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10 profitable online course ideas for 2024

14 min

Are you wondering how to create profitable online courses? Perhaps you’re simply looking for profitable online course ideas? 

It’s no secret that online courses can be lucrative. In fact, the online education industry is projected to be worth $279.30 billion by 2029.

We’ve created this article to help jumpstart your creation process. Keep reading to get 10 profitable ideas to help you choose the right online course. 

But let’s start with this…

How do you validate an online course idea?

Before you create online courses, you must ensure that your time and effort won’t go to waste. In other words, you must validate your idea and ensure that the skills you’d like to teach are in high demand.

So, how do you validate your idea for an online course?

An effective way is to visit online course marketplaces to see whether other teachers are already catering to your prospective customers’ needs. The presence of competition signifies a market for the online course you have in mind.

As a bonus, you can also read reviews to learn what your potential customers liked and disliked about your competitors’ online courses (more on this below).

This data will help you create profitable online courses that outperform the competition’s offerings.

Another online course validation method is to use a free or paid keyword research tool to check online search demand. In the picture below, a search for the query “How to Make Art” unearths potential course ideas:

Display of a keyword research tool for finding profitable online course ideas.


The keyword method is also excellent for generating ideas if you only have a vague sense of the kind of course you want to create.

These keyword tools also show you how many searches the keyword gets each month (the highlighted column), which is a good indicator of demand:

Keyword research tool displaying search volume for art-related queries.

Finally, you can build a landing page that offers early access to your course, like the one pictured below:

Promotional webpage for a digital PR course for link building


The number of students who sign up will help you gauge interest. You can even go further by collecting feedback from these early learners and using it to improve your course before launch.

10 Profitable online course ideas

Ready to start your course creation journey? Here are 10 of the most profitable online courses to inspire you.

1. Health and wellness online course ideas

Health and wellness is big business, so much so that the global market is estimated to be worth a whopping $8.47 trillion by 2027. The key to carving your slice of this enormous pie lies in niching down to a specific area. 

Some ideas worth considering include:

  • a sleep-related course
  • mindfulness for sufferers of depression
  • core strength training
  • yoga or pilates for beginners
  • vegan or vegetarian dieting
  • detoxification
  • high metabolic dieting
  • weight loss for people with busy schedules, and so on

As the above list shows, you can create countless health and wellness courses. This topic touches on all areas of life. 

Similarly, there’s no end to the audiences you can target. For example, the Stanford University Employee Wellness and Stress Management course (pictured below) targets business organizations that prioritize their employees’ well-being:

Stanford online course page for employee wellness and stress management.


Regarding what makes health and wellness courses profitable, they tap into people’s basic need to be healthy. This quality makes them evergreen digital products, meaning you can earn from them all year round. Finally, depending on how helpful the knowledge you’re sharing is, you might be able to charge a higher price for access to your course.

2. Online coaching course ideas

Coaching is another excellent field to get into as a course creator. People need guidance in all facets of their lives, whether that be spiritual, professional, or personal. 

Some coaching courses you can create include:

  • life coaching
  • career coaching
  • relationship coaching
  • spiritual life coaching, and
  • productivity coaching (among many others)

GetResponse’s Course Builder feature can speed up the creation process for your coaching course. The tool lets you […]

3. Online marketing and sales course ideas

One characteristic all online and physical businesses have in common is the desire to boost sales and make profits. For this reason, building a course around online marketing and sales can be lucrative.

Examples of course ideas you can create include:

  • How to build sales funnels
  • Digital advertising
  • How marketing automation works
  • Digital marketing 101 for small businesses
  • SEO for [name of industry]
  • Website conversion optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Digital marketing analytics

The more specific you can get with your online course, the better. That’s because most of the topics above are already covered in free blog posts and whitepapers. That means you’ll need to offer unique insights not available for free online.

One way to do that is to niche down. For example, you can target a specific industry instead of just talking about building sales funnels in general. Moreover, you’ll need to share some very actionable insights that are not available online. 

You can even go as far as offering one-on-one sessions with learners or providing free resources your students will need to implement their newly-acquired skills.

4. Personal development course ideas

Like health and wellness, personal development is intrinsic to the human experience. Many of your future students aspire to have a better life, but a lack of knowledge or personal demons impede their ambitions. 

Thus, plenty of money can be made from guiding people to a place of self-mastery. Grand View Research estimates that the personal development industry is valued at $43.77 billion and growing

So, what kinds of personal development courses can you create? Some of the options that come to mind are:

  • developing networking skills for professionals
  • managing stress in a professional setting
  • changing negative mindset
  • public speaking for beginners
  • overcoming self-esteem issues
  • productivity and time management
  • attaining happiness
  • emotional intelligence 101, and similar ideas

The National Health Service Leadership Academy’s introductory course to personal development (below) is an excellent example of a personal development course:

NHS online course on personal development featuring a happy student.


The course differentiates itself by focusing on individuals with busy schedules that leave little time for personal development.

One last thing: Courses like these will be more effective if your advice comes from personal experience. Having professional experience dealing with people who’ve been in your students’ shoes will also help. While not a prerequisite, it’s something to keep in mind when creating such courses.

5. Email marketing course ideas

Email marketing remains the most lucrative digital marketing technique, providing $36 for every $1 spent. Thus, in terms of the best online courses to sell, this one is an excellent evergreen money-maker. 

The topics you can touch on in your email marketing course are manifold. You can teach your students:

  • building an email marketing funnel
  • how copywriting for email works
  • how to create an email signature (a shorter course)
  • how to create an email newsletter
  • automating an email drip campaign
  • how to grow an email list
  • how to use email marketing software, and so forth.

The best part about building this kind of online course is you’ll have opportunities to make money beyond the course itself. For example, you can recommend specific tools within the course and get extra income through affiliate commissions. 

For instance, our email software has an affiliate program that lets you earn up to $100 per sale or a recurring 33% commission. This is a great way to monetize your online course beyond the initial admission fee.

6. Sports & fitness course ideas

Recreational activities like sports and exercise are great for courses. If you’re skilled at a particular sport or have ample physical fitness knowledge, there are plenty of options to choose from. 

Some excellent ones include:

  • how to play snooker
  • warmup exercises for novice martial artists
  • professional figure skating
  • how to throw curveballs
  • bowling
  • competitive swimming training regiment
  • golf for beginners

These courses can be lucrative, too. Here’s a Udemy course by Renata Simon that teaches students classical ballet at the beginner level:

Online course page for beginners in classical ballet


Since launching her course, the instructor has amassed hundreds of ratings and students. Her numbers would likely be far higher if she taught a more mainstream sporting activity (like basketball).

7. Career growth online course ideas

Very few employees would be satisfied with being stuck at the same level in their careers. Yet many may not know how to advance their careers. Therein lies the opportunity to create a course. 

If you know what organizations look for when hiring, you might have a course or two in you. Some ideas you can pursue include:

  • how to negotiate for a higher salary
  • identifying and using transferable skills
  • transitioning into a different career path
  • how to add value to yourself in the workplace
  • what it takes to be in a managerial position

Here’s an inspirational LinkedIn Learning course that teaches employees how to prepare for their company reviews:

LinkedIn Learning video preview for a professional development course.


With advancements in artificial intelligence continuing at their current pace, the demand for career-related courses will only increase. Keep that in mind if you’re still unsure about creating this type of course.

8. Tech skills course ideas

Are you good with tech? If so, consider creating a course that teaches tech-related skills. Due to how technology has permeated almost every facet of daily life, the world’s your oyster. 

You can teach your students how to use a single software program or how to code up their own. Also, you can teach organizations how to keep their business data secure from cyber threats. Here are some ideas:

  • how to use Microsoft Excel professionally
  • Python for beginners
  • how to install plugins on the Shopify eCommerce platform
  • UI/UX for beginners
  • touching up photos with Adobe Photoshop
  • cybersecurity essentials
  • web development
  • graphic design for beginners
  • How to create a digital product

In the image below, the coding website Codecademy offers a free JavaScript course for beginners:

Codecademy's free course page for learning JavaScript.


The course gives fledgling web developers an introduction to the most popular programming language in the world.

9. Affiliate marketing course ideas

Affiliate marketing is an excellent online business model you can teach as a course. Your options include teaching students:

  • how to choose an affiliate marketing niche
  • how to set up an affiliate marketing website
  • How to negotiate affiliate commissions 
  • How to flip an affiliate marketing website

With so many affiliate marketing courses, you’ll need to provide something unique to attract students. For example, you can provide an online community where the students can interact with each other. You can also negotiate with companies mentioned in your course to give you special discount codes to share with your students.

For example, you will likely encourage your students to collect email addresses and build an email marketing strategy for their affiliate campaigns. While doing that, you may recommend a specific email marketing tool like GetResponse. Then, share a custom discount that only your students can claim. 

10. Entrepreneurship course ideas

Entrepreneurship course ideas appeal to students who want to be their bosses. There are myriad skills needed to run a business, providing opportunities for courses like:

  • starting a business
  • how to raise capital
  • how to write a convincing business plan
  • opening a company account
  • securing business loans for first-time borrowers
  • navigating economic headwinds
  • how to apply for small business grants
  • managing a remote team and the like

If you have expertise in the field, you can build on your course’s success by creating an online school, membership sites, one-on-one coaching plans, etc.

Tips to create a winning online course

Building profitable online courses takes a combination of knowledge and intentionality. Assuming that you’re knowledgeable about the skills you plan to teach in your online classes, here are some tips to help you be intentional about selling online courses.

1. Share personal insights

In online learning, students like to learn from teachers who’ve personally achieved what they’re trying to accomplish. Thus, an effective way to successfully sell courses is to share personal insights about the skill you’re teaching.

One way to do that is to highlight a problem and your unique way of solving it.

In all likelihood, many of your students will face the same problems and pain points you encountered while on your own learning journey. Highlighting these issues when marketing your course (and what you did to overcome them) could help endear your students to you.

Making Sense of Cents creator and CEO Michelle Schroeder-Gardner seems to operate using this principle:

Promotional page for a course on affiliate marketing strategies.


In the above image, her affiliate marketing course teaches students how to scale their affiliate income from $0 to $50,000 per month. However, she goes a step further by revealing how she did it without getting a million site visits or selling her soul.

Potential students with reservations about affiliate marketing in general and generating organic traffic will no doubt find her personal insights appealing.

2. Monitor new trends

If you’re struggling to find the perfect online course (i.e., one that isn’t too competitive or oversaturated), don’t sweat it. The arrival of each new year brings with it new popular online trends on which you can base a course. 

For example, the start of the 2020s saw the normalization of remote work on a global scale and all the issues associated with it. In response, many remote-work-related courses on human resources, team management, and so on were created and exist to this day. You can take a leaf out of some course creators’ playbooks by following and hopping on trends.

That said, how can you stay on board with new trends?

One way is to use Google Trends, a free tool from the search engine giant. This tool shows you trend data for specific keywords that internet searchers type into Google’s search bar:

Google Trends graph showing daily interest in artificial intelligence.


The tool can show you real-time (as in the image above) and historical data (below) for any keyword:

Five-year Google Trends data for the search term artificial intelligence.

The highlighted portions and the graphs in the above images are particularly revealing. They show that search interest in artificial intelligence has been rising steadily over the past five years. 

This keyword is on an upward trend and a goldmine for course topics. With a bit of research, potential course creators can build courses around getting jobs in AI, future-proofing your career against AI, and so on.

More significantly, Google Trends shows you related search queries that are gaining traction online. For example, the image below shows that “natural language processing,” the query related to the main search keyword “artificial intelligence,” is trending upwards:

Google Trends showing rising interest in artificial intelligence topics.

If you have a topic in mind for your course that you feel is too competitive, try using this software to find adjacent course ideas.

3. Bridge the market gap

During the research phase of creating your new course, you may find other courses like the ones you plan to teach. 

Aside from being a good indicator that you have a profitable online course idea, the presence of competition provides opportunities to spot market gaps. Thus, our next tip involves finding and bridging them.

The quickest way to spot gaps in the market is to visit an eLearning platform like Skillshare. These course-hosting platforms typically showcase their best-selling online courses, letting you see what your competition is doing:

Webpage with a collection of inspiring online courses in various categories


Even if the course type you have in mind isn’t featured on the home page, a simple search on the platform should reveal related courses. Either way, the next step is to choose a course and view its course outline:

Online learning platform showcasing various classes.


Additionally, if you scroll further down the page, you should see reviews left by students:

User reviews for an online course highlighting positive feedback.

Note down what your competitors’ students have said regarding the good, bad, and ugly of their courses.

When scoping out the competition, your goal is to identify areas and pain points their courses have failed to address (if any). When you start creating your course, you can plug these gaps and amplify them during your marketing to set your course apart.

Depending on your budget, you can also sign up for the top online courses related to what you want to launch. Review the modules to see what’s covered and the teaching styles used. This should give you a good idea of what you’re up to and the gaps you’ll need to fill.

4. Test your ideas

Before committing to an idea, picking a learning management system, and launching a course, test your ideas first. 

In addition to the suggestions provided in an earlier section, another way to test your idea is to create a free mini-course. 

The course content can be a drip email campaign, an e-book, or a short webinar. You can encourage people to enroll by including email popups and sign-up forms on your website, as the One-Hour Professor does in the image below:

One hour professor promoting online business growth strategies on a website.


This method lets you collect emails and feedback. You can use the reception your short course gets from real people to test whether a course idea is worth pursuing. It’ll also show you the aspects of your course that can help you sell online courses at scale.

By the way, make sure to test your ideas continuously. Audience and market tastes change constantly. However, you can create a timely and relevant course with continuous testing.

In Closing

The ten online course ideas discussed in this article should get your course creation juices flowing. That said, even if the course you have in mind doesn’t fall under any of the above categories, our tips for creating best-selling online courses will prove helpful during your search.

Remember to share personal insights, stay on board with new trends, bridge market gaps, and test your ideas before committing to them. Also, when you settle on a course idea you like, remember to validate it. Validating your massive open online course will improve your chances of profitability in the long run.

Nael Chhaytli
Nael Chhaytli
Nael Chhaytli is a Digital Marketing Expert and a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at GetResponse with a diverse background in marketing specializations. He has used his expertise to drive success and growth for businesses in the service, SaaS, and e-commerce sectors.