Online learning is the need of the hour now, and it is here to stay with so many online course platforms available. There were only a handful of websites that offered online courses a decade ago, but now you have many platforms you can choose from.
Selling courses is a great way to make money online, sharing your expertise with your students. In fact, the e-learning market is forecast to surpass 243 billion US dollars by 2022.
With everyone turning to online learning, there is a huge demand for comprehensive online courses in every niche. If you have a good knowledge of a topic, there is a good chance you could make a side business out of course creation.
How do you create a course to sell online?
Well, this is the first question that will pop in your mind if you are passionate or knowledgeable about a specific niche.
Here are some simple steps to start creating profitable courses:
- Choose a niche or topic that you are passionate about. Creating online courses is all about sharing your knowledge with your students. Being an expert in what you teach and picking a topic that resonates with your audience are the keys to making a successful course.
- After choosing your niche, it’s time for the core part of the course creation; that is, actually creating your course. This is, by far, the most important part of course creation. You need to create your course content so that it is a perfect learning resource in your topic. Keep in mind that it must be a comprehensive and engaging resource that helps your students learn everything about the niche.
- Once your content is ready, choosing your course platform is the next step. With so many choices, you can select the platform that suits your needs and budget. Most of the course creation platforms give you training/support to help you build your course.
- Promoting your brand-new course comes after your course creation is done. Whether you have a blog or just want to promote your course through social media, getting the word out so you can reach your target audience is the key.
What should you look for in an online course platform?
- An excellent online course platform should have many features that help you create the courses and help the end-user (your customers) access them.
- It should have an easy-to-use interface that gives you the ability to create courses, worksheets, assignments, etc.
- It should have easy and flexible payment options.
- As a course creator, you should be able to track your sales and commissions with a clear summary.
- The platform should be reasonably priced.
- The platform should have very good customer support.
- This is a significant factor to look for when you are choosing a course creation tool.
Here are the best online course platforms:
With over 100,000 course creators, it’s easy to understand why Teachable is a popular choice for creating and selling online courses. As a course creator, you have a lot of freedom to cater to your audience when using Teachable. You can create videos, assignments, quizzes, and even course completion certificates.
Teachable also wins points when it comes to payment options. It offers coupons, subscriptions, memberships, bundles, and a lot more features. It even takes care of the EU VAT.
It has three plans ranging from $29 to $249 per month (billed annually), with the $99 plan best suited for beginners. The $99 and $249 plans have no transaction fees and include coaching and course products as well as priority product support. However, the $29 plan does have a 5% transaction fee.
If you are new to course creation, then Teachable is the best place to start your business because of its affordable prices and support features.
Sign up to start creating your unique courses with Teachable.
Kajabi is another winner when it comes to online course creation. As well as many of the content creation features that Teachable has, Kajabi also offers unique designs for course page builders, making it a better platform for promoting your course.
It also offers great customer service and in-depth training resources once you join, under Kajabi University. One of the best features of Kajabi is you can access your platform via its Apple or Android app.
It offers a free 14-day trial period. Once you have finished the trial, you can sign up for one of its three plans, which are billed annually. Its Basic, Growth, and Pro plans cost $119, $159, and $319 per month, respectively. It doesn’t have any transaction fees for the courses.
Just like Kajabi, Thinkific has a lot of options to create and sell your online courses easily, even if you are a beginner. It has some amazing, easy-to-use templates that help you make your course without any hiccups.
You can use any content like text, video, voice-over presentations, quizzes, surveys, etc.
The biggest advantage of Thinkific is the ease with which you can create your course from scratch. You can add your content and build your website with the click of a button without needing any technical expertise. It even makes the marketing side of the course creation a breeze with its full suite of business tools.
What sets Thinkific apart from other course platforms is that it has a FREE plan that allows you to create three courses and have unlimited students. This is a great way to test how your first attempt at course creation goes. In addition to the free plan, Thinkific offers Basic ($39/mo), Pro ($79/mo), and Premier ($399/mo) plans.
Thinkific also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is a big plus.
Sign up for Thinkific to create your first course.
If you are searching for online course platforms that offer a one-stop solution for your course creation, dig into LearnWorlds. This platform offers highly customizable templates and widgets to help you gain more attention. It also offers a lot of student engagement tools like tests, quizzes, assignments, and a chance to design and develop your own branded digital certificates.
It’s truly easy to design and create your first course with LearnWorlds with its in-depth online resources and support.
It has a 30-day free trial for newbies, but there is a $5 fee per course sale. It also offers three tiers of paid plans, Starter ($24/mo), Pro Trainer ($79/mo), and Learning Center ($249/mo). The two higher tiers offer many features, including unlimited landing pages, custom certificates, and membership sites, and these tiers do not have any transaction fees.
Sign up here to get started with LearnWorlds.
Another uber-popular platform to create and sell courses online is Udemy. Though Udemy might not have many customizable options to create courses, it is great to test your first course idea because your course will get a high level of exposure with Udemy.
The biggest advantage with Udemy is it’s totally free to create courses on this platform, and the process is pretty simple. Once you sign up and submit your course, it’s reviewed and published. Keep in mind that most Udemy courses are video-based and must be at least 30 minutes long.
Udemy also takes care of the marketing side of your course. You can use its promotional features to get more exposure for your courses.
It’s free to create and host a course on Udemy, but it has a rev-share model that’s explained here.
Podia is particularly an excellent choice if you want to create deep engagement with your students through features like webinars and a membership. Its course builder is pretty user-friendly. With Podia you can create a dedicated storefront for your courses.
The only drawback with this platform is it does not have student engagement features like quizzes, assignments, or certificates. Overall Podia is a good place to start if you are new to course creation.
The pricing is also very simple with Podia. Along with a free trial, it also has two plans. The Mover plan costs $39/month and the Shaker plan costs $79/month. One of the best things about Podia is you don’t pay any transaction fees for your courses. Learn more about Podia’s pricing here.
Whether you are a creative nerd or a finance pro, you can easily share your knowledge with Skillshare’s money-making courses. Skillshare has a large audience who are mainly into creative learning. Creating courses is a breeze on Skillshare; head over to the website and start drafting a class. The classes are made up of video lessons, which are around 30–40 minutes in total length, and class projects.
Skillshare works best for course creators who are in niches like photography, drawing, illustration, freelancing, design, etc.
Your earnings through Skillshare are mostly through royalties that you earn for the number of minutes Premium students watch your classes. You can also earn a referral fee of $10 for every student who signs up for Premium membership.
If you are not a fan of stand-alone learning management systems (LMS) and want to create a course on your WordPress site, then LearnDash is the way to go. LearnDash is a popular plug-in trusted by universities, Fortune 500 companies, and other organizations to create and sell their online courses. It has all the features and more of a dedicated LMS platform and offers a lot of options for monetizing your courses.
It offers three plans: Basic ($159), Plus Package ($189), and Pro Package ($329). Keep in mind that these are all annual payments, which makes LearnDash the best choice for beginner course creators. All three plans offer a demo site template and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Another easy course creation platform for beginners is Ruzuku. It offers a lot of premium features like hosting and streaming audio and video; hosting and displaying PDFs, Word docs, PPT, and other files; hosting video broadcasts with slides, group chat, and automatic recording; and more. Its course builder makes it easy for anyone to create courses in minutes. It is also known for its incredible support and training resources.
Ruzuku does not charge any transaction fees on any plans, and it offers unlimited video, audio, and data hosting along with unlimited courses on every plan.
It has three plans: Bootstrapper ($74.75/mo), Up-and-Comer ($83.08/mo), and University ($125/mo). If you want to test this platform, you can sign up for its 14-day free trial and test the waters. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not happy with the platform.
#10. Academy of Mine
Academy of Mine is for serious entrepreneurs who want to create highly customizable courses online. The biggest, and probably the best, feature of Academy of Mine is the flexibility with which you can personalize your course website. It offers many options like timed quizzes, assignments, certificates and badges, gamification, interaction with you and other members via forums and discussions, and much more. A dedicated account manager with 24/7 support is one of the perks of using this platform.
This platform is more suited to large organizations or businesses as the pricing is on the higher end.
It has only one price: $9,997 per year. You can request a free trial and demo if you are interested in going ahead.
WizIQ has an advantage over other course creation platforms as it features HD live video conferencing and focuses on live learning. It has many features like in-depth analytics for course creators and students, a course builder where you can create courses in minutes, a mobile app for on-the-go learning, etc.
Its pricing starts from $25/month, which is quite affordable if you are just starting. Its pricing tiers are Professional, Enterprise, and Pay-per-Use.
If you are unsure about it, you can start its 14-day free trial and see how it goes.
#12. Zippy Courses
Another easy and flexible course creation platform is Zippy Courses. You can create and sell your courses in no time with this easy-to-use platform. There is no limit on how many courses you can create, and it integrates with a lot of email providers like ConvertKit, AWeber, Infusionsoft, Drip, Constant Contact, and more.
It has two pricing plans: Standard ($99/mo) and Professional ($199/mo). Neither plan has any transaction fees.
No matter what you are interested in, if you are passionate about your niche, you can create a successful online course to make money. With so many flexible and customizable course creation platforms, you can create and sell a profitable course online to your students.