Matt ZavadilWritten by Matt Zavadil
Updated February 28, 2024

Have you ever thought about selling online courses?

Out of all the ways to generate Internet income, and it’s one of the most effective paths to take!

In this article, I’ll walk you through the process for how to create and sell courses online.

I’ll cover everything from choosing a topic and the most important thing to do before sitting down to create an online course.

So, whether you’re just getting started as a course creator or you’re ready to take this business model to the next level, read on for my easy guide to course profit.

What Is An Online Course?

An online course is a digital product that you create and sell through an online platform. It can be in any format, including text, audio, video, or a combination of all three.

Once you’ve created your course, you’ll need to choose a selling platform and set up your payment gateway. Then, you can start marketing your course to potential students.

Why Is Online Learning Profitable?

People love to learn and they’re always looking for new, innovative ways to do so. That’s why you can start a profitable business after learning how to sell online courses. Not only is it a way to make money, but it’s also a way to help people improve their lives.

Selling courses online is a great way to generate passive income. You can create your course once and sell it over and over again. And, since people are always looking for new ways to learn, your courses will always be in demand.

How Do I Price My Online Course?

When it comes to pricing your online course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. You’ll need to consider a variety of factors, including the format of your course, the length of the program, and the level of instruction.

Research your market to see what’s already selling well and at what price. If you can make a superior that delivers a better solution, you can price your course higher than anything else on the market.

Most Important: Sell It, Then Build It

To sell courses online correctly, you should focus on creating a high-quality product that students will love. Don’t spend too much time worrying about the technology or the delivery platform. Pay attention to creating a great course.

But, in the beginning, just sell it then build it. That means you don’t do what most owners of unsuccessful online businesses: Spend months or years building modules and videos, releasing them to market, and watching crickets.

Don’t build your own online course until you know what your market wants by doing research and then talking to your market.

The best way to “talk” to your market is to sell the course as a “live” event first, so you can learn which material falls flat and which material your audience eats up like candy.

Create a Minimum Viable Course

With the above in mind, start with a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is the bare minimum that you need to create to get started selling your course. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough to get started.

Your MVP should include:

  • A sales page that outlines what your course is and why people need it
  • A lead magnet to capture email addresses
  • A thank you page with a link to your course material
  • Your course material (at first, do it “live” and record it)

If you do this process correctly, you can build out a successful online course based on getting actual results for customers first.

Steps To Building a Profitable Course That Sells

Now that you know what’s involved when you want to create online courses, let’s take a look at the steps you’ll need to take to create a profitable course that sells.

Select Your Course Topic

The first step is to choose a topic for your course. This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s important to spend some time brainstorming and doing market research. You’ll want to choose a topic that people are searching for and that isn’t already saturated with competition.

Focus on One Target Avatar

It’s important to focus on one target avatar. That means you’ll want to choose a specific type of person that you want to sell your course to. This will help you create targeted content and marketing materials.

Focus on Customer Success

It’s important to focus on customer success. That means creating a course that will help your students achieve their goals. If you can create a course that helps people succeed, you’ll be able to charge more for it and sell more courses.

Research Your Competition

To ensure customer success, you’ll need to research your competition and look at market trends. You’ll also want to get feedback from potential students about what they would like to see in a course. This will help you create a course that meets the needs of your target avatar.

Create Your Course Outline

Once you’ve selected your topic and target avatar, it’s time to start creating your course outline. This is the skeleton of your course and it will help you determine what material you need to include.

Attach Group Coaching For High-Ticket Pricing

If you want to charge high-ticket prices for your course, consider attaching group coaching to it. This will allow your students to get on group calls with other course students. They’ll benefit from the questions others ask, as well well as getting their questions answered.

It will also allow you to charge more for your course + coaching pricing tier.

Launch and Ask Your Audience What They Want

Launch your first online course in a “live” setting before creating all your videos. Run the launch “live” through your course website so you can interact with your students to see what works best. Then, go back and create the videos.

Once you have all your content created, ask your existing customers what they want next – give them a survey or use a service like Qualaroo to get feedback on whether they want more coaching or access to membership sites.

This will help ensure that you’re continuing to produce material that THEY want, not what YOU think they need.

Start Marketing

Once you know you have a viable product on your hand through the first cohort of live students, you can start marketing for new “best-fit” leads.

Begin Generating New Leads

To generate new leads, you’ll need to create targeted content that speaks to your potential customers. You can use blog posts, social media, and even paid advertising to reach your target avatar.

Once you have their attention, offer them a lead magnet (such as a free PDF guide or short free courses) on landing pages in exchange for their email address. This will allow you to add them to your email list so you can continue email marketing to them.

Build Your Sales Funnel

The final step is converting leads into students. To do this, you’ll need to create a high-quality marketing funnel. This includes a sales page, an email sequence, and even a webinar or video course preview. Of course, you must also learn how to get good at website monetization over time.

You’ll want to focus on the benefits of your course and how it can help your students achieve their goals. When you have a strong marketing funnel in place, you’ll be able to convert more leads into paying students.

Think Through the Buyer’s Journey When Marketing Online Courses

As you build your lead generation and marketing funnel, it’s important to think about the buyer’s journey. This is the process that your target audience goes through when they’re considering a purchase.

The buyer’s journey includes three stages:

  1. Awareness: The buyer becomes aware of their problem or need.
  2. Consideration: The buyer begins researching solutions to their problem.
  3. Decision: The buyer decides which product or service to purchase.

When you’re marketing your course, you’ll want to focus on each stage of the buyer’s journey. That way, you can create targeted content that speaks to each stage of the journey.

FAQs About Selling Online Courses

You may still have a few questions about the online course creation and selling process.

Is selling an online course a profitable online business?

Yes, it can be a very profitable business. However, you’ll need to create a high-quality product that meets the needs of your target audience.

What are some tips for selling an online course?

Some tips for selling an online course include creating a great course outline, adding group coaching, and launching before creating all your videos. You’ll also want to generate new leads and build a high-quality sales funnel.

Can I sell an online course without having a website?

You can sell an online course without having a website, but you’ll need another way to market your product. This could include using social media or paid advertising.

What courses sell the most?

The courses that sell the most are those that meet the needs of a specific target audience. You’ll want to create a course that solves a problem or meets a need of your target market.

Which platform is best for selling courses online?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. You’ll need to choose a platform that meets the needs of your target audience and your business goals. Three quality options, however, are Thinkific, Teachable, and Udemy.

Final Thoughts For Creating a Profitable Online Course

By following these steps, you’ll get good at creating online courses effectively and maximize your profits.

When selling online courses, it’s important to remember that you’re not just selling a product, but you’re selling an education.

Your course should be high-quality and meet the needs of your target audience. When you have a great course and a solid marketing strategy in place, you’ll be able to sell more courses inside your online business.

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