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6 Reasons Why Photographers Should Sell Online Courses

6 Reasons Why Photographers Should Sell Online Courses

17 min read

There are many different ways you can monetize your skills as a photographer. For instance, you can sell photographs as stock images on websites like iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime.

Alternatively, you can use photo selling apps like Bylined, FOAP, and Agora Images.

But, one of the most lucrative ways to earn consistent income as a photographer is to package your knowledge into a course that you can sell online.

According to recent statistics, the global eLearning industry will reach $457 billion by 2026.

The industry is growing at such a phenomenal pace thanks to internet connections that are growing faster and faster. Also, people across the globe can more easily access mobile devices, making NOW the perfect time to create your own online course.

Photography is a specialized skill that lends itself well to this type of online business model.

Read the rest of this article to discover 6 reasons why photographers should sell online courses and how you can get started doing so right away so you can begin earning from your photography skills.

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Online Courses Are Relatively Easy to Create

Compared to most other methods of making money online, online courses are an easy way to generate revenue from your knowledge and skills.

And, with the right tools, you’ll be guided every step of the way, making a job even easier.

For instance, these days there are many different types of online course platforms designed to provide you with all the tools you need to create, launch, and sell your online course.

You can choose from:

  • Standalone Online Platform: This is a dedicated platform that comes with all the educational resources and support you need to create and sell your online course.
  • All-in-One Online Course Platform: This type of platform provides course hosting, website builders, sales tools, marketing automation, and various community management features.
  • Marketplace Online Platform: These types of platforms not only provide you with a way to arrange your online course, but also a ready-made audience to whom you can start marketing your new course.

In addition to being easy to create, online courses can provide a great means of expanding your digital marketing strategy to include new forms of pull marketing. Instead of trying to push products or services out to customers you can pull them in using your engaging and insightful courses.

Online Courses Are a Great Source of Income

Whether you choose a high price tag or a lower one, your course can become a reliable source of part-time or full-time income.

The best part about packaging your knowledge into a digital product is that you only have to create it once, and you can sell it to thousands or even millions of people.

Also, digital assets like this don’t cost a lot to produce, especially if you already have a lot of content that you previously created for your blog, social media, etc.

Also: 18 Digital Product Ideas For Almost Every Small Business

Online Courses Are Perfect for Customer Acquisition

As a photographer, you likely already have other products for sale, such as your images, videos, photographer services, etc.

You can invert the business model and use your online course as a way to build an audience of eager enthusiasts who will later go on to purchase your other products in the future.

One way to do this is to offer your online course for free, and then guide people down your funnel so they can become paying customers of your other services or products.

However, you can still make money from your photography course by packing it full of value and offering it at a low, affordable price that makes it a no-brainer for your target audience.

Online Courses Help Build Your Authority

As a photographer, you need to set yourself apart from all the crowd if you want to succeed in this popular niche.

There is so much online competition these days that in order for your ideal clients to find you, it’s important to establish authority and credibility as a professional photographer. An online course is a great way to do that, and share knowledge along the way.

By creating a high-quality course, you’ll showcase your knowledge and expertise on a particular topic, which will give you instant credibility and help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

You Only Need to Create the Course Once

One of the absolute best things about creating a digital product is that you only have to make it once. Then it’s yours to sell again and again for as long as you want.

So, even if it takes you a few weeks or months to create your photography course, once the work is done, it’s done.

You will then own a valuable digital asset that you’ll profit from for years to come.

You Don’t Need a Large Audience

For most businesses, success depends on having a large audience, most of whom you can convert into paying customers.

However, as a knowledge entrepreneur, audience size does not impact your success. You can convert your existing network and audience into paying customers, but even if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll still be able to find success from where you are.

The absolute best part about selling courses as a photographer is that you don’t need a huge audience to do it successfully.

With the right strategy, you’ll be able to build a consistent flow of customers to sustain and grow your photography business — even when starting with zero brand followers.

All you need to launch and build momentum for your new online course business is a small group of actively engaged potential customers who are a great fit for your target market.

The reason?

Having a small engaged audience with loyalty to you and your brand can often be more lucrative because they know, like, and trust you. Sure, big audiences can be great too, but just realize it isn’t a requirement for success.

And the best part? By creating and marketing an online course, you’ll benefit from a community of like-minded individuals that will develop around your product.

Later on, you can leverage this community to sell more products and services in the future.

Examples of Successful Photography Online Courses

As you’ve seen, there are many good reasons why you should start selling your photography online course.

But, if you need extra inspiration, here are a few examples of photographers with wildly successful online courses:

  • Zhang Jingna: Zhang has a popular course on Artistic Portrait Photography.
  • Lara Jade: Lara has a number of online video courses on CreativeLive.
  • Emily Soto: Emily has multiple online courses on a wide range of photography topics.
  • John Greengo: John offers a course on the fundamentals of photography.

These are some of the best photographers out there, but you’ll be surprised just how many random, subpar courses there are online that earn their makers a lot of money every month.

Now imagine just how much more successful YOU will be by creating a high-quality product that answers the needs of your target market!

How to Get Started Selling Photography Courses Online

Listed below are 5 steps to take in order to create and sell your own online course.

Step #1: Identify Your Target Audience

Think about the material you’d like to teach and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What type of person would buy your online course?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • What do they want to learn from the knowledge, expertise, or skills you wish to impart?
  • Which social media networks do they frequent?
  • What websites do they like to visit online?

Write down as many details about your “ideal” customer as you can. The more you know about who your target audience is, the easier it will be for you to market your online photography course.

More: How to Find Your Target Audience on Social Media

Step #2: Find Your Audience’s Pain Points

Your next step is to learn about the challenges faced by your target audience.

Successful marketing boils down to being able to identify their pain points, problems, challenges, obstacles, etc., and position your product or service as the perfect solution to help them achieve their desires.

For instance, an aspiring photographer might be dealing with workflow challenges, which gives you the perfect opportunity to create a course around helping them deal with this common pain point.

Other challenges photographers face might include:

  • Studio issues
  • Photo management
  • Finding clients
  • Being undervalued
  • … and so on.

Step #3: Create Your Course

Once you have a clear understanding of the type of content you want to create and who your ideal audience is, it’s time to create your online course.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to dive into the necessary step-by-step process for creating a photography course.

But, it’s important to know that most online courses are different and follow their own unique layout. However, regardless of the one you choose, you will need an outline or course map to ensure that your content creation stays on track.

Creating an outline is just the first step in creating your course content. It doesn’t have to be complex, just focus on organization.

Take the time to plan your content modules and lessons in bullet points to ensure that it flows well from beginning to end.

Here’s an example of how your course outline might look:

Week 1:

  • Introduction
  • An overview of contemporary creative photography

Week 2:

  • Getting to know your camera (shutter speed, aperture, ISO settings)
  • Practical assessment — photographic ideas

Week 3:

  • The rules of composition
  • Photographic ideas and practice and suggestions for improvements

Week 4:

  • Portraiture
  • Photo editing, cropping, enhancement, etc.

Week 5:

  • Landscape photography
  • Q&A — assignment progress review

Week 6:

  • The story in the series — creating interesting photos
  • Typology, Documentary, Diary Form, Travel, etc.

Week 7:

  • Printing and displaying pictures
  • Final feedback on photography assignments


Once you’re done outlining your course, you can then start writing your lessons.

Although the majority of photography courses contain video lessons, yours can be text, or audio-based, or a mixture of all three.

For the most part, successful photography courses are those that include different types of content media to appeal to different student learning preferences.

Step #4: Market Your Course

Your next step is to promote your photography course and get students to enroll. Marketing your course doesn’t have to be hard as long as you know who you are targeting and have a strong digital marketing strategy to help you get your course in front of your target market.

You might choose to use online course marketplaces like Udemy or Skillshare.

Or maybe you want to market it from your own website if you already have an existing audience.

There are a number of benefits of selling courses on your own website:

  • No need to share your revenue with online course marketplaces
  • You have total control over your course promotion and interaction with your clients
  • You can adjust your course content or duration as you like
  • Your website contributes to building your personal brand.

The fastest way to set up your website is to sign up with Ecwid Ecommerce. You’ll get a free site with a built-in online store. You’ll be able to sell your course via one of the ways:

  • If you have ready-made video lessons, you can upload video files to your website as digital products.
  • If you give lessons or train via an online conference in real time, you can upload a file with a link to your conference to your site.
  • If you do webinars, you can automatically invite your clients to a webinar when they make a purchase.

Learn more: ​​How to Start Selling Online Courses on Your Website

Alternatively, you might consider investing in affordable webinar software to host a free photography workshop that you can then use to try to convert your attendees into customers. Or, create a strategy that’s more focused on social media, email marketing, or even a hybrid mix of different marketing techniques.

The options are endless for driving traffic to your product, and they depend on your own preferences, marketing skills, connections, and a wide range of other factors.

Step #5: Test, Measure, Tweak, and Improve

This is one of the most important steps in running a successful online photography course business.

You can’t improve what you don’t measure, which is why it’s important to keep track of different metrics, such as:

  • Sales revenue
  • CAC (Customer acquisition costs)
  • Return on investment
  • Landing page conversion rates
  • Social media and organic traffic

By keeping track of these and other marketing metrics, you’ll be able to track your online course’s progress.

This way, you’ll gain insights into what’s working well and what isn’t so you can make the necessary changes to improve your course content and/or marketing strategy.

Ultimately, this will help you to increase your conversions and make more money from your online course.

You’ll also want to consistently edit your courses and test various strategies to see how you can best improve sales and other matrices. To assist in this process, you may want to use video editing software when creating your online courses. This will ensure that all of your courses are polished, professional, and tweaked to perfection


Whether you already have an existing audience or if you are just getting started, there are more than enough reasons for you to create an online course so you can start earning real, passive income from your photography skills.

The 5 steps outlined above are just a general guide for how to plan, create, and launch your new photography course.

And, if you follow these steps, you’ll create a wildly successful online course that will showcase your photography skills and help you earn a good income online.

Has this article convinced you that it’s time to start building your own photography online course? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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About the author

Ron Stefanski is a website entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business. You can learn more from him by visiting You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin.

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