Online course revenue declines globally! Should you be worried?

A reader wrote in not too long ago concerned about news that online course revenue is in decline globally. The news, unfortunately, is true – at least for self-paced courses. A recent report from Ambient Insight Research projects a 6.4 percent, or $13.4 billion (!), drop in self-paced online course revenue globally over the next 5 years.

online course revenue declines - photo of downward revenue graph

Obviously, if selling self-paced online courses is something you do or plan to do, a decline in online course revenue definitely does not sound like good news. But should you really worried?

Yes, and no. [Read more…]

What is a Subject Matter Entrepreneur?

Subject Matter Entrepreneur - Image of line drawing of head of "expert" with an idea

What is a subject matter entrepreneur? There is a good chance you are, since you’ve landed on this page.

I define subject matter entrepreneur as:

  • someone with (or with access to) significant subject matter expertise
  • who assumes the risk of leveraging that expertise to create new sources of value
  • with the aim of generating a positive return on investment for him/herself and for learner-customers.

Put more simply, subject matter entrepreneurs launch and grow businesses based upon their expertise in a particular topic or skill.

What are some examples of subject matter entrepreneurs? You can find them all over the Web. They include:

  • Consultants who focus on niche industries (like the continuing education business, for example) or specific aspects of business (like strategy, for example)
  • Writers and authors who use approaches like blogging to develop niche business. Consider, for example, what Michael Stelzner has done at Social Media Examiner or what Leo Babuta has done with Zen Habits.
  • Speakers who move beyond the stage to build platforms from which they can launch any number of ventures. Tony Robbins is probably the example par excellence of this category.
  • Teachers and trainers who want to leverage new possibilities for reaching more learners and having greater impact

And, of course, here at Learning Revolution, we believe that those who build businesses based upon their ability to teach others are consummate subject matter entrepreneurs.

Subject Matter Entrepreneur, the Time is Now!

Indeed, there has never been a better time to leverage your experience to create online courses or other learning experiences and use these as a way to help your target audience while building a thriving business you truly love. Really, that’s what the book Leading the Learning Revolution is all about.


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Of course, you could argue that, in the age of the Learning Economy everyone who wishes to thrive must be a subject matter entrepreneur to at least some extent. And you’d be right: we all must continue to cultivate expertise throughout our lives and be willing to take on a certain amount of risk to find and capitalize on new opportunities.

That said, we live in what I have characterized as a golden age of expertise. If you fit the definition of a subject matter entrepreneur, this is your time. I encourage you to take a look at some of the other posts and resources on this site as well as to check out Leading the Learning Revolution: The Expert’s Guide to Capitalizing on the Exploding Lifelong Education Market.

Most of all, I encourage you to join me and other subject matter entrepreneurs across the world in leading the learning revolution.


P.S. – If you are looking to take your expertise to market in the form of an online course, be sure to check out 15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses. And also check out the valuable tools in The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox.