Build An Audience – What I Did (and You Can, Too)

Build An Audience: Photo of Crowd at Concert

If there is a single “secret” to succeeding with selling online courses or with any other business that involves marketing and selling your expertise, it’s finding and connecting with the audience for whatever you offer.

Actually, that’s only part of the secret.

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

It’s  a whole new world out there if you are an individual subject matter expert or a small training/education organization looking to sell online courses.

Image of e-commerce related 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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Learning Management System for Small Business to Sell Online Courses

Learning Management System for Small Business - Photo of Learning Management System return key on keyboard

The learning management system for small business category has improved dramatically in the past few years for businesses  interested in selling online courses. It used to be that if you wanted to sell courses, you either had to develop custom software or bolt e-commerce onto platforms that were built for corporate training or delivering college classes. Needless to say, this usually came with plenty of headaches and and a less than ideal experience for customers and channel parters.

These days, many small businesses may be able to take advantage of the new breed of platforms geared toward solopreneurs and very small entrepreneurial businesses.  I cover these in 15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses.

However, based on my own experiences and feedback from many small business owners, some of these platforms may not meet the more sophisticated demands of established businesses, particularly those that already have a significant base of face-to-face education customers. In those cases, the following is my short list of platforms to consider. [Read more…]

Does SCORM Matter for Selling Online Courses?

Does SCORM Matter - graphic of e-learning data

If you are looking for a platform to sell online courses, there is a a good chance you will come across the term “SCORM” at some point. But what is SCORM? And, when it comes right down to it, does SCORM matter for selling online courses? [Read more…]

Looking for an alternative to Udemy?

photo of an orange in between two apples

Don’t mix apples and oranges when looking for an alternative to Udemy

I run across a lot of blog posts that aim to highlight an alternative to Udemy, the major online marketplace for publishing and selling online courses and a very popular option for subject matter entrepreneurs. In most cases, though, these posts highlight platforms like Teachable or Thinkific as alternatives. While, technically speaking, these are good alternatives, I suspect that a lot of people searching on “alternative to Udemy” are really looking for a substitute for Udemy.

Simply put, an alternative represents a different way of achieving essentially the same purposes – in this case, selling online courses.

A substitute, on the other hand, is essentially a replacement – in this case, a platform that offers essentially the same functionalities as Udemy.

While that may sound like just a bunch of academic hair-splitting, it’s actually a critical difference. One of the main functions of Udemy, after all, is to offer a marketplace, a ready-made destination for people who are shopping for online courses. This is one of the main reasons that subject matter entrepreneurs flock to Udemy in the first place.

While both Teachable and Thinkific offer significant advantages over Udemy in many ways, they do not offer a marketplace – and, as far as I know, have no plans to. (For other options like Teachable and Thinkific, see 15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses.)

So, what other platforms do offer a marketplace for your courses? That is, which platforms may truly be a substitute for Udemy rather than (or in addition to) an alternative to Udemy? Take a look at the following: [Read more…]

Focusing on the real keys to success selling online courses

Focus on Success Selling Online Courses

A lot of people end up on this site because they are seeking success selling online courses and usually have come across my 15 Platforms for Selling Online Courses post. As you might expect, I also get a lot of e-mails from people sharing their challenges and asking for advice. If there is one common thread that tends to run though these e-mails its this: too much focus on technology.

People want to know which platform to use. Which course tools are best. How to best host videos, or Webinars, or eBooks, or …. name your product of choice.

But the thing is, when it comes to success selling online courses, these things are not what makes the difference. [Read more…]