How to Sell an Online Course

In recent years, online courses and online learning have boomed in popularity.

From courses on hobbies like cooking and baking to professional skills, such as Amazon Web Services, essentially anything can be taught and learned online now.

Now is the perfect time to join the industry, but first, you will need to know how to sell an online course. Follow this guide to get your course up and running.

Why Should You Start Selling Courses Online?

As mentioned, the e-learning industry is booming. E-learning and online courses are more than a trend. Today people wishing to pick up a new skill or hobby go straight to youtube, not their community college.

E-learning is accessible and it is flexible. Students can pick and choose when, where, and how they learn, rather than being committed to a regular class. 

Not only are online courses more accessible for students, but they can also be better learning tools than traditional learning. 

E-learning allows teachers to integrate more resources into their courses, videos, text, interactive or practical exercises, etc. It also allows the students to fit the course around their learning style. Students who find sitting in a lecture hall or classroom for two hours challenging can do 20-minute chunks.

The average student of a college graduate is over $32,000. Higher learning is prohibitively expensive and students are looking for viable alternatives. Businesses are also beginning to recognize that traditional higher learning is not always the best indicator of talent or job performance and are looking for new ways to develop talent. 

What Can an Online Course Do for You?

There are many benefits to selling an online course. Depending on exactly what you do and what you want to achieve you can tailor your online course to meet your needs.

Generate Revenue

Online courses are a great way to generate revenue for your self or business. Once the course and content are created, it can be sold at scale with limited maintenance.

Lead Generation

Online courses engage with your target audience. They also show value and give you direct access to them.


Online courses show people you know what you are talking about. This helps to give customers and clients confidence. 

Help People

Helping others and giving back is incredibly rewarding. An online course lets you share your knowledge and experience and helps people achieve their goals.

How to Sell an Online Course

Selling a course online will take time and effort. You will need to carefully design and develop your course and then implement effective sales and marketing strategies. Our guide will ensure you do everything you need to start selling your course online. 

1. Selecting Your Course Topic

This is the obvious but essential first step. But it may be a little more complicated than you expect. You need a topic that you can both teach and that customers will pay for. Most of you reading this will already have a topic in mind. For those that don’t, or want help refining a topic look to the following:

  • Your professional skills and experience
  • Your personal experiences and transformations
  • Your hobbies and interests

In these areas ask yourself, do people frequently ask you for advice on a specific thing? Would you be considered by others to be an expert in any of these areas? Have you solved a problem others struggle within these areas? Do you have a method or approach to these problems that could help others?

If you can help others solve a problem you have the makings of a profitable course. Make your topic as specific as possible, solving a specific problem or teaching a specific skill. For example, a course on how to bake is too broad. Teaching how to bake bread is better, but how to bake sourdough is best. The more specific you are the more likely you are to offer your students value. 

2. Setting Course Outcomes

Now that you know what you want to teach, you need to determine the learning outcomes for your course. These outcomes will tell your students exactly what they can expect to get out of taking your online course. 

This is an important step because it will also clarify for you exactly what you need to put into your course. These learning outcomes will help you organize your material and create your course content. You will need learning outcomes for both your whole course and for each section within your course. 

If you have clear and well-structured learning outcomes not only will you find it easier to produce great course content, but you will also have a great sales pitch. Your learning outcomes will tell potential customers the benefits of taking your course. 

3. Validate Your Course

Validating your course is an often overlooked step but can save you plenty of time and money. Validating your course means researching the demand for your course before you spend hours creating the course content. Here are some valuable ways you can get an idea of the potential demand for your course.

Google Search Volume: The more people who search for your topic the greater the potential demand. A tool like Ubersuggest is a great starting point.

YouTube Search Volume

Every day millions of people turn to youtube for tutorials. Youtube research will show you how frequently your topic is searched and how often those videos are viewed.

Survey Your Audience

If you have a very specific audience in mind it might be worth sending out a short survey to you potential students to see if they have an interest in your course.


If you can, pre-selling your course is the best way to validate your idea. Remember the learning outcomes are the course selling points. If students sign up to achieve those outcomes then you know it is worth spending the time and money developing the course.

4. Create Your Course 

Now it is time to create your course content.

You will use the learning objectives you defined earlier to guide you as you create your content. Good online courses use a variety of mediums to educate their students, video, audio, written, exercise-based, etc. If you are not an experienced content creator, you may need to familiarise yourself with some of the media creation skills needed, especially video as this is the most sought after form. 

A common mistake during course development is to think that more content is better. Not only is this a huge undertaking for you, but it will limit the impact of your course. You do not need to share your entire expertise, focus your energies on the content that will most efficiently deliver the learning outcomes for your students.

If something isn’t essential to delivering the learning outcome, it should not be included. Remember you can always offer intermediate and advanced courses. 

Exactly how you structure your course and your content will depend on what you are teaching and who your audience is. 

5. Sell Your Course

Before you can sell your course, you will need to make sure your students can pay for it and access it. One option is to host it on a marketplace like Courses on Sale.

This isn’t a bad option for first-timers, as students visit Courses on Sale knowing they can find a course on anything. You will still have to generate and convert leads but you will get more organic traffic.

If you already have a site you can easily set up a members-only page and host your course there. And creating your own site is not as challenging as it might seem. You can also always do both.

Next, you need to market your course to generate sales. Having a marketing strategy is essential but can be the most challenging part of making your course successful because many won’t have experience in sales and marketing. This is especially important if you do not already have an audience. Do some research or maybe take a course in online sales to make the most of your online course. 

Maximize Your Online Course

Knowing how to sell an online course can be a very rewarding venture as well as a very profitable one.

However, it is by no means easy and takes time and careful consideration and planning. If you have followed our guide you will have the basics for a successful course. If you are ready to sell your course online, make sure you contact us and submit your course to reach more students and generate more revenue.  

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