15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses (and Counting)

Looking to sell online courses, but confused by all of the platform choices? This post highlights some of the top online course platforms and helps you narrow your list. And be sure to grab the free platform selection guide to help you make the right choice faster and smarter. And, if you are ready to create online courses and other online education content, be sure to check out the free Learning Revolutionary's Toolbox!

Image of e-commerce related to sell online courses

To sell online courses, it used to be that you had to master an authoring tool, license a learning management system (LMS) – or come up with a workaround – figure out hosting and e-commerce, and then somehow deal with end user support. These days, you can get across the finish line with little more than a Web cam, an Internet connection, and one of the platforms listed here.

In this post, I draw on two decades of experience working with online course platforms to narrow down the options and take a quick look at some of the best of what’s out there for helping you create, market, and sell online courses on the Web.

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Will your online course platform still be here tomorrow?

dropped ice cream cone at child's feet

In your search for an online course platform, you may have noticed that the market has gotten quite crowded – which means it’s time to be cautious.

I’ve seen this before – circa 1997 (dotcom days) – when tons of e-learning companies were rushing into the market and investors were throwing money at those companies. I think the frenzy is more legitimate now (and investors aren’t acting as crazy), but still, you can bet that a lot of the platform companies don’t have what it takes to survive.

If you are just dabbling, this isn’t a big deal. But if you currently sell or plan to sell online courses as a significant part of your business, you definitely don’t want to wake up one morning to find the company you depend on has shut it doors.

Now, given that a significant percentage platform companies out there right now are privately held, it’s next to impossible to tell how viable each one is financially, but here are some checks you can perform to help give you confidence your provider, or any provider you are considering, will be around for a while: [Read more…]

Are you capitalizing on this powerful channel?

40 percent of Americans over the age of 12 have done it.

67 million – just under a quarter of the U.S. 12+ population – did it last month.

Another 42 million did it last week – roughly five times the number who went movies.

“It” is listened to a podcast.

Benefits of podcasting - man listening to podcast on mobile phone

The numbers are huge, and they continue to grow at a very healthy clip according to the latest Infinite Dial report from Edison Research (free download).

Why should online course producers care? [Read more…]

The Virtual Conference Business Model

image from LTD 2017 virtual conference business model

Anyone who has been following my writing for a while knows that I am an advocate of thinking “beyond courses” when it comes to building a learning-based business. For purposes of this post, I want to highlight one particular “beyond courses” business model. Namely, virtual conferences.

Virtual conferences are top of mind for me lately because my partner and I hosted one recently with very good results. We wound up with more than 250 people registered as well as a line up of sponsors and exhibitors. We also be recorded the whole things, so will have a follow-on product to offer (and to mine for future content and marketing).

Here are a number of reasons I think a virtual conference is worth considering, maybe even in advance of creating a course: [Read more…]

How to Become a Consultant

It has been nearly ten years since I, with my wife as my partner, decide to become a consultant. We have grown substantially over those years and established ourselves as recognized experts and a trusted brand in the niche we serve. As a result, we have been able to lead a life which has given us the freedom to spend time with our young children, travel as a family, and in general, maintain a high standard of living.

Become A Consultant - Image suggesting consultant giving presentation

In short, the decision to become a consultant was a good one.

With close to a decade of experience under my belt, now seems like a good time to reflect on the what brought us success and, where possible, provide a smoother, shorter path for anyone who wants to start a consulting business. In this post, I cover what I feel are the five most fundamental elements of the pre-launch and launch stage. I will discuss growing a consulting business and other aspects of consulting in future posts. [Read more…]

The Course Itself Is Less Than Half the Battle

Marketing your online course - photo of hands holding table with text "Marketing Plan"

For much of my consulting career I’ve been a follower of Alan Weiss, the Million Dollar Consultant and I can remember being struck many years ago by an assertion he made about what it takes to be a successful consultant:

You need to spend more than half of your time marketing.

This was a response to the large number of questions he got (and still gets) about what the right methodologies are for consulting. About negotiating “deliverables” with the client. About how best to handle billing. About just about anything other than actually getting the clients that would lead to building a successful consulting business.

Most of the people I encounter who are trying to sell online courses should take Weiss’s advice to heart. [Read more…]