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10 Unconventional Online Course Ideas in High Demand Right Now


May 7, 2020
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Scroll down your Facebook feed, and you’ll most likely see friends experimenting with some new hobby or project you might’ve never expected. They’re baking artisan breads, building tool sheds, playing with watercolors. Who knew your network was full of eccentric characters? 

It turns out being stuck at home brought out the creatives in many of us. On one hand, we’re figuring out how to be more self-sufficient out of necessity. On the other hand, we’ve become more curious about topics outside of our typical realm. Is it any wonder we’re experiencing an online learning boom?

Even before the pandemic, industry analysts had predicted the e-learning market to exceed $300 billion by 2025, pointing to course diversification as a competitive advantage. Now the market is even more hungry for online courses that are off the beaten path. 

“Harvard University free courses” ranked as one of the most popular Google searches lately, but a recent deep dive into Google Trends also shows search increases in topics you might’ve never guessed: “fashion styling online course” was up 2,250%, “online art history course” was up 400% increase, and “online acrylic nail course” was up 120%.

If you’re thinking your expertise isn’t “mainstream” enough to earn profits, think again. 

Of course, market demand is critical. But the more “under the radar” your course idea is, the easier it will be for you to stand out. Think about it: people are out there searching for the very topic you were born to teach.  

We’ve scoured the internet, keyword search tools, and our very own Kajabi user database to handpick 10 unconventional niches in high demand right now. Hear it straight from Kajabi Heroes who have made it work for them:

1. Homesteading

For city folks craving a slower paced, secluded lifestyle, the idea of living off the land might seem idyllic. They might picture Little House on the Prairie, the shabby chic farmhouse kitchens on Instagram, or the YouTube videos on growing vegetables at home. 

They have a lot to learn to make the pioneer lifestyle a reality. If you’re knowledgeable about subsistence farming, living off the grid, or living self-sufficiently, people are searching for your course. 

“There is a myth that only certain subjects and categories of content lend themselves to being taught online. Permaculture, an environmental science that is very much hands-on, tactile, and visceral, would seem to be a poor fit for virtual instruction,” said Mohamed Marei, cofounder of Accolade Consulting Group, a strategy firm that worked with renowned permaculturist Geoff Lawton to create “Discover Permaculture” on Kajabi. 

“But our experience suggests that—with rigorous instructional design, a fanatical commitment to the learning experience of our community of students, a bit of ingenuity, the right mix of technical solutions, and above all, a fantastic team—almost any topic can be taught online." 

Marei confirmed that each of the permaculture course launches have hit the seven-figure mark.

Monthly global Google search volumes

  • homestead: 90,000
  • sustainable living: 27,100
  • off the grid:  27,100

2. Online dating and relationships

With the widespread isolation, more people are craving human connection—romance in particular. Match Group, the online dating giant that owns Tinder,, Hinge, and others, reported significant upticks in activity since the pandemic. At Tinder, the number of conversations, as well as the length of conversations, have spiked up to 30%, particularly among users under 30 years old.  

What if they could use some help setting up their profile? What if they had no idea what to say once the conversation starts? Could you be the savior to awkward online daters?

Kate Mansfield, a dating and relationship coach in the UK, says she’s learned that selling a high-ticket course is “much easier” than a cheap one. The Kajabi Hero earns on average £40k per month. 

“The common misconception is that spiritual and personal coaching offers are harder to sell because there isn’t a clear financial gain to the outcome,” which Kate added, “is absolutely not true.” 

“If you can get people past their fear and coping strategies,” she said, “you can charge whatever you like, because ultimately true love is a priceless outcome.”

Monthly global Google search volume for:

  • online dating: 60,500
  • dating coach: 3,600 
  • relationship coach: 1,900

3. Personality coaching

In times of chaos, people are naturally inclined to turn inward. More people are taking the time to assess their relationships, careers, and lifestyles. What’s life going to be like after the hard times are over? Personality tests like the DISC assessment, Myers–Briggs, and the Enneagram are helping people who seek clarity.

 If you’re a psychologist, life coach, or career counselor with expertise on personality-based assessments, your online course could help thousands of people going through major life transitions. Maybe they need a push in the right direction. And maybe your course is exactly what they need. 

Monthly global Google search volume for 

  • personality test: 301,000
  • Enneagram: 201,000
  • personality type: 135,00 

4. Home improvement projects

The home improvement industry is booming right now. Suddenly, property owners are motivated to paint the walls, install new floors, and anything else to freshen up outdated looks. Those long lines you might’ve seen outside of Home Depot or Lowes are becoming more common. In a recent two-week period tracking social media posts about home renovation ideas, an Ameritrade article documented a significant spike doubling normal levels. 

Starr Tingle, owner of Sanctuary Homes and Remodeling, says the demand for home remodeling services has definitely blown up lately. 

“All these people are stuck in their home and they’re looking at it, thinking, ‘Why have I been putting up with this crappy 1980s bathroom?’ Or, ‘My kitchen’s not functional. It’s dark. It’s out of style,’” she said. 

Starr is building an online course on Kajabi, focused on how to be your own general contractor managing a remodel.  

“If they knew how to run the project themselves,” she explained, “they could literally save thousands.”

If you’re a master at managing remodels or skilled at any type of DIY home project, people are looking to learn from you.

Monthly global Google search volume for 

  • bathroom remodel: 135,000
  • kitchen remodel: 90,000
  • carpentry: 110,000
  • woodworking: 29,900

5. Dog training

If you’ve ever considered starting an online dog training course, the numbers are strongly in your favor:

  • 68% of US households have at least one pet
  • US pets include 90 million dogs

Expect to see those numbers continue to climb. A big portion of non-pet owners either want or plan to have a pet in the future, according to the American Pet Products Association

Connie Cleveland, dog training expert and founder of The Obedience Road, has observed a big spike in new email subscribers lately. She’s been making a push to publish free content on Kajabi.  

“Just because there are no competitions to go to, no classes to go to, we can band together,” she said. “We can watch videos, we can do lots of stuff at home to make sure that they're still having fun training their dog.”  

Connie hopes that her free content will eventually steer people into joining her paid membership site, but she adds, “Right now, it's about how I can serve them in this current climate.”

Monthly global Google search volume for:

  • dog training: 110,000
  • pet care: 14,800

6. Specialty photography 

As the pace of life has slowed down, people are giving a closer look to their surroundings and documenting through photography. 

They’re capturing new sights like mountains once shrouded by smog, coyotes wandering city streets, clear highways. Even banana bread fresh out of the oven has become photo-worthy. 

People are discovering beauty around them and they’re eager to share. That widespread interest poses a huge opportunity for photography teachers who specialize in landscapes, food, wildlife, and more.

Michael Greenberg, a photographer who partners with other photographers to create online courses on Kajabi, believes in the power of teaching highly specialized courses such as landscape photography. One of his courses teaches night sky photography with an iPhone.

“‘How to take pictures with an iPhone’ is hard to sell. There’s too much competition in that field because it’s too broad,” Michael said. “No matter how many free tutorials online you can find, if you sell a high-quality product, there will always be someone who wants to purchase it.” 

So far, landscape photography has proven to be a winning niche for Michael. One course had generated $105,00 from January to late April. His second course had earned $59,000 plus additional monthly subscriptions—in one month alone.

“Every single person photographs sunsets and sunrises,” Michael said. “Nature appeals to a much broader audience—women, men, young old.”

Monthly global Google search volume for:

  • food photography: 14,800
  • landscape photography: 27,100
  • wildlife photography: 74,000
  • boudoir photography: 74,000

7. Homeschooling (any subject)

Long before stay-at-home orders, homeschooling in the US had been growing steadily since the 1990s, up to 3% of K-12 students nationwide. 

Now, parents have been thrust into this new world and struggling to adapt: “How do I get my high-energy kid to focus?” “How can I keep all of my kids occupied while I work?”

If you’ve been in the trenches as a school teacher or educator of any kind, the time to start your online course for K-12 kids is now. Whether you teach science or woodworking, as long as you can make learning fun and interactive online, there’s a good chance a parent is looking for your expertise.

Jamie Heston, a homeschool consultant and board member of The Homeschool Association of California, advises online course creators to actively market their courses directly to parents by searching for homeschool communities on Facebook Groups and Google Groups. 

“There’s a lot of interest, but also a lot of options right now,” Jamie said. “If your course is good, it will catch fire. It only takes a few homeschoolers enjoying your class to talk about it in these online communities.”

Jamie recommends that course creators categorize their courses not necessarily by age, but by ability. Learning with a multigenerational group can lead to a meaningful experience for everyone.

Melissa Norris teaches people how to raise, preserve, and cook their own organic food through her Kajabi site.

“People from all walks of life, age, and location—kids at home to grandparents—are eager to learn how to grow and preserve their own food,” she said. “ Many felt isolated in their desire to do so and creating a virtual space truly makes us connected.” 

Monthly global Google search volume for homeschooling: 74,000

8. Adventure sports 

With the travel industry on hold and in-person training not an option, the adrenaline sports junkies are itching to spend time outdoors. They’re ready to learn techniques from the pros and spend hours practicing. Mountain bikers will always remember their first wheelie, and surfers will remember the first time they got barreled.  

How amazing would it feel knowing you taught those techniques to someone, maybe even the younger version of you?

Monthly global Google search volume for:

  • mountain biking: 450,000
  • skateboarding: 33,100
  • surfing: 90,500

9. Feng Shui

In turbulent times, people seek new ways to achieve balance however they can. The philosophy of feng shui, which influences interior design and architecture in parts of Asia, is about creating balance, encouraging happiness, and clearing stagnant energy. 

As people are spending countless hours at home these days, they’re seeking new ways to transform their surroundings into a sanctuary.

Amanda Sophia, founder of the International Feng Shui School, teaches the ancient art of Feng Shui and offers a master certification to become a Feng Shui consultant.

From her home in Ireland, which sits at the base of a mountain surrounded by rivers and forests, Amanda coaches students from all over the world using Kajabi. Her students are based in Egypt, Dubai, the US, and throughout Europe.

“Obviously, there’s something really special about teaching people in person,” said Amanda, who typically hosts in-person events twice a year. But her online courses allow her to be more accessible to students. People tell her they simply can’t get away, whether because they have young children or they can’t afford to travel, she explained.

“I feel like when I create something online, it can affect people infinitely because people can keep watching it, keep spreading it, and learning it,” she said. “I think that’s such a gift.”

Amanda has grown revenues from her online business by 25-30% every year.

Monthly global Google search volume for Feng Shui: 135,000

10. Sewing, knitting

Traditional arts and crafts are making a big comeback among young adults who are most likely drawn to the tactile nature of sewing and knitting—an experience that smartphones and laptops can’t offer. Creative hobbyists have discovered the freedom that comes with stepping away from the noise, working with their hands, and getting into a flow. 

As more digital natives continue to take over the crafting market, online crafting courses will become even more popular. According to the Association for Creative Industries, the majority of crafters (41%) are 18-34 years old and the next largest group (36%) are 35-54 years old.

Sarah Vedeler, chief designer at Meaning of Life Designs, teaches how to design quilts and embroidery appliqué on Kajabi. 

“In the beginning, getting in front of the camera was terrifying! I would procrastinate for days,” she said. Sarah discovered a simple trick that helped her overcome procrastination: having her lighting boom arms permanently mounted on her wall, and having a camera set up on a tripod in the same exact place.  

Each time, filming her course gets easier. And over the long run, her online business has grown more profitable. 

“My first complete year using Kajabi had revenues almost double that of the previous year,” Sarah said.

Monthly global Google search volume for:

  • sewing: 201,000
  • embroidery: 165,000
  • knitting: 74,000

These 10 unconventional niches, along with real success stories, are a small sampling that prove you can succeed in almost any area. The internet connects us from across the globe. If you’re passionate and knowledgeable in a certain area, you’ll most likely find others want to learn from you.

No matter what you’re teaching, here’s one last tip from Shanna B. Tiayon, cofounder of Black Suburban Homestead: “Design your course to meet people where they are. It’s about education for self-empowerment!” 

Your online course is waiting for you to create it on Kajabi.

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