June 23rd, 2015 Business

stacking-coinsSo you’ve decided that you want to sell courses, but you don’t know where to begin.

To be honest, this is a common situations for many people. Should you start creating course content first, start building a website, or both? Do you need to create the content yourself, purchase the rights to content, or rely upon someone else to create it?

There isn’t a definitive answer to any of these questions as it really is based on your situation.

The one thing that is consistent across all situations though is this:

You have to create a course worth buying.

This is true whether you have a website before hand focusing on brand building and pre-launch strategies, or if you choose to build your course first. Ultimately the course needs to be worth the price tag you put on it.

Get Inspired

But how do you know your course will sell?

While there isn’t a formula that will tell you this (starting any business includes some degree of risk), there is one thing you can do to both gain inspiration and validate your ideas.

Market research.

On the surface this seems rather mundane, but I think it’s the most exciting part of any project as it will help you formulate your unique selling proposition. Through your research, you’ll generate your approach to the market and can have confidence that your course(s) will sell.

The good news is that today there are a ton of free resources you can leverage during this process. Probably the easiest way to get started is go to Udemy.com and review the course offerings.

Udemy courses will display number of enrolled students by course, course ratings, and reviews.

These reviews are golden. Read what people are saying (both good and bad) and take note. It’s through these comments that you can see what is working and what isn’t currently being satisfied by the courses.

There are many sites similar to Udemy that you can visit and gather additional information (such as SkillShare).

A word of caution: don’t take the stats on Udemy at face value. Just because someone is selling a course for $99 and has 10,000 students doesn’t mean they are millionaires.

Udemy takes a significant chunk of the course sale. Also, many course providers offer deep discounts (up to 90%) to get more students taking the course (and to provide the impression that the course is extremely popular).

Still, the data on the site is still very useful as you gather ideas and formulate your own unique approach to selling an online course.

Justin Ferriman photo

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

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