How to sell online courses from your own website, what are the Benefits? And what do I need to do it?
With the advancement of the internet, it has become easier than ever to teach and sell courses online. You can create professionally tailored courses that fit any industry with a few clicks.
Unlike most people think, online courses are not just for teaching people new skills. Nowadays, they are commonly used to sell products and services.
According to Statista, the e-leaning market was around 101 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, and it's expected to grow to 370 billion by 2026.
Why Should You Sell Online Courses on Your Own Website
Online courses are not only about teaching. In fact, one of the major benefits of selling online courses on your website is educating your audience on benefiting from your products.
No matter what niche you are into, whether you sell a product of your own or an affiliate product. Educating your audience is the highest converting marketing strategy you can use.
I'm not saying that you should turn your courses into a sales pitch, hell no! But if you can show people how they can use your products in a way that helps whatever end they want to meet, they will buy from naturally.
benefits of selling courses on your website:
Complete control of the user experience.
For example, you can offer a trial period, payment plans, or a comprehensive refund policy, which is impossible on platforms like Udemy or Teachable.
You don't have to share your profits with third parties like in the typical learning platforms and marketplaces.
Focus on making a tremendous online course, and then you can sell it for years to come!
One of the best ways to increase your brand awareness is to sell your courses through a membership website.
A Membership website allows you to:
- grand or restrict access to specific courses
- collect emails from your audience and build a list so you can promote new courses and provide valuable information to boost your brand awareness even further
- monetize your content with one-time fees, upsells, or recurring fees
How to Sell Online Courses from Your Own Website
I will guide you through the steps you need to build and sell online courses on your website.
How to brainstorm ideas
No matter what your niche is about, you need to before you create your course, you should ask yourself:
- Who is my target audience?
- How can I help my audience?
- What should I make the courses about?
- How can I monetize my courses?
It's easier to understand with practical examples, so I will reply to the questions above. Let's get our hands dirty, literally!
The niche is Terraced Vegetable Gardens.
Who is my target audience?
- People that want to have self-planted vegetables
- People that are worried about sustainability
- People that want to save money
- People that want to consume organic food
It is crucial to identify your dream customer because only then you can understand their needs.
That leads us to the next question...
How can I help my audience?
After you understand what your audience needs, you need to create informational and educational content for your dream customers to consume.
You can also create blog posts with helpful content and promote your courses.
A good way is to start with a free beginner's course on whatever subject and build up from there.
What should I make the courses about?
You can create educational content for each one of the identified target audiences.
You can even create a course bundle and turn it into a masterclass that would cross the audience.
It's all about creativity!
Let's say that you want to target people that want to own self-planted vegetables first.
Set up a free first patio vegetable garden crash course.
This could be a 7-day course where you would guide people in:
- how to germinate a vegetable seed
- time to transplant your seedlings
- pots vs. raised beds
- grow vegetables in the right season
- companion planting for optimal production
- DIY vegetable garden irrigation system
- how to naturally fertilize your vegetable garden
Remember, this is a beginners course. Even though we should always over-deliver, we must save special tips & tricks and more insightful information to the premium courses.
The idea here is to get as many people to sign up for the free course as possible so you can start monetizing! Yeah, you read it right!
Just because it's a free course doesn't mean that it cant be monetized.
How can I monetize my courses?
This is the million-dollar question, right? There are many ways to monetize the courses you sell on your website, even the free ones.
Let's start with the obvious, charge for them!
Having premium courses is a great way to monetize your website because you can make ads about them.
Having ads on your blog posts and free courses about your premium courses is a great way to get you some extra bucks.
Another reason why you should have premium courses is to have upsells on your free education.
You can also create course bundles and sell them together for a discount.
How to monetize your free courses?
Free courses can still earn you quite a lot of money. You should have a "resources" section to place affiliate links in each lesson as you educate your audience.
Sticking with the example above, in lesson one, you could have affiliate links to:
- various vegetable seeds
- seed-starting mix
- starter cubes
- Seed Trays
You teach people the "how-to" but if they don't have the proper materials to do it, they can click on your "resources" links and get them. You will then get a commission.
There are other ways to monetize free courses, such as:
- ads to related premium courses
- option to learn more as they finish the free course
- email marketing
Now that we covered all course building and marketing aspects let us go into site-building.
It has worked for me for the past few years, and I strongly suggest that you give it a try!
To learn more, click the button below!
Let's build a WordPress website to sell online courses.
You can't sell online courses on your website if you don't have a website, right? And even if you do have a website, you might not be able to sell anything there without the proper marketing tools and plugins.
Let's quickly recap what we need to sell online courses on our own website.
- WordPress website
- WooCommerce plugin
- Membership plugin
- LMS plugin
- Integrate an autoresponder
I made a small explainer video to cover all those points
to take a bird's eye to set everything up.
Just pick a domain of your choice to see if it's available, and you are set to go!
After you have your website up and running, you will have to install WooCommerce. I have a detailed post on how to build an eCommerce website with WordPress you can check for guidance.
From there, we need to install a membership plugin to lock content. This plugin turns out to be very efficient if you want to populate your mailing list.
If you have a good "how-to" guide, you can configure a membership plugin to show only a certain amount of words. If the visitor wants to read all the post, he will have to subscribe.
The LMS plugin will let you create the online course, and the autoresponder plugin will allow you to create a super-relevant email list.
Wrapping Up this How to Sell Online Courses from Your Own Website Guide
Building and selling online courses is more than just educating. It's a marketing strategy because:
It will help your SEO
- you will be creating content to promote your courses
- you will have returning visitors
- also will retain visitors longer on your website
It will boost your sales
- you can promote affiliate products as lesson resources
- you can educate your students on how your products are beneficial to them
Let me know what you think of my How to Sell Online Courses from Your Own Website Guide. Will you implement this strategy in your business?
If you have any questions or want to add something to this guide, drop me a comment below! 😉
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