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Online Education Business: Discover the Best Platform for Selling Your Courses Online

18 min read

You’re an expert in something, a guru. a connoisseur, a maestro. You’re adept, experienced, and talented (or good at faking it.). You have something to say about your skill and knowledge, and people want to listen.

But one thing you’re not an expert in is creating and selling online courses — and that’s okay. We’re all here to learn and grow, both online and off. So, in that case, welcome to our free online course, on building and selling an online course.

How to sell online
Tips from e-commerce experts for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
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What’s an Online Course?

Maybe a “duh” question, but let’s set some groundwork here. First, what is an online course? Typically, it is a course used for any study inside a computerized environment (typically on the Internet).

Thanks to the recent pandemic, many colleges and universities have pivoted towards more online courses, or what they refer to as “distance learning.” Whether or not you consider in-person classes superior to online courses, you can credit the recent boom in online classes to the credence lent to them by respected educational institutions.

An online course might be something as simple as an instructional video or may include reading materials, projects, quizzes or exams, interaction with other students or the instructor, exercises with an instructor on camera (or access to videos of an instructor demonstrating exercises), etc.

Why online education?

The world is changing, and online education is a rapidly expanding market. College costs continue to rise as the job market shrinks. As a result, online education is growing, not just in popularity but in necessity. People are looking for flexibility in their work lives and their personal lives; they’re looking for alternative education and training models.

Education in the Information Era

We live in the information age, and it’s not an overstatement to say that access to information is one of the most powerful things in the world. If you have information, you can make educated choices. You can educate yourself. Education is power.

What is “education”? For most of us, education has meant sitting at a desk in a classroom for many hours per day. We’ve spent years memorizing dates and names, learning how to solve math problems, reading assigned books, writing papers with specific formats and topics, etc. However, much of that model is changing. (And you know what? It’s about time.)

How Profitable is Selling a Course Online?

You want to earn money online from the comfort of anywhere; you’re not alone. The Internet is the perfect environment for selling education and training courses. It’s the information age, and baby, consumers are consuming.

Everyone is plugged in and ready to download your course, and their numbers will continue to grow, particularly in the younger age groups. There is also a growing market for high-quality content in general; there is clearly a need for credible and entertaining information to be shared with the reader.

For the most part, a qualified and experienced instructor can undoubtedly make a decent living by providing compelling information and instruction.

The DIY Approach to Creating Courses

Alright, let’s get down to brass tacks. How do you create and sell your online course?

  • Focus on your particular skill
  • Invest in your course
  • Choose a platform
  • Market
  • Profit

Focus on your specific skill

You want a skill to be marketable; something people want to learn and like to learn cheaply. Coding is a popular one, investing and money management, and maybe underwater basket weaving. (We’re pretty sure about that last one.) Whatever it is, make sure you focus on it as tightly as you can.

It helps if you’re a teacher or an expert, but anyone can succeed with solid, thoughtful research. A solid focus on a niche can be its own kind of marketing, highlighting a fascinating new skill and making a prospective student excited to learn it. As a general rule, keep your focus narrow and your audience broad.

Invest in your course

You can provide all the best tools for your students and still not get the results you want. If you want people to see your course as a valuable purchase, you want them to see it as something well-made and attractive. If it looks like crap, people won’t take it seriously as a form of education.

So invest in it. If you’re going to create a valuable course, be sure to spend some time with research and planning so that it is good information and well-presented. It would help if you were willing to spend money upfront hiring a graphic designer and an editor. Optional, but they’ll definitely be a boon to your process, as the course won’t take shape without resources like this.

Not just that, but you should be willing to invest in quality equipment: cameras, microphones, that kind of thing. Very few people on the Internet could get away with a course filmed on their iPhone. You want your course to appear professional, instead of people potentially viewing your course as a glorified TikTok.

Choose a platform

Sure, you can build your own website and stick your course on there. But that’s not an option for everyone and arguably not the best choice either way. You want something that will draw customers, a platform people trust and feel comfortable using, something that doesn’t mean building everything from scratch and doing all the marketing yourself.

Not only is all this difficult, but it’s also expensive. Take it from us: you’re going to want to pick an accessible platform for you to use. Suppose you are creating the course yourself without the help of experts. In that case, investing time and money into an intuitive and easy platform will save money and time in the future.

Market your online course

Connect with people on social media, build an email list, market with press releases, and network at events. All of these tactics will help you to gain traffic to your site. In addition, many platforms market online courses themselves, which is a great way to gain traffic from qualified prospects at no extra cost.

A platform like Ecwid is valuable because you can market on several social media and other sites through us. For example, you can advertise on Instagram but manage it directly through Ecwid. That’s easy marketing and easy money, made simple.

What Kind of Platforms Are There?

Social media

There are many great social media tools available to help you with selling your online education. You can use them to further your presence in the world, but don’t forget that they are also a great way to communicate with people when you are offline. In addition, many social media tools are free, which is perfect for small businesses that don’t have a lot of capital to invest upfront.

You can use Facebook groups to discuss topics related to your courses with other learners. Also, there is a wealth of information on Facebook groups about video production and distribution if you’re willing to search through the results.

Social media is a great way to keep in touch with your students and your community and get information out there about your courses. It’s a unique feature, and the fact that most people use it for free makes it an excellent resource.

Facebook video creator

When choosing your platform, finding a Facebook video creator would be a compelling choice. It allows you to create videos directly from your page, or you can upload your video files. In addition, you can easily schedule your videos to be published on Facebook at the time of your choosing.

But its features are fantastic and enable you to create quick videos. Also, Facebook has built-in analytics tools that allow you to see where your viewers are coming from and who is viewing your videos.

Instagram video creator

An Instagram Video Creator is an app wherein you can use your account to create videos or upload videos from your computer or phone. You can easily schedule when the video will be published, change the size of the video, and add a caption right in the creation tool. This is a powerful marketing tool, and you’ll want to find a platform that offers it. Don’t sleep on Instagram: it’s one of the most popular social media sites.

Other video content creators

A platform that comes built-in with any kind of video creator is a huge plus. You can take these videos and upload them to a site like Youtube. You can create promotional videos or  and this is important — the core of your course itself.

If your course is video-based, you can build and manage it entirely from within the platform. Video is a great way to educate people, and you can use it in the marketing of products and services too.

The Ecwid solution

It’s all about building and utilizing connections. We don’t mean to brag, but in our opinion, Ecwid is the ideal platform for using social media to your advantage. You can set it up and manage it all from Ecwid without having to flip back and forth from the different platforms themselves and manage your advertising and videos.

We have free video tutorials for this and other topics, a learning center, and a lot of additional helpful information. It’s the best way to learn how to use social media platforms like YouTube for video marketing.

Marketplaces

Marketplace platforms have their pros and cons. For instance, many marketplace platforms (such as Udemy or Skillshare) come pre-equipped with a base of potential students, limiting the amount of marketing you’d need to do to be successful.

On the flip side, there’s not a lot of wiggle room for customization. You more or less have to follow the provided parameters (which, in their defense, are pretty much engineered to be successful). You’ll be a selection in a catalog of potential courses for subscribers to peruse and choose from.

Some popular platforms include:

  • Ecwid (we’re very humble)
  • Udemy
  • Skillshare
  • Teachable
  • Podia
  • Thinkific
  • Kajabi

Freestyle tools

We’re using the term “freestyle” here to indicate that it’s pretty much up to you how your course looks and feels on platforms like these. In fact, you’ll have to do pretty much everything from scratch, including marketing.

If you’re particularly computer savvy, this might be the right option for you. A notable example of this kind of platform is WordPress. You’ll be in charge of everything, from coding to setting up payment options.

Blogger is another platform that you can use to teach and share information. You can create and sell your own courses on your website or blog, and you can also promote classes you’d like to share on other sites. After completing your system on a blogger platform, you will be able to post new content related to the content of your course regularly.

Discovering the Right Online Platform for You

The most important criteria for choosing an online platform include:

  1. User-friendliness
  2. Technical Ease
  3. Price
  4. Customization

User-friendliness

Can you use the tool intuitively, without too much trouble? More importantly, will your student base be able to navigate your course easily? How does it look? Is it clean and attractive, or cluttered and ugly? Before building a class, it’s essential to know how it will look to prospective students. The user interface (UI) is the first thing you’ll want to experiment with and make sure it works for you and your target audience.

If you’re trying to decide between two or three products, and they’re all relatively close in terms of price, look at their UI and try them out for a bit. Which one do you like better? Which one is easier to use? Is there anything about it that makes it attractive or unattractive to you?

You might also choose a platform that utilizes the design elements that best fit your personality or brand identity. If drag-and-drop builder functions are available, start playing around with them if it isn’t too tricky.

Technical ease

Do you have to deal with a lot of complicated coding when editing your page, or is it an easy process using drag-and-drop functionality? What are the limitations for customizing your page, and what are the options available to customize it?

If you aren’t tech-savvy, it might be tricky to figure out how to make the course look how you want it to look. So before committing to a platform, try building a dummy course (utilizing a free trial, if you can) and see what challenges you run into along the way.

Price

How much will you have to pay to use the platform? Do you need to pay for customization or other features? Can you get a discount for paying in bulk or paying frequently? How will this affect the price you will ultimately have to charge your students?

Customization

What are the limitations for customizing your page, and what are the options available to customize it? Is the platform rigorous in what you can do or not do? For some platforms, the main focus is building their own brand rather than letting you make yours.

Why Ecwid?

Now Let’s see how you can utilize these criteria towards a virtual platform, like Ecwid.

User-friendliness of Ecwid

Ecwid’s model includes an all-access control panel, so you can build all aspects of your course and then control it from one accessible location. Additionally, there are tons of templates available for download for free, so you can choose the design you like best.

Ecwid allows you to edit your design without making any coding changes easily, so it’s really user-friendly. The Ecwid platform has a clean interface, so there’s not a lot of complicated coding, which is good for those of us who aren’t tech-savvy. You can build and manage your course using only the provided tools, as well as teach and promote it to your audience using social media.

Technical ease of Ecwid

What’s cool about Ecwid is that we can reach out through the whole Internet, including your personal website, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and more. Our control panel makes managing your marketing on these disparate websites feasible, including building and managing your course. Market options include Google advertising, Facebook advertising, and Search Engine Optimization.

Price of Ecwid

We don’t know about other platforms, but we at Ecwid offer a limitless free trial. Yeah, that’s right — it’s free for as long as you want it to be. That’s enough time to get yourself situated and raking in the dough from your terrific course.

Ecwid is free for building your courses, but the cost of having your own website will depend on which web hosting service you choose. From there, it’s up to you to set up and manage the rest. If you’re not tech-savvy, though, we can certainly help!

Customization on Ecwid

On Ecwid, we let you build and sell your course as you want. We’ll help you every step of the way. Let us be the foundation you need for your small online business to grow and thrive for years to come.

Yay! You have finally made your first step towards living your dream—the next step, rolling in your giant piles of money, Scrooge McDuck style.

Do you want to learn more about selling online courses online?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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