How to Sell Online Courses: Ultimate Guide To Create & Market Courses

Want to learn how to sell online courses? Then read this article.

Of course, the year is 2024. The world is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, but one industry that has thrived is the online course industry. The global online course market will reach $325 billion by 2025.

Did you know that the most popular online course in the world is about making money online? That’s right; people are so eager to learn how to make money online that they’re willing to pay for a course on how to do it.

Do you want to make money while you sleep? Want to travel the world while teaching others? Then, you need to learn how to sell online courses! 

So, what does it take to sell online courses? Well, it’s not as easy as creating a course and putting it up for sale. You must research, create a great course, and market it effectively.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know, from choosing the right topic to marketing your course to the masses. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get to it.

But before we do that, let’s find out what an online course is.

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What is an Online Course?

An online course is a learning program that is delivered over the Internet. It can be accessed from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. Online courses are often self-paced, meaning students can learn at their own pace and on their own time. 

However, some online courses are synchronous, meaning that students must participate at specific times.

Online courses can cover various topics, from academic subjects to professional skills. Universities, colleges, businesses, and other organizations can offer them.

Check out these 11 best Harvard free online courses- 11 Harvard Free Online Courses for You.

Why Build and Sell an Online Course?

You might want to build and sell an online course for many reasons. Here are a few of the most common:

To share your knowledge and expertise with others

If you have a passion for a particular subject and are good at teaching it, creating an online course is a great way to share your knowledge with others. You can help people learn new skills, improve their careers, or achieve personal goals.

To generate passive income

Once you create an online course, you can sell it repeatedly. This means you can earn money even when you’re not actively working on the course. This can be a great way to create a sustainable income stream.

To build a community

An online course can be a great way to build a community of people interested in the same things as you. You can connect with your students through discussion forums, live chat, and other online channels. This can be a great way to share ideas, learn from each other, and build relationships.

To promote your brand or business

If you have a business or are a consultant, creating an online course can be a great way to promote your brand or services. When people take your course, they’ll get to know you and your expertise. This can lead to more sales or opportunities for collaboration.

To learn new skills

Creating an online course can be a great way to learn new marketing, sales, and business skills. As you create your course, you’ll need to think about how to market it, sell it, and deliver it to your students. This can be a great way to learn new skills to apply to your business or career.

How to Ensure an Online Course Will Be Profitable

The first step to ensuring an online course is to choose a profitable topic. This means choosing a topic that is in demand and that people are willing to pay for. You can research to see what topics are trending and what people are searching for online.

Once you’ve chosen a topic, you need to create high-quality content. Your course content should be well-written, engaging, and informative. It should also be relevant to your target audience and meet their needs. You can use various tools and resources to create high-quality content, such as video, audio, and text.

The next step is to price your course competitively. You don’t want to price your course too high, or you’ll scare away potential students. But you also don’t want to price it too low, or you’ll lose money. Do some research to see what other courses in your niche are charging.

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Once you’ve priced your course, you need to market it effectively. This means informing people about your course and why they should take it. You can market your course through online advertising, social media, and email marketing.

Finally, you need to provide excellent customer service. This means being responsive to student’s questions and concerns and ensuring they have a positive learning experience. By following these tips, you can increase the chances of your online course being profitable.

Check out these ten best online courses at Oxford University- Top 10 Best Online Courses at Oxford University.

How to Create Online Courses

Creating an online course can be a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with the world, and it can also be a profitable business venture. Here are the steps on how to create an online course:

Choose a topic

What are you passionate about and knowledgeable about? What would people be willing to pay to learn from you? Once you’ve chosen a topic, research to see if there is a demand for online courses.

Conduct customer research

Once you’ve chosen a topic, it’s important to understand your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your course? What are their needs and pain points? What are they looking for in an online course? You can conduct customer research by surveying potential students, creating a focus group, or talking to people interested in your topic.

Write down your learning objectives.

What do you want your students to learn from your course? Be specific and measurable. For example, your learning objectives might be:

  • Students will be able to identify the different types of marketing campaigns.
  • Students will be able to create a marketing plan for their own business.
  • Students will be able to write effective marketing copy.

Create a storyboard

A storyboard is a visual representation of your course content. It can help you organize your thoughts and ensure your course is well-structured. Your storyboard should include the following elements:

  • The title of each lesson
  • The learning objectives for each lesson
  • The main points that you will cover in each lesson
  • Any visuals or activities that you will use

Choose a course platform

There are many different online course platforms available. Some of the most popular platforms include Teachable, Udemy, and Thinkific. When choosing a platform, consider price, features, and ease of use factors.

Create your course content.

This is where you will put all of your hard work into creating the actual content of your course. Your course content can include videos, text, images, audio, and quizzes. Be sure to make your content engaging and informative.

Promote your course

Once your course is created, you must promote it so people know about it. You can promote your course through social media, email marketing, and paid advertising.

Provide customer support

Once your students start taking your course, you need to be there to support them. This may include answering questions, providing feedback, and offering help with technical issues.

How to Build a Successful Online Course Sales Page

A sales page is the page that will sell your course by convincing visitors of its worth, describing your course, demonstrating its worth, and urging visitors to take action.

The sales page also features several call-to-action buttons scattered around the page. The purpose of these calls to action is to entice site visitors to take specified actions. These CTAs help to move more visitors down the sales funnel and closer to purchasing your courses, which is also the main goal of your online course page (also known as a “landing page.”)

A sales page must be persuasive and eye-catching to convince visitors to take action, such as signing up for the course or purchasing. There are three questions that are essential to writing persuasive copy for a sales page. They are:

  • Who is this course for?
  • What does it help them do?
  • Why is this course beneficial for them?

Here is how you can answer them:

Who is this course for?

The first step is to identify your target audience. Who are you writing this course for? What are their needs and pain points? Once you know your audience, you can tailor your copy to speak directly to them.

For example, if you are writing a course on how to start a blog, your target audience would be people interested in starting a blog but don’t know where to start. Your copy must address their time, money, and technical knowledge concerns.

What does it help them do?

Once you know your audience, you must explain what your course will help them do. What skills will they learn? What problems will they solve? The more specific you can be, the better.

For example, your course on how to start a blog could help your audience:

  • Choose a profitable niche
  • Set up a WordPress blog
  • Write engaging content
  • Drive traffic to their blog
  • Monetize their blog

Why is this course beneficial for them?

Finally, explain why your course is the best solution for your audience. What makes it different from other courses on the market? What are the benefits of taking your course?

For example, your course on how to start a blog could be beneficial because:

  • It is taught by an experienced blogger who has been successful in the industry.
  • It is comprehensive and covers all the essential topics.
  • It is easy to follow and understand.
  • It comes with a money-back guarantee.

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How to Sell Online Courses in 2024

Once your course’s sales page is ready, you can launch your online academy and start selling!

The profitability of your online course depends on how well you market and sell it. And a sales funnel is a great way to do that. The sales funnel involves four stages which are:

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Awareness Stage

The awareness stage is the first step in the sales funnel. It is where you introduce your course to potential students and make them aware of the problem it solves. You can do this through a variety of channels, such as:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO): This is optimizing your website to appear high in search engine results pages (SERPs). When potential students search for keywords related to your course, your website will show up higher in the results, increasing their chances of clicking on it.
  • Content marketing: This is creating and distributing valuable content that attracts and engages potential students. This content includes blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, or e-books.
  • Social media marketing: This is using social media platforms to connect with potential students and promote your course. You can share your content on social media, run ads, or use social media influencers to promote your course.
  • Paid advertising: This is using paid advertising platforms, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, to promote your course. This can be a very effective way to reach many potential students quickly.

Interest Stage

Once you have successfully generated awareness for your course, you need to move potential students to the next stage of the sales funnel, the interest stage.

In the interest stage, you need to convince potential students that your course is the solution to their problem. You can do this by providing more information about your course, such as the curriculum, the benefits, and the instructor. You can also offer free trials or demos of your course to give potential students a taste of it.

Desire Stage

If potential students are interested in your course, they will move to the next stage of the sales funnel, which is the desired stage.

You must create a sense of urgency and excitement around your course in the desired stage. You can do this by offering limited-time discounts, bonuses, or guarantees. Also, you can create case studies or testimonials from previous students who have benefited from your course.

Action Stage

If potential students are convinced that your course is the right solution for them, they will move to the end of the sales funnel, the action stage.

In the action stage, you must make it easy for potential students to buy your course. You can offer various payment options and a secure checkout process.

Generally, there are five ways in which you can bring traffic to your sales funnel:

  • Organic traffic from search engines (through SEO)
  • paid traffic from ads (such as Facebook and YouTube ads)
  • social media traffic
  • email marketing, and
  • referral traffic from various websites mentions you, affiliates, students, and business partners.

Resources that Can Help You Create & Sell Online Courses

There are many resources available to help you create and sell online courses. Here are a few of the most helpful:

Online course platforms

These platforms provide all the tools you need to create, deliver, and sell your online courses. Some popular options include Teachable, Thinkific, and Kajabi.

Course creation tutorials: Many online tutorials can teach you how to create an online course from start to finish. Some popular options include Udemy’s “How to Create an Online Course” course and Thinkific’s “Create Your First Online Course” course.

Marketing resources

Once you have created your online course, you must market it to potential students. Many resources are available to help you with this, such as blog posts, articles, and books on online course marketing.

Podcasts and webinars

Many podcasts and webinars focus on online course creation and marketing, such as “Course Creators HQ” and “How to Create a Profitable Online Course.” These can be a great way to learn from other course creators and get insights into the latest trends.

Online communities

There are many online communities for course creators, such as “The Course Creator Community” and “The Online Course Forum“. These can be a great place to ask questions, get feedback, and connect with other course creators.

Find the 11 best online zoology courses here- 11 Best Online Zoology Courses.

How to Price Your Online Course

Pricing your online course is a delicate balancing act. You want to set a high price to cover your costs and make a profit but not so high that people are turned off from buying it.

Here are some factors to consider when pricing your online course:

Course length and content

The more hours of content your course has, the higher you can price it. You should also consider the quality of the content, including the instructor’s expertise and the production values.

Competition

What are other courses on the same topic charging? You don’t want to price your course too far out of line with the competition, but you also don’t want to undervalue your content.

Value and Impact

What value will your course provide to learners? Will it help them achieve their goals? The more valuable your course is, the higher you can price it.

Brand, credibility, and authority

If you have a strong and well-known brand, you can command a higher price for your course.

Market demand

If your course has a high demand, you can charge more. However, if there is low demand, you may need to lower your price to attract buyers.

Cost and Quality

The cost of creating and delivering your course should also be factored into your pricing. If you have invested a lot of time and money into your course, you need to be able to recoup those costs.

Certificate

If you offer a certificate of completion with your course, you can charge more. This is because a certificate can be a valuable asset for learners and can help justify a higher price.

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Desired revenue

How much money do you want to make from your course? This will help you to determine the minimum price you are willing to accept.

Ultimately, the best way to price your online course is to experiment and see what works. Start with a price that you think is fair, and then adjust it based on the feedback you receive from your students.

Where to Sell Online Courses

There are many places where you can sell online courses. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Udemy: Udemy is the largest online course marketplace, with over 150,000 courses in over 65 languages. It’s a great option for beginners who want to reach a wide audience. However, Udemy takes a 50% commission on each sale.
  • Skillshare: Skillshare is a subscription-based platform where users can access a library of over 30,000 courses. It’s a good option for courses on creative skills, such as photography, design, and video editing. Skillshare takes a 30% commission on each sale.
  • Teachable: Teachable is a self-hosted platform that gives you more control over your course sales and marketing. You can set your pricing and keep 100% of the profits. However, Teachable can be more expensive to set up and maintain than other platforms.
  • Kajabi: Kajabi is another self-hosted platform that offers a wide range of features for course creators, including marketing automation, email marketing, and sales pages. It’s a good option for course creators who want to build a complete online business. Kajabi can be more expensive than other platforms, but it offers a lot of value for the price.
  • Thinkific: Thinkific is a self-hosted platform that’s similar to Teachable. It offers a wide range of features and customization options, and you can keep 100% of the profits from your course sales.

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The most popular types of courses to sell online vary depending on the target audience, but some of the most in-demand topics include:

Orientation course

This type of course gives an overview of all the other courses the provider offers. It’s a great way to introduce new learners to the platform and its offerings.

Mini-course

A mini-course is a short, focused course that covers a specific topic. They’re a great way to learn a new skill or brush up on your knowledge.

Bonus course

A bonus course is a free course offered as an incentive to purchase a longer course. It’s a great way to get more value for your money.

Workshop

A workshop is a hands-on learning experience that allows learners to practice their learning. They’re often live events but can be recorded and offered online.

Professional training/academic courses

These courses are designed to provide learners with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a particular field. They’re often more structured and rigorous than other types of courses.

Challenge Course

A challenge course is a course that requires learners to complete a series of tasks or challenges. They’re a great way to test your skills and knowledge, and they can be a lot of fun.

Invited talks

Invited talks are a great way to learn from experts in their field. They’re often recorded and offered online, so you can watch them conveniently.

How to Increase the Value of Your Online Course

As an online instructor, you know that keeping your course content fresh and up-to-date is important. After all, no one wants to learn from outdated information. Here are a few tips for keeping your courses fresh and valuable:

Review your course content regularly

This doesn’t mean you have to rewrite your entire course every year. But you should take some time each month or quarter to review your content and ensure it’s still accurate and relevant.

Add new content

This could include new videos, articles, quizzes, or other resources. It’s a great way to keep your students engaged and learning new things.

Get feedback from your students.

Ask your students what they think of your course content and what they want to see added or improved. Their feedback can help you make your courses even better.

Offer additional services

In addition to your course content, you can also offer additional services to add value to your courses. This could include one-on-one coaching, downloadable resources, or a payment plan.

Offer a completion certificate.

This is a great way to incentivize students to finish your course and show that their efforts were worthwhile. You can also offer a certificate that can be used for professional development or other purposes, which can make it even more valuable to students.

Form partnerships to offer resources

This is a great way to give your students access to additional materials to help them learn more about the subject matter. You can partner with other instructors, businesses, or organizations that offer relevant resources.

Create pricing tiers

This gives students more options and allows you to tailor the course to their needs and budget. You can offer different features and levels of support at each tier.

Give praise to your students.

This is a simple way to show appreciation for their hard work and help them stay motivated. You can give verbal praise, post positive comments on their work, or even give them a small reward.

Teach something more specific.

This can help students stay engaged and interested in the material. Instead of covering a broad range of topics, focus on a specific area relevant to their interests.

Conduct webinars or Q&A sessions.

This is a great way to answer student questions and provide additional support. You can also use these sessions to introduce new topics or discuss current events related to the course material.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I charge for my online course?

The price of your online course will depend on several factors, including the course’s length, the content’s quality, and the demand for your topic. However, a good rule of thumb is to charge between $29 and $99 for a beginner-level course. For more advanced courses, you can charge more.

What are the upsell and cross-sell of online courses?

Upselling is when you offer a higher-priced product or service to a customer who is already interested in buying something. Cross-selling is offering a related product or service to a customer already buying something.

How do I provide customer support for my online course?

You can provide customer support through email, live chat, or a forum.

How do I scale my online course business?

You may want to scale your business once you have successfully launched your online course. This can be done by creating more courses, increasing your prices, or selling your course to other businesses.

Conclusion

The online learning market is booming, and there is no better time to sell your online courses.

Following this guide can increase your chances of success in the online learning market. So what are you waiting for? Start creating your online courses today!

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