Online Course

How to Make Money from an Online Course – In 7 Simple Steps!

The internet is used to complete many tasks. It is where people go for entertainment and to socialize, but the internet is also a place commonly searched by people who seek knowledge. If people have a question about anything and I mean anything, they turn to the internet for answers.

Most of the time it is to ask quick questions like “How many cups is a stick of butter?” or “Who plays tonight?”, which requires no more than a one word answer, but often people ask a question like “How can I grow an online business?”, a question that would require a lot more to answer.

This is when an online course would come into play. Making a course is very simple, and you don’t need to be a professional writer or a teacher to make one, anyone, and I mean anyone can make one, here’s how.

1. Choose a TopicTopics

The first step and the most obvious step is to choose a topic in which you will base your course on. It should be something you are interested in, it doesn’t necessarily have to be something you know everything about. You will need to learn everything about it, so make sure that you are very interested in the topic.

If you need help picking your topic, I would recommend that you make a list of things you are interested in and some things that you enjoy doing and already know a little about, then with that list, think about things that more people would search more often to narrow it down.

If one of your hobbies is chess strategies and the other is math help, use common sense and come to the conclusion on which one would get more searches. When you get to the point where there are like 2 left and they are pretty evenly popular, just pick the one you like better and if you can’t decide, pick the one you know more about already, it will help you with the next step.

2. Do Your ResearchResearch

With your topic picked out, it is time to learn everything there is to know about it. Yes, you need to become an actual expert on what you plan to make the course on. You need to learn everything there is to know about the topic you chose. Once you feel confident that you know your topic well, you should move on to the next step.

I just want to make something clear, yes, I did go through this step rather quickly, but this step is a lengthy one and will take quite some time. Don’t just think you can sit down for 20 minutes, read an article and then know all you need to know. Take this seriously, read a book on it, spend around a week on your research, then when you think you are ready, move on.

3. Create Your Course OutlineOutline

Once you have a solid idea on everything, you must now determine what you are going to put in your course and how you are going to lay it out. The content that you will be creating will be unlike that of a blog post like this, it will have to thoroughly go through everything and explain it in great detail.

When attempting to organize your course, try to break it up into modules about overall sub-topics, with lessons providing further detail into the subject. For instance, if you have a course based on starting a website, you might have a module about setting up a website, and a lesson within that module would be about buying a domain.

Another thing you should do before getting into creating the actual course is how you are going to deliver your lesson. A lot of people think that online courses must have a variety of teaching methods (text, video, worksheets, etc) when this is simply not the case. Just pick a format or two that you think is best for what you are trying to teach.

4. Create Your LessonsLessons

This is without a doubt the most important and most time-consuming process in making an online course. I can’t really help you out in this step that much, I don’t know what your topic is, but feel free to check out and check out some courses there to see some ideas on how to do yours.

When you are done, check over your lessons, make sure they are exactly how you want them and change them if they aren’t. Also, maybe have a friend or family member try out the course and see how they like it before publishing, take some of their advice and fix some errors your didn’t catch. With your lessons written, it’s time to head to step 5.

5. Sell Your CourseOnline Course Selling

Great, your course is done, but how do you want to sell it?  There are multiple ways of going about doing this, a very popular way that people use when they want the most control of their course is to host and deliver their lesson themselves. There are plenty of membership site scripts and WordPress plugins that can help set up a system for selling and delivering your course to people.

That may take you a while to set up and will definitely take some technical effort, so if you are looking to get your course out there in an efficient manner, then I think your best option would be via a course service such as Udemy or Skillshare.

However, there is a huge drawback to these types of sites and that is that they take a fraction of the money the course makes. If the sale was generated from its marketplace, they take a hefty chunk, but if the sale was generated directly from you, like someone clicked on a link to your Udemy from you referring it to them, they would take less.

The benefit to these courses is the fact that you can easily upload your course and the site takes care of selling it for you and the whole payment process. Also keep in mind that you can sell on multiple platforms, you aren’t restricted to using only one.

The downside is that your competing with other course providers, which may mean that you need to reduce the price of your course if you want to make the sale.

But we live in a world where competition is good, so don’t hate it, embrace it. If your course isn’t selling well, don’t blame the competitors, go back, see what they did differently and change yours for the better. Even if it still isn’t selling, that is probably because you chose a high in competition niche and if this is your case, then you might as well make another course.

Don’t be discouraged. Many people have tried over and over again at various things until they achieved their desired success, you just have to keep at it and never ever give up. Something will eventually work for you, I know this, you just have to find out what and this may prove to be rather difficult.

And don’t think that making an online course is the only way to make money online, there are countless ways to do it, Click Here to check out other posts on my website that’s all about making money online!

Anyway, once you have picked out where or how you want to sell it, simply upload your course. When doing this, some platforms allow you to customize your course by maybe adding a logo or picking a color scheme. If the platform will let you, do it, it will help you create your unique brand!

If you want to know how you can create your very own logo absolutely free, Click Here to read my post on designing a logo!

6. Market, Market, Market!Social Media Marketing

Regardless of what platform you choose to sell your course on, you need to do some marketing. Even if you are using a service like Udemy, a very popular online course platform where people can find you by searching the marketplace, you will still have to do some marketing if you want some sales.

In order to be an expert of online marketing as I, you must first have a firm understanding on who your market consists of. Once you have figured that out, you must next find out where these people can be contacted and how you can convince them to buy your course.

Some great marketing options would include the likes of social media marketing (SMM), through pay per click (PPC) advertising using Facebook ads and even article marketing. There are tons of very cheap ways to get your course out there, be creative!

7. Moving ForwardMove Forward

With your course out there and you helping to market it, there are still some things that need to be done. Firsts things first, you need to keep it up to date. Every few months, check up on it, update some of the information, and check on the links to make sure everything is working as intended.

But that’s pretty much that with that course, but that doesn’t have to mean your done. There is no rule that you can only have one course. You can make as many as you desire and I encourage you to do so. Follow the process I explained over again, some may call it the “rinse and repeat”.

Creating and selling online courses can be very lucrative if you do it right. Things like this will continue to make money, even years and years down the line. There is truly something special about that, you do the work now and you get paid throughout your life for your troubles.

I hope you got something out of this article and I wish you the best of luck in making your very own online course! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns with this article, feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I will be sure to reply.

14 thoughts on “How to Make Money from an Online Course – In 7 Simple Steps!

  1. I actually never thought about doing this. I think the hard part for me would be coming up with the lessons. I learn things rather easy, and I tend to assume that other will as well making me a horrible teacher. Maybe doing the courses online will make it easier for me to keep it simple 🙂 Great information, thanks!

    1. I’m sure you would be a great online teacher and I encourage you to give it a try and wish you the best of luck in making those lessons! Thank you for reading, I hope you got a lot from it!

  2. Very awesome article. I love the part on how to pick your topic that you want to build your course on. The step by step process is pretty informative. This should help a lot of people who are looking to make money online. Thanks for the info.

  3. I really like your idea of checking out Udemy or other places to get ideas to create lessons. While this isn’t copying, it just to get ideas and presentation methods.
    I have often thought about creating an online course but thought it would be too much work. But you have laid the foundation for me to understand that it is very doable. I really like adding my personal specific tips and understandings to the course, which I think would make it unique and very helpful.

    1. Sharing your course on Udemy is a great and easy way to get your course out there and seen by a ton of people, though I think the cut they take is a little much. I think you should really try and create your very own course, you put some work in the beginning, then it will continue to make you money down the line. I’m glad that you now have a firm understanding on how this works and I’m glad you found it to be very helpful. Thank you very much for reading!

  4. This is kind of a project of mine, way down the line, one day, when I’m big… But the way you put it, it actually sounds very feasible and not so out of reach. Thank-you Jeremy for your thorough post and for putting this back in the picture!

    1. It is very easy to do and can be done by anyone who has knowledge or is willing to gain knowledge about a topic. I believe that you can achieve your dream of making an online course and wish you the best of luck in doing so! Thank you very much for reading Isabel!

  5. Well, i never tried it before but I think that it can be very profitable. I am in affiliate marketing niche and making courses and selling them is not a bad idea, it would be awesome promoting it with my own website. Thank you very much on this great idea…

    1. I highly recommend you give this a try and think it would be a great idea to make some extra money and to promote your site. Thank you very much for reading!

  6. I am having a hard time trying to select a social media for marketing. I heard that Pinterest can be a great source of traffic. Is it suitable for marketing?

    1. Pinterest is very image based, so if you have a lot of images in your course, then I suppose it would be a great way to market, due to the growing popularity of Pinterest. Thank you very much for reading!

  7. Wow this came right on time. I am in the process of starting my own site but was getting stuck with how to get some of the information out there. I saw some of the social media network groups but what’s the best way to help get a following of people who want the content?

    Great article, thanks,


    1. If you want to form a following of people who want to read your stuff, I recommend that you use a social media platform like Twitter and really take advantage of the hashtags. Use relevant hashtags so people will find your stuff easier and will find it to be something they want to read. Thank you very much for reading and for the great question!

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