Who Can Offer an Online Course?

Maeve Ginsberg
5 min read

Are you interested in building an online course for your business but not sure if your niche is the right fit? You’re in the right place. Let’s explore what kinds of businesses can create successful online courses.

As long-time pros in the online course space, we have worked with varying industries in all kinds of markets to create revenue-driving, customer-building curriculum. Today, we’re sharing our perspective on who can build online courses. 

If you’ve already decided you want to create an e-learning program (and maybe your curriculum is ready to go!), be sure to check out our Online Course Master Guide and launch packages.

What are the most popular online course topics?

One of the reasons online courses are such a popular offering across industries is because they can cover virtually any topic and be as niche or as broad as you like. Kajabi, a popular e-learning platform, lists these as some of the most profitable online course subjects: 

  • Arts and crafts
  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Computers and technology
  • Coming of age
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Health and fitness
  • Lifestyle/personal development
  • Science and math
  • Social science
  • Writing

These topics should serve as a springboard to find a specific niche. Being specific makes your course more marketable: it helps you define your curriculum and audience and helps prospective learners find and understand your offering. That said, we believe anyone with high-quality content on a topic with strong demand can sell a course.

How to choose a topic for your online course

Take technology, art, and business, all of which do extremely well in e-learning: consider how those topics can relate to your business. If you run a roofing company, you probably can’t teach how to become a roofer in an online course (not to mention the certifications that are required!), but you can teach how to run a successful roofing business with business tips. Similarly, you can expand your storefront business by teaching other retailers how to grow their business using social media marketing.  

You're probably catching onto the fact that your online course might not necessarily be about how-to of your business, but how to excel at a certain aspect of it. Any business can provide industry knowledge in a online course for:

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Finances/business management
  • Blogging
  • Amazon marketing (if applicable)
  • Adaptation (tech adoption, accessibility, etc.)

What are prerequisites for launching an online course? 


  • Have enough content: Do you have sufficient content to put into a course? If you only have enough for a few lessons, consider putting in a bit more time for course development before building a full curriculum. 
  • Create quality content: Sensing a theme here? Even if your topic is defined and has known demand, it won’t do well if the content isn’t strong. Most e-learning platforms have rating systems, so it’s important to deliver what students are expecting, otherwise you might suffer poor ratings or even lose out on business overall. 


  • Make sure you have credibility: Passion or interest, skill, experience, and qualification (if applicable) are essential for building online curriculum. Lack of expertise makes for low-quality content, which makes for poor sales. 
  • Establish your audience: You need to know your audience (and that there is demand) before committing to an online course. If you have existing customers who you know would enroll, this is a huge advantage! Existing customers know and trust you already, which is one of the biggest hurdles in enrollment.
  • Take advantage of your existing customer base to learn what they would be most interested in (and willing to spend time and money on!) through surveys. 
  • Have a registered business: This one may seem obvious, but you have to be a legitimate business entity in order to offer a course. 
  • Prepare a marketing plan: Even the world’s best online course needs a marketing plan in order to succeed and drive business. Set yourself up for success by having this prepared before you launch so that you can reach more students faster.
  • Need help marketing your course? Check out our course management options here.
  • Prepare a management plan: It’s critical that you have the time and bandwidth to manage the day to day of your course once it’s launched. This can include (but isn’t limited to!):
  • Customer service
  • Student feedback and communication
  • Course add-ons

Get started launching your online course

You don’t need to go viral on an e-learning platform like Udemy to be successful. If selling an online course helps expand your client base by 25% year-over-year, that’s a success (as defined by your own model)!

Don’t treat your new course like a separate business that you set and forget. This program is an extension of your business and increases your value. Be ready to dedicate time and energy to it long after launch.

Looking for guidance on finding your niche for an online course or which e-learning site is best to host your program? We can help! Contact us today to get started.