Complete Guide: How to Make Money Selling Online Courses in 2021

While there are many reasons people go online, the internet is frequently used to learn something new and find information. One of the best ways to do this is by taking online courses. 

Participating in online classes has become the new norm in the world we live in. We are slowly veering away from the traditional ways of teaching and learning that take place inside a physical classroom. Globally, some learners and teachers are forced to continue regular classes online because of the pandemic.

According to Global Industry Analysis, online learning should generate more than $240 billion in 2021. With such growing numbers, many are tempted to embrace this sudden transition forced upon the COVID-19 crisis. Many entrepreneurs see it as an opportunity and a new revenue source.

In this post, we present the Complete Guide to Making Money Selling Online Courses in 2021. However, before getting started on your way to teaching students online, you should know just what you’re getting into. 

Knowing the pros and cons of this option will prepare you for what you need to know before investing time, money, and effort into what can be your next career.


Teaching Online Is Easy With Technology

There are plenty of platforms available for online courses that make it easy to create, market, and sell your content. And because of continuous advances in technology, many of the equipment and tools you need to teach are easy and straightforward to use.

Passive Income

In addition to your existing businesses, you can make money selling courses on the side as a passive stream of income. After all, you only need to create the course once and let it sell itself on online community platforms.

Unlimited Class Sizes

Because you’re creating an online course, you can have as many students from anywhere in the world, at any time, without having to exert extra effort. If teaching is your passion, making online courses can gratify that.

Enhanced Funnel System

Lastly, online classes can be used for marketing purposes as part of a funnel system that can lead students to your other services or a coaching program. Rather than giving them the whole session upfront, you can teach them the basics first or provide small bits of information to excite them about other paid courses if they’re interested to learn more.


Technology Can Also Be Cumbersome

Delivery methods through video and text take a lot of effort. This is especially true since most students now expect content to be accessible via many different gadgets such as tablets, phones, and laptops. As such, configuring how your course can be delivered will consume more of your time than just creating the video.

Hosting And Ownership Rights

Designing an online course will require you to find an online service to host the finished product. This can be your website or a hosted service like Udemy. However, if you choose a hosted site, be aware that the ownership of your courses may become implicated.

Content Needs To Be On-Trend

Like every other money-making venture, the success of your online course depends on the demand for it and your ability to reach your target market. It’s a good idea to research what’s trending now and what people are looking for before making a course.

Pricing Can Be A Challenge

Once it’s finished, putting a price on your course can be a challenge. This part will take some time to figure out. You need to make sure to look at other comparable courses online to get an estimate of the amount you want to charge.

Creating Your Online Course

1. Your Course Topic

List out all the things you’re knowledgeable about. It can be about something your family and friends come to you for help with. It may even be a skill related to your job or a hobby you can teach to others, such as painting with watercolors or playing a particular sport well.

2. Conduct Market Research

No one wants to waste their time making a course that people won’t buy. While some people want to know more about a topic, you need to choose one that they are willing to pay money for. 

Before you even get started, know if your course will have buyers who will be ready to purchase it as soon as it is published online.

3. Create A Course Outline

Once you’ve ensured a market for your course, you now need to determine what will be included in the course. Of course, you will need to include in-depth content and cover all essential aspects. It needs to be well-detailed, accurate, and offer more than just the basics.

To assist you with organizing your course, think about separating the lessons and modules. Every module would contain a whole subtopic, while a lesson will provide the details of the subject.

For instance, if you offer a course on starting a home business, you can have a module dedicated to business plans. Then you can have lessons included in that module which cover “How to identify your target market” and “How to determine your USP.”

4. Decide On How You Will Deliver Lessons

It’s best to analyze what you’re trying to teach and come up with its delivery format. Depending on your topic, you may have to offer two different methods in one lesson.

An example will be if your course teaches how Quickbooks is used. You can use both a video tutorial on how to set up and install the software and step-by-step instructions in text format.

5. Create Your Lessons

This is where you’ll spend the most time in creating your online course. When trying to build your business and brand, consider using a color theme or logo that appears in every lesson’s content. 

Once you’re in the final stages of creating each lesson, be sure to proofread everything and watch your videos to ensure that there are no glitches or errors.

6. Determine How To Sell Your Lessons

To get control over your lessons, it’s best to create a website that will host and deliver them. One option is to use WordPress plugins and membership site scripts to set up a system that will sell your course. 

If you prefer a faster, less technical option, you can always use online course services such as Skillshare or Udemy. One benefit to using those platforms is that you only need to upload your course to reach their market. 

However, downsides include how you will need to compete with course providers who offer the same content as you do, and you don’t own the platform.

The last option is to look into services such as Ruzuku or Teachable, which both offer the advantages of a self-hosted site with the speed and ease of Udemy. Such services can provide you with quick content creation and upload while allowing you to add a domain of your own and customization like those available in self-hosted sites.

Another advantage is that these options don’t need exclusivity, so you are free to sell your course on as many platforms as you want. However, it’s still best to go through the terms and conditions before you offer your course on those platforms we mentioned.

7. Upload Your Course

When you’ve selected the best platform for your needs, it’s time to upload your course. If you’re able to customize your course’s elements such as the color scheme or logo, be sure to do so. In this way, you’ll be able to create a unique brand that represents you.

8. Market Your Course

No matter which platform you chose, promoting your course is the number one priority. Even if you use Udemy, you’ll want to promote your content so that students can quickly find your course in a sea of other courses. 

You can start marketing by creating a plan covering where you can find your market, who they are, and the best way to attract them towards your course. Some of the best ways to market your course are through PPC advertising, social media, and article marketing.

9. Keeping Your Course Updated

As a teacher and course creator, you’ll want to make sure that your content is always relevant and current. Every few months, be sure to check if your course has any outdated information since it will be less helpful to your students and may lead to bad reviews. It will also help to check for any broken links or errors.

10. Repeat As Necessary

If you have other areas of knowledge or expertise, you can always create more courses and make more money. Start with other courses that are related to the initial course you made. You can then refer them to students who might be interested. 

One such example is to add a course on how to publish books to supplement your initial course on how to write a book. You can even make new courses that cover entirely different topics.

Becoming An Online Teacher Can Be Rewarding

In the end, creating, marketing, and selling courses online can be very rewarding if you know how to provide students with great content. And with such affordable and easy-to-use options to use as a platform for your course, you have everything you need at your disposal to become an online teacher. 

And while it may take time to get everything for your course together, it can become a great income source once it’s uploaded. List your course today!

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