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.

14 Best Graphic Design Courses & Tutorials (FREE And Paid)

best_free_and_paid_graphic_design_online_courses

You do not always have to spend years in higher education to learn new skills. Graphic design skills are in demand, and you can learn them online in a short time. 

While many of these courses cost money, one can also learn these skills for free. The cost of a paid graphics design course is, in any case, vastly less than a multi-year degree.

As the world becomes more digital, education becomes something that one does increasingly online. As well as schooling becoming more digital, digital skills are frequently in demand. 

Graphic designers are the illustrators of the internet age, using their skills to create the internet. You do not need a full degree in graphic design to work in this field. 

However, the courses one takes must be respected and of high quality. Not all online graphic design courses are created equal. One needs to have a respected graphics design certificate.

1. Udemy: Graphic Design Bootcamp: Part 1

Udemy is an excellent place to start if you want to learn new skills online. Many people who begin a new career by learning skills cheaply over the internet start at Udemy. 

While you can take many different graphic design classes at Udemy, you should start with a program that many others have finished and given positive reviews to. Taking a course that only has a few reviews is not a good idea. 

One of the best and most respected courses on Udemy is the Graphic Design Bootcamp, which has thousands of positive reviews. Tens of thousands of people have completed this popular course.

Many projects that involve Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator produce purely online media. However, these programs are often also used to create printed media. The Udemy course will train you to use these programs not only for digital media projects but for print projects as well. 

People often judge classes by the prestige of their instructors. The instructor, in this case, is Derrick Mitchell, who has worked for Nintendo, MTV, and Netflix.

You will learn Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign by designing projects that resemble projects completed in the real world. The assignments you will do in the Graphic Design Bootcamp are similar to the work employees do in the real world. 

You will learn how to create flyers and business cards that could be either used online or printed. Included with the small price of the course is access to a private facebook group that may help you find work.

2. Udemy: Learn Professional 2D Game Graphic Design in Photoshop

2D game graphics are not dead by any means. If there was ever a time in which 2D games seemed to be well on their way out, the mobile gaming industry saved 2D gaming, and it looks likely to be here forever. 

Many games look and play better with 2D graphics than with 3D models. With commercial 2D games still being a thing, you can always make money, creating 2D game graphics.

One thing that you should probably have if you want to make the most of this course is a drawing pad. Drawing pads are not expensive and will allow you to create graphics more quickly than you could with a mouse. 

While drawing graphics with a mouse can work, anyone serious about working in-game graphics should have the right tools. If you are sure that you are interested in the field, you should get a drawing pad before taking the course. 

You will need photoshop to take the course (a trial version is free) and should have light drawing skills before attempting this course.

The Professional 2D Game Graphic Design course is cheap and accessible, having taught new skills to more than 40,000 students so far. 

The course is taught by someone who has been designing game graphics since the age of 17. The course will teach you how to create game graphics from scratch and not by tracing or piecing together images.

3. Udemy: After Effects CC: Complete Course from Novice to Expert

Udemy’s After Effects CC course is relatively lengthy and aims to make a student a minor expert with the software. It is not merely an introduction to the course and will move the student from elementary to much more advanced projects. 

The course includes 20 small exercises, as well as a few larger projects. The course contains 22 hours of video, dozens of articles, and 47 resources. 

The course will take a fair bit of time to complete but is intended to make you an expert with the program. Since this is an advanced course with more than 440 lectures, it is of use to those with intermediate After Effects skills and not merely of use to newbies. 

Camera angles, lighting, 3D animation, how to import files made in other Adobe graphics programs, and masking effects are all covered here.

4. Udemy: GIMP Beginner-Advanced: Free Photoshop-like Graphic Design

You do not have to pay a monthly fee for Photoshop to use a program capable of creating professional quality graphics. Gimp is a program of comparable quality that is free. 

In spite of it being free and open-source, it still has a list of features to compare to Photoshop. Like Photoshop, Gimp can take some time to learn. If you learn Gimp systematically through an online course instead of by fooling around with different tools, you can learn a lot more in a shorter time.

Many courses are available for the same subject on Udemy, and you should choose a commonly used and respected program. While someone who takes a photoshop course for free will have to complete the course before the free trial runs out, you can take as long as you want with a Gimp graphics course. 

The course videos total 13 hours in length, split into 30-minute segments. Each segment covers a specific topic so that you can fully understand one subject before moving on to another. 

As well as teaching you to create high-quality graphics such as a book cover of professional quality, the course will teach you how to distribute memes on facebook.

5. Alison – Applying Design Principles

Alison’s Applying design principles will teach those who already know how to design graphics with a few different programs, the general principles of high-quality graphic design. 

You can learn how some colors, fonts, and logos are better for getting the viewer’s attention than others. A good website has a good color scheme, and you cannot be an expert web designer without a good understanding of color. 

Someone who already knows how to design graphics can improve their skills further by understanding concepts such as contrast and hierarchy. Best of all, this is a free course. For something that takes only a few hours to complete, it is an excellent return on investment.

6. Coursera – Graphic Design Specialization

Coursera’s Graphic design specialization program is amazingly lengthy for a completely free course. If you work at the course part-time, say four hours per week, it will take about six months to complete. 

The program consists of four courses, which focus on the basics of graphic design, typography, more advanced image-making techniques, and the history and terminology of graphic design.

The course is not mostly about how to use different programs; it is a more general course about how to link different skills together to become a graphic designer. 

Some would prefer to take shorter courses that focus only on how to use a graphic design program. However, those looking for a more general course in graphic design can hardly do better than taking this course for free.

The first course, “Fundamentals of graphic design,” will teach skills through practical projects and video lectures. The course shows the basics of image-making, composition, color/shape, and typography to the students in detail. 

The first course will also go through the terminology associated with graphic design and teach the student about the importance of visual contrast.

The second course will deal with typography, which is the art of intensifying the meaning of the text by changing its appearance. A sense of typography is a must for anyone who intends to succeed in graphic design. 

Students learn the skill of spatial organization so that students can systematically go about using text in the graphic design projects they go on to create. Students will complete three peer-graded assignments, including a full-size poster that requires skill at typography.

The third course is image-making, which is designed to be as hands-on as possible. One cannot learn to make good images merely by watching videos or reading articles, so the emphasis will be on spending a lot of time creating images. 

The fourth and final course is a history of graphic design, which teaches new graphic designers about how graphic designers solved different problems at different times, and how the standard practices of modern graphic design came to be. 

While the course is lengthy, it does give you a broad overview of everything required to be a graphic designer. Not only do you learn skills, but you learn enough about the discipline to know what skills you should acquire.

7. Udemy: Photoshop for Entrepreneurs – Design 11 Practical Projects

Probably there is not a single software that is more important for a graphic designer to master than Adobe’s Photoshop. After completing these eleven challenging but not very lengthy projects, you should be a minor expert with the software. 

The projects are practical and similar to work that employed graphic designers do. Graphics are created for social media and YouTube. You will also learn how to design a professional quality logo, create frame by frame gif animations, and improve the quality of images. 

Infographic design will also be dealt with during the program. After completing it, you should be able to say with confidence that you have Photoshop design skills.

8. Udemy: Adobe Illustrator: Mastering the Fundamentals

This is a short and to the point course that teaches a user the basics of Adobe Illustrator. If you plan to use Adobe Illustrator, often you need a lengthier course, but if you are only going to use Illustrator only on occasion, this course may be enough. 

The course has only 1.5 hours worth of video, plus text and assignments. However, the course is not as short or as easy to complete as its time suggests. 

The class gets straight to the point and gives the student a number of different exercises that will allow them to learn the basics of Illustrator. A lengthier course of lower quality will teach less than this course while taking much longer to complete. 

All of the information is sure to be information that you really need to know, and all of the exercises are sure to teach you skills you will actually use.

9. Coursera – Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding Specialization

When you think of graphic design, the first thing you possibly think of is creating websites. While graphic design skills are used for many online and offline image creation purposes, sites are nonetheless among the most important of them.

Unlike some other graphic design courses, the Coursera Specialization in Web Design involves learning to code. While more massive programming languages such as C# are not studied here, a web design student will learn HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript to be able to build websites. 

While you can build a website without learning any of these programming languages, far more understanding and far more customization are possible if you can write a web design code. The course is relatively lengthy and will take eight hours a week to complete in three months.

10. Skillshare Graphic Design Courses

While Skillshare primarily offers paid courses, you as, a new user, can access paid courses for free for one to three months. It is, therefore, an opportunity to acquire a lot of otherwise unfree knowledge if you want to learn as much as possible during their free trial. 

The Skillshare platform offers many different small graphic design courses that you might look through several of to learn the skills you are most interested in.

A video found on the Skillshare platform might talk about logo design followed by creating a recognizable brand and not merely a recognizable logo. You might also learn about classic pattern styles, such as damask patterns, and how to create them from scratch. 

One particularly interesting looking course is how to create isometric designs in Adobe Illustrator. You might also learn to create a digital calendar using vector images. You can be sure not to be bored when taking a variety of different courses as Skillshare because they have some of the most interesting courses on the internet. 

Skillshare may be best for people who already understand the basics of the software that are taught in their courses. It may not be best for those who are almost completely new to the software used.

11. EnvatoTuts+

This is an excellent website if you want to learn at your own pace and in your own order instead of following a course rigidly. EnvatoTuts+ does not offer a course in the usual sense. 

Instead, EnvatoTuts+ allows you to look through more than a thousand different tutorials that deal with many different graphic design topics.

12. Canva Design School

Canva design school offers a wealth of information to new graphic designers. The full “introduction to graphic design” course is worth taking. You should not merely look at a variety of different tutorials on the Canvas Design School site. The “introduction to graphic design” course will walk you through the basics of designing visually pleasing images.

13. Zee Institute Of Creative Art

The Zee institute of creative art is taught by some of the most respected graphic designers in the business. Their online courses involve learning from the same successful professionals. 

This is a lengthy online program that is designed to make you ready to work in graphic design. The graphic design program teaches 3D animation, Web design, Photography, and Marketing. 

You will also learn about multimedia and visual effects. The course is a challenge, but you should complete it with a variety of different graphic design skills. If you are looking for something lengthy and substantial, this may be the best graphic design online course available.

14. Graphic Design History: An Introduction

A professional graphic designer can sometimes benefit from simply knowing as much about their field as possible, and that includes its history. 

Graphic design has existed as a profession since long before the digital age, and many of the design concepts that existed before computers are still with us today. While this is not the first course you should take, you can learn much about how to create great art by studying its history.

A final note

While it does take time to learn enough to be able to do graphic design for a living, it is nonetheless possible to learn all of the skills you need online. 

If you have some impressive example projects to show to employers, they may be able to overcome the hurdle of beginning work in a new field without experience. Read, watch, and create as much as possible to build up your skills to the point where you can start working.

As well as courses, you might learn a fair bit from merely reading design blogs. As long as you are actively improving your skills, looking at design blogs is not a waste of time. 

You can learn more from taking courses and experimenting on your own than you can from reading blogs, but blogs still contain valuable supplemental information. 

And everything written on these blogs is free. Designerfix and FastCo Design are both places to start when looking for design blogs.

You might also read books on graphic design to get a more significant overview of the field. Courses and practice are the most important, but you can learn a lot from books as well. “Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the field” and the decades’ old “Interaction of Color” are both sure to teach you something you didn’t know before. 

“Interaction of Color” is particularly impressive. Much older than computer graphic design, the book is nonetheless still relevant for those who want to know about color in detail. An excellent choice of colors often makes a difference between a mediocre graphic designer and an excellent one.

When you are learning new graphic design software, you may end up merely fooling around with different tools without taking any courses. Some experimentation is fine, but this is not a better way of learning new software. 

You can learn much more slowly in this way. At first, take a free course that makes you aware of all of the different capabilities that the software offers. Then, to improve your skills further, you may want to do some free form experimenting.

What is more important than anything else is having a portfolio of unique sample projects to show to an employer. If you can show that you can create high-quality and exclusive content from scratch, you will be able to find at least freelance work, followed by full-time employment once you have some freelance experience.

And if you are entrepreneur minded like me, you stay the freelancer path and build your client portfolio bigger and bigger until it’s time to create your own graphic design online course and start getting passive income that way.

Related: How To Create An Online Course

Possibilities are endless, and this is only the beginning. And if you are looking for courses that an already experienced graphic designer should take or get familiar with. The below article is for you!

Related: World’s Best Online Courses For Graphic Designers

15 Best Free Online Certifications, Courses And Trainings

free_online_certifications_courses_training

Online education? That’s right, it’s been around for some time already, so you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunities anymore. This extensive research hopefully helps you get inspired by the opportunities out there. Enjoy the content!

There are numerous free certifications online that you can get completely free of charge. Several great courses and online websites offer online certified training in a variety of fields. 

Whether you need to improve your Microsoft Excel and Outlook skills for a job, or need to learn basic coding to apply for an internal position within your organization, there’s a course for that! 

With numerous online courses that offer certification, which ones are the best for you to consider investing your time, energy, and resources into?

There are several great sites that offer free online certifications. Among these sites are

  • Coursera.com
  • edx.com
  • Alison.com
  • Codecademy
  • Udemy.com
  • General Assembly and MIT OpenCourseWare, just to name a few.

Here I’ll highlight a few of the best courses you might want to consider enrolling in, based upon the area of study you’d like to receive your free online certified training. 

Bear in mind that many of these courses are free. Several also offer the option to obtain additional certifications online free of charge. These are 100%, no strings attached programs you might want to look into if you’re interested in bolstering your skills section on your resume!

Programming

If you work in the field of programming or would like to get into the field, there are several great free certifications online available to help you get started on your journey. 

In some cases, adding new skill sets to your resume can help you land the perfect promotion. Or, if you’re thinking about going to school full time for programming, but aren’t 100% sure. 

This list of courses can help you navigate your way through some areas of focus you’d be learning, to help you decide if you want to enroll in college full time or not.

1. CS50 Introduction to Computer Science (Harvard)

Who doesn’t want a degree from Harvard? Okay, it’s not a degree, but it’s a free course in programming. The intro course teaches students how to think algorithmically. You’ll learn languages including

  • Python
  • SQL
  • Plus CSS
  • JavaScript and more

Students learn

  • Complex algorithms, data structures, software engineering, web development, and other essential tools in programming
  • Different programming languages
  • HTML, secure sites, and how to implement various security parameters when developing sites

The course is taught by Harvard instructors, as well.

It utilizes real-world domains of biology, finance, forensics, and gaming, to teach students the importance of coding and how it’s utilized in design. 

Students must earn a satisfactory score of 9 on the problem sets to be eligible for certification. The course is 100% free and is 10 weeks in duration, allowing students to set their own learning pace. 

It is free, but a Printed HarvardX certification is available at the conclusion of the course if students wish to pay a $49 fee for the printed document. Otherwise, it is available for download online.

2. Programming for Everybody: Introduction to Python (University of Michigan)

Learn Python with simple instructions in this first out of five available courses through the University of Michigan, which are 100% online and free of charge. There are no prerequisites for the course, and only basic math is required to learn Python through online instruction. Here you’ll learn

  • The basics of Python language
  • How to install Python and write your first program
  • How to utilize core programming tools
  • How to use variables to store and retrieve information

The course focuses on Python syntax and semantics and the basic programming language utilized by Python developers. It’s available in multiple languages, including English, German, Chinese, and Korean. It’s a total of 12 hours to complete this first series in a series of five total basic python programming courses.

It features graded quizzes and instruction, and you can download your certification free of charge after completion to share on LinkedIn or other social networks.

3. This is How you Make iPhone Apps (iOS Development Course)

This tutorial includes 4.5 hours of on-demand video, 9 downloadable course materials, full-time access, and access on mobile or TV. It teaches the basics of C-language programming to create iOS apps for iPhones and Apple products. Students will receive free iOS tutorials, Apple iStore tutorials, and tools and techniques to list their new apps on the Apple Store.

You’ll learn the basics of coding, and how to write code necessary to develop more advanced apps. A software development kit helps students learn the basics of the programming language and testing the app before setting it up for download in the Apple store. You’ll learn the basics of

  • Project creation
  • Every line of coding essential to app development
  • How to test the app
  • How to set your app up for purchase or free download online. 

In 23 lectures, the course material is about 4.5 hours in duration, and students can go at their own pace. It is 100% online for self-guided learning.

Design

Graphic design can be extremely lucrative. With the right credentials, experience with coding, and a general understanding of different types of design and graphic work, you can really enhance your career. With certifications online, which are free of charge, you can get into the field with an entry-level position and grow as you gain experience on the job.

4. Adobe Certification

Adobe offers a wide variety of certification programs. Though it seems as of late that they are either updating the exams or getting rid of them. Either way, if you are interested in getting an Adobe certification, do check out the link provided.

Some of the training you can expect to get

  • Image manipulation
  • Photo retouching
  • Guides students how to use Adobe’s expansive set of online tools
  • Vector design
  • Layout design, etc.

5. Graphic Design Specialization

This is a four-course sequence that teaches you the fundamental skills which are required to create unique, sophisticated graphic designs online. You’ll learn the historical context of design, processes, communication, typography, and image-making skills. 

You will also have a capstone project at the end of the course, bringing all the skills you learned together to create a graphic design piece for a client.

The course focuses on

  • Communication through typography
  • A capstone project to add to your portfolio
  • Motions, graphics, editorial design
  • Visual and branding communication
  • Art history

This beginner-level course takes approximately six months to complete. It is available in Serbian, Spanish, and English and is free of charge. It is 100% online so students can go at their own pace.

6. Fundamentals of Graphic Design

The course teaches the fundamentals of graphic design including

  • Image creation
  • Typography
  • Composition
  • Working with color and shapes
  • And foundational skills in graphic design

Practical projects are given to students so they can utilize the skills they learn in design, and they’ll have access to Adobe Photoshop, and InDesign, to ensure they’re getting a grasp of the basic function of all these design software.

Basic teachings include

  • The fundamentals of using color, rhythm, and pattern
  • Learning techniques of image-making
  • Typeset text and how to use scale, weight, and design in composition

The course will take about 14 hours to complete, and is one in a series of five beginner graphic design courses. It’s entirely free and available in English and Spanish.

Online Marketing

Marketing has a number of viable careers for business professionals. Whether you’re already in the field of business, looking to transition into marketing, or simply want to bolster your credentials or learn new materials if you have a degree that’s 20+ years old, these are some online certified courses you might want to look into.

7. Diploma in Web Business Development and Marketing

This course guides you through the initial steps of setting up a great website to market to their audience. It helps you choose a web hosting company, design, proper themes and templates, and user-friendly mobile and desktop design. 

Students will learn how to

  • Setup CSS sheets
  • Code HTML
  • Create mobile and desktop designs
  • Create affiliate marketing and email marketing campaigns
  • Build a business and increase online traffic
  • Focus on SEO (search engine optimization) and monetization of a website

The course length is 10 to 15 hours in duration and includes assessments so students can track their progress. Certification is available at the conclusion of the course, which is printable through the Alison Dashboard.

8. Marketing in a Digital World (University of Illinois)

This is one in a series of seven free digital marketing courses offered in the series. This course focuses on how digital tools are revolutionizing the world of marketing. Smartphones, AI, 3D printing, and the internet have changed the way businesses market. The course focuses on these, and other manners in which marketing has changed course in recent years.

There’s a focus on how the internet has shifted marketing from companies to consumers, who have more power given the digital tools at their fingertips today. Some of the areas of focus in this course are

  • Marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • Creating a powerful marketing mix
  • Pricing strategies
  • Utilizing the right technologies to reach audiences

The course is 100% online so students can go at their own pace, and it’s free. It will require a total dedication of about 29 hours to complete all training modules. It includes quizzes, shareable certificates, graded assignments with professor feedback, and more.

9. Getting Started with Google Analytics

This course teaches you how to learn to start tracking conversion rates, and essential data you’ll need to improve those rates. You’ll learn the basics required to turbocharge your website and improve online site ranking.

Students will receive

  • Step by step instructions to begin with Google Analytics
  • Advice on how to implement Analytics for their website’s needs
  • Learn which reports are most important and how to use the information strategically
  • Learn how to translate raw data into actionable results

The free tutorial includes

  • 1.5 hours on-demand video and 1.5 hours on-demand audio
  • 3 articles and 3 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access, access on mobile devices

You’ll also receive a certificate of completion free of charge.

Learning a New Language

Want to travel? Is there an opening in your current company that pays a higher salary if you are conversational/fluent in a second language? Consider some of these online certified programs to help you learn a new language and get that immediate raise.

10. Basic Mandarin Chinese – Level I

This course isn’t available year-round, so you’ll have to check for availability when choosing this language learning course. It’s one of six courses designed to teach you how to speak Mandarin. The language skills you’ll learn will allow you to eat, find accommodations, transportation, and communicate on a peripheral language in Mandarin-speaking nations.

You’ll learn

  • Basic spoken Mandarin phrases used in everyday conversation
  • How to properly interject “tone” when speaking
  • Learn a greater insight into Chinese culture and pop culture

The course is six weeks long, and students should dedicate about 4 hours each week. It’s free; however, there is the option to request certification for $49 once you complete the course. Video transcripts and written instruction are utilized in teaching Mandarin to beginners.

Entrepreneurship

Always dreamt of opening your own business but did not know where to begin? You’re not alone. There are several great courses you can enroll in which will help you develop your skills, communication skills, and help you develop your business motto a little bit better, so you can easily sell your idea to investors if you need funding to get the ball rolling.

11. New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs

Want to learn how to secure funding for your business venture? This course is geared to teaching you how to do just that. You’ll examine available financing options, learn the basics of valuations and finance, dilution, and non-dilutive funding. You’ll learn how to deliver winning pitches to investors and avoid common pitfalls in pitching your new business venture.

The course focuses on

  • When you should raise outside capital
  • What kind of investors to turn to
  • What your fundraising options are
  • How to pitch investors and how to secure funding

This is the third course in a series of four, which are totally free and offered 100% online. It is recommended to dedicate 3 to 5 hours weekly to complete the 14-hour course.

12. Competitive Strategy

This is a six-module course to teach students how businesses and organizations behave in situations where strategic decisions depend on other decisions/factors. You’ll learn how to act in situations where your efforts/strategies are going to affect profit margins and pricing strategies that your competitors implement. So, you’ll learn how to navigate the market when competing in your new industry/niche.

The modules utilize the basic tools of game theory, which evaluates how businesses choose strategies they engage in, to outdo their competitors. It teaches businesses how to gain a competitive advantage in a crowded, highly specialized niche. Skills you’ll learn in this program include

  • Game theory
  • Strategic management
  • Strategic thinking
  • Competition
  • Economics
  • Supply/demand

This is one of four courses available in this series and is 100% free, 100% online. It will take approximately 17 hours to complete, and there are a total of 10 quizzes that you’ll complete throughout the different areas of focus in the course. This course is offered in English, Ukrainian, Chinese, and Spanish.

Writing

Writing can help you in many career fields. Writing proposal letters, tailoring the perfect business email, marketing communications, or just writing online material for a website, are some of the many areas you’ll utilize your writing skills. If you’re in need of some guidance, online certified training can help you bolster your capabilities.

13. High Impact Business Writing

Learning how to write compelling, well-laid-out business documents is essential to a company’s success. This course will teach students to learn how to articulate their thoughts in a cohesive manner. It teaches the importance of concise writing to convey messages to readers effectively. Learning the appropriate formatting, individuals will better deliver business writing and proposals to clients after completing this course.

The course is meant to teach

  • The appropriate format and medium for your respective audience
  • How to correct and avoid common writing pitfalls
  • How to spot errors and analyze writing
  • How to identify your objective when writing for your business audience/reader

Students will also learn how to write business communications to deliver good and bad news effectively. They’ll learn how to edit and proofread business documents, and learn how to write for a global market and international audience.

The course is offered 100% online, free of charge. It is one in a series of specializations in business writing that students can complete. It’s offered in

  • English
  • Vietnamese
  • Spanish
  • Russian

It requires approximately six hours to complete and features webinars, videos, reading passages, and quizzes.

Communication

You need to communicate every day. Regardless of the industry or line of work you’re in, you’re communicating. Working with dispatchers, calling suppliers, ordering inventory, or calling customers to let them know you have their order ready for pickup, are just a few examples in which communication skills are necessary. There are many certifications online free of charge that can help you improve your skills.

14. Introduction to Public Speaking (University of Washington)

This course is an experimental course taught by the University of Washington (no certification will be awarded). It’s meant to help individuals become more confident, well-rounded speakers in a public setting. It helps students learn the basics behind clear communication and teaches unique traits and differences between oral and written communications.

Students will learn how to

  • Design and deliver arguments clearly
  • Deliver informative presentations clearly
  • Persuasively deliver complex information
  • Learn to speak confidently with proper projections, body language, movement, and vocal variety

This is a 10-week course, in which students will dedicate 3 to 5 hours weekly. It is free to audit the program, and currently is being taught as a test course, so no certification is available.

15. Communicating Strategically (Purdue University)

This course is meant to help improving communication skills and help individuals become effective at presentations to large groups. It’s specifically geared to scientists, engineers, and business professionals, and the educational training can be guided to any professional communication/presentation setting.

It’s a five-week refresher course geared to help

  • Scientists, engineers, and other tech professionals (the bright minds who have a hard time conveying thoughts to the layperson)
  • Tips for effective communication with non-scientists
  • Useful communication tactics and non-verbal cues
  • Helps experts teach materials to those who aren’t “experts” in the field

The course is official and verified by Purdue University. It is taught 100% online and is five weeks in duration. Students can go at their own pace, and it’s suggested that students dedicate 4 to 6 hours weekly on the course materials. The course itself is free, but those who want a verified (printed) certificate can request one for a fee of $49.

A final note

There are countless hours of free online courses you can enroll in. Whether you want to learn one of these skills, or the basics of creative writing, there are free courses out there you can enroll in. 

With these self-guided, online instructions, you can take your time and go at your own pace. Additionally, you can find certification from some of the top universities in the country, including Harvard, Purdue, Yale, and more.

So, whether it’s bolstering your CV, adding new skills to LinkedIn, or learning something you never had the opportunity to learn before entering the working world, these are a few of the many free certifications online that you can complete. 

Don’t limit yourself to these areas of focus, or to one course. Improve your skills, hone in on areas you need to improve upon and gain new world insights through these programs/courses taught by leading professors and specialists in the US and from institutions around the world.

While some courses might be archived or future dates to be announced, do take these as recommendations and as inspiration and look for alternatives if you got inspired.

While some courses offer you a certification in exchange for a small fee, I would say that paying a small $50 fee for a certificate is still a small price to be paid.

Coursera.com, as well as Udemy, offers you a lot of options when it comes to courses that give you a certification. While some of these are not accredited ones, I would say, do check the Coursera.com a bit more, and you can find plenty of accredited certification courses.

What Makes An Online Course Good? 5 Big Tips!

what_makes_online_course_good

Are you planning on creating an online course or taking an online course? These five big tips are for you no matter in what camp you are in currently.

An online course is good when it has continuous support from the course creator. The course is clearly structured, and you will get small wins during the course. A good online course has well-researched content and has hard to find knowledge in it. When you have tangible end results after taking a course, we can conclude the course was a good one.

So no matter if you are creating a course or taking one, the mentioned principles make up for an excellent online course.

What is sad, though, is that there’s so much variety on the level of online courses these days. One course might give you all the support you need, but the content is sub-par if even that.

One course might give you top of the class information and knowledge, but there’s no after purchase support, leaving you hanging with the information alone.

Maybe the biggest mistake course creators do is that they don’t deliver what they promise. Giving you false hopes of succeeding it, only to see that you missed the mark by a long shot. 

So if you are purchasing a course, do make sure that these tips are present and that you know what you are getting into. And on the other hand, if you are creating a course, make sure that you hit these marks.

But enough of the intro, let’s get to the nitty-gritty, and just so you know, this is written from the customer’s point of view. So if you are creating a course, make sure you see what the customer is seeing.

H3 The 5 Big Tips!

  • A community for continuous support
  • Clear course structure
  • Small wins along the way
  • Tangible end results
  • Well-researched content and hard to find insights

A community for continuous support

This is pretty much the most basic advice and tip I can give to you. It’s also the bare minimum a course should have, and while you might wonder why is that. Here’s the reason!

You will more than likely need help!

There’s pretty much always one or two questions that will arise during a course and what’s more important than having a support channel of some kind.

The course should have a Facebook group, a built-in community platform, discord channel, Slack community, or some other form of community. 

The most important thing is that there should be some form of community around your course. 

I remember when I took a course called a Six-Figure Blogger. Even though the course was pretty self-explanatory and well-made, I still had a few lingering questions, and if there hadn’t been a Facebook group for the course, I would’ve been alone with my questions.

So having that path to contact the course creator and ask questions is super important.

It also creates a better relationship between you and the creator, and there’s also a chance to go a bit deeper with the course that you’ve bought.

There are always courses that leave you wondering what it was that the creator meant or how to do something that was said in the course but not shown.

Community is a strong pillar that every course should have, and if it’s left behind, well, hopefully, the course is so well-made that no support is needed.

Clear course structure

While the course creator might have a very clear idea of how the course flows and what can be learned in what lesson and module. The end result for you might be very different. 

You, as a student, might not be able to connect the dots, so having a clear course structure is a must. 

Every lesson and every module needs to be in chronological order, so to say. Even if you were taking a course on digital marketing best practices, and while it might seem like there’s no real reason for a specific topic to taught in any particular order.

However, even in this case, a course creator should start with the foundational things first. What is digital marketing? What different elements are in it? What are leads? How to get leads? And so on. 

If a course starts from how to get leads, when a person doesn’t even know what digital marketing or leads are, then the learning curve is pretty steep.

So the course has to start with the correct knowledge and understanding who is it that is taking the course.

So you, as a customer, should read the course curriculum very carefully and decide whether the course is flowing in the correct order and if the course ahs all the things you need.

Is the course thorough enough, or is there something where it lacks a big-time?

Small wins along the way

An excellent course creates small wins for the students. The pricier the course, the more wins you would like to get. Buying a $1,997 course with zero wins feels a bit of a failure (both to you and for the creator).

A good example is a course about website development. Inside the course, there could be a lesson where the course creator would take you through the whole process, and at the end of the lesson, you would have developed a fully functioning webpage, for example.

That is a small win — something that the student can accomplish and something that gives real results. Even if the end result of the course is something totally different, there could be these little wins that would keep the student motivated to complete the course.

Motivation, perseverance, grit, are all the same when it comes to learning new things. We all need these things when learning gets tough. 

To boost motivation, a win now and then keeps the spirit up, and keeps us going. If it were all downhill all the time, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a lot of people failing and quitting an online course way before the end.

Small wins also give you a good feeling of progress. You’ve achieved something that you were not able to achieve before.

I remember taking One Funnel Away Challenge training a little while ago. And I think this was one of those courses that enabled me to achieve these small wins on a daily basis. The course structure was clear, and the objective of every lesson was apparent. Also, every lesson you were meant to achieve this one thing, and when you did, you felt awesome. 

So if a lesson can give that good feeling progress and getting things done, then we can say that it’s one of the things that makes an online course good.

Tangible end results

Possibly the biggest and most important thing that an online course needs to have or give. Whenever you buy an online course, you are looking for a change. You are looking for a way to get somewhere or to know something new. 

We, as of course takers, want a change. We want the knowledge that is otherwise unreachable. We seek to know more, and we aim to make a change in our lives. 

Whenever I buy an online course, I’m very precise on what is the outcome I’m looking for and if that course is going to provide that to me.

While we both know that no online course can help you if you don’t do what is told in the course if you don’t do the work.

With many online courses, there are bigger and smaller promises made. Some offer you a new skill, a new business model, a new funnel, Pinterest traffic, a money-making blog, etc. There are a lot of promises, but can that course keep those promises?

That is the big question. Can the course deliver on its promise? Can you get results with the course, or is the course full of fluff and no tangible results. 

I once thought that by buying a course, I would get the knowledge to get to a certain place in life, only to realize later that I wasn’t ready for the course. I wasn’t prepared to execute what was necessary.

There are always those who are better equipped than you or me. When they buy a course, there’s a higher chance for them to get results, and it’s only because they are more prepared for it.

If this all feels too abstract, here’s a good example of what I’m talking about.

I once bought an online course called Six-Figure Blogger. Yes, it’s the same course I mentioned before (I still like the course so that you know). So at the time, I purchased the course, I wanted so badly to get that six-figure income from my blog, but for you to achieve that, you need traffic and guess what. I didn’t have the traffic necessary for it.

So while I didn’t get results at the time, I did learn a bunch of new things. So we could say I got some results, BUT I did not get the six-figure results I was “promised.” 

So when you buy an online course, do make sure that you are set. You have the needed qualities, capabilities, equipment, skills, etc. to achieve the tangible results that are promised in the course.

Well-researched content and hard to find insights

As the last piece of advice or tip, I would say that well-researched content and hard to find industry insights are the thing that makes an online course good. 

It’s not hard to rehash old content and content found online to something “new.”

Where I see improvement being made, is when a course presents topics, knowledge, and insights that they have combined themselves through years of execution.

That is what makes content excellent and pure gold when it is something that is piercing a hole in the content bubble and creating another layer of knowledge to an already solid bubble if there’s even such a thing.

A good example is a course called Consulting Accelerator 2.0, where Sam Ovens teaches you how to become a consultant. Sam did more than 1600 cold-calls during the time he was building his consulting business that way.

During those 1600 calls, he was able to solidify a method to acquire high-paying clients in one single phone call. That is what is called, creating content that is new and innovative.

So when a course creator has created something that is never seen before, then we can be sure that it’s the highest quality you can get.

Conclusion

What makes an excellent online course? 

A course that has knowledge not found anywhere else, and when that knowledge yields tangible results for the student, for you. When a course has a support channel for the student to get help. When the course has a clear structure and easy to follow lessons and modules. When it motivates you with small wins and keeps invested to the end of the course. 

That is when we can say that an online course is good. 

How To Take A Break From Facebook?

How_to_take_a_break_from_facebook

We live in a time where social networks have become the source of all daily information, entertainment, and, unfortunately, our daily source of socialization. So how do you take a break from Facebook?

The best way to quit your Facebook usage and to take a break from it is to uninstall the app from your phone. The next step is to delete the Facebook bookmark from your browser favorites if you have one. The important thing here is that you delete these quick accesses to Facebook, and eventually, you are able to take a break from it.

We all sometimes feel the need for more spoken word and conversation with our loved ones, we yearn for the old, good form of thought exchange, which isn’t only based on comments beneath someone’s Facebook post. 

If you’ve noticed that you spend most of your free time scrolling the endless feed on Facebook, then it’s time for a break from social networks and a little bit of real socialization.

Facebook shouldn’t cause addiction, or at least we shouldn’t allow ourselves to feel that way. It’s one kind of a habit, for which we need slow rehab. 

Simply, promise yourself that you’ll spend one day without social networks and then turn that into a weekend. After a while, it can turn into a whole week, when you decide to spend your time with your friends, go on long walks or read a good book on marketing, when you come home from work. 

We miss so much by scrolling down the Facebook home feed, but all we really need to do is delete the app and use our phones solely for communication purposes, which they were originally meant for.

One thing that could help you, so that Facebook doesn’t take away your focus so much, is to turn off notifications (if you are unable to delete the app altogether, I don’t have it on my phone currently). There will be a difference: you’ll open the app (or desktop version) less frequently, as long as you receive fewer notifications.

Remember the old, good SMS and try to set up your meeting via it, in order to dial down the usage of Facebook. It’s really important to meet people and create new contacts, but it’s also important that it happens in the real world rather than a virtual one (which generally isn’t the case). 

That’s why it’s fundamental that you try and take a break from Facebook socialization and surround yourself with new people. In time, you’ll notice that, in a spontaneous way, you’ve made many new acquaintances, instead of watching aimlessly at your phone.

When you take a break from Facebook, you’ll realize how long it has been since you enjoyed the things you used to like. When was the last time that you, after a long day at work, sat in your chair, and drank a cup of warm coffee, went over your own thoughts, and made some new conclusions? 

When was the last time you took the time to read that book, which was recommended by your friend (I recommend reading Seth Godin’s “This Is Marketing” -it’s so good!)? It’s been a while, right? Well, now it’s time to turn the bad habits into good ones.

When you yearn to be online again, remember the real reasons that make you enjoy Facebook and then limit your usage or, better yet, cut it altogether.

It’s also important to remember to focus on what you actually follow/read on Facebook and how much influence those posts have on your life. 

In order for social networks to have a positive impact on your life, clean up your friends’ list and pages so that you’re left with posts you can actually enjoy, without any negative connotations. 

Clean it up from negative influence, because negative influence from Facebook is being transferred unconsciously into our real lives. That’s usually the first “wake-up” call, which leads us to the desire to take a break from the virtual world.

When you take a break from the virtual world, turn around and study the changes that start to happen: question how you feel, do you feel good, and like a heavy weight has been lifted from your chest. If you start feeling better (and you notice that), focus on using Facebook more intelligently, so that you have more time to enjoy your day and your life.

Think about all the free time you’ll get. Always wanted to play that instrument or get better at your online business? 

Use the internet smartly and discover all the books you always wanted to read that can help you on your road to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Invest in yourself and your time – it will pay out faster than you think.

Here’s a list on 7 concise and ultimate reasons for taking a break from Facebook:

Facebook makes you focus more on others, rather than yourself

One of the main problems with Facebook is the bombardment with too many requests and information. Whether they are prom photos or posts about someone’s new, shiny car, Facebook makes you compare yourself (and your achievements) to others.

Many studies have shown that an individual that spends a lot of his time on Facebook and social networking, after some time, starts to feel anxious, tired, or has a low self-esteem.

Besides that, many people with whom we’re connected on Facebook aren’t really that close to a “real friendship.” The point is: you shouldn’t spend so much time wondering what others are doing, especially if they’re not friends who are actively integrated into our daily lives. Instead, focus on the fulfillment of your own personal goals.

Facebook shows you the altered version of reality

Most of the things we see on Facebook aren’t really connected to positive thoughts or happy moments. We don’t see the real, full picture of other people, all the hard times and falls, but their beautified (and fake) lives. 

As a result, many people who use Facebook can fall into their trap, trying to present their own lives as more glamorous and perfect than they really are. We’ve all seen those “lambo” and “private jet” photos. 

But guess what! Those didn’t come from watching other people’s Facebook updates.

Facebook makes you feel like your happiness depends on others.

Usage of Facebook is very dangerous because you can become dependent on others’ validation – that is to say, a constant confirmation from others. 

Your happiness should be mainly dependent on the fact that you’re enjoying yourself or not, in a certain situation and not how others feel. For example: if you go out and eat a fantastic meal, you should be happy because you tasted some great food and not because you have over 100 likes on the photo of the meal you’ve posted. 

Unfortunately, many people who use social networks tend to receive this kind of attention, which can become a form of addiction.

Facebook doesn’t allow healthy interaction with friends

If you really care about your friends, then you should do more than writing “Happy birthday” on their timeline and liking their last Facebook post.

Social media can’t help you develop or keep true friendships. Facebook interaction is usually very shallow and doesn’t have a real impact on our thoughts of someone as a real friend. 

I advise you to spend more time with them in real life or contact them in a more direct and personal way (even a video call can be a good beginning).

Facebook can distract you

Social media often prevents us from paying attention to what’s really going on around us. We’re sure that you’ve gone out for dinner, and your friend was constantly typing something on his phone. 

As a result, an unpleasant atmosphere is created, which can lead to a bad night out. It’s really easy to develop this bad habit. It distracts you from taking part in much better and happier moments.

If you’re at a concert and constantly post on Facebook about it, aren’t you, in fact, disrupting the work of a great artist? Or, if you go hiking and keep stopping every once in a while to take a selfie, aren’t you, in fact, missing a chance to enjoy nature and all of its beauties? Think about that.

And I haven’t even mentioned what it does to your online business. Or do I even need to?

I guess you can read between the lines that if your time doesn’t go to your online business, it goes somewhere else, and that time will not grow your business. It’s that simple.

Facebook turns your life into a public one

We’re prone to forgetting almost everything we do on Facebook, but everything we post and like stays there for good.

This can be problematic at the moment when we want to make all of our content private and hidden (from parents or business partners) so that they wouldn’t see the certain aspects of our daily lives.

Even if you limit your posts on Facebook, a question pops up: is it the safest solution now when you’ve already uncovered so much information about your life?

Facebook can make it hard for you to move on with your life

Sometimes, social networks don’t allow us to go on with our lives and forget the bad, unwanted past. The ugly part of that past can be an Ex that you can’t forget easily if you constantly look at photos of him/her with someone else. In order to truly move on, you have to remove all the distractions that are around you.

A final note 

In conclusion, here’s what you should remember:

  • Facebook posts rarely depict the realness of the world
  • The reality is much more chaotic, complex and beautiful
  • You’re probably only what you want others to see
  • Social networks show only the good side, not the bad or an ugly one
  • Time away from your business is time away from growth
  • Facebook can be a distraction and distraction is the opposite of focus

Remember that what others post isn’t proof of their happiness and that they live these perfect lives. Of course, some people can openly post about their mess, but it’s only a short term depiction of the events. Photos or videos of 15 seconds cannot encompass the complexity of life and business.

The chaotic emotions of being an entrepreneur and making the best of every day. You don’t see the tough decision on Facebook, and these are made daily, but that’s not for you to see.

Social networks are filtered and constructed versions of reality. So, don’t let your fear of missing out on something destroy your mental health and your free time.

Think about how much you can do – the possibilities are endless, but only when you focus on the right stuff.

One Funnel Away Challenge Review – Worth It?

one_funnel_away_review_worth_your_time

OFA-Challenge

The Next ‘ONE FUNNEL AWAY’ Challenge Starts On

Days Hours Minutes Seconds

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

Days Hours Minutes Seconds

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.

Should You Take An Online Course? Is It Worth it?

should_you_take_an_online_course_worth_it

Online courses are popular for many reasons, but the most relevant reason is the convenience of learning. But what if that is not enough?

Online courses are worth taking if the learning material and the student are aligned. If the student does not have the required knowledge or skills to succeed in the course, then the course is not worth taking. Otherwise, the online course would be worth taking. Also, if you are short on money but would like to learn a new skill or gain knowledge on a specific topic, an online course is an excellent option.

Before I purchased my first online course, I had so many doubts, and I hesitated the purchase decision a lot. But after that first course, a lot has changed. A lot!

I once purchased a course that cost around $297. At that time, I thought it was a lot of money for an online course. Now that I’ve seen and experienced more about the online course business. I can say that $297 is at the low-end of the pricing table.

But the main question is, was the course worth buying? Has any course I’ve bought ever since, been worth it? Have I achieved what I went to achieve with those courses?

How do you measure the worthiness of a course?

Do you measure it based on promises, based on your performance, based on course content, or something else entirely?

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are three main factors that determine whether an online course is worth or not. This comes from the experience of multiple online courses bought and experienced.

Keep on reading and see if you can apply these to your purchase decision or experiences with online courses.

Value of the course and money saved

Now, the very first principle with online courses is that they should be cheap compared to the material being taught in school or through coaching. 

If the course costs more than $5,000, you should consider is the course truly worth it? Are the skills or knowledge worth that amount of money?

What results are promised, and are those guaranteed?

All these questions should be asked and compared against the price of the course. As a general rule of thumb, $99-597 is a lower-priced course, and above the $597 mark, we can start to categorize the course as a premium course.

With every purchase decision, you should think if the price of the course and the value gained from the course are aligned. Is the price worth paying for? Do you get what you are looking for or does come close but not quite there?

There are a million and one courses out there, so don’t think you don’t have a choice. There is a course for pretty much any topic imaginable, so if some course creator does not cover the topic as thoroughly as you would like. Try searching for an alternative, as there are always alternatives.

As there’s plenty of choices out there, do not assume that the price point is the determining factor of quality or amount of content. Many times this is true. 

A premium-priced course ($697+, for example) usually has covered more than a lower-priced course. Though this is something, you have to see for yourself and analyze if that is the case or not. 

What could be a bit hard is the fact that how would you know if the topic is covered thoroughly enough. If you can find two similar courses, make a quick comparison and see which one is better for you. That could be one way to do the analysis.

Can you gain a new skill, knowledge or results with the course

With any purchase (well, with almost any), there should be some gain from it. If you are buying a new laptop, you are essentially buying a way to do stuff. You are not buying a laptop just for the sake of it.

So there is always a need that has to be satisfied. Online courses are no exception. You are looking for information, wanting to learn a new skill, or you want to get from point A to point B.

Online courses can be considered shortcuts, but they are not without work. People tend to forget that with online courses, you don’t get any results if you never take action.

  • So the big question is, what do you want to achieve with the course?
  • The next question is, are you able to achieve what is promised in the course?

If you can answer both of these questions with certainty and with optimistic confidence, then I believe the course is worth buying.

But to clarify my questions a bit further. The first question is probably not so important, but if you are not sure what you want in your life, and if you are not sure that the course is really for you. Then I wouldn’t probably buy it.

I’ve made a mistake in the past, where I bought an ebook or a course only to realize years after that, it wasn’t my time to buy the course. I wasn’t ready for it.

Did I learn new things, sure! Did I enjoyed the material and the teachings, sure!

But did I achieve what was promised in the course? No!

But why was that? The course was awesome, and people got results, so why didn’t I? I did the work. I did what was instructed, so what went wrong?

The answer lies in the second question. Are you able to achieve what is promised in the course?

I was able, but only partly, so I failed, and I see it now. I understand that I didn’t have ALL the needed pieces needed to succeed with the course. I had a lot but now enough.

So before you buy an online course, do analyze yourself and your initial settings. Do you have things in place that is needed to succeed in the course?

Such things could be time, money, resources, knowledge, etc.

As this was pretty abstract, let’s go through an example. You would like to buy a course on ‘How to create an ebook.’ However, you might not have ever written a single word in English. Can you succeed? Of course, but how likely? That you need to think through.

Saving time and achieving more with less

An online course is considered a shortcut of some sort. And in some regards it is. It’s even supposed to be. An online course is meant to compile and solidify information together, creating a complete experience around a certain topic.

But is it a shortcut for results? No!

It’s a shortcut to information and knowledge but not to results. And more than often, results are the one thing online courses promise to give. 

One good example is an online course on SEO (Search engine optimization). Usually, the promise is traffic, getting traffic to your blog or to your website. However, getting a course on SEO will bring you zero traffic to your site. The course itself does not give you results. You create those results.

So when people think that they get the transformation after they bought the course, they will get disappointed. However, if you approach it from the perspective of saving time and achieving something quicker, then you might be on to something.

Courses save you time and can bring you closer to the end result you are wanting. Courses have condensed information and sometimes information that was gathered over many years, making the course a treasure trove.

The key here is to understand that courses are totally worth it if you are prepared to do the work. Courses give you the essential information and thus saves you the time of research and trial and error. 

A final note

In my experience, online courses are always worth it. The only thing is that you have to be very clear about what you are looking for, what is your current situation, and are you able to reach your desired situation.

You might be in a spot where you don’t have enough time in your life to invest in an online course. As I’ve mentioned before, the course itself won’t bring you results. It’s your actions and hard work that brings the results.

Many courses promise you many things, making the course a no-brainer and something that is considered worth investing for. If you look past the sales pages and concentrate on your abilities to succeed with a course, you are setting yourself in a better position.

While I’ve spent a lot of money on online courses, and while I didn’t get the promised end result, I’ve still learned a bunch of new things from each course I’ve taken. So I would say that online courses have been worth the money. 

It’s all about understanding your current situation, knowledge, and skills. If you know yourself well, you also know if an online course right for you or not.