Are you looking to offer premium content to your audience? Sell online courses from your own website.
Selling online courses from your own website is a great way to offer premium content and charge a small price for it. This way, you can make your content creation efforts more profitable and, in turn, generate more revenue for your brand.
In this article, we’ll go over the essential steps you need to follow to sell online courses from your own website.
Step #1: Brainstorm and validate online course content ideas
It’s very important to brainstorm and validate content ideas before you go on to fully commit your time and resources to create online courses. This helps you craft successful online course ideas that sell well and make your content creation efforts profitable.
There are many ways you can brainstorm and validate online course ideas. For starters, you can ask your community members questions and gather feedback about specific content ideas. This helps you better understand what kind of content your audience wants to see on your website and how you can help them solve their problems.
For instance, you can create content based on your audience’s pain points as a way to offer easy solutions to their problems. In addition to this, you can also ask them for examples of content or training material they’d be interested in.
Once you have a solid content idea on your hands, you can start creating your online course. It’s essential to first create an “outline” of the final content post. This helps you jot down the important points you want to include or remove from the final piece of content. You also need to decide the type of content you want to include in your online course. For example, are you looking to offer worksheets? Teach learners using videos? Use audio recordings to explain topics better? Or want to offer downloadable PDFs in your online course.
It’s useful to have online courses fully built and ready to go before you jump into the technical side of things like designing and optimizing your online course website. Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to offer a “Beta version” of your final online course just to try out how well your content resonates with your audience. This can be a great way to gain crucial feedback before releasing the final, full-fledged version.
Step #2: Decide on a solid online course plugin or service
Now with your online course ready to sell to your audience, you will need a self-hosted learning management system (LMS) or use a membership plugin. This will let you sell the online course on your own website. Depending on your budget and your tech-savviness, going for either option depends entirely on what you’re looking to achieve.
Membership plugins work by letting you offer premium content to subscribed users through a protected “members-only” area. On the other hand, LMS plugins let you create and sell online courses directly from your own website. For a better understanding between a self-hosted LMS and a membership plugin, you can go over our detailed guide on membership vs LMS plugins.
Let’s take a look at some of the best plugins for selling online courses:
LearnDash is an all-in-one solution for creating online courses designed by a team of highly qualified e-learning experts.
You can offer customers any payment gateways as you have access to over 300 plus payment processor options including PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout. You also have access to an intuitive course builder that lets you create unique learning experiences for your audience, even if you’re not very tech-savvy.
Pricing – LearnDash’s pricing starts at $159 for the Basic package.
Teachable is a professional course creation and selling platform designed to integrate with your existing site.
You can fully customize and create engaging online courses using the robust course builder. It also lets you track sales and other important metrics that let you improve and evaluate how well your online course is doing. The best part is that Teachable lets you accept international payments from over 130 different currencies. This lets you cater to learners from all around the globe without worrying about currency restrictions.
Pricing – Teachable is free to use with the core features but if you’re looking for more advanced features, you can subscribe to the Basic package that starts at $39 per month.
LifterLMS features a powerful online course platform that’s not only user-friendly but is also feature-packed out of the box.
LifterLMS lets you create multimedia lessons using an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop online course builder. You also have access to advanced features such as dripping content, adding course tracks, setting prerequisites, or using quiz timers for your online courses. This helps you create engaging online courses and offers a unique learning experience.
Pricing – You can get the Individual Add-Ons bundle for $120 for one site per year.
Also, be sure to check out our round-up of the 15 Platforms to Create and Sell Online Courses.
Step #3: Optimize your site to sell online courses on
Other than using an advanced plugin to create and sell online courses, you need to optimize your own website to better sell online courses. For starters, it’s important to choose a solid hosting provider that keeps your site always active and can handle a higher traffic load. This is important for making sure your site can handle excessive site traffic and still process requests quickly.
It also ensures that your online course website is always online and easily accessible by all users. This way, you don’t miss out on any sales. Some great hosting providers include Bluehost, Dreamhost, and SiteGround.
It’s also essential to protect your online course website using an SSL certificate. This is important if you’re selling online courses through your own website. An SSL certification on your online course website helps protect and keep customer data safe.
Step #4: Convert site visitors to paying learners
Once your online course website is properly set up with everything you need, all that’s left to do is create the important pages.
These are some of the pages that are important to include on your online course website:
- Sales page. The sales page is where site visitors can view and purchase online courses on your website. It’s a great idea to offer a neat-looking, distraction-free sales page with a big call to action buttons to encourage more purchases.
- About us page. The about us page essentially tells site visitors more about your brand and the values your business stands for. This can help site visitors or your audience get to know you better and trust your brand more.
- Testimonials page. Including a testimonials page is a great way to encourage more people to purchase your online course. By displaying other customers’ reviews and feedback on your online course website, new site visitors will have an easier time trusting your online course and your brand. As a result, this can lead to more sales and build brand loyalty.
Other than creating pages to convert site visitors, you can also maximize conversions on your website by offering an easy-to-navigate order form. An “order form” lets your customers fill in their details themselves when checking out from your online store. This way, it makes it easier for them to quickly purchase more products at a later date without having to enter their details again.
In addition to this, you can also send abandoned cart emails to users who forget to check out from your online store or for users who leave items in their cart and leave your site without checking out.
Step #5: Monitor important metrics
To get an idea of how well your online course and your website is performing, you can measure and monitor important metrics such as page speed, responsiveness, and sales. This helps you identify problems or potential bottlenecks so that you can keep improving your content and your online course website.
Measuring website performance is also important if you want your web pages to rank higher in users’ SERPs. This way, people who search for your content can quickly jump to your site as it will be listed higher up in their search results. For measuring website performance, it’s best to use the PageSpeed Analytics test.
While creating an engaging online course is a challenge, it can be even harder to sell them from your own website, especially if this is your first time doing so.
Creating an online course that delivers value to your audience ensures people pay you and come back for more. This is why it’s important to brainstorm content ideas and validate them before creating online courses to sell to your audience. Once that’s out of the way, you should look for a robust online course plugin to create and sell online courses. In addition to this, it’s also important to optimize your website for selling online courses and tracking important metrics.
Are you thinking of going with an LMS or membership site plugin to sell your online course? Let us know in the comments box below.