How to - Secrets of selling courses


How to sell online courses and the secrets of marketing and selling courses

You have accomplished the easy task after you have prepared and finished your online course, and you still have the difficult task of marketing and selling the online course.

How to market your course online

You will run into several obstacles, including the different ways to sell this course, the different platforms through which you can sell your course, as well as how to attract students to your courses and convince them to buy it.

Do not worry, in this article we will help you at this critical stage, and we will provide you with all the information and resources you need in order to sell an online course.

This article is for you if you:

  • Online course maker and looking for ways to increase sales of your courses.
  • Content Creator and you want to start making and selling your own online course, but you don't know much about selling online courses.
  • A marketer, marketing, and selling courses on commission.
  • Or even someone who wants to know more about selling online courses for knowledge.

Prepare a cup of coffee, grab a paper and a pen, and now start reading this article and prepare to sell your online course.

First, how to sell courses online

The first thing you need to know is the different ways to sell courses online or where to sell an online course:

  • The first method: Sell the course on your personal site.
  • The second method: Selling the course on the Course Marketplace.
  • The third method: Selling the course on an online course platform.

We will discuss each method of selling the course in detail now:

1. Sell the course on your personal website

Selling your courses on your personal site will give you complete freedom to do what you want without being restricted, and it will also allow you to get 100% of the course returns without having to pay a subscription to one of the platforms, or even pay 50% of the returns to a market of courses.

This option will be appropriate if you already have a website - especially if you make a WordPress site - with satisfactory traffic, and there are your followers who are willing to pay money in order to benefit from your knowledge, experience, and skills.

You can even install some WordPress plugins that will help you sell courses on your own site, such as:

I won't talk about these plugins in this article, but if you're interested let us know in the comments and we'll dedicate an entire article to compare them.

Also, using this option will make you able to use the marketing and sales tools that you want and love to deal with.

On the other hand, this option requires you to have technical knowledge, and it can be quite expensive for you, especially in the beginning.

2. Selling the course on the Course Marketplace

This option is by far the most popular, most course providers sell their courses on course marketplaces like Udemy and SkillShare.

These markets include many courses and students, 183 thousand courses, and 40 million students around the world, as in the case of the Udemy platform.

These platforms help you to reach a large number of learners who are motivated to pay for the courses, so you have to let them choose your course over others.

This will save you a lot of marketing effort, which makes this an excellent option for course providers who have limited marketing capabilities.

In general, this option is the easiest of all the options for selling courses on the Internet, but it also has some disadvantages:

  • The course markets may deduct a lot of your returns, which may reach 50% of your profits through the platform.
  • You have to follow all their conditions and instructions, which makes you not often control the pricing of your courses.
  • Students are primarily customers of the platform and not your customers, so you may not be able to access their contact information.
  • It will not let you reach potential students through SEO.

But in general, despite these shortcomings, course markets maybe you're the best option if you do not have a base of students or followers.

There are a lot of course markets that are somewhat different from each other, but we would like to talk in detail about the two most important of them:

A) Udemy platform

Free Udemy courses 2022

Udemy is the best course marketplace to launch your first course if you don't have a student and follower base.

Especially with a student base of more than 40 million students, spread in more than 180 countries in more than 65 languages, and leave all this and just know that more than 450 million courses have been enrolled on the platform.

The platform will help you add tests and assignments to your courses, but it will require that the course be at least 30 minutes long.

The platform is also great for, as we say, “feeling the pulse” of students. You can make the course free at first, or offer it for free to some people through coupons.

In this way, you will get feedback and will know if there are improvements or developments that need to be made, and this is something that cannot be neglected or underestimated, and in addition to this, the platform will also provide you with many very important resources and tools.

As for profits and price systems, Udemy will take 63% of the proceeds from selling your courses, unless they are sold through the coupons you offer, the platform will get only 3%.

B) SkillShare platform

What is Skillshare and how does it work?

SkillShare is a strong competitor to Udemy, especially in the areas of design, editing, writing, entrepreneurship, and other technical fields.

It allows students to pay a monthly subscription to access all the courses on the platform, which amounts to 35,000 courses.

The advantage of the platform, in my opinion, is that it contains three forms of courses or educational content that you can benefit from and support your content through, which you can discover by visiting and browsing the platform.

The platform also encourages students to share their achievements and opinions and provides a lot more space for this than Udemy.

By placing your courses on the platform, you will be charged based on the minutes students spend listening to your course, and you can also get $10 for each person who subscribes to the platform through you.

In the end, selling a course online on the courses market may be the easiest option, but it is not in all cases the best.

Now let's move on to the third method for selling courses online.

3. Selling the courses on one of the courses platforms

And the last way to sell courses online is by selling them on the Courses Platform.

As there are many courses platforms that provide hosting and marketing services with differences between them, as we will see.

There are two types of these platforms:

a) Standalone Platforms

These platforms provide you with all the hosting services, support, and educational resources you need, and they also contain marketing tools that vary in strength from one platform to another.

These platforms are suitable for people who work alone or solopreneurs who want to reduce their effort, but their drawback is that their marketing tools are usually limited.

b) All In One Platform

They are the most powerful platforms, which provide you with everything you need to sell your courses online from website building tools to marketing tools, automation tools, and community building for you.

Each of these platforms differs in their costs as we will know shortly, and in general, these platforms are the best option that suits almost everyone.

After you have learned about the types of courses platforms, it is now time to get acquainted with the most famous ones:

1. Teachable platform

How do you use Teachable?

Teachable is one of the most popular standalone platforms, which stands out from the rest in the point of marketing.

The platform helps you grow your target audience and customize the user experience of the courses you offer.

The platform provides a lot of templates that you can use for your courses, and it also allows you to use exams that are automatically graded.

Although the marketing tools on the platform are good and reasonable, it would be better to use other external marketing tools in order to get solid results.

The biggest advantage of the platform is that it is one of the oldest platforms of courses and it is very smooth perhaps more than any other platform.

There is a free subscription to the platform and three paid subscriptions that range from $29 to $299 per month, which you can check out on the pricing page.

2. Thinkific platform

How much does Thinkific cost?

Thinkific is one of the standalone platforms that help you build your course from scratch.

The platform will help you organize everything related to your course and will provide you with a lot of useful ready-made templates.

It will also enable you to track the progress of your students, interact with them and even create your own community and conduct online lectures.

The disadvantage of Thinkific is that there are no marketing tools that enable you to blog, email, or create a Sales Funnel.

As for subscribing to the platform, it is like Teachable, it has a free subscription and three paid subscriptions, the value of which ranges between 39 and 499, and you can see more details through the pricing page.

3. Podia platform

Is podia better than teachable?

Podia is one of the premium All In One Platform that allows you to not only sell courses but also books, other electronic products, and memberships.

The platform contains a lot of powerful tools that will help you build a website for your courses and products as well as market them.

As for the cost of subscribing to the platform, it contains three packages, ranging in price from 39 to 199 dollars per month, and you can learn more about the price plans through the platform’s pricing page.

4. Kajabi platform

What can Kajabi do?

Kajabi is one of the All In One Platforms, which is famous for having the most powerful and best-automated marketing tools.

The platform allows you to use what it calls pipelines to create your marketing funnel from the course landing page to checkout.

And all this through powerful tools that do not need technical knowledge, but it is possible to do all this with just a few simple and short steps.

The platform also gives you powerful tools for marketing with email campaigns, which are perhaps the most powerful among the platforms.

The platform has 3 pricing plans ranging from $119 to $399 per month, which you can learn more about on the pricing page.

And these are not the only platforms, but there are many other good platforms that we did not talk about in detail in the article, through which you can sell a course online, including:

Secondly, online marketing methods

I cannot write an article about selling courses on the Internet without mentioning the marketing methods that can double your sales and profits.

In the era in which we live, e-marketing is king, and if you take advantage of the appropriate e-marketing channels correctly, you will be able to make profits from courses that you yourself may not believe.

Among the most important e-marketing channels that you can rely on to market your online courses are:

1. Social media

You can take advantage of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, even Tik Tok, and others to attract students to your courses.

Of course, you will have to choose the right platform for your target audience, for example:

  • If you offer courses in the fields of design and drawing, Instagram and Pinterest could be the best for you.
  • If you offer courses in marketing and sales, LinkedIn may be the platform that you should pay attention to.
  • If you are targeting the Gulf market, specifically Saudi Arabia, Twitter will be the best place to start.

Thus, choosing the right platform and following the rules of content marketing will help you get a lot of sales for your courses.

2. SEO

The importance of this marketing channel lies in the method you relied on to sell your courses. If you sell an online course on a website and not on a course market, then SEO can make you great profits.

Targeting the right keywords that match the intent of your potential customers and your target segment will enable you to attract more students to your courses.

Many of the large platforms are very focused on SEO and make a lot of profits from it, and it may help you in your endeavor to open a blog, as we discussed in detail previously.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most important marketing channels used by course providers, as it has a very huge potential to generate great returns.

All you have to do is build a base for you from your clients' emails and clients who are interested in the niche of your courses.

And then with time, you will find many of them buying your courses.

If you don't know what this mailing list looks like, you can:

  • Offers free products - such as e-books or mini-courses - after the student registers his e-mail and some information about him.
  • You create a seminar or webinar and through it, you collect emails from your customers.
  • Market your newsletter in which you benefit your customers, and in time you will find them subscribing to it.
  • Use sponsored Facebook ads.

4. Appointed Affiliates

Affiliate Marketing is one of the ways that course providers use in order to increase their profits.

With ease, you can agree with the commission marketer by giving him a percentage of each subscription to your courses that comes from his side.

So, for example, if he brings in 100 new students per month, and you earn $50 for each of them, and you give him $15 for each student - $1,500 - you will earn $3,500 without having to market those courses.

Of course, these are not all the marketing channels that you can use, but they are the most important marketing channels.

Third, tips that will double the sales of your online courses

If you don't know how, follow along with me.

1. Use your students to get more students

You can bring in more students by listening to your current students, watching their progress and results, listening carefully to the feedback they give you, and improving the course through it.

Celebrate with them and share their successes, post their reviews of your courses and how your courses have changed their lives, and you will feel your sales and profits increase.

This is the principle of collective proof or the collective mind.

2. Market for yourself using your educational content

To succeed in the field of selling courses, you have to understand that students are not buying your courses, but rather the benefit and change they want to obtain.

So, showing them part of your lessons will have a great impact on increasing your sales and profits, and you can do this through:

  • Providing one of your courses completely free of charge.
  • Availability of lessons from your courses for free without the need to purchase the entire course.
  • Create mini-courses and publish them on YouTube.
  • Content marketing in the niche in which the courses are offered.

3. Create a community

This is something that many novice course providers overlook, but in the long run, it is the reason they skip millions of profits.

The interaction that occurs between students and each other, and between them and you will have a great impact on attracting more new students.

Because of the importance of having a community these days, many courses selling platforms offer tools that help course providers create their own communities.

4. Boost your online presence

Selling courses online is much easier if you are one of the famous and prominent people in your field.

This will give your content the credibility and assurance that students demand, so they will not hesitate to pay for the experience and knowledge you have.

For this reason, studying Personal Branding is very important in addition to the basics of e-marketing if you do not know them.

5. Create a blog for you or your courses

The blog is one of the most powerful organic or natural marketing methods because it provides you with a lot of traffic, part of which turns you into buyers of your courses.

Therefore, it is important to know the keywords that express the target segment and to write articles in them.

But do not write marketing articles for your courses, but provide these audiences with a real benefit, and just refer to your courses and then you will find them rushing to buy them.

6. Start Your Podcast

Podcasts are one of the new marketing tools that have proven their power and popularity, especially in the areas of education and content.

What is distinctive about it is that it is now uncommon for marketing courses in Arab countries, although it is one of the most important means of marketing for courses in the United States and Europe.

If you can't start your own podcast or don't have the time, at least try to participate in the most popular podcasts in your niche.

7. Create a sales funnel for your courses and support it with paid ads

It is very important to know the buyer's journey of your target segment, which can be simplified into 4 stages:

Awareness stage: It is the stage in which the client or student recognizes that he has a problem or a pain point, and after that, he tries to search for solutions to it.

Research phase: When this client or student starts searching for different solutions to his problem.

Decision-making stage: This stage is when he tries to make a decision about choosing one of these solutions by comparing the different solutions in the market.

Purchase stage: This is the critical and most important stage in which he pays money for the solution or course that you offer.

And you, as a course provider, must take advantage of this trip in order to push the client or student to buy the courses you offer.

You should also target him at each of the following stages and help him move from one stage to another until he buys your courses.

Let's put an imaginary example that you offer courses in the field of self-employment, for example:

1. Awareness stage: Through social media platforms, you will try to compare traditional work with self-employment, by focusing on the potential client's pain points, or presenting the advantages that will be reflected on him if he starts self-employment.

Things like being tired of wasting 9 or 10 hours a day in a job that can't provide him with a decent living, being unable to enjoy his life, wanting to be his own boss, etc. This way you will educate him about the problem if he is not aware of it.

2. Research stage: You can target it at this stage by presenting the experiences of your former students and their success stories in self-employment and how your courses have changed their lives for the better.

3. Decision-making stage: You can encourage him to make a decision by displaying the most frequently asked questions that customers usually ask at this stage, and in this way, you will encourage him to buy your courses without the courses of competitors or any other solutions.

4. The purchase phase: in which you can make offers and discounts for limited periods of time.

And you can greatly enhance this process with sponsored ads, and I give you an example: Parker Walbeck who pays $ 7,000 a week in sponsored ads in order to get $ 57,000 in revenue from selling his courses.


Sales of the e-courses market exceeded $46 billion in 2018, and the entire market is expected to reach $325 billion in 2025.

Thanks to the Corona pandemic, this market has thrived, grown, and become known to most of the world’s population, and at this rate, it will be one of the most profitable markets in the coming years.

For all these reasons, creating and selling online courses is one of the most promising ways to earn money from the Internet.

In this article, we have provided you with all the information you need in order to start selling your courses online, and we hope that you liked the article we are happy to share your opinion or inquiry with us in the comments below, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

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