What’s it take to be a successful course creator and to sell online courses? Mostly it takes the motivation to get started and the will to keep at it–but it also helps to get whatever expert training and tips you can. With a little training and guidance, you’ll be able to avoid common mistakes, leverage the experience of others, and move a lot faster.
So, with that aim in mind, we’ve put together the following list of free training opportunities, guides, and eBooks that cover nearly everything course creators need to know to launch and grow a successful online course business.
Some of these require sign-up. Some are actual courses or video tutorials, while others are text-based and may include both on-screen and PDF versions. Regardless, they are all free. Just pick and choose what’s most useful to you. And, we encourage you to:
- Bookmark this page
- Share it with others using the social links on this page
Of course, while you are here, be sure to also check out our own How to Create an Online Course to Sell.
Now, let’s dive in.
Fundamentals of Creating and Selling Online Courses
These guides and trainings cover all of the fundamentals of getting a course created and into the market. If you are just getting started or want to review some of the basics, this is definitely the place to start.
This guide/eBook from Learnworlds teaches you how to make your online courses ready for sales and, most importantly, profitable. Topics covered include:
- Why is having an online course profitable?
- Making an online course
- How to Price a Course
- The Structure of a Successful Title
- A Successful Course Sales Page
- How to Market & Sell Online Courses Step-By-Step
- Offline Works
- Happy Students Are the Best Referrals
- Increase the Value of Your Course
- Resources to Help
- Moving Forward
This guide from Podia provides you with everything you need to know about creating, launching and selling a course this year. Topics covered include:
- Are online courses the right type of online business for you?
- How do you come up with a profitable idea for your course?
- Where do you start when it comes to building your course content?
- What about sales and marketing? How do you ensure that people buy your course?
We’ve put this into the fundamentals area because subscription membership sites are one of the best models for selling educational content – it definitely pays to learn about them. This step-by-step guide from Podia contains everything you need to know about building and launching an online membership business.
Adding Online Courses to Your Business
If you are an author, coach, speaker, or entrepreneur, online courses can be a great way to expand your reach and create new revenue streams. The items in this section tell you how.
If you are an author who wants to make a bigger impact with your book, engage your community, and earn more revenue, then this free training from Thinkific may be just the ticket. Delivered to your inbox as a series of videos, it gives you access to interviews with 10+ authors and online course experts on how to expand your reach and revenue as an author.
Similar to the “book to course” expert talks above, this series is for coaches who want to level up their businesses, get more clients, and operate at scale. Through a series of videos featuring more than 10 industry experts, you’ll learn how to market and sell your online program, create engaging content, and set up systems to help you scale.
Marketing and Selling
There’s no way around it: you have to learn to market and sell effectively if you want to achieve success as an edupreneur. The items in this area cover some of the most essential skills and tactics you will need to market your online courses effectively and pull in sales.
Unfortunately, the well-known saying, “If you build it, they will come”, isn’t always true—particularly when it comes to online courses. But one strategy you may want to employ to help guide your audience to your offering is through workshops. Fortunately, Liam Austin of Entrepreneurs HQ created this downloadable PDF checklist that includes 7 key steps to launching a virtual workshop that fills your courses and programs, in just 90 minutes. It includes:
- Goal Setting & Topic Validation
- Content Creation
- Website Pages / Cart Pages
- Zoom Setup
- Tech and Tools
Effective sales pages – aka landing pages – are absolutely essential for success in selling digital learning. This guide from Leadpages is designed to cover the ‘must-know’ fundamentals as well as the most important tips and strategies that have proven to work across hundreds of thousands of business. It starts with the very basics and continues on into the nitty-gritty of effective landing page copywriting and design.
With YouTube being the worlds second largest search engine at this point and video being such a powerful marketing tool for online education, you really need to understand the ins and outs of how to grow your audience and business with YouTube. This guide to YouTube marketing from Thinkific features insights from top video marketing experts and YouTube channel owners with millions of views.
As we’ve written before, appearing on podcasts can be a great way to reach relevant audiences for your courses. This guide from Thinkific covers all the ins and outs of how to do it.
In order to effectively market and sell your course, you need a good website. The problem is, many websites actually drive potential customers away. Peter Sandeen, creator of the 6-Figure Website, offers a behind-the-scenes look of how you can update your own website (or build a new one) in just days—and see a meaningful change. He shows you how to do this by focusing on the essentials, which include:
- How to make visitors immediately see that they can get something they want (and that what you offer is the best option for them)
- What makes people take a meaningful step toward buying on your website (so you don’t lose the potential customers)
- The #1 best way to stand out from the competition (it’s truly the most effective way to make people choose you)
- What are the essential parts of your website (what people usually focus on MAKES NO DIFFERENCE to their sales)
- How you should think about design and technology to maximize your results
Making Serious Money
We could have included these under Marketing and Selling, but they seem worth their own category. Find out how some of the most successful online course creators are hitting six figures and beyond.
This free masterclass from Foundr CEO Nathan Chan walks you through the step-by-step process used to create, launch, and sell more than 100 successful online courses. You get:
- The 5 simple steps for turning any kind of knowledge (yours or even someone else’s) into a unique and valuable online course you can sell!
- Foundr’s very own “Evergreen Course Checklist” so you can create a course and sell it year after year without worrying about the content going out of date!
- How even complete beginners can “pre-sell” their course and get paid to produce it from scratch…
- No audience? No problem. Why you don’t need a large audience to start making 5-figures a month selling online courses…
- How to quickly validate any online course idea so you don’t waste valuable time and money creating something no one wants!
- The deadliest “course creation traps” you must avoid. These priceless lessons come from Foundr’s team creating 100+ online courses and spending millions in trial and error to get it right.
Definitely don’t skip this one!
If you are aiming to make some serious money with your online course, this guide from Thinkific outlines a proven path to reaching $100,000 in online course sales. The best part is, this framework can be applied by course creators at any stage, including those who are just getting started with online teaching.
Software Tutorials and Training
These are very software-specific, but they cover three pieces of software that are pretty much universally valuable to course creators: Camtasia, Screenflow, and WordPress. Camtasia and Screenflow are easily the two best options out there for capturing and editing screen recordings and easily editing videos, in general. WordPress is the world’s most popular Web site platform.
Camtasia provides a good series of videos covering essential skills and techniques. Once you are done with these, you can move to more advanced videos covering advanced editing, animations, and more.
Screenflow provides a comprehensive tutorial series to teach you how to get started with ScreenFlow and then move to the pro level.
We’ve always urged course creators to maintain a home base Web site that is independent of whatever online course platform they use. It’s the only way you ensure you have complete flexibility and control over your brand. This guide from LifterLMS covers all of the essentials for getting started with WordPress, my top choice for your home base site.
Make a Plan
It’s great to have access to a range of training and education opportunities to help grow your online course business, but let’s face it, access doesn’t mean anything if you don’t actually take advantage of it and make use of these resources.
My advice? Pick one or two of these that are most relevant to you and schedule some time on your calendar each day to go through them. Once you are done, come back to this page (because, of course, you will have bookmarked it!) and choose something new.
Take that approach, and over the course of a few weeks or months you will become a master of creating and selling online courses. It’s an opportunity that’s free, but priceless.
P.S. – You might also want to check out these posts on Learning Revolution for additional help:
- The 15+ Best Online Course Platforms to Create and Sell Online Courses
- How to Create an Online Course to Sell
- The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox
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