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How to Sell Online Courses?

How to Sell Online Courses?

It's no secret that online courses have taken the education world by storm. According to reports, the eLearning market is expected to grow from $165.74 billion in 2016 to $252.3 billion by 2023. 

Given this explosive growth, it would seem that selling courses online should be a piece of cake, right? 

Not so fast!

While there are many benefits to selling courses online, it can be surprisingly challenging to do so effectively. 

In this blog post, we'll explore how to sell online courses. We’ll dive deep into this topic and answer all your burning queries.

Stay tuned!

What Outcomes Can You Expect From Selling Courses Online?

how to sell online courses

If you're thinking about selling courses online, you might be wondering what you can expect in terms of return on investment (ROI). The truth is, it can vary quite a bit depending on a number of factors, such as the quality of your courses, the demand for them, and how well you market them.

According to Business Wire, the corporate e-learning market will grow by $38.09 billion between 2020 and 2024. This is because of the rapid acceptance of e-learning. More people are penetrating the e-learning landscape, either as content creators or developers, and they find massive perks coming their way.

With that said, let's take a look at some general ROI expectations for selling courses online:

If you're selling courses that are low quality or not in demand, you can expect to see minimal ROI. You might even lose money in the long run.

As you can see, the ROI you can expect from selling courses online really depends on several factors. However, if you can create quality courses that are in demand and market them effectively, you can make a good amount of money.

You may feel compelled to create and sell your online course, given all the facts and figures. But before you do that, double-check your course to see if it provides substantial value. Some of these factors include:

  • Your brand recognition
  • Your expertise level
  • The training content
  • The course topic
  • The size and income of the audience
  • The market size and competition
  • The effectiveness of your website

Selling an online course is the best way to monetize your knowledge. It allows you to find real value in a world and design a business you are passionate about.

The Sales Funnel of an Online Course

sell an online course funnel

Building sales funnel for online courses are essential for several reasons. First, they help you to identify and qualify potential customers. Second, they help you to build relationships with potential customers. Finally, they help you to close sales and generate revenue.

Here are the different stages that your sales funnel should have when selling an online course: 

Step # 1: Create an Online Course

These days, more people are searching for novel content to enhance the quality of their courses. The first step to ensuring your course succeeds involves finding the proper subject matter. We have a guide on how to create an online course that sells. We highly recommend that you go through it. 

The topic you choose can vary. The main criterion should be to determine if it would attract the audience. Ideally, it should be a subject you have mastered. Ask yourself what it is that you are an expert at. If you think you can convert your knowledge into a structured course, learn how you can go about it.

You should find out if you have an audience who would sign up for this course. Ask your friends and colleagues what they think of the subject. You can also create polls online and inquire about users on social media. 

And when you have the entire design, it is now the time to test your idea. Add a concise course description on your landing page with eye-catching imagery to tell people what they should expect from this course. If you have enough prospects clicking on the CTAs, it is a sign that this course has plenty of potentials to succeed.

Step # 2: Create Awareness for Your Online Course

The next step towards the success of an online course is creating awareness. You can promote your course organically or through paid methods.

Typically, marketers use a combination of both to achieve maximum results. So, an ad campaign and SEO marketing can help you bring the desired outcomes for your online course. You can go organic in the following ways:

  • Write blogs
  • Make social media posters
  • Optimize your landing pages for the search grid
  • Invest in PR and other content marketing efforts
  • Create podcasts or educational videos

Step # 3: Engage the Audience to Build Interest in Your Online Course

If you aspire to build your authority in the chosen niche, you need to learn how to engage your audience and keep them in the loop. This requires constant effort as the students should feel they interact with a real-life person, not bots. It is one of the primary requirements of selling courses online.

You can engage the audience by working in the following domains:

Create a blog

Conduct market research to understand your audience and then find the topics to attract them. Start publishing content that will nurture their trust and loyalty. It should be the content that builds up your authority and compels your audience to probe more.

Be active on social media channels

This doesn’t mean being active on all social media channels. Instead, you should pick the ones that feel relevant to your course. Ensure that you respond to the students’ concerns and keep them in the loop about your future initiatives.

Network with people in real life

A large portion of students rely heavily on the recommendations of their peers. So, it would help if you took your chance to meet people in person. This would mean attending community events, cross-promote with other institutes, and forming alliances with the faculty.

Step # 4: Funnel the Users to Sales Page Where They Can Make the Decision

When you are done presenting your course on the landing page, your prospects know all you offer. They have evaluated you and understood a lot about your offers.

You can finally pitch your course to them and leave them with a compelling call to action. Ensure that the sales page has a clear heading, a detailed overview of the course, and the price it asks for. 

Step # 5: Build Trust in Your Course at the Checkout Where They Can Take an Action

Testimonials and reviews are the significant factors to improve the reliance on a course. It would help if you considered adding them at the Checkout to ensure that every thinking student knows about previous students' experiences.

You can also establish your credibility at this point by offering discounts on further purchases or any other tempting offers. The motive is to bring more people to the checkout page where they can take action and convert without thinking anymore. This requires using strategies like promo codes, reviews, and discounts.

How to Sell Courses Online?

You'll need to find a marketplace or platform that suits yours needs to sell courses online. Several different options are available, each with its own set of features and benefits. 

Once you've found a platform you're comfortable with, you'll need to create an account and list your course. Be sure to include a detailed description of what the course covers and any previews or samples that potential students can check out. 

You'll also need to set a price for your course. Many platforms allow you to offer discounts or coupons, so be sure to take advantage of that. Once you've listed your course, it's time to promote it. 

The best way to do this is by leveraging social media and other channels to grow web traffic. Be sure to create a landing page for your course that is optimized for conversions. You can also run ads on social media or Google Ads. 

If you have a mailing list, be sure to promote your course to mail list as well. Finally, it's essential to provide outstanding customer service for your courses. This means promptly answering any questions or concerns that students may have. It also means offering a money-back guarantee if students are not satisfied with the course. By providing an excellent customer experience, you'll be more likely to sell courses online successfully.

Sell Online Courses Through Educational Platforms

There are many ways to sell online courses, but one of the most popular and effective methods is through educational platforms. By using an educational platform, you can tap into a large pool of potential students interested in learning new things and advancing their careers.

Some of the most popular educational platforms include:

Udemy

This is an online learning platform that offers incredible support to people who are interested in developing and selling their online courses. A person must become a premium instructor to sell their course online on this portal.

The platform has over 155,000 courses and 40 million students. There are 102.4M visits to this website, where an average visit lasts around 11 minutes.

The percentage of users from some countries is as follows:

top countries visiting Udemy

What percentage does Udemy take?

Udemy gets about 63.7% of its traffic from direct search channels. Over the last three months, the rank of Udemy has decreased from 304 to 364. However, compared to the last month, the traffic on this website has increased by 3.39%.

Skillshare

Skillshare is also an online learning platform with thousands of creative courses and classes taught by experts to help you learn new skills. It provides students with a chance to learn hundreds of new courses from online instructors.

The annual revenue of this platform ranges from $75.0M to $100.0M, and it receives 8.8M views. The average duration spent by each participant is 3.5 minutes. It is, therefore, essential to highlight how your online course is vital for the students within this span of 3 minutes.

What percentage does Skillshare take?

Over the last three months, Skillshare's global ranking has decreased from 6235 to 7333. And the percentage of students visiting Skillshare from top countries is as follows:

Percentage of countries from where students access Skillshare the most

Skillshare receives 48.31% of its traffic from search engines. And the top social media channels bringing traffic for Skillshare are YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Coursera

Coursera is the platform that offers many free and online courses from reputable institutes like Stanford and Yale. People can advance their careers with these degrees and certificates.

It is essential to analyze the performance of this platform to determine if you should proceed with selling your course here.

This platform gets 49.9 million views, and an average visit lasts for 11 minutes. Over the last three months, Coursera’s global ranking has decreased from 622 to 669. But when we compare its performance with the last month, we find that the traffic has increased by 4.26% compared to last month.

What percentage does Coursera get?

This platform also receives most of its audience from the USA and India. The chart below shows the percentage of learners from each country:

Top countries that contribute to Coursera’s popularity

When discussing the marketing channels used by the platform, we find that Coursera receives 61.99% traffic from the direct search channels. 

As for now, the top most productive social media channels for Coursera are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Udacity

This is the portal where you can take new courses and expand your skillset. Courses like programming and data sciences can enhance the employees' technical skills and help them climb the hierarchical ladder.

The annual revenue of this platform is $100.0M - $200.0M. It gets 4 million visits where an average user spends 10 minutes on the portal.

The global ranking of Udacity has also decreased over the past three months. But it seems to have improved when compared to last month. The traffic has increased by 0.03%. 

What percentage does Udacity take?

The country that sends the most traffic to Udacity is the United States of America. Some other countries sending visitors their way are as follows:

countries contributing to the traffic of Udacity

When we analyze the marketing channel that is significantly helping Udacity, we find that it receives 55.36% of its traffic from the direct search channels. 

Also, the social media channels helping this platform are Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is the online platform that helps businesses upgrade their employees' skills. It allows the upload and promotion of content from third parties to ensure that it provides the best options for all its users. 

Learners who join LinkedIn learning as a part of groups tend to watch 29x more hours of learning content. 

What percentage does LinkedIn Learning take?

This portal is prevalent in 45 countries. The top countries in this list include:

Number of Active Members of LinkedIn Learning in top 14 countries

LinkedIn Learning is currently helping many organizations provide training to their employees. 78% of the Fortune 100 companies use this platform.

Sell Online Courses Through Your Website

The best part about online courses is that they keep generating income for a long time. Instead of relying on other portals, you can also sell your online course on the website you have designed.

This allows you to get more revenue and direct contact with your customers. Following are the ways you can adopt to sell an online course through your website:

  • Create a website: You should build an SEO-friendly website and easy to use.
  • Optimize the landing page: Ensure that the landing page's loading speed, images, and content are up to the mark.
  • Create a blog: You should also work on the blog page of your website. This will allow you to choose topics in the niche and write different topics of the audience’s interest.

Besides this, you should also maintain a secure way of receiving payments. Services like PayPal are making it easier to wire transfer internationally. 

Sell Online Courses Through Online Ads

You can sell online courses through online ads. This can be a great way to reach a large audience and generate interest in your courses. You can use video ads to promote your courses on websites, search engines, and social media.

When you use online ads to sell online courses, you can target a specific audience. This ensures that only interested people in your courses will see your ads. You can also use online ads to reach a global audience. This can help you sell courses to people all over the world.

Some platforms you can use to boost your online course sales are:

Facebook Ads

Facebook has more than 1 billion daily active users, making it one of the most popular social media channels to promote your online courses. This channel allows you to pick a target audience. 

If you're looking to sell online courses, Facebook Ads is the best option. By targeting a specific audience and using relevant keywords, you can create ads that will reach people interested in what you have to offer.

When creating your ad, be sure to include a link to your course landing page and a brief description of what your course is about. You'll also want to use relevant images or videos to grab attention and get your message across.

Google Ads

Google Ads is an effective way to sell online courses. You can reach a large audience and generate interest in your courses by targeting potential students with relevant ads. Google Ads can also be customized to target specific demographics, interests, and locations. When used effectively, Google Ads can be a powerful tool for driving course sales.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What course sells best online?

There are a few courses that tend to sell best online. These include courses on web development, digital marketing, and graphic design. Web development and digital marketing are two of the most in-demand skills today, so it's no surprise that courses on these topics are popular. Graphic design is also a popular choice, as it's a skill that can be used in various industries.

If you're looking to sell courses online, it's good to focus on these popular topics. By offering courses on these subjects, you'll be able to reach a larger audience and have a better chance of making sales.

Can I sell my course on Udemy?

Yes, you can sell your course on Udemy. Many instructors do just that and make a significant amount of money. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you're thinking about selling your course on Udemy.

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your course is of a high enough quality to sell. This means having great production values, engaging and informative content, and overall just being a great course. If your course isn't up to snuff, people will not likely be willing to pay for it.

Secondly, you need to market your course well. Just because you have a great course doesn't mean that people will automatically find it and buy it. You need to do some promotion and marketing to get the word out there about your course.

Finally, you need to be aware of Udemy's revenue split. When you sell a course on Udemy, they take a percentage of the sale. So, you need to make sure that you're pricing your course accordingly and making enough money to make it worth your while.

Can you sell your course on multiple platforms?

Yes, you can sell your course on multiple platforms. This can be a great way to reach a wider audience and increase sales. However, you will need to ensure that each platform you use is compatible with your course content and delivery methods. You will also need to create separate sales pages and course landing pages for each platform. This can be a lot of work, but it can be worth it if you can reach a larger audience and sell more courses.

Final Thoughts

It can be a lot of work to set up and run an online course sales operation. It's easy to feel overwhelmed between creating the content, building the website, marketing the course, processing payments and measuring performance of online courses. That’s where Orion comes in. We have years of experience setting up and running successful online course sales operations for our clients. We know how to sell online courses. Let us take care of all the details so you can focus on what you do best - teaching your excellent courses! 

Ready to get started? 

Contact us today to learn more about our online course selling services.

Rayed Chaudhry

Rayed is passionate about marketing and interested in learning new ways to hack (legally) marketing platforms to help businesses achieve growth using unconventional methods. Prior to starting Orion, Rayed has worked in various marketing positions and spent millions of dollars across different ad platforms.