There is so much information available for free online nowadays. Yet, many people would be willing to pay others online to learn something that could help them achieve a result (e.g., learning a new skill, solving a problem, or transforming their lives). This is where online courses come in. If you have expert knowledge about a topic, you can turn your knowledge and make money selling online courses!
The online learning industry is expected to grow massively in the coming years.
So, online courses are a great opportunity if you want to make money from your knowledge. Creating and selling an online course will help you make money that could be your primary source of income.
If this is your first time creating an online course, this article will show you how to make money selling online courses. Make sure you choose the right platform that meets your needs to host and sell your course online.
How to make money selling online courses
Here are the main steps you need to take to create and sell an online course:
- Pick a topic for your online course
- Create your online course
- Choose a platform to host and sell your course
- Choose a price for your course
- Market your online course
We will go into more detail on each of the above steps and more below.
#1 Pick a topic for your online course
There is a market for online courses in almost every industry that you can imagine. Whether you can teach people how to lose weight, make extra money, invest in the stock market, or do anything, you can create a very profitable business by turning your knowledge into an online course. Pick a topic you know about that is in demand for your course.
#2 Create your course
Now that you have chosen a course topic and have all the equipment, it is time to create your online course.
First, you will need to decide on the form of your course – text, audio, or video. Then start typing or recording your course, depending on the condition of the course.
Text-based online course
You can create an online course entirely based on text content. You do not have to be a great writer to create great content for your online course. It just involves you writing the content. Just ensure it provides valuable information and solves the problem of people your course targets.
Video online course
If you want to create an online video course, there are two ways: screen recordings and talking head videos. You can create tutorial-style videos like how to do something in an online video course that involves screen recordings. If you want to create an online course based on a talking head video, you record yourself speaking to the camera.
An online audio course
An online audio course is an audio recording with your audio content. Your students can listen to it anywhere. Make sure that your audio sounds great. Consider investing in an audio studio for this.
Once you have created your course and are satisfied with it, you need to launch it for people to find it and pay you to access it.
#3 Choose where to host and sell your online course
Once you have created an online course, it needs to be hosted somewhere online so potential buyers/students can find it when they are looking for a course related to it. You will want to choose a place online that is easy to use, lets you customize your course with your branding, and makes it look professional.
There are three main options when it comes to hosting and selling your course online:
Online course platforms
Online course platforms are designed to build and host your courses online. You will need to have a separate website and handle marketing yourself when you choose to use one of these platforms to host and sell your online courses.
You need to look for an online course platform that is easy to use, within your budget, and offers the features you require when choosing a course platform. Make sure the platform you choose supports your needs.
Here are the main types of course platforms for hosting and selling your online courses:
Standalone hosted platforms
Standalone-hosed platforms provide everything you need to host and sell your courses online. These platforms include:
Some standalone platforms offer limited marketing functionality. These platforms allow you to create professional-looking courses. You will need to have a separate website and handle marketing when you choose to use one of these platforms to host and sell your online courses.
All-in-one platforms provide you with a website, marketing, and course creation tools to create and sell an online course. Some of the best All-in-one platforms include Kajabi and Karta. These platforms are best for anyone, regardless of experience level, looking to sell their courses online without hassle.
WordPress plugins allow you to create and sell online courses from a WordPress site. If you have a WordPress site or want to create one and sell your online courses via it, you can add a WordPress LMS plugin like LearnDash, LifterLMS, and LearnPress.
You must identify and pick an online course platform that supports your needs.
You can set up a website with your server with a web hosting company to host and sell your online courses. While setting up a self-hosting platform can be expensive and requires you to be tech-savvy, self-hosting gives you complete freedom over your courses.
Online course marketplaces
These platforms attract many visitors worldwide, so your potential customers may quickly discover your courses. However, these platforms may charge you a considerable fee.
#4 Choose a price for your course
Price your online course correctly because pricing it incorrectly will decrease your course sales and lead to lost revenue. If you price it too high, people may not buy it. On the other hand, if you price it too low, you are leaving money on the table.
If you want to make more sales, price your course low enough to increase your chances of selling it to as many people as possible. However, if you’re going to earn as much as possible from your course per course sale, you need to charge enough to make the most revenue per sale.
Remember, the price of your course does not need to be set in stone; you should always try different pricing as you grow your business.
How much you charge for your course should depend on the value you offer through it, your experience, and your expertise.
#5 Market your online course
There are many ways that you can market your course online. You can start by promoting your course through social media, email marketing, your blog or website, or using influencers.
You will need to market your course and adequately also invest in online advertising if you already do not have an engaged following on social media or other places on the internet. Doing these will create profits much faster.
#6 Best platforms for selling online courses
Below are some of the best different types of online platforms that will allow you to create, host, and sell your online courses:
Teachable is an online course platform that lets you create, manage, and sell your online courses. It is an easy-to-use platform that allows you to create and upload your course without worrying about the technical aspects of the design features.
You can try out the free pricing plan or choose one of their paid plans that meets your needs.
Thinkific is a popular online course platform that allows you to create, market, and sell online courses. You must sign up for an account to upload your course content on this platform.
This platform makes it extremely easy to design, upload and publish your course. You can choose a one-time or recurring (membership model) business model when selling your course through Thinkific.
Podia is a full-featured online platform that allows you to sell online courses. You can also sell memberships and digital products through this platform. You can sign up for a free account, but it has limited features and options.
It has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder, so you do not have to worry about the technical aspects of uploading your course online. It also offers many customizable options to take complete control over your courses.
Kajabi is an all-in-one platform that makes it extremely easy to create, host, and upload your course online. Kabaji provides web hosting, email management, payment handling, and more. It is one of the best online course platforms to create, host, and sell your online courses.
LearnDash is a WordPress LMS plugin (WordPress course plugin) that you can add to a WordPress site to create and sell your online course. With its drag-and-drop course builder, you can create an online course easily. LearnDash offers numerous integrations and customizable features to create, manage and sell your online course easily and quickly.
Skillshare is an online learning platform that allows you to create and sell online courses classes. You can share your expertise with learners across the globe on this platform and earn money for doing it. You will be paid for every member who watches your classes. You can also make a referral bonus where they pay you for every student you refer to them.
Udemy is a trendy online course marketplace or online learning platform. It shares the revenue generated from online courses with course creators. Tens of millions of people visit Udemy so that you can access a large user base.
Udemy is a user-friendly platform so that you can create your courses with ease.
LearnWorlds is a cloud-based online course platform that lets you create, promote, and sell online courses from your website. It offers a 30-day trial, so you can try it out to see if it meets your needs.
Hyrax is an eCommerce platform that allows creators to create, manage and sell their content/knowledge online. You can use this platform to sell online courses, memberships, and other digital products. You can try Hyax for free and only pay when your course sells.
How much can you earn selling online courses?
It depends on how often people buy your online course(s) and how much you sell a course for. The beauty of selling online courses is that you create a course once, and then you can sell it over and over again. So, you can earn money while you sleep.
Many people make a high full-time income with this online business model. And there are also plenty of people who struggle to sell a copy of their course. However, there are loads of potential to make money from selling your digital courses. If you create a helpful course for the target market and then market it properly, it can get noticed by more people and sell more copies.
More ways on how to make money selling online courses?
Creating an online course is a great way to make money online. Once you have chosen your niche and completed an online course, select an online platform that is best for hosting and selling it.
You can create an online course for free without any upfront money, depending on the online course platform you choose. For example, you can join a free online course platform like Udemy or Skillshare.
If you want help creating your online course, then check out my course – Course Creation for Creatives here!
Let us know in the comments if you know of more ways on how to sell online courses.
Check out How to Create and Sell Digital Products!