Sell more online courses

You’ve got a great online course that you know can help lots of people. The big question is how do you get it in front of those people?

Everyone wants to sell more online courses, but there’s so much competition these days that it’s not that easy. Not easy, but not impossible!

We’re going to look at some ways you can sell courses online and maximize your revenue.

How Do I Sell an Online Course?

Selling an online course is a lot more straightforward than it might seem. 

All you’ve got to do is build an online store!

Yes, this might seem daunting, but with modern software, there’s no need for coding skills, and even beginners can create a store relatively quickly. 

Before you start bringing your online business to life, the first thing to do is think about what kind of online courses you want to sell. This might take the form of pre-recorded courses, webinars, or live one-on-one calls.

Once you’ve decided on this, then you can choose how you want to set up your store. 

If you’re going to be using live one-on-one calls, then all you really need is a payment process and some software to manage your schedule. If your website is built on WordPress (which over 40% of the web is), then the most versatile payment gateway is WP Simple Pay, which is ideal for this function. 

On the other hand, if you’re selling pre-recorded courses or webinars, then you need a way to deliver the file to your customer. Don’t worry, with EasyDigitalDownloads this is unbelievably straightforward (in fact, that’s how we deliver our own products).

Easy Digital Downloads for online courses

Another popular option is to host your online courses on your site using a learning management system (LMS) like LearnDash, or LifterLMS.

Once you’ve got your store set up, then you can start optimizing your landing pages, building out your social media, and setting up your email marketing to grow your audience and make sales.

Is Selling Online Courses Profitable?

Selling online courses can be incredibly profitable; just look at some of the big names like Coursera, Udacity, and Cloud Academy.

E-learning has grown dramatically in recent years, and it’s only set to continue. Part of this is fuelled by a growing demand for online university courses, but there’s also a huge market for more niche learning.

Essentially, if you’ve got the knowledge, then there’s an opportunity to create courses and make some serious money.

The great thing about digital products is that it’s possible to make a big margin on them. Once you’ve created a course, you can sell it thousands of times over without having to replenish stock. 

Compare this to physical products where you can only sell an item once, and it compares very favorably. You also don’t have to worry about other costs like warehousing which can make it very costly to get started in e-commerce. 

How Do I Get More People to Buy my Courses?

One of the main questions course creators have is how to grow sales. 

With the right online course platforms, it’s easy enough to create great course content, but the challenging part is actually getting people to buy it. So, how can you reach your target audience and get people to buy your online courses?

1. Build Authority

People don’t want to learn from just anyone. You’ve got to give them a reason to trust your expertise and invest in your knowledge. 

This starts from the second people first interact with your brand. 

If your page shows at the top of the search engines that’s an immediate stamp of approval. If people click the link and land on some incredible, informative content, then you’re quickly building the authority that’s needed to sell courses. 

Authority helps sell more online courses
Example of the authority showing up as the top Google result gives you.

Add in some testimonials, and you’ve got all the ingredients you need to convince people that your online courses are valuable. 

It can take time to achieve this, but when you do, you’re going to sell more online courses.

2. Look at Different Sales Models

There’s more than one way to sell an online course.

Sometimes selling courses individually might be the best option, but other times you might find it works best to create a subscription-based membership program

The great thing about a subscription-based sales model is that it gives you a consistent revenue stream. As long as your cancellation rates are low, you have a clear picture of how much you’re going to make each month, which isn’t always true when you’re selling courses on an individual basis.

Bonus Tip: This is where our Recurring Referrals pro-add-on can make a huge difference. It’s a great way to reward affiliates and encourage them to bring you quality, long-term customers.

3. Reach Your Target Audience Where They Hang Out

One of the most important parts of digital marketing is being able to reach your target audience where they hang out. 

Even among social media platforms, this can vary greatly, for instance, if you’re looking to reach a professional, then you might turn to LinkedIn, but if you were selling a hip new energy drink, your audience might spend more time on Instagram or TikTok.

You’ve got to identify where your target audience hangs out and then build trust by engaging them with the right content formats.

Making course sales is a competitive business, and you’ve got to find a way to stand out from the crowd.

4. Optimize Your Sales Funnel

No matter what you’re selling, people tend not to make a purchase straight away.

Buying is a process in which you carefully weigh up the pros and cons before coming to a decision, so your sales funnel has to guide people through this decision-making process. 

Attracting people to your site might be the first part of the process, but then you’ve got to be able to get people to take action. 

Ultimately, you want them to give you their email address so you have a point of contact. 

The best marketing tool for this is OptinMonster. Not only is the software a lead creating machine, but they’ve also got some awesome playbooks you can follow to make sure you’re getting people to take action.

Using OptinMonster to sell more courses

Then it’s just a case of utilizing your email list, optimizing your sales page, and tweaking your pricing until you find the perfect price point.

5. Cross Selling and Upselling

When someone makes the decision to purchase a product it’s a big thing. Not only is it great news for you, but it’s also exciting for them.

Your job is to capitalize on that excitement!

When people decide to spend money, they become much more open to spending more money. 

For example, if I’ve already decided to spend $150 on your ceramic mug-making course, then what’s $40 to unlock the bonus pro tips? This is what upselling is all about: making the customer a sweet offer when they’re already committed to spending money. 

When it comes to online learning, there’s so much scope to upsell and cross sell, so make sure you’re making the most of it. It doesn’t just benefit you, it also means learners get access to even more knowledge.

If you want to sell more online courses, then this is a go-to marketing strategy.

Grow Your Audience with Affiliate Marketing

You’re a small business focused on online course creation; it’s difficult to find the time to brush up on the latest marketing tactics. 

Surely there’s a shortcut you can take?

Well, there’s no magic bullet, but there is a way to piggyback off the great marketing other people do: affiliate marketing. 

No matter what niche you’re in, or the type of courses you sell, there will be somebody talking about the same subject on the internet. The chances are, there are plenty of potential affiliates with a large, engaged audience that you could do with reaching. 

Green influencers
Example of how large some affiliates’ audiences can be

When you create your own affiliate program, that’s exactly what you can do!

Now that sounds difficult to set up right?


You can set up your affiliate marketing in a matter of minutes because it plugs straight into the software you use to deliver your courses (WooCommerce, EasyDigitalDownloads, LifterLMS, MemberPress, and many more).

Once it’s set up, you can start working with the best content marketers, most innovative influencers, and even coupon marketing pros. All you’ve got to do is reach out to them and show how you can create a win-win partnership.

Start Selling More Online Courses

There can be a number of reasons why your online courses aren’t selling as you would like. 

  • Struggle to reach your target audience
  • Don’t have enough authority
  • Can’t create leads
  • Poorly optimized landing pages
  • Lack of a clearly defined sales funnel

Affiliate marketing can make an instant impact on many of these issues. 

When you sign up top affiliates you immediately expand your reach, piggyback off the affiliate’s authority, and attract potential leads to your website. This is a great start and can bring in an immediate influx of course sales. 

It also frees you up to take care of the other details like creating new modules, and ensuring you offer the best online courses in your industry. 

Your potential customers are out there, and one of the best ways to reach them is with affiliate marketing. 

Get started with AffiliateWP today!

William Palmer

About the author: William is a technical writer for Awesome Motive. He's passionate about helping small businesses unlock the power of affiliate marketing, and summit the rankings with great SEO. In his spare time, you'll find him exploring the wonderful scenery of Cantabria, Spain.

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