Interest in online education continues to grow as people increasingly access online tools to learn and acquire new skills.

The global e-learning market is expected to grow above 17.54% and reach over US $848.12 billion by 2030.

Though the increase in demand is undeniable, selling courses is an ongoing challenge for many providers, as students are becoming savvier about the returns of their educational investments.

So, there has never been a better time to explore the possibility of sharing your expertise with a global audience. All you need is some knowledge of how to sell online courses.

In this post, we will walk you through the essentials of selling online courses and start generating sales.

Can You Make Money Selling Online Courses?

Yes, selling online courses is a very profitable way to increase your income. Numbers reveal that the self-paced e-learning market will grow to $10.12 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 5.9%.

Here are some reasons you want to sell an online course and generate profits.

  • Monetizing Expertise: You have valuable knowledge and skills to monetize your experience and create a passive income stream.
  • Scaling Reach: You want scalability, leverage the global reach, and more students without physical constraints.
  • Building a Brand and Authority: You can establish yourself as an authority within a particular industry or niche. 

So, are you ready to offer your courses online?

Four Steps on How to Sell Online Courses

We’ve simplified everything you need to know in four easy steps about how to sell online courses to help you grow your audience – and your revenue.

  • Choose a Subject that Sells
  • Create Your Online Course
  • Build a Course Sales Funnel
  • After You Sell a Course
  • Let’s explore each step in detail.

1. Choose a Subject that Sells

Before you sell your online courses, you need to find your niche.

Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • What do you love to talk about?
  • What do people come and ask your help for?
  • What experience can be transferred into a course?
  • Is there something you are an advocate for? 

Most importantly, you must be sure that the course you sell delivers value for prospective students.

Know Your Target Audience

If you want to meet the interests and needs of a certain audience, you must run a search engine query or ask them.

If you already have an email list, survey with a list of potential courses you can sell and ask them to choose their favorite.

Research Market Demand

Examine what other course creators do in your chosen topic. Look at how much they charge for their courses and how many students sign up. 

Explore their course outlines to see if there are any gaps in the information they provide. It will help you figure out what makes your course different and better.

Find Your Passion

Choose a topic you’re passionate about and are an expert in. For example, if you have a computer science background, you could create courses on starting a tech-based side business or teach basic programming concepts.

2. Create Your Online Course

To start, consider your course’s learning objectives. Know your audience, their problems, and how you can teach them to solve those problems.

Choose a focused and niche topic rather than a broad one. Broad topics usually come with more competition. When your focus is narrow, it’s easier to demonstrate expertise.

Create a course outline that defines what your course will deliver. Engagement and interaction are essential elements of any online course; therefore, choose the right multimedia elements.

Here are some key multimedia elements that you can include in your course:

  • Text
  • Image
  • Motion image
  • Audio
  • Video
  • AR
  • Gamification

Leverage AI-Assisted Course Creation for Accelerated Content Production

Consider integrating AI-assistance course creation tools to expedite your content development process.

AI can assist in crafting outlines, refining content, expanding upon topics, and addressing weaknesses in marketing copy or video scripts.

So now that you’ve created an online course to sell, you need to choose the best platform for online education.

Self-Hosting

Establish your own server through a hosting company to manage and sell your online courses directly from your website. While it may involve higher costs and technical aspects, self-hosting offers full autonomy and control over your content.

Online course marketplace

Another hosting option is to utilize a learning marketplace. These platforms host your course and allow for branding customization.

3. Build a Course Sales Funnel

The most effective approach to selling a course involves creating a sales funnel. This process involves guiding potential customers through steps to encourage them to enroll in your online course.

At the core of this strategy is your course sales page and a systematic process to entice prospects. The specific components of a course sales funnel include:

  • Pricing Your Course
  • Online Course Landing Page
  • Market and Sell Your Online Course

Remember, the key principle is to provide value first, educate, and promote your offering.

Price Your Course

When setting the price for your course, consider its value rather than its length or complexity. Define the outcome the audience should achieve by taking your course and how much they would be willing to pay for that value. 

Online courses that help people advance their careers or get a raise typically cost more than one that teaches a single skill.

If you’re not ready to price your course as a premium product, consider offering pricing tiers instead. You can also upsell additional resources such as printable PDFs, e-books, and coaching services.

For example, the Digital Marketing Career Blueprint Course landing page provides a clear pricing plan for students to review and a CTA to get started.

Source: Digital Career Blueprint

Online Course Landing Page

Your course might be mentioned in your newsletter, website, or social media. However, your sales page is where all the answers about your course must be available for prospects.

A dedicated landing page is one of the best ways to market your course and boost your conversion rates. It typically includes key elements such as a header, pricing, social proof, video testimonials, a call-to-action (CTA), and an FAQ section.

For example, this FE Electrical & Computer Exam Preparation Course has a headline that instantly appeals to the type of person your ideal student, has a descriptive subtitle, features the option to watch course promo, and a CTA to get your reader excited.

FE Electrical & Computer Exam Preparation Course

Source: StudyforFE

Market and Sell Your Course

Simply creating an online course isn’t enough to attract prospects. To achieve success, you’ll need to market your course. Marketing involves connecting with your audience and encouraging them to enroll or interact.

Social Media Marketing: If you have followers, include a link to your course landing page in your bio or promote it through a post.

Here’s an example: Marc Jovani, a composer who sells online music composition courses, has included a link to the course page in his bio on Facebook.

Marc Jovani, a composer who sells online music composition

Source: Facebook

Advertising & Paid Ads: The quickest way to sell and expand your email list is through performance marketing or PPC. Running ads to your landing page for direct purchases or to a lead magnet is the most effective way to generate fast sales.

For example, if you search for ‘digital marketing course enroll,’ you can see sponsored Google Ads at the top of the SERPs.

digital marketing course enroll

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Writing blog posts and optimizing your SEO can help you discover and attract consistent traffic without spending a fortune on advertising for course marketing.

For example, Emily Reagan offers an online digital marketing course, and the website includes a separate section for blogs to showcase authority and expertise.

Emily Reagan offers an online digital marketing course

Source: Emily Reagan

Guest Blogging/Podcasting: As a new course creator, appearing on podcasts, vlogs, or writing guest posts for other publications is an excellent way to gain exposure and drive traffic to your website.

Here’s an example of collaboration between two course creators: They created a podcast to share insights and knowledge with each other’s target audience.

collaboration between two course creators

Source: YouTube

Here are some more activities you can do to promote your course:

  • Offer a free mini-course: Create a mini-course and give it away for free. It’s a great way for people to get to know you as a course creator and can lead to more people signing up for your main course.
  • Collaborate with influencers: Partner with influencers in your field to promote your courses through sponsorships, cross-promotions, or giveaways.
  • Attend podcasts/webinars: Be a guest on podcasts or webinars your target audience listens to or watches. It allows you to talk about your course and reach new people.
  • Special offers: To attract more customers, offer discounts, bundles, or coupons for your course during special occasions or seasons.
  • Free trial: If you’re selling a subscription-based course or community, offer a free trial period for people to try it out before committing.
  • Pre-sell your course: Start selling it before it’s fully ready to gauge interest and see if people are willing to buy it.

After You Sell a Course

Selling a course is just the beginning. Now, providing an immersive learning experience and support is important even after the enrollment and course.

Keeping your students satisfied opens up many chances to offer more:

  • Additional courses
  • High-value services
  • Coaching sessions
  • Personalized tutoring
  • Other products and services

Many course creators simply sell their course and forget about it. But the real game is to go above and beyond expectations and stay in touch.

It will turn prospects into loyal fans who spread the word about your course, bring in more students, and leave positive reviews.

Conclusion

Creating and selling courses has the potential to evolve into more than just an online business. With dedication and effort, you can make an immense impact through teaching.

All you need to know is how to curate a topic, find the right niche, create a course, and inspire others with your unique value proposition.

Now that you know how to sell courses online, it’s time to start making money. There are lots of opportunities out there; you just need to know how to take advantage of them.

One effective strategy is to partner with an online course promotion agency to amplify your reach and visibility and maximize your earning potential.