Steps to Profit from Selling Courses Online
I will now give you the steps that will enable you to start profiting from selling and profiting from online courses, and this is from zero to completion and start marketing your course.
To help you understand these steps more, I will give an example of a person and let’s call him Muhammad who works as a content writer, and wants to profit from selling courses on the Internet.
But before I tell you it is important to warn you not to fall into the trap of not having enough experience or that you are not the best person in your field.
This is not true at all and it is not necessary to be the best and most experienced in your field in order to profit from selling courses.
You should only provide benefit to the people who will buy your courses, and help them achieve their goals.
And now with the 11 steps that will help you profit from selling courses:
First Step: Choose the topic of the course
The first and most important step of all is to choose the topic of the course that you will create and sell, and the topic of the course most often comes from your field of knowledge, knowledge or previous experience.
As you will not create a course in (how to design a website from scratch) and you do not have enough programming experience, for example.
The difficulty in this step is that if your field is somewhat general, you will need some specialization, or the so-called Niche Down in English.
For example, if a chef wants to do a course on culinary arts, he will try to specialize a little and make his course about cooking sweets, or he may specialize more and make it about cooking oriental sweets.
But be careful when majoring, you want a specific major that you can make a name in, but don’t choose a limited major that doesn’t have many interested people who will buy your courses.
Register the larger area you will be offering the course in and start breaking it down into smaller and smaller specializations and get ready for the next step.
Returning to our example of Muhammad, a content writer who wants to start writing courses, he necessarily knows that he will write in the field of content writing.
But content writing is a very broad field, so he breaks it down into smaller parts, such as:
Second Step: Find out if there is a demand for the course you will create
After you have initially decided on the topic of the course you will be presenting, search on the Internet to see if there is interest in it or not.
You can do this in several ways, including:
1. Search the Internet in this way (your topic + courses) so that the Google search engine will show you the details of the existence of training courses in this field or not.
If you search for a topic (content writing + courses) and you see pre-existing content, then this specialization is required and already in the market, and you can course it and compete with others.
2. Use keyword research tools such as Ahrefs , Ubersuggest or Google Keyword Planner to find out the search volume for your course topics, so that the larger the search volume, the greater the demand for it, thus ensuring that there are buyers for your courses.
3. Access to the famous courses platforms in the world and the Arab world, the most important of which are Udemy , Coursera , Skillshare, Edraak and a course.
When you enter them, you will find the search bar on the main page in front of you, write the name of your topic and note the number of courses available and the demand for them.
And be sure here to choose a topic that has a request, but the competition in it allows you to profit from it. For example, some topics will have very fierce competition that you will not be able to enter in your beginnings, especially if you do not have a lot of followers.
As for Muhammad, he chose to make his course in a sub-field of content writing, which is writing articles that comply with the rules of SEO.
This is through his contact with the field on social media platforms and his vision of many people on LinkedIn and Facebook groups who ask about courses in this field.
He also reinforced his assumptions by using tools like Ahrefs and various Google tools to compare the demand for courses in this field and the demand for courses in other content writing fields.
Step Three: Determine the target audience and analyze competitors
After you have familiarized yourself with the topic of the course that you will present, even if initially, try to understand the people who want and will buy this course.
Get to know them better and learn more about the pain points they have and will treat, and the problems they want to solve with your course.
Try to delve into their knowledge and find out what they want, find competing courses on this topic and know their topics, advantages and disadvantages (i.e. do market research )
Go to the reviews and know their strengths and weaknesses so that you can bypass them and provide a much better benefit and experience.
This step can be a bit tedious and may take some time, but it will help you a lot, and you will know how in the next steps.
As for Mohamed, defining the target audience for him was easy because he is looking for beginners content writers who want to professionalize writing SEO-friendly articles.
And since he was just like them and wanted to develop in the field in order to improve his articles both textually and technically (SEO), he knew very well what they wanted and how he could attract them.
Also, with a simple research and familiarity with what competitors offer, he was able to discover the defects and problems that they have, such as that they do not care about the practical side and do not train their students to write actual articles, evaluate and improve them through it.
Step Four: Find out what you need to create the course
At first, you need some basic tools to create an integrated course. These tools help you in all stages of creation, from filming, content recording, publishing and launching the course, and others.
Of course, these courses differ according to the nature of each course and the other, and not all courses need, for example, if you choose not to photograph yourself in the course and rely on screen recording, you will not need a camera, and so on.
Among the most important tools that are used in creating courses in general
a) Your Course Planner: You will need to write, plan, and dump your head in order to properly plan your course.
You can use professional planning tools, such as: Notion, Trello, or Asana. These tools help you create schedules, timings, markup, notes, add content, and more, or if you are a traditional person, you can use pen and paper to plan.
b) A computer: If your training course is about teaching Office programs, for example, or it is a course on design, you will need a computer with good capabilities in order to register from it.
c) Screen recording tool: If your course needs screen recordings, you can use a tool like Free Cam or Hitpaw .
D) Camera for photography: If you are going to enroll yourself in your courses, you will need to buy or rent a camera, such as: Canon 90D or Sony Alpha a6400, but if your budget does not allow, you can at any time shoot with your phone camera.
e) Microphone: You may need a microphone to ensure your audio quality when shooting or recording. You can use the Blue Yeti ‘s microphone or you can look for cheaper alternatives or even record from your phone.
f) Editing software: You will need some software to edit your videos , such as Adobe, Filmora, etc.
As for Muhammad, he did not have the ability to buy an expensive camera or microphone, as he is still at the beginning of the road, but it was not a problem for him.
Using his computer and using a screen recording tool, he made good videos, and all he needed to buy was a small and cheap microphone that he had to buy to improve the sound quality.
Step five: Create achievable learning outcomes
Before buying any online course, people wonder what they gain after completing the course? Ask yourself this question: What do you offer them in exchange for the money they will pay?
What is special about your course that is a real addition to clients, what solutions do you offer and problems that you can solve?
Therefore, one of the important steps in creating a training course is to write down the learning outcomes of the course, which is about making promises to the customer what he will get after purchasing the course.
Which is the content of the videos, existing units, add-ons, and the earnings he earns after completion.
Think about this question, could you give your money to someone in exchange for a product you don’t know and have no idea how good it is for you?
Of course not, so is the customer, that you know what the course will offer your students, it does not mean that they will know, if your students do not know how your course will help them, they are unlikely to enroll in it or buy it.
For example, answer these questions to tell your students what the course offers them:
What skills will they acquire after completing the course?
What knowledge will be added to them?
What problems does the course deal with?
By the end of the course the students will be able to what?
What is the added value to them?
What is special about your course?
And notice the image below that contains the learning outcomes, which is available on a Python language course on the Udemy platform under the title (What will you learn?)
As for Muhammad, he decided that the necessary outputs that will help him in attracting students and profit from selling the courses are:
How to find sources that will be used in writing articles.
Master the skill of writing articles.
Proofread and proofread the articles to ensure they do not contain any of these errors.
Learn about search engine optimization or SEO.
Dive into the SEO skills an article writer needs.
How to get a job writing SEO friendly articles.
This is so that, at the end of the course, the student is able to write a professional article from A to Z himself. He also confirmed that the course contains a practical aspect of reviewing, evaluating and reporting on students’ articles.
Step Six: Planning and Writing the Course
It is important to determine exactly what you are going to say to your students, as there are many topics within each field, no matter how small.
Of course, this factor includes the experience factor and the person’s knowledge of his field, but there are also many ways that will help you in formulating your ideas, such as:
Explore other competing courses.
Do a keyword research for your course and the questions your audience asks on search engines.
Review audience comments and opinions on social media and what they’re looking for on platforms like Reddit or Quora.
The Answer the public tool that will help you find out what people are asking about on a topic.
After all we’ve done, it’s time to create and prepare the content. Include valuable content recap of your previous experience with smooth, easy-to-understand explanations for students.
This is by writing content that helps students achieve the learning outcomes you wrote above.
Most of the time, the online course is a series of videos, but of course you can use other types of content such as images, PDFs, etc.
It is also recommended that you add quizzes and short exercises during the course to motivate your students and make them interact with you.
You will know for yourself what content to include in the course, but here are some tips that may help you in this matter:
Try to use stories as much as you can, the story will grab your students’ attention and make them interact with you.
It is okay to use humor and laughter in some parts of the course to break the intensity of learning and the scientific material, and jokes or specials may help your students remember the information.
Create your own language for the course and for your courses in general, because it will help you make your students remember you and will help you communicate the scientific material.
Repeat important information more than once, either in the same video or in other videos.
Try to make your course divided into a group of lessons separated by tests that measure the student’s mastery of the scientific material.
As for Muhammad, he first noticed what he was doing from the beginning of writing the article until its publication, and he wrote these various steps aside in order to return to it.
And then after that, he listened to the most famous courses in the field of writing articles compatible with SEO, whether Arabic or English.
Mohamed also stayed two weeks later on the pages and tutorials for this skill, and got to know more about what beginners want to learn to add to his course.
Seventh Step: Register the course
Once you’ve finished applying the final touches to your content and it’s ready to record, record the lessons in a quiet location and a steady background if you’re demonstrating in front of the camera.
Make sure that the audio and video are crystal clear to avoid problems and re-recording, and be sure to watch these videos before uploading them.
If this is your first time in front of the camera, do not worry and practice a little before you start shooting, and you can watch videos on YouTube to explain how to perform in front of the camera professionally.
As for Muhammad, because he records his computer screen, it was not difficult, and all he needed to do was to practice a little before starting to record.
Because he organized his course into a series of modules containing short videos interspersed with tests, he needed to film each episode separately so that it was only 7-11 minutes long.
Step 8: Edit the course
After recording the course, you will need to edit it, in order to look professional and also to add some effects that may help to deliver the scientific material and make the course interesting.
If you already know how to make a video montage, you can do this step yourself, but if you do not have experience, you can hire a specialist from freelance sites.
And in the worst case scenario, in the event that you do not have experience and do not have enough budget to hire a Free Lancer, do not worry, there are hundreds of explanations for montage programs on YouTube and course platforms.
You can learn about them and find the best resources to learn them through our guide: 14 Best Video Maker Programs and Resources to Learn them .
As for Muhammad, because his videos were short, and because he trained before starting to record them, he did not need to do very simple things in editing the course, such as deleting the parts in which he stutters.
The ninth step: Choosing the appropriate selling method and determining the pricing strategy for the course
And now with the ninth step, which is perhaps one of the most difficult of all, which is setting an appropriate price for the course you are offering.
The course should be priced at an appropriate value that is not low in order not to suggest that the course is not useful, and not high in order to ensure that a larger number of customers buy it, especially at the beginning.
But before this, you must know which of the online courses sale models you will use, namely:
Payment for the course: The customer purchases the course either through your website or through another platform such as Udemy.
Payment for membership: The student pays for a subscription or monthly membership in your courses or through a platform such as SkillShare, for example.
You can learn more about these methods, their advantages and disadvantages, and a lot of useful information by reading our previous article: How to Sell Online Courses (Secrets of Marketing and Selling Courses) .
As for pricing your courses, you should consider some factors that will help you set an appropriate price for your course:
1. Your experience as a coach
Your experience, your ability in your field, and your reputation is one of the most important factors that control the pricing process for your courses, which should be taken into consideration.
But you may initially consider lowering the prices a bit to attract a large number of students, or better yet, make discounts on the base price you set.
If you are starting out, you can also engage students by publishing free content such as short clips, e-books, podcasts, or other things.
2. The content and value of your course
Think about what your students get after completing your course. What value do you give them? What are the benefits and skills they acquire by the end of the course?
Going back to Step Five (Learning Outcomes) you will understand this point. If you are able to get your students to gain a certain skill that is in demand in the labor market, or they will be able to work in it soon, you will put an appropriate price on the value proposition.
You can also use value-based pricing to ask your first students what price they see as equivalent to the interest they received from the course.
3. Course marketing costs
Don’t forget to factor in your marketing costs when pricing your course, as what you’d spend marketing one low-cost course could be just as valuable as another expensive one.
So let’s do a simple math to show what you can earn after deducting the price of the paid ads on the course:
Let’s say you spend $100 on ads, 50 potential customers enter your sales page, and 5 people buy your $20 course.
So in this case, we calculate the rate of revenue minus the cost of marketing (20 x 5) – $100 = (zero), meaning that you have reached the break-even point without making a profit.
Whereas, if you raise the price of the course to $40, for example, your profit will be (5 x 40) – $100 = $100.
You can also raise the price of the course to more than forty dollars if there are other costs other than marketing, such as the costs of creating the course.
Other things to consider when pricing your course
Low price means no profits, high price means few customers.
2. Don’t make your course time short, or your students will feel that you didn’t give them the real value and demand their money back, it doesn’t make sense for a half-hour course to cost $200!
3. Make sure to put the price like this ($ 59 – $ 199 – $ 29), these numbers make the customer think in his subconscious that it is ($ 50 – $ 100 – $ 20)
4. You can set a specific price for the course, let it be $30, and increasing this price over time will be better than setting a high price the first time.
5. If the pricing of your training course is low, it will be difficult to find affiliate marketers because the profit margin is low
6. Think of your course as a bargain (if your students didn’t take the course how much time and cost would they have to teach the same thing?) This helps you set a reasonable price.
As for Muhammad our friend, he put his courses on the Udemy platform, as he found it to be the best and most appropriate method for him.
He will not need to create a website for himself and at the same time he can market his course through it, and the platform will allow him to reach many students whose marketing operations may not reach the course and buy it.
After comparing the prices of the courses in the field, he set an amount of $49 for the course, but because he was still starting his journey to profit from selling the courses, he decided to make a reduction for the participants in his course to be only $29.
He also made some of the videos of his courses open to those who did not join the course, and this is for the people who decide whether the course is worth paying their money for or not, and this is so that the largest number of them can enroll.
Step Ten: Marketing Your Course
Simply put, the course marketing stage is the process of persuading the student or visitor to buy your course and convert it from a stranger to a customer.
You should use the various e-marketing channels available to you that suit your target audience, which we think are the most important ones:
Persuasion is not done by chance or randomly, but it is necessary to plan well all stages of attracting the target customer and making him a real customer.
The marketing step of the course goes through four steps:
Awareness: The moment the visitor reads your post or advertisement about your course, and learns about the benefits and additions that he will gain after purchasing the course.
Attention: When you attract the customer to your course and make him interested in reading the ad and getting to know more details, this step depends on writing a distinctive and attractive ad text, but at this stage he has not decided to buy yet.
Decision: After he enters the sales page and decides to buy the course after he has been persuaded of it.
Action: Here he has already taken the step of purchasing, paying the cost and getting to know all the details about the course.
As for Muhammad, he decided that the best way for him to get started is to market his course on his LinkedIn page and on Facebook groups, in which he finds many beginners who want to learn to write SEO-compliant articles.
He tried to design his own customer journey, so for the awareness step he wrote a lot of non-promotional content for his course on writing SEO-friendly articles, and how they are important to every content writer and are a good business in the economic sense.
Then for the step of interest talk about how to get started in this field and master it well and then promote some of his course as a good source to enter this field.
Finally, in the decision step, he clarified all the detailed course features and learning outcomes on the course page in a way that makes it difficult not to purchase the course.
Eleventh step: Increase the value of your course
It is unique to make your course unique and distinct from the rest of the existing courses.
1. Prepare additional accessories for the course in the form of gifts for students, it may be (e-book, PDF files or audio files), and you have already presented your course in the form of videos. This diversity helps make the course attractive to students.
2. Add tests and training activities for students throughout the course, and if you divide it into small units, make there a test or training at the end of each unit, so that you keep them attentive and constantly interacting with you.
3. Continuously updating the content of the course and adding new updates and developments, this coincides with following up on the reactions of your customers and knowing what they need.
4. Offer private coaching sessions to students and offer them to speak with an expert and a professional trainer, this point may seem new, but it is very effective in the success of your course.
Have scheduled daily or weekly sessions to discuss students’ problems, address their pain points and provide solutions, via Skype or Zoom.
5. Create a private community for communication, most if not all coaches around the world create a community for their students to exchange knowledge and ideas and ask questions, create a private group on Facebook or Telegram to provide that benefit to your students.
6. Providing certificates for your students, in a moral sense. The certificate of completion of the course gives the student a sense of achievement and motivates him to take other courses later.
7. Putting positive evaluations of your former students and how the course helped them to reach and achieve their goals.
These seven things are precisely what Muhammad decided to do during his journey of profit from selling the courses, as he was keen from the first day to obtain the opinions of his students and develop the content of the course.
He also helped them and put a lot of time and effort in order to reach their goals and this is what made them write a lot of very good words about him.