Business Guides » How To Sell Online Courses: A Step-By-Step Guide

How To Sell Online Courses: A Step-By-Step Guide

Most of the entrepreneurs are opting the online course selling to increase their revenue. It’s one of the additional sources that takes less to create, time, and involve no shipping course added.

Here you get the product that can sell the ultimate times.  For the economy where information is considered as power, it increased the demand for online courses.

According to the report, the global e-learning market is going to expand to  $325 billion by 2025. Backup up the data, as per the Compound Annual Growth Rate or CAGR of 7.5 % shows that there will be more interest and demand in online content as well as digitization. 

howto sell online courses step by step guide

Following the trend as well as setting up the extra revenue stream that can provide you passive income can help you in growing your business- also the reason why most of the businesses are offering their online courses. 

Why Having an Online Course Is Profitable?

The international market for creating and selling an online course is booming. The e-learning market is expected to increase along with the yearly growth of  5%. 

This means anyone who can offer something informational and create it into an online course can earn from a few hundred dollars to a six-figure income. 

reasons business take online course seriously

However, to keep it profitable, it’s important to focus on marketing as well as selling techniques. 

To sell and earn profit includes some of the important factors, however, it also includes the type and size of the audience you have.  Some of the factors that you need to understand are: 

  • Your skills in sales and marketing 
  • Market size 
  • Your competition 
  • Level of expertise
  • Personal branding recognition 
  • Training content at hand ( it includes vlogs,  videos, blog post, audio, podcast, ebooks, etc)
  • Email list 
  • Size of the audience base

When you have a strong presence online,  you can engage a better social network and it helps if you have an email list ready. 

How To Make Your Online Course?

When you are creating online courses, it’s important to understand a few basic things.  Also whether you are helping people to learn a language or giving professional certified training, you are going to follow certain steps that can help you in keeping your course on point and profitable. 

Step 1: Decide Your Topic First 

The first step is the most important one that can help you in deciding what you are going to offer in your course. 

Choose the subject on which you have the most knowledge about. Don’t choose something that you feel is a struggle. 

If you are confused about what to teach, you can consider these questions : 

  • What are the specific things that people around you like customers, friends,  and colleagues ask you to do the most?
  • Do you have an expert method or knowledge about using certain software?
  • What are the problems you struggled with the most before learning?

These questions can help you in understanding the basics. It will be much hassle-free to pick the subject you have the most knowledge about. 

Also if you want more clear way, you can: 

Ask Your Audience Through Email

If you have the email list, you can advertise your course. You can also send the list of ideas that you are considering for the online course. Ask your audience to pick the subjects or ideas that they want to have the courses 

You can do the survey and encourage people to share their opinions. With this, you can pick the subject that has the most demand and a set audience already waiting. 

Ask Your Social Media Followers 

You can use your social media to get more feedback. Create a group or poll, you can use channels that work best for you. Ask the people what they want to have. 

You can create people from your network to get their response and pick the most voted one. 

Think Subjects You Have The Ease 

Is there something people ask a lot of questions to you? look for the specific kind of questions and help that you provide to your family, friends, colleagues, or other people. 

If there is something, it means you have a certain knowledge that you are clueless about. You can pick those ideas to develop something interesting and contribute to your online course. 

Step 2: Research The Subject 

Second and another important point that you should not skip at all. It’s crucial to know what you are offering but make sure that you have all the information ready.

For that, you are going to need research.  Not just do it online but use the offline sources too. 

You can also start with the material you have, professional and academic books. Apart from that, you can consider looking into competitors. There is the material provided online, it can be free or paid. 

Make sure you do your brainstorming properly. Get all points into consideration, subtopics, and get the essential parts to make the course much more informative. 

When you get the list done, you can do the research based on each subcategory. 

Step 3:  Set The Outline 

Now, you need to divide the categories or your subcategories divided into sections or themes. 

Here choose the order that makes sense and keep it logical to your course. You can divide the orders based on chronology, logic, or difficulty level.

With this, those people who are going to learn from it can know where to start and what to expect next. 

If you are choosing the subject which is self-learning or unsubscribed, you can keep it in any order you like. But add the introduction, categories, themes, and navigation to keep the topic easy to learn. 

Step 4:  Set Your Goals And Objectives 

What can your course do for your audience? What will they learn from it? What purpose does it serve? 

These are some important points that you need to know. Also, find the goals and set your objective straight by this point.  

It includes the learning objective and outcomes that can make it more measurable for the students. Also, they can know what they will be able to do once the course is completed. 

When you focus on finding out the learning outcomes, it will also help you in making your sales pitch. 

People will get the outline and it will help in deciding to invest or not. 

 Step 5:  Create Your Content 

Here, you are going to create the actual content. Based on your plan, activities, you can use different methods or the media productions that can be added to the course. 

You can create your content from scratch. But the best approach you can consider here is to repurpose your old content to add to the course. 

When you are making the content, you can use different digital material and add valuable information to keep your course more information. 

If you have recorded your workshops, webinar, training sessions, etc. You can add this to your content. Also if you write blogs, you can use this and reuse the old content to create something new from it. 

It’s more valuable if it’s yours and hasn’t been seen by lots of people.  

However, you can create your content from scratch. When you do the educational videos, make sure to give them time. Also, it’s one of the common and on-demand types of learning that are needed online. 

What Are The Essential Elements You Need For Your Online Course?

Building your online course that serves the purpose but also is valuable to your audience. It’s important to understand that you are offering something to your people who purchased the course. 

To make sure that you are keeping this successful and efficient, here are few elements that you can do : 

Choose Reliable And Innovate Platform 

Before you assemble the course, make sure you have the platform where you can host your online course. 

Image Source: Medium

Find the platform that can do the work like hosting, constructing,  selling, and marketing your education materials. 

Also, create the landing pages and dedicate the website so you can get more people on your website. 

Present Your Relevant Material 

Pinpoint the problems that your customer is facing. It’s important to understand that you know the pain points of your audience before you sell the course. 

You should know what they are seeking exactly. This will help you in sharing the details of knowledge that actually matters and keep it not so overwhelming for them.

Also to keep your students engaged and motivated,  make sure that you are offering the course in the most relevant and presentable ways. Keep the information into digestive pieces so the students can understand easily. 

Anything which is not needed or optional should not be added. If your course is too dense, bloated, or comprehensive, it will discourage the student and they will give up before completing the course. 

Make sure you remove all the information which is not relevant to the learner. Keep it manageable and outline in such a way so it can deliver a higher success rate. 

Focus On Visuals 

Using visuals can help the learners to learn the Information much easier and also keep their focus on the subject. 

You can use different things to keep the content informative but also valuable in visual ways. It includes adding infographics,  video content, slideshows, etc. 

There are different ways to encourage the learner and keep them motivated through their learning experience. 

must have visuals for online courses

Also when you are looking to maintain the visual, also consider the color theory. This will help in evoking certain responses.

Foster Collaborations And Interactions 

People might feel too overwhelmed when they are learning alone. Not just they can feel unmotivated but also it decreases the attention span too. 

For an enjoyable learning experience, you can encourage classroom communication. 

You can provide ways so the people can do group communication, chat, online focus, discussion, and other ways to solve the problems together. 

Focus on creating a collaborative environment for the learners. Help them to interact with more learners who are taking some courses.  Encourage their communication and this will help you in getting a better retention rate. 

Create Reward System 

The human brain works on reward systems, honors, awards, and other ways which become a crucial aspect for online learning as well. 

With rewards, you can nature and also boost their motivation to keep their journey continuing.  You can offer a digital badge, certification of competition, discount on the product, free goodies, etc. 

These rewards will trigger their reward mechanism in the brain which creates dopamine. This boosts their feeling of accomplishment and also encourages them to learn more. 

Create Assessments & Quiz

Quizzes and assessments can be interesting. You can create these short tests to let the learner know how much knowledge they acquired. Also, this will be helpful for them to check what they get and what else they need to work on. 

This will also help in improving the effectiveness of your online course. And you can understand what to adjust in your next classes. 

To make sure that your quizzes and assessment are not too forced, make sure you are keeping this interested and relevant. 

Add creative ways such as gamified questions, video quizzes, etc to make it more effective for the learner.

How You Can Do Pricing To Your Course?

The one question that bugged people a lot when they are offering online courses for the first time. 

Is important to find the sweet spot where you are not selling your course which is too much for the person or too low that not earning any profit. 

Here you are going to need the balance which will be based on expectations, quality, and competitions. 

For the success of online courses, offering the price that fits your customers and your business is important. 

The price you choose should have a good reason and make sense. It also communicates your value, quality of work, and profitability you will earn. 

However it depends on what industry you belong to, people, you are targeting, and purpose you are focusing on, etc. 

To decide this, there are few factors you will need to focus

Your Course Length 

Image Source: Hubskill

The length of your course is an important factor. You need to understand the time it will take for a person to complete the course and how long it will be taken. 

Also, it will include the time you put into creating the content. 

Outcome Value 

Consider the purpose you want your course to fulfill. How this will educate people and what price those people can consider purchasing.

Offering low price means more people will enroll but if you are offering more value, it might need to increase its price too. 

Find the point and what outcome you are hoping for. 

Your Competitors 

Since you are not only someone who is selling the online course, you also have to look if your competitors are offering similar things. And if they do, then what prices they are putting. 

Does your content have similarities with theirs too? If yes, then what is different from them. And what improvement does your course can do to your students? 

Your Authority, Brand & Credibility 

This includes the credibility of your brand and how much people feel connected to your business.  It also means the view other people have for your company, how much they respect the authority and trust the brand. 

Your Income Goals 

Set your goals that you have, what you believe to earn from the online course, and what you expect from it?

Make sure your goals are realistic and match your expectations. But also focus on not undervaluing yourself as well as your knowledge. 

What Are The Pricing Tiers For Online Course?

Different people out there are offering their courses and different ways. Not Just it depends on the tier you chose, but also it decides the results you will get. 

Choosing the right tier can help you in getting more people and keeping it easier to target the right audience. 

Free Of Cost 

There are lots of businessmen who sell online sources for free. Well, with this, you have certain benefits, for example, you can get more lead generation and showcase your level of expertise to more people. 

The first point here to create rapport. With this, you can better communicate, relationship building, and a sense of familiarity. 

Image Source: HubSpot Blog

With a free course, you can get more new leads and upsells too. 

Apart from this, you can offer your course for free when : 

  • You are aiming to generate more leads
  • You are hoping to attract more customers 
  • When you are testing the period
  • You are giving out a bonus 

You can offer mini-courses before you lunch the official one. 

For example, if you have a course that contains all information and subjects that your audience might need. 

But you are not sure about how to sell it, you can create a  mini-course to give an introduction and highlight the potential to the customer. 

Keep this one free, so you can get more people and with this, you can promote your main course too.

 Subscription 

You can ask your customer to get the subscription and keep your online course elusively for those who subscribed. 

Not just you are getting the monthly or weekly income, but you are offering more options to your customers. 

You can encourage your audience to subscribe and do it again to receive such offers.

For Premium 

One of the ways that entrepreneurs are selling their online courses these days. You can keep your online course exclusive for premium users. 

To access the classes, the user requires to have their premium account.  Also, it can be in installment where they can pay at once or divide into six months plans. 

With this, you can give more features to those who upgraded their account to premium. This will help you in getting more profit and the audience can get the advanced courses.

 How To Market & Sell Online Courses?

When you get the course ready, now it’s time to launch and start selling. 

It’s important for the business to do the marketing, it will help you in attracting the potential customers. 

Also with this, you can increase your online academy visibility and getting more buyers, 

The profitability of your course depends on how well you do the marketing and sales. Here you are going to pull also resources that you have so you can do the promotion as much as you can. 

This brings to the important aspect of the sales funnel which helps in attracting more customers and bridging closer to sell. 

ways bring traffic sale funnel

The sales funnel includes a multi-step process that works to convert the visitors to buyers. With the funnel, your visitors go through different steps, including : 

Awareness 

When the students become aware that you are offering certain courses and how they will help in solving the problems they are facing.  

For those who are new in the market, this step is where you are going to focus the most. With this, you can bring the attention that your course requires and desires. 

Interest 

The second step involves getting your potential customer’s interest. What will they get? What are the benefits for them and what problems they will solve after getting your classes? 

Offer the solutions that help in attracting their interest. When they will know about you and the product, this will lead them to look more into the course. 

Decision 

The part here customers take decision if they want to purchase or skip. Here you need to create a sales page that should help your buyers know the reasons and benefits.

This is a sensitive phase and your points should be clear so the people can make the decisions. 

Action & Purchase 

The last phase is when your customer decides to enroll and to take classes, they decide to pay for the course.  Here your checkout process should look trustworthy and smooth so the buyer completes the last step. And you sell the course successfully. 

Take Leverage From Your Network 

Another way you can do marketing and sales is to use networking. .  You can call up the contact you have and build the network. It can start with the people you are close  with or know for some time, such as : 

  • Coworkers
  • Friends
  • Family 
  • Affiliates 
  • Students 
  • Partners 

You can also talk with people to share or referral,  review, etc. Here you can also use the different mediums such as hosting the podcast and interviews where you can talk about what you do or offer. 

Bring the Organic Traffic 

To bring the people to your sales funnel, another point you can consider is to create content that can be helpful and attract organic traffic. 

Keep your content valuable and informational.  You can write blogs, youtube channels, and start a podcast. 

 You can also consider the paid traffic if you have the budget for it. There are lots of things you can get such as : 

  • Youtube ads
  • Google ads 
  • Facebook ads
  • Banner ads 

With organic traffic and SEO, you can plan it for the long term.  It will help you bring organic customers to your sales funnel. Investing in the early-stage can help you in getting better attention.

Here the first concern is to create useful content and keep it SEO-friendly. 

Prepare The  Offers 

With some of the tactics, you can bring more people and hold their attention to try it as your buyer. 

You can play psychological tricks like pre-launches, countdown, FOMO, scarcity, etc can do tricks and also keep the sales strategy effective. 

You can use the techniques and implant through sales with the help of discounts, course bundles, and coupons. 

Keep your seasonal offers and discount ready so you can keep the hold over your visitors. 

You can also choose the range of percentages and prices for your discounts. With the help of an email list and submit to the websites. You can also share it on social media for letting your people know about it. 

Creative Call To Action 

This is a way that helps in conveying the message as well as encourage the customer to take action.

CTA or call to action is the point where your sales funnel will do the real work. This is an important aspect  that needs attention, to keep it right, here are few things to follow : 

  • Identify your customers that planning to target 
  • Talk to them but use their native language 
  • Target on what they are looking for 

The format can be in the short message or have a few words or phrases for encouraging the visitors to get more clicks as well. 

There are some powerful words that CTA contains mostly, such as : 

  • Try 
  • Now
  • Join
  • Get 
  • Buy 

With these words, you can encourage your students to know what the next actions they can take. For example, if someone is planning to join the classes. Your “  Join Now” CTA can help in taking the final step. 

Use The Lead Magnets 

It’s important to understand that not all of your visitors are going to buy immediately.  With that, you are going to need something that can do the final push to make them buy the course. 

Image Source: OptinMonster

Lead magnets are helpful and top on the sales funnel. You can use this as free gifts which gives your visitors something in exchange and you get your lead email address. 

Different lead magnets are there,  you can use them for your marketing and selling your course. It includes :

  • Ebooks
  • Free courses 
  • White papers 
  • PDF downloads
  • Checklist 

You can use these magnets to bring more people to get your course. For example, if you are offering the masterclass on cooking, you can start with how to create chocolate chip cookies. 

With the lead magnet, you can use the information but in a digestible piece to take the step forward the purchase. It will also help you in building the email list. 

Social Media Marketing 

The number of people on the internet is increasing as years go by since there are lots of platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin,  Instagram, etc. 

Social media marketing is a big part that is playing in digital marketing, Not just it brings your marketing channel and uses it for making your brand visible. 

Image Source: Adtext Blog

With this, you can use it to promote your online courses. This will help you in getting more attention and attract people to join the classes. 

You can bring a better amount of people who are actually interested in what you are offering. You can use the channels to boost the marketing and having more people in your sales funnel. 

Also, you can consider channels like Pinterest,  youtube, and LinkedIn, etc. You can promote your marketing with paid ads as well. So you can target the people who are looking for the same thing. 

 Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)

Why is offering an online course beneficial?


The online course helps you in boosting credibility,  authority, and experiences.  There are people who trust business as they have more knowledge about their industry. And they would learn from them instead of someone who has no idea about it. 

What are the ways to promote my online courses?


There are ways like creating the website, starting a blog, boosting your social media presence, etc. You can also use your email list for connecting with audiences and sharing details as well as sending an invitation for the online course directly. 

How do you attract people to get online courses?


It’s important to offer the solutions that people are looking for. Focus on the content and make sure you are covering all the pain points. Highlight the information to the people so they know what to expect. 

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