The Real Risk of Selling Online Courses

Over the years I have seen some incredible successes by people selling online courses using LearnDash.

I recall one individual who quit her full-time career to focus on her CEU certified course.

Not too long ago Matthew Woodward had a six-figure course launch.

Then there is my friend Troy Dean who surpassed seven-figures across his courses.

And the list goes on.

While these successes are certainly there to be had by anyone, there is a misconception out there about creating and selling online courses. Specifically, that all you have to do to make money is to take your knowledge and put it into a course.

The truth is that this is just step one of many. Maybe step “zero” actually.

If just putting your knowledge into a course worked then everyone on Udemy would be making money – and that’s very much not the case.

The first thing you need to determine is if your course is even something that will sell by performing adequate market research, identifying and profiling prospective customer segments, analyzing competitors, and formulating a marketing plan accordingly.

This kind of thing doesn’t take any financial risk, but it does takes time. A lot of time.

When you create an online business selling courses you run the risk of spending hundreds of hours and not earning a single dollar. To help mitigate against this risk you should focus your energy on productive tasks like some of the ones outlined above. Avoid time-wasting activities like:

  • Creating a logo
  • Creating business cards
  • Configuring the perfect About and Contact page on your website
  • Purchasing and customizing WordPress themes
  • Playing with non-essential WordPress plugins

These things are fun but not essential. They are a distraction more than anything.

Focus instead on creating a course that will sell, researching your industry to form a killer USP, and starting your marketing efforts early.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

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