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Complete guide to creating and selling courses online

Evita Gueizelar

Evita Gueizelar

Content Creator

Create and sell online courses

A single solution to all your needs for launching an online academy.

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Before we jump into how you can create and sell your courses online, let’s take a look into why entering the online education industry is a promising choice for you.

The online education sector is a booming industry that is expected to grow into a staggering $325 billion business by 2025, according to Forbes.

With the facts and figures providing a solid ground for educators worldwide to come and launch their dreams to teach online effectively, one can be confident to generate additional revenues while doing what they love to do.

There are plenty of reasons why creating and selling courses online can become highly beneficial for you. First off, the most compelling reason would be the profits that you can make. These profits are the result of a growing demand for online education. 

Today’s generation is exposed to a highly competitive environment where they have to push themselves to their maximum potential to find or start meaningful careers. In pursuit of becoming successful, people are constantly looking for ways to increase their knowledge. Online courses are a suitable option as people can save significantly on costs and time in comparison to the traditional methods of classroom-based learning. Students get a chance to improve their knowledge and skills at flexible times. 

Apart from an interest in gaining academic knowledge, people of all ages have taken a keen interest in enhancing their hobbies and passions as well as generating an additional revenue stream. 

The burgeoning industry has seen a sudden spike in online courses and training programmes over the past year due to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. People are more willing to accept online modes of learning primarily for their convenience and cost-effectiveness. 

Other reasons why you should consider starting your own online academy to create and sell courses online include the following:

  • You get to reach a wider audience: Includes people from different backgrounds, places and cultures. The experience you gain from tutoring or training through diversity would make you a seasoned professional in no time. 
  • You get to launch your online tutoring/training dream within the lowest budgets: This will avoid many investments in costs and time that you would otherwise be forced to spend on the traditional methods of teaching offline. 
  • You get to start and expand at your own pace: You have the flexibility to create courses and run your online tutoring business at your convenience. Online modes of teaching give you the freedom and flexibility to achieve your targets the way you want to. 
  • You get to work from anywhere in the world: You never have to worry about taking a leave of absence just because you are travelling or have decided to take a mini-vacation. You can work from anywhere at any time. 
  • Simple and effective management: You can launch your own online academy with ease and manage it effortlessly with the right support. You can choose an LMS like that helps you create, sell and manage your online courses from your own branded website. 

Opportunities in this industry are never-ending. Still not convinced? Find out how to teach online and earn money?

Now that we know the opportunities and advantages of entering the world of online teaching and training, you might want to know why and how launching your career as an edupreneur through your own website is ideal.

One of the best ways to start your own online tutoring/training business is to launch through your own website. There are many benefits to doing so. You get to control all interactions with your existing and potential learners. You also gain total control and independence on how to run your business. When you make sales through your own platform, you make higher profits since you don’t have to pay commission or extra charges on each sale. You never have to abide by the one-size-fit-all notion and instead can make use of your platform to become one of your most efficient marketing tools. 

You can make your online courses to be anything you want them to be. Creating and selling courses online is a very exciting process. With the excitement comes a feeling of being overwhelmed and this is where we would like to help you out.

Selling an online course

Table of Contents

Why should you create courses online?

  • They are a great source of income whether you want it to be a passive income or your primary income. You get to teach and earn online with less effort, time and money invested. 
  • It helps in getting you a wider learner base since you will be able to sell your online courses worldwide at your convenience. 
  • Creating online courses that are engaging, interesting and informative helps in adding or increasing value to your learners thus resulting in greater customer success.
  • Every teacher has their own ways and methods to teach traditionally. Similarly, they will also have a preference in the way they want to teach and earn online. Creating and selling online courses gives you control over how you want your modules to be shared, taught or trained.
  • Tutors/trainers who have related content online such as videos, blogs and podcasts are in luck as they can use them to build their online course with ease.
  • Even if you don’t have readymade course content online, don’t worry! You can always conduct live sessions and record them to sell as online courses to unlimited learners. 
  • Creating and selling your own course content through your own white label virtual classroom can be a gamechanger for you. Imagine being able to make decisions on how to run your online academy without the interference of another system. 
  • There is another upside to creating courses and selling them through your own academy. You can keep a virtual tab of how many courses you have created, the academic or skill-wise resources that back your courses, your journey as an online tutor, the precious feedback and suggestions from your learners and much more.

Choose your online course topic

The first step in the process of creating an online course is to set boundaries and search within.

  • Choose a subject area

Choose a subject area in which you have the required knowledge or skills to create and sell online courses. An important part of this process is to ensure that you select an area that has ample demand and scope. You can do a simple market study and analysis to understand and define the subject options that can be used to create your own meaningful online academy

The courses that have the highest demand are career-related courses like for example: 

    • Business & Entrepreneurship 
    • Arts & Crafts 
    • Computer & Technology 
    • Science & math
    • Health & Fitness 
    • Lifestyle and Fashion etc.
  • Research your course topic extensively

Once you have chosen your area of interest, dive straight into research. Thorough research will help you in creating a foolproof platform to sell courses online. Check out the various course topics that come under the main topics and see the compatibility between your subject and your knowledge of the subject. If it’s a perfect match, jump to the next step.

  • Prepare a catchy course title

You must refine your search and find a niche topic from within the broader categories. For example, if you choose to create a course based on computers and technology, you can create a course to teach a specific type of coding.

Do you want to know how to craft a catchy title for your online course? Read our blog to get tips on how you can make an effective online course title.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a genius in the topic that you have opted for but you most certainly should possess the expert-level knowledge required to share it with your learner base. To know who can create an online course, check out our blog: Create an online course: Who, When and Why.

Create your course content

After choosing your course topic and title, start compiling all the information you have collected from your research and start making new content wherever necessary to create online courses that are interesting, engaging and effective.

  • Create a course outline

You can start by creating a course outline by grouping and subgrouping the content you have collected. It can include the results from your research/new content created or existing content from YouTube, podcasts and blog posts. Make a list of other content that needs to be made. Ensure that your content is educational, inspirational and interactive. 

Try to include videos and bite-size content into your course curriculum. This is what attracts most learners and helps in retaining their attention.

  • List out the tools and equipment you will need

Make a complete list of equipment you may need for creating your course content. 

When you are just starting out, you only need the basic equipment and tools. An active internet connection for research and collection of data and information, a smartphone or camera for recording videos, a simple audio device, a table, your laptop or desktop and your amazing confidence! 

When you want to level up you can consider upgrading your equipment and tools accordingly. What you can invest in at that point would be a good HD video camera, audio equipment like microphones, lighting rings or studio lighting, green screen, investment in an all-in-one platform, etc. 

  • Make your course script

After the outline is prepared, you can make a detailed script for your course with information on how you are planning to present, the tools you will need for creation and editing of content, chronological order in which you will share resources etc. Making a course script will allow you to be fully prepared to teach online and earn money. 

Define the look and feel of your course and make a list of tools you will need for the creation of your online course. There are many free online tools available to tutors and trainers to make course creation simple. Look into graphics, animations, video, audio, interactions and assessment tools available online. Some of them include Canva, Pixlr, Wordle, Venngage, Unsplash, Google Charts, Ardour, Audacity, Camtasia, Snagit, Google Forms, Survey Monkey and iSpring. 

  • Create engaging content

Using the necessary tools and resources you can create your own online courses. Remember that learners are attracted to courses that have more visuals and usage of gamification. Stick to your course outline and course script. This will save you valuable time and effort. To know more about how to make online learning more engaging?

To make course creation and course launch an easy task, you can check out our blog: A handy checklist for your online course launch. 

Host your online course

  • Bring your course online

You can choose how you want your courses to be presented to your learners. First up, you will need a plan and structure for your online course. Then you can film and edit your course content. After your course is ready you can consider your options to host your course online. 

You can consider self-hosting options like WordPress if you want a readymade answer.

  • Online course marketplaces

The most effective option would be to host through your own branded website. If you think you do not have the time, money or other resources to invest in building something from scratch, you can always opt for an all-in-one platform that will help you create your own branded website and mobile application with ease.

Check out Mykademy a state of the art learning management system, to know how you can create your own online academy in just three easy steps.

Confused about what a Learning Management System is? Don’t worry! Here, you can read everything you have to know about LMS and how it is beneficial for you.

How to sell an online course

Validate your online course

  • Test your idea

Pay attention to what people say and do. Search out prior studies done to check if your course is valid and has scope. Make sure that you collect all required information from credible sources to back your course. You can take the help of the best platforms to sell your courses online.

  • Validate by asking

Ask your existing learner base for their opinions and suggestions. This can help you know if there is a demand after you create online courses to sell.

  • Pre-sell your online course

A great way to understand the response of your target audience. You will have proof of whether your course can generate revenue or not.

  • Launch a pilot course

This can help you build a list of people that are likely to purchase your online course when you launch. There are various LMS platforms that will help you in setting up.

Mykademy is an all-in-one LMS that helps you to sell courses from your own website. 

Sell your online course

  • Choose a business model

The key to building a successful online business that consistently increases your income, is to have a good online tutoring business model. 

Build an effective business model for your online academy. You can decide the various platforms that you will be using in order to create, market and sell your courses online. You can decide if you want to invest in creating a platform from scratch or whether you want to take the shortcut that can actually help you grow your business. You can consider LMS platforms like Mykademy, that will help you create your own online academy with ease. 

Make a solid business plan which includes all necessary information regarding stakeholders, tools, platforms, strategies etc. 

  • Price your online course

You have all the liberty to price your courses as you wish but it is also necessary to be informed about the going prices in the market for courses of the same topic and subject area. 

It is always advisable to price your online courses after doing research on your competitors’ prices. You can make promotional discounts and offers to your course at the time of launch. 

Remember that pricing your online courses very high or very low is not ideal. A balance has to be struck between the value of your courses and their price. 

If you price your courses and sell them online at a very low price point, then your course will lose its value. 

To choose the right pricing point for your course, consider the following: 

    • What you spend on creating the course. 
    • The pricing strategies used by your competition. 
    • The income group to which your target audience falls. 

Make sure that you create engaging course content and present it well to increase the value of your online course. After you have made a name for yourself and your courses have gained momentum and have ample demand, you can strategically start increasing the price of your courses.

Click to know more about ​​how to sell online courses from your website? You can also check out simplified steps to create and sell online courses.

Market your online course

The time has finally arrived! You have created your courses and it’s ready to be sold but there is one step to be done in between. This step is crucial. This step has the power to decide whether your courses would become successful or not. 

You know what we are talking about right? MARKETING! Marketing is an important activity that has to be done at all stages of your business operations. It plays an important role right from course creation, to branding your website to selling and continues even after your courses are sold. 

It is one of the most important steps in the process of launching your online tutoring business. All successful businesses have a strong marketing strategy that is planned to cover every move of the business for the next six months. 

If you forgot to create one, don’t panic. We have got you covered. There are many different ways in which you can market and grow your online courses and your branded online academy. The aim should be to increase your online presence wherever possible.

There are also many different platforms you can consider to market and promote your online course. 

Some of the ways you can consider marketing your online courses are given below: 

  • Make an ideal learner persona

Understanding your learner persona and avatar will help you in crafting the ideal messaging for all your marketing and promotional activities. 

You can write a paragraph about who your ideal learner is and this is to be kept in mind while making marketing decisions.

  • Identify your unique value proposition

This will help you differentiate yourself from your competitors. Your learners will be attracted to your business, depending on what you have to offer. 

  • Make use of Blogs

If you have written blogs related to your course topic then you can use them to promote your course. If you don’t have blogs, you can start writing one. It is a very effective way to market your online tutoring business. Create engaging, informative and attractive blogs to increase organic traffic to your website. 

  • Start a YouTube channel and promote your courses through this

It is a known fact that some YouTube videos rank higher than many websites in search results. You can publish helpful videos related to your course topic, teasers to your course and small previews of what learners can expect when they purchase your course. You can also add free course videos occasionally to attract prospective learners. 

  • Make use of email marketing

You need to make sure that your potential learners hear from you on a constant basis before they decide to buy your courses. Email marketing can have a strong power over people who are subscribed to your newsletter. When you provide people in your email list with useful tips related to your chosen topic, it builds trust in them because they see you giving valuable information for free before asking them for a sale. 

  • Start a podcast and talk about your course topic

This is a great way to attract prospective learners to your course. You can conduct interesting sessions on the topic and end it with a call to action to your website and course. If done in the correct manner, you get access to thousands of potential learners for free through platforms like iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. You can also collaborate with other podcast creators and get interviewed in your area of course. 

  • Answer relevant questions on platforms like Quora

Answering questions and engaging with learners online through Quora and Reddit is a great way to stay connected with existing plus potential learners to promote your courses and online academy.

  • Add student testimonials and success stories to your course sales page

What better way to boost a potential learner’s confidence in buying your online course than to show them how others have benefited from what you had to offer. 

  • Host Live Webinars

You can conduct discussions about your topic, share some of your course content for free and interact with prospective learners. This will build confidence in your audience and help portray you as an expert in what you do. You can record your live webinar sessions and promote them through email by sending links to those who were unable to attend. 

  • Publish a book/ ebook on Amazon

This is a great way to generate an additional revenue stream for your business and help to attract more learners for your course. You can add details about your online course in your book and invite the audience to check out your website and courses. 

  • Use social media to its full potential

You can use popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote your courses. Create a professional business page for your online academy and add valuable posts plus content regularly. Interact with your audience on a regular basis. Make use of Paid ads and Paid campaigns through Facebook and Instagram to drive traffic to your website. You can also start groups on platforms like Facebook to connect better with your existing learners and to build a sense of community amongst them. 

  • Create Affiliate programs

You can make use of affiliate marketing as a brilliant way to promote your courses online. You can invite affiliates to promote your online course for a percentage of profit from each course sale. With a few clicks, you can increase your learner base.

  • Make use of Google Adwords

Do a study to understand the keywords that are used by your target audience while searching for your topic, in order to get your course in front of them. 

  • Using referrals and reviews

Collect relevant reviews from your existing learners and make changes to your course accordingly in order to increase your brand value. 

These are just a few of the many marketing strategies that you can use to effectively promote your online course and online academy. Grow your business by using all or a combination of different marketing strategies to increase revenue and value to your business. 

Interested in finding out some of the top tips to successfully market your online courses?

Help Your Students Succeed

Managing your online academy and your learners’ performances is an important task too. 

  • Analyse your learners' performance continuously

Conduct exams, tests, and hand out projects and assignments to ensure that your course is engaging, lively plus valuable. Give importance to your learner’s experience by giving appropriate evaluation and feedback to your learners, taking in suggestions from them and making corrections and changes to make sure that your course leaves a lasting impression on your learner’s educational journey.

  • Make your content consumable

Make sure that you create bite-size content that is appealing to all learning styles to utilise your course’s potential to the maximum extent. Create online courses to sell effectively. Ensure that all content is authentic and bankable. A fully white labelled teaching platform is a tutor’s dream.

  • Make sure to add interactivity to your website, course, marketing material and everywhere possible

Learners love an interactive learning experience. 

Check out how you can build an engaging platform to sell courses online with Mykademy.

  • Attract students back to your online academy

When your courses are engaging, valuable and worth spending their time and money on, learners will come back to your online academy to learn more. This should be considered a great success.

Your aim should be to get students to purchase your course and give them all the right reasons to come back to your online academy in future and recommend your courses to others as well. 

Make a powerful white label teaching platform with Mykademy’s robust features.

Conclusion

Creating an online course and selling them can seem like a lot of work but it is also a very effective way to increase your revenue, brand value, and the satisfaction of doing what you love to do. Sharing knowledge is no responsibility for the faint-hearted. For you to consider stepping into the edtech world is enough reason to believe that you are passionate about teaching.  It is a very rewarding experience. 

Creating and selling your online courses through your own website/platform requires more investment than adding your content into a general pool of online course marketplace. However, the control, flexibility, freedom, recognition and satisfaction it gives cannot be replaced. By investing in your own branded platform, you are benefiting in the long term. 

You will be creating your own legacy. 

Ready to start your online tutoring/training journey? Are you a little hesitant because you don’t know how to start? Don’t hold back.  

Mykademy helps tutors to create, sell and manage your online academy to success. We are a fully white labelled platform that will provide you with an opportunity to build your own branded platform to create and sell courses.  Kickstart your journey in just three easy steps! Visit our website.

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Launch your own branded online academy