September 6th, 2016 Business

stacking-coinsIt is well-known that selling an online course is a great way to supplement your income, or replace it altogether!

However, the problem that most people face is that they don’t know if their course topic will sell. It’s one thing to say, “follow your passion”, but if your passion is an obscure hobby then the market might not be large enough.

So what kind of course should you create that is guaranteed to sell?

If you are looking for an “easy” niche then maybe you should think more about why you want to create a course in the first place. If it’s just to make money, then that’s not really a good idea.

Don’t believe me? Pick a course that you know is making money (say, something in the fitness niche) and create a similar course. Then, try to sell it.

With very few exceptions your course will be lost in the noise. Thousands of people are doing something similar. The most successful of these courses have marketing budgets in the tens of thousands of dollars.

There is an easier way to go about selling courses than chasing the generic niches like “lose weight” and “make money”.

Instead focus on professional industries where there are communities (i.e. associations, meetups, conferences, etc.). Then, create courses for these folks that help them solve one or two specific problems.

Courses that fit the “how to” category always tend to do well. Creating a title for these kinds of courses is pretty simple and explains the exact benefit: “How to do X in order to achieve Y in  Z” (where “Z” is usually a duration of time).

People are always looking for information. It’s a primary use of the internet! Free information is all well-and-good, but paid information is seen as more valuable. Higher education has known this for years.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


3 responses

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Good points here, Justin. I think the “find a niche” point is really important. We just launched a site – using Learn dash – That teaches eye doctors how to interpret a specific kind of image of retinas to identify disease. You can check it out at How’s that for niche?

Great tips – escpecially the one about catering to specific problems and areas. It works best if you’re well acquainted with such!

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