How to Make Money Selling Courses Online? (11 Expert Tips)

Last Updated: 10 mins By: ThemeGrill Author

Learning how to make money selling courses online is just as important as creating the courses.

You might have a well-planned and creative course ready to be launched on your website. However, knowing how to offer online training and earn money through it can make or break the deal.

That’s why we’ve collected some smart tips for you to implement on your Learning Management System (LMS) website.

So, you’ll earn some side income as well as make significant profits through your online courses.

Things to Consider to Sell Online Course

Before we explore the tips that you can implement to make money selling courses online, here are a few things you must consider:

  • First, you need a well-planned strategy for creating, marketing, and selling online courses.
  • Decide on an excellent hosting platform to make money selling online courses. You can self-host them or rely on LMS services like Teachable, which will take care of your hosting. 
  • Use the best LMS themes to create a thriving online school. If you use WordPress as an LMS, you can utilize LMS plugins like Masteriyo to develop online courses with unlimited lessons and quizzes without hassle.
  • The content in your online classes must be appropriately structured and use suitable media, such as videos and transcripts.
  • Ensure you’re integrating safe and secure payment gateways into your system so students can buy your courses without hesitation.

If you’re starting the LMS journey, go through our detailed step-by-step article on creating an online course in WordPress

Proceed to the section below, where we’ve explained a few clever tips on how to make money selling courses online.

How to Make Money Selling Courses Online? (11 Expert Tips)

There are a lot of ways to make money selling online courses. However, one needs to know the simplest ways to do so.

We’ve put together 11 tips to help you effortlessly learn how to make money selling online courses. We advise you not to miss the last one.

1. Charge Up-front Fees For Courses

If you’re not interested in convoluted payment processes, a simple one-time charge works just as well for online courses.

Users might prefer lessons with up-front fees to buy the whole course directly before accessing it. This payment model appeals to students because it does not include hidden fees; they get what they pay for.

This straightforward transaction might be just what you need to boost your revenue from online courses.

Udemy Courses - How to Sell a Course

For example, Udemy does this well with its one-time fee premium courses. You can add the course you want to the cart, checkout, and access the full course without any extra charges.

2. Use a Subscription Model For Recurring Fees to Sell Online Course

Besides up-front fees, subscription models are the next popular payment system in the online business world.

Using this model, you can turn your online school into a membership site where users pay a monthly or yearly fee to subscribe.

Further, they’ll need to renew their subscription after this period to continue getting access to the courses.

This differs from the up-front fees since you’ll earn passive income every time a user renews their subscription.

For example, Skillshare uses a subscription model for its Teams Plans. Teams and businesses can pay yearly and access thousands of classes.

How to Make Money Selling Courses - SkillShare

This is the way to go if you’re looking for a long-term, steady source of income.

3. Charge For Course Certification

You may feel that premium courses do not attract enough customers. If so, why not charge for the course certification? 

This acts as a positive incentive for users to try your course. If they like the lessons and feel like they offer considerable value, paying for their certifications becomes worth it.

Take Coursera, for example. Most of its basic courses are free, but students must pay a certain fee if they want a certificate at the end of the course. It even offers University, MasterTrack, and Professional certificates.

Coursera Certificate Programs - Sell Online Course

So, you get users interested with free courses and make money through the premium certification.

4. Charge For Extra Downloadable Course Materials

If you offer downloadable course materials that allow students to delve deeper into the lesson topic, you might want to charge for them. 

Just like you pay for extensions of free plugins to add advanced features to your site, you can make your students pay for additional resources. 

How to Make Money Selling Courses

After all, you give them easy access to educational materials to further their knowledge. They get download links to valuable course resources for a small price—a fair deal, if you ask us.

5. Sell Your Products And Services Through Free Courses

We know free courses are significantly more appealing compared to premium courses. You can still make a profit through free courses if you have other products and services you can sell.

How to Make Money Selling Courses

For instance, you can create free courses using your product or your services. This helps drive leads and conversions to your products and services, increasing revenue.

If you already have a successful website, you can also create a freely accessible online school as an extension of your business.

This will naturally help market your products and services, increase brand awareness, boost conversions, and more.

6. Offer a Tier Payment System

Did you know? You don’t have to choose between two options: completely free or completely gated behind a membership wall.

The tier payment system offers a middle ground for you and your students. Here, you’ll offer some parts of the course for free. However, they must pay if they want to continue taking the rest of the lessons.

It’s like giving a free preview of the course and letting students decide for themselves if this course is what they need before they choose to pay for it. 

Another approach you can take is to provide some beginner-level courses for free while locking the rest behind premium access, just like Yoast Academy does.

How to Sell a Course

They will naturally buy the rest of the lessons if they find value in it.

7. Pre-sell Online Courses

If you don’t want to spend resources on a course and you’re unsure if it will sell well, consider adopting the pre-selling courses online tactic. 

Pre-selling online education means marketing the course before you even launch it.

How to Make Money Selling Courses

You can start by conducting a simple poll or survey to determine which online course topics are popular with your target audience.

A good WordPress survey plugin will help you achieve that in no time. You can create a simple or advanced survey form with a plugin like Everest Forms and place it on your LMS site.

After analyzing the responses, you can start preparing for the most anticipated online course. This way, you know what your users want and can rest assured that the course will sell.

During all this, you can promote the course through social media marketing, blogs, and more and build up the hype for when your online course is finally launched.

8. Offer Premium Consulting

The best thing about selling online courses is that there are more than one or two ways to make money. 

If you’d rather offer your courses for free, you can charge your students for one-on-one consulting instead.

You can schedule live sessions for interested students to discuss the course material, answer their questions, guide them through tricky sections, and offer further advice.

How to Make Money Selling Courses

This must be available only to students who’ve paid a specific fee for the premium consulting.

9. Sell Online Course Licenses

Another option is to sell course licenses to established online course-selling marketplaces and schools like Udemy and Skillshare.

You may feel like your website will take time to garner a significant audience. In that case, you can sell instructional videos online to popular teaching platforms instead.

Make Money Selling Online Courses

This eliminates the need for a platform to host your online course-selling business. You can create courses, sell their licenses to other parties, and make easy money.

There is no need to spend your time and budget on marketing and managing a profitable online school.

But why limit yourself to that? You can even sell course licenses while running a successful online learning platform. It’s totally up to you.

10. Advertise Your Courses Through Social Media

Advertising your courses is crucial to selling them. Without an audience, your courses may not reach potential users.

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc., are some platforms where you can reach more customers online.

How to Make Money Selling Courses with Social Media

You can have your users share your courses on social media platforms through their profiles and provide them with exclusive discounts. It’s also a good idea to run advertisements for your courses.

Targeting your audience is vital since different social media users can have different tastes. You’ll have to judge for yourself!

11. Get the Right WordPress Plugin

Many LMS plugins are in the WordPress repository, all loaded with extraordinary features. Thus, it might be difficult for you to choose one.

We’ve mentioned Masteriyo at the beginning of this article. Let’s discuss it in two lines.

Masteriyo - How to Make Money Selling Courses

Masteriyo is a powerful LMS plugin that allows you to create and sell online courses seamlessly and effortlessly.

The plugin has amazing features that help you easily follow the above-mentioned tips. Anyone, from an individual instructor to big-time institutions, can use this plugin for their business.

Additionally, it’s compatible with most WordPress themes and plugins on the market, allowing you to make your site even better for your users.

It’s responsive, securely coded, and updated regularly to make it accessible, secure, and up-to-date. You can explore its free version and later upgrade to the premium plans.

If you want to integrate this plugin into your site, here’s a guide on how to install a plugin!

FAQs Regarding How to Make Money Selling Courses Online!

What Are The Most Profitable Online Courses?

From our perspective, Web Development courses are probably the most profitable ones. However, you can explore the best niches for online courses if you’re looking for more choices to make money selling online courses.

How Can I Monetize Online Courses?

The best way to make money selling courses is to set up an LMS website using any LMS platform that supports payment gateways. You can then set up a payment process, and students may access your courses for certain fees.

How Can I Improve And Make My Courses Fun?

Apart from selling a course, you should consider making it enjoyable. We suggest entertaining the students by adding fun quizzes, games, etc. related to the course. You can also conduct surveys and polls to learn what the audience wants from our online course selling business.

How Much Does an Average Online Instructor Earn?

That greatly depends on the type of content you create, the fees you ask for, and many other factors. The average earnings from selling an online course vary from thousands to hundreds of dollars.

Wrapping Up with How to Make Money Selling Courses

Creating and selling courses online is one thing; making a sizable income out of it is another.

However, our tips on how to sell a course can help with your business strategy and help you earn money.

You can opt for up-front fees, premium course certifications, pre-selling courses, recurring subscriptions, and more. It’s totally up to you what fits your online school best.

Apart from this article, there are more posts about LMS on our blog that might interest you.

You’ll even find comparison articles like Teachable vs. LearnDash and LearnPress vs. LearnDash to help you choose the right LMS tool for your site.

To stay updated on future articles about LMS, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in the post may be affiliate links. So if you purchase anything using the link, we will earn affiliate commission.

ThemeGrill Author

We are a team of SEO copywriters and editors who work both individually and in the team. ThemeGrill author is where one of the editors here is working on one project personally. Write to us @themegrill_blog in Twitter.

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