How to Sell Online Courses from Your Own Website in 2023
When most other businesses struggled during the COVID-19 epidemic, the e-learning industry experienced a significant boost. And it has only grown since then!
According to statistics, the US e-learning marketplace will expand by $21.64 billion between 2020 and 2024. So if you want to create an online course and start your personal brand, this is high time to do so!
We previously articulated the reasons for creating an online course. If you have already created one, you might be interested in selling online courses from your own website. Don’t know where to start?
Let’s start the journey to sell online courses from your own website!
There are two ways to sell online courses:
- Sell online courses from your own website
- Use an e-learning platform/online course marketplace
An e-learning platform is a comparatively easier way to create and sell online courses. But it comes with some disadvantages. So before you move on to creating an online course on your own website, let’s understand whether an online course platform is a better fit for your needs.
The advantages & disadvantages of using an online course marketplace
E-learning platforms or online course marketplaces are like rented apartments for your online course. You can simply sign up and put your course materials up for sale. Here are some of the top online course platforms for hosting online courses:
- For launching your first course, you can use Udemy.
- Create an online school with advanced marketing using Teachable.
- For teaching creative skills, check out Skillshare.
- Create a course from the ground up with Thinkific.
- For automatic course marketing, use Kajabi.
You may be able to add your furniture and style in a rented house. However, the owner won’t let you tear down a room or paint it according to your wish. The same happens when you use an online course marketplace, they come with some disadvantages and restrictions.
So here goes the advantages and disadvantages of using an online course marketplace:
There are certain benefits of using established marketplaces to sell your online courses. These marketplaces are usually like a super shops where buyers can come anytime and purchase whatever they want.
- Ready-to-use platform: These platforms enable you to produce free online courses and promote them in an established marketplace. As a result, you won’t have to build a website. So you don’t need to stress finding a web server, registering a domain name, or designing a website.
- Enormous potential students: Thousands of students and customers are already available in these marketplaces. So you don’t have to waste a lot of time attracting visitors to your website. All you have to do is satisfy them with your course materials.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the advantages of using online course marketplaces. They have some noteworthy drawbacks to consider too!
- Lower revenue: Don’t be tricked by these marketplaces being entirely free. Although they provide you free access to their realm, they take a substantial percentage of your sales, sometimes even as high as 75%!
- Huge competition: These marketplaces don’t only have a significant number of students but also competitors. You may find yourself lost in the middle of an ocean where thousands, of course, providers are already fighting to survive.
Isn’t it enough to demoralize a newcomer like you in the first place?
- Rule & regulations: You must obey their specific rules and regulations while selling your courses on these marketplaces. They’ll keep track of your pricing, discounts, and more. As a result, you’ll have no freedom at all!
- No acknowledgment: Do you want to hear something more ironic? You may sell hundreds of courses, but your customers will not recognize you. You’ll have to begin from scratch with a new course!
- Can I sell my course on multiple platforms?
The type of license you own will determine whether you can offer your courses across numerous platforms. For example, if you have an exclusive Udemy license, you can only offer your online courses on Udemy. While, A non-exclusive license gives you the legal freedom to sell your content on any marketplace you want, including Udemy.
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of using an online course marketplace, let’s look at the benefits of selling online courses from your own website.
The benefits of selling online courses from your own website
A personal website is a perfect place to sell online courses because it lets you establish a personal brand and gives you complete control along with numerous benefits. The availability of no-code CMS platforms like WordPress and powerful WordPress LMS plugins means you can get your own online course platform ready in no time.
Here are the other benefits of selling online courses from your own website:
- Affordability: Creating a website has become simple with many no-code/low-code CMS platforms. By using WordPress, you can create your own website effortlessly at a low cost. You can even develop one for free if you don’t require any premium services!
- Increased revenue: If you sell your courses through your own websites, you own everything. You don’t need to share it with others, and no need to waste time calculating how much money you are receiving.
- Promotional independence: You must follow their regulations when selling your courses on a marketplace. They’ll even determine your marketing plan, and you won’t be able to give your customers anything extra! If you create your own website, you will have that independence.
- Improved customer relations: How will you communicate with your customers if you don’t know them? When you sell your course via a marketplace, you don’t get to know your students. But you will get that opportunity if you use your own website to sell them.
- Customization: The ability to customize is one of the most convenient benefits of using a personal website. You can determine how you want to look and erase the boredom that users experience when crawling a marketplace website.
- High Return on Investment: Who doesn’t love the idea of investing less and earning more?
While selling your courses using your own websites, you don’t have to share your profit with anyone!
- Brand recognition: What are the long-term benefits if your students purchase your courses but don’t know about your brand? Well, this won’t be the case while selling online courses from your own website. They won’t only be familiar with your course but also your brand!
By providing good courses, you will quickly gain your students’ trust and make a name for yourself on the web. This trust will result in long-lasting relationships and will help multiply your profit margin!
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7 steps to sell online courses from your own website
Now, you know the advantages of using your own website to sell your online courses. Want to give it a shot but don’t know how to start?
Don’t worry; we’re here to assist you. But before initiating, we want to give you a friendly reminder. Yes, selling through your website is profitable, but getting there might not be easy. In fact, you may feel hectic sometimes!
To avoid that, we recommend doing your homework thoroughly before setting foot. Create a proper business plan and take as much time as you need. As the saying goes, “As you sow, so shall you reap!”
Are you determined to give it a shot? Get started by following these seven steps.
1. Discover your profitable niche
Time to brainstorm!
‘Why, how, what’- a proven framework for sustainable business development. Most business owners or entrepreneurs overlap these processes and suffer in the long run. But we can assure you; that won’t be an issue in your case.
You already know the answer to your whys and hows. It’s time to move on to the what phase. In this stage, you will understand what you want to produce.
Remember, this is a critical stage that will decide the ultimate success of your business. That’s why don’t skimp on spending adequate time here. Kickstart your research by asking yourself the following questions-
- What is the field of your expertise?
- In which field do you want to add some extra value?
- Who will be your potential customer & what do they want?
- Is the competition pretty high in this field?
- How can you surpass your existing competition?
Research your competitors thoroughly. Trust us; none can give you a better idea about the existing market than your competitors. Analyze their every move, the quality they provide, their techniques to engage the customers and their deficiencies.
This stage has no shortcut. So, devote yourself as much as you can.
Congratulation! You are ready to go. The canvas is ready, and it’s time to paint your masterpiece!
2. Course Creation
“Quality is the best business plan.”-John Lasseter
Quantity can help you climb the ladder, but the quality will keep you at the top indefinitely. So, prioritize quality over quantity. Don’t try to create plenty of courses all at once. Instead, try to make one with all of your knowledge.
Remember that making money should never be your sole goal. Concentrate on adding value to your students’ lives; the money will follow through!
Recognize your client’s requirements and design your course accordingly. Never rush to overwhelm them with tons of information. Divide your course into chapters and write an engaging introduction to engage them with the course in the first place. Be concise, readable, and the solution provider they seek.
Keep your students engaged until the end and allow them to assess their learning with a test.
You might need the help of the following tools to create a course-
- A high-quality camera
- A microphone
- Lighting instruments
- Screen Recorder
You have created your course, but how to sell it? Let’s move to the next section to have the answer.
3. Build your website
If you already have a website, you can jump to this step. However, you must create one if you don’t have one.
Creating a website can be a time-consuming and challenging task. While you can hire a developer, it’s also possible to create one yourself. WordPress offers everything you need to create and get a website up and running without coding.
If you want to create a website yourself, follow the following checklist-
- Purchase your domain: The URL that internet users type into their web browser’s address bar to get to you is the domain. As you build a website to sell online courses, consider purchasing a generic top-level domain.
While choosing a domain name, don’t overthink. Just choose one that anyone can easily remember and reflects your branding. You can buy a domain name from Domain.com, Namecheap, Google Domains, or any other good domain provider.
- Choose a Web hosting: Web hosting is where you can store all your data so your customers can access them when needed. When selecting web hosting, choose fast and reliable hosting. It should provide a good user experience, server performance, and 24/7 support. Also, check the detailed pricing to avoid any significant subscription fees in the future.
SiteGround, WPEngine, and Kinsta are three excellent choices if you’re not sure which hosting to choose.
- Install WordPress: Your web host will assist you in installing WordPress. If they don’t, go ahead and do it yourself. It should take around 5 minutes.
- Install an e-Learning WordPress theme: Thousands of unique WordPress themes are available, each with unique features. As you plan to sell courses from your website, pick an e-learning WordPress theme to satisfy your needs.
- Install a WordPress LMS plugin: LMS stands for Learning Management System. A WordPress LMS plugin will allow you to develop, design, and host course content on your website. It will also aid you by providing quizzes and tests, automatic emails, payment methods, and course completion certification.
Depending on your LMS, you may have to pay a monthly/annual fee. You can use one of the WordPress LMS plugins we recommend to sell your course.
- Take care of SEO requirements: Try to meet the basic SEO requirements. Don’t forget to set up an SEO plugin and double-check things like permalinks, site titles, post titles, etc.
- Secure your website with SSL: Prevent hackers and spammers from reading or altering any data transferred by integrating SSL into your website. It will also aid you in ranking higher in Google searches.
- Notify Google of your arrival: Once you’re done building your website, allow Google to know about you by registering your website on Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
4. Add your first online course
You’ve already created a course and have a website up and running! It’s now time to publish your course on the website.
WordPress LMS plugins will assist you in completing this step with ease. Give your course a clear name so your client can tell what the course is about by looking at it.
Include a nice description that explains why someone should buy your course and what benefits they will receive in the future. Also, provide a detailed and concise course curriculum at the beginning.
Don’t forget to include a quiz or test at the end of each chapter to allow them to assess themselves. Keep the final test and certificate purchasing process straightforward.
Hurray! You’re ready to go!
5. Launch a beta version
We know you have worked hard to assemble your course, but there is always room for improvement. Two eyes aren’t always enough to spot flaws, and you may require the assistance of reviewers. As you’re building it for them, the learners will be the best option to review this for you.
Consider releasing a beta version before releasing your course officially—request feedback from your students on the overall experience of the course and work to fix the imperfections.
Don’t be frustrated if there are a few or many negative reviews. With open arms, welcome it because lots of negative feedback in the beginning, means less in the end!
Keep in mind that thousands of online course providers are already available in the online world, and they would never pass up the chance to outperform you in the first place. As a result, ensure a flawless start.
6. Build a sales funnel
Oh! We’ve come to the end of our course selling process! Now you need to create a sales funnel. A good landing page is essential for increasing your leads. It has an excellent conversion rate and will assist you in converting your visitors into subscribers.
Create a sound and appealing landing page. Make sure your landing page is used only for a particular action. Your main objective should be utilizing the right lead generation ideas to convert visitors into leads.
Give your visitors a clear picture of who you are and what you have to offer. Request them to fill out their information and offer them a free service. Grow their interest in your course, and they will eventually buy it.
7. Promote your course for more sales
Your course’s success will be determined by how well you promote it. Yes, quality is your ultimate weapon, but you must first attract students.
There are numerous methods of promoting courses online. We recommend that you at least try the following methods for increasing course sales:
- Email Marketing: Building a list, segmenting leads and students, creating campaigns and marketing workflows…tasks involved in email marketing may scare you off. However, it is still the most effective way to promote your courses.
So use email marketing to establish a seamless communication experience between you and your students and grow your business by using this extraordinary channel to fuel your inbound strategy.
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- Content marketing: Another popular and effective strategy to get your course in front of potential students is to employ effective content marketing.
Most people use Google to look up information on a variety of issues. Make a list of the questions they’re asking about your niche and try to answer them with an educational blog article.
They’ll become familiarized with your brand and course in their mission of obtaining answers. It will enhance their chances of becoming your customer.
- Social media: Social media is where most people live on the internet. You can also utilize the enormous realm of social media. Understand the trend and create content for social media accordingly. Trust me; the outcome will surprise you!
These methods work great for promoting online courses. But that doesn’t mean they are the only ways of promoting courses online. If you’re looking for some more ways, you can check out this guide.
Start selling courses from your own website!
Creating and selling an online course is undoubtedly a tiresome job. However, the incentives you will receive in the shape of money or recognition will undoubtedly outperform every strain.
This article summarized everything you need to know about creating and selling an online course. We hope this small contribution will help you in your future undertakings.
Thank you for reading this far, and best wishes on your endeavor to add value to society!
If this article helped you or if you have any questions, leave a comment.
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