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

Looking to sell online courses, but confused by all of the platform choices? In this post I draw on my two decades of eLearning industry experience to highlight some of the top online course platforms and help you narrow your list. While you are here, 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 and online course platforms

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 the digital video camera in your phone, an Internet connection, and one of the platforms listed here.

Here’s a concise 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…]

Learning to Love Unsubscribes

image of unsubscribe stampIf you are a subject matter entrepreneur (or an entrepreneur of any sort, for that matter) building an engaged list of e-mail subscribers is essential.

The big upside of a high quality list it that you have a direct line into the inbox of people who have asked to hear from you. There’s nothing that beats that when you have a new course to offer. (See also this post about how to build an audience.)

A potential downside, though, is that every e-mail list inevitably gets plenty of unsubscribes. Those unsubscribes can feel like a daily dose of rejection when you are trying your best to maintain your motivation and create a sustainable business. It can be hard not to take them personally or see them as a sign of failure.

It has taken me a long time to move past a negative view of unsubscribes and actually learn to appreciate – and yes, even love – them. Here are my reasons: [Read more…]

The 5 Essential Steps to Authoring Your Online Course (Case Study)

In this case study, Nasos Papadopoulos, founder of MetaLearn, walks through the process he used successfully for authoring an online course: Make Me a MetaLearner.

The prospect of authoring an online course can seem daunting when you’ve never done it before.

Do you script the whole thing or improvise some of it?

How long should the course be and how many videos do you need?

What material should you include and what should you leave out?

And how should you structure it so that students will achieve their goals?

The process of authoring and producing my first course, Make Me A MetaLearner, was a great learning experience for me.

As a university lecturer I’ve spent plenty of time preparing lessons and delivering them to students, but authoring an online course is a completely different ball game.

Creating my course helped me find my own answers to all the questions above and more…and it taught me a lot about what making high quality online education involves.

Looking back, I can see that a big part of the process could be broken down into five main steps, which I had to figure out by trial and error.

These steps will work for you whether you’re a beginner who’s writing your first course, or an experienced online educator who’s done it plenty of times before.

Here are the 5 steps for authoring your online online course that will take the guesswork out of the process and have you ready to record in no time. [Read more…]

A “Universal Strategy” for Course Entrepreneurs?

Chess Board - Strategy Selling Courses

Recently, I spent the day with a client’s board and various other stakeholders hashing out the strategy for their education business. This is an organization in a highly competitive learning market – lots of companies and individuals course entrepreneurs competing for business.

It was a situation where it would be easy to think that investing heavily in technology or producing the best possible courses would win the day. But, really, everyone in the market is pursuing this approach to the greatest extent possible. It is, as one astute board member put it, “table stakes” at this point.

There are, of course, some competitors in this market who will take the low price approach, but that wasn’t a strategy that made sense for my client (any more than it does for most education producers).

So, what to do?  [Read more…]

When to Consider the Udemy Model

Are you a landlord or a tenant?

If you have read much of what I’ve written on online course platforms, you know I am mostly not a fan of the approach offered by platforms like Udemy and its alternatives – what I call the “market maker” business model.

The gist of this model is that one company – basically, a “landlord” – creates a market place in which individual course producers or other companies – basically, “tenants” – can sell their courses, usually in exchange for paying the landlord a share of the revenue.

Now, if you happen to be the landlord – as Udemy is – this model is fantastic. You create a highly-scalable content engine that generates a continuous revenue stream. If you are the tenant, on the other hand, this model usually limits your options in a number of ways, including: [Read more…]

The Only Real Objection to Buying Your Online Course

Objections to Buying - Photo of female hand, stretched out, palm facing out

I was advising a friend recently on his course launch and he noted that a number of prospective buyers had told him the course was too expensive.

Others told him they didn’t have the time.

These are easily the two most common objections to buying an online courses, but neither of them is the real objection. [Read more…]