How to Make Money Selling Courses Online? (9 Tips)

How to Make Money Selling Courses Online

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. But knowing how to give online training and earn money through it makes or breaks 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 not just be earning some side income but actually making significant profits through your online courses.

Things to Consider for Selling Courses Online

Before we actually explore the tips you can implement for making a profit through online courses, here are a few things you must consider. 

  • First of all, you need to have a well-planned strategy for creating, marketing, and selling your course online. 
  • You must also decide on an excellent hosting platform to make money teaching online courses. You can self-host them or rely on LMS services like Teachable who’ll take care of the hosting for you. 
  • Use the best LMS themes to create a thriving online school. You can utilize LMS plugins like Masteriyo to develop online courses with unlimited lessons and quizzes without any hassle.
  • The content in your online classes must be appropriately structured and use suitable forms of media like videos, transcripts, etc.
  • Make sure you’re integrating safe and secure payment gateways into your system so that students can buy your courses without hesitation.

If you’re just starting out on the LMS journey, go through our detailed step-by-step article on how to create an online course in WordPress

You can then proceed to the section below, where we’ve explained 9 clever tips on how to make money selling courses.


How to Make Money Selling Courses Online? (9 Tips)

We’ve made earning a profit with online courses a few steps simpler for you by putting together the following tips. So, let’s go through them all one by one.

1. Charge up-front fees for courses

A simple one-time charge fee works just as well for online courses if you’re not interested in convoluted payment processes. Users might prefer lessons with up-front fees to buy the whole course directly before accessing it.

This payment model appeals to students because there are no hidden fees included; they get what they pay for. And this straightforward transaction might be just what you need to boost your revenue made from online courses.

Udemy Courses

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


2. Use subscription model for recurring fees

Besides up-front fees, subscription models are the next popular payment system in the online business world. Using this model, you get to turn your online school into a membership site where users will have to buy a subscription for a monthly or yearly fee.

Further, they’ll need to renew their subscription after this period to continue getting access to the courses. Naturally, this differs from the up-front fees since you’ll be getting passive income every time a user renews their subscription.

For example, Skillshare uses a subscription model for their Teams Plans. Here, teams and businesses can choose one of their three plans, pay yearly, and get access to thousands of classes.

Skillshare Team Plans Subscription Model

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


3. Charge for course certification

You may feel like you might not attract enough customers with premium courses. If so, why not just charge for the course certification? 

This acts as a positive incentive for users to at least 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 their basic courses are free, but, students must pay a certain fee if they want a certificate at the end of the course. They even offer University, MasterTrack, and Professional certificates.

Coursera Certificates How to Give Online Training and Earn Money

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


4. Charge for extra downloadable course materials

If you have downloadable course materials that allow students to dive deeper into the lesson topic, you might want to charge for it. 

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. 

Extra Downloadable Resources

After all, you’re giving them easy access to educational materials to further their knowledge on the topic. For a small price, they get download links to valuable course resources. 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. Well, you can still make a profit through free courses if you have other products and services you can sell.

Sell Products with Free Courses

For instance, you can create free courses on how to use your product or how to best utilize your services. This helps drive leads and conversions to your products and services, resulting in an increase in revenue.

If you already have a successful website, you can also create a freely accessible online school as an extension of your business. Naturally, this will 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 stay limited to these two options: completely free or completely gated behind a membership wall.

There’s a middle ground for both you and your students called the tier payment system. Here, you’ll offer some parts of the course for free. However, if they want to continue taking the rest of the lessons, they’ll have to pay for it.

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.

Yoast SEO Academy

Naturally, they won’t think twice before buying 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, you’re unsure will sell well, how about adopting the pre-selling tactic? 

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

Pre Sell Online Courses

You can start with a simple poll or survey to understand which online course topics are popular amongst 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 them on your LMS site.

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

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


8. Offer premium consulting

The best thing when it comes to 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 talk about the course material, answer their questions, guide them through tricky sections, and offer further advice.

Premium Consulting How to Make Money with Online Classes

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


9. Sell course licenses

Another road you can take is to sell course licenses to already established online schools and course marketplaces like Udemy and Skillshare. Suppose you feel like your website may not attract or take time to garner a significant audience. In that case, you can opt to sell instructional videos online to popular teaching platforms instead.

Skillshare How to Make Money Selling Courses

This eliminates the need for a platform to host your online courses. You can simply 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 other aspects of 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.


Wrapping Up

Creating and selling online courses in WordPress is one thing; making sizable income out of it is another. However, implementing the tips we’ve highlighted above into your business strategy should help considerably. 

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

Apart from this article on how to give online training and earn money, 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.

And 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.
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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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