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Creating and selling courses is a proven way to make money online working from home or from anywhere else you want.
Benefits of Selling Online Course
It requires very little capital to get started.
Unlike selling physical products, you can keep your cost to literally zero to create your online courses.
And you don’t need to worry about inventory and shipping.
Once your clients make the payment, they can access it instantly.
Also, you only have to do the work once – creating the course.
Then you can sell it over and over again and sell to as many people as you can.
So, it’s a very scalable business model.
Downsides of Selling Online Courses
But, there are always downsides to it.
First of all, it might take weeks, maybe even months, to put it together a good online course.
Secondly, it’s just a one-time sale, so you always have to get new customers for your online courses. The only way you can increase the lifetime value of your customers is to continue to create new courses.
This is unlike the Email Coaching Online Business where you can get recurring income every month even if you don’t get any new clients.
Lastly, creating your online courses is only half battle won. You need to know how to market your online courses well.
If nobody sees your online course, you won’t get any sales.
3 Steps To Starting A Profitable Online Business Selling Courses
Step 1: Decide Course Topic
When you are trying to figure out what course you can create, it might help to ask yourself the following questions.
- What skills do you have that other people want to learn from you?
- What knowledge do you have that can help solve other people’s problems?
- What results have you achieved that other people want to learn from you to get the same results?
Let’s say that you are very good at vegan cooking, you can create a course teaching people how to do that.
If you are very good at decluttering, you can also create a course on that.
For myself, I have been selling my own online course “Service Arbitrage Pro” for the past few years.
The reason why I created an online course teaching people how to start their own service arbitrage business is because I have done it myself and gotten results doing it.
So, it is one good way for me to share my knowledge and experience with those who want to know how to do it.
You see, idea generation might look simple.
But you don’t want to have just any idea. You want a profitable idea.
So, before you start creating your online course, you need to first validate if there is actually demand for it.
The last thing you want is to spend months putting together an online course that nobody wants to buy.
So, how do you validate your online course idea?
There are a few ways you can do it:
- Check if there are already similar online courses that are selling well on Udemy.
- Find out if there are books on similar topic selling well on Amazon
- Gauge audience interest by talking about your story on social media
Step 2: Create Online Course
When you start creating your course, it is normal to feel overwhelmed.
There might be a million questions going through your mind.
How do I structure the course?
What should the outline of my course be?
What modules should I have and what do I teach in each module?
Do I do a video course? Do I give PDF downloads?
What case studies, templates and worksheets do I include in the course?
Here’s my best tip to help you get clarity.
I want you to imagine that you are trying to help a complete beginner how to get started.
Then, you ask yourself what exactly your student has to do to get from where he is to where he wants to be.
Is there a step-by-step action plan he can follow?
What problems will he face?
How can you help him deal with these problems?
Once you have answered all these questions, you will have a better idea about what you should include in the course to better help your students.
Now, let me use my online course “Service Arbitrage Pro” as an example again.
I did a survey some time ago and asked what was the the biggest challenge my email subscribers faced while starting their service arbitrage business.
And I got a lot of response.
Here are some of the response:
- “My biggest challenge is that I don’t know how to get started.”
- ” For me, it is where to find clients.”
- ” Knowing what to offer, how to get clients and how much to charge.”
- ” How to find reliable freelancers to outsource”
So, based on the responses I have gotten, I designed my course to answer all their questions they might have when it comes to starting their service arbitrage.
My goal for this online course is to take ALL the guesswork out and show them a clear roadmap that takes them from zero to their first paying client, then to their first $1,000.
Step 3: Selling Your Course
There are two ways to sell your course.
The first one is to sell your course from your own website.
The second one is to list your course on third-party online learning platforms such as Udemy.
When you list your course on Udemy, you are leveraging on their traffic, their affiliates and advertising spend to sell your course.
That is the good part.
The not-so-good news is that there might be a lot of competition (i.e. many courses similar to yours also selling there).
Also, the course price is generally kept low. That means you will have to sell a lot of your courses to earn a life-changing income.
Because of these disadvantages, many course creators choose to promote and sell their course by themselves.
To do that right, you need to first understand these two concepts.
A marketing tactic is a method for spreading the word about your online course. Guesting blogging on other websites is a marketing tactic. Running Google search ads is also a marketing tactic.
A sales funnel is the entire sales process that your potential customers go through, and it ends with them making a decision to purchase (or not purchase) your online course.
You use marketing tactics to bring potential customers (i.e. leads) into that process. This is the first step in the entire sales process.
Let me give you an example of a sales funnel using webinars to sell your online course. The picture below shows the journey that your potential customers go through on the way to purchase.
First, you need to employ marketing tactics such as Facebook ads to drive traffic to your webinar sign-up page.
Then, a certain percentage of the people will sign up for your webinar.
Out of all the people who signed up, a percentage of them will actually show up and attend your webinar.
After your webinar, you will send emails to follow up with them and sell your course through emails
Lastly, they will make a decision whether they want to enroll or not enroll in your online course.