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

It's a whole new world out there is you are an individual subject matter expert of a small training/education organization looking to sell online courses. This post will help you narrow down the choices quickly. And you may also want to grab the free learning platform guide to help you make the right choice faster.

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.

[Read more…]

7 Ways to Elevate Your Expertise

When it comes to selling online courses and other knowledge offerings, being an expert in your field or industry is certainly important. But for most of the readers here on Learning Revolution, that’s already a done deal. They are experts. The bigger challenge right now is how to become known as an expert.

known as an expert - compass with needle pointing the word expert

Believe me, this is familiar territory for me. Most of my work – and by extension, my income – is heavily dependent upon me being known as an expert – and that has to be based on a heck of a lot more than me just saying I’m an expert (which, of course, anyone can do).

Become Known as an Expert: 7 Focus Areas

So, with the hope that it will be of some help to readers here, I thought I’d share seven areas I focus on to make my expertise more visible. For my money, anyone who really wants to be known as expert – and increase the chances of pulling prospective customers to them – needs to be doing at least some of what follows. [Read more…]

Hitting Your Strategic Sweet Spot with the 3M Model

With a new year upon us, I’m starting to take action on things I want to do better or differently to hit my strategic sweet spot. Knowing that many readers may be doing, or planning to do the same thing, I thought I’d revisit and share a deceptively simple visual I use for focusing my business ideas.

I call it the “3M” model – not because it has anything to do with Post-It notes (though those can be useful!), but because it focuses on three factors that I think are essential for success with a business or even a specific product (like an online course).

These are: market, means, and motivation.

Image of Strategic Sweet Spot - Venn Diagram of Market-Means-Motivation Circles

In a nutshell, there has to be demand for the product you plan to sell (market), you have to have the capabilities necessary for creating and delivering it (means), and for real success, you have to truly driven to create significant value through making the product available (motivation).

If any of these factors is weak or missing, your efforts will be off center – as suggested in the graphic above – and you will either fail entirely or be much less successful than you could be.

I cover each of these areas in more detail in what follows and also include links to a range of tools I hope you will find helpful. [Read more…]

Using SEO to Sell Online Courses

Are you using SEO to sell online courses? My guess is “not so much.”

Using SEO to Sell Online Course - Image of letters "SEO" penciled onto a sheet of graph paper

49899511 – note in the notebook concerning seo with pencils around

In my experience, most of the people who get into the online course business are – not surprisingly – focused on building courses. They tend to be passionate about their particular area of knowledge and expertise, and very often, much less so about marketing or seemingly esoteric topics like “search engine optimization,” or SEO.

That’s understandable, but it can also be harmful. [Read more…]

Online course revenue declines globally! Should you be worried?

A reader wrote in not too long ago concerned about news that online course revenue is in decline globally. The news, unfortunately, is true – at least for self-paced courses. A recent report from Ambient Insight Research projects a 6.4 percent, or $13.4 billion (!), drop in self-paced online course revenue globally over the next 5 years.

online course revenue declines - photo of downward revenue graph

Obviously, if selling self-paced online courses is something you do or plan to do, a decline in online course revenue definitely does not sound like good news. But should you really worried?

Yes, and no. [Read more…]

Are you undervaluing what’s unique about your course?

unique you

I decided to write this post in response to some common questions I get from Learning Revolution e-mail subscribers. These include:

  • Questions about which platform is really “best”
  • Questions about whether people will really be willing to pay for content that does not seem all that unique (to the writer)
  • Questions about how to protect content from being downloaded, shared, copied, etc.
  • Questions about the best course designs, formats, media, etc.

On the surface, these may see like completely unconnected questions, but they all suggest underlying assumptions about what does or doesn’t make a course valuable. None of these, I would argue, is the most important factor. The most important factor, the thing that makes your courses unique, is you.

I don’t say this to make some sort of “woo woo” touchy-feely point. No, my argument comes from cold hard business facts: [Read more…]