Experts project that the e-learning market will be worth $325 billion by 2025, showing money is up for grabs from selling online courses.
Besides the money students pay for your course, teaching your topic publicly also proves your expertise in what you’re selling. And this can encourage potential clients to build trust in your other services, thus increasing sales.
But how do you turn your knowledge and experience in the industry into a money-making and lead-generating online course?
That is what this guide is for. We have broken down 9 steps to create and sell online courses to help you share your skills and expertise in the global market.
Steps To Create And Sell Online Courses
- Pick a course you’re passionate about
- Choose a highly demanded course idea.
- Have a compelling outcome
- Create the online course.
- Choose the ideal platform to host and sell courses online
- Determine the best delivery methods for each lesion
- Decide the pricing for your online course.
- Market and sell your online courses.
- Get people to buy and promote your course.
While these steps are inconclusive and may vary depending on your course type, they give an overview of vital milestones in creating a successful online course.
Let’s discuss these steps.
1- Pick a Course You Are Passionate About
Teaching a subject is hard work that involves lots of research, so choose a topic you’re passionate about; otherwise, you will get bored teaching.
If you lack passion and enthusiasm, you won’t engage with your students, and your course may not pick. You may get negative reviews, with students asking for their money back.
Here is the best formula for a winning course idea:
Passion + Knowledge + Skills + Experience + customer pain points = Online Course Idea
You don’t have to be a professor or a graduate to create and sell an online course in your field. Turn your hobbies into solutions to people’s problems, and they will pay you.
Worry no more if you’re scratching your head for online course ideas. Here is a list of online courses from the most successful course creators to help you brainstorm.
- Education (homeschooling)
- Business and entrepreneurship
- Content creation
- Advanced Microsoft Excel
- Social science
- Personal development
- Health and Fitness
- Arts and crafts
- Mindfulness and meditation
While these are broad topics, you can choose a smaller niche from the broad ones. And if you love the niche, have experience on the subject, and can teach it to someone- then you can monetize it as an expert.
For instance, you can choose a course on e-commerce and niche down to the Amazon FBA course. If you’re a 6 or 8-figure seller, you can share these strategies with millions of wannabe Amazon sellers.
Remember, potential clients, are willing to pay you to solve their problems and move them from where they are to where they desire to be.
2- Choose a Highly Demanded Course Idea
Creating an online course is time-consuming, and no one wants to spend weeks creating something no one will buy.
How do you know if people will invest money in your course? Conduct market research tests to know if people want what you’re teaching. As you research demand, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are people searching for this topic?
- What part of this topic is the competition not covering or inadequately covering?
- Will people pay to solve the problem your course addresses?
Let’s dive deep to establish how you know whether there is demand for your course.
What are people searching for or asking about your topic?
- Investigate social forums like Reddit and Quora to see which questions people ask, the frequency of the questions, and the engagement rate.
- Type the topic on Answer The Public to understand what people want to know.
- Investigate Social media groups on your topic to discover your potential students’ challenges.
This research will help you find keywords you can use in the next step.
Use Google Trends
Google trends will help you check search trends for keywords related to your topic. You can know how your subject is performing and its past performance.
For instance, if you want to offer meditation classes, you can check their popularity on Google trends. The last three years show its popularity is ever-rising, as shown below.
Search volume can also help you know the demand for an online course idea. Google keyword planner is ideal for establishing a keyword’s search volume.
For instance, the keyword volume for online yoga classes from Google keyword planner is shown below:
But if you have no budget for this tool, you can check out our guide on keyword research without tools to validate your topic.
Evaluate The Competition
Some course creators are scared to venture into a field with the competition. Avoiding competitive niches is a mistake. Vultures only surround a place with meat- competition signifies a thriving market for a course idea, so investigate these niches.
Research to establish if there are part of the topics competitors haven’t explored. And if your target audience needs answers or solutions that others haven’t fully explored, you can explore that angle and make money.
Talk To Your Target Audience
The best way to know what your audience wants is to ask them. Ask them about their challenges and whether they can pay for a course that solves those problems. If you get positive feedback, you have a course to sell.
3- Have a Compelling Outcome
What do you want to accomplish with your course? Your potential students should know what they’ll get at the end of the online course. And I believe that creating a concise and clear learning outcome is one of the fundamentals of learning how to create an online course.
So ensure you use measurable verbs to showcase your course’s outcome. The correct wording can enhance your conversion rate and lower refund requests.
Your learning outcome statement could be something like “By the end of this course, you’ll ________.”
Why not list your learning outcomes below the pricing plans to tell clients what they are getting into?
4- Create The Online Course
You’ve picked a topic you’re passionate about, have established it is highly demanded, and have created a compelling outcome. The next step is to create it.
Here is how you create an irresistible online course.
Get The Right Equipment
After choosing the ideal niche, it’s time to produce. And since you want high production levels, ensure you have the right gear. Your course should be better than free YouTube because people are paying for this stuff.
So, what do you need?
- High-quality HD camera
- Professional lighting
- Editing software like Renderforest or Wevideo
- A green background screen
- Teleprompter lite for scripts
Wow! That seems like a considerable investment. Yeah, it is. But if you can’t afford a high-tech setup, use the tools you have at hand. Just ensure that the video you produce should be professional-looking.
Lights, Film, And Edit
Now that you have the right gears, spring to action and show the camera some love.
- Install the green background screen on the wall to ensure it isn’t sagging.
- Set the camera in front of you with the light behind it to set up a mini-studio.
- Conduct a test recording to ensure everything (video clarity, sound, and the stage) is okay. Ensure there is no shadow on your face or body.
- Shoot at least three times to perfect and nail your delivery.
5- Choose The Ideal Platform to Host And Sell Courses Online
After creating a killer course video, you need to house it somewhere online. You need a hosting company that makes the course accessible and allows customization.
Here are your hosting options:
- Self-hosting- where a hosting company allows you to set up your own server and sell courses from your website. Some standalone platforms provide limited marketing functionalities.
- An online course platform that hosts and markets your video
- An online marketplace like Masterclass and Udemy.
6- Determine The Best Delivery Methods For Each Lesson
Before selling online courses, it’s vital to know different learning preferences. You want your students to enjoy the course, so make it as engaging as possible.
What can help you?
Consider these tips when designing effective learning content:
Create Engaging Course Content
We know that learning in a traditional classroom is far from enjoyable. However, you can make your online course different. Here is how you make yours delightful and engaging for your students:
- Include storytelling in your course
- Build a learning community
- Include live lessons
- Use gamification to reward smaller milestones.
Make The Online Course Accessible
You may have a highly demanded online course, but it is only worthwhile if your target audience can access it.
Have An Ideal Course Length
We are talking about how long your course will take to move your students from their current state to where they want to be. The shorter the duration, the better.
Several factors determine the length of your course:
- How complex is the topic?
- Does the course have continuing education credits?
Create a Learning Community
A learning community helps you connect with your students. It also allows students to interact, learn, and support each other.
A community will likely move potential students to sign up for your course because they know they can get additional support to jumpstart their careers from peers.
7- Decide The Pricing For Your Online Course
Many online course sellers struggle with how much to charge for their courses. There is no magic wand you can use to determine the best price for your course; it is a guessing game. I encourage you to use the trial and error method to determine the perfect price.
Remember, you will only know your customers’ lifetime value after creating and selling online courses for some time. It is calculating and testing until you find what works.
Most online courses range from $5 to $2,000, but for starters, you could charge between $50 and $200 depending on the topic, expertise, and audience. You can employ psychological pricing strategy to attract more students.
Here are points that can help you determine the best price for your online course:
- Know what you spent creating, hosting, and marketing the course.
- Check your competitors’ prices.
- Know the economic status of your target audience.
8- Market And Sell Your Online Courses
You may build a solid online course, but none will buy it if no one knows about it. You have to market your course if you expect people to invest in it and give you money.
How do you market the course? Build a relationship with your audience through valuable content. Creating free applicable content allows you to engage with your audience. It also helps you create and build trust with your audience.
Consider some practical ways to market and sell online courses:
- Build an optimized website
- Create optimized marketing content like blogs
- Boost a solid social media presence
- Build an email list
- Join forces with other entrepreneurs.
9- Get People To Buy And Promote Your Course
Once you have sold your course to a few students, ensure they enjoy it. When they see the benefits of applying what they’ve learned from your course, they will likely purchase your future classes.
Satisfied and happy students will likely recommend your course to their families and friends. Word-of-mouth is the most effective free marketing you can capitalize on to advertise your online course.
How do you ensure your students promote your course?
- Give them a super customer experience.
- Map your student journey.
- Send course video for your students to re-watch
- Build an exciting and supportive community.
- Request feedback and apply it.
- Consistently update your course.
- Monitor your student’s progress.
Let’s recap the main steps for creating and selling online courses
- Pick a course you’re passionate about- choose a topic you love and have experience on.
- Choose a highly demanded course idea- Check if people search for your topic online using tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends.
- Have a compelling outcome- Ensure your students know what they’ll get at the end of the course.
- Create the online course- Use quality equipment to create stellar course videos.
- Choose the ideal platform to host and sell courses online- You can self-host the course or host it on one of the marketplaces.
- Determine the best delivery methods for each lesion
- Decide the pricing for your online course, depending on how much you incurred to set it up and your prospects’ ability to pay.
- Market and sell your online courses through email marketing, social media, and an optimized website.
- Get people to buy and promote your course- Create an engaging course and a supportive community to improve your student’s experience.