In this Comprehensive Guidebook, you’re going to learn how to create and sell online courses. Over two years ago, I spent three weeks creating and developing my first online course.
In the first month I made $1,200 from selling my online course.
Nowadays I average about $3,000 a month in revenue (passive income) – from an online course I created in three weeks – over two years ago.
Pretty cool right?!
How would you feel if you spent just three weeks creating an awesome online course, then you made a few thousand dollars a month for the rest of your life?
Would that interest you?
My guess is that most people who create and sell online courses have a similar emotional state to the gentlemen in the picture below. 😆
Online Courses – A World of Financial Possibility
Not that long ago, if you wanted to create and sell online courses, you needed to have significant technical skills. If you didn’t have those skills, then you could pay someone to build a course for you, but that can be expensive.
Nowadays, there is a superabundance of online learning platforms that have easy-to-use software.
These online teaching sites actually have their own websites, where they host your online courses for you, making it very simple to create and sell online courses, even with no technical skills.
What this means is that virtually anyone can create and sell online courses. The online marketing playing-field has been leveled.
This is wonderful news.
People all over the world are online every single day in search of information to help them solve their problems and nurture their passions.
Computers, Search Engines, and Social Media have changed everything.
We are now living in the “Information Age,” also known as the “Digital Age.”
Just think about all of the jobs that have been eliminated with the advancement of computers, apps, and other digital technology.
And while many industries have taken a big hit, or have been completed wiped off the planet, with the rise of digital technology, other industries have been created, many of which are booming.
Online learning, or “e-learning,” is a $100 billion industry.
To become wealthy creating and selling online courses, you don’t even need a piece of the pie.
If you even got a crumb that fell off the knife that cut the piece of pie, you would be a millionaire from selling online courses.
I hope you’re excited!
If you are, and you want to learn my Proven 4-Step Success System on how to create an online course, then you’re in for a fun journey.
For the remainder of the article, I will teach you how to create online courses, how to sell online courses, and more.
Step 1. Win Beforehand
The first step for creating and selling online courses is to find your niche. This is VERY IMPORTANT.
Most people that create and sell online courses fail to make money because they didn’t spend time doing niche development, research, and competition analysis.
I absolutely love the definition of niche marketing from BusinessDictionary.com, so I’m going to quote it directly:
niche marketing – Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well defined segment of the population. Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and delivering goods or services to satisfy them.”
Examples of niches could be:
- How to use nutrition and supplements to recover from alcoholism
- How to find the perfect Russian wife
- How to build and fly your own remote control airplanes
- How to treat acne using holistic, natural remedies
- How to double your productivity
- How to become a successful Relationship Coach
People typically purchase online courses for two reasons.
Either they are trying to solve a problem they or someone they know has, or they are passionate about something. So basically, they’re trying to get out of pain, or they’re trying to gain pleasure.
And I’ll tell you straight up…
People will typically be more likely to spend money buying online courses if doing so will help them solve their problems (get out of pain).
The Ideal Niche for Selling Online Courses
I believe the most ideal niche for you to be able to make money selling online courses in would be something that fits into my “Online Course Publisher Fulfillment Equation.” I’m horrible at math, but this equation is simple enough.
Here’s the premise:
The Perfect Online Course Niche = Expert + Passion + Need
In long form, the Perfect Online Course Niche would be something you’re an Expert in (or could easily become an expert in), something you’re Passionate about, and finally, something people Need…and will pay you for it.
The most important factor in the equation is that there is a strong NEED for this information you’ll be publishing online.
Let me explain:
You could be an expert at the mating behaviors of squirrels, and you could be DARN PASSIONATE about it, but I’m just not convinced there is a big enough need for this info that this online course could be profitable.
Nonetheless, aren’t squirrels adorable when they mate? 😉
Step 2. Choose a Method to Create an Online Course
After you’ve done research, and determined that there’s a need for your online course (and people will pay you for it), the next step is to determine how you’re going to create your online course.
There are many ways to create an online course.
Some people are experts in website creation and other online marketing software, and for them, the natural thing to do is create an online course on their own website.
I’ve taken some great online courses that were built on privately hosted websites. There are many types of software you can use to create and sell online courses on a website that you own.
When I was researching how to create an online course, I found two software programs that were simple-to-use, which had everything I would need to build a course on my own website.
These software programs are:
- WishList Member – A powerful, yet easy-to-use membership software solution that can turn any WordPress site into a protected, members-only online course that takes integrated payments, member management, and much more.
- OptimizePress – Simple software that helps you make your online course look very professional. It has a cool LiveEditor to design your online course. This is very basic if you already know how to use WordPress.
If you’re getting stressed out right about now…don’t worry. Most people don’t build online courses on their own websites.
As the online learning industry has grown, so have the software programs.
Now you can pay a small monthly fee and have everything done for you…all in one complete online learning platform software.
Online Learning Platforms
Several years ago, there were only a few online learning platforms. As the industry has grown (quickly), these online learning platforms have become so popular and numerous that I can’t even keep up with all of them.
Now it seems like every few weeks a new online learning platform enters the market in hopes of getting their share of the online-course-pie.
This benefits you and I greatly.
As market competition rises, it becomes increasingly important for the competing online course software companies to ensure they are providing extraordinary services…at least if they want to be profitable and stay in business (which they do!).
Here are some common areas they need to excel in:
- Simplicity – Is their online course software simple and easy-to-use for a beginner?
- Design – Does the online course look professional and does it have a high perceived value?
- Functional – Is the online course intuitive and easy for students to navigate and figure out?
- Tech Support – If you run into a dilemma, is there an online chat support team and/or phone number for you to get quick assistance?
- Customer Service – If a student has a question or technical support issue, is it simple for them to reach out for help. Are the customer service reps friendly and helpful? Professional?
- Pricing – Is the pricing competitive and worth the cost compared to competing companies?
- Payments – Does the online course software take payments, or does it require you to integrate the software with a third-party payment processor?
- Features – What kind of beneficial features does it have? Coupons, recurring payments, is it mobile responsive, etc?
- Training – One of the most important features of an online course software company is the training they provide. Do they have detailed, simple-to-follow tutorials on how to create an online course using their software?
There are many different online course software companies to choose from. It can be intimidating and time-consuming to do the research and find the best ones.
Most people don’t even know exactly what to type in Google or other search engines to find what they’re looking for.
Just look at the following common terms people use to describe the same thing:
- Online learning platforms
- Online training platforms
- Online teaching platforms
- Online course platforms
- Online teaching sites
- Online course software
- Online course websites
- Online teaching websites
Once you search for any of these terms, you then receive an overwhelming amount of articles and ads that you must sift through to find the answers to your questions.
I did this.
After a few days and many hours researching online learning platforms, I decided to go with ruzuku.
They have a 14-Day Free Trial so I figured I couldn’t lose.
The online course creator was so easy for me to use that I almost finished my first online course in those 14 days. They even had free online courses I could take that taught me how to create, market, and sell online courses using their software.
After my 14-Day Free Trial period ended, I happily paid the monthly fee, and within 7 more days I completed my online course, then started selling it.
I’m very happy with ruzuku, and I’ve continued to use this online learning platform to create and sell online courses for over two years now.
Step 3. Create an Online Course
After you’ve chosen a method of online course creation (your own website or an online learning platform), the next step is for you to create an online course.
Using the software available nowadays, it is not difficult to do this, and you basically just need to determine what type of content you’re going to add in your online course.
Here are the types of content I add to my online courses:
- PDF Downloads (e.g. worksheets and workbooks)
- Audio Files
- Private Forum
Using the ruzuku online learning platform, it is very simple and fast to add all of these forms of content into an online course.
It also looks very professional and elegant, which is important. You want your online course to have a very high perceived value.
It needs to have great content, and it also needs to look professional and be easy-to-use so your students (customers) feel good about their purchase.
Once you’ve created the online course, you have some options to consider:
- Will all of the online course content be immediately available to the student after they register? Or are you going to have the content “drip” (e.g. every 7 days a new Module unlocks).
- Is your online course going to be available 365 days a year? Or are you going to have set periods of time people can register for the course?
- Are you going to sell your online course? If so, how much will it cost? Or is your online course going to be free?
- Are you going to have some people take your course before you launch it, so they can give you feedback and areas to improve upon?
There are other options to consider as well, but these are some of the most common questions online course publishers need to ponder…and answer.
Step 4. Market & Sell your Online Course
So let’s say you learn how to create an online course, and after some time, energy, and hard work, you publish your online course.
What is the next step?
You need to market and sell your online course. It could be the best online course in the entire world, yet if nobody knows it exists, you won’t sell online courses.
That’s where marketing comes along.
Here is the definition of marketing according to the American Marketing Association:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Essentially, what I mean by marketing your online course is promoting and advertising it. There are many ways to do this.
Here are some examples:
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing (Blogging, Video blogging, Podcasts)
- Google Adwords (Pay-Per-Click ads)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media shares
- Banner Ads
- Affiliate Marketing
- Facebook Advertising
Where are your potential customers hanging out? What I mean is – “What channels are they on?”
Is your target audience on Facebook a lot? Twitter? Or perhaps they are primarily on YouTube?
You have to find out where your target customers are hanging out online, then use those channels to market your online course.
Since your online course will be on the internet, you’ll need to focus on internet marketing to sell your digital product.
Digital Product Blueprint
We have now covered my Proven 4-Step System to create and sell online courses. If you have a strong internet marketing background and already make a living in this field, you might be ready to create and sell online courses after reading this article.
However, if you’re a novice, then creating and selling online courses will take more time and research than this article can provide.
In this case, I highly recommend checking out an extraordinary Video Training Course, called Digital Product Blueprint.
It was designed to take a complete beginner through the process of how to create and sell online courses.
I completed the Digital Product Blueprint Program almost a year ago, and I simply cannot recommend it enough.
It’s truly amazing, and it’s so simple a total novice can watch the videos and learn a detailed and proven system for creating and selling online courses.
How To Create and Sell Online Courses – Summary
Let’s review the basic steps necessary to create and sell courses online.
Here is the breakdown:
- Step 1: Win beforehand by doing niche research. Make sure people are online searching for what your course can help them with.
- Step 2: Decide on whether you’re going to create an online course on your own website, or an online learning platform such as ruzuku or one of the many others (e.g. Kajabi, Teachable, Thinkific, or Udemy).
- Step 3: Create your online course. Video courses have the highest perceived value, but you can add any type of content you like.
- Step 4: Use internet marketing strategies and tactics to market and sell your course online.
Don’t worry about getting your online course perfect before you publish it.
Here is the best piece of advice I can give you:
Get it done, then get it perfect.
You can make revisions and updates later. For now, just get it done.
For your first time, make a short online course and give yourself a quick win. Over time, you can create and sell more online courses. So far I’ve published four online courses. I sell two of them, and the other two are free.
Making money selling online courses is Truly Extraordinary.
You get to help people improve their lives, you get to be creative, and you make passive income in the process.
Is there anything better?
If you have any questions or comments on how to create and sell online courses, please post them in the comment box below.