astrology and hypnosis to help people start to truly understand and heal themselves. Sandy’s been in the biz since 2013 and has helped more than 1,000 people with her offerings! This year, she had a $17,000 launch of her signature course using our strategies!
2. DIGITAL PAINTING
My Accelerator client, Fabian Reinhardt, is the genius behind Paintable, which teaches people all about how to do digital painting! His company is so incredible and so successful. Since working with me, he added about $100,000 in extra revenue to his company… WITHOUT having to work more!
That’s the beauty of the evergreen funnel! He had a six-figure course launch (with a course on painting!) and his funnel brought in $10k in the first month it was live. He is just getting started!
3. WATERCOLOR PAINTING
My client, Marie, is proof that these strategies work all over the world and in all types of niches! Marie runs an amazing business teaching people how to paint with watercolors! And get this - she teaches in French! Ooh la la!
Since working with me, she’s been able to take her launches to new heights and build her evergreen funnels. My favorite part? She was still making sales on her wedding day… without having to worry about it! Her funnel brings in enough sales for her to focus on her other projects, like writing books!
4. SPIRITUALITY AND MEDITATION
The Fierce Grace Collective, by my dear friend and client Carrie Anne Moss helps women get in touch with their spirituality through community, meditation, and amazing trainings. She also helps people through simple kundalini yoga meditations and visuals! I’ve worked with Carrie Anne as both a private client and an Accelerator client.
This year, Carrie Anne and her team have shifted to working on their evergreen funnels… which recently made two sales in one day without them having to lift a finger! With hundreds of members, her courses are serving women all over the world get in touch with their inner selves.
5. SQUARESPACE WEB DESIGN
I have TWO amazing clients who teach people about how to design websites through Squarespace!
My client Cami Farey of Simple Site Blueprint helps business owners create stunning, highly converting websites themselves. Cami had an amazing year this year—she created and did her first test of her course using my special Rapid Validation Method. She set out to enroll 5 people and enrolled nearly 5X her goal!
My other Squarespace client, Paige, runs Square Secrets and Square Secrets Business. Paige was actually my very first Accelerator client! She started off selling Square Secrets, which teaches people how to build their own Squarespace websites. That was so successful she started teaching a course about how people can build their own Squarespace design business!
It’s so hard to pick one win from Paige. She has had six figure launches, and her funnel brings in $10k every month automatically with her courses. If you’re interested in hearing all about her journey to multi-six-figures, check out this podcast interview I did with her!
6. WEB DESIGN BUSINESS TRAINING
My client, Morgan Rapp, teaches web designers how to land bigger clients by offering Shopify services through her course, Amplify Shopify. In it, you will learn how to design & launch Shopify websites quickly without custom coding and start working with bigger budget clients. One of Morgan’s recent wins? Having a $36K launch… that she almost didn’t do!
7. CRYSTAL HEALING
Oh my gosh, my client Ashley Leavy of Love and Light School is such a badass! She teaches people how to learn crystal healing! Her course is SO FUN! It’s also, might I add, a huge freakin’ success. Like, multi-six-figure launch success. A few weeks after becoming my client she did a launch that earned over $400k.
Yup. Pretty dang badass.
8. CIVIL ENGINEERING TEST PREP
My client Isaac Oakeson runs Civil Engineering Academy, where he trains civil engineers to pass their standardized tests.
The best part about Isaac is that he runs a six-figure course business in ADDITION to having a full-time job and wonderful family.
My Accelerator client Carolyn Elliott runs the amazing site, Witch. In addition to sharing amazing witch-related content, she teaches women how to manifest more magic in there life.
Talk about a fun niche! Carolyn’s had huge success more than doubling her launches since joining the Accelerator.
10. SUBSCRIPTION BOX BUSINESS
My Accelerator client Julie Ball built a super successful subscription box business… and then decided to teach other business owners how to do the same.
Her company Sparkle Hustle Grow helps women create ad launch their own subscription box businesses with simple and no-nonsense trainings. Julie has absolutely crushed all of her goals, more than doubling her rapid validation and launch goals, then turning on a successful funnel that made 17 sales in the first 24 hours of turning it on!
11. ENAMEL PIN BUSINESS
My client Becky runs an amazing enamel pin business called The Pink Samurai. Her pins were so successful, she decided to teach other people to do the same. Becky built her course from the ground up in the Accelerator and has had so much success putting it into the world. Her Rapid Validation Webinar brought in 70 (!) students, and that was just her pre-sale!
Looking for help managing your finances for your small business? My Accelerator client Janet LeBlanc has a whole course business dedicated to helping business owners get legit with their finances. Check out Paper + Spark to learn more. Janet has done absolutely amazing things with her launches… beating her goals by more than 10 students.
13. AFFILIATE MARKETING
My client Justine Grey has helped thousands of affiliates monetize their content through her work as affiliate manager.
Unlike others sharing affiliate tips based on a one-time or one-niche experience, she’s worked with bloggers across countless industries and has seen first-hand what it takes to find success as an affiliate.
Now she teaches people to do the same through her business. Justine’s rapid validation goal was to hit 6 students… she got 22!
14. HOME DECOR
My Accelerator client Corey teaches people how to create a home they love through her business Hey There Home. She teaches people about decor, color, and decluttering. Corey’s evergreen funnel has been so successful in making consistent sales to support her business.
15. FACEBOOK ADS TRAINING
In addition to hosting an amazing podcast, my Accelerator client Claire Pelletreau teaches people how to run Facebook ads… and also how to build their own business running Facebook ads for other people. Learn more about her course here. Claire has had so many wins in the Accelerator, but I specifically love how she talks about how it made launching so EASY for her!
I also did a whole podcast episode with Claire where we talk about how her evergreen funnel has been so successful she hasn’t had to launch!
My client Cindy Lin runs the Staged4More school of home staging. Cindy teaches people how to operate their own home staging business where they make money preparing homes to be sold.
Cindy has grown SO MUCH in the Accelerator! She’s been able to move past her mindset blocks around the webinar to truly create something amazing!
17. DESIGN SOFTWARE TRAINING
Running a business is hard! My client Kelsey Baldwin shows you how to confidently design whatever you need for your business with one, single, not-so-scary program. Learn more about her training for Adobe InDesign at her site, Paper and Oats. Kelsey’s funnel is SUPER highly converting… a testament to how amazing her course is!
She had her biggest launch ever this year, after years of having launches that never quite broke through her previous “ceiling” of revenue. And her funnel does so well, she told us that it brought in the equivalent of doing a whole other launch this year, without having to launch!
My client Mary’s business, Leather Beast, helps you take your leather hobby and your leather business to the next level. Her goal is to help you get answers, produce beautiful leatherwork and get your small leather business off the ground in the quickest and easiest way possible.
Mary built Leather Beast from scratch in the Accelerator… and even though she didn’t believe her funnel would work, she turned it on and has been making consistent sales!
19. MINDSET WORK
My Accelerator client Dana Balicki helps you find clarity in your life, work, and love. Her transformative courses help people clear away the bullshit and take meaningful action to improve their life.
Dana has had so many wins in the Accelerator, but I especially love how she has been able to launch not one, but TWO funnels using my strategies!
My Accelerator client Sarah Fritts is a pilot for a large commercial airline… and also teaches other pilots how to pass their exams with her course, NOTAMS Made Easy. She’s helped dozens of pilots get past this stage in their learning. I love that Sarah has been able to produce a consistent revenue stream that will earn her money in the background while she’s off flying around the world!
21. CAREER AND RESUMES
My Accelerator client Heather Austin teaches people solutions and strategies to find and land their ultimate career.
She helps people revamp their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and job search strategy so they can find exactly what they need to get their dream job. Heather’s such an amazing success story… she’s been able to quit her day job based on how much money she makes from her courses!
She told us recently that her funnel sometimes brings in 10 sales in a single day, and 2-4 sales every day on average!
My client Becca Tracey teaches people how to build a life and business they love at The Uncaged Life. Becca teaches coaches how to find their niche, get clients, and get their businesses off the ground.
Since joining the Accelerator, Becca’s added a six figure funnel into the mix… meaning she can make thousands of dollars while she goes off and lives her Uncaged Life.
23. VIRTUAL ASSISTANT TRAINING
Abbey Ashley isn’t just my Accelerator client… she’s a bonafide rockstar! Her amazing company, The Virtual Savvy, teaches people how to build their own virtual assistant business.
It’s hard to pick one specific win for Abbey… her multi-six figure launches? Her funnel that does nearly $70K a month with no ad spend? Or the fact she just hit $1 MILLION in her business!!! She’s truly an inspiration!
Leigh Noren’s company, Lust-lyftet, teaches people how to reclaim their sexuality. She’s been a huge success in Sweden and is now expanding to the United States! This year she was able to take an entire month off...while her funnel still brought in over $5k in course sales automatically!
25. FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY
Have you ever wondered how to take drool-worthy food photos for your biz? (Or just your Instagram!) My client Louise Lyshoj teaches exactly that!
26. ACADEMIC WRITING
Academics in all disciplines have to produce an insane amount of writing! My client Cathy Mazak helps them do just that by teaching them systems for getting their writing done. Cathy has been so successful in her course business that she MATCHED her salary from her full-time professor job...then surpassed it!
Fertility is a deeply difficult and personal journal for many women. My client Spenser Brassard is a life and fertility coach who helps women get their mind and body on track for their fertility journey.
Spenser has had a highly successful evergreen funnel… which proves that delivering people what they need when they need it is super helpful!
28. HAIR STYLIST TRAINING
My client Melinda is an amazing hair stylist. She teaches other women how to repair hair extensions through her business, Doctored Locks. Melinda has done so many amazing things with her business, but I absolutely love that it’s mainly taken the pressure off her in-person trainings and let her live her best life, full of freedom and fun!
29. LIVE EVENTS
My client Lauren Caselli’s mission is to help you create strategic live events that build communities and change the world. In addition to working with clients 1-on-1, Lauren has two courses, Events That Convert and Sell More Sponsorships. Lauren’s funnel is making money while she doesn’t even pay attention to it!
My client Allie Cassazza is an amazing teacher who helps women learn how to simplify their lives through minimalism. She’s helped hundreds of families take back control of their days.
Her courses about minimalism for moms quickly gained major traction, and she earned $200k just in the first few months. Now she has a 7-figure course business!
31. HANDMADE BUSINESS TRAINING
My Accelerator client Morgan Nield built a six-figure Etsy biz and figured out the best way to do it along the way. Now she teaches people how to do the same through her course business, Mastermind Your Marketing. Morgan’s evergreen funnel is so successful she made seven sales without even doing anything to direct traffic to it!
My interview with Morgan on my podcast is one of the most inspiring conversations I’ve had with another course creator - listen to it right here. She has had 6 figure launches while pregnant, and her successful funnel allowed her to take a relaxing maternity leave! We talk all about how Morgan has built a multiple 6 figure course business - while raising a family!
32. BIBLE JOURNALING
Rebekah Jones helps people who want to connect more with Jesus build a meaningful practice through Bible journaling. She’s helped hundreds of women with her Creative Faith courses. During her first launch with us, in our Launch Your Signature Course® program, she enrolled over 290 students!
33. BARRE/YOGA TEACHER TRAINING
My client Andrea runs many successful Barre and Yoga studios all over Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She came to me with an idea to take her in-person Barre Teacher Training and turn it into the most comprehensive, incredible online training available.
Andrea launched with a tiny email list of about 1500 people...and ended up closing that launch at over $65k in sales!
34. PROGRAMMING & CODING
My Accelerator client Rafeh Qazi helps people learn to become programmers through his company, Clever Programmer.
Qazi’s courses help people go from zero to expert knowledge in just a few short months. Qazi has been crushing it with his launches… he had a six-figure launch WHILE spending time with his family, aka focusing on what matters!
35. SEO TRAINING
Galen Mooney helps creatives learn how to design SEO-friendly homepages so they can attract more traffic to their websites.
Her course has helped her get more business without taking on more and more 1-on-1 clients. Galen’s done such a great job setting up her funnel… which made $700 while she was sleeping!
36. TAROT CARD READING
Mamta Roos uses use her natural gifts of clairvoyance and clairaudience, as well as the ancient wisdom within the tarot, to act as the bridge between this world and Spirit. Her company, Soul Truth Gateway, helps tarot business owners go from apprentices to masters.
37. FINDING FELLOWSHIPS
My Accelerator client, Vicki Johnson, teaches academics how to find fellowships through her company, ProFellow. Her course business helps hundreds of graduate students get the funding they need to pursue their research. Vicki made over $5k on her very first webinar!
38. EBOOK PUBLISHING
Have you ever wanted to write or publish an ebook? Abby Lawson teaches you how to do exactly that through her online courses. She made 375 sales for her first launch with a small list using our Launch Your Signature Course program!
39. PHOTO ORGANIZATION
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of photos you have in your life? On your phone, on your computer, etc, etc. Caroline Guntur teaches you how to organize them.
40. WORDPRESS WEBSITES
It’s not just Squarespace trainers who can earn money teaching others how to craft profitable businesses! Dave Foy has taught thousands how to create Wordpress websites for their business. He launched his course using our Launch Your Signature Course® program, and his first launch brought in over $19k in sales!
41. PROOFREADING TRAINING
Phon Baillie helps people make money through their love of words. Her business, Art of Proofreading, teaches you how to become a high-level, in-demand proofreader.
She sent me a message recently that she had earned 6-figures in just 6 MONTHS through webinars...using our webinar strategy!
Let’s look at some other people in fringe niches making bank with their online courses!
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.
His course auditionhaker 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.
Well, after a "multiple five figure" 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!
43. FASHION DESIGN
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 bootstrapped-but-booming fashion brand, she decided to create a course about it.
She realized that the biggest thing missing from her university education was the part about, you know, actually creating and running a successful fashion brand!
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.
And she’s able to add another income stream to her business, which gives her more capital to invest in new clothing lines, bigger production runs, and more ways to support her fashion business.
Julie is a student in Launch Your Signature Course®, my program on creating and launching YOUR own course. She used the program to turn her fashion brand into a profitable course, adding a new income stream to her physical product and custom clothing business.
If you sell physical products, I want you to think about how creating a course about YOUR craft or product could help you increase the capital you have for your product business. What would that mean to you to have an additional passive income stream to help you grow your physical business?
44. SOUL-NURTURING & SELF-CARE
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!
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.
The community that has come out of this course is nothing short of incredible, far surpassing all of our expectations!
It really shows how you can create a course about anything - even in this space. The promises are community, connection, getting grounded, self-care, and more.
If you’re afraid that “launching” and “marketing” doesn’t apply to your soul-centered, holistic niche - think again.
45. MUSIC BUSINESS TRAINING
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.
As someone who’s first “business” was being the lead singer/guitarist in a touring punk band, and the person in charge of making “revenue” from t-shirt sales, band merch, and CDs and records, I immediately connected to what Bree teaches (I only wish I had found her when I was 18 and trying to figure out how to get paid to play back then!).
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.
I love the example of her profitable house concerts course - it’s a tiny, niche little course that teaches you how to put on your first house show (having lived in a punk house for 6 years, this was my entire life!) within a week. It’s her most popular course!
Keep an eye on Bree, she’s using the strategies I teach in Launch Your Signature Course® to launch something amazing for musicians who want to reach their fans online.
46. DOWNSIZING YOUR HOME
OH hello! Yep, it’s me.
Many years ago (ha!) I launched my first course about living in a 120 square foot vintage camper.
Well, tons of incredible students have gone through my life-changing course and gotten absolutely stunning results. And yes, it’s a success in a little tiny niche that no one thought could work!
Seriously - all I can say is that if I can make it work (I mean, MORE than make it work!) with a course about living in a vintage trailer - YOU CAN TOO.
THIS is why I KNOW that courses are for everyone. Because I know that every niche, no matter how small and fringe, needs a course or two to help out the people just starting out - just 3 steps behind you.
47. TINY HOUSE TRAINING
After creating my first course in this niche, I teamed up with a guy I had been teaching in-person workshops with and we created another big first in this space: an online version of a workshop about building systems in your home.
Construction and building technology is a very hands-on thing to learn. (I should know, I have a degree in sustainable architecture and the way I learned was by DOING - by building lots of these systems on my own).
We were nervous that it wouldn’t translate into the online training platform.
We were afraid that people wouldn’t be able to learn basic building principles from a presentation.
We figured that people would be less likely to sign up because it wasn’t hands on.
Turns out, people had been waiting for an opportunity to attend a “workshop”, get 90% of the information (no hands-on stuff, but lots of detailed examples and diagrams) and not have to travel to do it. Travel and accommodations had been a huge barrier for people in our in person workshops. This online version of the workshops solved the problem.
So if you have a topic or workshop that you currently teach in person - whether it’s a gardening workshop at a local store, or a writing workshop at a local library, or something you teach in person at a college or school - look at this example of how we translated our in-person live hands-on workshop into an online class that now has had hundreds of students and success stories.
If you don't think you can turn what you teach in person into an online course, just look!
48. DIY ASTROLOGY TRAINING
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!
This is a niche you might not think about when you think “online courses” - magic, the occult, and astrology?! Who knew, right? I think it’s amazing what Amelia has created in her niche. I seriously love this woman, go check out all the amazing things she offers!
I love that Amelia has created a super affordable way to “work” with her.
For clients who may not be ready to invest in her premium services, the Elemental Astrology course is the perfect way to get started.
If you have services (coaching, consulting, copywriting, designing), you should consider creating an affordable way to serve more people in an online course. Especially since you can only have so many clients, and probably like the idea of some supplemental passive income to complement your client work!
49. CARD MAGIC
And on the other side of the magic spectrum - we have Asad Chaudry’s course about card magic! 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.
I know a lot of people say “but you can almost anything for free on YouTube! Why would anyone buy this?”.
Well look at Asad’s curriculum.
Look how organized it is.
THAT IS VALUE.
The way that you package and organize the flow of your course actually IS VALUE! People will gladly pay for information organized in a logical way, not having to piece it all together.
50. LIVING WITH INTENTION TRAINING
“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.
This is really what successful courses are all about!
I love that Jess has taken something very hard to describe and “pin down” - and turned it into concrete steps that people can take. That’s the kicker!
It doesn’t matter what the transformation might be for you - maybe you went from ungrateful and always stressed to peaceful through meditation and yoga, maybe you went from having a shopping addiction to being a minimalist (ahem, me) or maybe you went from being a codependent love addict to a healthy relationship.
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.
51. HAND LETTERING
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!
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!
This is a great example - her courses don’t help you make money, or sell anything, or save money - it is just for the PURE JOY AND PLEASURE of making art.
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.
One thing we talk about in Launch Your Signature Course® is that you don’t need to over-complicate what makes a successful course.
Something that you do every day that feels like a natural skill to you or something super basic - like using a software, drawing, or anything you think of as “easy” can be a hugely successful course! A lot of things that you think of as “well anyone can do that, it’s so easy” are NOT easy to other people.
Skills-based courses teach a practical skill that someone wants to know, such as scrapbooking, using Photoshop, writing calligraphy, building a wooden box, or anything else!
This is an inspiring story and example. Of course it’s something to work towards - but if someone can build an empire (with a team, a podcast, successful products, and more) with a course about hand lettering, you can do it too. I love seeing what’s possible!
52. GMAIL TRAINING
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 Gmail 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.
Not only that, but this course ESTABLISHED VAL AS THE EXPERT.
(Guess what, experts don’t make courses - courses MAKE experts! I’m serious.)
She’s now widely known for her skills in systemizing emails - so much so that ConvertKit, the fast-growing email platform we use - hired her to run their marketing. Talk about showing your expertise with a course! It landed her this dream job!
53. SCRIVENER TRAINING FOR WRITERS
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 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!
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.
54. DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING
Again, I never would have thought that scrapbooking could become a successful course! And yet, Jessica’s course 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.
What’s something that you’re already doing as a hobby that you can share with others?
Do people crave a bigger community for an activity they are now doing alone?
Think about how you can use your course to CONNECT people with similar interests. That’s a big part of a successful course!
This course by Rachel about using cartooning to tell stories and explain concepts is amazing - I’m obsessed with this! (One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I originally went to college to get a degree in Comic Books and Graphic Novels. I was the president of the Comic Book Club in college. I studied graphic novels academically for 2 years. I’ve written more than 20 comprehensive papers on the topic. Tweet me for suggested reading :)
Anyway, needless to say this course is awesome. It’s about comics! Not only that, but I love how Rachel put her own spin on this. She talks about using comics in practical ways.
Somebody please make more courses about comic books where I can talk academically about my favorite characters and stories with other people WHO GET IT! Hahah.
Whatever your weird little corner of the world is, please please please share it in an online course.
People need what you got. Even if you think there’s no way in hell anyone would care. Even if you think that what you do isn’t “cut out” to be an online course.
Because one common thread here?
I bet you that 99% of these people on this list were NOT expecting to be successful.
I bet you that they were all told that this wasn’t gonna work - or that they launched something expecting crickets, and were so damn excited to realize they were onto something when they made that first sale (they first sales changed EVERYTHING - trust me).
But you have to TRY to find out. You have to take the leap!
If you STILL feel, even after this list of weird fringe course case studies, that you can’t create a course in YOUR niche, I want you to explain in the comments. And I will come here and give you an idea for your industry or topic.