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.

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