Top Online Course Marketplaces For Selling Courses

Top Online Course Marketplaces For Selling Courses

If you’re a teacher, you want to get your course material out to as many students as possible. Or, if you’re an expert or skilled in a field, using online course marketplaces to sell your courses is a great way to reach the masses. 

You can reach hundreds of thousands of people by posting your courses online. There are many ways to sell courses on marketplaces online.

Related: How to sell your online course

However, not all marketplaces are created equally.

In this article, we’ll cover the best online marketplaces for you to post your courses on. 

We’ll focus on:

  • Pricing and costs to host courses
  • How much you’ll earn for your course material
  • The ease of posting online
  • How to create courses on these marketplaces
  • The pros/cons of each of the marketplaces listed

Depending on your audience and the type of material you’re creating, some online marketplaces are superior to others. Therefore, it’s also important to research your niche, so you know where the students you want to reach, are located. 

Here are the top marketplaces to post your courses for sale, and see some traction/feedback coming in.

Udemy

udemy

If we’re talking about reputation alone, Udemy is the premier spot to post your online courses for sale. The reason is that it is the most well-founded and has a large student contingency already looking for courses online. 

You can create video-based courses on anything. Web design, teach a language, Microsoft Office use, and more. If there’s an audience for it, you can post a course on Udemy. Some of the most popular courses are teaching Excel or Python and other coding courses.

Cost to host the course on Udemy

Creating your course on Udemy is 100% free of charge. You don’t pay any fees to host a course. You don’t pay any maintenance fees either. 

Udemy does the marketing, they promote your course, and maintain all payments. All you have to do is create content that’s eligible to be posted online.

Udemy teacher earnings

Another reason many people choose Udemy is that you keep 100% of the profits. For every course you sell, you make the profits. Most people post courses between $15 to $200. Udemy has a pricing matrix that you can use to define the price of your course.

You can choose your rate based on the market, other courses in the field, and potential for earning. If you’re brand new to Udemy, you might choose to price courses at the lower end, until some people take your courses and rate them highly.

If Udemy brings students to your course for you (from their marketing/promo materials), you will earn 50% of the earning. So, you don’t pay anything, and if people come to your course on their own, you retain all profits. 

You’ll only receive 1/2 the earnings when Udemy does the marketing work for you.

 How to create the course and ease of use

Most courses on Udemy are 1 to 3 hours in duration. That can consist of video, PDF’s, design templates, and some courses have quizzes and written instruction. There are three standards all creators must keep in mind when creating content for Udemy. 

You must:

  1. You have to incorporate at least 30 minutes of content; 60% of this should be video content
  2. You have to structure the course to deliver a clear objective to your audience
  3. When creating audio/video, it must be well-lit, you need good audio recordings, and you should keep content clean (avoid vulgarities/obscenities)

It’s pretty simple to get started. Since you only need a vision and some training/expertise. Many instructors earn over $10K a month on Udemy. To do this, you need to post multiple courses and build an audience, but it’s possible.

Pros

Several great features/benefits of using Udemy include

  1. It’s well-structure
  2. The site has over 7 million users/students
  3. You keep 100% of profits, and you earn 50% if Udemy drives students to your courses
  4. You can teach anything
  5. It isn’t a requirement that you’re an expert in your field or has years of training
  6. The site is well-known, and you won’t have to do outside promotion
  7. Udemy offers training, coupons, and affiliate earning opportunities if you wish to use these features

Cons

Some drawbacks of using Udemy include

  1. You need to build an audience; there are established people on the site, so it’s tough to break-in
  2. There’s limited control in the style of the videos/content you post (Udemy has standards you must follow)
  3. You might need to price courses on the lower price spectrum to see any traction
  4. As a teacher, you don’t get access to student’s email or contact information

Learning.ly

This site has been around since 2015, so it’s a bit newer in the online teaching world. It requires “Experts” to teach/create content on the site. And, you can post content on numerous topics if you’re accepted as an expert in the field. To be accepted as an expert, you must have

  • 5 years of experience in the field
  • Received awards/recognition in your field; or,
  • Have publications or presented in conferences in your field

So, there are more restrictions in place as to who can/can’t publish materials.

Cost to host your course on Learning.ly

There is no fee to post on Learing.ly’s platform. However, there are restrictions as to who can post (listed above). So, not everyone can jump online and create courses like you can through Udemy and other sites. You don’t pay any maintenance fees either to keep your course running on the platform.

Earnings

The earning structure is straight-forward. You earn 50% of the commission that is earned for each course/student sold on the platform. 

You also gain exposure to the Economist’s network of professionals, which is invaluable for many. You can connect with other specialists in the field, and possibly earn gigs (conferences or other teaching opportunities) outside of the platform.

How to create a course and the ease of use

You first must meet the criteria to become listed as an expert. Then, you have to go through the site’s vetting process to see if your material is good for their audience. 

If you’re accepted, you work with a “personal concierge.” That is a person who helps you build your course. You’ll add video, content, presentations, slides, and other materials to your courses. The time it takes to build a course depends on how detailed it is and your experience.

Pros

A few benefits of using this platform include

  1. You are considered an “expert,” and you’re part of the Economist’s Network
  2. You have a large audience when your courses are posted
  3. It’s possible to earn well since the courses are priced higher than other platforms
  4. You get a course concierge to help you build your content/courses
  5. Lessons are posted in the site’s catalog, and students find your courses through suggestions

Cons

Some drawbacks include

  1. You only earn 50% per sale of your course
  2. The platform isn’t as big as others, and it’s a very specific/closed niche
  3. You must be an “expert,” which isn’t necessarily easy to establish yourself as
  4. Not everybody can post on the platform

Opensesame.com

A third option for posting your courses online is Opensesame.com. It’s a secure site where you can publish and post courses. And, it’s a platform that allows you to connect with hundreds, or thousands of people, based on the niche/type of content you’re creating. 

How does it work? Let’s go through some of the main aspects of creating your courses and earning on this platform.

Cost to host your course on Opensesame.com

You don’t pay any upfront fees to post your courses on the website. Nor are there maintenance fees or fees for marketing/services. You must be accepted as an instructor onto the platform. Once you are, you’re free to begin posting your courses online.

Earnings

You earn 50% of the proceeds for each sale of your course. Opensesame.com does the marketing, they promote your course, and they list it on their marketplace. From there, each student that registers will pay a fee to go through the material you created.

There’s no hidden cost or additional profit margins you must meet to earn on the site. It’s straight-forward. Every individual that signs up, and pays for your course, means you’re earning 50% of the price of the course.

How to create your course and the ease of use

The site is fairly easy to use. You’ll join the marketplace by creating your profile on the platform. You’ll use this dashboard to upload your courses and configure your page to reach the right audience. 

Once you are accepted, you can start creating content. One of the main draws for Opensesame.com is that it is the only online platform that allows you to publish AICC, SCORM, or video courses. There is no other platform that you can sell through, that offers this feature. 

So, those who want more freedom in creating their courses, are going to like this platform. You then write the description of the different teachings and content you will present. You also set the fee/price for the course. So, you do have some control as to how much you will earn based on the rate you charge for the material you are creating.

Once you finish building your course, upload it, and add the description and rates, it’s posted on the platform’s dashboard. This is when students who are on the site can start viewing the content you’ve created. Now it’s time to sell your course. 

Opensesame.com does the work here, they do

  • Marketing and plug your course online
  • Connect your course to viable students/buyers
  • Vet the site for students who might be interested in your content
  • Post it and promote it on the site (no charge to you)

One of the best features of this site is the ability to choose how you publish and how you create content. All other platforms limit your creation options, so you are limited to one method of posting online. This is not the case with this sales marketplace.

Pros

Some benefits of using this site include

  1. The liberty to post what you want/how you want
  2. You have control over how your content looks, the duration, and other details
  3. As a teacher, you can manipulate the content how you want students to see it
  4. The site promotes and publishes the content for you
  5. You price the courses and earn 50% on each student who registers
  6. Your content is protected by LMS files (students have to download, so they can’t resell your content)

Cons

Some drawbacks of this platform include

  1. You share the profits with the website 50/50
  2. There’s steep competition in some niches, so it’s tough to sell
  3. The platform isn’t as well-known as a few others, so you might not get as many hits

Skillshare.com

skillshare

If you want to share your passion online, you can do so with this platform. You don’t have to be a licensed teacher or expert, and it’s easy to create with thousands of people online who love what you love. Skillshare.com is exactly that. 

You’re sharing your skill with others who are interested in learning how you choose to convey that skill! This site is great to launch a career as a teacher, share a skill, or give back to your community. Depending on your goal, there are several ways you can choose to create your courses.

Cost to create your course

When creating courses on Skillshare.com, you do not pay anything upfront. You aren’t going to incur any hidden fees, either. However, there are limitations to how much you’ll earn. 

Anyone can teach a course on the website, as long as the individual follows the guidelines set forth by the platform when posting. Other than this, you aren’t restricted and won’t pay anything to use the platform when trying to sell your content.

Earnings

This website works a little differently than the others. You earn through what the platform calls “royalties.” You are paid based on how many minutes of your video/teaching content is watched by students. 

You earn the royalties every month, so your earnings can fluctuate greatly from one month to the next. It’s also possible for you to earn a referral bonus as a poster/publisher on the site. 

If you refer others to the platform, you’ll earn a percentage from Skillshare.com for that referral.

For every student you bring in, you earn $7. Even if they don’t buy or watch your course, you are going to earn this as a referral bonus to the website. 

Some of the top teachers earn over $100K annually on the site. However, these teachers have been on the platform for years, and have built a solid reputation online. 

If you are new, you aren’t going to earn this much money. You are paid per minute of viewing, and there are no restrictions as to how much you can earn when you create courses online.

How to create your course and the ease of use

This platform offers a “teacher handbook” so you know what can/can’t go online. It also offers a 30-day challenge to help you get your first course up and running. 

You’ll receive some insight into what others have done successfully in building courses online. New users also learn how to promote their courses on the website. Since students have to pay a membership to use the site, they can watch anything they choose. 

However, you want to get your course out to more individuals, so you earn more. Therefore, you’ll learn how to promote your course online.

Like other platforms, you need to include video content and learning materials for students. You should provide an objective (what will they learn). It’s also advisable to add class projects or quizzes/testing, so students can see how well they’re doing in your courses. 

The guidelines aren’t stringent, and you do receive a fair amount of information and guidance to help you create your new content online.

Pros

Some benefits of using this platform include

  1. You can promote your content and create your channel
  2. You earn per minute of viewing
  3. There is no sharing of profits; you earn for video content viewed by students on the platform
  4. There’s a platform of 7 million users, so the reach is out there if you know how to promote
  5. There’s a referral bonus so that you can earn a few extra bucks each month this way
  6. You choose what you teach. There aren’t restrictions on content or area of teaching
  7. It’s possible to create longer or shorter content, based on the audience you want to reach

Cons

Some drawbacks are

  1. It’s hard to get found; with 7 million users, and over 22,000 courses, you need to create a large channel to earn any income
  2. The earnings per minute of viewing aren’t very high
  3. This platform isn’t the first one most people think about (it isn’t as well-known as some of the others)
  4. It’s possible to earn, but it will take plenty of time before you see growth on your channel

Teachlr.com

A final option if you want to post and sell courses through an online marketplace it Teachlr.com. This site is based in Venezuela, so those who want to teach Spanish-based content already have a leg up on the competition.

It has a great interface. It’s similar to Udemy in the layout and ease of use. It’s possible to set up on-demand and live courses. And, you choose your pricing scheme when you’re building your content online.

Cost to host your course on Teachlr.com

When using this platform, you don’t pay anything to post content online. You can create live and on-demand courses for the students you are trying to reach.

You’ll upload videos, and you can add audio presentations, incorporate assessments, as well as other materials in your courses. This platform is based out of Venezuela, so the audience isn’t as large as other platforms on the list. 

And, you’re going to have to develop killer content if you want to earn money (when trying to reach an English-speaking audience).

Earnings

You set the rates for the content you create online. Therefore, you are a major determinant as to how much you’re going to earn on the platform. With Teachlr.com you earn 70% of the total revenue for each class sold. 

The website retains a 30% fee/commission for posting your class and promoting it through the platform. Again, this platform isn’t as large as some of the others on the list, so it might take some time to see the earnings.

And, it is geared towards a Spanish-speaking audience, so you might have some limitations to earning, if you aren’t fluent in the language, or don’t have a team/editors who can help you create content to target this audience.

How to create your course and the ease of use

Posting on the site is straight-forward. The platform is laid out similarly to Udemy, so the dashboard is nice, intuitive, and easy to operate. You’ll begin by creating your account on the site.

This serves as your “business card.” You will build a profile that highlights your experience, expertise, and details to students as to why they should take your course.

Once you build your profile, you create your course. You incorporate

  • Video
  • Audio recordings
  • Written text
  • Tests, quizzes
  • Readings and assignments

Depending on the type of content you are creating, and the objective of the course, what you add will differ for each creator. Your online presence is going to help you sell courses.

Once created and approved, your content is added to the dashboard. For each course sold/new registrant, you earn 70% profit.

Pros

Some benefits of this platform include

  1. You can grow your Spanish-speaking audience by adding Spanish-based materials
  2. There are few restrictions, and you create content you’re comfortable creating
  3. You also choose what to add (terms of use aren’t very restrictive)
  4. The site offers an optional platform to reach international students
  5. You earn 70% profit per student/registrant, which is higher than other sites on this list

Cons

The primary drawbacks are

  1. It’s based in Venezuela, so you’re targeting Spanish speakers
  2. If you don’t speak Spanish, you are restricted in terms of your reach
  3. The platform doesn’t do much promotion of your courses, and only top courses (instructors) are on the homepage
  4. It’s not a US-based site, so you might earn lower profits than you will on other platforms for posting/creating courses online

Which platform is right for you?

You have options when creating courses for sale online. These are a few of the best options, regardless of what you want to teach, your experience, or who you’re trying to reach when the course materials you create.

Although Udemy is the most well-known on the list, you can see there are other great options. Dig around, make some comparisons online, and find out where you’d be best suited to post your content to reach the right audience.

How To Build An Online Course Business – That One Guide

How_To_Build_An_Online_Course_Business

Online course business is thriving and will do so for a long time if we are to believe Google trends:

Now, a different story is being told by the Statista website:

Then again, this article is saying that the global e-learning market is expected to reach $275.10B by 2022, and continues to grow at CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 7.5%.

Then we have another article stating that it’s going to hit $325B by 2027. The article is referencing a report from Research and Markets, which I currently don’t have access to.

So which source should we believe? Or does it even matter? The reports above show mostly the same direction. The online course business and online education business are growing and rather swiftly too.

The only report that shows a declining trend is a report from Statista for self-paced online learning and, which is the same as online courses basically.

I believe in Google, and what trend Google is showing. When people are searching for online courses, and the trend is pretty solid and even has a slight upward trend, then we can be comfortable and move on with the online course business creation.

So this article is focusing on you who want to build an online course business.

If you are new to online courses, that’s totally fine. And just so you know, this article is not those all-around articles, where we go through basics such as how to create an online course.

Related: How to create an online course

This article focuses on how to build an online course business. Not how to create a course, as that is a totally different thing.

We also don’t focus on how to sell online courses. There’s another article for that too.

Related: How to sell an online course

If you are selling a coaching service, or you are a consultant, own a big blog, want to create a passive income, or would like to help people with a topic of your passion. This article will help you tap into the online course business and get yourself a running start.

I’ve been selling an online course and digital products for a few years already in a super niche market. Which means it hasn’t been easy. However, I’ve made sales and still do from my course.

You can check the course here.

And here’s the latest income from it:

Gumroad online course sales

I can’t say I’m the only person you should listen to, or that I’m the only one who knows the most about online courses. But I’m preeeetty sure this article has such knowledge you don’t find online too easily. Until now, that is.

And a fair warning to you, the online course business model is doable, but you have to be the best, and this article gives you those tools to become the best.

So let’s begin!

Here’s everything this article covers:

Niche and market selection

I do cover niche and market research quite nicely in how to create an online course article. But in this article, I’m talking more about what are the most popular niches out there, and especially why. 

Because the why is the whole thing here, why people buy online courses, the question is not who buys, but why.

While there are plenty of reasons why people buy online courses, like getting from the current situation to the desired situation, we have to dig a bit deeper and see why certain niches work and where money can be made.

While the general and slightly outdated information is that the riches are in the niches, the thing is that not every niche is hugely profitable.

My online course is an awesome example of that. While there’s money to be made, and the course generates income at a steady pace, the thing is that it’s super niched down. 

So while we can say it’s easier to make money on super niche topics, we are also cornering our growth too. So when you choose a niche, you choose a niche that can be broadened up.

It’s a good practice to start small, and then grow from there, but if you start your whole online course business by focusing too narrow, you are not able to step up your game from there, when the time comes.

So let’s say you are an expert at creating stick figures from wooden sticks. And go on and name your website, woodenstickfigures.com (still available, it’s more than likely that there’s a way small market to make a fortune.

Now, I don’t rule out that you can always create a hobby site and generate some income from there, but when we are talking about serious business. We have to think about things a bit more.

The following niches are said to be some of the most profitable ones out there:

  • Beauty treatments
  • Gadgets and technology
  • Personal finance
  • Fitness and weight loss
  • Self-improvement
  • Wealth building through investing
  • Make money online
  • Health
  • Dating and relationships
  • Pets

I’ve bolded the ones that are so-called main markets. Money, health, and wealth are some markets that are proven to be lucrative. But here lies the problem. Because people know these popular wealth-generating niches, sub-markets, and markets, people are there, and thus the competition is more than fierce.

So they like to say to niche down, and I’ve seen plenty of articles and videos where experts of various areas analyze whether a niche is too niche or just the right one.

When you are building your online course business, you need to know whether your niche is something you can expand or not. So you can start small, but GROW in time. This way, you don’t have to analyze whether you are too niched down or not.

Leave yourself a playroom! See how and where you can expand your business to.

Before we sum up the chapter, we have to focus on one thing, and that is WHY these niches are so popular.

And the answer is simply because people want or need these things, now and in the future. Let’s think about beauty. Women like to wear makeup, or sadly it’s somewhat in our culture that women feel the pressure to wear makeup in some instances. So women have to beauty products. So there’s a market for it.

Gadgets and technology. Men like technology (as do women), and as technology brings new innovation to the market all the time. There’s a market for technology. 

I won’t go through every niche and sub-market here, but you see that every one of these categories does have a place in our lives.

When you have selected a niche that people need, desire, or dreams about. You have selected a good niche and market to go for.

Problem-solving

The less talked about business principles. Are you solving a major or recurring problem in your market? Is the problem something that many struggle with and where you are a person with 10X capabilities to help others?

Online business so hugely sugar-coated with success stories and whatnot, when the reality is that the huge success stories were the first ones entering the online business market.

Creating online courses, happen the same way, you can become the number 1 in your market if you are able to solve a problem that hasn’t been solved before. Why solve a problem that has already been solved? Surely you can make money with your course, but it’s hard.

Many online course platforms out there like to sugarcoat the business model because they want you to become their customer. That’s marketing.

What they don’t tell you is that the market is ever-evolving and harder and harder to penetrate with the awesome course.

You can be successful with your online course, but the problem you are solving needs to be something that is either evolving or recurring — a problem that can’t be solved or a problem that is only slightly solved.

Solving a problem that is already solved is an uphill battle.

The problem has to be major too because when the problem is major, people are willing to buy your course to solve that problem.

Website design and functionality

As you are building an online course business. You know that you need to be online, so you need a website, obviously. But as I like to keep this business-focused, I will shortly go through the things you need to keep your eye on.

Domain

As I previously showcased the woodenstickfigures.com example, you don’t want to narrow your online course business by already having a domain name that is well, too niched down.

So when you pick your domain name, make sure your course business can expand is not limited by the name. While the domain name itself doesn’t limit your expansion, in Google’s eyes, for example, the visitor might limit your service offering by seeing that you are only about wooden stick figures.

Also, when you are building an online business, please do keep the domain name and hosting service separated. If for some reason, you would like to change your hosting company, you can do it super easily. 

But if you have both domain and hosting under one service provider, you are slightly screwed.

You can check my resources page for my current recommendation for getting your domain name(s).

Hosting

When you are building a business, you need to have a very solid hosting service. Someone who can make sure your website loads as fast as possible from the server-side. You also have to make sure the service uses the latest version of PHP and drives that can serve your site blazingly fast.

If you have a blog, you are more than likely familiar with the fact that your article needs to load up fast. The same thing applies to your course sales page, the home page, and other supporting pages you have in your business.

You can check my recommendation for the best hosting service (which is also affordable) from my resources page.

Website and structure

Your online course business needs easily understood structure not just for SEO purposes but also for the one visiting your site. The visitor needs to know what your site is all about in one glance.

Make your website easy to navigate and avoid being salesy. No one likes to be sold at, so don’t go that route.

Theme, plugins, and integrations

Your online course needs to have a website. That’s granted, but which platform to use? Well, I like to use WordPress, and while it could intimidate you at first. I can only say that it’s the best way to go about it. 

WordPress covers roughly 30% of all websites online, and that is a lot of sites. 

WordPress also enables you to do a whole lot with your website, but plugins are the thing where WordPress starts to really shine. You can read more about the recommended plugins from my resources page.

But to give you an overview of what plugins I use in my online course business:

  • Elementor Pro
  • WP Rocket
  • ShortPixel
  • UpdraftPlus
  • Sucuri

And remember the fewer plugins you have, the better: fewer things to break and fewer things to slow down your site.

The main takeaways are that your site needs to be simple and easy to use. The visitor needs to know what your site is all about with one look. The site should load fast, and it should look good and professional.

Website design is something that might not come to you naturally, but you need to make your site look good. It should look like you are invested in your online business and that you know what you are doing.

While I do have to say that content is always the thing that ultimately wins, it doesn’t hurt to make your content look good.

Social media presence

I wasn’t totally sure should I include this section or not, but here it goes. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. are all platforms that some influencers out there order you to be active on.

You should post this and that. You should do it this often and do that to increase that. Create engaging content, create groups, ask questions, sent friend requests, create stories, etc. The list goes on and on.

But here’s the thing, at what point the above-mentioned things are about business? You could argue that it’s about connecting, it’s about building a tribe, it’s about… What is it about? 

Building an audience?

Mmm, it could be, but for you to build an online course business, which is more important, building the greatest course for your niche, or making friends and socializing on endless conversations on Facebook?

You are here to create an online course business for yourself, so your focus should be on making money. Right?

Audience building is surely one route to go building your online course, but the way you do it is critical. So the one thing you have to decide is what platform you will own?

What platform you focus on, and why? Is your audience hanging out on Instagram or Facebook? What about Snapchat?

Whatever route you take, remember that it should last long, and it should bring you something. If someone likes your Instagram post?

  • What is the ROI for that? 
  • What do you get from that? 
  • How does it benefit your course business?

You only have limited time on your day, so you should spend it efficiently. Spending it on social media might not be the best thing to do.

Focusing on doing productive work is the best use of your time. Make it count.

SEO, traffic generation

This is one of those things that you just have to get it. You need traffic! You need an audience, and the best audience is built organically. 

People are tired of seeing ads. They are tired of upsells, downsells cross-sells, and so on. People want authenticity, and while we could debate whether such a thing exists in adulthood, let’s just agree on being honest.

Selling your online course can be a set of manipulation, or it can be done organically. And the source of all this is traffic.

Many (pretty much everyone) are doing ads, especially Facebook ads, because it’s relatively cheap, and you get results. However, at some point in the future years, that source will dry, and people won’t use Facebook so much anymore. 

What won’t dry is organic traffic. But, the issue that many faces are that it takes time, it takes a LOT of effort, and then comes the issue of impatience.

People lack patience, and when that is the case, you can win. All you need to do is build an organic following.

You can do this with SEO, social media, YouTube, Pinterest. All you need to do is focus on one platform that you see as the very best source for organic traffic and focus on that.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Google, Pinterest, YouTube are all search engines if you are going the SEO route of building organic traffic. 

Every search engine has its own algorithm, and it’s hard to say which of the search engines are the most difficult to dominate. Google is the oldest and most sophisticated of them all. You are competing with around 1B blogs so not too easy to dominate.

Pinterest

Pinterest, while a search engine, it’s still slightly rough and might not bring you traffic too easily or a lot. There are roughly 300M users currently doing 2B searches in a month.

Related: Pinterest statistics

Pinterest is a visual search engine, and its main purpose is to bring you inspiration. So if your market is filled with inspiring stuff (home decor, DIY, food, and drinks), then Pinterest could be a platform to check out.

YouTube

YouTube is also a search engine and produces videos as search results. YouTube is said to be one of the best places to do SEO currently as you can rank easily to number one with your video on the search query.

Now whichever SEO strategy you choose, there’s competition coming for you. It’s wrong from me to say that you will do fine, or that it’s easy. It’s hard. It’s hard as hell to become number one anywhere (SEO, product, service), and if you settle for number two spot, then you will also have number two traffic and sales.

With SEO in check, below are the tools you need to analyze your success from the traffic side of view:

  • Google analytics
  • Google search console

While you could apply to Bing and other services, I think Google is the one you need to use. It’s the biggest, most sophisticated, and can integrate pretty much with any service.

Analytics will tell you where and how your traffic comes from, and search console tells you how you are ranking for different search terms.

Social media traffic and building a following

Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. are all platforms that are used by the billions. With billions of people using the platforms, there’s a potential for your content to be seen and discovered by other like-minded people. 

Getting followers, friends, creating a Facebook group, or joining groups is a way for you to connect with people and slowly but hopefully steadily build your own tribe. By posting content to those platforms, your hope is that something will stick and bring traffic to your business.

I see the above platforms better for brand marketing than for organic traffic generation. The Facebook feed, Twitter feed, Instagram stories will only fade away with the wave of posts people shove to those platforms.

I won’t say you can’t build a following there. It’s just as hard as any other platform. Doing traffic generation of any kind is not easy, no matter how you approach it.

Paid traffic and ads

As said before, the ultimate scenario would be to have that organic traffic coming into your business. Whether it’s with local SEO, global SEO, or some other way, organic is the best.

However, sometimes there’s a situation where you just want to do ads. You’ve built your course, you have your business set up, and you are ready to go. Then surely, ads can be the thing you go after.

Some of the ad platforms you can tap into:

  • Google ads
  • Facebook ads
  • Instagram ads
  • Bing ads
  • YouTube ads
  • Twitter ads
  • LinkedIn ads
  • Yelp ads
  • Reddit
  • Amazon product ads
  • Microsoft ads
  • Pinterest ads
  • Quora for business
  • AdRoll
  • Quantcast
  • Infolinks

The list is pretty vast, and while there are some obvious ones like Google, YouTube, Facebook, you also have options like Quantcast, Quora, and Reddit. 

So it’s not just about Facebook, and creating those retargeting ads. Think outside of the box and see how you can create ads to different places.

What you should remember about ads is that ads are intrusive, they are not wanted, they are given. So when you create your ad, remember that you are seeking an audience, you are demanding it for yourself. Be as non-intrusive as possible.

Funnel building and email marketing

This is not the first thing you do. This is the last thing you do. You don’t go and build a funnel before you have a proven concept. You need to see and experience that customers actually have results with your online course.

With a strong proof of concept, comes strong scaling. Funnels are built to scale things when the initial hard work has been done.

Your course needs to have customer success stories, and success stories are created by checking how your students are having success with your course.

Student success equals excellent testimonial, which then leads to proof that your concept works. Getting testimonials is crucial in your business, but rather than trying to get a testimonial, try to solve your customers’ problem.

Funnel building starts when you have testimonials when you have a strong and solid course in your hands. Sometimes you might have to improve your course three times before its generating success stories on automation.

A perfect example of a perfect course is the one that Sam Ovens built on consulting at consulting.com.

Success story after success story, on automation. Then you build a funnel showcasing those success stories, and your business explodes.

The number one funnel building training and tool is provided by ClickFunnels. I wouldn’t go out and recommend anything else. However, if you have time and creativity, the same can be achieved with WordPress and Elementor Pro, combined with ConvertKit. And yes, I’m doing things this way currently. Though I suggest, you check out my resources page for the very latest recommendations on tools I use on my online business.

nurturing_funnel_thecours

A funnel has a frontend and a backend. The frontend has a lead magnet, and the backend is about converting to a customer with different nurturing sequences and marketing tactics.

So the stronger the POC (proof-of-concept) you have, the easier the sell.

As mentioned before, you need the traffic to succeed, and traffic has different places it will go to. With a funnel, it only has one way to go, and that is created with a lead magnet.

Now, I’m slightly hesitant when talking about lead magnets, because I think the industry is changing and the method of acquiring customers is changing. So lead magnets could become obsolete soon if not already are.

However, lead magnets offer one point of entry to your sales funnel, where you will then nurture the prospect to become a customer and a happy student of yours — another success story to your business.

You can read more about lead magnets here: How to sell an online course.

The online course and offering

If you are already in the online course business or you are just starting out, this business model is not the easiest one to conquer. Competition is more than fierce, Udemy, Skillshare, boasts an incredible collection of online courses.

But here’s an opening, which of the courses you see there are 100% complete and satisfies 100% the need of that niche or market? 

Your course should be number one. It should be the best, most complete, and the only source that people go to. While you might think that people still create courses on the same subject as you do, however, they are either second or not worthy of attention.

People always go to the number one source. When there are two courses that are created equally and promises success like no other, then it becomes a matter of taste. Before that, it’s a battlefield, and even after becoming a taste, it’s a battle to stay on top.

Think email marketing services. There’s no one solution. There are plenty of solutions. The same applies to domain hosting services, but what about domain services. I can think of GoDaddy, Namecheap, but others…not so much. It’s a matter of taste whether to use Namecheap or GoDaddy. It’s a matter of taste, whether you drink Coca-Cola or Pepsi, the same is with Mac or PC.

Can your course become a dominant taste?

Can you provide a world-class experience with your course? Can your course promise and deliver results on automation? Is your course so complete and extensive that zero questions are left on the table?

Creating a mediocre product, with mediocre results are the ones you see popping up online all the time. Everyone offers the same, creating a supply overflow in the market.

Creating a moat, creating something that is not easily replicated, is it something that defies the status quo.

Creating a mediocre course is easy; creating a course that becomes the only reasonable choice for people is hard. Then again, if you do that, you win the market.

Service offering and model

Do you offer a value ladder? Is your course based on a monthly subscription or a one-time fee?

Defining your service offering is important, while we are talking about online course business, and what kind of model you are creating, it’s important to also think about the future and what else can you offer than just your course?

Masterminds, 1-on-1 coaching, consulting services, ebook, or something totally different?

A value ladder is a kind of stairs where you offer something at the very bottom of the ladder, and when a student has completed your course, there might be a need for more on the same subject but in a different form. 

Offering different services to your existing customers is beneficial for both of you. You are creating a brand ambassador and also can generate more income from one single customer. 

Masterminds are probably the pinnacle of education currently. So offering that to your customers might make sense further in the future. 

But how about the pricing? Rather than talking about the dynamics of pricing and how it works (that you can read from my how to sell an online course guide), we will concentrate on how to collect payments.

Subscription-based billing is on the rise, or at least it seems so. Who wouldn’t like to have recurring payments coming in every month?

However, how you create an online course business as a subscription service is a different thing. The usual idea is that when you are subscribed to a service, you will get something new every month.

But when you create a course, it’s usually a one-time work. However, you can include the following services to your course offering to complete the subscription model:

  • Daily, weekly, monthly workshops
  • Q&A sessions with you
  • Free monthly or yearly updates to the course
  • Live events

Related: How To Design An Online Course That Creates Results

Related: What Makes An Online Course Good? 5 Big Tips!

Brand building, image, and feeling

How do you differ from others, what makes you unique, what is the image and feel people will get when they see your business logo, color palette, or typeface?

What brand comes to mind when you think about red? What about grey?

Did you think about Coca-Cola and Apple?

If not, that’s ok; most likely, people still vision those brands because they are so goddamn popular and widely known.

Can your course business have the same recognition? Probably not yet. And most definitely not in the coming years, but eventually, it could have. Your online course business doesn’t have to be some mega-brand out there, but it can be. 

You also don’t start by thinking that you are already a brand. Brands are built with time, by differentiation, by being unique. That doesn’t happen overnight or tomorrow. 

Time, clear and strong message. Vision and mission will help you define your brand, but the ones that truly define you are the ones using your services. 

You are a provider of services and products. People will build your brand with you. Experiences, feelings, interactions with and towards your business, defines the success of your brand.

What are you all about?

In the end, you are selling a solution to a problem. What kind of business you want to have and how you tackle that problem become your unique advantage. 

Continuous improvement and innovation

This is probably the last thing people seem to understand or implement to their businesses. Online course business is about fast money, fast creativity, and fast success. Except it’s not. Not anymore.

It used to be enough where you just copycatted everything you saw online. Well, do the math now and multiply that copycat scenario by 1B, you will see that it doesn’t work anymore.

What made you stand out before, won’t make you stand out anymore. The thing is that there are so many people online these days, and so many are getting to the same business model.

The online course business model isn’t dead by any means. It’s just that its changing and the copycats won’t survive. The best of the breed will stay on top and keep profiting.

Online course business is growing, but the ones reaping the rewards are the ones who stick with the niche they are in and the ones who focus on one single course in one single niche.

It’s super logical, but you can’t see it before it’s shown to you.

Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he didn’t become the best by playing football, baseball (tried and failed), ice hockey, rugby, and basketball. He played basketball and dominated everyone.

That’s what’s called focus!

Related: Focus – 100% Focus On The One Thing

Usain Bolt didn’t become number one runner, by practicing javelin, gymnastics, tennis, or archery. No! He focused on one single thing and became the best at it.

What about Microsoft, they’ve been developing Windows OS for decades. While they are not the best, they are present in 77% of all computers in the whole planet. That is a pretty significant advantage that can’t be taken away from them anytime soon.

Do you see how focusing on one single thing is the very best thing you can ever do? If you divide your energy to multiple things and try to be the best at many things, you will fail up being the best at any.

You don’t have enough energy or time to be best at many things. Be best at one thing.

Improving eternally

Customer feedback, student success, results, promises kept are all achieved by listening and improving what is already working.

If there are questions unanswered, people failing, courses not completed. Then there’s a place for improvement. 

Perfection can be achieved but only with the help of other people. You can’t build the perfect course by yourself, because your experience is unique and individual. The more students you have, the more openings and cracks you will find in your course.

Innovation

What are you willing to do that other course creators are not? How can you bring something totally new to the table that others haven’t figured out in your market and niche yet?

It’s not about creating the same thing in a new fashion. It’s about creating something new and never seen before. It’s about creating something others can’t mimic or replicate.

You need to innovate your course, and luckily, you are reading this as this already has material that takes your course on another level if you are willing to do the work.

This is an example from a book called Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim.

It clearly shows that innovation happens when you extend the service offering (extend the course offering) and also differentiate the current offering (course modules).

So when you are building your online course business. Think about the way in which you can extend your service offering, as well as how you can serve your students more profoundly than the ones that are already in the market.

Short conclusion

So many course creators want to make passive income fast. They want to get out of their current situation to the desired situation.

Online course business is not one that you can tap into quickly and make a significant amount of money. You can make some, but life-changing, not so much.

You need patience, focus, one niche, mastery on topic, mastery on your chosen market, perfection to the nth degree.

You won’t survive by being somewhat good by doing what others are doing. You need to become exceptional.

I don’t doubt at all that you can’t do it. I also don’t doubt that you can’t make money in your niche. Not at all. I’m only saying it’s hard. 

Online course business is evolving, and the trend is showing that community, improved guidance, deeper student connection is needed in the future.

It’s not anymore sufficient to create a course, sell it and leave it there hanging. If it’s a hobby of yours and you want to make money in your hobby, then that’s a different thing. 

However, when you go and build an online course business, you go all in and focus on domination, not becoming the best copycat.

How To Sell Your Online Course – That One Guide

Selling an online course is far from easy. Even though so many gurus online say the opposite. Why is it hard, how can you improve sales and how to get that first course sale?

Well, this article is all about that. Getting that first course sale, and also discussing why it’s so hard to generate those sales and what needs to be in place to land those coveted sales.

Before we go into how to sell an online course, it’s worth establishing why it’s hard to sell online courses.

The first reason for failed course sales is that there are so many options, there’s so much supply, and course marketplaces like Udemy and Skillshare won’t make the journey any easier.

While Skillshare and Udemy do offer you an excellent platform to host and sell your course, this article is all about you owning an online business and wanting to host your course on platforms like Teachable or Kajabi.

Related: The 7 Best Online Course Hosting Platforms You Need To Know

The reason why I leave out Udemy and Skillshare platforms out of this article is that they don’t offer you the flexibility and options you need to build highly effective sales funnels and customer tracking.

But to get back into why it’s hard to sell an online course, one was the amount of supply, and another one is the authority. Or better said the lack of authority.

With online courses, it’s all about teaching, sharing knowledge, giving insights, revealing industry secrets. With this, the question arises, from whom should I learn from?

Authority comes into play, and if you don’t have that proven track record or results to show, the sale will be hard to make. However, in this article, I will be sharing a massive amount of strategies on how you can bypass some of the sale obstacles and how you can land those first sales.

Another thing that was mentioned was the supply. Skillshare, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Pluralsight, Alison, Coursera has thousands upon thousands of courses on offer.

There are already so many courses available that it’s not easy to go against behemoths like Udemy and Skillshare, though this is yet again something that will be tackled in this article. 

The final thing that is making the course sales from happening is the lack of traffic and the audience. If you don’t have eyeballs, you don’t have customers, and you don’t get sales.

As you can see, making online course sales is not easy; it’s far from easy. The easy part is creating a course, making those slideshows, crafting the material, branding, creating a website, building a funnel, all of these things are easy. That is all about creating an online course, which differs greatly from the selling part, which is the hardest.

What’s not easy is getting the money and making that sale — establishing trust between you and the customer. Trust is needed, and without it, you don’t get a sale. It’s that simple.

While this might already seem like, there’s no way I can sell my online course. Worry not, this article has so many things that will open your eyes, and in the end, you are more than prepared to get that sale.

Now, if you haven’t yet created an online course, this article won’t do you any good. In this article, we don’t focus on creating an online course. We focus on selling your online course.

Related: How To Create An Online Course – Full Guide

Let’s begin!

Audience profiling

As with any product, no one product is for everyone. Even if you think about a mobile phone. Not every mobile phone is for everyone. We are individuals with our own preferences. We like different things, and so do your customers.

You might easily start to sell our online course to everybody. Everybody wants to look good, and everybody wants to make money, no one wants to be alone. Sure! However, the methods vary, and that is what needs to be remembered here.

You and I, we differ, and so does your customers. The key to marketing and selling your course is audience profiling — not everything to everyone, but one thing to a certain group of people.

The world is so vast that there are always people like you that like the things that you do in the way you do them. It’s like they feel you are just like they are. So they make a connection with you. The feeling of “I’m just like you,” it creates a connection.

And that connection can be created only by being yourself and searching people like yourself. Your online course is about one thing, and that one thing is something that your people are looking for.

Now, I assume you have done your market research and course validation before thinking about selling your course to the masses?

If not, read “How to create an online course.”

Now, when you know who is your target audience, and you know what kind of person is the very best customer you could have. You are ready to go to the next stage, which is finding them!

Facebook audience insights

We are not trying to target everyone, we are trying to target VERY specific people, and for you to be able to do that, we go to Facebook and start finding those people.

Best place to start is Facebook’s audience insights:

The usual route is to target by demographics, age, gender, etc. However, with Facebook, we don’t do that sort of elementary targeting. We go for psychographics, and for you to do that, you will target based on interests.

If someone is interested in email marketing, and you are selling an online course on how to get more subscribers or something email related. You could type in the person name who is currently “dominating” that industry and tap into that audience instantly.

Understanding your audience and knowing what they like is essential. You need this information when you are building your sales funnel.

Page likes, top categories, demographics are all the information you need, for you to build a high performing sales funnel.

The very reason online business owners are going for Facebook ads is entirely because you can target potential customers so specifically and easily.

When you know the age, gender, and interests, you know what kind of ad you need to create. You need to create an ad that is precisely tapping into their interests. 

Showing an ad of a muscular man to a female who is interested in fitness is a wrong message. Why not show a muscular female? Precise ads for a precise audience!

With audience insights, you get to see if the target market is more about females, males, and what age group is more dominant than others. You will also see what devices they tend to use. Remember, preferences and one’s image, culture, and thoughts.

Apple and Android people think slightly differently about technology!

All this data will help you create a customer profile like never before. So many are saying to create your customer avatar, imagining all these features, hair color, eye color, clothes, etc. I mean, seriously? It’s nice and all, but we should focus on data and see what it shows to us. Not create our own imaginary friends.

With hard data, you can quickly see what works for what group of people.

Remember that course validation is one part of creating an online course, and Facebook groups are a wonderful place to do exactly that.

Related: How To Create An Online Course

At this point, you should already know who is your audience, what they like, where they hang out, what pages they follow, what is the typical age, and are they either female or male or both.

You will need this information when you are creating your sales page, ad copy, ad creatives, funnels, etc.

It’s about speaking with the right tone, with the right imagery, connecting on a more personal level, making sure that what they like is presented in the ad.

Organic audience profiling

Let’s assume you have a blog that is well established and drives a ton of traffic every month. Then I hope you have installed Facebook pixel to your website’s header code.

And if this seems too complicated, then I think you are not ready for some of the more advanced techniques presented in this article. Worry not, though. There’s a bunch of guides online that help you with the Facebook pixel installation.

But getting back to the subject. With Facebook pixel installed, you can create a ‘custom audience’ from the website traffic you are getting. The best part about this is that the traffic is more than likely the people you want to target.

If your blog is about finance and saving money, and your online course is about saving money. Then you are already having the right audience in place, and you can target them through Facebook ads very effectively.

By having a custom audience, you are already excluding a lot of people from your ad campaigns, which is a good thing because the targeting is more refined.

So in a sense, by having a Facebook pixel installed on your website, you are creating an audience in automation. But yeah, you need the traffic to do that.

The Facebook custom audience gives you the ability to slightly skip the audience insights part, as your pixel and Google Analytics already have this data available.

Audience summary

  • Do not think your online course is for everyone. It’s only for some.
  • Do not target everyone with your ad campaigns.
  • Study your ideal customers by using Facebook audience insights.
  • If you don’t have traffic to your site, paid traffic is the way to go if all other things are in place (authority and trust).

It feels like I’m still scratching the surface only, but the most important thing to know about your audience is that you are serving the few, and when they are happy, you can serve the many.

The insights to online course marketing

We started the article with audience profiling. And that is the very first thing you need to nail down. You need to be very knowledgeable about who you are talking to because, in marketing, you are always talking personally.

I assume that you are not a huge brand or a huge company with millions in your jacket pocket. So we do things on a smaller scale and focus on individuals and not to the masses.

One of the biggest mistakes online course creators do is that they start to market to everyone. That is not what we do here. We do things little by little and build the foundation for more prominent marketing.

You have to leverage small wins to bigger wins. You use strategies that work for a small online business owner. Trying to be bigger than you are, is not going to work.

We need to establish you first, and then you start to scale. You need authority before you can start scaling.

Value proposition and USP

Your online course in mind, what is the one thing that you excel at and what others can’t touch? What is your Unique Selling Proposition?

What is the thing your online course provides that others don’t? What do you offer that others can’t or won’t offer?

The thing about marketing is that every business does it, and when that is the case, you need to be different. You need to differentiate yourself from the market. You need to be better than the rest.

If you think that you have a better looking online course, higher production value, better branding, etc., while those could work, they won’t. You can’t fake results, and if a course that looks downright carbage next to you can show results that you can’t. It’s a win for the ugly one.

When you are creating your USP, evaluate what you can offer that is critical for the customer to have. They need to see the value in your offer, not the features. They want to see how the course can benefit them. 

And while the value is always about perceived value, it’s your job to show it to them.

For example, having a fitness course, you should show how you got results with your unique method and how no one else is talking about this miracle technique that worked wonders for you.

If you are selling the same thing in another form, how can you leverage your results and show that your course is better, even if teaching the same thing as your competitors?

Results, authority, trust. Critical components on building your USP. 

Manipulation

In marketing, it’s either about manipulation or inspiration. Either you manipulate a sale for yourself, or you inspire the person to buy from you.

If you are able to pull off both techniques at the same time, good for you!

Manipulation is about “tricking” people to buy your online course, creating a false feeling of urgency, scarcity, reciprocity, even fear of missing out.

Next, I’m going to list manipulation techniques that you can use or not use. I do want to say that use at your own discretion and use them to do good as they are very powerful techniques. 

Scarcity

Scarcity is about limitation, limited availability, or limited quantity. When we talk about courses, scarcity can be created by having an open and closed cart time period.

Scarcity creates the feeling of something being scarce and hard to acquire or get. This creates a feeling of value because your course is hard to get, so it must be valuable.

You can create this with limited time availability and, as mentioned before, having a period when your course is open for the public, after which you will close it for a few months, for example.

When something is seen as a limited edition, there’s a feeling of missing out, not experiencing something, not being part of something great.

Innovation

You are presenting something new and innovative. Something that is never seen before, and you bring this message forward on your sales page. Innovation creates perceived value and is about giving the customer the feeling of new and being at the forefront of knowledge.

Fear

Fear of missing out or fear of losing. Very much related to scarcity where you are making something hard to get. Fear is something that is ignited by these kinds of events, and when it hits, a sale is made.

Price

Price is one of the oldest methods of manipulating a purchase. Being the cheapest, having the biggest discount, being the most expensive. It’s not always about being the cheapest. You can also be a luxury option. Even with online courses, there are those who pay the big bucks, and there are those who don’t see knowledge as an investment.

Without going too in-depth with pricing (there’s more later in the article), let’s just say that if you are the cheapest, you are also the least valued. 

Because your course is the one that anyone can purchase, but having more premium pricing, you are one that only a few can afford, and thus, your knowledge is more valuable.

Remember, it’s all about perceived value!

Aspiration

Motivation, encouragement, short-term gratification. Aspiration is about creating these good feelings, future visions, and establishing courage to make the leap of faith. Making the customer trust you and see the vision you have for her. 

It’s nothing but words, images, visions, but they all paint a picture in the minds of the customer, and that picture can be made into reality with your course. 

Aspiration is about visions, letting the customer see herself in your position, or having something that is just one course away.

Urgency

Only one spot left! Only 3 days left! You are creating a sense of urgency when something is available only for a short period of time. Kind of the same as scarcity, but the urgency is more about timing. 

You’ve probably seen these countdown timers or these clocks that display how many days, hours, or minutes an offer is available. Every offer that shows you something like 30 minutes and so on is more than likely a fake offer and a way to manipulate you to buy the product.

Sometimes an offer is actually for real, and the offer actually expires after a certain amount of time. However, I’ve seen it being misused too many times that I don’t really see them effective anymore. Annoying more than anything and slightly cheap method of creating urgency, in my opinion.

Reciprocal

I’m not even going to try and pronounce that word, but it means giving something valuable in exchange for trust. Funnels are all about this. At the start of a funnel, you see this nurturing sequence where you are bombarded with free valuable information.

You might even get free resources and whatnot. It’s all about creating trust between you and the seller. When you’ve given a lot of free and super valuable information and insights, you start to feel indebted to the person, and this way, you are “tricked” into buying a product from them.

Now, I do have to say this is probably one of the best ways to sell, as it’s not so much about manipulation. There are honest people who want to help, and if you do this right in your funnel, selling your product is a good thing.

After all, your online course is about helping people, and if you need to educate your customers first, that’s only a good thing and actually even a preferred thing to do.

Promotions

-30% OFF! Discounts, Black Friday sales, flash sales, etc. are all promotions in which you are offering your course at a discount for a certain period of time. Inside a funnel, this is a very effective way to get those course sales. 

udemy_cyber_offer

Peer pressure

Have you seen a famous person or a celebrity promoting a product? Who wouldn’t have seen it! Right!

It’s about peer pressure, giving the customer the feeling of if that person uses this product, then it must be good. A celebrity can, in some ways, lift the value of a product just by being next to it. The celebrity is seen as someone who is admired, other words valued. 

So having value next to a product attaches value to the product. Weird but effective. It’s like you are using the same product as someone with a “higher status” than you.

With online courses, if you can get a quote about the course from an online influencer, it might just improve your sales.

Inspiration

Above was all the ways you can use manipulation to “trick” those sales to you. Next, I’ll show you what inspiration in marketing means and how to do it.

Inspiration is a very different story and something that isn’t easy to pull off. That might also be the reason why you don’t see this technique used too often.

It even feels like it’s only for the big players — those with big and established brands like Nike and Apple. However, we can apply these principles to online course sales too.

Nike’s brand messaging
Apple brand messaging

As you can see from the pictures above, they are not selling you a product. They are selling you a way of life. 

While you might be thinking about how do you apply this to online courses. Easy. You talk from the perspective of change. You don’t talk about how this or that is only available until this week’s Sunday.

You start the conversation by showing them the improved lives they will have after taking your course. You will inspire them to take action, without some manipulation tactics thrown in there.

People don’t buy online courses for information. They don’t buy the knowledge. They buy transformation, a new beginning, a change to their current situation.

They want to achieve the next level in life, and your course can enable them to do that. Now, if you are thinking, how can your course create such a situation? 

Think about a Microsoft Excel course, for example. A person is not buying a course on excel. The person is buying the course so she can achieve maybe a better position inside her company. 

It’s never about the course, never about the features, but always about the endgame. 

It’s about the change you can create, and the results you promise with your course.

Inspire!

Sales Funnels

The audience selected, marketing tactics in place, it’s time to get familiar with funnels. 

nurturing_funnel_thecours

At the beginning of a funnel, you have the market, your audience, in other words. Your audience is, however, cold, meaning that they don’t know you, like you, and they certainly don’t trust you.

So we need a funnel to create that trust, connection, and likeability towards your online course.

We are, in other words, warming the audience for purchase. One of the biggest companies offering funnels, funnel training, tools, and resources is ClickFunnels.

I’ve taken courses such as One Funnel Away Challenge and can recommend that course for anyone interested in building funnels.

Related: One Funnel Away Review

But to get your funnel truly working, you need a few services in place or one service. ClickFunnels, as mentioned before, offers you a wide variety of tools and resources to get your funnel on gears.

What I like to use is WordPress, Elementor Pro, and ConvertKit. And you can check my resources page for the latest recommendations for online course business and passive income tools.

Related: ConvertKit Review

Without going too in-depth into how to use those services together, or how ClickFunnels work, I’ll continue on the part of how you need to build your funnel.

Lead magnets

Every funnel starts with the audience. Your audience has desires, dreams, hopes, and fears. So your job is to tap into those emotions and bring a solution to their struggle with your online course.

Lead magnets are a quick solution to a struggle your audience is having. It’s a freebie that you give in exchange for an email address.

Email address is then used inside the funnel to nurture, educate, and promote your course.

If you’ve seen these “freebies” that pop-up when you visit a website, that is the front end of the funnel. It always starts with the same “get this; give that.” That being your email address. Online businesses love to build that email list. It’s an asset, in the end, so yeah, it makes sense.

Lead magnets you can create:

  • Tools & resources guide
  • Checklists
  • Small workbooks
  • Templates
  • Tips & tricks PDF
  • Insights PDF
  • Case study
  • Report
  • Secrets PDF
  • Compilation of articles
  • Coupon
  • Free mini-course
  • Course module from your online course
  • Webinar
  • Audio clip
  • Cheatsheets
  • Quick-start guides
  • Email mini-course
  • Quiz or a survey

As you can see, the list is pretty long, and these are only some that I’ve encountered so far. The general idea is that the lead magnet should be something that can be consumed in around 5 minutes or less. 

However, webinars and free mini-courses can and should be a bit lengthier. 

The whole goal of lead magnets is to capture the audience and nurture them for sale. Remember, you need to know your audience pretty well, to be able to create the desired lead magnet.

The best lead magnets evoke curiosity, are simple and easy to catch. Meaning that they are easy to get and understand. Your leads are always looking for something, and if you know their biggest desire, create a lead magnet that solves their struggle and present it to them.

lead magnet example

For a few reasons, I think lead magnets are getting saturated and feel like the effect they are creating is less and less. For a few years, lead magnets provided insane value, and nowadays, people are more aware of the agenda behind them. So giving that coveted email address isn’t so preferred anymore, so there’s a resistance coming up.

Facebook ads are more than anything, lead capturing, getting leads that turn into customers for your business (inside a funnel). But when everyone is doing the same thing, it comes saturated and less effective. But then again, this is the beauty of marketing. It’s ever-evolving. Funny enough, the principles are not.

When you are creating lead magnets, remember that the magnet should not be a total cure for desires. It should not be like “offer the option A and then sell option A+.” You need to sell option B. If that makes sense?

When a person has received, let’s say a mini-course on how to use Photoshop, and then you go and sell advanced Photoshop training. The person might feel like they already know enough of Photoshop. However, when you teach how to make money with Photoshop skills, the game changes.

A lead magnet is all about pre-framing a lead to understand the importance of your online course. The better the framing, the easier the sale.

When you end your lead magnet with a CTA (call-to-action), you are guiding your new lead to the next thing. And the next thing can be more training, giving more value, or presenting your online course for purchase.

Email marketing funnel

After a lead magnet is done and active, you need to guide your leads inside your funnel to an online course.

And it all starts with the email address you got earlier, by giving them your valuable freebie, you got an email address in exchange. Now, you will start your email nurturing sequence. 

This isn’t something new and flashy, this is being done, by almost every digital marketer and online business out there, and if you are not already doing, it’s about time you do.

As I mentioned previously, you need different services to build this and one good option is to use ClickFunnels, to build all of this. I use WordPress, Elementor Pro, and ConvertKit together to accomplish what you can accomplish by just using ClickFunnels. But it’s up to you what you use.

The “usual” email marketing funnel

What is being taught and what is being used is a 7-8 step email funnel.

The sequence is as follow:

  • Day 1. Introduction/ sending the freebie via email
  • Day 2. Your backstory, why you matter, why should they listen
  • Day 3. Value email, giving something valuable
  • Day 4. Value email can be a video series, freebies, insights
  • Break
  • Day 6. Course pitch, building anticipation for tomorrow
  • Day 7. Objection handling email
  • Day 8. (morning) Online course offer
  • Day 8. (afternoon) Frequently asked questions email
  • Day 8. (evening) Online course offer, last call

The list you see above is an email funnel. That funnel is nothing special and is pretty much a basic form of an email funnel. The main goal of an email funnel is to build likeability and trust. 

You need to build that trust to sell your online course, and email is a fantastic way to do it. Effective?! Debatable.

The thing with emails is that they might not get opened, which creates the need for volume. With enough traffic, you can slowly see how your funnel works and what parts in it do not.

With modern email service providers like ConvertKit, you can A/B test different headlines and see what emails get opened and what goes past unnoticed.

Related: ConvertKit Review

With email marketing, it’s all about testing. Testing headlines, copy, images, offers, sequence, breaks, etc. Slowly but steadily, you will see your conversion percentages, and with math in your mind, you can start to pour in ad money and scale your business to new heights.

However, as cool and fantastic as it sounds, scaling, and building the funnel is not easy. While we can build funnels, creating a working funnel is another thing. It requires resources, and if you don’t have the money, you have to do it with time.

Organic traffic comes with time, but if you don’t have that. Then you probably have money, so you can go and try ads if they could bring you the results you are looking for.

Educating vs. selling inside a funnel

While we are still in the funnel side of things. It’s important to notice that there’s no one single way that is effective or that creates better results than another.

Your audience is always unique, and the way they speak and act online is unique. So when you are creating your funnel, you can either go directly to selling, or you can educate them before the sales pitch, or you can entertain. It’s up to you how you approach your future students.

When you are attracting people to join your world, you might go the education route. Educating them on why they need your services, why they need you, and your course.

99.9% of the people that meet YOU online do not know you, like you, or trust you. So educating them and giving them value inside your funnel is crucial.

Make them comfy and earn their trust. But don’t demolish that trust after the sale!

Online Course Sales

When you know who is your audience, you know how to create a lead magnet to attract them to you, and you have your email sequence ready. It’s time to make the final step ready and create a sales page and those sorts of things.

Making a sale is never about pricing. I’m not even going that route of pricing your course at $40,000 and saying it’s not about pricing. Price matters, but not that much. We keep it at $3,997 and below for now.

$3,997 is already a premium-priced course, but it doesn’t mean you can’t price your course that high. It’s all about who you are, what you can offer, what results can you promise, what value do you provide, etc.

Remember, it’s about perceived value. For some, learning a new skill, like being better at dates, is necessary, and thus they are willing to pay high dollars on learning such skill. For some, learning such a skill is not worth anything.

So making course sales is always about the selected audience and their needs, not everyone’s needs.

Next, we will go through what you need to have in place to make those course sales. And even though you have these in place, you still need to tweak the offer, copy, images, etc. to make everything work together seamlessly.

Online course hosting

For you to be able to sell your online course, you need to make sure you have a place where you host the course.

You can either host your course on your own website or on a stand-alone platform like Thinkific or Teachable.

Related: The Best Online Course Hosting Platforms

In the above article, I have laid out the best online course hosting platforms for different use scenarios.

What’s important to know is that different platforms offer different features, integrations, payment plans, etc. 

So make sure you read the article so you can decide which platform suits your needs the best.

You can read my current recommendation from my resources page.

Sales page structure

As you already know, there’s a sequence to things and why it’s important not to go after the sale right away. The same thing applies to your sales page. When a person lands to your sales page, it’s a good habit to establish a connection with the buyer.

Do you like to be sold at? Probably not. 

So you need to build a sequence to your sales page. First, presenting your students what your course is all about — a strong headline, accompanied by a strong sub-headline.

Make sure to be clear, consistent, and also tapping into the struggle they have.

You can check an example here.

That is my online course, and I’ve implemented a lot of strategies into it. There’s transformation phase, backstory, creating connection through similar emotions, showing features from the perspective of needs.

Establish a connection, tap into desires, be on their side, share the struggle, and show how you conquered the struggle.

It’s important to show that you’ve gone through what they are struggling with. People want to learn from someone who has experienced what they are currently experiencing.

It’s about giving them a vehicle to get from their current situation to their desired situation. They have desires, and your course is a way to give them what they want.

Now, here’s the hardest part. No one can teach you how to write good copy, and the reason is that you have your audience, and inside that audience is a certain language and culture. 

Great copywriting comes from within you and understanding your audience’s needs. You also need to know how humans behave and how people make buying decisions.

Related: Who buys online courses?

The signs on your sales page

When a potential customer comes to your sales page, the more you have going on in it, the more likely the prospect is going to bounce off and continue elsewhere.

So keep your sales page pretty, simple, to the point and avoid using red color in it as it can create a feeling of danger within the prospect.

When the sales page is inviting and not full of clutter, it’s easy to navigate, and the prospect knows exactly what he/she is getting, then you’ve done a great job with it.

You might feel at this point that it’s so hard to sell anything, and there are so many things that have to be considered. While that is true, I would say that take your time and build your sales funnels, pages, and sequences step-by-step, and little-by-little. 

There’s too much to get right at the first go, so it’s better to do it slowly and improve over time.

Offer creation

You are not selling an online course. You are selling an offer. That is one of those things I learned in One Funnel Away Challenge.

Related: One Funnel Away Challenge Review

While you might be thinking that you are selling an online course, you should think of it from another perspective. Essentially you are selling a course BUT also so much more, and that is shown as an offer.

Offer is your course, bonuses, features, benefits. It’s everything you can cram into the one price you are giving your students to.

It’s all about making your offer sexy, irresistible, must-have, no-brainer, something that is dumb to leave to the table.

While you can see from the picture above, there’s a bunch of things listed in there, and if the listed things are more valuable than the price I’m asking, then there’s a sale. 

Now, you might be thinking, what if you lower the price, wouldn’t people then buy more likely?

The answer is no. Sometimes the pricing can backfire you and cause more damage than success.

And next, we will discuss the pricing.

Pricing

Price is a signal. Signal of something being either cheap or expensive, but only in the mind of the individual. You see, a $297 course can be expensive, or it can be a bargain. It’s always about the person who you are attracting.

Buying a $297 course today would be a bargain for me, and it’s because I’ve paid more than $1,500 for a course already — the viewpoint changes by the experiences you’ve had in your life.

The same applies to your audience, how aware are they about online courses, online education, and the benefits it can give them?

I’ve seen multiple times in Facebook groups where people can’t decide what price to give their courses. Should it be priced at $497, or is $697 too much? 

It doesn’t matter!

If you can’t get your course sold at the price you’ve given to it, rather than thinking about the price, think what more can you offer. Pricing your course too low will give the idea of you not valuing your course and knowledge.

Here are an example and the pricing mechanism behind it:

Now I’m not telling you to price your course at $97 (which is the lowest price you can set to a course). And I’m not even saying that this is the price I will keep my course at. It can go up, and it can go down.

However, the reason I priced my course at $97 is that artists, in general, are not too wealthy and because YouTube is filled with videos showcasing line art techniques. So there’s a lot of free supply already.

However, I do know that the information is pretty fractured, and getting a full picture of how to do professional line art is a challenge. So I’ve priced it at $97, and it feels like the correct price for such a course. 

There are few cardinal rules in selling. Are your audience willing to buy, and are they able to buy?

If for both of these questions, the answer is yes, then the selling just got easier. In my case, are they able to buy, that is a bit 50/50 situation right there, as said before artists aren’t the wealthiest of people?

So price your course according to your audience and the value you provide with your course. It does not hurt to check your competition, too, though I see this as a novice advise.

Testimonials

Why do you buy online courses? Why people buy anything these days? Results!

People want results, and the more results you can show them, the better. When people see that there are other people who got results by using your course, they are more likely to buy the course.

Testimonials are social proof, and social proof shows that your material works. This is what most course creators fail to do. Show proof!

It’s tempting to go and create your course, but creating a course without first testing your material and seeing if people get results, will only lead to bad results (for you).

Related: How to create an online course

If you don’t have testimonials, show your own results, and when you get customers, ask for testimonials. Ask if you could show others how they got results with your course.

And whenever you get better and better testimonials, you can either replace the old testimonials with new ones or stack the testimonials together, creating a catalog of customer success results.

Selling an online course, or any other product is part art and part science. Science is all about knowing how and why people buy. Art is the copywriting part, how to start a conversation with your future student.

Selling online courses is always shown to be easy and something that anyone can do it. When the reality is that, you have to have a lot of knowledge and experience before you can do it effectively. 

Luckily if you read all that was discussed and showcased in this article, you know more than a lot of people. You are already ahead of the pack by a long shot.

Summary

  • Know your audience
  • Build a funnel
  • Create a nurturing sequence with emails
  • Craft a sales page with a sequence in mind
  • Gather and add testimonials to finalize your sales message 

The 7 Marketing Principles, Not The Old 4!

7_marketing_principles_business

I freakin love marketing! At least currently, I love marketing. It wasn’t always so, though. At some point (before I had an online business), I thought marketing was something unneeded and something that wasn’t necessary for the business to succeed.

How wrong was I, and now that I’ve read and studied marketing for a couple of years (on a daily basis), I can say that without marketing, your business wouldn’t even be alive.

Marketing is one of the key foundations a business should master and have. Others would be accounting and sales. These three create a solid foundation for a business to succeed online and offline.

It used to be print advertising, billboards, tv-commercials, flyers even. However, times change rapidly, and with such a pace that it’s easy to get left behind when it comes to marketing.

There used to be 4 key principles of marketing. However, as mentioned before, things have changed, and so have marketing.

Digital, online, or internet marketing, however, you want to call it, have changed the game, and now the 4 principles are not enough anymore.

There’s three more, and in this article, I will present to you the 7 marketing principles that are taking place in marketing today.

Here’s a quick rundown on the seven principles:

  1. Price (old)
  2. Product (old)
  3. Place (old)
  4. Promotion (old)
  5. Packaging (new)
  6. Positioning (new)
  7. People (new)

Let’s start with the good oldies!

1. Price

I won’t go the very early days of commerce and how people exchanged 3-pound gold plates with each other. I think we can keep it a bit more modern here. 

Price always has and will always be one of the marketing strategies for beating the competition or becoming a luxury option for the rich ones out there.

Price is a signal; it’s a signal of something being cheap or something being expensive. Cheap and expensive is always relative to the person experiencing the price.

For some buying a $297 online course is expensive; for some, it’s a bargain. There have been so many times when I’ve followed a discussion on Facebook about pricing an online course, pricing an ebook, or pricing digital products in general.

People seem to fret about the price so much, when in fact, it’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is the value and the audience you are selling your products and services to.

Price is always viewed individually. When I purchased my first online course that cost exactly that $297, I was terrified. I thought I was making a huge investment. It paid out well, and I’ve gotten the value out of the course in multiple.

Currently, I see that buying a $2,000 course is an investment, and on the other hand, paying $297 or $497 for an online course is relatively cheap.

So when you are thinking about the pricing of any product or service, think about the value it gives and what are the types of audience that you are attracting.

Selling a Ferrari to someone who can barely afford a Toyota is not the strategy to go for. 

Even if you think about brands like Apple and Microsoft, the ones who purchase Apple products, are willing to pay extra only because it’s Apple, so there’s no correlation of price and tech you get. 

You can get better tech at a better price, but it’s just doesn’t have the Apple flair to it.

Yet again, price is irrelevant, audience and value is the thing to go for. But wait for a second! Apple didn’t give more value, so how’s that working out.

Brand!

Apple is a brand, and a brand is one that is also tied strongly to marketing, so if you have a strong brand. You can charge more because you are you, and you deliver “more” than your competitors.

Price starts to seem already like something that shouldn’t even be worried. What needs to be worried about is comparing your product with your competition and analyzing whether your product delivers more or not.

If you go the cheap road, you are essentially saying that you are not brave enough to charge more. You are going the endless road of always trying to be the cheapest option.

When you should remember that the more customers pay, the more they value the purchase.

So all in all, price is about perceived value. And that perceived value is always an individual experience.

Some might say that having a Mercedes Benz is better than having a Toyota. But in reality, both have four tires and one driving wheel. They differ only on price and in the brand.

Sure, one might be more advanced than the other, more luxurious, have more features, and whatnot. But it’s down to what you appreciate and what you are willing to pay for such things.

Value and audience, not the price, without forgetting to value the audience.

2. Product

The second marketing principle is the product. What you are selling, and what is the demand for it.

I remember when I created a course called…Well, maybe it’s better left unsaid. The point is that if you create something that is not necessarily needed, you are not looking at the demand. You are creating based on your own desires.

Desire of one, versus desire of many.

That right there is possibly one of the biggest reasons why entrepreneurs fail all the time. We start creating things that we like, things that we think the world needs when we should be looking at what the world demands.

What products are needed, what customers are truly craving for?

There’s always the exception, and I wouldn’t like to go that route, so I will leave that part off.

When we think about products, we should keep in mind the audience (like I mentioned previously on the price part) we are creating our product to.

Target audience, market demand, creates the basis for success. And while we can’t clearly set boundaries for what are marketing principles and what are business principles.

We shouldn’t forget that in the end, it’s customers who make the purchase decision. And not even customers but another human being, just like you and me.

We often forget in marketing that we are selling our products to people. 

But to secure that you are creating a product strong enough to survive in the market, you need to make sure there’s a significant problem that you are solving. 

Your product or service is creating a bigger impact; the better it can address the market problem. 

Demand is a problem unsolved!

You also have to check whether the problem is rare or frequent. Are people looking for a solution to it daily, or now and then. Is the impact of the problem big or small?

Make sure that your product or service is hitting an upward trend. A good place to start is typing your product, service, customer problem, or other keywords related to your product on Google Trends.

Google trends quickly showcase you, whether you are hitting a market that is growing or declining.

If the cost of getting the solution (product or service) is more than the benefit gained, there won’t be a sale, and the product will be a lost cause.

That also means that if getting results after giving the money is bad, there won’t be a sale, meaning that getting those results takes more time than is suitable. It’s a lost cause. 

This is especially relevant in online courses. An 8-week program takes a lot of time, and that time is never given back, so you have to be very wary of taking someone’s time.

So instead of just losing time, you also lose money, which will hinder your life immensely. By selling a product that makes the person lose money and time, you can be sure to lose a future customer forever.

So pack your product and service in such a way that takes minimal effort and time from the person buying the experience.

3. Place

Third of the four old marketing principles. The place is related to the physical or digital entity where you are selling your solutions from.

Thinking about Amazon, Amazon sells products online but houses physical locations all over the world.

Online businesses can have physical locations, but the main business revenue is generated through online sales.

McDonald’s is all about being in the center of people and having physical locations almost in every corner of the world, is a must. Not too many online sales, so physical location and store placement are crucial for success.

Same with Starbucks, the key is to be in the areas where either trendy people live or where coffee is seen as a way of life. 

Starbucks brand message: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

One neighborhood at a time. Place and physical location are imperative for success, and Starbucks has given it a place in their brand statement, while not forgetting us humans in the meantime.

That’s for the physical part, but what about digital or other places.

Magazines, newspapers, radio, television, social media, internet are all places too. While we think about the place, the first thing that comes to mind is, of course, physical place.

The marketing is shifting to digital (or more like has already shifted), and that opens up a whole new discussion on the place. Where do you want your product to be sold at or from? 

Would you like your product to be listed on Amazon, or would you like to keep your products behind your own marketplace? 

How about advertising? Do you want your products to be seen in a magazine or on the radio? 

What about the internet? Are there certain websites, social media channels, YouTube channels, or apps you would like to be seen in.

Before, we had only the physical stores available to us. Now, we have the world in our hands. We can promote our products in any market imaginable. 

You can sell your product from multiple online stores, and you can also create multiple online stores.

When it comes to digital products, there are no limits to where you can sell your products.

Some of the online stores that come to mind are Gumroad, SendOwl, and Shopify, of course.

Related: Gumroad review

4. Promotion

The last of the 4 old marketing principles we’ve had previously. Or back in the old days.

Promotion is all about raising awareness. We have brand awareness (which is pretty hard to measure but what is super important) and product and service awareness. 

What is your message, what is it that you want your brand to be about? What are the thoughts a person should have when they see, hear, or experience your company?

Where are you seen? Why should the outside world listen to you? What is so important about your company that people will stop and pay attention? 

Noise is everywhere, and differentiating yourself from the noise is nearly impossible today. Yet, good marketing is precisely that. It’s noise reduction, attention-grabbing, pattern-breaking.

All of the mentioned are one of the same things, promotion. You are promoting your products over your competition. Making yourself the number one or making you belong to the same line like everyone else.

Advertising channels and getting that attention is harder and more expensive by the day. However, one of the best ways for a new company is to seek approval rather than forcing solutions to people.

Approval for connecting and opening discussion is not so much talked about or even practiced, except by the best. Because you didn’t even see them coming, and that’s why they excel.

Did the person ask for your advertising, did the person invite you to give them a solution to their problem. Or did you perhaps made the assumption that your product and service fix their problem?

An invitation can be set with Facebook ads, but retargeting already creates a force that might not always be needed. An ad itself is already a distraction and not the best invitation to your world. So try to make it the best you can, so the ad would feel like a welcome, rather than a push.

Marketing, promotions, advertising is a combination of art and science, and we should keep that in mind. 

5. Packaging

The first of the new marketing principles. Way back, when we didn’t have so many choices, and when the economy wasn’t so thriving, we tend to pick the cheapest or the one that looked ok.

The packaging didn’t matter so much because there were fewer choices. The packaging didn’t matter because there wasn’t so much competition.

Obviously, things have changed, and now you have to make sure your product and service stand out in the crowded market. We didn’t have this “problem” before, because markets were smaller. 

There were more locality, and not so many options to choose from. Currently, the packaging is one that you have to nail down. You have to make sure your product gets selected, even if it were almost the same product your competition is selling.

The packaging is also related to perceived value and pricing. It’s funny and almost ridiculous, but you can sell the same soap with twice the price if you only have it packaged luxuriously. Presentation!

Soap is soap after all, but in marketing, soap can be anything. This part of marketing is one of the reasons I love it so much. Marketing is almost never about the product or service you are selling. It’s about perceived value.

And packaging plays a big role in it. Perceived value is entirely based on what the customer sees, and experiences before buying your product, how the product feels, how it looks, how is it served, or packaged.

Have you noticed how even as ordinary as pasta packages in grocery stores have changed? Now they have all these luxurious ribbons and whatnot in them. And it’s “just” pasta. I had to use “” to not offend pasta lovers here.

But that is precisely the reason you see those ribbons, to evoke the emotion of better, higher quality, more refined, thoughts, and feelings inside you.

And it’s all because of packaging, nothing else. Those small fine details that make the difference between is it perceived as higher quality or lower quality product even if it were “just” soap.

6. Positioning

People buy experiences, and they buy solutions, they buy enhancements to their lives and future-self images. 

But how do you differentiate yourself from the crowd? 

The packaging was already one thing, promotion, price, maybe even the quality of your product, but you need more, and that’s where positioning comes in. 

Positioning defines how you are viewed as a brand. And building a brand is something you should focus on. Anyone can build a business, but building a brand is another thing and something that the weak businesses will never achieve.

While it would be nice to say that you or I have a brand, it’s not so simple. Brands are made by you and the people who interact with your business and brand.

What would you like to hear about your business from outsiders? Do they share the same feeling about your business as you do, or is there a gap.

With a strong brand, strong business model, strong solutions, you are carving yourself a market where you can be victorious. 

That is positioning, positioning your business in a way where your competition is not any more competition but businesses that try to catch up to you. 

Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, Starbucks, Disney, Coca-Cola, these are all HUGE brands. They also have a competitive advantage that can not be taken away too easily. They have positioned themselves so that they almost have immunity against the competition.

The bigger the brand, the bigger the gap between you and the competition. And the better positioning. Build a brand, not a business. But build it with time, not with haste.

7. People

You, your co-workers, your employees, and the people around you all affect the success of your business. 

It’s not just you, even if you were a solopreneur, you are still interacting with people through your business.

If you go the big route and hire employees to work with you and to help you grow your business, it’s critical to hire people that are the best of the best in their area of expertise. 

Hiring the “wrong” people will hinder your business immensely and in the worst case, can even make it collapse.

Always hire people that are better than the last recruitment you made. Always aim higher and higher. It’s no wonder that Google is the company they are today. Do you think they’ve hired people that are somewhat good?

Great companies hire great people. Don’t be an exception.

When the employee side is in check, next is the audience, and making sure your product is aligned perfectly with your ideal client. Your business can’t serve everyone on the planet, so don’t try to make your product suitable for every single one of us.

Who is your target audience, who are the people you want to talk with? Who do you want to make a connection with?

We are humans with emotions, feelings, thoughts, and needs. Better said, we have desires, fears, hopes, and dreams. Connecting with these four emotions will enable you to market your business better than ever.

One Funnel Away Challenge Review – Worth It?

one_funnel_away_review_worth_your_time

OFA-Challenge

The Next ‘ONE FUNNEL AWAY’ Challenge Starts On

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Join the challenge now!

What is the one funnel away challenge?

One Funnel Away Challenge is a 30-day challenge for online business owners to up their game by creating a funnel that generates cash passively and in a totally automated way.

If you are utterly new to funnels. The following picture explains the funnel principle pretty nicely.

nurturing_funnel_thecours

So you have leads coming in from multiple sources and customers coming out from the end of the funnel.

That is a funnel, and it works like a charm when you get it going. However, getting it going is another thing altogether, and that needs more in-depth knowledge.

That is where Russell and the One Funnel Away Challenge comes in. OFA is precisely the training you need when you need to build a funnel, but you just don’t know how.

Inside the training, you will get coached by Stephen Larsen and Julie Stoian on top of Russell, giving you in-depth training videos on the various aspects of a funnel.

If there’s one training that gives you everything you need to know about funnels, I would say this is the training.

The OFA has a pre-training part and 4 weeks of funnel training. The challenge starts from week 1, and the pre-training is for you to get your gears in flame.

But the big question is, why would you join? What makes funnels so good and interesting? Why this training?

Why?

Being a small online business owner and wanting to automate things to sell your knowledge and services, you need funnels. You can’t grow your business if you are trading your time for money.

Funnels are meant to take the selling and marketing from your hands to an automated system that handles the selling AND marketing for you. That is the fundamental reason why funnels exist. To automate your business growth, giving you time to do other things, like improving your products and services.

You have a business, and you feel like you are doing so much work for it. You only have so much time in your day, and it feels like everything you do only creates a small ripple in the vast ocean of markets.

Rushing and hustling, these things will eventually burn you out. You are trading time, sweat, and tears for money. How would you feel to trade your time to what you want, and watch the income rolling to your bank account in automation?

That is a funnel right there!

Funnels enable you to free yourself from the daily tasks to new things and opportunities.

But is it really so easy? Is this actually possible?

One Funnel Away Challenge provides you one huge bonus on top of the already awesome training, and that is 30 different ways to build a funnel in 30 days. And this information comes from 30 different millionaires who generate that mentioned passive income in automation with funnels.

So there’s more proof than is needed!

So what about the challenge, what does it have, and how was it?

The Challenge

30 days to launch your first (or next) funnel, only 30 days to build a funnel that generates money on automation; THAT is a CHALLENGE!

Russell_Brunson

From who?

Russell Brunson is the co-founder of ClickFunnels and also one of the coaches inside the One Funnel Away Challenge. Russell has been in the internet marketing scheme years already and is one of a beast when it comes to marketing and selling with funnels. 

He breathes and lives funnels and is the no. 1 person to learn about funnels. He did create a multi-million dollar company around funnels after all.

Pre-Training

Creating a belief

Content

  • PT-M1: You Must Believe
  • PT-M2: Failure
  • PT-M3: Who Not How
  • PT-M4: 10x Secrets
  • PT-M5: Belief
  • PT-M7: Mission Review

Pre-training is all about getting you to the right mindset. We, as online entrepreneurs, carry different baggage, and sometimes we might have certain false beliefs towards things.

This training is all about breaking your false beliefs and showing you what is possible. If you don’t believe that you can be successful, you probably never will be. If you don’t see how you can provide value, and how you can get paid for it, you will not succeed.

For you to get out of the rat race, and for you to get more out of your life, you need to start thinking differently. Online business is not about you, it’s not even about the product or service you are selling.

You are selling people their desired-self image, results, wins, and success. In the pre-training week, you will learn how to overcome obstacles, and more like why obstacle is the way.

You will also learn the 10X Secrets, which absolutely blew my mind. It’s funny how your mind experiences a shift when you learn something completely new and something you never thought of. That is what happened to me.

HOOK – STORY – OFFER

This is a concept that I did not see before this training, while I had been in the online business for a while already, concepts thought in the OFA training are just plain brilliant. They just open your eyes and make you see how marketing actually works.

I would even go as far as saying that the pre-training was already worth the price!

Rating:

4/5

Week 1

Hook – Story – Offer

Content

  • PT-M1: You Must Believe
  • PT-M2: Failure
  • PT-M3: Who Not How
  • PT-M4: 10x Secrets
  • PT-M5: Belief
  • PT-M7: Mission Review

Week 1 is where it all starts. The CHALLENGE IS ON! It’s exciting, and it’s nerve-wracking at the same time. However, the very best thing about this challenge is the Facebook community in which people can comment and share success with each other.

People go crazy with the challenge, and everyone is pumped up, it is, after all, one of the best training there’s available about funnels and online marketing. As the pre-training is already so good, the first week and the first day already gets the blood rushing and make you ready for the challenge.

Week 1 is all about offer hacking, offer sequencing, and even creating your product. Remember that building your very first funnel is a challenge, and the homework, tasks, and other things that are presented to you on a daily basis requires hard work from you.

However, having that 1-2 hours each day is already a lot of time, and you can accomplish a lot in that time. I remember how much fun it was, and people take the training a bunch of times, even when they already have access to the material. Yes, the material will be available to you after the 30-day challenge is over.

However, my recommendation is to keep up with the pack, as it makes the whole process so much more fun. It really does!

I remember creating my product in those 30 days and building the funnel and all, so it’s all doable though it requires a lot of effort from you. That has to be said.

In the first week, you will also learn how you can monetize your product and services from a completely new perspective. Day 2, on week 1, is called Greatest Showman, and in that training, you will learn why people buy products, even the same one in a different package.

Rating:

4/5

Week 2

Your Hooks And Stories

Content

  • W2-M1: Publishing
  • W2-M2: Epiphany Bridge
  • W2-M3: Your Origin Story
  • W2-M4: Hooks, Hooks, & More Hooks
  • W2-M5: Catch Up Day
  • W2-M6: Catch up day
  • W2-M7: Mission Review

If week 1 was all about offer hacking and learning how sequencing works inside the funnel. Week 2 is about selling and marketing. Week 2 is an absolute blast (sorry, but I just have to be honest here, it’s so good)!

In week 2, you will learn how to use stories, hooks, and your backstory for your benefit to make a sale and to persuade people to buy your products and services.

In marketing and selling, it’s not so much about the logical part of your brain that makes the decisions. The part of your brain that makes decisions is called amygdala (also called lizard brain or reptilian brain), and when you can tap into that part of the brain, the game changes.

In week 2, you will learn the importance of talking to your audience through stories and creating that connection with the prospect. As we are building funnels, we are kind of inviting people to our world, and we have to make sure they feel welcome, and more than anything, they feel like they are the same as you.

Week 2 shows you ways to break false beliefs, just like they do in the pre-training. We have to remember that beliefs you feel right now are right and can’t be changed without a strong counter belief that breaks your own beliefs, and that is what is thought in week 2.

Rating:

4/5

Week 3

Creating THE Funnel

Content

  • W3-M1: Core Funnel Strategy
  • W3-M2: Your Share Funnel
  • W3-Bonus
  • W3-M3: The Squeeze Page
  • W3-M4: The Sales Page
  • W3-M5: The OTO Page
  • W3-M6: Members Area
  • W3-M7: Mission Review

It’s GO TIME! It’s week 3, and it’s all about crafting your beautiful funnel. Funnel that works on automation, bringing leads, and creating customers. It’s a delinquent step-by-step process that takes a cold lead to a happy customer.

Inside the training, you will see how exactly a core funnel strategy works. How to design and craft your squeeze page, sales page, and OTO page. This week of the training is super insightful and interesting as you get to see how Russell’s brain actually works, how he designs his funnels, and how they are formed.

Squeeze page, sales page, and OTO page all work slightly differently while they do have the same hook, story, offer concept behind them. It’s downright hilarious when you see other marketer’s funnels and also sales pages, and you see the template they use.

You can not unsee when you see it. That is pretty much what this week will bring you. That vision and clarity on how sales pages work and also WHY they work.

The sales page is your main page, where the sale happens, so your online business must know how it should be structured. With correct sequencing and rhythm, in place, prospects become from cold leads to warm and happy customers.

Even the sales page has a funnel built-into it. You just need to see how it works, and then you can implement the information to your own business.

Week 3 teaches you how offers work and how you present your offer. You are not ultimately selling a product or a service, you are selling an offer. Funnels are about offers, and your goal during this week is to nail down your core offer.

Having your offer clear and done, you create the pages mentioned before. This was probably the most fun I had. You actually build the pages and bring your branding to it. Making the sales pages look like yours.

Rating:

5/5

Week 4

Igniting Your Funnel

Content

  • W4-M1: 3 Types of Traffic
  • W4-M2: Dream 100
  • W4-M3: Earn Your Way In
  • W4-M4: Buy Your Way In
  • W4-M5: Funnel Audibles
  • W4-M6: Mission Review
  • W4-M7: Mission Debrief

The last week of the challenge is about pouring the gasoline to your funnel. Setting it ablaze and generating those leads to your funnel. Week 4 shows you how to get leads and how traffic works.

With your funnel in place and your product and service ready to be delivered to the world. The last thing you need is the audience, traffic, and those leads.

Week 4 gives you an insight into different traffic types, and how to get your dream 100 who has your customers. Before this training, I was a bit clueless about how traffic works and how to find my audience.

Luckily the last week in the challenge is just about traffic. Inside the training, you will see how to use Facebook effectively and how to find your people.

As this is the last week, it feels like it’s too soon to end. I felt like I want this to last forever. It was so much fun, and it was so motivating to see people succeeding inside the program.

It was a challenge, and one I don’t regret taking it. It was soooo much fun.

Rating:

3/5

Are you ready for the challenge?

Here’s what you get!

  • 30 Days of video missions from Russell Brunson ($997 value)
  • 30 Days of coaching from Stephen Larsen & Julie Stoian ($997 value)
  • One Funnel Away Challenge customized kit (30 Day Plan) ($247 value)
  • BONUS: Physical copy of the challenge workbook ($97 value)
  • BONUS: MP3 Player ($297 value)
  • BONUS: 30 Days hardcover book ($97 value)
  • BONUS: Unlimited access to 30 days interviews ($197 value)
  • BONUS: Behind the scenes: Two comma club interviews ($197 value)

Total value: $3,126

f you want to get your funnel LIVE and start building your business, then this is the mission we’re giving you…


Join the challenge now!

What more you Get?

Led by Trainer Russell Brunson and Coaches Stephen Larsen and Julie Stoian, the ‘One Funnel Away’ Challenge is designed to help you Customize and IMPLEMENT your plan in just 30 days…

Russell_Brunson

Russel Brunson: “The Strategist”

Russell will train you with NEW videos created and structured for this specific challenge. He will lay the solid groundwork, so you can master the CORE fundamentals and strategy behind your customized 30-day plan. It’s important not just to do the daily tasks, but to understand the “bigger picture” of what you’re doing over the 30 days, and why.

Julie_Stoian

Julie Stoian: “The Transformer”

Julie will help walk you through the process and the “how-to” of turning your abstract customized 30-day plan into an actual funnel that’s built and up and running. She’s a master at transforming business ideas from the initial “vision” phase to reality. Julie helped me immensely by answering some questions I had during the challenge. What a lovely person she is!

Stephen_Larsen

Stephen Larsen: “The Executioner”

Stephen will coach you daily on LIVE group calls! This is where you can get your questions answered if you need extra help on completing your daily tasks. Don’t be afraid of the occasional BOOOOOOOMs! Consider Stephen your supportive (but no-excuses) accountability partner! He’s not afraid to “hold your feet to the fire” and make you stay accountable for getting your tasks DONE! While the teaching method might not be for everyone. I had a blast watching and listening and getting coached by him. Such a hilarious personality.

Bonus: 30 Days Summit Interviews

Two comma club winners:

  • Trey Lewellen
  • Liz Benny
  • Garrett J. White
  • Alison J. Prince
  • Dana Derricks
  • Julie Stoian
  • Stephen Larsen
  • Stacey Martino
  • Ed Osburn
  • Tyler Shaule
  • Rachel Pederson
  • Jeremy McGilvrey
  • Peng Joon
  • Myron Golden
  • Jaime Cross
  • Dan Henry
  • Joe McCall
  • Spencer Mecham
  • Anissa Holmes
  • Dean Holland
  • John Lee Dumas
  • Rob Kosberg
  • Natalie Hodson
  • Pat Rigsby
  • Caitlin Pyle
  • Akbar Sheikh
  • Rhonda Swan
  • David Asarnow
  • Raoul Plickat
  • James P. Friel

Thoughts on the interviews?

I think the 30 interviews that you can read from the book are pretty much priceless. I think the real value this book provides is just insane. There are 30 millionaires from which you can learn. I think that kind of knowledge is pretty high on value.

I do have to admit that while they do share a lot of insight and knowledge on how they would build a funnel if they only had 30 days to spend. However, where it misses the mark is this: “It’s not easy.” While they do make it sound easy and all, completing what they suggest is not easy.

What you do get from the interviews is different tactics and ways you can approach the funnel building. These small but super interesting tactics and strategies do give you that much-needed motivation and flame you might need along with the challenge.

Sometimes we just don’t how to approach something, or what are some ways we can attract that audience or how to get coaching clients and so on. So this book is filled with those types of ideas.

If you thought the book was all you were going to get. Nope. You will also see interviews with these millionaires and see how they have built funnels, and also see behind the scenes stuff to their business. Suuuuper interesting!

I think Rachel Pederson was one of the most interesting ones. Also, the interview with Liz Benny was something I enjoyed a lot. There are some big names interviewed, such as Dan Henry and John Lee Dumas, without forgetting that also your coaches Stephen and Julie gave an interview.

Just the amount of information that is packed into this 30-day challenge can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, the training is very well structured, so following the path is easy, and it does get you results if you are willing to do the work, that is.

How was it like all in all?

It was a blast! It was so much fun, and I will always remember the training. Fun, exciting, challenging, intense, exhausting, amazing! These are the words that best describe the experience OFA offered to me.

But here comes the part that you might have waited for. Did I get results?

The answer is NO! I did not. Then how come I’m so excited about this course?

Because the content is just pure DIAMOND. Not even golden, but DIAMOND.

I didn’t get the results I wanted, but the marketing and sales training I got, it’s something that I go back to every now and then.

I think the content and the knowledge you get for a measly $100 is an offer I wouldn’t like to miss.

Would I do it again! Yes! But, I don’t need to as I already have the material with me and ready to be consumed whenever a need arises. I consider OFA as one of those courses that I can wholeheartedly recommend.

I got so much out of it, and while I didn’t succeed with my plan, I’m not stressed about it. I survived the challenge, and it changed my beliefs about marketing and selling for good!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a money-back guarantee?

Yes, there is! If you are not happy with the training, you can ship the challenge kit back within 30 days and receive a full refund. Do check the official support for more info.

How much does the challenge cost?

The challenge costs $100 if you get the digital version, though if you are like me and like to read a physical book now and then, you can get the physical plan. Physical is the same $100, but you’ll be paying for the shipping, which is $19.95 or $29.95 if you are from outside the states.

Do I need to have a product or a service to join the challenge?

No, you don’t! That’s the beauty of this challenge. If you have a product already, then the challenge is a lot easier for you. However, I joined the challenge with no product or service to sell. Inside the challenge, you will be shown how to get that product creation gear in motion.

Does this course have an affiliate program?

Absolutely! We are talking about ClickFunnels, after all. Probably one of the biggest companies to support the affiliate business model. OFA has a $100 commission for every sign up you can get. So, for example, I will get a $100 commission if you decide to click my affiliate link. And the best part is that it doesn’t cost you a dime, but it does help me immensely. The same way I’ve tried to help you with this article right here.

Do I need to have a ClickFunnels subscription?

Nope! Though if you are new to funnels, it might not hurt you to try out their platform and service. They are indeed one of the biggest and, if not the best funnel service provider you can find.

Now, I did my funnels with WordPress and Elementor Pro, with ConvertKit integration. So as you can see, you might need to grab a few other services to get the ball rolling. With ClickFunnels, it’s just ClickFunnels, so you can see the simplicity it offers.

Do I need any special skills?

No again! The OFA challenge is all you need. The training and the material shown to you is all you need. However, if there is one skill people usually lack, that is immensely important to your business. Itäs the skill of copywriting. That is the one thing you definitely need, but then again, that is something you can practice and will eventually get better. This training is one that shows you ways to improve that.

Is there a community of some sort?

Yes! After I joined the challenge, I was able to join a Facebook group that was specific to my OFA challenge. You see, there are always groups for every challenge. Just to make the challenge intense and exciting.

The Next ‘ONE FUNNEL AWAY’ Challenge Starts On

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Final Rating

4/5

Join the challenge now!

About the author

“I am an independent ClickFunnels Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from ClickFunnels. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of ClickFunnels or its parent company, Etison LLC.”

The 7 Best Online Course Hosting Platforms You Need To Know

online_course_platforms_best

You have an idea for an online course, or you have already created part of the online course. Or perhaps you have already created a fully-fledged online course, and now you are looking for a platform to host your online course on.

This post has gathered the very best online course platforms for you to place your online course on and sell it to your audience. Compiling this list took a lot of time, but I think you appreciate the results.

Some of the platforms offer you more features than others, and some even handle taxation for you (Gumroad). So there’s an option for everyone.

If you are totally new to online business and making money online and especially through online courses, there’s an option for that too (Kajabi).

The very best combination you can have if you are going full-on with online courses is to have a separate WordPress site and an online course hosting service.

Some sites might suggest that you host the online course on your own website, while that is a good option to have. I would recommend starting with something easier and one that requires little to no maintenance. 

I’ve hosted an online course on Thinkific and on Gumroad, but have also created an online course on my own website. So I’ve seen and experienced both sides of the equation.

This post will be about hosting your online course on an external service and not on your own website, as these two things are very different.

Here’s a quick summary of the whole list:

A quick table to show you the pricing plans between different online course platforms (the price is based on the most affordable solution available within the platform):

Online course platformFREE OptionPricing Level 1Pricing Level 2Pricing Level 3
TeachableYes$29/month$79/month$399/month
ThinkificYes$39/month$79/month$399/month
KajabiNo$119/month$159/month$319/month
ClickFunnelsTrial$97/month$297/monthcoming
PodiaTrial$39/month$79/month
CourseCraftYes$29/month$59/month
ZippyCoursesNo$99/month$199/month
RuzukuTrial$74.75/month$83.03/month$125/month
Academy of MineTrial$499/month$792/month$1208/month
TeacheryTrial$39/month
NotionYes$4/month$8/month$20/month
PatreonYes%5 of earnings8% of earnings12% of earnings
GumroadYes8.5% + $0.30 (USD) per sale$10/month, 3.5% + $0.30 (USD) per sale

Teachable

Let’s start with the obvious one, and probably the most popular one. Teachable is one of the biggest online course hosting services online. They have more than 18M students already, 186k+ courses hosted, and the course creators have earned more than $338M on their platform.

But what makes Teachable so good? What features can you expect, and why would you choose it?

Teachable is evolving all the time, and new features are added on a yearly basis. At least it has been that way for the past year or so.

Customization

You can upload video, image, text, audio, and PDF-files to the platform, and you can also import content directly from Dropbox Google Drive, or OneDrive is you keep your content on those services.

Teachable has its own drag-and-drop builder built inside the platform, and what this means is that you can use it to build the sales page or create a landing page for your course, which means that you don’t have to have your own website or domain name to host your online course.

The website, as well as the course page, is all responsive, so your students and customers can view your content from computers, tablets, and smartphones. 

As you can use their page builder, it means you can create beautiful landing pages, sales pages, while making sure the pages look yours and have your branding on them. 

If you want to take it a step further, you can use your own domain name to make it look like yours all the way.

Learning tools

Teachable also offers learning tools for your students. You can create quizzes, create course completion certificates, or even force your students to watch or complete a lesson before they can move on inside the course.

Student feedback is essential for your course to succeed, so Teachable is offering you the ability to include Google Forms or surveys for you to collect valuable information from your students. Surveys are a phenomenal way to collect information and feedback for you to improve your course even further.

Teachable integrates with Zapier, and Zapier, on the other hand, integrates pretty much with and to anything. Intercom, Olark, Gumroad, Zendesk, ConvertKit, etc. So the integration part is fairly nicely covered.

Teachable also has a segmentation feature that enables you to send targeted emails based on completion, enrollment, code redemption, etc.

Marketing

Teachable has a built-in coupon system, which lets you select either a dollar amount or a percentage-based discount for your online course. You can also use custom expiration times with the coupons.

You can select various ways to charge your members. You can offer a subscription-based payment plan, a one-time fee, or a payment plan, and this way, give your students multiple ways to sign up for your course. 

Something teachable offers that not too many offers is a taxation handling service. A few years ago, Teachable developed a BackOffice solution for course creators, thus enabling you to focus on the business part rather than worrying about taxes.

The platform also offers an affiliate program for you to develop your sales even further. An affiliate program is superb if you want to reward your students for promoting and selling your course. Within Teachable, you can track the affiliate sales with a built-in affiliate marketing feature.

Analytics

Teachable offers you a dashboard where you can track your sales and also the progress of your students and the average completion rates for your course. You can also see a trend for how your courses have sold every month.

Price:

  • Basic: $29 (billed annually) / $39 (billed monthly)
  • Professional: $79 (billed annually) / $99 (billed monthly)
  • Business: $399 (billed annually) / $499 (billed monthly)

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Amount of features in the Basic plan
  • Built-in affiliate marketing feature

Cons:

  • 5% transaction fee in the Basic plan
  • The free plan is basically useless
  • Average page builder
  • Lacks funnel building features

Patreon

Patreon started out as a platform dedicated to artists and creative persons and over the years, developed to a massive platform that now supports creatives of all kinds.

I remember Patreon was founded and the way it was celebrated among artists. It was a place where pretty much every artist I followed at the time, had created a profile and had different rewards setups for supporters. 

After a few years of massive growth, Patreon is now a well-established platform in which creatives can run their own membership programs in multiple ways.

What makes Patreon a bit different than the rest of the crew is that they are more focused on creatives persons than, for example, business and finance types of persons. 

Patreon is also all about monthly income and creating a membership-based business model. Even though courses are generally thought to be a one-time fee, the online course is going through a change, and that change is continuous support and engagement. 

People are looking for interaction with the course creator, and they look for personal touch and community. Students want to be taken care of. They want results, and sometimes they need that extra motivation from the creator.

Patreon also differs in a sense, that it’s not so business-focused. You might not find so much analytics, marketing features, hardcore sales analytics, etc. 

What you do find from the platform is ease of use and, more importantly, ease of payments. Patreon offers creators the option to fill out some forms, and that’s about it. Patreon transfers funds via PayPal and Payoneer.

Price:

FREE, but

  • Lite: 5% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon + payment processing
  • Pro: 8% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon + payment processing
  • Premium: 12% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon + payment processing

Pros:

  • FREE to use
  • Ease with the taxation 
  • Community-focused  
  • Made for monthly income  
  • Membership model focused (future of online training)

Cons:

  • Not so much marketing focused
  • Lacks in-depth customer and sales analytics
  • Pretty hefty transaction fees (though you don’t have to worry about taxation so much)
  • Course structuring

ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is a bit of a newcomer in the course platform business. However, it is pretty solid and offers you a ton of features, while not so much in the membership part, but in the way of bringing in the sales.

ClickFunnels is a massive sales machine system. It gives you a massive amount of features, and all of the features are thought from the marketing and sales perspective.

ClcikFunnels is the number one funnel building platform and if you are new to funnels. I would dare to say that every major internet marketer and online course creator uses funnels more or less.

When we think about ClickFunnels and what is it good for, the first thing that comes to mind is making sales. While we should focus on picking the best online course platform, we can’t ignore the fact that making sales is the number one thing a business needs to survive.

And for that reason, I selected ClickFunnels as one of the best online course platforms available. And I didn’t even mention the training you get when you sign-up with ClickFunnels. It is priceless like he mentions. Russell Brunson is one of the best internet marketers ever. 

As you can see from the image above, the actual membership/ course area might not be the most beautiful compared to Thinkific or Kajabi. But in the end, the content is the BIGGEST thing that matters to a student. 

The screenshot is from a One Funnel Away Challenge I took not too long ago, and even though the platform might not be mobile friendly and fine-looking and all. I got the information and training I was looking for, and that is what matters at the end. And yes, the training ClickFunnels offer is one of the best marketing training available online.

And while many could be put off by the $97/month price, you should remember that you are getting a massive platform to market and sell your course and not just a platform to host your course, which pretty much all others offer.

Price: 

  • ClickFunnels: FREE 14-day trial, and after that $97/month
  • ClickFunnels Platinum: $297/month
  • ClickFunnels Collective – coming soon

Pros:

  • Fully-fledged funnel and webpage builder
  • Email marketing features
  • Lead capturing
  • Sales features
  • Affiliate program for you and for your students
  • Sales and marketing training
  • The number of features the platform offers

Cons:

  • Average course player
  • Might be overwhelming at the beginning
  • Lacks traditional quizzes, and other learning tools

Related: One Funnel Away Challenge Review

“I am an independent ClickFunnels Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from ClickFunnels. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of ClickFunnels or its parent company, Etison LLC.”

Kajabi

Kajabi is one of those online course hosting giants like Teachable and Thinkific. Kajabi is used by the likes of Brendon Burchard, Amy Porterfield, Danielle Leslie, and other internet millionaires. 

While that might not be the main thing, you should notice that if the platform suits their needs, it probably is enough of a platform for both of us too.

Kajabi is trying to be one of those all-in-one service providers, offering you pipelines (funnels), email marketing, webpage builder, domain hosting, etc. 

While I do like Kajabi as a company and how they are at the forefront of online course development, some of the features like the webpage builder is lacking quite a bit of possibilities, compared to Elementor Pro, for example. 

Though I do have to admit that, when we are talking about online course hosting, the course platform is the one thing that matters quite a lot.

Even though Kajabi is feature-rich, the main thing is the way courses are handled. That is their main selling proposal, main business, so to say. Kajabi is filled with features for course creators and has to say they offer the most.

I’ve said this many times before, but relying only on one platform might not be the best choice. I believe that separating your website and course hosting is the best model to use. 

I would say that Kajabi is probably the BEST option for course creators when it comes to having everything in one place if you are not too tech-savvy and don’t know much about funnels or internet marketing in general. My recommendation is Kajabi, and NO, I’m not even an affiliate for them.

Price:

  • Basic: $119 (annual billing) / $149/monthly
  • Growth: $159 (annual billing) / $199/monthly
  • Pro: $319 (annual billing) / $399/monthly

Pros:

  • Beautiful course player and platform for students
  • All-In-One solution
  • Built-in pipelines (funnels)
  • Email marketing
  • Webinar hosting
  • Constant platform development

Cons:

  • Price, Kajabi is one of the most expensive solutions out there (if not the most expensive one)
  • If you want to remove Kajabi branding, you have to get Growth plan
  • Basic and Growth only allows you to host one website in their platform
  • Limited personalization and marketing options for webpages

Gumroad

I love Gumroad! But why? Because they are free and handle my taxes, FULLY! I can just sell my online course, and not worry about handling refunds, taxes, customer support, nothing really. As I’m an EU citizen, this platform is an excellent choice for me. Even if you are from the US, it’s still an amazing platform to try out.

Gumroad is NOT the best online course hosting platform, but it’s pretty much the best when it comes to selling digital products.

Gumroad’s check-out process is super simple, and you can integrate the platform with ConvertKit (check my current email marketing recommendation from the resources page), and that makes Gumroad one of my favorite platforms.

I’m hosting one of my online courses on the platform, and so far, people have enjoyed the course with zero complaints or refunds. So while Gumroad might not be the best platform to host your course, it’s a robust and solid platform with plenty of different options for collecting payments.

You can create a subscription-based plan, a one-time fee, a membership plan, etc. Gumroad also offers third-party analytics integrations with companies like Google and Facebook to track sales and conversions.

You can also integrate the platform with Google Analytics in the way that Analytics shows you sales and eCommerce data.

I have always loved Gumroad, and to top it all, Gumroad is totally FREE to use, and that combined with all the features and possibilities it offers makes it one of the best platforms to use for sales and course hosting.

Course example:

Price:

  • FREE, but transaction fee-based: 8.5% + $0.30 (USD) per sale
  • Premium, $10/month, but just 3.5% + $0.30 (USD) per sale

Pros:

  • FREE to use
  • Sales features
  • Integrations
  • Simplicity
  • Ease of use

Cons:

  • Course structure and consuming the content might not be the best experience
  • The transaction fee is a bit high
  • Limited customization and branding options (even with the Premium plan)

Related: Gumroad Review

Udemy

udemy

Udemy is a course marketplace and a platform to host your course on. Udemy is a bit special when it comes to course hosting. While you can host your course on Udemy, you can’t fully control the pricing of your course. 

Udemy offers a pricing matrix, from which you will select a price suitable for your course. The maximum that you can charge a course for is $199.99, and that is not a lot if you have a content worth of $1,997.

However, what Udemy enables you to do is sell your course with zero worries on taxation. Udemy is the seller of your course, and thus you don’t have to worry about sales taxes, refunds, customer support, chargebacks, and other billing headaches.

You also get the marketing power of Udemy and can reach a new audience quickly. Udemy is the biggest online course marketplace, and that means there’s plenty of eyeballs on their site every single day.

Udemy also has these Flash sales and other promotions now and then, and while you can’t control the pricing when these happen, you can expect to get sales as the courses are usually priced pretty low at these events. There can be discounts up to %75 off the base price you’ve set.

And I think this is the thing that might upset you as a course creator — having your course sold as cheap as $15, for example. That is not a real price for any course. A course should be priced at least around $100, and while we do have to remember that some information is easily found online, you as a course creator, have put in the effort when creating a course, and that has to have a price.

Udemy is superb for course creators that DO NOT want to handle complicated sales pages, marketing, and sales funnels, or website hosting and content creation on top of course creation. 

So if you are one of those that just want to put up a course for sale and educate people what you know and get paid to do that, then Udemy and Skillshare could be the thing for you.

Udemy made it to the list because of the ease of use and how easy it is to get paid from your course. Billing, taxes, platform, course page, audience, etc. are all right there and for you to tap into. There’s little to no barrier for entry, making the platform easy to jump in.

Price:

  • FREE for course creators

Pros:

  • Taxes are handled for you
  • You can focus on selling your course
  • Power of a course marketplace
  • Less marketing effort needed from your side

Cons:

  • Pricing of the course
  • Udemy controls pricing
  • Udemy is the brand, not you
  • You are one of many
  • You can’t build a strong brand within Udemy

Final Conclusion

There are plenty of opportunities for you to host your course on. Some platforms offer you all-in-one solutions, and others offer you easy setup and the handling of taxes.

Many other blog posts offer you plenty more options, and so I decided to include also those few other options here:

The reason why I didn’t yet create comprehensive analysis on all these other platforms is the fact that this list is meant to be the very best online course platforms and so this list only has a closer look at the ones chosen.

This list will more than likely be updated in the future, but for now, here are the best course platforms for different scenarios:

Quick final recommendations

For all-in-one solution: Kajabi

For strong sales and marketing features: ClickFunnels

For just course hosting: Teachable

For easy taxation: Gumroad and/or Patreon

For a ready-made course marketplace: Udemy

You can also check my resources page for the very latest recommendation when it comes to building your own online course business.

The Best Online Course Affiliate Programs For Making Money

affiliate_programs_online_course

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money without actually owning or creating a product.

Affiliate marketing is all about selling products that someone else created. Whether it’s an online course, ebook, physical product, membership, or a subscription service, there’s an affiliate program for all of these options.

This post will cover some of the best affiliate programs found online regarding online courses. This post also discusses how you can make money being an affiliate marketer.

But before we go in-depth with the programs, there has to be a word of caution. 

While many affiliate marketers glorify the business model, we have to realize that making money online is not easy, no matter how you do it. I’ve been selling online courses, ebooks, and digital products in general for months already and have come to the conclusion that while it’s passive, it’s hard.

It’s hard to generate those sales, and while you can automate a lot, you still have to do a lot of work beforehand. And this work is something many are struggling with. 

While you are not selling your own product or service, you still have to do a lot of work before you actually make a sale. 

The thing you have to realize with affiliate marketing is that you are promoting other businesses, and this puts you at a disadvantage. You are not so much pushing your brand but other people’s brands.

One of the best ways to generate affiliate sales is to create a product or service review and have an affiliate link attached to the post. Another way is to create a resource page and add affiliate links to different products you are recommending.

While there are many other ways to make affiliate sales, it’s time we get into the programs and see what programs are out there when it comes to online courses.

Online course platforms

Online course platforms are platforms where you host your online course. While people might only see them as platforms to host your course, these platforms also offer you a robust way to earn that passive income in the form of affiliate marketing. 

If you are using an online course platform, it’s easy to write a review of it and promote it that way. You are, after all, using a service, and if the service has an affiliate program, it’s only beneficial for you to promote it.

That is if you are happy using their service?

All you need is to check whether the platform has an affiliate program or not. But without checking every platform, I’ve compiled some of the best course platforms out there, but also platforms that have an affiliate program.

Teachable

Teachable is one of the world’s best online course hosting platforms out there. Teachable has somewhat 18M+ students, 186K active courses, 68K course creators on their platform, and the instructors have earned roughly $338M+. These statistics tell the story of one thing. Teachable is pretty big and well used and liked. 

Looking at this from the affiliate marketers’ point of view, it’s easy to recommend such a platform, but as with everything, best recommendations come from experience. 

If you are using Teachable to host your online course, write a review of using it, or add it to your funnel even. Talk about how you were able to succeed with Teachable and how you create course sales in automation.

The more you can give those personal experiences using the service, the better.

Teachable has an excellent affiliate program, and they even claim it to be the best affiliate program in the industry. 

Teachables’ affiliate program

Commission: 30%/month

Cookie duration: 90-day

Payment method: PayPal

Kajabi

Kajabi is definitely one of the top three online course platforms available today. Kajabi offers so much more than Teachable, but it comes with a price tag. Kajabi can be considered an all-around solution for managing an online business. 

Though I would still say that having your own WordPress site and course platform separately is the best option, Kajabi comes close with its offering.

Kajabi has built-in funnels, email marketing, course hosting, membership plans, and community elements all built into one platform. Thinkific is probably one platform that comes close to Kajabi, but not close enough.

Kajabi might not be as popular as Teachable, but the statistics are still impressive. $1B worth of transactions processed, nine years in the business, 41M consumers served.

So we are not talking about a small player in the market here. Kajabi is used by top thought leaders such as Brendon Burchard, Amy Porterfield, and Billy Gene. So if you know who these are, then we can conclude that Kajabi is a platform worth considering.

While Teachable claimed to have the best affiliate program in the industry, Kajabi pretty much offers the same. However, Kajabi differs in the sense that you have to be a paying customer to Kajabi to promote them. 

What is an advantage, though, is the platform’s payout, which could go up to $1,000 even. If you get to the Platinum level in their affiliate program, you could be making an extra $1,000/month on top of the already earned commission.

Kajabis’ affiliate program

Commission: 30%/month

Cookie duration: 30 days but can potentially last 90 days (not confirmed)

Payment method: PayPal

Thinkific

As mentioned before, Thinkific is an excellent choice to host your online course. Thinkific offers almost all-in-one solution for online course businesses, just like Kajabi. The platform offers landing page developer, and you can also use your own domain name with them. 

The service looks professional, and creating a course is a pleasant experience. Having designed one course using their platform, I can say that I enjoyed the creation process a lot. 

I think the way the course is presented is absolutely fantastic and looks professional. You can use the platform with any device, and the course works wonderfully, even on mobile.

From affiliate marketers’ point of view, you can easily promote Thinkific, just because the platform is solid. Over $200M worth of courses have been sold through the platform, and there are over 16M students that have used their platform and counting. 

Thinkific offers an amazing option for affiliates. You can get an affiliate link through ShareASale, and when accepted, you are offered a few different link options. One is for FREE sign up, and the other is Pro+Growth bonus as FREE for one month.

Thinkifics’ affiliate program

Commission: 20%/month, extra bonuses offered and limited availability for 30% commissions

Cookie duration: 90-day

Payment method: PayPal

Become an affiliate for online courses

Promoting online course platforms is one thing, and promoting online courses is another. When you promote a platform, you are essentially promoting a big company that generates millions on a monthly basis.

The bigger the company, the bigger the brand and the lower brand devaluation coming your way. What do I mean here?

Promoting an online course is a bit different as you are promoting someone else’s business. You are promoting a brand that could be a bit closer to your own brand than you might realize. 

When you are promoting other peoples’ online courses, you are essentially saying that you don’t offer this or that service. You are raising the business you are promoting over your own business.

So you are, in a sense devaluating your own brand. This is a different case when you are promoting a significantly bigger business than yours. The viewpoint is different. 

However, there are always exceptions, and sometimes the service you are promoting only compliments your offering, making it the best possible scenario.

Let’s look at some online course programs that offer huge commission either in percentage or in monetary value.

Consulting Accelerator 2.0 by Sam Ovens

Sam Ovens Consulting Accelerator course is hands-down the world’s best course on how to become a highly-paid consultant in your niche.

I’ve taken this course, and it’s single-handedly one of the best online courses ever created.

It’s not just for people who want to become a consultant; it’s for people who own online business. While the focus is on becoming a consultant, the teachings can be applied to many areas in business and life.

I can’t say enough good things about this course other than if you have an online business, this course is fundamental for your success (if you are struggling that is).

It’s that good!

While I do have to admit Sam might not be for everyone, even though being an extremely nice guy, he might be a bit harsh. He is thinking against the mainstream (which is something I like a lot) after all, and that might not be for everyone. 

Some statistics from the Consulting.com business, which has the course I’m speaking of. 

  • 20,000 active students
  • $690M earned by students
  • 52 Millionaire students (this is some amazing stat right here)
  • 4.9/5 reviewed by more than 3,600 customers

As you can see from the statistics above, the business Sam has built is something to be admired. He is truly a visionary leader and teacher. And I’m eternally grateful to have gone through his course. Even though it cost around $2,000, it’s worth every penny.

If you are interested in the course, I can offer you a $500 discount on the price of the course. Here’s my affiliate link for you to enjoy the free 7-day trial AND unlock the $500 discount! You won’t be disappointed.

Consulting Accelerator offers one of the best affiliate programs out there and to say a bit more about it. Sam had to build it with a team to get it to work as he wanted. 

Commission: $500/sign up

You can’t go wrong promoting this program. There are just too many success stories supporting this program.

Knowledge Business Blueprint 2.0

While this might already read like everyone is doing 2.0 programs these days. That’s not the case here. It just happens to be named like that.

Knowledge Business Blueprint is one of those programs that can be extremely lucrative. However, a fair warning again is in place. While these programs can net you a lot of money, it’s not easy to make the sale with your cookie as the winning one. It only takes another affiliate link to override your link. So do remember that.

If you have the most sales and become no. 1, you will win a $100,000 cash prize, first-class ticket to Tony and Dean’s private resort in Fiji, where they will hold a mastermind for you. You will get even more, but that was just for starters and the main things you should get excited for. 

There are also prizes for the next 39 affiliates, so all in all, 40 of the best affiliates will get some reward for selling their course.

And we haven’t even talked about the commission price yet.

Commission: 45%, paid up to $898 on every sale.

The course roughly costs $1,997, so you will get a pretty big commission for selling their course. However, whenever you are selling such a highly prized course, there has to be pretty good trust between you and the customer, for you to get the sale.

2019 Jenna Kutcher hold the top spot, and reading between the lines, she made more than 1,000 sales, and if we assume, she got $898/sale. It would have netted her around $1M, including the 100,000 cash prize. So that is a pretty big commission for selling one course.

One Funnel Away Challenge by Russell Brunson, ClickFunnels

I took the One Funnel Away challenge with a friend of mine, and it was so much fun. I learned a lot, and I can only say that the course was a blast. People are taking the course repeatedly (it’s a limited-time course), just because it was so much fun, and it really makes you complete things. Now, the course is a one-time purchase, and I still have access to all of the content. So it’s nice to visit the material now and then. 

It doesn’t cost a lot, and at the time of writing, it was only $100, and you’ll be given the challenge to complete your very first funnel in only 30 days.

If you are new to funnels, a funnel is basically a system where leads are coming in from one end, and at the other end, you have a happy customer. It’s a system for nurturing a relationship and trust between you and the person entering your funnel.

But about the program itself. There’s a 40% commission, which would net you around $40/sign up. 

Now, while that is not something to drool over, here’s the fun part. ClickFunnels have developed a special cookie called a sticky cookie. This means that if someone purchases inside the 30-day challenge or at any other time, you will get the follow-up commissions too.

So, for example, if someone signs up for ClickFunnels and they still have your cookie active (even if they got in through the 30-day challenge), you will get the commission. So any future purchase they have will earn you a commission until another affiliate link is activated.

You could earn a lot of money by just getting people signed up to OFA through your affiliate link.

Commission: 40%, special sticky cookie available

So, while the initial earning could be only $40 or so, you can also promote other ClickFunnel products and earn big commissions through the other products, making the course a very lucrative affiliate program.

Related: One Funnel Away Challenge Review

“I am an independent ClickFunnels Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from ClickFunnels. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of ClickFunnels or its parent company, Etison LLC.”

Online course marketplaces

Now, we have covered online course hosting platforms, and some of the most lucrative online course programs out there. Now it’s time to check the course marketplaces.

Online course marketplaces are sites where they host a bunch of online courses. Some are higher priced than others. Udemy, though, has a cap on price, and currently, it’s $199. So no course can be sold beyond that price point, making the courses extremely affordable. 

Now, the best thing about promoting online course marketplaces is that they have an insanely wide variety of courses available, meaning that you can promote them to any person imaginable. 

These marketplaces have courses on web development, fitness, coding, marketing, business, art and creative, etc. So there’s something for everyone. 

When you are building your affiliate business or want to add an affiliate business model as a part of your business, adding a marketplace like Udemy or Skillshare to your recommended resources is not a bad idea.

Many course marketplaces have an affiliate program available, and why wouldn’t they. It’s only beneficial for them if you are promoting them. It is benefitting you and them when a person signs up with a marketplace you have recommended.

So next, we will dive into marketplaces that are good affiliates to join and earn from.

Udemy

udemy

As I previously mentioned, Udemy is one of those marketplaces that offer a wide variety of courses, and thus, you can promote the marketplace in/for a variety of niches.

Udemy has impressive statistics such as:

  • 40M students
  • 130K courses
  • 50K instructors
  • 245M course enrollments
  • 60+ languages

It can be said that Udemy has a lot of content and a lot of happy students. As an affiliate, it’s easy to promote such a big site as it has a lot of courses that are highly rated and liked by the students.

As far as the affiliate program goes, Udemy offers a 40% commission on each course sale and has a 7-day cookie duration. Meaning that if a person buys a course from Udemy through your affiliate link in 7-days, you will earn a 40% commission.

Commission: 40%, with a 7-day cookie duration

Now, as mentioned before, Udemy has placed a $199 price cap on courses, and that also limits your earnings to around $80/course at maximum. 

So what makes this affiliate program so good?

Selling a $199 course is not too hard as it’s definitely in the range of affordable. Premium-priced courses sell for $1,997 and so on. So we are at the very low end of the pricing spectrum.

One thing that does favor Udemy is that there are so many courses available. So you can pick a course that you like or have gone through and then promote that course with your affiliate link. Not much is needed from your part.

Skillshare

skillshare

Skillshare is another beast of a course marketplace with thousands of online courses on offer. However, this time, there is no commission percentage to gain or a course to promote per se. 

Skillshare is based on a monthly subscription, and thus, signing up to use the platform grants you access to yet again thousands of courses.

The monthly subscription price is super affordable, so getting people signed in shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

So what is so good about Skillshare that it’s worth promoting?

The first thing is that Skillshare doesn’t cost too much, but here’s the kicker, you will be paid based on sign-ups EVEN if they sign up for a FREE account. So you are actually getting money just by getting people signed up, even if they don’t buy the subscription for themselves.

So what’s the catch here?

I guess it would be that Skillshare is confident that they can turn a FREE trial account into a paid one. They are so confident that they are paying you $7/sign up. 

Meaning that your job is to push the traffic and people to their door, and they will care for the rest. 

Commission: $7/sign up, no purchase required

I think Skillshare has a wonderful affiliate program, and while it might not be the most lucrative one, it’s still one that does not require purchase decisions from the customer, making it a very nice program all in all.

Pluralsight

pluralsight

Pluralsight is the third online course marketplace that has an excellent affiliate program, and what makes Pluralsight a bit different is that it’s focused on software development, coding, information, & cybersecurity. So if you or your audience are into that sort of thing, Pluralsight has some excellent affiliate commissions in store for you.

While Pluralsight might not be the most well-known marketplaces out there, it does have some reliable online courses and also a track record worth mentioning.

  • 1500+ expert authors
  • more than 17,700 business accounts and trusted by more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies
  • 1,400 employees

Pluralsight is a different course marketplace as it’s slightly more suited for organizations such as Adobe, Nasdaq, etc. However, the courses they offer are all created by experts in their field. So there’s no amateur stuff expected in their course catalog, which can’t be said about Udemy.

As for the affiliate commissions, with Pluralsight, you have some nice earning potential:

Commission:

  • $5/free trial sign up
  • 50% on monthly subscriptions
  • 15% on annual subscriptions
  • 10% on premium subscriptions
  • 10% on professional subscriptions

The income that could be generated from a monthly subscription is around $15. However, what should be noted here is that you get a $5/free trial sign up, which is already an awesome income just by getting someone through the doors.

Summary

There are a lot of opportunities out there when it comes to online courses and affiliate programs. 

Many individual course creators offer affiliate programs for promoting their courses, and while some creators can give you lucrative rewards and different bonuses for promoting them, the main struggle will be the traffic.

You have to have traffic to get those clicks with your affiliate link as the active one. Even if you get the traffic, it only takes another affiliate link to override yours, and you will lose the sale.

While affiliate programs can net you a nice monthly income, given that you have joined programs that are actually beneficial for you, you might not always get the winning click, or get the prospect to buy the course you are promoting from YOU. 

The expensive the course, the harder the sale. Luckily there are online course marketplaces like Udemy and Skillshare that offer you a way to sell courses in a slightly different way.

With Skillshare, for example, you are selling a free trial and not an actual course.

And in case you have created your own course, you can promote the platform you are using to sell your course. This way, you are promoting something that you are already using and why not even create your own affiliate program and let the customers promote your course instead of you promoting someone else’s course.

15 World’s Best Online Courses For Graphic Designers

graphic_design_online_course_best

This list was compiled with extensive research, and I’m sure it will help you on your path to becoming a graphic designer with highly valuable skills.

Graphic design is not just about logos or typography. You also have to know about composition, color theory, and how some graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator works.

If you are interested in becoming a graphic designer, the good news is that the internet is full of professional online courses and programs to join.

Many think that you need to take some type of designer school or art school to become a graphic designer. If you were an employer, who would you recruit, the one who shows what he/she can do, or the one that has a paper on the subject?

What if you would like to own a graphic design studio?

Luckily there’s a course on that topic too. The wonderful thing about the internet is that you can find an online course on any given topic. You only need to know how to search online, and you landing to this page is already enough.

In this post, I have gathered and researched some of the graphic design industry’s best and most well-known online courses that will take you from a complete beginner to a more than capable professional in the graphic design industry.

The best thing about online courses is that they are jam-packed with quality content, and if you take your career and life seriously, you will put in the effort required and do the work. 

Graphic design is by no means easy, and you will need that visual eye to make great designs. But as with anything, you can learn these things, and the courses listed below will give you an excellent compilation of different aspects of the graphic design industry. 

Whether you are looking for a typography course, logo design course, UX & UI design, or even how to build your own creative business, this post will give you all you need.

So let’s get started!

Below is a list of courses and programs that you can read more about and see if it’s a good fit for you and if you could get from it what you are looking for.

Typography

Possibly one of the most obvious skills a graphic designer needs in his/her work. Typography is all about making the type legible, readable, and good to look at. Something that makes the viewer’s eyes rest on, and that makes the viewer read the writing. 

When it comes to typography, you have to think about what kind of typeface (font) you select, line-spacing, point-sizes, line lengths, letter-spacing, and so on. So typography is essentially a form of art, and thankfully it is, as people are creating awesome looking fonts these days.

And not just fonts but awesome typeface arrangements. Below is a course that is the best course on typography found at the time of writing.

TypeEd

There are two different courses, but if you are serious about typography, you should considering taking both courses.

Type 1: A lecture-discussion class covering history, typographic vocabulary, measurements and terms, type anatomy, rhythm, pacing, the importance of grids and the page, classifications, software usage, and more.

Beginner level, three hours.

Price: $229

Type 2: This class demonstrates setting up pages and layout grids in InDesign. The class encompasses order, structure, line calculation, styles, multiple pages, hierarchy, InDesign techniques, and more. 

Intermediate level, three hours.

Price: $229

If a course is not your thing, you can also get workshops or a session with TypeEd where your typography needs are taken to another level.

Type 3: A comprehensive class for the seasoned designer or art director who wants to finesse typographic details. The class reviews keep options, flush spaces, ligatures, fakes, hyphenation, fractions, text cleanup, and more. 

Advanced level, three hours.

Runner-up: Typography 01 by theFutur

I think theFutur.com is one of my favorite places to search for graphic design resources and courses, so I had to include their course here too.

The course has 4 modules, over 1,000 students already, and there are more than 6 hours of content available for you.

Price: $299

Logo design

We see logos everywhere, even in our dreams (unfortunately). Yet again, logo design is one of those skills a graphic designer just should have, even at a beginner level, if anything. A logo is an emblem, symbol, or a graphic mark used to promote a company or create that public identification and recognition,

A logo is often thought of as something hugely important, and often a huge amount of time is used to design a logo, even a simple one.

A logo does create a representation of a company, and thus, it should have specific elements attached to it, to make it unique, different, but also familiar, making people feel good about it and drawn to it.

Let’s go through what courses are available when it comes to logo design.

Logo Design Masterclass by Logocore

Logocore offers not just logo design but also guidance on branding, freelancing, and animation. So if you want a bit more than just a logo design course, this course could be the one for you.

There are a total of 8 modules, over 13 hours of content, free updates, lifetime access, community, and mock client projects.

Price: $80

And if you want to upgrade your purchase, you can select the $100 option (Masterclass + Resources) which gives you the following items:

  • Logo Animation Lessons
  • Logo Presentation Mockups
  • Style Guide Project Files
  • Marketplace Priority
  • Verified Certificate

And if you want even more help with logo design, there’s also an option to get mentorship, priced at $320 at the time of writing.

Runner-up: Logo Design by theFutur

As theFutur is a business and design house. I can’t leave the fact out that they do have amazing courses on all things design. So they do have a course on logo design too, of course.

The course has 6 modules, over 400 minutes of content, and will cover the following topics:

  • Letter marks and monograms
  • Monoline logos
  • Word mark logos
  • Symbols/icons
  • Combination marks
  • Emblems/crests
  • Bonus module (Chris’s popular Adobe Illustrator shortcuts, “meh”)
  • Bonus: Logo Critique

Price: $149

If you are using a platform like Skillshare, I recommend that you check out Jessica’s course called Logotype Masterclass with Jessica Hische.

Adobe Illustrator

A graphic designer can’t be a graphic designer if there’s no software to do the design with. Surely plenty of designers use pen and paper to do the design, but you still need your work to be digitized.

Adobe is probably the biggest software company in the world and is trusted by millions of designers and creative people around the world.

Illustrator is specifically about vector art and making those non-destructible and highly-scalable designs out to the world.

You can get Illustrator (single app) for about $21/month, or if you want to get all Adobe apps at once, then it’s roughly $53/month.

But when it comes to learning the actual software, we turn to online courses and see what’s available and what covers the program as thoroughly as needed.

Illustrator CC 2020 Masterclass

This is what is said on the course page:

Udemy’s best-selling Illustrator course – by one of the Top 10 Adobe Instructors in the world – teaches you to use this industry-leading vector graphic application as a creative professional. The whole course content, including examples, techniques, exercises, and quizzes, have been carefully selected and refined to offer the most efficient and enjoyable way to master Adobe Illustrator.

This course has been purposely designed for users of all experiences, from complete beginners to existing Illustrator users, who want to take their skills to the next level. Being able to work with Illustrator confidently is an essential skill for any Graphic Designer or Illustrator, but it is an equally useful tool for Product Designers, Fashion Designers, UI/UX designers, and various other areas within and outside of the creative industry.

The course was created by Martin Perhiniak and have to say this isn’t the first time I come across this guy. So it was a pleasant surprise to see him being the teacher for this course. Martin has been in the business of design for a long time, so no wonder it’s one of the best illustrator courses found on Udemy.

The course has 94 videos and a total of 12 hours of content. You also have the option to download working files, and the content has been updated with the latest updates from Adobe CC.

Price: $14.99 (bargain)

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is probably one of the oldest art software (yes, there’s MS Paint still available) in the world. I remember using CS4 years back before I switched to Photoshop CC and to the subscription model. Luckily it’s not too costly to own this software.

Currently, it’s priced at $9.99/month (Creative Cloud Photography plan), and it comes with Lightroom and 20Gb of cloud storage.

While we might think that isn’t Illustrator, the one software to use when talking about doing design-related work. Photoshop is still excellent work for doing all sorts of things. Whether it’s color palette design work, creating different layouts for packaging, typeface design, etc.

While many think that Photoshop is only for photography, artists (including me) use the program for doing drawings, and illustrations.

And as for designers, creating flyers, posters, adjusting colors, or creating different layer effects to your images, Photoshop is the one software to use.

Let’s go through which courses are the best when it comes to learning Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop CC – Essentials Training Course by Daniel Scott

This is the best course I could find for learning everything about Adobe Photoshop CC. The course is created by Daniel Scott, who is a certified Adobe instructor. And what this means is that the course is created by someone who went and took the certification exam arranged by Adobe.

The course is best suited for beginners, and the course has been taken by more than 16,000 creatives, and over 70% of the reviewers said the course exceeded their expectations.

As the course can be found on Skillshare, the price will be based on a subscription. 

Skillshare subscription price: $8/month

If you want a more advanced level course, Daniel has another course for you: 

Adobe Photoshop CC – Advanced Training Course

This course has 13+ hours of content, 10+ interactive exercises, 68 downloadable resources, and much more. So there’s a lot of content for you if you feel that you are past beginner level and want to get in-depth knowledge.

The course has been taken by more than 5,400 creatives, and more than 80% of the reviewers said the course exceeded their expectations. 

And as you can find this course on Skillshare, you will only pay the same monthly price of $8, and you can learn both courses in the same month if you have the time.

Adobe InDesign

InDesign is the industry-leading layout and page design software for print and digital media. If you are doing print media, flyers, brochures, annual reports, magazines, or even books. InDesign is the software you should choose. 

InDesign is one software I’m truly interested in learning, so finding the best possible course to learn the ins and outs of this software is right up on my alley.

InDesign costs $20.99/month as a single app, or if you want to get an annual plan, then it would set you back $239.88/year. The plan grants you access to the latest features and updates as soon as they’re released. You will also get 100GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark with the plan.

As for the best courses

 on Adobe InDesign:

InDesign Quick Start by David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-host of CreativeProWeek.com and InDesignSecrets.com. David is also co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign and Real World Photoshop. So we can be pretty safe when we assume that David knows what he is talking about. However, as this course is for the beginners and only an introduction, I would complete this course by taking one of David’s from Skillshare.

LinkedIn learning pricing: $29.99/month or $299.88/year

But as I mentioned before, I would take another course to complete the experience. And it seems getting a course from David is the best choice.

Runner-up/Complimentary course: Adobe InDesign CC – Advanced Training by David Scott.

The course has been taken more than 3,900 creatives and is considered as an advanced InDesign course. The course has 70 lectures and 7+ hours of video content and gives you an in-depth look at the many features InDesign has as a layout and page-design software.

Skillshare subscription price: $8/month

Composition

Without a good composition, designs, typeface, logos, etc. it would be hard to understand and read. Composition affects the way we see and feel an image or a design. The composition is kind of ‘the’ make it or break it of design. 

Bad composition leads to a bad experience, and when that happens, you’ve failed as a designer. But how to learn composition, it is, after all, a visual skill. If you have a designer’s eye, creating good composition might come naturally from you. You might not even need to study that too much.

However, even with good taste on visual and good eye on design, it’s not a bad idea to learn more about composition. People are, after all, constantly creating new ways to attract our eyes. Good composition does that. Attract and create curiosity toward a subject.

Layout And Composition: Advanced Principles by Sean Adams

Sean Adams is the founder of design firm AdamsMorioka and has done design for clients such as Adobe. Sean Adams is a fulltime faculty member at Art Center College of Design and is the only two-term AIGA national president in the organization’s 100-year history.

The course includes topics:

  • Creating meaning with complex shapes
  • Using three-dimensional thinking
  • Maximizing the power of scale
  • How the tension is created with dissimilar elements
  • Alternative layout processes
  • Minimalism and maximalism
  • Rhythm in sequential design

Over 65,000 students have viewed the course. The course is an advanced one for the ones looking to learn all about layout and composition. There’s also a beginner version of the same topic by the same designer called: Graphic Design Foundations: Layout and Composition.

You can find both of these courses from LinkedIn Learning.

LinkedIn learning pricing: $29.99/month or $299.88/year

UX & UI design

User experience and user interface design. UX & UI is critical when it comes to using services, products, anything really. Even when you are reading this, it’s all about user experience and how you see this text. This text could be white on black or red on green. Your experience would be very different if you would have to read this in a large font from a tiny screen.

All of the above are UX and UI related things. How you experience and use a certain service. If we think about Netflix and how you scroll through the series and movies, or how you search for something to watch. If the UI were clunky or bad to use, you would notice it. 

If the series were listed in text format, would it be so good of user experience? Unlikely.

With any service, product, whether physical or digital, UX is essential. Even with ATMs, where you withdraw cash from your bank account. If the user interface were complicated and hard to understand, it could be that you wouldn’t be able to get cash from the machine when needed.

In design, UX and UI skills are something that you should at least a little about.

UX Fundamentals by Pluralsight

What is said about the course: 

In this course, UX Fundamentals, you’ll explore the elements of UX and its place within the development cycle. First, you’ll uncover quick and easy user research techniques that will help in understanding users and their goals. You’ll be able to apply this understanding throughout projects to ensure designs are user-centered. 

The course creator Krispian Emert has worked for award-winning agencies in Canada and Australia and has provided strategic UX consulting for some of the world’s top brands. And if you are looking for a more advanced course, you can get it from the same creator. 

Becoming More Valuable UX Professional

Both of the courses can be bought from Pluralsight.

Price: $29/month or $299/year

As for the UI (user interface), the following course will give you a solid foundation for becoming the best in UI design.

UI Design Program by CareerFoundry

The program differs from the rest of the group in the sense that CareerFoundry promises to land you a job as a UI designer after the program, or you will get your money back. The program is flexibly paced, 30h/week for 4.5 months, or 15h/week for 9 months. You have a mentor that is guiding you through the course, and almost 96% got a job after graduating. 

Rating: 4.9/5 from over 4000 student reviews

These are some impressive values, but so is the price.

Price: Roughly $6,000

Though if you can land a job after the program, that’s a nice bonus to think about.

Branding

How do you measure a brand? What is a brand? What is a business? While many think that brand is a logo, symbol, or some other landmark. A brand is a bit more than that. A brand is something that identifies you from the rest. So in a way, when you have a brand, you become unique. 

Designing a brand involves a lot of different skills, but as you are reading this, you are already ahead of the pack. This list covers your graphic designer skill needs, and when you become a so-called full-stack designer (meaning that you have mastered your craft), you know all the things needed to create a brand.

Typeface, logo, colors, layout, messaging, UX, UI, etc. A brand is all of those things, but more importantly, a brand is a complete experience that is different from the rest — creating a memorable experience within you.

Brand Building for Small Businesses and Consultants by CXL Institute

This course was created by Mike Murphy, Sr Director @ M.L.Murphy Productions. The course has 4-modules, that cover topics such as foundations, visual branding, serving your clients, and organizing your brand. The course has 9h 30 min of video content, and you get lifetime access to the material.

Price: $499 (one-time payment) or if you want to get all CXL courses, you can also buy a subscription for $199/month

Print design and publication

Even though a lot of visuals are consumed in digital format, the print is still present in our lives. Print design is a form of visual communication in which the design is printed on a tangible surface. Whether it’s newspaper, magazine, flyer, or a brochure, printed media is something that designers still do work for.

While we know that digital media is becoming a more and more dominant form of communication, there are still people who read newspapers or pick a magazine or two. 

While many principles do work in both medium, digital, and physical, there are few differences, and one of them is the color profile when designs are sent to print. What might look good on your display might look awful when printed.

By combining physical and digital communication, a designer is able to present new ways to communicate a client’s message worldwide.

Media Studies – Print and Publishing Media by Alison

The course has been taken by roughly 3,500 students already and is rated 4/5 stars. It has 2-3 hours worth of content, and you are able to get a certification upon completion. While the certificate is not one that is accredited, it’s still something you can show to future employers or add to your resume.

As the course is provided by Alison.com, you can take it for free. All you need to do is sign up and create an account. 

Price: 0$

Packaging and product design

Designing a package is all about making products look good. When we keep the discussion on design, the first thing I have in my mind is Starbucks and their coffee cups. That is packaging with capital B on branding. 

But that is design, right? That is making a product look good, making the package identifiable and something people can relate to. When you see a person with a bunch of Starbucks coffee cups on her desk, you instantly think that the person trusts on Starbucks and likes to use their service.

So the next time when you see a similar package, you think of coffee, and that is the power of branding in packaging and product design.

Making the package something that represents the company in the best possible way. Creating product designs that ooze the company’s brand and showcases how the company is different from others.

Remember when Apple brought another form of packaging to the market. You didn’t just buy an iPhone, you bought experience, and the experience started already by opening the package. The packaging was beautiful and not just another tech device. 

It’s said that you can sell the same product in a different package and charge a premium for it. Think about premium soaps, it’s soap after all, and you can charge a premium just by packaging it luxuriously and making the design shout elite.

Packaging and product design are exciting, and it was interesting to find the best possible course on product design and packaging.

Learning Package Design

The course was created by Gerardo Herrera, and more than 50,000 creatives have taken the course. The course is 1h long and is suited for beginners.

Topics include:

  • Why is packaging important?
  • What makes a successful package?
  • Choosing a form that communicates the brand
  • Finding a packaging vendor
  • Designing and testing
  • Typography choices
  • Color considerations
  • Materials, texture, and finishes
  • Shelf appeal and consumer response

Motion graphic and animated graphic design

Animation and digital footage that creates the illusion of motion. That is pretty much what is said in the short description found on Wikipedia. But what is this got to do with graphic design? Should you be an animator too?

Well, if you are going to be doing animated graphic design, then yeah. That is one subcategory in graphic design.

Animated graphic design can be found from the television title sequences. Think HBO’s Ture Detective, Netflix’s Stranger Things, and you get the point.

Animated graphic design is graphic design, but instead of it being static, there’s motion in it. You can use it effectively in branding projects, where you want to animate a logo, for example. Or if you want to do a product launch, you might want something graphical design implemented to it, like in the Bubly commercial.

As the way to do animation and motion graphics is so varied, I made the decision to add an entire site specialized in motion graphics.

Motion Design School

Motion Design School offers plenty of courses on animation, whether it’s character animation, Adobe After Effects fundamentals, Cinema 4D, or Toon Boom.

The price ranges from FREE to $599 

Project management

Now, what on earth does project management got to do with graphic design? The next few courses will concentrate on entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

Project management skills are essential when you are running your own design agency. Even if there would be only you, and it would be kind of a one-man-band. You still need management skills. 

You will “eventually” get client projects that are big in scale, so you need a system in place to be able to organize your work. The online course presented here is one that covers the very basic needs a small business owner needs when it comes to handling client projects.

The course is made with the graphic design industry in mind as it’s done none other than theFutur.com’s creatives.

Practical Project Management

The course has 70+ videos, plug & play email templates, work approval form, software tutorials, and bonuses such as delivery folder structure, and project delivery structure.

The course is co-created by Matthew Encina and Ben Burns. 

Ben is a brand strategist, an award-winning designer, and just a successful entrepreneur all around. As the Digital Director of Blind, he leads at the intersection of design and technology and oversees most of the business development at Blind. He is responsible for closing millions of dollars in new business, with an average client engagement size of over $150,000.

Matthew is an award-winning creative director at Blind. Some of his clients include Fortune 500 brands, music artists, tech companies, and video games. For over a decade, he has been working on top-tier campaigns at some of Los Angeles’ premier design studios and agencies. His work has been featured in Fast Company, Creativity, Inc., Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, and in film & design festivals around the world.

Price: $249

When it comes to experience on client projects, you can’t go wrong with Ben and Matthew. 

Time management & productivity

Believe it or not, but time management is the very foundation of your success in everything. While it might sound like, are you serious? I would argue that managing your time efficiently is the best thing you can do to your business.

And if you skipped straight to this part of the post, I have to remind you that time management and project management are here if you are one who would like to establish a creative agency and become a productive powerhouse.

If you think about your days and where you spend your time the most, would you say it’s doing work or… could it be that the majority of your time goes to something totally else than work and being productive. 

Surfing online, chatting on WhatsApp, scrolling Facebook feed, checking the latest Instagram posts, or entertainment news, might not be the most efficient way to spend your time.

It’s amazing how many times our minds wander around, and we stop doing productive work. It’s no wonder if people don’t advance in their lives when the time is used to do things that are not related to anything but garbage.

So let’s check what could be the best time management course you can get yourself and start being more productive.

But rather than just getting yourself time management course, let’s get you something better. A total revamp of your life.

 HPX Courses by Brendon Burchard

HPX Courses is a monthly program that brings the world’s best personal development courses to you on a monthly basis. Every month you will get full implementation guides and monthly challenges to keep you on your A-game. You basically get more than a dozen online personal development courses for the price of one.

When it comes to personal development, Brendon Burchard is your go-to man. Even Oprah, Usher, and Inc.com have recognized him as one of the best personal development coaches of our time.

This is what you’ll get within the program:

  • EIGHT (8) personal development courses unlocked for you right now! Four from Brendon Burchard, and 4 from other personal development legendary teachers like Danielle LaPorte, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, and health guru Dr. Mark Hyman!
  • TWO (2) world-class personal development courses unlocked every month.
  • Monthly implementation guides and emails to keep you on-track and growing!
  • FREE group coaching session with a Certified High-Performance Coach to talk through where you are, where you want to go, and what habits and strategies get you there faster.

Price: $59.99/month or $349/year

Digital Marketing

As you are building your own design agency, you do have to know a thing or two about marketing, especially digital marketing. 

Persuasion, client acquisition, lead generation, social media reach, Facebook, and Google advertising; All these things mentioned are only the very tip of the marketing iceberg you have to master.

It’s essential that you are known, found, liked, and trusted in the marketplace, and with correct and strong messaging, you can carve a market share for yourself.

Let’s dive in and see one of the strongest digital marketing online course on planet earth currently.

The Marketing Seminar by Seth Godin

I can not say enough good things about Seth Godin. After reading his book, ‘This is marketing,’ I can say that Seth is teaching marketing from the right perspective. Not from the perspective of leads and greed but by getting permission and helping people.

You and are, after all, marketing to people, so we should also approach them as people, people with feelings, desires, emotions, fears, and hopes. Marketing can be a beautiful thing, and Seth Godin is the best teacher to show you that.

Price: $745 (includes 70 lessons)

You can also grab the core 50 lessons from Udemy

Price: $199.99

Graphic Design Business

Creating your own graphic design agency could be terrifying, or it could be exciting. To ease the pain of knowing everything and repeating errors, it’s a good option to learn from the ones managing a creative business already. 

I guess I’m a small fan of theFutur.com and so I couldn’t leave this course without a mention.

So here it is, the full course on creatives wanting to build their own graphic design agency.

Business Bootcamp by theFutur.com

While the program is open only now and then, you can always go through the other courses mentioned here and top it off with this Business Bootcamp course when it opens for the public.

Price: $ (not available)

So here’s the full list of online courses most graphic designers should take or at least know that these skills could come handy down in the graphic river.

10+ Online Course Examples For Online Businesses

online_course_examples_online_business

This post will be very different from what you are used to seeing online. We will cover some of the most robust, badass, super courses you can get online.

These are not your typical enroll in a course to learn a skill or two. These courses give results that are just stupendous. While some of the courses might be case studies, the case studies presented are still one of those jaw-dropping ones.

These courses are not cheap, and they are not for everyone. I would even dare to say that those high achievers that want to elevate their life, finance, and freedom to another level. These courses are for you.

This list wasn’t the easiest to compile, but with thorough and extensive industry knowledge and some rigorous searching. I was able to find courses that rock.

While we do have to remember that these courses promise some impressive results, it’s always up to the student to get those results.

Many of these courses were created by millionaires or multi-millionaires. So there are lessons that could be life-changing experiences.

There are plenty of customer results, and some of them are downright insane. However, with these kinds of courses, you have to be careful as everyone starts to from different situations in their lives.

So while someone else could receive results, it doesn’t guarantee that you will. Some of these courses do master the art of persuasion and could suck you into their world. So be cautious.

But let’s get started with the courses. 

1. Frank Kern

frank_kern

Frank Kern is the creator of Behavioral Dynamic Response. BDR is an automated marketing method that speeds the sales cycle by customizing marketing messages based on the prospect’s behavior.

Frank is known for copywriting and direct response marketing (email marketing). He’s born in 1973 and has four kids. His net worth is estimated to be around $28M.

Below are some of his products and courses:

Mass conversion

  • Price at time of writing: $2,997
  • Four-week online training that teaches you how to create lead magnets to different customers. It also shows you how to do upsells, cross-sells in an automated way with qualified leads. 
  • Level: Beginner to intermediate

Info business blueprint

  • Price at the time of writing: $2,997
  • Five-week online training that shows you how to choose the ideal digital product type for your market. The training will also show you how to create content efficiently, validate the idea, and how to outline your product content. 
  • Level: Intermediate to advanced

Client acquisition system

  • Price at the time of writing: $3,997
  • Five-week online training program specifically made for consultants, coaches, and professional service providers. This training program is all about getting those highly valued clients and making sure you charge the right amount of money per client. Training also includes an omnipresence strategy to attract the right prospects to you and convert them to highly interested leads.
  • Level: intermediate to advanced

Ultimate webinar blueprint

  • Price at the time of writing: $2,997
  • A 28-day online course that shows you how to leverage the power of webinars to sell your services and products. The training shows you how to make sure the cold lead is warmed up in the right to make sure there is trust established between you and the potential customer. 
  • Level: Beginner to intermediate

Thoughts: The courses are priced at the high end and are those premium courses that you could expect from a multi-millionaire. At the time of writing, there were no customer testimonials visible on the sales page. Also, I couldn’t see a rating for the courses, so it’s up to the buyer to figure out if the courses are worth the price or not.

2. Smart Marketer by Ezra Firestone

Ezra is the CEO of Smart Marketer, and he owns several businesses, has a loving marriage, and an awesome team behind him to operate the business with him. The company now has roughly 40 employees all over the world and generates somewhat $20M annually. 

The smart marketer has plenty of courses to choose from. You can also select coaching, membership, software, or free mini-courses from the Smart Marketer’s’ product catalog.

Below are some of the courses:

Smart email marketing 2.0

  • Price at the time of writing: $1,497
  • This is a 6-week online course that focuses on growing your eCommerce business. There are more than six modules to go through and will show different strategies to get customers from cold to warm and eventually to a happy customer. The course will also show various autoresponders for post-purchase, pre-purchase, hot-list, cart abandonment, among others.

Smart Google traffic

  • Price at the time of writing: $997
  • This is a 5-module training that shows you how to use Google’s insane reach to create brand awareness and convert new customers. Training includes AdWords, Search, Display Network, Shopping, and YouTube advertising.

Smart social

  • Price at the time of writing: $1,497
  • This is an 8-week intensive training where you will learn the strategies and content funnels Ezra used to generate $40M in two years. While also showing you how it was done with a 45% repeat customer rate.

3. Clickminded

Clickminded is a company run by two guys Tommy Griffith and Eduardo Yi. Clickminded is all about traffic, SEO, and digital marketing. There’s not too much info about the company, but the main focus seems to be on SEO. It also seems like the homepage follows a simple persuasion tactic called “one sentence persuasion.” But with that aside, let’s look at the courses.

Clickminded SEO course

  • Price at the time of writing: $497 or $997
  • It seems like you can either select lifetime access to one course or buy the bundle that has all Clickminded courses also including lifetime access. The courses include email marketing, Google analytics, content marketing, social media, paid advertising, SEO course, and mini-courses. The focus is on SEO and increasing sales from every digital marketing channel.

4. Million Dollar Creation by Peng Joon

Peng Joon is a multi-millionaire, and while it could be thought that he went on to become a millionaire in a year or two, it took more than a decade to get to that level of success. Rather than trying to do things on a whim and rushing into things, his approach was to get better one step at a time. 

Million Dollar Creation

  • Price at the time of writing: $2,497/year
  • The program consists of four different stages. Starting from lead capturing and attracting the right leads. This is followed by generating your first sale with replicable results. The third stage is where you start scaling your business from 5-figures to 6-figures. Ending with the fourth stage, where you will scale from 6-figures to 7-figures.

5. Course From Scratch by Danielle Leslie

danielle_leslie

If you are wanting to create your own online course and want a step-by-step plan to do so. Course From Scratch provides a proven plan for creating your own online course, and visiting the site shows that people do get real results with the course. The course has over 300 success stories. What should be noted, though, is that the courses’ official facebook group has roughly 3.5K members on it? Meaning that the success rate is somewhat 9%. Meaning that 1/10 people will get results with the course.

Course From Scratch

  • Price at the time of writing: $1,997
  • The course has six modules that will teach you all about MVC (minimum viable course), culture add, mindset, email list building, content creation, and conversions. All in all, the course will take you through from the very beginning of course creation to selling your course. While it’s not guaranteed that you will make sales, you are given all the tools and knowledge to get the best shot at nailing it with your course.

6. The High-Ticket Drop Shipping Masterclass by Trevor Fenner

Trevor has been building and running eCommerce stores for over ten years and is currently focused on Shopify to run his business. Trevor is the co-creator of eCommerce Paradise and offers courses, DFY (done-for-you) services as well as coaching. Courses are all about dropshipping, while the services focus on email marketing and google ads. The coaching part is for conversion rate optimization.

The High-Ticket Drop Shipping Masterclass

  • Price at the time of writing: $997
  • The course has 15 modules and covers things like niche selection, website building, strategies for getting suppliers, how to add products to your website, Shopify app optimization, email marketing, etc. The course also has bonuses for you, including a pass for a closed Facebook group, niche research spreadsheet, optimized Shopify theme, etc. The course has roughly 20+ hours of video content and will take you from a beginner to a drop shipping master. Do read the refund policy before purchase.

7. Offer Mind by Steve J. Larsen

Stephen (Steve) is an entrepreneur and knows what it feels like to fail. After failing a bunch of times, he finally landed himself a position where he was able to get around the right people. After meeting Russell Brunson, the founder of ClickFunnels, things started to change for the better.

I’ve had the privilege of getting coached by Stephen and have to say he is a wonderful person. Though I do have to admit that you either love him or hate him, that’s the kind of person he is. 

Stephen offers a lot of programs to choose from, and while some are “FREE,” there’s always a hidden agenda involved within internet marketing.

Offer Mind

  • Price at the time of writing: $2,000
  • Offer Mind is, first and foremost, a teaching event. The event lasts two days and can be considered a course of such. The event is held live and in the U.S currently. It’s all about creating that perfect offer. Offers are what sell, not the product, that is at least the mentality in successful online marketing currently. Stephen is one of those guys who knows how to craft an offer and visiting his sales pages do tell that story.

8. Social Media United (SMU) by Rachel Pedersen

Rachel is one of those funnel hackers, and funnel millionaires. While funnels do work wonders and bring that steady flow of passive income, we shouldn’t forget that there are real people going through the funnel. Rachel is considered the Queen of social media, and she was able to quit her previous 9-5 job and build a career as a social media strategist and manager. Now she is showing us how she did it. How she was able to leverage social media to make a fortune online.

Social Media United

  • Price at the time of writing: $69/month
  • I’ve followed Rachel for a while, and while I wrote the price as $69/month, I’ve seen it changing at least three times in the past year. So it could very well be something totally different when you go and check her SMU course out. SMU offers you strategies in the form of video training, live monthly Q&A, private community, templates, and more. Social Media United is promoting a lifestyle of freedom by becoming a social media manager.

9. How To Find Clients – Marketing & Lead Generation by Chris Do

Chris Do is an Emmy award-winning designer, CEO and Chief Strategist of Blind and the founder of The Futur—an online education platform that teaches the business of design to creatives. While that sentence was copied straight from their about page, I can say that I have liked the content Chris Do has put out on their YouTube channel. 

Chris is all about design, creativity, and business. The Futur is on the mission of educating 1 billion creatives on how to make money with their talent. If you are into design and creating awesome looking content, I would say The Futur offers superb content on that part.

Marketing & Lead Generation

  • Price at the time of writing: $299
  • Marketing & Lead Generation is a course about finding those perfect clients and getting leads that convert into business. While the course is most suitable for new and beginner creatives. Even the most experienced designers and creative folks can learn a thing or two from this course. The course seems to have 4-part video series as well as some workbooks to fill out. I would say the price is pretty affordable, but then again, you might fall short on content, so do take that into account when and if purchasing this course. 

10. Knowledge Business Blueprint by Tony Robbins & Dean Graziosi

Multi-multi-millionaire and a multi-millionaire as your teachers? Sounds good, right? Tony Robbins (the $MMM), and Dean ($MM) are one of the biggest names in online business, online marketing, and entrepreneurship. Both of these guys ooze that entrepreneur spirit, and when the two combined their knowledge, experience, skills, and wealth, Knowledge Business Blueprint was born. 

I won’t go into details as to who they are, but I would dare to say that once you see them, you can’t unsee them. That’s called omnipresence marketing.

Knowledge Business Blueprint

  • Price at the time of writing: $1,997
  • Knowledge Business Blueprint is comprised of four modules. The first module is where you will extract your knowledge and find those who are willing to pay for your knowledge. Module two is called ‘Fill It,’ which is where you will be creating your own mastermind and hold your own masterminds. Module three is all about making you become a strong leader and making sure you profit from the events you are holding. Module four is about becoming a knowledge broker. Rather than just selling your own knowledge, you are leveraging other people’s knowledge and profiting from that.

A final note

That was quite a list of courses. Courses like Knowledge Business Blueprint and Course From Scratch are both premium-priced courses, but when compared to a lower-priced course, we can clearly see where the difference in price comes from.

Premium pricing is usually reserved for courses that cover a lot of ground. Teaches you more than you paid for and will more than usually give you a path to great results.

Lower priced courses tend to leave things behind and might not give you all you need. However, don’t let that be the decisive point when thinking of buying a lower priced course.

Facebook pixel and retargeting

I almost said who, how, and why these courses creators use Facebook pixels and other marketing tactics, but I wanted to leave it to the end and not name anyone specifically. 

But the thing is that most of the course owners are using advanced retargeting methods, and you are more than likely bombarded with retargeting ads immediately when you use Facebook the next time. 

So if you check the sales pages, remember that you are very quickly sucked into their world, and they will do everything to persuade you to buy — not everybody, of course (but most anyway). And it’s not a bad thing either.

If the online course can help you in your life, it’s only a good thing these businesses bring their A-game on and help you with their online course.

I wanted to point out this system, so you know what will happen next, and you now know how it works.

I didn’t want to have links to the sites just because I don’t want you to click on those pages only to be retargeted immediately.

Success?

What should be remembered about every online course is the success ratio? How many course takers actually got results? What I’m seeing is that around 3% will have success with online courses. That is, 3 people out of 100 will actually achieve what was promised.

So when you are reading the product description and visiting the sales pages. Remember that getting success with the course might not happen to you. You might be one of those 97 that will not get any success with the course.

And it’s not about the price either. Even if you might think that the pricier the course, the better results you will get. Well, that is hardly the case. It’s always about the situation you are in. What is the initial setting, and what are your strengths, and are those aligned with the course?

Online courses demand a lot from you, and if you are not able to invest time, sweat, and tears, you might not make it.

Countdown timers

While many sites have these countdown timers and whatnot manipulative marketing tactics. You can be pretty sure that the clock will start again and again, even if such a timer is present. 

So while some sales pages have these 20 minute time limits to purchase the course, it’s safe to say that those timers are only there to create a sense of scarcity and urgency. Hitting a refresh button on that page will tell you if the timer is for real or for manipulation.

As a final final note, I would say that the best online courses can be found from solo entrepreneurs and online businesses. That’s my thought, but also my experience with online courses.

10+ Best Sites For Online Courses

best_online_course_sites

When it comes to online learning and gaining knowledge through online programs, I have it covered. There are over 10 massive sites that offer you hundreds and thousands of online courses, some for free and some for a small fee.

When we think sites like Udemy and the volume of courses they sell, it’s downright insane. 2018 revenue report shows that Udemy had over 30 million students, over 100,000 courses with around 42,000 instructors on their platform.

I have gathered below an extensive list of some of the biggest and best online course websites you can find online. The list covers sites that sell online courses.

Here’s a rundown on the sites that are covered in detail in this post:

  • Udemy
  • Skillshare
  • Pluralsight
  • Masterclass
  • Coursera
  • Udacity
  • LinkedIn Learning (former Lynda)
  • Khan Academy
  • edX
  • Alison
  • Codecademy
  • Memrise

Udemy

Udemy is one of the biggest players in the online course market and no wonder. These are some of the statistics found from their site:

  • 40M Students
  • 130K Courses
  • 50K Instructors
  • 245M Course enrollments
  • 30M Minutes of video
  • 60+ Languages
  • 4,000+ Enterprise customers
  • 80%of Fortune 100 companies trust us for employee upskilling

Those are some very impressive figures, and what needs a closer look is the number of courses they offer — 130k online courses from 50K instructors. 

Udemy has courses on 60+ languages, making the platform suitable for many. 

Top categories on Udemy: 

  • Business
  • Design
  • Photography
  • Development
  • Marketing
  • IT and software
  • Personal Development
  • Music

How much do courses cost on Udemy?

Every instructor sets a price for a course they’ve created based on the global price matrix set by Udemy. The courses are priced in the range of $19,99-199,99. What this means is that courses will cost a maximum of $199,99.

From this perspective, Udemy offers courses at an affordable price. While this is good for the course buyer, it’s not too good for the course creator.

If you want to buy a course, you first need to create an account for Udemy, and then you can buy a course and start learning.

Skillshare

While Skillshare is not as gigantic as Udemy, it’s a platform worth considering. Skillshare has stated on their site the following:

  • 4M+ Students
  • 5M+ Paid to teachers
  • 22,000+ Classes

What’s probably one of the best features of Skillshare is that you can start using them for free. You can have up to one month of free use of their service (Premium membership). After the initial free month, the service will cost 

Even though Skillshare has free classes that you can start watching right away, usually, there’s only one lesson open for learning, and the rest are locked behind the membership fee.

If you want to buy courses from Skillshare, you first have to make an account for them, and then you are shown the pricing. 

Skillshare pricing

Skillshare is priced at $8/month ($96 billed annually) or $14/month if you are not ready to pay the yearly subscription.

Pluralsight

Pluralsight is strongly focused on IT and technology courses and career development. The site is working with major tech companies like Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle, Google, etc.

If you are interested in developing your IT-skills and make yourself skilled in technology, Pluralsight is an awesome course site to check.

Pluralsight has course categories such as:

  • Software development
  • IT Ops
  • Data professional
  • Information & Cyber Security

Few statistics from the site:

  • 1,500+ expert authors
  • Trusted by 70% of the Fortune 500 companies, more than 17,700 business accounts.
  • 1,400+ employees
  • Headquartered in Utah

When thinking about getting a course on software development, I would be hesitant to get it from Udemy. And would probably lean towards Pluralsight, just because the company is specialized in technology.

Pluralsight pricing

Pluralsight has a few different plans and different pricing models for personal and businesses.

Personal plans cost $29/month or $299/year. On the business side, you select either professional or enterprise. Professional plan costs $499/ month/user and enterprise plan costs $779/month/user.

You can start using the site for free with some limitations. You have ten days and 200 minutes of viewing available to you. After the 10 days, the trial will convert to a paid subscription that will auto-renew until the subscription is canceled.

Masterclass

Masterclass is a very different beast in the online course market. Masterclass has online courses from the world’s most famous people ever. Christina Aquilera teaches you singing, Samuel L. Jackson teaches you acting, and Usher teaches you the art of performance.

As you can see from the list above, these are some highly-paid talents that you can only dream of having as a teacher (results may/will wary).

While there might not be as many courses as some other platforms have, the emphasis on this platform is the star-quality the teachers bring. There are over 60 teachers from various industries, sharing their knowledge on the topic they know the best.

Masterclass pricing

Masterclass is priced at 16.67€/month. I tried to find U.S pricing but didn’t find any. So a rough estimate would be $15/month. Before you buy, remember that the service billed annually.

Coursera

Coursera offers courses from universities and companies. Some courses will grant you professional certificates, and some even give you university degrees. Coursera has courses from universities like Penn, Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan, etc. Companies include the likes of Google, IBM, SAS, etc.

Some statistics from the site:

  • 40M learners
  • 190+ University partners
  • 3,600+ Courses
  • 390 Specializations
  • 15+ Certificates
  • 14+ Degrees

Just looking at the numbers, we can see that Coursera is a big player when it comes to certificates and degrees. Not many course site offers a valid accredited certificate or a degree online. Coursera is one of those. You can get an accredited university bachelor’s or master’s degree from the site, but it might not be 100% online. Also, the cost is pretty high, as it starts at $15,000 (USD).

What makes Coursera stand out from the crowd is the fact that they offer accredited courses and degrees. These types of certificates, licenses, and degrees are something potential employers appreciate.

Coursera pricing

You can start as low as $39/month, but when it comes to degrees, the price starts at $15,000 and can get up to $25,000. You can begin to use Coursera for free for 7-days by creating an account for the site. After the 7-day free trial period, you will be charged accordingly.

Udacity

Udacity is focused on technology-related courses and education. Udacity has its own program called Nanodegree program. The program has real-world projects from industry experts, 1-on-1 technical mentoring, personal career coach and career services, and flexible learning program. 

Some of the most popular Nanodegree programs include:

  • C++
  • UX Designer
  • Front end web developer
  • Full stack web developer
  • Data engineer
  • Intro to machine learning

Some statistics from the site:

  • 80,000+ Udacity graduates
  • 200+ Industry experts partnering with Udacity
  • 100+ Enterprise customers worldwide

Udacity offers different schools for different categories, such as:

  • School of data science
  • School of artificial intelligence
  • School of programming
  • School of autonomous systems
  • School of cloud computing

Udacity pricing

Udacitys’ pricing model differs a bit from most of the sites. As Udacity offers its own Nanodegree programs, every program seems to be priced $399/month, regardless of which program you decide to get for yourself.  

Programs are self-paced, meaning that you can go through the programs whenever you have the time and the will. 

LinkedIn Learning (former Lynda)

LinkedIn Learning doesn’ differentiate itself too much from a platform like Skillshare. Maybe the only difference that can be said is that LinkedIn Learning emphasis that the courses are taught by recognized industry experts.

Some of the top course categories:

  • Developer (software and technology)
  • Business
  • Design
  • Web
  • Photography
  • Marketing

LinkedIn Learning helps you learn about business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. LinkedIn Learning provides access to 15,000+ expert-led courses, you can also receive a certificate (not an accredited one) when you complete a course, and you can use the platform from your mobile phone too.

LinkedIn Learning Pricing

You can access the courses by getting yourself either a monthly or annual subscription. The monthly plan costs €30,73/month, or €20,49/month (billed annually). You can start your subscription with a 1-month free trial.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a non-profit online course site. The organization has roughly 150 person staff, and its mission is to provide a free, world‑class education for anyone, anywhere.

While it seems the focus is on providing education for kids, it’s not to say that an older person can also use their platform too.

Khan Academy provides courses on topics such as:

  • Math
  • Math by grade (specific courses for certain age groups)
  • Science & engineering
  • Arts & humanities
  • Test prep
  • Computing
  • Economics & finance
  • College, careers, & more

Khan Academy works by donations as its a non-profit organization. You can donate with a credit card or with PayPal. They also offer you the option to donate either monthly or one time.

According to the 2018 annual financial report, roughly 12% of donations went for general and administrative (including fundraising), and the rest 88% went for the program. The program raised funds somewhat 49M in 2018.

edX

edX is a non-profit organization like Khan Academy. With the difference that it was founded by Harvard and MIT. The site has courses from universities like MIT, Harvard University, Berkeley, Boston University, etc. While the edX is non-profit, education and courses still cost a lot of money.  

For example, applying for a master’s degree in Business Administration from Boston University sets you back $24,000 and takes around 2-3 years to complete. It’s fully online and has 6 modules to complete.

Popular subjects:

  • Computer science
  • Language
  • Data science
  • Business management
  • Engineering
  • Humanities

edX doesn’t have one set of prices but is priced per degree or a course. Courses do earn you a certificate, but it’s not an accredited one, more like nice to have one.

Alison

Alison is a site that offers certificates like ISO 9001 and diplomas. While the platform is totally free to use. If you want a certificate or a diploma on your course completion, then you have to shell out some cash.

Accreditation inside Alison is made with transparency in mind. Employers can see and take the same tests the course student had, and see what the students have learned inside the course. Employers can also watch employees take these tests again and see if the knowledge and skills they acquired are still valid.

It’s also stated on their site that Alison students get jobs. Meaning that employers trust on the courses and knowledge provided by the platform.

Alison pricing

Alison also offers a premium program at the price of €7,99/month. Maybe the biggest benefit is that you will get 50% off the price of certification.

Codecademy

Codecademy is an online course site specifically for coders and people who want to learn how to code. Codecademy has been used by more than 45M learners already. If you are into coding, Codecademy is one of the best sites to learn just that. 

Course subjects:

  • Web development
  • Programming
  • Data science
  • Partnerships
  • Design
  • Game development

Offering by code language:

  • HTML & CSS
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • SQL
  • Bash/Shell
  • Ruby
  • C++
  • R
  • C#
  • PHP

Codecademy pricing

The site offers 12-month, 6-month, and monthly subscriptions. The subscription is called the Pro Membership program and offers you members-only content, a step-by-step roadmap, real-world projects, and community support.

Memrise

Memrise is an online course site for learning a language. 43M people from 189 countries already use Memrise to learn a language. Besides learning a language, you can also learn things about animals, astronomy, plants, trees, and fruits. 

Memrise is a different beast altogether. While most sites are focused on courses that give you the knowledge, Memrise focuses on language and teaching you a new skill. You can find exotic courses from this site such as baby animal names, butterflies of northern Europe, 400+ top birdsongs.

As you can see from the list, Memrise differs hugely from the rest of the group and positively so.

Memrise pricing

Memrise offers a subscription service where you can pay monthly, annually, or once and get lifetime access to all of the courses on Memrise. The monthly subscription costs $8,99/month, or annually €5,00/month (billed annually). Lifetime access costs €109,99.

A final note

Thanks to the internet, we, as lifelong students have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to learning online. The online course industry is booming with supply, and combining all courses from all the different platforms out there, we can safely say that every topic imaginable is covered to some extent.

While these sites are one of the biggest ones in the online course industry, we shouldn’t forget that some of the best courses can be found from solo entrepreneurs and small online business owners. 

Online courses offer you diplomas, licenses, certificates, degrees, and at the end, knowledge, and skills. Sites like Coursera, Udacity, and edX offer you university-level degrees, and you can get those from the comfort of your sofa. 

What should be remembered, though, is that do employers recognize the certificate or diploma you got from an online course program. While most employers do recognize top universities, it’s still your best interest to check the programs thoroughly before enrolling in one.

Online courses provide you the ease of access, access to top-class professionals, a way to learn from the industry experts. This is made possible with sites like Masterclass, LinkedIn Learning, and Alison.

There’s no shortage of online course sites, and there’s certainly no shortage of online courses. The question that remains is which site to choose. Which site has the best offering for you? 

My recommendation is to choose a site that is specialized in your topic. If you are into coding, Codecademy is a brilliant site to start with. If you are into design, Skillshare could be your thing.

It’s really about the topic you want to learn. It’s not about if there’s a course on the topic, it’s from who do you want to learn from.

One key thing to remember at the end is, will you get support of any kind from the course creator or not. Enrolling to a course can quickly become overwhelming, and in the worst-case scenario, you will quit the course and lose money. So be careful when you choose a course for yourself. Support will probably be the number thing you need, so make sure it has a community of some kind.