February 16th, 2015 Business

stacking-coinsAlmost anyone who is creating an online course thinks about the possibility of selling it for profit.

The elearning industry is booming and there is plenty of room for people to get in on the action.

However, even though it sounds straight-forward, selling courses is actually quite difficult.

You could consider selling on Udemy, but then you give up a lot of freedoms with regards to building your brand, and you have to partake in their revenue share program.

If you want to start a serious business around selling courses, then you will want to own the platform that is delivering the course content.

But how do you monetize a course?

Probably the most obvious way to get started is selling access to it. It’s a simple model, but simple works very well. You set a price and interested parties purchase. Taking this one step further, you could even generate an email list of prospective buyers and then cross-sell them based on their interests.

That isn’t the only way though. In fact, there is another way that can prove to be extremely profitable. It’s a model that one of the largest, most successful online course organizations uses.

Instead of selling course access, you can sell authentic certificates.

Coursera, the world’s most popular MOOC platform uses this method to generate over $1 million. They have since added more revenue models, but this one proved to be a winner.

Just like you can’t add a price to a course and expect it to sell, you cannot just add a price to a certificate. People have to care. They have to want a certificate from your organization. It’s all about perceived value.

Take the time to build a professional image for your business. If you can successfully tie your course to a continuing education standard, then selling the certificates will become a lot easier.

If this sounds like a business model you’d like to learn more about, send us a note and we’d be happy to let you know how it can be done with LearnDash!

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


2 responses

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Outstanding suggestion. I am a 1-man operation starting to build a brand in occupational health/safety for logistics. I am considering the various platforms and opportunities. Your information was priceless.

Tony Bark

Thanks Tony, best of luck with your project!

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