199+ Profitable Ideas For Online Courses: Monetize Like a Maestro!

WishList Member blog 199+ online course ideas

Ready to be the next elearning sensation? Grab your virtual mortarboards because we're unveiling 199+ top ideas for online courses that could make you the talk of the digital campus.

Considering launching a profitable online course in 2023? You're on the right track! The virtual chalkboards are buzzing and eclassrooms are filling up as the digital education sector grows at an exhilarating pace. The time is ripe to cash in on your expertise. 

With the right resources, you can make serious money from your knowledge. But, you might be asking yourself which topics will make me the most bank?

The good news is, there's a whole load of lucrative ideas for online course niches waiting for you to choose from. 

So, what gets your gears turning? Be it technology, art, or personal development – your enthusiasm can be your currency. With your unique skills and the right set of digital tools, you're already ahead of the curve.

In this article, we'll look at why now’s a great time to start an online course business and what to consider before you start. 

Plus, we'll unveil an extensive list of over 199 suggestions to inspire your course creation journey. 

So get your notebooks ready, class is in session!

dog reading

Why is Now a Great Time to Start an Online Course Business?

Before we delve into the Ivy League of top-performing online courses, let's chalk up some compelling reasons to set your sights on this digital educational venture.

The online course industry is skyrocketing, and now’s the perfect moment to make your mark. 

To illustrate, let's open the financial yearbook: in 2022, revenue from Learning Management Systems (LMSs) alone reached a staggering $18 billion.

Top-of-class players in the online education domain include platforms like Coursera, Skillshare, and EdX.

Coursera homepage

Successful online courses aren’t just the realm of  large corporations or conventional educational institutions like schools and colleges. If you have valuable knowledge in a particular area, you can don your virtual tweed jacket and step into the role of a teacher.

Moreover, with an intuitive Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, there's no need to rely on third-party platforms to market your courses. 

You can showcase them directly on your personal website, cutting out the middle man, and granting you full authority over your material.

Starting an online course business paves the way for consistent revenue streams, positioning it as a dependable and minimal-risk avenue to capitalize on your skills on an already established website.

The time is ripe for turning your wisdom into wealth.

Essential Preparations for Your Online Course Launch

Before you embark on your online course journey, let's pause for a study break to discuss some essential prep work.

Pop Quiz Q1: Have You Set Up a Website?

First on the syllabus: setting up your digital campus. You need a website. WordPress stands out as a free, open source content management system. It can help you create any type of website, including one specifically designed for an online course business.

WordPress homepage 2023

Additionally, its user-friendly design is perfect for beginners. To get started, you’ll just need to register with a web hosting provider, secure a domain name, and install WordPress. Once done, you're all set to craft and create your website.

Pop Quiz Q2: What Course Structure Would You Like To Adopt?

A popular strategy is to have students pay for each individual course. The student pays upfront for the entire course, and can access each lesson on demand.

This method can pose a financial burden on your students. They may be hesitant to fork out on a big initial payment. 

It’s also not ideal for you, the course provider. A single payment strategy lacks the predictability and regularity of a subscription model, making it trickier to forecast your cash flow and make smart investments for your business.

A good alternative is to think about creating a membership or subscription-based business. This way, you can drip course content to your students, and they can spread their payments over a longer period. 

Drip course content

This approach also enhances course engagement. With the on-demand approach, some students may feel overwhelmed by the amount of course content ahead of them if they see it all at once. Or they may binge and burnout before course completion. 

By dripping your course content, you’re helping your students pace the race through to graduation. 

Pop Quiz Q3: What Learning Management System (LMS) Will You Use?

You'll want to choose an LMS that's both robust and user-friendly, one that offers the customization you need without compromising on ease of use. 

Enter WishList Member, a WordPress plugin designed specifically for creating and managing membership sites and online courses.

WishList Member: The Versatile Solution

WishList Member Homepage

WishList Member is the perfect option for entrepreneurs and businesses who want full control over their online course offerings. 

It’s a membership and subscription plugin with all the features and capabilities of an LMS.

Unlike standard LMSs that can be restrictive in terms of customization, WishList Member offers unparalleled flexibility. Set up multiple, membership levels, protect course content, and create a dynamic and interactive learning experience for your students.

Simple and Secure Payment Integration

One of the standout features is its seamless integration with various payment gateways, providing you with multiple options to handle transactions. Whether you're using Stripe, PayPal, or other payment methods, WishList Member makes it simple.

CourseCure: Your In-House Course Builder

Embedded within WishList Member is CourseCure, a robust course builder designed to streamline the creation of your online courses. 


This tool eliminates the need to rely on third-party applications for course creation, offering you an all-in-one solution for your online education business.

  • User-Friendly Interface: The intuitive design ensures that even those without technical skills can easily navigate the course building process.
  • Drag-and-Drop Functionality: Crafting a syllabus is as easy as dragging and dropping course elements into place.
  • Content Scheduling: CourseCure allows you to schedule the release of your content, giving you full control over the learning pace of your students.
  • Interactive Quizzes and Assessments: Easily create engaging quizzes and assessments to monitor student progress and increase engagement.
  • Gamification: Use points and badges to enhance student engagement and increase course completion rates.

With WishList Member and CourseCure, you not only gain a reliable LMS but also an integrated course builder that simplifies the technical aspects of offering an online course. 

This combination provides a comprehensive, low-risk solution for your online educational venture, making it easier for you to focus on delivering quality content.

Over 199 Profitable Ideas for Online Courses in 2023: Top-Performing Subjects Unveiled

Now that we've laid the groundwork, it's time to explore our comprehensive list of over 199 profitable online course ideas for 2023.

To make your search easier, we've sorted these potential subjects into major themes and niches that we’ve seen grow in popularity over the years.

Woman giving a speech

Self-Improvement Digital Course Suggestions

Let’s start in the realm of personal growth. Here are some promising ideas for online course for you to explore:

  1. Mastering interview techniques
  2. Effective study strategies
  3. Art of public speaking
  4. Navigating career progression
  5. Addressing and resolving conflicts
  6. The science of negotiation
  7. Building resilience in challenging times
  8. Enhancing emotional intelligence
  9. Promoting positive psychology
  10. Understanding and practicing ethics
  11. Courses addressing anti-racism
  12. Exploring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
  13. Boosting productivity
  14. Efficient time management techniques
  15. Leadership skills and development

As you can see, the self-improvement category is HUGE and offers many subjects to consider.

Piggy bank

Online Course Ideas for Personal Finance

Next, let’s explore the realm of personal finance. 

People with a keen interest in this area often possess significant capital (or at least hope to!). This makes them great candidates for investing in online courses, as long as you showcase your expertise and credibility.

Here's a curated list of course topics tailored for the personal finance domain:

  1. Foundations of personal finance
  2. Mastering the art of budgeting
  3. Strategies for effective savings
  4. Navigating interest rates and debt management
  5. Highlighting personal investment avenues
  6. Introduction to micro-investing
  7. Insights into real estate investment
  8. Planning for a comfortable retirement
  9. Managing and optimizing employee benefits
  10. Comprehensive guides to personal finance software
  11. Financial roadmap for young adults
  12. Exploring the world of cryptocurrency
  13. Achieving financial well-being
  14. Stock trading techniques and strategies
  15. Tailored financial planning (e.g., preparing for a new baby, home acquisition, etc.)

This is another big niche, allowing you to either provide a holistic overview or provide niche-specific financial objectives, such as saving up for a vehicle or home purchase.

Man producing music

Digital Music Course Ideas

For those blessed with musical talent, the online space offers many opportunities to share and teach. Here's a compilation of potential music course topics:

  1. Understanding music theory
  2. The art of music composition
  3. Techniques in vocal training
  4. Piano mastery
  5. Guitar essentials
  6. Rhythms in drumming
  7. Bass guitar fundamentals
  8. Violin virtuosity
  9. Cello craftsmanship
  10. Clarinet clarity
  11. Trumpet techniques
  12. Insights into music production
  13. Journey through music history
  14. Exploring concert technology
  15. Improvisational Jazz

The beauty of this field lies in its depth and breadth. For instance, if you're passionate about music history, you could curate a series exploring the evolution of various genres or the legacy of iconic rock bands.

Person cooking

Digital Culinary Course Ideas

As highlighted by GlobalNewswire, the online culinary domain is projected to reach an impressive valuation of nearly $486 million by 2027. 

For culinary enthusiasts, be it professionals or home chefs, this presents endless opportunities. We’ve cooked up these profitable ideas for courses related to food and drink:

  1. Culinary basics for novices
  2. Economical cooking techniques
  3. Plant-based and vegan culinary arts
  4. Mastery in pastries
  5. The art of bread crafting
  6. Comprehensive baking sessions
  7. Mixology and cocktail crafting
  8. The joy of jam creation
  9. Delicacies from Italy
  10. Flavors of Mexican cuisine
  11. Exploring Japanese gastronomy
  12. French dessert specialties
  13. Chinese culinary delights
  14. Indian culinary traditions
  15. Classic American dishes

Given the unique touch every chef imparts, this niche is especially promising for those with an established audience or followers.

Some food for thought!

Parents smiling at baby

Guidance for Parenting: Online Course Suggestions

With the millennial parenting sector now estimated at a whopping $46 billion by Forbes, there's immense potential in this area. Here's a curated list of course topics tailored for this segment:

  1. Preparing for childbirth
  2. Guidance on lactation and breastfeeding
  3. Techniques for baby sleep routines
  4. Nutrition essentials for infants and toddlers
  5. Newborn care basics
  6. Fostering early parent-child bonding
  7. Exploring the science behind parenting
  8. Tailored courses for parents navigating divorce
  9. Support courses for single parenting
  10. Guidance for parents raising bi-racial children
  11. Specialized courses for parents of children with ADHD or ADD
  12. Insights for adoptive parents
  13. Navigating the challenges of parenting teenagers
  14. Enhancing child-parent communication
  15. Parenting strategies in today's digital world

Given the inclination of new parents towards community-building, this niche perfectly aligns with the idea of introducing a membership model alongside your course offerings. 


Digital Course Ideas for Artists

The realm of arts and crafts is a treasure trove of potential online course topics, teeming with creativity and diverse areas of interest.

Consider these artistic course themes:

  1. Fundamentals of drawing
  2. The art of painting
  3. Mastering calligraphy
  4. Capturing moments: Photography
  5. Crafting with papier-mâché
  6. Mastering jewelry creation
  7. Educational craft projects
  8. The cozy world of knitting
  9. Techniques in crocheting
  10. Sewing essentials
  11. The magic of sculpting
  12. Creating unique stamps
  13. The craft of bookbinding
  14. Designing handmade dolls
  15. Embroidery techniques and patterns

The versatility of this niche is its strength. Whether catering to parents seeking engaging activities for their children or adults pursuing a creative outlet, the possibilities are endless.

Fitness and wellness influencers

Health, Wellness, and Fitness Digital Course Suggestions

The health and wellness market is currently valued at over $4 trillion! This gives you nearly infinite opportunities to carve out your own niche. If you possess expertise in fitness or sports medicine, this area could be a goldmine for you.

Here's a list of potential course topics within this niche:

  1. Guided meditation sessions
  2. Nutrition-focused programs
  3. Regimens for weight management
  4. Strategies for effective meal preparation
  5. Training guides for half-marathons or full marathons
  6. Yoga practices
  7. Pilates routines
  8. Insights into herbal treatments
  9. Comprehensive guides on natural healing
  10. Exploring vegetarian and vegan lifestyles
  11. Introduction to Reiki
  12. Mastering sleep routines for better health
  13. Focused courses on women's well-being
  14. Men's health insights
  15. Understanding gut health and its importance

It's crucial to note that content within this sector can influence an individual's mental and physical well-being. Meticulous course design and showcasing your qualifications are critically important in this niche.

Digital marketing course creator

Digital Marketing Course Ideas

The realm of digital marketing is vast and brimming with opportunities for lucrative course offerings. Here's a compilation to kickstart your brainstorming:

  1. Digital marketing fundamentals
  2. Strategies in social media marketing
  3. The art of content marketing
  4. The essentials of affiliate marketing
  5. The world of influencer marketing
  6. Harnessing video for marketing
  7. Email marketing techniques
  8. Strategies for ecommerce marketing
  9. Blogging essentials
  10. Mastering the craft of copywriting
  11. Unraveling the nuances of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  12. Marketing through podcasts
  13. Exploring AI's role in marketing
  14. Deciphering digital marketing analytics
  15. Ethical approaches in marketing

The dynamic nature of digital marketing ensures it's always in flux, introducing fresh concepts and strategies. This ever-evolving landscape means any of the aforementioned subjects could be molded into a top-tier online course offering.


Online Course Ideas for Business & Entrepreneurial Ventures

While the digital marketing domain is ripe with course opportunities, the sphere of entrepreneurship is equally promising and expansive.

Here's a curated list of course topics tailored for budding entrepreneurs:

  1. Foundations of entrepreneurship
  2. Harnessing creativity and innovation in business
  3. Step-by-step guide to crafting a business website
  4. Essentials of business management
  5. Building a compelling personal brand
  6. Strategies for generating passive income
  7. Affiliate blogging for beginners
  8. Navigating the world of investor relations
  9. Comprehensive guide to essential business tools
  10. Building and nurturing business partnerships
  11. Mastering the art of business writing
  12. Principles of sustainable business practices
  13. Cultivating a growth mindset
  14. Tailored insights for startup ventures
  15. Enhancing business communication prowess

This arena is vast and offers dozens of unique angles. So, let your creativity flow and design courses that resonate with your target audience.

Woman gardening

Ideas for Online Course About Gardening & Home Life

For those blessed with a knack for nurturing plants or adeptness with home tools, there are a ton of online course ideas to dig into, including…

  1. Gardening 101: An Overview
  2. The world of flower cultivation
  3. Growing your own vegetables
  4. Crafting a herb sanctuary
  5. The science of aquaponic gardening
  6. Techniques in plant propagation
  7. Exploring viticulture
  8. Basics of home maintenance
  9. Transformative home renovation
  10. Step-by-step guide to deck construction
  11. Art of landscaping
  12. Efficient irrigation methods
  13. Flooring essentials
  14. Navigating household electrical wiring
  15. Mastery in carpentry

If you’ve got a green (or calloused) thumb to show for your gardening and DIY skills, share your pro tips with the world!

Digital Language Learning Course Suggestions

Possessing proficiency in a foreign language and having the knack to teach it places you in an advantageous position. Online language courses are a promising avenue for those looking to venture into the elearning domain.

Here's a curated list of languages that could be potential course offerings:

  1. Business English
  2. Speaking Spanish for Beginners
  3. French fundamentals
  4. Immersion in Italian
  5. Grasping German
  6. Exploring Portuguese
  7. Introduction to Chinese
  8. Mastering Mandarin
  9. Journey through Japanese
  10. Rudiments of Russian
  11. Hindi essentials
  12. Arabic articulation
  13. Korean comprehension
  14. Venturing into Vietnamese
  15. Pursuing Punjabi

While the list emphasizes potentially high-demand languages, teaching a niche or less prevalent language could also carve out a unique space for you in the market.

Zero waste products

Digital Course Ideas for Eco-Conscious Living

With a growing emphasis on eco-friendly choices, sustainable living has emerged as a prominent niche in the online course domain, reflecting the consumer shift towards sustainable products and packaging.

Here's a compilation of potential course topics tailored for this domain:

  1. Foundations of sustainable living
  2. Eco-friendly gardening techniques
  3. Embracing a zero-waste lifestyle
  4. Sustainable fashion choices
  5. Harnessing renewable energy for households
  6. Mindful consumption practices
  7. Eco-conscious transportation methods
  8. Waste minimization and recycling strategies
  9. Going plant-based for the environment
  10. Techniques for water preservation
  11. Eco-tourism and sustainable travel insights
  12. Advocacy for climate change
  13. Effective sustainable waste handling
  14. Principles of ethical investment
  15. Raising eco-aware children: Green parenting

Given the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, this niche offers a diverse range of topics, catering to a wide audience with varied interests.

Makeup course creator

Digital Course Concepts for Beauty & Cosmetics

The beauty sector is undeniably lucrative, with the beauty and personal care industry in the U.S. alone boasting a valuation exceeding $92 billion this year.

Here's a curated list of course topics tailored for this domain:

  1. Makeup basics: A beginner's guide
  2. Train in theatrical makeup
  3. Advanced techniques in theatrical makeup
  4. Bridal makeup essentials
  5. Exploring color palettes in makeup
  6. Ensuring makeup hygiene
  7. Techniques in eyebrow microblading
  8. Courses on eyebrow tinting
  9. Mastery in lash tinting and curling
  10. Nail care: Manicures and pedicures
  11. The art of facials
  12. Waxing essentials
  13. Tailored skincare routines for varied skin types
  14. Embracing natural skincare
  15. The world of clean beauty

Given the specialized tools and equipment some of these courses might require, this niche is particularly apt for those already in the beauty business, seeking to diversify their offerings.

Interior design

Digital Course Ideas for Home Aesthetics & Design

Finally, let’s consider the realm of interior design, a sector boasting multi-billion dollar valuations, and home decor, here are some curated course themes:

  1. Introduction to the world of interior design
  2. The role of color in shaping interiors
  3. Techniques in home adornment and styling
  4. Mastery in interior wall painting
  5. Home staging for real estate appeal
  6. Principles of Feng shui in design
  7. The art of flower arrangement
  8. Crafting restaurant interiors
  9. Designing productive office spaces
  10. DIY projects for home decor enthusiasts
  11. Embracing minimalist design aesthetics
  12. Design solutions for compact spaces
  13. Illuminating homes: Lighting techniques
  14. Retro and vintage decor insights
  15. The simplicity of Scandinavian interiors

This concludes our compilation of potential bestsellers in the online course arena for 2023!

Final Thoughts

Now’s a fantastic time to start your online course venture. When you equip your virtual classroom with stalwart tools like WordPress and WishList Member, your pathway from chalkboard to profitable online courses becomes a walk across the graduation stage.

Ready for your homework assignment? Pinpoint a high-demand course subject that matches your field of expertise, and get creative with your course content!

Whether you're an authority on health and wellness, a guru to guide parents, or a maestro of personal finance, our carefully curated list of over 199 ideas for online courses is your study guide to success.

Class participation counts! We're eager to read your comments, questions, and insights about the profitable online courses spotlighted in this academic journal, ahem, article. So, grab your virtual pen and jot your thoughts down in the comments section below.

If this syllabus, er, article has enriched your knowledge, connect with us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, and LinkedIn. And for extra credit, don't forget to subscribe to keep up with our future lectures!

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Doug

    I’ve been thinking about offering an online course, but wasn’t sure how to get started. This article provides invaluable, step-by-step instructions. Much appreciated

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