How do I sell online courses? (2024)

In this article, I explain how to create an online course and successfully market it so that you can reach your business goals.
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In the past, those who wanted to create an online course had to go to great lengths.

They had to create their own website, set up a payment processor, record and deliver course content, and promote their course — all of which required hard work and various tools.

Each of these stages was full of pitfalls, and it was not uncommon for people to give up before they even started, when they realized how many steps they needed to take.

Today, many platforms take care of (almost) everything for you.

With some of best online course platforms currently available, it's easier than ever to start creating and selling your own courses.

In this article, I will not only explain to you How to create an online course, but also how to successfully market it and sell it to an audience that will love it.

Read on to find out more.

How to sell online courses

With course creators in mind, here are the steps you need to take to create an online course that sells.

1. Choose a subject in which you have knowledge

The course creation process starts with you.

More specifically, it starts with what you know.

It would be helpful if you had in-depth knowledge about a subject before creating a course.

Otherwise, students will question your level of expertise - rightly so.

Think about what you know and what you are good at and know more than the average person.

It could be anything from cooking to playing guitar.

Your course theme should also be a subject that you see yourself teaching for a long time and that is not likely to lose popularity in the near future.

You don't want to create a digital product based on a trend that will cease to exist in a few months.

A profitable online course means finding the perfect balance between what you know how to do, what you love, and what people are willing to pay for.

2. Create your plan

A successful online course starts with a good plan.

This is what will help structure your course and keep students interested from start to finish.

Your plan should be comprehensive and cover all essential aspects of your chosen topic.

It's a good idea to divide your plan into sections and subsections.

When creating online courses, it's also helpful to have a plan for selling your course to an audience.

This allows you to give them a taste of what is to come.

Sharing your plan with your target audience is critical to ensure that your course sells after it's registered and to get initial feedback from potential customers.

3. Choose a course hosting platform

To create successful online courses, you have several options.

The first is to create your website and use a payment processor like PayPal.

This option gives you the most control, but it is also difficult and time consuming.

The second option is to use an online course platform.

Especially if this is your first online course, consider using such a course platform, as it will take care of your logistics.

So you can focus on creating online courses that help your students the most, without burdening yourself with technical issues.

When choosing a course platform, be sure to consider the following characteristics.

Ease of use

People who consider themselves newbies when it comes to online courses should avoid providers of complex courses.

Even if you are not a beginner, you want to have a user-friendly platform that won't take you too long to get started.

The last thing you want is to spend hours learning how to use the platform when you could spend that time creating quality course materials for your course.

Automation

The more automation features a platform has, the better.

You want to be able to set up your course and let the platform do the heavy lifting for you.

For example, you need to be able to send email reminders, upsell, and create coupons without much effort.

Integration capabilities

Having an idea for a course is one thing, but bringing that idea to life is another.

The right platform will allow you to integrate the tools needed to create a fantastic course.

For example, integration options with your website may be something to consider, as this will allow people to easily find and buy your course on your site and immediately start taking it through the course platform.

Additionally (and that goes without saying), you need to be able to easily add audio, video, images, and any other type of media to your course content.

Certification and badges

In addition to content, students also like to get certifications and badges that show they've taken a course.

This is especially true for those taking a course as part of professional development.

The right platform will allow you to easily create and issue certificates and badges to students.

Student Management

The right online training platform makes it easy to track and manage your students.

You should see which students completed the course, how long it took them, what lessons they had problems with, etc.

This information can be valuable as it can help you improve your course for future students.

Payment processing

Accepting credit cards, Paypal, and other forms of payment should be a simple process.

The last thing you want is for students to get frustrated (and drop out) when they try to buy your course.

Reports and analytics

In addition to various marketing tools, you want a platform that provides reports and analytics.

This data can be critical because it can help you understand how your course is performing and where to improve.

When choosing a platform, consider your analysis needs and budget.

Mobile support

One of the benefits of online courses is that they can be taken anywhere and at any time.

This means that your course platform needs to have mobile support so that students can access your course on their phones or tablets.

Customer service and support

The best online course platforms have great customer service and support.

You need to be able to get in touch with someone quickly if you have questions or need help with something.

It can also be very useful, especially if you are a beginner, for an expert to show you the platform step by step.

4. Determine your price

After choosing your platform, it's time to think about the price.

Pricing your course can be a difficult task because you don't want to overcharge and discourage potential students, but you also don't want to charge too little and leave money on the table.

The content, length, and production value of your course will all play a role in the price of your course.

It would be useful to examine the prices charged by competitors for similar courses.

5. Define how to increase the value of the course (and its price)

If you want to take pricing to the next level, consider the following.

Some LMS platforms also allow you to add upselling or downselling to your courses.

You can offer a cheaper course for those who don't want to spend too much and a more expensive course for those who are looking for more value.

If you are going to charge more, you need to think about the added value you can offer to justify this price increase.

Here are others online course ideas :

Bonus

A great way to increase the value of your course is to offer bonuses.

It can be anything that is related to the subject of the course and that would be useful to students.

It's hard to give a specific example here, as it will depend on the subject of your course, but think about what students would benefit most from (or what additional questions they would ask) when they take your main course.

Checklists

Another way to increase the value of your course is to offer checklists.

People love in-depth content that they can use to take action.

For example, it could be a checklist of things to do before starting a blog or a list of tools to use to start an online business.

Tutorials

If you have video tutorials related to the theme of your course, you can offer them as additional added value.

It could be a tutorial on creating a WordPress blog or a video explaining how to use Facebook ads.

Patterns

If your course is about design, you can offer templates as a bonus.

For example, if you teach people how to create infographics, you can include templates that they can use to create their own infographics without starting from scratch.

Plugins

You could offer bonus plugins if you teach people how to use WordPress.

This can be, for example, a plugin that allows you to create landing pages or even an e-commerce plugin that facilitates the implementation of specific landing pages.

Quizs

A great way to increase engagement and make your course more interactive (i.e. more useful) is to include quizzes.

You can use these quizzes to test people's knowledge and see if they're doing well.

Webinars

If you have webinars that are relevant to your course topic, you can offer them as a bonus.

The benefit of webinars is that no matter what topics are covered in your course, the perceived value of webinars is always high.

In addition, the use of one of the main webinar platforms can make it easy to create your own webinar.

6. Register your modules

Once you've decided on your price and what additional bonuses you're offering, it's time to start recording your course modules.

This is where you'll spend the most time, as you'll need to record, edit, and produce all of your course content.

How long this takes will depend on the length and complexity of your course.

If some people get stuck at this point, it's important to remember that everything doesn't have to be perfect.

You can always go back and edit your modules later.

The easiest way to do this is to use a screencasting software to record your screen as you go through the slides and video lessons.

Once you've saved all of your courses, it's time to move on to the next step.

7. Publish your course

Online learning can only happen if you publish your course.

This is where you will need to download your course modules and make them available to students.

The process for publishing a course varies depending on the LMS platform you use.

8. Create your course sales page

Once your course is published, it's time to start selling it.

The first step in this process is creating a sales page for your course.

This is the page where people will go to find out more about your course and decide if they want to buy it or not.

While your landing page and sales page may be the same (especially at the beginning), it's important to remember that they serve two different purposes.

Your Landing page is designed to get people interested in your course, while your sales page is designed to get people to buy your system.

Your sales page should be more targeted and more compelling than your landing page.

It should include things like:

  • A title that attracts attention
  • A subtitle that explains what the course is and what it will bring to students.
  • A video explaining what the course is and why it's useful.
  • A section explaining what students will learn in the course.
  • A section detailing the benefits of taking the course.
  • A section explaining the various bonuses that are included in the course.
  • A call to action (AAC) that encourages people to buy the course.

Creating a sales page may seem like a daunting task, but there are plenty of resources to help.

Over time, you could also have multiple sales pages that you'll test separately to see which one is best for your online course business.

You can also invest in a sales funnel to increase your conversion rate.

9. Market your course

Your marketing strategy will play an important role in the success of your online course business.

It's important to remember that marketing is an ongoing process, not a one-time action.

You'll need to promote your courses if you want to make ongoing sales.

See the next section for more information about marketing your course.

10. Get student feedback and improve your course

Once a few students have adopted your system, it's critical to gather their feedback and use it to improve your course.

This feedback will help you identify areas of your course that need improvement.

It can also help you develop new ideas to improve your course.

11. Gather testimonies

As your online course business grows, you'll start to have students who are thrilled with your course and the results they get from applying the information.

These students can be a valuable asset to your business because their stories can help you sell more courses.

Request testimonials from happy students and include them on your sales pages.

12. Keep iterating your course

The final step in this process is to continue iterating your course.

This means constantly making changes and improvements based on student feedback.

It's important to remember that your course should never be static and as such, it would be helpful if you were always looking to improve it.

Marketing your course

A successful marketing campaign is critical to the success of your online course business.

There are several ways to market your courses.

Keep a blog

Having your own blog has many advantages.

When it comes to selling your course, a blog will help you attract leads and drive traffic to your course sales pages.

Don't forget that Earn money blogging and selling online courses can go hand in hand.

SEO

If you want to attract traffic to your course in the long term, you need to invest in SEO.

This will allow your course sales pages to rank higher in search engines, which will result in increased traffic.

With regard to the SEO for bloggers (if the last point applies to you), the two most important things to focus on are content creation And the creating links.

This will allow more people to find your course organically by looking for specific solutions that your course can help them with.

Referral and affiliate traffic

Consider that people who write/podcast/record videos about the topics covered in your course are likely to have an audience interested in your course.

An affiliate program is a great way to get others to promote your course for you.

Paid advertising

While ranking in a search engine for specific terms related to your courses can take time, paid advertising can help you reach your target audience much more quickly.

As such, paid advertising can be a great way to generate leads and drive traffic to your course sales pages.

Channels like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and LinkedIn ads can effectively promote courses.

Email marketing

Having a list of email addresses is one of the most valuable assets for your business.

Indeed, you can use it both to provide value and to promote your courses directly to people who are interested in what you have to offer.

Entrepreneurs who succeed in selling online courses tend to have people in their email address lists who trust what they say.

Indeed, they have established relationships with their subscribers over time, allowing them to promote their courses directly.

Social media marketing

Depending on the theme of your course, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn groups are some of the most useful social networks for promoting your courses.

This is because there are a lot of people on these platforms who are interested in learning new things.

As with other marketing channels, providing consistent quality content allows you to reach your target audience and build trust with them.

You can even offer a free course as a lead magnet that's shared on social media, helping you generate leads and drive traffic to the sales pages of your main courses.

Organize a podcast

Learners who discover an online course through a podcast they like to listen to are generally more engaged and more likely to buy the course than those who are interrupted by a social media ad.

Indeed, they have already been exposed to the content and have established a relationship with the instructor.

The use of podcast hosting sites Building an audience while hosting a podcast and then letting them know about your course while you build it until it's ready to air can be a great way to generate leads and sales.

Marketing on YouTube

YouTube is a great place to market your course.

Indeed, you can use it to create engaging videos that will arouse the interest of your target audience.

Start a YouTube channel and creating video content around the topics covered in your courses is a great way to find people who are interested in your course.

Summary.

While the features of an online learning management system can take you a long way, the most important thing is to ensure that your courses help students succeed.

That means creating content that's high quality, engaging, and easy to follow.

To succeed in the online learning sector, it is essential to know the difficulties faced by potential customers and to provide specific solutions in your course.

It's also necessary to market your new course properly and to the right audience.

That said, the strategies mentioned above should help you get started on the right foot.

If you want to create and sell online just to generate revenue, you're likely to fail.

It's critical to do your research and ensure that your online course creation process is in sync with the needs of your target market.

If you succeed, you will be on the road to success.

Further reading: Check out my online course platform reviews to see which eLearning platform is best for you:

You can also read the following reviews for a side-by-side comparison of these platforms:

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Stephen MESNILDREY
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