Comprehensive Guide – How to Sell Online Courses From Your Own Website
Demand for online courses is constantly rising. The problematic situation of pandemics resulted in a heightened need for e-commerce and e-learning. Many bloggers, YouTubers, and other content creators decide on delivering content and attracting new members in the form of online courses. Therefore, we can observe the net-worth of online businesses skyrocketing – especially online course businesses.
The increasing popularity of online courses brought to life various online course creators and online course marketplaces. In times of social distancing, digital products became as saleable as physical items.
In this article, we will explain how you can sell online courses from your own website. We will cover the following topics:
- Ways to sell online courses
- What do you need to sell online courses?
- Marketing tools for your online course
- The advantages of selling courses online from your own website
- How can you create courses to sell online?
Read on and gain knowledge about the profitable selling and promotion of online courses from your own website. Learn about online course platforms and attract as many potential students as possible. Start today and benefit from selling your first online course!
Choosing a proper way to market online courses is the first step for a successful online course business. Most common are these three methods:
- Self-host website
- Hosted platforms
- Your own website
Each one offers different advantages and benefits. We will take a closer look at them and help you decide which one is most profitable.
If you feel up to the challenge, you can code the website on your own. However, it is overly complicated and very time-consuming. To self-host your own website
- Create your own membership site – we do not recommend this option if you are not a coding pro. It will be a very tiring and lengthy process, and you don’t need additional stress.
- Hire a professional web developer – well, a solution for no coding skill is hiring a professional. However, the major drawback of it is usually a very high cost. Self-hosting is supposed to be a low-cost option, which cancels out the point of choosing this method.
- Use a dedicated plug-in – standard WordPress plug-ins like LearnDash, WP Courseware, or LearnPress allow you to create your own course website. They are simply learning management systems (LMS) that will enable you to turn your material into course content. Unfortunately, designing a self-hosted WordPress site can be a very long-drawn-out process. However, your WordPress website requires a lot of backup in the shape of plug-ins. Acquiring every tool just to create your own website is a significant drawback and prolongs the entire process.
In addition, the self-host platform also requires purchasing a domain name, an extra checkout page linked to the safe payment processor and payment gateway. All of that leads to additional costs and a long process of creating your own online course marketplace.
Entirely on the opposite, there are online course platforms such as Udemy, Teachable, Thinkific, or Podia. Being ubiquitous media for selling tutorials and courses, they work like Amazon or eBay and offer various digital items (here: online courses) with different pricing and quality. The main advantage is them being user-friendly – very easy to use. Without more significant issues, you can create and sell your own courses.
However, you are being limited to the restrictions of the platform and lack of functionality. You need to adjust to their layout, fees and other downsides. Another drawback is that they work as sales pages – your course is shown next to your competitors’ courses. That makes it easier for potential students to scroll past your offer and, as a result, not to sign up. You are also forced to compete with your competitors’ prices, so sometimes you will sell your own course below the average price.
To conclude, hosted platforms offer only ease in use, but in return, they strip you from your freedom to design the layout, charge high fees and compare your offer directly with your competitors.
By now, you should know that to sell online courses on your own website, you need three things:
A tool to design your own website, not overly complicated, but that can rank for search engine optimization (SEO). It should be entirely adjustable and customizable. An intuitive and functional page builder will result in a fantastic web design that will attract new subscribers. Landing page – It can be a significant factor in your success. On average, a landing page has a conversion rate of 9.7%. But the better-designed landing page, the more people sign up for your website. You can include referrals on your landing page to deliver some type of user proof to encourage potential members to sign up.
Here is an example of an encouraging landing page created by Wealth Nation
In the era of online learning, choosing an appropriate online course design platform is crucial to your success in teaching. It would be best to have an intuitional layout, view your students’ achievements and progress or worksheets, and a face-to-face interaction solution. You should include webinars, video content, podcasts, or extra material to maintain a good learning experience. It would be best if the course builder offered many templates and step-by-step guides to bring your course ideas to life in the highest quality possible.
Secure payment processor
It would be best to find a safe and secure way to charge your members for payment plans. The perfect solutions are popular payment processing software – PayPal or payment gateway Stripe (it allows your students to pay directly with their credit card). For a minimal fee, you and your audience are guaranteed safe transactions.
At GroupApp, we provide you with all of the mentioned functions. With GroupApp, you can create an online community that you own. You will host your online courses and digital content inside your community and get paid through subscriptions and course sales. GroupApp allows you to improve the success of your online courses and enhance the learning experience by bringing your online course and community together under one platform. You can provide course participants with ongoing feedback, guidance, and community support quickly and exactly when they need it.
Your own website created with GroupApp is the best choice to maintain 100% ownership over your community and easily design, build and sell online courses. On your own doesn’t mean without our help. Focus on engaging with your members and making profits – we will take care of the rest.
Okay, so you now know how to create your online course website. Now it’s the time to promote it and make a big profit. Here are some tips on how you can get to as many people as it’s possible and attract potential members of your online course affiliate program:
Email marketing – especially email newsletters – sent to your audience surely help to promote your work by staying in touch with your fans. There is a wide range of available Email service providers such as MailChimp, Keap, ConvertKit (click here to read more about ConverttKit). They can boost your sales up and target potential members. They usually offer email automation and email sign-up forms, which can seriously enlarge your email list. You can determine what data you are requesting and embed forms on your website. Sign-up forms can be customized in multiple ways:
- Delivering a freebie – by adding a so-called ‘freebie,’ opt-in incentives, or content upgrades to your webpage, your audience is more eager to sign up for your content. You give them a free sample, and you can add another subscriber to your email list in return. You can set an incentive to be sent automatically whenever you gain a new subscriber. At the same time, when they click to download your ‘freebie,’ they double opt-in into your email list.
- Exit-intent pop-up – this type of sign-up form is perfect if you do not want to take up space on your page but be sure that your audience sees the option to sign up. You can set the time or action after your form pops up. It is the perfect option for gaining new email subscribers.
- Newsletter sign-up – with this method, you can build your email list with your newsletter. It is considered the best way to connect with your audience and the quickest and easiest way for fans to sign up for your newsletter list. Create ‘drips’ – a pre-written set of short, catchy messages that will raise interest in your audience and increase open rates
- Blog categories – if you have multiple content categories in your blog, you can create a new opt-in form for each one of them. It will become sort of a system helping you tag and segment new subscribers.
‘Pay-per-click (PPC) is an online advertising model in which an advertiser pays a publisher every time an advertisement link is “clicked” on. Alternatively, PPC is known as the cost-per-click (CPC) model. The pay-per-click model is offered primarily by search engines (e.g., Google) and social networks (e.g., Facebook).’ explains corporatefinanceinstitute.com.
It is a great option to promote your online course website on well-known platforms without paying a scandalous fee. You pay only when somebody interested clicks on to your advertisement. In other words, you pay only for potential new students who showed interest in your online course offer.
As mentioned before, an incentive is a fantastic way to encourage your potential members to opt-in to your email list. They will also be more willing to buy your online course if they get a sample beforehand.
A lead magnet (so-called ‘freebie’) can take up a form of an e-book, case study, demo version of a course, documents, etc. It will advertise your business and at the same time give people a view into your teaching methods, skills, approach.
You should also consider blogging. Attaching a sign-up form with a lead magnet at the end of a fascinating blog article will be like honey for bees. People will be more prompt to buy your online course if, after the quality reading, they are offered an incentive. Simply make them want more.
Use social media to both: beneficially promote your online course business and at the same time learn more about your audience.
Share your course content and engage with your community in different types of social media (Facebook groups, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.). Your audience will feel nurtured and taken care of if you give them the samples of your online courses and resolve their issues.
It is a perfect place for advertisement. You can use famous platforms (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) to promote your online course website. (previously described pay-per-click advertisement) Today most of these apps offer their own marketplace so that you can target a much wider group of people.
Creators very often forget about the importance of using social media to promote and interact with their audience. With GroupApp, you will never forget about fostering your community. GroupApp provides you with in-built community channels and topics. Create your own branded online community in minutes, invite your audience or customers, start discussions, ask questions, share premium content, and connect members with each other.
Significant difference from traditional learning is what drives people more to online classes. The constantly rising popularity of online courses results in many advantages. Online course business becomes a very profitable source of income and has no drawbacks for a smart business person. Here is the list of some of the pros of selling courses online from your own website:
After the initial effort of creating an online course and putting it on your website, you can just sit back and observe your bank account getting bigger and bigger. An online course is not a physical item, so you do not have to spend money on restocking it – you simply put out one online course and make a profit from it constantly. Selling online courses is a fantastic way to earn money on the side, and who knows – maybe you will be able to transition it into a whole source of income.
As the name suggests, online course is available to all the people on the internet. You are not being limited to the location of your audience. Everyone from around the world can sign up for your online course. With online courses business, location stops being the issue and an obstacle.
You can expand your business worldwide and make a significantly bigger profit. You reach the global audience and gain new members without worrying about shipment issues, different post office requirements, time zones, and multiple other problems that people selling physical products have to deal with.
As an online course business creator, you do not have to stick to a strict working hours regime. You can choose when or if you want to work, upgrade or make changes to your online course. Having your own website, courses, and various digital products allows you to be your own boss and set the most convenient schedule, adjusted directly according to your requirements.
For a well-disciplined person, time management should not be an issue – on the contrary, freedom of choosing working hours will be a relief for them. Start your own online course business with GroupApp, and do not be limited by 9-5 jobs ever again.
As we mentioned, an online course is a digital item that people can purchase several times. Therefore, there are no extra costs for restocking and creating a new product – you cannot run out of online courses!
The beauty of online course business is its non-physical aspect. You do not need any type of warehouse, storage unit, packaging, delivery contracts – nothing. It saves you not only a lot of money but also your precious time. Switching to digital products is profitable both financially and in the quality of your life.
With a Learning management system like GroupApp, managing your own website is a piece of cake. We provide you with all of the essential tools for you to create and sell online courses. The easy-to-use interface will save you a lot of time and let you use it to engage with your community.
Everything is designed to improve your work quality and manage your online community as quickly and conveniently as possible. In exchange for choosing us, you get 100% of ownership over your community and a fantastic platform to sell online courses from your own website.
We talked about accessing your own website whenever you want to, but we didn’t highlight the fact that you can do it wherever you want to as well. Manage your online course business and your online community from any place in the world.
Make your dreams come true and work from the home, beach, or even a cafe in Paris. Stop being limited by the standardized form of work and choose freedom. Start selling online courses from your own website. With GroupApp, you can create online courses wherever you want and design a healthy future for yourself – be your own boss!
Course design is the process of creating quality learning environments and experiences for students. Measurable learning outcomes, active learning, course materials, and proper pedagogy add to successful learning.
The main points of the course design are:
- providing access to information and course materials
- a considerate amount of interaction between students and a coach
- stimulation of critical thinking and independent deepening of knowledge
- creation of a friendly and supportive learning environment
In general, courses are the foundation of the educational process. In other words, the practical and well-thought course design equals students who are more prompt to learn, listen and think. Successful teaching strategy means achieving specific learning goals by students and, thereby, simultaneously fostering a positive learning experience. To learn more about the online course design process, check out our article: A guide to a perfect course design.
Choosing the right platform to design your online course may seem a little bit overwhelming. That is why we come to you with help and introduce you to GroupApp’s course creator,
We know that creating an effective and engaging online course might seem a little bit complicated, and that is why we come to help you with our easy-to-use online course builder. GroupApp delivers all of the tools you will need to create a high-quality online course. It has all of the features you may need to reach and please your audience.
GroupApp enables you to create and publish online courses directly inside of your online community. You can unify your online community with your online class for better community support and improve the learning experience.
It also gives you an option to manage your community from an admin dashboard, where you can manage members, moderate the content and track engagement and subscriptions metrics. It works as an LMS (Learning Management system) – tracks, automates, reports, and documents your online course delivery.
One of GroupApp’s advantages is accessibility. GroupApp offers a mobile-friendly experience for all devices, so you and your students can engage with the community from every device. It is available for all devices and platforms and both on iOS and Android.GroupApp allows you as well to connect with other media that will improve and automate your workflow.
In short, investing in GroupApp is investing in your future. Create and sell online courses from your own website. With our help, it will not be that scary after all. Sign up for a 14-day trial and start turning your knowledge into an online community business.