Our content is reader-supported, which means that if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.     X

How to Create and Sell A Wildly Successful Online Course: A Step-By-Step Guide


Learn how to create and sell an online course and make money online from productizing your skills.

How to Create and Sell A Wildly Successful Online Course A Step-By-Step Guide

Have you ever thought of creating and selling online courses?

Education has always been the future of human progress. In the ancient days, education was passed through archaic drawings on cave walls. With the invention of the printing press, people started printing books, and education took a new form.

Today, education has moved to a new medium – the internet – laying the ground for a new kind of digital business. I’m talking about the online learning business.

Today, more and more people are committed to lifelong learning, and with college education becoming more and more expensive, most people are turning to the internet to meet their need for education

Aside from being way cheaper compared to traditional education, online courses provide the added convenience of allowing people to learn from the comfort of their own homes.

The relatively low cost and convenience of online courses is what has led to the establishment of a stable and lucrative online courses market.

According to Global Market Insights, it is estimated that the global e-learning market will be worth over $375 billion by 2026, up from around $200 billion in 2019.

elearning market growth
Source: GM Insights

Already, many online entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the e-learning market and making tons of money from it. 

A report by Teachable shows that about 18% of online course creators on the platform bring in over $10,000 in monthly income from their online courses, which translates to well over $100,000 every year.

Fortunately, the party is just getting started, and you can get a share of these billions by creating and selling your own online courses.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about how to create and sell a wildly successful online course. Let’s dive in.

Pick The Perfect Online Course Topic

The first step to creating a wildly successful online course is to pick the perfect course topic. It doesn’t matter how good your online course is. If no one cares about the topic, or if people aren’t willing to pay for it, you won’t make any money.

Additionally, having a course topic in mind before you start creating your online course will make the whole process a lot easier.

This is because you’ll have a good idea of what to include in the course, how to structure the course, what teaching methods you’ll implement, and so on.

The good news is that there is no shortage of online course topics that can make you money.

Actually, everyone has something that they can teach others and make money. The big question here is, how do you actually come up with a good course topic?

Here are some strategies you can use to come up with the perfect topic for your online course:

Identify Something You’re Good At

An easy way to come up with a perfect course topic is to identify what you are good at.

Are you an expert in a certain niche? Do you have certain skills that are in high demand? Are you naturally good at something? All these are things that you can package into an online course.

To brainstorm and identify the things you are good at, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What education, certifications, courses, or other formal training do I have?
  • What things have I learnt informally that other people would love to learn?
  • What things have I been paid to do in the past? What is my job experience? What skills did I learn from this experience?
  • Is there a software that I am highly skilled at?
  • Are there any challenges in life that I have been able to overcome?
  • Is there a problem I have solved that other people might be struggling with?
  • What are some of my biggest achievements in life? What skills allowed me to attain these achievements?
  • Do I lead a lifestyle that other people might have aspirations for?
  • Are there things that my friends, family and colleagues ask me to help them with or advise them about?

Answering these questions will allow you to identify things you are good at and can therefore teach others about.

Being good at something is a prerequisite for creating a good online course, because you cannot teach other people something you are knowledgeable about.

However, this is not the only way of coming up with a good course idea. You can also…

Look at Things That are Already Making You Money

If something is already making you money today, then this is a sign that the same thing can make you money in future.

If you can build an online course around it, you will be certain that there will be people willing to pay you for it.

For example, let’s say that you are an SEO expert who makes money optimizing websites for clients. This is a clear sign that there is already demand for SEO expertise.

However, not every website owner wants to keep paying an SEO expert to optimize their website for them.

If you can package your SEO skills into an online course, you can bet there will be some website owners who will be willing to pay you in order to learn this skill. In addition, there will be other entrepreneurs looking to learn the skill so that they can charge others to optimize their sites for them. Therefore, this is a sure moneymaker.

Similarly, if you are a freelance writer who is already making money writing content for clients, you can create an online course teaching people how to create amazing content for their websites, or teaching other freelancers how to make a good living from freelance writing.

Ask Your Target Market

One of the best ways of coming up with a good topic for your online course is to go directly to the audience you are targeting and ask them. This way, you will be certain that your audience is interested in whatever you want to teach.

So, how do you ask your audience what they want to learn about?

The first option is to use your email list. If you already have a blog and have a significant number of subscribers in your email list, you can send out an email to them asking what things they struggle with, and what they would want to learn about.

Alternatively, you can send out an email with a list of topics and ask them to choose one that they are most interested in learning about. This can help you determine the idea with the highest demand among your audience.

The second option is to use social media to find out what your target audience are interested in learning about. You can either do this by asking your social media followers, or by posting your survey in social media groups within your niche.

When surveying your target audience about things they struggle with, you want to get to the root of the problem. For instance, someone might say that their greatest problem is that they are afraid of starting their own business. However, this is a very shallow statement.

Once you dig deeper, you might discover that they are afraid of starting a business because they do not know how to sell, or because they are worried that no one is interested in their business idea. In this case, you can create a course about how to become a better salesperson, or how to validate a business idea.

Going deep into your audience’s challenges allows you to better understand them and come up with a solution that will actually help them succeed.

Identify a Gap in the Market

The third way of coming up with a good topic for your online course is to identify an unfilled gap in the market. But how do you do this?

A simple way to identify a gap in the market is to use social media groups and online forums to discover what challenges potential customers are going through.

To do this, start by identifying the niche you want to create an online course about. This should be a niche you are already familiar with. For instance, you could pick a niche like search engine optimization, content marketing, Facebook marketing, cooking, fitness, and so on.

Next, find social media groups and online forums related to that niche. For instance, if your chosen niche is SEO, find Facebook groups that discuss matters related to SEO, or go to Reddit and find subreddits about SEO.

Here, you want to identify the problems that these people are struggling with. To do this, go to the relevant group or forum and search for posts with one of these phrases:

  • Help
  • I’m having trouble…
  • How do you…
  • How do I…
  • Problem

Searching for these words and phrases will allow you to identify posts from people who are facing a particular challenge and are looking for a solution to this challenge.

For instance, I went to one of the Facebook groups about SEO and searched for the word help, and here are some of the posts that came up.

filter help to find online course problems

All these posts are by people struggling with some aspect of SEO.

For each post that comes up, identify the problem that the person is struggling with and note it down.

Do this in several groups and forums and you will start noticing that there are some problems that are common among a lot of people within that niche. These common problems are good topics for an online course.

Make Sure Your Chosen Topic is Something You’re Passionate About

Once you go through the above steps, you will have a list of great topics that you can create an online course around.

It’s good to note, however, that simply having a good topic is not enough. If your aim is to create a great course that will be wildly successful, you also need to make sure that the course topic is something you are passionate about.

Choosing something you are passionate about is important because your enthusiasm will seep through to your online course. If you choose a topic you are not passionate about, your students will quickly see your lack of enthusiasm and will become disengaged.

Identify Your Target Audience

Once you have identified a great course topic, the next thing you need to do is to identify your target audience. Who are you creating this course for?

One mistake a lot of online course creators make is targeting a very broad audience. For instance, let’s say you are creating an online course on book publishing. Here, you can easily assume that your target audience is anyone interested in becoming an author.

The problem is that this audience is too broad. An online course that works for already published authors will not work for newbie authors. Similarly, what works for those looking to self-publish will not work for those who want to go with traditional publishing. This is why you need to get very specific when defining your target audience.

A good way to define your target audience is to go through social media groups and online forums and identify those who have the problem you want to address. Check out their profiles and try to understand the kind of people they are. Alternatively, you can run a survey to help you find out more about your target audience.

When defining your target audience, you want to answer the following questions:

  • What is their average age?
  • What is their gender?
  • How educated are they?
  • Are they employed?
  • How much do they earn?
  • Where are they located?
  • What are their personal and professional motivations?
  • What is their greatest challenge?
  • How are they currently dealing with this challenge?
  • Where do they spend their time online?
  • Would they be willing to pay for a course?
  • What are they looking for in an online course?

Here’s a graphic showing the different traits you can use to define your target audience.

segmenting target audience
Source: Digitalkites

The more you know about your target audience, the easier it becomes to create a course that matches their exact needs.

Best Topics for an Online Course

Here are some of the best performing online course topics, categorized by niche:

  • Computers and technology: Machine learning and AI, building a website, cybersecurity, phone repair, software programming, robotics, operating systems, etc.
  • Business and entrepreneurship: Dropshipping, freelancing, Amazon FBA, eCommerce, blogging, digital marketing, affiliate marketing, search engine marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, etc.
  • Arts and crafts: Knitting, drawing, carpentry, calligraphy, web design, photography, painting, game design, graphic design, user experience design, interior design, architecture, fashion, animation, etc.
  • Health: Meditation, massage, diet and nutrition, aromatherapy, acupressure, herbalism, etc.
  • Fitness: Weight loss, running, swimming, home workouts, martial arts, self defense, muscle building, sports, yoga, etc.
  • Writing and content creation: Story telling, fiction writing, content marketing, freelance writing, podcasting, vlogging, blogging, etc.
  • Personal development: Emotional intelligence, anxiety management, anger management, time management, goal setting, self, esteem, conflict management, public speaking, etc.
  • Careers: Interview skills, resume writing, networking, LinkedIn, internships, etc.

Ensure Your Course Idea Has High Revenue Potential

Now that identified a great topic for your online course, the next thing you need to do is to validate the idea to determine whether this idea has high revenue potential. 

Validation saves you from spending time, money, and effort to create an online course, only to discover that people are not willing to pay for it.

The amount of money you can make from an online course depends on two factors. The price of your online course and the number of students who are going to purchase the course.

While it is possible to adjust the price of your online course based on how it is received by the market, there’s not much you can do to get people to purchase a course if they are not interested in it in the first place.

Validating your online course allows you to determine whether there is enough demand for the course before you start developing. This way, you will only put your effort into developing something that will make you money.

Below, let’ check out some strategies you can use to validate your online course idea to determine whether it has high revenue potential:

Ask Your Target Audience

Asking is one of the simplest ways of finding out what your target audience is interested in. It is also one of the best ways of finding out if they will purchase your course once you create it and make it live.

If you already have an existing blog where you have built a sizeable email list, you can run a survey asking your subscribers whether the problem you are solving is a big enough problem for them, whether they would pay for an online course that helps them solve this problem, and how much they would be willing to pay for such an online course.

By running such a simple survey, you get a pretty good idea of whether people are willing to purchase your online course, and whether they have the budget for it.

You can easily run a survey of your subscribers by integrating a reliable survey software like Survey Monkey with your email marketing platform, such as ConvertKit.

Simply create your survey form on Survey Monkey, obtain the HTML code of the survey and use ConvertKit to embed it into your email, and then send out the email to your subscribers.

Check the Demand of Your Existing Content

Sometimes, people lie, which is why it is always advisable to watch what people do, instead of listening to what they say. Actions provide more truthful insights into people’s needs than what they say.

Sometimes, you might run a survey of your subscribers, only to have them claim that they would indeed purchase an online course about a certain subject. Once you create and launch the course, however, these same subscribers ignore the course.

To avoid these situations, it is always a great idea to check your subscribers’ actions and see if they are aligned with their survey answers, and the best way to do this is to check how they interact with your already existing content.

If your subscribers are indeed interested in this topic, this should show in their demand for this topic on your blog and newsletters. Content around this topic should be attracting lots of reads, clicks, downloads, comments, and so on.

Therefore, you need to check your blog analytics, the discussions on your social media pages, your newsletter analytics, the attendance on your webinars, and so on.

If you notice that the content around this topic is performing well, then this shows that there is demand for the topic, and you can build a wildly successful online course around the idea.

If, on the other hand, there’s little activity on content related to this topic, it’s time to drop the idea and find another topic for your online course.

Use Lead Magnet Tests to Validate Demand for Your Idea

Another great way to find out if there’s lots of demand for your online course idea is to use lead magnet tests.

Lead magnets are basically pieces of content that are created with the aim of generating leads. A lead magnet could be an ebook, a video, a report, a checklist, a free trial, and so on.

In order to get access to the lead magnet, someone has to provide their email address. By giving you their contact information, this person effectively becomes a lead.

What makes lead magnets a great way of testing the demand for your online course idea is the fact that most people are reluctant to share their email addresses unless they are getting good value from the lead magnet. Therefore, having a high number of people opt in to get your lead magnet is a sign that there is high demand for your idea.

To use the lead magnet test to validate your online course idea, start by creating a lead magnet that is closely related to your online course idea.

For instance, if your plan is to teach about Facebook advertising for small businesses, create a short ebook, checklist or video about Facebook advertising and create a landing page for this lead magnet. Create CTAs for this lead magnet and put them on your website, on your social media pages, share them with your email list, and so on.

Here, you simply want to see if a sufficient number of people will opt in for your lead magnet. If they do, you have a winner. If they don’t, you need to get back to step 1.

Another benefit of using lead magnet tests to validate your online course idea is that it allows you to build an email list of people who might actually be interested in purchasing your online course once it goes live.

Pre-Sell Your Online Course

This is one of the best ways of validating your online course idea. With pre-selling, you basically ask your target audience to pay for your online course in advance – before you even create the course. To entice them to pay for the course, you can either give them a discount, or ask them to pay a small deposit to book the course.

The beauty of pre-selling is that it proves to you that people are indeed willing to pay for your course. With pre-selling, you already have ready customers who have given you their money even before you build the course. This way, you have all the certainty that your course will indeed make money.

The other great thing with pre-selling your online course is that it gives you an infusion of cash even before you build your course. If building your course requires a significant financial investment, this can be a great way of raising money to build your course.

Actually, a lot of online course creators today are using this approach to make money even before they start building their online course. For instance, course creator Matt Kohn used this strategy to make over $30,000 before creating a single lesson in his online course.

How To Pre-Sell Your Course

To pre-sell your online course, you will first need to create a title and an outline for your course. From there, create a one page blog or website where you will showcase your course, what it covers, and the benefits students will gain from your course.

You can easily create such a one page blog using Bluehost and WordPress. Simply sign up for a Bluehost hosting account, install WordPress on your hosting account, and then install the right WordPress themes.

Some of the WordPress themes you can use to pre-sell your online course include WPLMS, Reptro, BuddyBoss, and Eikra.

In the one page blog that you will use to pre-sell your course, remember to announce the date when the course will officially launch, mention that early buyers will get the course on a discount, and if possible, have a countdown timer showing how much time students have to purchase the course at that price.

When coming up with a pre-sale price for your online course, you should have a specific figure in mind that will determine whether there is enough demand for the course. For instance, if your pre-sale price is $500, you can have a sales goal of $5,000 (10 customers).

If you hit the $5,000 sales goal, you can go ahead and build your course. If you are unable to hit the sales target, all you need to do is to give a refund to those who had paid and let them know that there wasn’t enough interest in the course.

Launch a Pilot Course

Launching a pilot course is another great way of validating whether there is enough demand in your online course idea.

A pilot program is basically a minimum viable version of your course, a barebones version that you will act as the foundation of your course. This is what you will make improvements to in order to come up with your full course.

Selling a pilot course serves two purposes. First, it allows you to prove whether people are willing to spend money on a course about that topic. 

Second, it allows you to incorporate user feedback when building your course. This will help you create a course that meets your students’ needs in the best way possible.

Since the pilot course is a barebones version of your full course, you should charge a much lower price for it than you will charge for the full course. You should also limit the number of students who have access to the pilot course.

Once you are done making improvements to the course, you can then make it accessible to everyone who is interested and charge a higher price for it.

If you are unable to find enough students to pay for your pilot course, this is a sign that your current online course idea won’t make you money in its current form. You will either need to find a better idea, or change the core content of the course.

Create Magnetic And Compelling Learning Outcomes

One common mistake I have noticed among many newbie online course creators is that once they have chosen the topic of their online content, they gather all the knowledge they have on the topic and think of how they will fit it into the course.

Unfortunately, this is not the best approach to creating a good online course. This is because it focuses on you as an online instructor, rather than on the needs of your students.

Students who pay for an online course do not enroll on the course because they need information about the course topic. They enroll because they want to learn how to do something, or because they want to achieve specific results.

Therefore, when creating your online course, you don’t need to teach them everything there is about the topic. You only need to give them knowledge that will help them achieve their desired result. This is why you need to develop learning outcomes for your online course.

Learning outcomes provide a solid idea of what the student should be able to do after covering each stage of your online course. It is the end result that your students will achieve from your course.

Why You Need to Create Learning Outcomes

Starting by developing the learning outcomes of your online course is important for a couple of reasons.

First, creating learning outcomes allows you to build an online course that is aligned with what your students are looking for

Instead of bombarding them with useless information, you can focus on giving them practical information that will actually help them to achieve the desired results. 

Learning outcomes allow you to define the learning activities you need to include in your course, which in turn determines the instructional materials you’re going to use in the course.

Second, learning outcomes make it easier for you to organize your course material. When you have a clear idea what your students are supposed to achieve after going through your course, it becomes easier to arrange your course content in such a way that the lessons will build up on each other.

You can tell which lessons need to come first or last based on the skills that the student needs to learn in order to achieve the learning outcome for that lesson.

Having a clear idea of the learning outcomes also makes it easier for you to market your online course. Learning outcomes make it very clear what the student will gain from your online course.

Without clearly defined learning outcomes, it might not be very clear how the course will help your students, and therefore, they might have reservations about enrolling in the course.

Finally, having clear learning outcomes will make it easier to evaluate the progress of your students. If you don’t clearly understand what the student is supposed to gain after each module, then you have no way of telling whether they have learnt anything from the course.

What Makes a Good Learning Outcome?

A good learning outcome is based on two things. First, it should be measurable. There should be a way for you to determine whether the student has actually achieved the learning outcome.

For instance, a learning outcome like “students will appreciate the importance of digital marketing” is a poor one, because you have no way of determining whether the student has actually appreciated the importance of digital marketing.

A learning outcome like “student will be able to run a Facebook advertising campaign,” on the other hand, is a good one, because it is possible for you to actually test whether the student can run the campaign or not.

Second, a good learning outcome should be based on action taken by the student. It’s about what the student will be able to achieve, rather than what the instructor will achieve.

For instance, “the student will be able to run a Facebook advertising campaign” is a good learning outcome, because it focuses on action that will be taken by the student.

On the other hand, “I will give a PowerPoint presentation on how to run a Facebook advertising campaign” is a poor learning outcome, because it focuses on what the instructor will do. The instructor might give the presentation, but there is no guarantee that the student will have learnt anything.

Structure Your Course Modules And Plan

Now that you know the end result that your students will achieve from your online course, it’s now time to start coming up with a course plan and to determine the modules that you are going to have in the course.

Modules are the broad sections within your course. If you compare your online course to a book, you can think of modules as chapters.

For example, if you are creating an online course about email marketing, some of the modules you might have in the course include:

  • Understanding email marketing
  • Developing an email list management and segmentation strategy
  • How to send the right emails
  • How to create high performing emails
  • Email design
  • How to analyze the performance of your emails
  • And so on.

In each of these modules, you would then have a couple of lessons.

How to Come Up With Modules for Your Course

The best way to come up with your course modules is to refer to the learning outcomes you just came up with in the previous step.

For each learning outcome that you identified, there has to be an associated skill that the student needs to learn in order to achieve the outcome.

For instance, if one of the learning outcomes on your online course is “the student will be able to build an SEO powered guest blogging strategy,” some of the skills that the student will need to achieve this learning outcome include:

  • Using link explorer tools to find guest blogging opportunities
  • How to write high quality pitches that get accepted
  • How to write a good guest blog author bio

As you identify all the necessary skills for each of your learning outcomes, create a skills checklist and add each skill you identify into the checklist. 

By the end of this step, you should have a checklist containing all the skills that a student will have learnt by the time they complete your online course. This checklist is what you’ll use to come up with your course models.

Once your checklist is complete, go through the checklist and group together all the skills that are related. The idea is to bring together all related skills to form a module.

As you work on creating your modules, you also need to make sure that you are not adding unnecessary content into your course. Only include the skills that are absolutely necessary, and strike off any skill that your students can do without, as long as it doesn’t affect their ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

Once you have grouped related skills together, the next thing you need to do is to arrange the skills within each group based on complexity. You want to have the basic skills at the top, going down towards more advanced skills.

Do the same for the groups as a whole. Have the groups with skills that are easier to learn near the top, and skills that are much harder to learn at the very end.

By this point, you will have come up with a basic modular outline for your online course, with the models arranged in a natural progression, starting with the modules that your students need to learn as a beginner, and progressing to more advanced modules that they will learn as they become more proficient.

Before we move to the next step, you should go through your modules one more time and make sure that each module will make some transformation to your students.

While the amount of transformation doesn’t have to be equal for each model, there needs to be some transformation. If you feel that a particular module doesn’t transform your students in any way, strike it off.

Create A Detailed Course Outline

Now that you have your course modules ready, the next thing you need to do is to come up with a detailed outline or plan for your entire course. The outline should consist of the modules, and the individual lessons that will make up each module.

To come up with the lessons that will go into each module, take a look at the required skills that make up each module, and then determine the lessons that will help your students to acquire these skills.

For each skill within a module, come up with a corresponding lesson. You should also add any foundational lessons that might not necessarily teach a particular skill, but which are crucial in helping the student learn the basic knowledge that is necessary in order for them to acquire this skill.

For instance, if you have a module about guest blogging, a lesson titled “what is guest blogging” might not really equip your students with any skill, but it will give them the basic knowledge required for the next lessons within the module.

By the end of this step, you should have a detailed outline which looks something like this:

online course module structure

As you come up with the necessary lessons for each module, don’t plan for exhaustive lessons that take hours. Such lessons will get boring, and your students will become disengaged. Instead, you should plan for lessons that last between five to fifteen minutes.

If you need further help coming up with a detailed plan for your online course, you can click here to download ConvertKit’s Online Course Outline Template.

Select And Create Your Course Content

Now that you have your course plan and modules ready, it’s now time to think about how you are going to deliver your course content. Will you deliver your course in video format? Are you going to opt for text? Will audio work better?

When determining how you are going to deliver your course content, you need to keep your readers in mind. Even if your target audience has many common characteristics, they are still individuals with different preferences.

Some prefer reading text. Others prefer watching videos. Others prefer listening to audio content. Some might prefer a community learning area where they can interact with other learners. Yet others prefer printable workbooks that they can fill out.

So, which delivery formats will work best for your online course?

The best delivery format for your course depends on what you are teaching. For instance, if you are teaching about fitness, you will definitely need video content to show your students how to perform different exercises.

If you are teaching your students how to come up with a long term content strategy, on the other hand, you will need downloadables like workbooks and content calendars that they can fill.

It’s all about using the most effective and engaging delivery format that will help your students to effectively achieve the desired result.

That said, the best approach is to use a variety of delivery formats within your course. Like I mentioned, different people have different learning preferences. Therefore, by using different delivery formats, you will be catering to the needs of all your students.

In addition, using a single delivery format can make your online course monotonous and boring. By throwing in other formats, you can make things a little bit more interesting and keep your students engaged.

Most Effective Course Content Delivery Formats

The good thing with online courses is that there is no shortage of content delivery formats. Below, let’s check out some of the most effective content delivery formats for your online course:

Video

Video is the most popular content delivery format. You will notice that almost every online course creator incorporates video into their online course. The popularity of video stems from the fact that video content is usually more engaging than other types of content.

Here is an example of video content from one of the online courses on the HubSpot Academy.

content strategy course example

There are several types of video content that you can use in your online course, such as…

  • Talking head video: This is video content where the main action shows you talking into the camera. This imitates a classroom setup, where you are the teacher talking directly to your students.
  • Green screen video: This is video that is recorded on a green background (the green screen). After recording the video, you can get rid of the green background during the editing phase and replace it with things like images, slides, and so on. This allows you to have a talking head, while at the same time showing more content on the screen.
  • Screencast video: This is video content that shows a recording of what is on your computer screen. This works perfectly when you are teaching something that is done on a computer. For instance, if you are teaching how to build a website, you can use screencast video to show the steps you take to create your hosting account or install a WordPress theme.
  • Webcam video: If you need to show your screen, and at the same time show a video of you speaking directly to your students, this is the best kind of video to use.

Text Content

Text is one of the simplest ways of delivering your course content. This is because all you need to do is to simply type your content into a word processor and upload it to your online course platform.

Despite its simplicity, you should not depend on text alone to deliver your course content. Text should be used as a way of supplementing other delivery formats. For instance, you can have some text to provide an overview of your video content. 

Here’s an example of how HubSpot Academy uses text in their online courses.

content marketing course example

Relying on text alone would make your online course very boring. If you are going to use text only, it is far much better to write a book or a series of blog posts. 

In addition, depending on the topic you are teaching, text alone might not be the most effective way for your students to learn the topic.

Audio

If you want your students to consume your course content on the go, such as during the commute to work, or when they are working out at the gym, audio is a great way to deliver your course content.

For instance, if you are teaching your students how to speak a new language, you can have some audio only lessons that your students can listen to while doing other stuff.

It’s good to note, however, that audio-only content does not work well for topics that require demonstrations. Therefore, delivering your course content in audio format can be quite limiting.

Downloadables

Having files that your students can download on their computers and consume at their own time is another great way to supplement your core course content.

This works particularly well for things like workbooks and worksheets, infographics, templates and guides, excel sheets, and so on.

For instance, you can have a video teaching your students how to create a content strategy, and then ask them to download a workbook and come up with a content strategy for a hypothetical business. This allows them to implement what they have learnt from the video.

Here’s an example of how the HubSpot Academy uses downloadables in their online courses.

content marketing workbook

Determine How You Will Assess and Grade Your Students

Aside from figuring out how you will deliver your course content, you also need to think about how you will assess and grade your students’ performance.

While there are several ways of assessing and grading your students, the best method for you will depend on the topic of your online course.

Here are some of the methods you could use to assess and grade your students:

  • Assignments: This approach basically involves giving your students some type of homework that they have to submit to you. You can then check how they’ve done the assignment to determine whether they’ve learnt what is required of them or not.
  • Quizzes: You can have quizzes at the end of each module to determine whether the student has understood the content of that module. Quizzes are usually short and fun, typically consisting of 3 to 5 questions.
  • Exams: Exams are longer, tougher versions of quizzes. They are usually timed, and there are limitations on the number of times or duration within which a student can retake the exam.

It’s good to note that most people do not like exams, and having an exam that is not necessary can affect your students’ learning experience. Therefore, you should only use exams if you are issuing certifications once someone completes your online course.

Filming, Recording, And Editing Your Online Course

By this point, you know what you are going to teach, you have developed a course plan and course modules, and you have decided how you are going to deliver your course content. Now it’s time to start doing the real work – filming and editing your online course.

For most newbie course creators, this step can be quite daunting, especially if you’ve never been in front of a camera before. However, there’s no need to panic when filming your online course. 

You just need to act as if you are talking to a friend, rather than to the hundreds, and perhaps thousands of people who might consume your course content.

Below, let’s check out some tips that will help you to record professional videos for your online course.

Have a Structure for Your Videos

Your students are paying to enroll in your online course, and therefore, they expect professional content that is well organized. Therefore, you need to ensure that each of your videos follows a well-thought out structure that presents information in the most organized way.

While there are no hard rules on how you should structure your course videos, here is a structure that works very effectively for online course videos:

  • Start by mentioning the title of the video lesson, and then give a brief statement to provide an overview of what will be covered within that video. For instance, you could say something like,

Blog post optimization. In this video, I am going to show you how to optimize your blog posts to ensure they rank well on search engines.

  • After the introduction, jump into the body of the lesson. Deliver the knowledge or information that the student needs to learn from that lesson, and remember to keep it short and simple. Avoid any fluff or filler content.
  • Provide one or two examples to make it easier for your students to understand what you just taught them.
  • Give a summary of what you have taught in the video.
  • End the video by telling the student what they need to do next.

Use a Script

You would be surprised at the number of newbie course creators who start filming a video lesson without any idea of what they are going to say within the video. This is a strategy that is destined to fail.

If you wing it, your thoughts will be all over the place, there will be no flow to your lesson, and you will end up spending too much time shooting and reshooting the same lesson hoping to get it right.

To avoid this, you should always prepare a script to help you figure out what you need to say at what point within the video.

However, it’s good to keep in mind that scripts are a double edged sword. While using a script to prepare for filming is good practice, reading from the script during the actual filming is bad practice. It makes you come across as unnatural and robotic, which is not the kind of experience you want to create for your online course.

Therefore, after developing a script, use it to practice, and then create some note cards from the script. During the actual filming, you can then refer to these cards to remind you what you need to talk about, instead of reading directly from the script.

By referring to the note cards and then teaching what you need off the top of your head, the video lesson will come across as more natural, engaging and enjoyable for your students.

Make Your Videos Educational, Entertaining and Inspirational

Ultimately, the success or failure of your online course depends on your students. 

Therefore, when filming video content for your online course, you want to create videos that will be useful to your students, videos that they will enjoy, and videos that will push them to take action. To hit this trifecta, you need to create content that is educational, entertaining, and inspirational.

First, you need to keep your content educational. Regardless of the topic you are teaching, your students are there because they want to learn something. Therefore, as you film the video content for your course, you need to make sure that all the information you are sharing will help move your student closer to the results they want to achieve.

Second, it is important to keep your content entertaining. How many times have you started an online course, even a free one, but then abandoned it midway?

If your online course is boring, your students will become disengaged. They will get distracted and find more interesting things to do as you drone on and on, and eventually, they will abandon the course.

Now, even if a student abandoned your course along the way, you will still have made your money, so there’s nothing to lose, right?

Wrong! Think about what will happen if a friend to this student asks them if they would recommend your online course. 

Of course, they won’t recommend it, because they gained nothing from the course. Your course will receive negative reviews not because it doesn’t teach the right material, but because of how it teaches this material.

To keep your video lessons entertaining, but at the same time without detracting from the purpose of the video, here are a few things you could do:

  • Use a great hook to get the student interested in the content that you cover in the video.
  • Opt for video content that will evoke an emotional response in your students.
  • Capture the student’s attention by telling a story.
  • Make an assertion that challenges the student’s assumptions. If you say something that is boldly against your student’s assumptions, they will definitely want to know why you think otherwise, and you will have captured their attention.

Finally, you should make your video content inspirational. Your student should come out of each video lesson with the feeling that this is something that they can do, and with a clear idea of what they need to do. You want them to take action immediately and apply what they have learnt from the video content.

One way to make your content inspirational is to provide your students with the next course of action after they are done watching a video. For instance, you could give them an assignment that they need to submit before the next class. By doing this, you are pushing them to take action.

Another way to make your video content inspirational is to provide social proof from previous students who have been able to achieve the desired results after going through your online course.

By doing this, you show them that this is something attainable. This will push them to implement what they have learnt from each video lesson.

Keep Your Videos Short

Another major mistake I see with most novice course creators is filming video lessons that are too long. The problem is that at just 8 seconds, the average attention span of an adult human today is even shorter than that of a goldfish.

With such a short attention span, it is unlikely that your students will remain engaged throughout the lesson if your videos are an hour long. The longer your videos are, the less engaged your students will be.

wistia video analytics for online courses
Source: Wistia

If you want your students to remain highly engaged, you should keep your videos short. Ideally, you should aim for videos that are between 5 to 10 minutes. You can go up to 15 minutes on the topside, but nothing beyond that.

To keep your video lessons this short, this means that each video should focus on a single point, rather than trying to address multiple concepts within a single video.  If you feel that a concept is too complicated to cover completely in less than 15 minutes, you can split it into two videos.

While keeping your videos short will result in several videos in each module, this can have some additional benefits as well.

First, if your student is pressed for time, it is easier for them to start viewing a 5 minute video, which they can finish and then move to something else. If your video is an hour long, they have to wait till they have a one hour block of free time before they can start watching your videos.

Second, many but short video lessons will make the student feel that they are making progress. This will motivate them to keep going through the course. In other words, the short videos provide your students with quick wins.

Use a Green Screen

While you might feel tempted to film your video content in your living room or your office, I always recommend filming in front of a green screen. A green screen is basically a sheet of material, such as vinyl or matt, that is green in color.

But why is shooting in front of a green screen so important?

Shooting in front of a green screen makes editing your videos a whole lot easier. You can get rid of the green background during the editing phase and place whatever background you want, thus achieving a more professional result than simply shooting in your living room.

By replacing the green background with a similar background in all your videos, you can achieve a consistent look in all your videos and create the illusion that they were all shot in the same place, even if the videos were actually shot at different locations.

In addition, when you film on a green background, you can get rid of the green background and replace it with a slide presentation, an infographic, and so on, allowing you to create a more engaging video.

Edit Your Videos

Once you are done filming your video content, you will need to edit the videos before uploading them on your online course platform. Editing is basically polishing the video footage to make it look more professional.

Some of the things you can do during the editing stage include:

  • Getting rid of the unwanted sections of the footage.
  • Cutting out some unnecessary material to reduce the length of the videos.
  • Arranging the footage in proper order.
  • Getting rid of the green screen and adding extra content, such as a slide presentation, to the video.
  • Adding transitions between different scenes.
  • Adding extra details like theme music and subtitles.
  • And so on…

During the editing phase, it’s so easy to get caught up with trying to ensure that everything is perfect. Unfortunately, this can waste a lot of your time and even keep you from launching your course altogether. Therefore, don’t aim for perfection. Aim for good enough.

Best Tools for Filming, Recording and Editing Your Online Course

Today, technology has advanced so much, and it is possible for just about anyone to record and edit their online course without having to invest in expensive equipment. For instance, with just a smartphone and a computer, you can record and edit a professional looking online course.

However, if you want to create very high quality online courses, you might want to invest in some professional tools for recording and editing your video content. Below, let’s check out some of the tools you need to record and edit your online courses.

Video Camera

Since video will make up a huge chunk of your course content, it is a good idea to invest in a good digital camera that produces higher quality video.

Some professional and reliable digital cameras that you can get without breaking the bank include the Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR Camera, the Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera, and the Nikon D810 DSLR RX-Format Camera.

Microphone

An otherwise good quality video can easily be ruined by poor audio quality, which is why you need to ensure that you have a good microphone to record audio as you speak.

When it comes to microphones, there are dozens of good microphones to choose from. Our top three microphone recommendations are the Blue Snowball, the Blue Yeti Nano Premium, and the Rode SmartLav+ Lavalier microphone.

Screen Recording Software

If you are going to use slide presentations in some of your course content, or if you need to demonstrate something on your computer screen, you need a way of recording your screen.

Some of the best software programs you can use to record your screen include Screencast-o-matic, Camtasia, and ScreenFlow.

Video Editing Software

Editing is a crucial part of the course creation process. You cannot just film footage on your camera and upload it on your online course platform. It will look terribly amateurish.

Video editing requires some level of skill, and as a result, a lot of online course creators prefer outsourcing this to a professional video editor.

If you want to edit your video lessons for yourself, however, you can use some top video editing software like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, or LightWorks.

Audio Editing Software

Sometimes, you will also need to edit the audio you recorded before merging it with your video. For instance, you might want to get rid of some ambient noise. Some of the best software to use for audio editing are Adobe Audition, Audacity, and Logic Pro X.

Host Your Course Online

Now that your online course content is ready, it’s time to find a place to host it online so that your students can access it. When it comes to hosting your online course, you have three kinds of platforms to choose from:

  • Self-hosting
  • Online course marketplaces
  • Learning management systems

Below, let’s look at each of these three options in greater detail.

Option 1: Self-Hosting

Self-hosting your online course means that you are going to be doing everything by yourself. Here’s how this works:

  • You pay for hosting with a reliable hosting provider like Bluehost and set up your hosting account.
  • You install WordPress on your hosting account.
  • You find and install WordPress themes or plugins designed for hosting online courses. It’s good to keep in mind that you might need to pay for some of these themes or plugins.
  • You upload your online course and start marketing it and attracting students.

The best thing about self-hosting your online course is that since you are doing everything by yourself, you have total control over every aspect of your online learning experience. Here are some of the advantages of self-hosting your online course.

  • You have total control over your branding. Since the website belongs to you, you can brand your online class as you wish.
  • You have total control over your pricing. With a self-hosted online course, you are free to price your course as you wish. Since you are in total control over the learning experience, it is easier to charge higher prices when self-hosting your course. You also get to keep all the profits.
  • You own your students. With a self-hosted online course, you have full access to your students’ email addresses, which makes it easier for you to build a relationship with them and market your other courses to them in future.
  • You can integrate your online course with any third party tools you wish, such as email marketing platforms, affiliate marketing platforms, and so on.
  • You have full access to data about your students and how they are interacting with your online course. Having access to this data will give you insights that you can use to further improve your online course and your learning experience.

Despite these advantages and the full control you have over your learning experience, self-hosting your online course is not all smooth sailing. It has some downsides as well, which include…

  • Since you are doing everything by yourself, you need to be tech savvy in order to set up all the technical aspects of hosting your course.
  • You will be in charge of maintaining the website where you are hosting your online course. This might require a lot of time, effort, and money.
  • You will have to find students by yourself. Marketing is not done for you.
  • Unless you have invested in good branding, you might have to deal with credibility issues. Since it is a lot easier to fake reviews and testimonials with a self-hosted online course, it might be a little harder getting potential students to trust you.

Option 2: Online Course Marketplaces

Online course marketplaces are the easiest way of hosting your online course. Online marketplaces are platforms that are designed to bring together students and online course creators. You can think of them as the Amazon of online courses.

With online course marketplaces, everything is done for you. All you need to do is to sign up on your online course marketplace of choice, upload your course content, and start making sales.

Below, let’s check out some of the advantages of hosting your online course on an online course marketplace.

  • The greatest advantage of hosting on online course marketplaces is that they put your course in front of millions of potential students.
  • In addition to the huge student base, the online course marketplace will market your course for you. When hosting on an online course marketplace, it is possible to make sales without doing any marketing. However, it is still important to do your own marketing.
  • All the difficult aspects of hosting an online course are taken care of. You don’t have to set up the technology, worry about maintenance, and so on. You simply need to upload your online course and you’re done. You can put your course online within a matter of minutes.
  • Most online marketplaces offer free training on how to maximize the success of your course on that particular marketplace.
  • Online course marketplaces are large companies that have built a strong brand, and therefore, hosting your online course with them gives you the much needed credibility.

The convenience of having access to such a huge student base and having everything done for you comes with a couple of tradeoffs. 

Here are some of the cons of hosting your online course on an online course marketplace…

  • You don’t own your students. The online course marketplace does not give you access to your students’ email addresses. Therefore, you cannot build a relationship with your students or market your future courses to them.
  • When hosting your course on an online course marketplace, you cannot brand your online course as you want or align the learning experience with your brand. You have to align your course with the online course marketplace brand. This ends up diluting your brand.
  • You don’t have control over your pricing. The online course determines how much you can charge for your online course. They might even give discounts without consulting you. In addition, they determine how long you have to wait to get your money.
  • In addition to controlling how much you can charge for your course, the online course marketplace also gets to keep a portion of your profits. This is what you pay in exchange for the convenience you get with an online course marketplace.
  • Your business is at the mercy of the online course marketplace. If they decide to kick you off the platform, or if the platform crashes, you lose your source of income without any warning.

If you decide to host your online course on an online course marketplace, I recommend hosting on either Udemy or Coursera. These two are the top online course marketplaces in the world, and will give you access to millions of potential students.

Option 3: Learning Management Systems

Learning management systems (LMS) offer some sort of middle ground between self-hosting your online course and hosting it on an online course platform.

They handle most of the technical aspects of hosting your course, while at the same time giving you control over most aspects of your course and your learning experience.

Like online course marketplaces, learning management systems are designed to be click and go. You can simply sign up on a learning management system, upload your online course and start making sales. This makes them a good option, even for complete beginners.

Unlike online course marketplaces, however, learning management systems do not place numerous limitations over what you can do on the platform. You can customize them however you want. Some even allow you to integrate with third party tools.

Here are some of the advantages of using a learning management system…

  • With an LMS, you have total control over your branding and your learning experience. You can use your logos anywhere, make changes to the classroom layout, customize the student dashboard, and so on.
  • An LMS gives you access to your students’ email addresses, so you actually own your customers. This means you can build relationships with them and promote your future offers to them.
  • With an LMS, you have the freedom to price your course as you wish. This makes them a great choice for hosting premium courses. You also get to keep all your profits.
  • With an LMS, all the technical aspects of hosting your course are taken care of. You don’t have to worry about the technology or maintenance. This means that even a complete newbie can get their course up and running within a short time.
  • Most learning management systems come with predesigned templates that you can use to quickly create a professional looking classroom.
  • Some learning management systems allow you to integrate with third party tools, which you can use to maximize the success of your online course.
  • Most learning management systems have tons of free training resources that you can use to learn how to maximize the success of your online course.

That said, learning management systems are not without their downsides. Some of the cons of using learning management systems include:

  • There are fees involved. To use an LMS, you will either need to pay a one time fee, or a monthly subscription. These fees could significantly eat into your profits.
  • Unlike with an online marketplace, the LMS does not market your course for you or give you access to a pool of students. You will need to do your own marketing in order to make sales.
  • Finally, some learning management systems may lack some features and functions. For instance, some might not allow you to make third party integrations, while others might have limited reporting capabilities, and so on.

If you decide to use an LMS to host your online course, I recommend using either Thinkific or Teachable. These two are the top learning management systems in the market currently and come with a ton of features that make hosting your online course a breeze.

Course Pricing Strategies That Help You Earn More

You have already created your online course content, and you’ve found the best platform for hosting your online course. Now, it’s time to think about how you are going to price your online course. How much will you charge for it?

For a lot of novice content creators, this is usually a very tough decision to make, and rightfully so. How you price your course is going to have a very big influence on the success or failure of your online course.

This is because the price you put on your course will have an impact on very many things. It will affect the kind and number of customers you will be able to attract, how you will market the course, the kind of attention you’ll be able to give to your students, and so on.

What makes pricing such a difficult decision is the fact that pricing is a double edged sword. If you charge too little, you’ll be losing out on opportunities to make more from your course. If you charge too much, on the other hand, you might be unable to make any sales.

So, how do you find that sweet spot that is neither too low nor too high?

Below, let’s check out some tips on how to price your online course.

Decide On Your Pricing Model

There are two main pricing models that can be used with online courses – the one-time fee pricing model and the membership pricing model.

The one-time fee pricing model is the most common. With this model, you charge students a specific amount to access your course. The student can either pay the whole amount before accessing your course, or they can in installments as they go through the course.

With this model, all students will end up paying the same amount, and they will all access similar content within your course.

With the membership pricing model, you charge your students a subscription fee (usually monthly) to access the course. The student maintains access to your online course for as long as they keep renewing their subscription.

It’s good to note that the membership model only works for ongoing online courses where you keep adding new content to your course, or if you are offering any additional services, such as coaching or mentorship.

Choose the pricing model that works best for you based on how you have structured your online course. If you intend to regularly update it with new content, go with the membership model. Otherwise, use the one-time fee model.

Avoid Charging Low Prices

One thing I have noticed is that a lot of novice course creators tend to charge very low prices for their only course. Here are some reasons why you might be tempted to charge low prices for your online course:

  • You might feel like you will discourage potential students if you charge high prices.
  • You might feel that your course content is not enough for you to charge high prices.
  • You might be afraid of charging high prices because you feel that no one knows you yet.
  • You might not be aware how much potential students are willing to pay for your online course.

While all these reasons are valid, the truth is that you’re better off charging high prices for your online courses instead of low prices.

Here are a couple of reasons why charging low prices for your online course works against you…

  • It steals your motivation for marketing: When you charge low prices for your course, you won’t have the motivation to market it aggressively. Why spend too much effort marketing a course that will only bring in $20?
  • It makes advertising costly: If you charge high prices for your course, the ROI is enough to cover the costs of advertising your course. However, with a low priced course, advertising costs may actually exceed the cost of the course.
  • It lowers the perceived value of your course: Good things don’t come cheap. By charging low prices for your course, you’re basically telling potential customers that it doesn’t provide lots of value.
  • You won’t make good money: If one of the reasons you are selling an online course is to make money, it beats logic why you would charge a low price for it. The lower your price, the harder it is for you to hit your revenue goals.
  • Competing on price is a poor strategy: The problem with competing on price is that there’s always someone willing to charge even lower. If you decide to compete on price, you will end up charging too little for your course.
  • You won’t be able to attract affiliate partners: Setting up an affiliate marketing program for your course is a very effective way of increasing your sales. However, if you have a low priced course, no affiliate will be interested in working with you, since they won’t make any significant commissions from the sales of your course.
  • Low prices will only bring low quality customers: When people purchase a low priced course, they are not very invested in the course, and therefore, some of them won’t even complete the course. This means that there will be less and less people achieving any tangible results from your course.

Generally, if you are creating an online course with the main aim of generating revenue, you should not charge less than $50 for your course. This is the bare minimum you should charge for your course. Ideally, you should aim for prices of $200 and above.

How to Set a Profit Maximizing Price

We already saw that pricing is a double edged sword – price your course too low and you will potentially leave money on the table. Price it too high and you might end up with no sales.

The question is, how do you find that spot that is high enough to ensure that you’re making as much money as you can, but at the same time not pushing demand for your course down?

The key to finding the right price for maximizing your profits is to test different price points until you find the optimum price point

For instance, let’s assume that you launch your course and charge $500 for it. After a few months, you realize that you are making about 10 sales every month.

You decide to push the price up to $750 and make some tweaks to your marketing messaging, and after a few months, you notice that you are making about 15 sales every week.

You decide to push your price up once more, this time to $1,000. Your monthly sales drop back to 10. When selling your course for $750, you were making about $11,250 every month ($750 x 15). However, at a price of $1,000, you are making just $10,000 every month ($1,000 x 10).

This shows that the optimal price point for maximum profit is $750. While this is just a simplistic example, it provides a practical example of how you can test different price points until you find the best price that will ensure maximum profits.

How to Choose the Base Price for Your Course

Even if you decide to use the above testing method to find the optimum price for your online course, you need to start somewhere. So, how do you determine the base price you should initially charge for your online course?

The initial amount you charge for your course will depend on factors like your course topic, your target audience, and the amount and quality of material in your course, and so on. That said, there are some pointers that can help you determine a good starting price for your course, such as…

  • Use value rather than length to come up with a price. A lot of beginners price their online courses based on the length of the course. However, what matters to your students is not the length, but the actual value they will gain from your course. If you feel that your course delivers great value, don’t be afraid to put a high price on it, even if the course itself is just a few hours long.
  • Try to quantify the value your students will gain from your course. For instance, let’s say your course is teaching photographers how they can start earning over $5,000 every month through freelance photography. Even if you charge $1,000 for such a course, many will pay gladly, because they know that after completing your course, they will recoup their money within the first month. Quantifying the value of what your students will gain makes it easier for you to justify your prices.
  • Look at your customer’s alternatives. Going with the above example, let’s say that you’re teaching photographers how they can make over $5,000 every month through freelance photography. Without your course, it would take them years of learning to get there, and some wouldn’t actually be able to get there. In this case, the cost you are charging for your course is way lower than the years of trial and error it will take them to get there.

Add Value and Course Bonus to Increase Price

Even after you have found the sweet pricing spot for your online course, this doesn’t mean that you should remain stuck at this price point forever. Clever course creators are constantly looking for ways to increase the price of their online courses.

However, here’s the thing, you cannot keep increasing the price of your online course indefinitely if the course doesn’t offer any additional value. As we have seen, it will get to a point where customers will stop buying your course.

If you want to keep increasing the price of your online course without seeing a decline in the number of sales is to find ways of adding more and more value to your course. 

If your course at $1,500 offers more value than it did at $1,000, there’s nothing to keep your customers from paying the extra price.

Below, let’s check out some ideas on how you can add more value to your online course and the charge more for it.

  • Offer consulting: Giving your students the opportunity to consult with you on one-on-one Skype calls will definitely increase the value of your course, since you’re giving personalized attention to your students. This will definitely allow you to charge more.
  • Create a community: You can also improve the value of your online course by creating a community where your students can interact with each other and share their experiences and ideas. This provides an opportunity for your students to learn directly from one another.
  • Improve the production quality: If you initially shot your course content with amateur tools like your smartphone and a simple editing program, you can invest in shooting the content afresh with a focus on quality. Get professional cameras and microphones, hire professional editors to edit your videos, and so on. This will definitely make your course seem more valuable, and you can then charge higher for it.
  • Give away templates: Templates are great because most of the work has been done for your students. They only need to make a few changes to customize them. By offering templates to go with your course material, you are providing more work by lessening the work your student needs to do.
  • Offer downloadable resources: Offering downloadable resources, such as checklists, workbooks, resource guides, and so on will enhance the learning experience for your students, and you can charge more as a result of that.
  • Offer a completion certificate: If your students know that they’ll get a completion certificate at the end of your course, which they can use when searching for job opportunities, they will definitely be willing to pay more for your course. For instance, you can see that the HubSpot Academy offers completion certificates for some of their online courses.
content marketing certification
  • Get into partnerships: Another great way to increase the value of your course is to get into partnerships with companies that provide the tools and resources that your students might need to use and secure discounts for your students. For instance, if you teach a course on how to build a website, you could partner with a web hosting provider like Bluehost or a premium WordPress theme developer and have them offer discounts to students who purchase their products after completing your course.
  • Offer exclusive invites: You can also make your course more valuable by giving your students access to exclusive events, such as industry conferences and workshops. If paying for your course earns your students a ticket to an exclusive event, they will feel that the high price is indeed worth it.

Create A Course Sales Page To Convert Lookers Into Students

Your online course is ready, you’ve found the perfect platform for hosting your course, and you’ve settled on a pricing strategy for your course.

Now, you need to do only one more thing before you can start marketing your course to potential students – create a high conversion sales page for your course.

Assume someone has just heard about your online course on a podcast or seen a link to your course on social media, so they decide to check it out. 

As they do this, you are not there in person to tell them what they stand to gain from your course and to convince them to enroll in the course. What determines whether this person will sign up for your course or not is your sales page. 

If you have a conversion-optimized sales page, most of those who land on this page will enroll on your course.  If you have a poor sales page, most of those who come across your course will feel that your course is not the right one for them.

So, how do you create a conversion optimized sales page?

Before you start creating your sales page, you should keep in mind that the sales page has only one purpose – convincing people to enroll on your course. Therefore, every single word you write on this page should work towards that goal.

In order to create a highly effective course sales page, you need to be clear on three things:

  • The specific audience you are targeting with your online course.
  • The results your audience will be able to achieve after going through your course.
  • Why achieving this result is beneficial to your audience.

Once you are clear on these three things, you can then tie them together to come up with a unique value proposition for your course. This unique value proposition will act as the foundation on which your sales page will be based.

For instance, let’s say you are offering a course where you teach how to run Facebook ads. Here’s how you’d define the three key things mentioned above.

  • Target audience: Small business owners
  • Expected result: Students will be able to run effective Facebook ad campaigns.
  • Real life benefits: Students will be able to boost their sales and increase their revenue.

You can then tie these three together to come up with a unique value proposition for your course, such as:

“This course teaches small business owners how to run effective Facebook ad campaigns so that they can boost their sales and increase their revenue.”

Types of Online Course Sales Pages

There are three main types of sales pages that you can use to sell your online course. Let’s check them out.

Text-Only Sales Page

This is basically a sales letter. Here, the content you are using to convince people to enroll in your course is in text format. However, you can include some images to support the text and make your sales page visually appealing.

Here’s an example of a text only course sales page on the “Clever Salary Negotiation” online course on our other blog, Cleverism.com.

clever salary negotiation course sales page

Text And Video Sales Page

The second kind of sales page uses both text and video to convince people to enroll in your course. Here, you have two options.

With the first option, you could create a short video that gives a summary of the text content and gives potential students a feel for your course. You would then have long form text content talking about the course in greater detail.

The other option is to have a full-length sales video that covers everything that you have in text format. This way, a potential student can choose whether they want to read the sales letter or watch the sales video.

Here’s an example of a text and video sales page on Ramit Sethi’s “Earnable” online course.

earnable course sales page

Video Sales Letter

The third type of sales page is the video sales letter, which only incorporates video content. This is basically a long form sales letter that has been done in video. This sales letter banks on the personal connection of video to increase the chances of converting lookers into buyers.

What Should You Include in Your Sales Page?

A highly effective, conversion-optimized course sales page doesn’t just happen. It is the result of a well-thought out strategy that is carefully crafted to entice a potential student, clear their doubts, and persuade them to enroll in your course.

The good thing is that creating an effective sales page is not very difficult. You just need to make sure that your sales page has the right elements.

Below, let’s check out some of the most crucial elements you should have on your course sales page if you want to maximize conversions.

A Compelling Headline

The first thing on your sales page should be a compelling headline that will immediately capture a reader’s attention and entice them to keep going through the rest of your sales page. 

If your headline is boring, they might read it and abandon your sales page without reading anything else on the page.

Here’s an example of a compelling headline from the “Clever Salary Negotiation” course on our other blog, Cleverism.com. Anyone who reads this headline will definitely be interested in knowing how they can increase their salary by up to $20,000.

clever salary negotiation headline

The Problem

Next, your sales page should highlight the problem your audience is going through. This shows that you are on the same page with them and understand their plight. You can even mention how you also went through a similar problem at some point in your life.

You should also mention what this problem is costing your audience. This reminds your audience why they urgently need to solve this problem. The more they leave the problem unsolved, the more it’s going to cost them.

Here’s an example of how we highlight the audience’s problem on our “Job Interview Magnet” online course from our other blog, Cleverism.com.

job interview magnet

Position Your Course As The Solution

After highlighting your audience’s problem and what it costs them to keep the problem unsolved, transition to talking about your course and how it will help them resolve their problem.

Here’s how we do this on our “Job Interview Magnet” online course.

intro job interview magnet

Course Benefits

After presenting your course as the solution to your audience’s problem, the next thing you need to do is to make it clear to your audience what real life benefits they will gain after going through your online course.

Here’s an example of how we do this on the “Job Interview Magnet” course.

course benefits

Bonuses

Does your online course come with any bonus resources and materials? If yes, make sure to mention these on your sales page. 

Bonus resources lead to a better learning experience for your students, and therefore, mentioning them shows the extra value your students will gain should they purchase your course.

Here’s how we highlight our bonuses.

online course bonus example

Testimonials

Social proof is a very important aspect when it comes to convincing people to sign up for your online course.

If you can show potential students that other people have purchased your online course and achieved the results they are trying to achieve, they are more likely to purchase the course as well.

The best way to provide social proof is to have testimonials or reviews from previous students on your sales page. Of course, you should only include the positive reviews that paint your course in good light.

Here’s how we do this on our “Job Interview Magnet” course.

online course testimonial

Credibility

Naturally, people won’t purchase an online course from someone who doesn’t know their stuff. Would you want to learn how to start a business from someone who has never started one? Of course not.

Therefore, in your sales page, you need to let potential students know who you are and why you are qualified to teach that particular topic.

Here, you can either talk about your credentials, your experience, your achievements in that field, and so on. Basically, anything that shows that you know your stuff.

Here’s how we do it on the “Job Interview Magnet” course.

credibility on course sales page

Frequently Asked Questions

Potential students will definitely have some questions that might be keeping them from enrolling to your course. How long does the course take? Are there flexible payment terms? In what format will your course content be delivered?

You need a FAQ section on your sales page to answer these questions and overcome any doubts or objections a potential student might be having about signing up to your course.

Here’s how we do it on our course.

FAQ on course sales page

Pricing Information

Of course, potential students will want to know how much your course costs before they enroll. Therefore, you should make sure that your sales page contains pricing information.

Risk Reversal

One of the key objections in potential students’ minds is this: what if this course doesn’t help me achieve the results I am looking for? Will I have lost my money?

To set the customer’s mind at ease and get them to go through with the purchase, you should have a risk reversal as part of your sales page. One way to do this is to offer a 100% money back guarantee in case the student is unable to achieve the results you promised.

Doing this takes away all the risk from the student. They can purchase your course without worrying about losing their money on a useless course. Such a guarantee also shows how confident you are in your course.

Here’s how we offer a risk reversal on the “Job Interview Magnet” course.

risk reversal and guarantee on course sales page

A Clear Call To Action

After spending all this time trying to persuade the reader to sign up to your course, it doesn’t make sense to leave them hanging, without a clear idea of what they need to do, This is why your sales page needs to have a clear and highly visible call to action urging the reader to go ahead and enroll to the course.

Here’s how we have incorporated a CTA on the sales page for our course.

call to action on course sales page

That’s it! If you include these 11 elements in your sales page, you won’t have any trouble converting lookers into students.

Course Launch Vs Evergreen Sales Funnel

Now that you’re done with all the preparation, it’s time to go ahead and put your online course up for sale and start making money.

There are two ways of putting up your online course for sale – the course launch and the evergreen sales funnel. Let’s take a look at each of them in greater detail.

The Course Launch

With this approach, the course creator puts up their course for sale for a specific period of time

Once this period of time ends, enrollment is closed, and anyone who wants to purchase the course has to wait until the enrollment window is opened again. During the period when enrollment is closed, new students can only get onto the waiting list.

With this approach, the course creator will have a huge launch event to generate lots of hype for their course. The course creator can host several such launches in a year, opening enrollment for that duration and then closing it till the next launch.

Ramit Sethi’s “Call To Action” is an example of an online course that uses this approach. You can see that enrollment to the course was closed at the time of writing this guide.

enrollment closed

If you get it right, the course launch can be a very profitable way of selling your course. Here are some of the advantages of the course launch model:

  • This model creates excitement and urgency, which are effective persuasion tools. Potential students will be under the pressure to make the purchase before the enrollment window closes.
  • Since this approach is accompanied by a big launch event, it is easier to get more people to know about your course.
  • The course launch model allows you to make lots of money within a short period of time (the enrollment window).
  • You can use the same campaign material every time you open your enrollment, thus saving from having to create marketing material multiple times.
  • Since everyone enrolls at the same time, they go through all the different stages of your course at the same time. This makes it a lot easier for your students to form a community.
  • You can go over your launch process after the enrollment window closes and analyze what worked during the launch and what didn’t. You can then use these insights to improve your next launch.

The course launch model is not without its downsides, however. Here are some of the disadvantages of using the course launch model.

  • If you are yet to build a strong brand, it might be difficult to get people excited about your launch.
  • Preparing for launch week can be very hectic. You need to do tons of work within a short time. In addition, you will need to repeat this every time you want to open enrollment.
  • You will miss out on students who were not ready to enroll at the time of your launch.

This model works best for renowned course creators with huge email lists. Since they are already established experts within their field, they’re more likely to have a huge number of people eager to join their course.

The Evergreen Sales Funnel

With this model, you only launch your online course once, and then enrollment remains open from there onwards. You keep marketing your course throughout, and new students can sign up for the course at any time.

The evergreen sales funnel has several advantages, including…

  • This model is a great way of generating revenue consistently. Since students are constantly joining your course, you’ll be making money constantly.
  • Students can enroll into the course at the most convenient time for them. For instance, if they don’t have the money to enroll in the course today, they can still enroll next week or next month once they get the money.
  • You don’t have to deal with the pressure of a big launch event every few months.
  • Once you have created and launched your course, you can continue making money without a lot of extra effort.
  • This model is a great way to attract impulse buyers. If someone who wasn’t planning to buy your course comes across it and decides to buy, they can go ahead and buy right there and then. With the course launch model, they would need to wait until enrollment opens again. By that time, they could have changed their mind.
  • With this model, you can easily set up an evergreen sales funnel that will consistently bring in new students. You can set up such a funnel and forget it, while you continue making money.

Despite all these advantages, the evergreen sales funnel also has its disadvantages. Here are some downsides to this model…

  • You have to constantly promote your course, otherwise potential students might never learn about it.
  • You do not have the advantage of using urgency to persuade people to enroll in your course. However, you can use tactics like limited time discounts to create urgency.

That said, the evergreen sales model is the best approach when you’re launching your first course. As you launch more and more causes and build your brand, you can then start experimenting with the course launch model.

Market Your Online Course

After weeks, maybe months of hard work, your online course is now live. Congratulations!

However, this does not mean that it’s time to slack off now. Instead, it’s now time to work even harder promoting your online course to potential customers.

Many newbie online course creators develop their course with a “build it and they’ll come mentality.” They create their online course, put it online, and wait for students to come by their hundreds and flood money into their accounts. Months later, they realize that they haven’t made a single sale.

It doesn’t matter how awesome your online course is. If people don’t know about it, no one will buy it. 

For people to know about your awesome online course, you have to tell them about it. This is exactly what we are going to talk about in this section – how to market your online course.

Below, let’s check out six of the most effective ways of marketing your online course.

Market Your Online Course to Your Email Subscribers

Email is one of the most effective marketing channels for online courses (as well as other types of businesses). Email provides greater ROI than any other digital marketing channel. For every $1 you invest in email marketing, you get an average return of $32.

email delivers good roi
Source: Oberlo

Here are some reasons why you should use email to market your online course:

  • Email marketing allows you to reach potential customers directly wherever they are, at any time of the day.
  • With email marketing, you are not dependent on a third party platform. You own your email list. For instance, if you were relying on Facebook to market your online course, Facebook can deactivate your business accounts one day and effectively take away your source of revenue. With email, no one can take your subscribers away from you.
  • Email marketing can be easily automated. You can set up automated campaigns that run on autopilot and continue driving customers to your course for years without any further action from you.
  • Email allows you to reach a targeted audience, since everyone in your email list has shown interest in your topic or niche.
  • Email allows a very high level of personalization. You can address potential customers by name and tailor your offers to each specific prospect. This can greatly increase your conversion rate.

So, how do you use email marketing to promote your online course?

If you already have an email list, promoting your online course is as simple as sending out an email list to your subscribers.

For instance, let’s say you have an email newsletter where you regularly share tips on how freelancers can make money. 

If you create a course on something like “how to build a freelance business that brings in over $5,000 in monthly income,” all you need to do is to send out an email letting your subscribers know about your new email course.

Since everyone in your list is interested in making more money as a freelancer, you can bet that a good number of them will be interested in signing up for your online course.

If you don’t already have an email list, you will need to first build a list before you can start promoting your course through email marketing. Check out this article to learn how to grow your email list with landing pages, optin forms, and lead magnets.

Best Email Marketing Software Providers

In order to use email marketing to promote your online course, you will need access to an email marketing software. This is what you will use to manage your email lists, send your marketing emails, manage and track the performance of your marketing campaigns, and so on.

While there are dozens of email marketing software providers to choose from, here are the top three that we recommend:

  • ConvertKit: This is the best email marketing software for online course creators. With ConvertKit, you can build beautiful landing pages, segment your list, add tags to your subscribers, design beautiful emails with a visual builder, set up automated campaigns, and so on.
  • ConstantContact: This is another reliable email marketing software that you should check out. You will love the fact that it is quite user-friendly, even for absolute beginners. It also comes with pre-designed templates that you can use to create beautiful marketing emails, as well as a ton of other useful features.
  • SendInBlue: This is a powerful email marketing software that offers great automation features. With SendInBlue, you can also integrate your marketing campaigns with Facebook and SMS, use algorithms to determine the best time to send your marketing emails, and so on.

Promote Your Online Course on Social Media

Leveraging social media is another great way of driving customers to your online course. Today, there are over 3.9 billion active social media users. This is a huge opportunity for all entrepreneurs, including online course creators like yourself.

Social Media Use Around The World
Source: Smart Insights

So, how do you use social media to market your online course? Below are some tips on how to do this.

Share On Your Social Accounts

If you don’t already have professional social media accounts, you need to start by creating them. Here, the aim should be to create social media profiles that showcase you as an expert in your field. You want to connect with like-minded individuals who are interested in the topic you are teaching.

Once you have created your social media accounts, don’t jump into posting about your online course. 

Instead, start by posting content and tips that are relevant to the topic you want to be known for. This way, people will start seeing you as an expert in that field, and you’ll start attracting people interested in that field.

From there, you can then start sharing your online course with your followers. Since they already see you as an expert, they are more likely to purchase your course.

When creating your social media accounts, it is important to focus on the social platforms that are most likely to deliver the highest ROI, rather than simply creating an account on every available platform.

The main thing you need to think of is where your target audience is more likely to be found online. If most of your target audience is on Facebook, it doesn’t make a lot of sense spending too much effort promoting your online course on Twitter.

You should also keep in mind that some platforms such as Instagram do not allow you to place links within your posts. This can limit your ability to drive people from the platform to your online course, and should be taken into consideration when coming up with your social media strategy.

Engage In Facebook Groups

A good way to increase your reach beyond your followers is to promote your course within Facebook groups. On Facebook, you will find groups around almost every topic. What you need to do is to find and join Facebook groups related to your niche or topic.

Once you join these groups, don’t immediately start posting about your online course. This will be seen as spamming, and you could even be removed from the group.

Instead, you want to engage with the other members, share useful tips, get them to know you and see you as an expert, and then share details of your online course every once in a while. If you do this, you can convert some of the group members into your students.

Offer A Free Lesson

Apart from simply posting about your online course, you could also decide to offer a free lesson to your followers. For instance, you could give away the first lesson of your online course for free.

Doing this does a number of things. First, it acts as a teaser that will get your followers interested in seeing the rest of the content in your online course, and some of them will definitely convert into paying students.

Giving a free lesson also allows your followers to get a feel of what they should expect from your online course – the course delivery format, the quality of the videos and course material, and so on. This can help you make more conversions.

You could also give discounts to those who attend your free lesson. In addition to boosting your conversions, this helps you collect the emails of people who are interested in your course. Even if they do not purchase right away, you can continue targeting them with email marketing and convert them later down the line.

Done correctly, social media is a great way of letting people know about your online course and attracting potential customers.

Set Up an Affiliate Marketing Program for Your Course

Setting up an affiliate marketing program for your course is another great way to drive customers to your course.

With affiliate marketing, you basically recruit other entrepreneurs to market your course for you, and then pay them a commission every time someone they’ve recommended makes a sale.

In most cases, you get to decide the percentage you are going to offer as a commission to your affiliates.

This will vary depending on your niche, how much you are charging for your online course, and how hard you want your affiliates to promote your course. The higher the commissions, the harder your affiliates will work.

There are a couple of reasons why setting up an affiliate marketing program is a great way of promoting your online course, including…

  • Setting up an affiliate marketing program is very easy, and in most cases, the affiliate program is automated and runs on its own once you have set it up.
  • Affiliate marketing allows you to start making sales even if you do not have your own audience or email list. Your affiliates will market your course to their audiences and drive customers your way.
  • Affiliate marketing rewards quality content. The higher the quality of your online course, the more affiliates you’ll have interested in selling it for you.

How To Market Your Course Through Affiliate Marketing

There are several approaches that you can use to promote your online course through affiliate marketing. The first one is to use learning management systems.

Top learning management systems like Teachable and Thinkific give you the option to set up your affiliate program right on the platform and recruit affiliates to market your for you.

This approach makes it quite easy to set up your affiliate program. At the same time, you still retain control over things like your commission rate, your cookie period, your affiliate code, and so on. These platforms will also provide you with a full-featured dashboard where you can track your affiliate’s sales and commissions.

The second option is to use an affiliate marketplace. These are platforms that have been designed to bring together entrepreneurs like you and affiliate marketers looking for products to market.

To use this approach, you only need to sign up on your affiliate marketplace of choice, list your online course, and set your commission rate. From there, any affiliates who are interested can market your course to their audiences and earn a commission for every sale.

With this approach, the affiliate marketplace handles every aspect of the affiliate program. They will record the number of clicks from each affiliate, the number of sales, make payments to your affiliates, give you monthly reporting, and so on.

The best affiliate marketplaces for promoting your online course are Clickbank, E-junkie, and Commission Junction.

The third option is to run your own affiliate program on your own website. This is a great option for those who have self-hosted their online course.

With this approach, you are in control of everything. You will set up the affiliate program by yourself, decide how much you are going to pay your affiliates, choose which affiliates you want to work with, and so on. You also avoid the charges that you would have paid to an affiliate marketplace.

To set up an affiliate marketing program on your website, you will need to install an affiliate marketing plugin on your website. Some reliable affiliate marketing plugins you can use to do this include AffiliateWP, Affiliate Royale, and Magic Affiliate.

Invest In Paid Advertising

Sometimes, the best way to make money is by spending some money. In this case, spending some money on advertising can be the best way of driving customers to your online course quickly.

Here are some reasons why you should consider investing in paid advertising to promote your course:

  • Paid advertising drives results fast.
  • With paid advertising, it is quite easy to target the specific audience you want.
  • Paid advertising allows you to reach an audience you wouldn’t have reached otherwise.
  • It is quite easy to measure and tweak the performance of paid marketing campaigns.

It’s good to note that before investing in paid advertising to market your online course, you need to have tested your sales funnel and confirmed that it works. Without a tested funnel, you could be wasting your money driving traffic to a funnel that doesn’t convert.

You also need to confirm that your lifetime customer value is higher than your customer acquisition costs, otherwise you could be making losses from your advertisements.

When it comes to paid advertising, you have the option of using different channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Adwords, and so on. The most suitable channel for you will depend on your target audience as well as your niche.

I’m going to use Facebook to illustrate how you can use paid advertising to promote your online course. Here’s how this would go…

  • The first thing you need to do is to define the audience that you want to target with your ad.
  • Next, you will need to write the copy for your ad and add any images or video that you want to accompany your ad.
  • You will then need to set a budget for your campaign. Here, you don’t have to go overboard. Even a budget of $10 per day can help you achieve significant results.
  • Once people click on your ad, you can then direct them to your online course sales page. Provided you have a conversion-optimized sales page, a good number of those who click through on the ad will convert into paying customers.
  • Alternatively, you can direct those who click on the ad to a landing page with an email lead magnet, or to a registration page for a free webinar.

Now that you have their email address, you can add them to your email list on your email marketing platform like ConvertKit, nurture them with a targeted email marketing campaign, and then convert them into paying customers.

If you opt for the webinar approach, you will need to host an informative webinar that teaches your prospects something valuable that is related to your online course, and then promote your course towards the end of the webinar.

To host a high quality webinar, you can use webinar platforms like WebinarJam or Demio. These are the best webinar platforms on the market. They are both quite user-friendly and come with an impressive set of tools that make it very easy to host a professional webinar.

Create a Strategic Blog Plan

If you don’t already have a blog, it might be time to start one. 

Blogging is one of the best ways of driving people to your online course. Here’s some statistics showing why blogging is such a powerful way of driving potential customers to your online course:

power of blogs
Source: University of Brighton
  • 84% of people have made a purchase after reading about the product on blogs
  • 25% of those interviewed make a purchase each month after reading about the product on a blog
  • 25% of people aged between 25 and 34 read a blog every day
  • Two third of those interviewed read blogs at least a few times every week.

With such statistics, it is not a surprise that some of the most successful online course creators use their blogs to drive traffic to their online courses. People like Jon Morrow, Ramit Sethi, Danny Margulies and Timothy Sykes all use blogging to promote their online courses.

So, how do you use blogging to market your online course?

If you don’t already have a blog, the first thing you need to do is to set up one. To set up a blog, you will first need to pay for web hosting. We recommend hosting your blog on Bluehost (if you use this link to purchase your hosting, you will receive a 50% discount).

After setting up your web hosting, the next thing you need to do is to set up a content management system on your hosting account. Here, I recommend using WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system.

Next, you will need to install a WordPress theme to make your blog look professional. You will also need to create the main pages of your blog. To learn more about how to set up a blog, you can check out this guide.

Now that your blog is up and running, the next thing you need to do is to conduct keyword research to identify blog post ideas that are likely to attract the kind of audience you are targeting with your online course. I recommend using SEMrush to conduct your keyword research.

After identifying the best keywords to target, you will need to create high quality content around these keywords to attract people who might be interested in your online course.

You can then include call to actions in relevant blog posts urging people to sign up for your online course. You can also place your online course CTA on other strategic places on your blog, such as on your home page.

You can also combine blogging with email marketing to enhance your marketing. As you attract traffic to your blog, you can use lead magnets to capture the contact details of these people and add them to your email list. From there, you can use targeted email campaigns to nurture them and get them to purchase your online course.

Happy Students and Testimonials are the Best Free Viral Marketing Strategy

Word-of-mouth marketing remains to be one of the most effective forms of marketing. Think about it… How many times have you purchased something after someone you trust recommended it to you? Severally, I bet.

Similarly, you might also have decided not to purchase something after someone you trust gave you a negative review of the item.

You might pay for countless ads, post numerous blog posts, run dozens of webinars, and invest heavily in email marketing, but in most cases, potential customers will want to hear the opinion of someone who has gone through your course before they make the purchase. This is part of human nature.

This is why it is very important to make sure that you are offering a high quality online course and to constantly find ways of keeping your students happy. Happy students will recommend your online course to their friends and provide you with a stream of customers.

The problem, however, is that, even when you keep your students happy, you don’t know whether they’ll talk about your course or not. It is entirely up to them. This puts you at a disadvantage. How do you get those who are considering purchasing your course to hear the opinions of those who have already gone through your course?

The answer is to use testimonials.

Testimonials allow you to tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing right where interested customers can see it – on your website.

Testimonials are a powerful marketing tool for a couple of reasons. First, testimonials provide social proof that other people are purchasing your course and getting positive results. 

Second, testimonials provide an authentic, unbiased review of your course from someone who is not invested in its success or failure. This makes them more believable than any copy you might have on your sales page.

How To Use Testimonials To Promote Your Online Course

So, how do you use testimonials to promote your online course? Here are a couple of tips that will help you leverage this very powerful marketing tool.

  • Ask your student for a review after they complete your course. Once a student has successfully gone through your course, send them a request asking them to leave a review of your course. A good number will be happy to give you their honest review.
  • Understandably, not every student will be willing to leave a review of your course. Some might feel that it is a waste of time. However, you can encourage such students to leave a review by giving them a testimonial bonus. For instance, you could offer something like an extra video lesson, a PDF guide, or some other resource to any student who leaves a review of your course.
  • Don’t just ask your students to leave a review. If you do this, they might leave reviews that do not help you to convert other potential customers. For instance, a review like “this course was amazing” doesn’t really do much to convert a prospect. A more specific review like “this course helped me increase my revenue by 50% within 3 months” is more powerful. To get such specific reviews, you will need to prompt your students with the right questions in your testimonial collection form, instead of leaving it open ended.
  • Finally, after completing your course, some students might say something positive about it on social media. If you come across such a positive social media post about your course, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it. You can use plugins like Thrive Ovation to import positive comments about your course from social media directly to your website.

Create Your First Online Course FAQ

Why create an online course?

There are several reasons why you might want to create an online course, such as…

An online course is an asset that you can sell again and again
– An online course allows you to scale your business and reach more people than you would with one on one coaching.
– An online course allows you to build your authority and credibility.
– Creating and selling online courses is a great way to increase your revenue streams.
– Online courses are a great way to generate consistent, recurring income.

What are the costs to create an online course?

The cost of creating an online course will vary depending on the equipment you are using to create your course, your platform of choice for hosting your course, and so on. Generally, here are some of the costs you will have to deal with when creating your course:

The cost of equipment, such as camera, microphone, laptop, backdrops and so on. However, this is a one-time cost. You can reuse the same equipment to create your other courses. You could also hire equipment to cut costs.
The cost of the required software, such as video and audio editing software, screen recording software, and so on.
The cost of hiring a professional for things like video editing, graphic design, and so on. However, you can cut these costs by doing these tasks yourself if you have the skills.
The time cost of creating the course content.
The costs associated with hosting your online course, whether you’re hosting yourself, using a LMS, or an online course marketplace.
The costs associated with marketing your online course.

How much can I earn with online courses?

There’s no limit to how much you can earn with online courses. There are online course creators earning under $1,000 per month from their online courses, and there are some making well over $50,000 per month from their online courses.

How much you can earn from your online course will depend on factors like the quality of your course, the price you are charging for the course, the size of your niche, how aggressive you are at marketing your course, the loyalty of your customer base, and so on.

What are the best online course platforms?

Today, there are dozens of reliable online course platforms to choose from. Based on our experience, however, here are 10 of the best online course platforms.

Thinkific
Teachable
Kajabi
Podia
LearnWorlds
Udemy
Coursera
Learndash
Teachery
Academy of Mine

Ready To Launch Your Online Course & Make Money From Your Skills?

With more and more people turning to the internet to educate themselves and learn new skills, creating online courses is a lucrative way of making money on the internet, and at the same time strengthening your brand, authority, and credibility.

In this guide, we have provided you with the exact steps you need to follow to create and sell wildly successful online courses. All you need to do now is to put into practice what you have learnt from this guide and start making good money.

Here’s a recap of what you need to do to create and sell a wildly successful online course…

  • Pick the perfect online course topic.
  • Validate your idea to confirm whether it has high revenue potential.
  • Create magnetic and compelling course outcomes.
  • Structure your course modules and plan.
  • Select and create your course content.
  • Film, record, and edit your course.
  • Host your course online. I recommend hosting your online course on either Thinkific or Teachable.
  • Come up with a pricing strategy that will help you maximize your earnings.
  • Create a course sales page that will convert lookers into students.
  • Launch your online course
  • Market your course and start making money.
Written by
Anastasia Belyh
Join our Free 7-Day Email Course for Beginners to
MAKE MONEY BLOGGING FAST
FREE 8,000 word email course. FREE WordPress blog launch checklist. FREE plan to $10k in 90 days.
JOIN NOW!
We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.