How to make money selling courses online and the best promotion methods

How much does it cost to design your online course and earn money with it? How much can you sell for and how much can you earn. Methods of promoting online courses.

How to create online or pdf courses and earn money? If you ask yourself this question, it is because you are interested in offering and organizing training using the resources offered by the Internet and the different channels in which you are present.
If you are here, it means that you want to pursue your idea of ​​creating an online course and selling it.
Let me tell you something before we start: if you don't enjoy the process, it's not worth it!

As in any creative project, you will have internal obstacles and blocks, so first of all, you must be clear about the what and the why.
  • What motivates you? Why do you do it?
  • What are the reasons for creating your online course?
This will be your engine when you think about giving up.

My purpose in this article is to show you from my experience the keys to creating an online course that you must take into account to move from intention to action and earn money doing online courses.

This article will answer all your questions about how to create an online course, or almost all of them. And learn how to create an online course and everything you need to know to bring your idea to life and offer training to people.

I am going to show you in this article that almost anyone can create a free online course.

But how can I create a free or paid online course? And how much does it cost to create an online course?

When you are a budding entrepreneur who does not have the financial resources of large companies, you must use the resources available on the Internet, which in many cases are even free.

The Internet is a channel that offers any company or professional the opportunity to create an online course and thus generate an important source of income, but I would like to explain more things to you before talking about the different types of courses that you can do for this purpose.

What course to sell?

The first thing you must be clear about is the type of information transfer you want to create and sell online courses and earn money to help others. Here are some sample courses:
  • An effective course: a course without filler or unnecessary theory that will help your students to achieve a clear result. For example: a course on how to set up and manage an online store in 5 days.
  • Audio course – Not all courses are video, there are courses that people can carry in their pocket. For example: the course My diet or Modal Verbs in 36 hours.
  • A full course is a course that lasts 4 hours or more to go deeper into a topic. Examples: “How to promote your online store on Facebook and Instagram”, “How to become a copywriter”.
  • A certification is already an advanced and complete program that allows you to obtain an honors degree through a case study/certification exam.
Remember that it is not only doing online courses and selling online courses, you can also sell online courses from others and earn money, and sell other digital products:
  • templates or sets of templates and various resources;
  • e-books;
  • a practical guide with examples;
  • marketing templates with real examples, etc.

Types of Online Courses You Can Create

1. Infoproducto with tutor (teaching online courses)

This is a ready-made online course that is sold automatically, and is now very popular, especially in the blogging industry.

To add value and quality to the learning process, tutorials are established with the students to resolve doubts and better assimilate the knowledge acquired in the course.

  • strengthen relationships with students;
  • better understanding of course content;
  • students have the opportunity to ask questions at any time;
  • students do not feel alone.

2. Infoproduct without tutoring

It is a ready-made online course where all efforts are focused on development, design and execution.

  • The cost is lower because there is no tutoring;
  • They can be sold automatically on certain platforms (such as Evergreen).

3. Training that is sold through an external platform

Here we are talking about finding a platform for the sale of paid online courses, so the design depends on the requirements of said platform.

  • you don't need to have your own learning platform;
  • The portal is in charge of promoting and recruiting students.

4. Training that can be sold through your own website or blog

This is the type of online course sales that I recommend you always choose.

It may seem complicated that you have your own learning platform, but it is not. It is much easier than it seems.

There are different ways to do it, and depending on the number of courses and students you want to manage, one tool or another will be more convenient for you, so you should choose the platform that best suits your needs. For example, in WordPress or in Moodle.

  • you have your own tools and do not depend on third parties;
  • you have more opportunities to work with students on a virtual campus;
  • you have full control over registration and payments.

How to create an online course step by step

I have prepared a guide to create an online course, which consists of several important steps, where I am going to tell you what to study to know how to create an online course and sell it:

Think and decide what you want to teach your students

If you are thinking of creating online courses to earn money online, the first thing you should determine is the subject of your material. Think about what you know how to do or a subject you are good at that you know you could teach.

By the way, you don't have to be a teacher to teach online.

You may have a skill of your own, such as playing a musical instrument, painting with watercolors, knowing how to bake cakes, weaving hanging chairs, or simply speaking a language well.

The important thing is that you choose what you like to do so that when you create an online course you are an expert in the subject you are going to teach.

Identify your target audience

You have to know who you are addressing if you want to sell something. So the first step is to ideally identify the potential buyers of your online course. By the way, this applies to sales in general, be it courses, equipment or clothing.

If you don't meet your prospect this way, you won't be able to sell anything to anyone.

Find out what your target audience needs

Your audience has problems and is looking for those solutions. It keeps them up at night or makes them angry at work every day.
Customers are willing to buy answers to their questions that help them solve their problems.

And although a lot of free content has already been created, it is content that generates infoxication and wastes the potential customer's time.

Your customer is looking for a simple solution. You have to find out what that need is that you are addressing and offer it through your online course. If you reach your goal, sales will go almost alone.

Analyze other similar online courses

Having competition is a sign that there is a demand for what you want to teach. If there's already too much, try creating a course for a specific niche. For example, photo skills for schoolchildren, social networks for young mothers, XL board courses for pensioners, English for young children, etc.

Create your own online course

The hardest part of creating a course is creating content. The main goal is to share your knowledge in different formats to create the best possible experience.

It is no coincidence that all types of text ( novel, email, essay ) have the classic three-part structure: introduction, main body, and conclusion.

This structure helps create a story line or narrative that not only helps you better understand your course, but also captures the attention of your students.

  • Introduction : This will be the first thing your students see and what will make them decide whether or not to continue the course, so it is important to create a positive and engaging impression.
Don't start with the main point. Start with a small anecdote or story related to your course, ask students an unexpected question that they will only be able to answer at the end of your course… In short, at the beginning of the course, “plant a seed that will grow” throughout the course.
  • The main part: The main part in which all the important content takes place. If you do not have a workshop planned, I recommend that you prepare some exercises so that your students can put into practice what they have learned. Help them better assimilate your lessons and apply them to their personal environment.
Keep track of the topics you have created and create subtopics if necessary. It is time to "nurture your sprout": it is about presenting your knowledge in a structured and reasoned way so that the user can easily learn.

Consider possible tutorials you can include to support your courses.
  • Conclusion: Summarizing what they have learned, a decalogue is a good option. Reap the fruits of the sprout that you planted in the introduction and show that they now know more than before taking the course.
Add quizzes and various knowledge test options to your online course

Quizzes and assessments are important tools for testing knowledge in e-learning. They allow you to monitor the progress of your students and see what they have learned and what they have not.

In addition, quizzes and various knowledge test options increase student engagement and help them stay engaged longer and better absorb new information. But not all quizzes, tests, etc. they are effective. Only those that are well integrated into the courses or the whole learning process, relevant and well written, are good. You can create quizzes using the iSpring QuizMaker tool .

No matter how good and interesting your online course is, it is logical that you should promote it. You already have information on how to create your online course, now I want to give you some clues about the characteristics of your online learning.

The design of digital courses has changed a lot in recent years, and there are a number of elements that must be present if you want your students to learn and feel that they are taking a quality course.

I think it is vital that your online course has the following characteristics:
  1. interactivity . The user must learn in a playful way, using various multimedia resources. A combination of video, text, audio and images can help you.
  2. Learning management. The goal is for the student to learn at her own pace, but under the guidance of the instructor. Table of contents for the course, address frequently asked questions, and show them how your chosen e-learning platform works so they can organize their own work.
  3. Teaching. You can create free webinars for presentations, training, solving doubts, etc. Students must feel that you accompany them throughout the learning process.
  4. Interaction. Forums have long ceased to be the only means of communication between teacher and student. They need more, so it's nice to have breakout sessions and collaboration tools that allow them to work together.
  5. aesthetically pleasing. It is not the defining element of a good online course, but it will be more professional if all the learning content has the same aesthetic (colors, font, style, etc.). Use infographics, images, videos, etc.
  6. Practical. Interpreting an abstract concept is more difficult than understanding an example and then applying it in our daily lives. Stop abusing the written text or reporting for reporting. Tell stories, add examples, and include thought-provoking questions.
  7. Brevity. Long courses tend to bore students, and keep in mind that not all information is necessary. Share, summarize and practice microlearning.
It is important to understand the basic principle that an online course should not be a copy of the classroom training. Creating an online course is not just putting your content in pdf format on an online learning platform. E-learning has different needs, methods, and purposes than face-to-face learning.

The tools and resources that I recommend for this phase are

  • Power Point and Keynote with a base template like my magic template.
  • Power Point, Word and Excel to create practical resources.
  • Photos and illustrations that you can buy at Creative Market or download for free from image banks such as:
  • Graphics and other content you can create in tools like

content recording

When you start creating a video course, you have two types of videos you can create:
  1. Videos in which a screen is recorded;
  2. Videos in which he appears.
As part of an online course, you can toggle between these videos. There are several recording tools for this:
  • Camtasia (MAC and Windows) – $99 – is a super complete program that allows you to record yourself and your computer screen. It also allows you to perform very professional video editing. Trust me, it's not difficult, even if you don't know how to do it.
  • Screenflow (MAC) – $99 – This program is very easy to use but it only works on MAC.
There are other alternatives, such as the LOOM extension for Chrome or the ZOOM platform, which has many useful features.

Remember that you can also record a video with your mobile phone or tablet if you don't have a professional camera, and then hire someone to edit it or try to do it yourself.

archive your contents

This may seem strange to you and you may wonder, "Why?" But if he wants to avoid force majeure, he will have to think about the structure to save all the content of his course.

I recommend it:
  • Dropbox;
  • Google Drive;
  • box;
  • amazon s3.

choose a good name

The name is like the icing on the cake. You've worked hard to get here, so you shouldn't take it lightly. Avoid hackneyed titles that sound like another mediocre course, for example:
  • "Marketing Studies".
  • «Graphic Design Level 1».
  • "Vegetarian Cuisine".
Play around with your topic words, the results you are looking for, and your target audience.

For example:
  • How to become a financially savvy entrepreneur.
  • Marketing on Instagram for restaurants.
  • Emotional intelligence for remote team leaders.
  • Build your personal brand in 21 days.

Create a presentation

Before launching the main course, you need a presentation. Remember that the presentation does not explain the topic of the course, it only introduces it. Therefore, it should only include the right number of slides, be very simplified in content, and strictly adhere to the order of the course. Use images, keywords, etc.

It should consist of the following sections:
  • Headline – You should choose an eye-catching headline that communicates important information about the course content to your potential learner in a few words.
  • Description – You should describe the content in 2-3 paragraphs. And remember that it is always better to be brief.
  • Recipients – You need to know exactly who you need to target.
  • Agenda : You need to make an index with a detailed description of the structure.
  • Date – Set the calendar, start and end of your online course.
  • Methodology – Explain how the sessions will be conducted.
  • Teachers: It is a very important aspect because it brings a lot of quality and value to teaching. You will need to decide if you are going to deliver your online course yourself or if you are going to hire staff to do it.
  • Price and forms of payment : Determine the price and the form of payment that the students will use for it.
If your presentation will be in the form of a video, do not exceed the duration. 1-2 minutes is more than enough.

set a price

This is a more difficult task than it might seem at first glance. Many people like to brag about their income, but you have to remember that there are always costs behind the bottom line. Keep these factors in mind when pricing your online course.

If you really want to reach the masses, you will have to adapt to your target audience. That's why you should choose an online learning platform that has all the features and capabilities you need, like ClassOnLive . It is a very easy to use platform. Here you will not need any technical knowledge, you have unlimited hosting, you can upload a wide variety of content formats and create online courses of all kinds.

The price is a relative value and depends on several factors:
  • How much does your competition cost? If you haven't earned the credibility of your audience and your course isn't much better in quality and depth than those on the market, the cost of your course may be close to what your competitors charge.
  • Location: The European market is different from the Latin American one. The Mexican market is different from the Colombian one. Or the ability to pay is different for an Argentine than for a Chilean. It is very important to take into account where you are going to sell so that your course has a fair price.
  • The results that can be achieved with the course: A course that teaches you how to create your first advertising campaign on Facebook is not the same as one that gives you a Facebook ad specialist certificate to work on. The first can cost 20 dollars and the second 1,000.
  • Your perception of the value you offer: The idea is that you can feel comfortable with what you sell, so find a balance between what is on the market and what you think is worth it.

Creating an online course using learning platforms

When you launch an online course, you have two options:
  1. Set up your course through learning platforms (just upload the content and share it).
  2. Personalize your course with your own learning system.
Here are some of them:

Kajabi is by far the most complete payment platform for selling courses because it allows you to:
  • create your own sales pages on a platform;
  • to send e-mails;
  • Set up your courses easily and without having to pay additional fees.
  • receive payments.
HotMart is a complete and efficient international platform for the sale of online courses. Students pay into the platform's account in the currency of their country, and the platform sends their income directly, keeping only 10% of the billing. With this platform you can have a good user experience, add collaborators and effectively customize your online course.

Tutellus, will allow you to upload your course online as a teacher. This can be a good start. Your income will be 70% of the cost of your course. The platform will keep 30% and run a lot of campaigns and discounts in general.

Udemy is the largest learning platform in English. But setting up a course on the platform is too complicated, and unless you sign up for their super cheap course program, you won't get much organic traffic. If you manage the traffic, the platform will only charge you a % for managing the payments. But if they find you a student, they will charge you 50% of the price of the course.

Create your own online course with your own learning system

If you want, you can create your own online course yourself. You have different options for this:

WordPress. Here you can host your own online academy. You can buy a template on Themeforest and install it yourself, or you can pay someone to help you set it up.

Convert More School . Creating an automated online school with this program involves some tools, but it's worth it.

By the way, you can create an affiliate service with WordPress . But it is better to do it in a new domain, for example: or in a subdomain of your blog, for example:

Hosting your online course

If you choose membership sites, you will need to host your videos through one of these solutions:

Vimeo is the most popular solution because with the "Plus" plan it allows you to configure the videos of your courses so that they are seen only in the domains that you want. The “Plus” account costs $59.95 per year.

Youtube – not recommended because even if the links are hidden, anyone can share them.

Wistia – super professional video solution, but can be expensive if you have a lot of videos. It has a free plan for 5 videos.

They are also some of the best affiliate solutions:

Memberpress is the most complete and efficient WordPress plugin to create closed sections and offer paid content. It is easy to use and configure. The only thing you will need is to have a good template to display the content of your course and develop a good structure. This plugin only blocks content, it does not have a system of lessons and modules. They offer you the first few days for free and then you have to pay $99 per year.

Simple Membership is a free plugin to create private areas, the downside is that it limits you to customize to your liking, but it works very well.

Wishlist is another very useful plugin for creating membership sites, it costs $197 for a single domain or $297 for multiple sites.

Launch your course sales

There are several ways to launch an online course. Here I will mention the most used.

Through a webinar

It consists of attracting your potential buyers through a high-value online conference and then, in the same place, selling your course to them.

The stages of this strategy :
  1. Attract potential customers : It is recommended to invest in advertising on Facebook to increase the results. You'll need a landing page where people can sign up and an email marketing tool that allows you to confirm signups and send reminders.
  2. Webinar Implementation : Find the most suitable day and time for your target audience. Your webinar content should include:
  • your personal story (how you got to where you are now);
  • educational content with the key topics that you will teach in your course;
  • space to promote your online course;
  • a surprise bonus (it can be a special discount for the participants or a gift for those who stay until the end. For example: a downloadable template);
  • Space to answer questions.
Post a Webinar + Sale: Follow up with people who have signed up for your webinar to encourage them to make a purchase.

Sale with evergreen webinar

You record a webinar and set it up with ClickFunnels or Everwebinar and send traffic to sign up for this webinar, watch it on tape and receive the entire email sequence. These webinars work very well, generating a very positive ROAS (return on investment in ads).

Jeff Walker's Product Launch Formula

It is selling with PLF (Jeff Walker Formula) It is a sales methodology that consists of a launch training of 4 videos, the first three are educational, which prepare the audience for the 4 sales videos. It is a method capable of generating millions of dollars per release for all the psychology and persuasion involved. Successfully implementing these kinds of releases requires months of work and lots of resources. In your launches with PLF, you have to invest huge amounts in advertising (hundreds of thousands of dollars) to reach as many people as possible.

It is one of the most difficult to execute. Experts recommend it for online courses that cost between $300 and $1,000.

Launch an email campaign

If you have a subscriber base, use it to make them the first to know about your course. Here it is important to define a fixed registration period. For example, open 10-20 registrations.

The starter email chains are very important here, for example:
  • a teaser of your course (without saying what, you make a trailer);
  • what the course is about;
  • an invitation and notification that enrollment is open;
  • frequently asked questions and answer to: Is this course for me?
  • from feedback;
  • Why do I want to do the course?
  • please note that registration will be closed.

Launch on social media

This is what content creators use the most, those who have created communities with thousands or millions of followers.

They often upload stories along with posts on their feed announcing the launch of their online course.

It must be made clear that if you do not have many subscribers, it is not something specific. In fact, if you're developing this channel, it's important that you post it there as well.

Promotion of your online course

In order to promote and sell your course, you will need additional tools, which I will share with you below:

Tools to create a sales landing page:

ClickFunnels is the most complete platform to create funnels and sales pages for our digital products.

Leadpages – I've used it for years because it's easy to use and its templates are great.

WordPress plugins like Divi Builder, Elementor or Visual Composer .

Email marketing tools to launch a course to your list and then automate the processes. You can choose between Active Campaign, Bencharmark Email, Mailrelay, GetResponse or InfusionSoft (the one I use).

Payment processing tools if you do not want to use a membership or training platform:
  1. ThriveCart is the best investment you will ever make. You pay once and get the most complete tool to accept payments and sell digital products/services;
  2. selz;
  3. Gumroad (makes it easy to even have affiliates);
  4. PayPal;
  5. SamCart.
Facebook Ads, Youtube Ads and any other advertising platform to distribute your course through advertising.

Social media to distribute organic content. See how I run open webinars on Youtube

Personal blog. If you want to prosper on the Internet, you should already have an up-to-date personal blog. This is one of the pillars on which your internet marketing strategy is built. It drives traffic to your business, builds prestige, and ultimately sells your services or products. Remember that your blog should not be a list of articles about you (or your brand or company). You must generate valuable content that interests your users.

SEO. It does not hurt to learn a little about the subject, even if it is at a beginner level. You already know that when you search the Internet, you usually click on the first 5 pages. SEO makes sure that your business, product, or service is on the pages that people click on for your keyword. Backlinks are also very important here. If your website is mentioned on a relevant website, your domain gains traction and Google realizes that it is important to the user, which can cause your website to move up in the search engine results, leading to selling your course online.

How much does it cost to create an online course?

If you do the course as God intended, you will have to calculate that you will invest at least 300-400 dollars/euro. If you choose not to use useful tools, the course will cost you between 80 and 150 dollars/euro.

I would recommend that you choose the complete solution because you will use most of the tools in your next courses, also remember that you can recover your economic investment (except for the hours you spend) by selling some units of your course.

How much can I sell an online course for?

It's an eternal question that never seems to have a clear answer. I can't tell you what the best price is for your online course, but I can tell you some of the factors that will affect that price.

Always remember that prices change over time based on many factors:

seasonality, knowledge, quantity and quality of products or services, competition, etc. Here are some tips for selling digital courses
  • Selling a cheap course: it can be a good option to attract students, but remember that the real quality of your product is not perceived. Sell ​​your course online cheaply if you don't have a strong audience or if you have a lot of competitors.
  • Selling your course at a high price – It will probably cost you more to attract users, so you will have to put a lot of effort into promoting it. And of course you can't let them down afterwards. Do not put a high price on your online course if it is not worth it. However, if your online course has a high price, it is because it communicates value, so you will earn more income, attract affiliates and get more participation from your students.
  • Costs: There are fixed and variable costs. Write them all down to keep them in mind.
  • Authority, competence and quality: These are the parameters that affect the sale of your online course. It is not the same to teach a course by an expert with experience in the subject than by a beginner. Competing on price with the competition can also be a big mistake. They may have more experience and resources than you.
  • The price of your e-learning course should take into account the transformation your course will achieve, the sector you are targeting, and whether or not you offer support.
The success of your online course depends on many factors. However, here are some additional tips on how to create a successful training course.

Confirm the technical requirements before starting the course. Technology can play a trick on you at the most inopportune moment, so it is advisable that you prepare your computer or mobile phone before taking an online course.
  • Plan your time. Working comfortably remotely can take all the time to work, so it's important to plan your time. Establish the hours that you are going to dedicate to the course from the beginning.
  • Interact with your students as much as you can. Online sessions will be much more beneficial for them and for you.
  • Always follow network etiquette. Contact etiquette involves diligently responding to incoming messages, writing correctly, etc.
  • Resilience in the face of adversity. E-learning requires autonomy, intrinsic motivation and responsibility.
Experts say that perfection is one of the worst traps for an entrepreneur, so don't be afraid to sell online courses and launch a project that you are passionate about. Sure you make rookie mistakes, but they will help you better focus your next online course.

I hope that in this post I have offered you some things that no one tells you when creating and selling your online course, and that you can successfully implement your project.

And now yes, we have reached the end! Hopefully with these steps you can go from the intention of teaching what you are passionate about to launching your online course.

I'll give you one more piece of advice: don't think about developing a large number of courses. Rather, create a single one that is impressive and leaves a mark in the memory of each student who does it.

Good luck!

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