a cartoon image of a woman's face with the words"Video tutorial, create an online course" written in the same image

How to make and sell an online course

This guide will show you how you can create and sell an online course from conception to promotion and finally, the sale, without any prior knowledge or experience. Below are the topics we’ll be covering.

  • Course creation ( no prior experiance)
  • Publish and manage your courses online
  • ebooks
  • Udemy video courses
  • Course hosting platforms
  • Learning Management system (LMS) plugin for your Website
  • Promote and sell your courses
  • Case example of a set of courses you can create without any experience

How to Create an online course

an image showing the expected increase in revenue from e-learning from 2019 to 2026 in an infograph

According to Statista.com the global market for e-learning is set to grow exponentially in the next few years. In 2019 the market was worth 101 Billion US Dollars worldwide, this is set to triple to an estimated 370 billion US dollars by 2026.

Creating an online course can be easier than you might imagine and can be a great way to earn extra money if you treat it like a business venture. The average online training course sells for between $50 (£36.32) and $100 (£72.64), and the courses don’t have to be too long or detailed. The more in-depth. The more you can charge with some courses fetching $ 1000’s.

If you think that you need expertise in a particular field to write an online course or that your writing skills may not be up to scratch, then your not thinking like a Euntrepenuar, there are plenty of experienced writers and course creators out there that will do all that for you for a fee. in fact Fiverr has a whole category dedicated to eLearning Content Development

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For any online course to succeed, there has to be demand for the subject, and you can use tools like Google trends and Wordstream to check out the level of need for your topic. BuzzSumo is also a powerful freemium tool that allows you to check out the social media chatter around your topic keywords; on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit.

Writing and publishing an online course doesn’t have to be expensive to start up, but this will mean more time and effort if your budget is tight.

I’m not going to re-write the book and explain all the steps involved in planning and writing your online content, since Teachable has an excellent, comprehensive guide on conceptualizing, and writing an online course, including a step-by-step approach.

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My focus in this article is to show you the types, of medium and course content you can create, from written courses to video tutorials and even ebooks. I’m also going to show you all the different platforms you can use to reach a wider audience for your courses, and finally the different ways in which you can promote your product to make as much money as possible from your finished course.

Just remember when you’re searching your target audience, use keyword search tools like SEMrush and Mangools, as well as tools like google trends, Wordstream and Buzzsumo.

Try Mangools’ Keyword finder below.

Publish and manage your courses online

Once you’ve created your course content, you can start to think of the ways your students can access your course online. I’ve outlined some of the mediums below. I’ll explain the merits of each in a moment, but I would suggest that in terms of reaching a wider audience, you make it available to as many as possible, provided the course material is a good fit.

  • Publish on eBooks
  • Publish on Udemy
  • Use a Hosted eCommerce learning platform
  • Use a learning management system (LMS)

Publish an eBook

Depending on your course content, you can publish this as an eBook. I’m not going to cover the steps in this guide. I’ve already written a guide on how to do this. (see my eBook guide)

a cartoon image of a person holding a mobilephome with one hand and pointing at the screen with the other

Create an Udemy Course

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Udemy is a Huge open online course provider, with over 40 million Students worldwide in over 180 countries and 65 languages. So, you can see that they have a massive reach in terms of potential sales.

You submit the course content is in video form, so you will have to record your training, either with yourself, by sharing your screen, or via an animated video.

Just remember to check out the competition in your field to make sure you can compete before making your video on; https://www.udemy.com/

If you’re going to record your training yourself, then you’re going to need a couple of bits of equipment to make this happen.

Or you can use animated software creators such as Toonly which work really well


Udemy will accept video quality of 720p and above, so a good Smartphone will do the trick, just pay attention to the lighting, try to make sure you eliminate shadow. If possible, use lighting equipment, there are lots of budding amateur photographers out there, so if you can borrow some lighting equipment from a friend or colleague, then that would be beneficial; you can generally pick what you need up for around $130 US £120 UK.

business woman sitting behind a desk in front of a laptop and webcam, there are two large light [pointing at he to provide background lightingr

Video Screen Recorder.

If you’re going to record your video screen, you’ll need to use some screen recording software. If you’re using Windows 10 machine, then you have the “Xbox Gamebar” built-in.

Just type this into your search bar, then if your hardware is sufficient, you can record your screen. If not, try OBS projects free opensource software.


Although you don’t need a teleprompter, it will make life so much easier if you have one, especially if you’re recording long and continuous video. It will also save you hours of editing later if you stumble and stutter your way through the recording. You could use some free online software such as teleprompter mirror 


an image of a microphone suspended in a dark room

This is an area in which I wouldn’t skimp. Make sure your sound recording is sufficient since your audience needs to hear you clearly and Udemy will reject videos with poor sound. You may need to invest in a microphone, gear4Music has a good range of mics starting at as little as $36/ £30 https://www.gear4music.com/

The best place to record is in a confined space with plenty of soft furnishings to absorb the sound and prevent echo.

Sign Up to teach on Udemy

So now you’ve written your course content and recorded your video, it’s time to sign up to teach at Udemy. You can do this here.

Once you go through the straightforward enrolment process to create an account, you can submit your video for review. If Udemy likes what they see, then you’re up and running.

Videos are a minimum of 2 hours, but the average is around 4 to 6 hours in length.

Most courses sell for around $20/£15, but once you’ve made your video, it’s up there for repeat sales; remember to review it occasionally to ensure that the information is still accurate and relevant.

Course Creator

If you want your course to be more detailed and in-depth, with more interaction with your students, you might want to consider a learning platform that incorporates a complete course creator/builder. You can choose from two types: Hosted eCommerce platforms or Learning Management system (LMS) plugin for WordPress. There are lots out there, but I’m just going to focus on two for each type.

The things you are looking for these to include are

  • Easy to use course builder
  • Built-in payment gateway or integration with PayPal Strip or woocommerce
  • Drip fed courses
  • Advanced assessments
  • Quizzes
  • Badges and certificates
  • Good reporting tools
  • Email responders or integration with Zappier
  • Social network for students such as Buddypress
  • Forum software for students such as bbpress

Course hosting platforms.

These are hosting platforms such as Teachable. and Thinkific specifically built to host online training. They are Shopify for online courses rather than retail. They have many additional features, such as the ones above. These would be my platforms of choice for my teaching business since they are explicitly designed to deliver courses, and so I would expect to generate more profit and a better user experience; this makes any small additional cost worth the price.

Sites such as Teachable and Thinkific bring expertise in designing and delivering online courses, allowing you to build your online course from conception to delivery with simple to use drag and drop tools and design features; they’ll even put you in touch with freelancers on Fiverr who can help you write and design your course.

Your course can cover any topic such as art and music, food and cake decorating, yogaand nutrition.

take a look at the examples of what other freelance course creators are doing on both Teachables and Thinkific below.

Teachable Examples

Thinkific Examples


an image showing the teachable logo

Teachable is an excellent example of a hosted online learning platform where you can use its excellent design tools to build your course. They have lots of features and a free version that has lots of features and includes unlimited courses and third-party integration. I particularly like the fact you can integrate their domain with your website domain.

The prices are below; the first free and basic plans include a transaction fee of $1+10% for the free version and 5% for the basic, so they are not entirely free.


$29 Basic (Per month if paying annually)

$99 Pro   (Per month if paying annually)

$249 Business  (Per month if paying annually)


an image showing the thinkific logo

Thinkific is another excellent platform with great features. They also have a free version which has fewer features than Teachable. It has limited courses; however, theirs is genuinely free, and their more advanced packages have some excellent tools, making them a great choice if you want to try before you buy one of their upgraded packages.

Their pricing is below


$39 Basic (Per month if paying annually)

$79 Pro  (Per month if paying annually)

$399 Premier  (Per month if paying annually)

Hosted eCommerce Learning platforms include


Zippy Courses 






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Learning management system (LMS)

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Learning management systems such as LearnDash and Learnpress are very similar to hosted learning platforms; however, these are hosted on your own domain as a WordPress plugin and as such are cheaper but have many of the same features.


LearnDash has all the same features and add-ons as a hosted plan, such as

  • PayPal Sripe and woocommerce integration for payment
  • Easy to use course builder
  • Integration to social tools such as Zapier for mail lists, bbpress for forums and buddypress for social network
  • Advanced quizzes and assessments
  • Badges and certificates

Because you’re hosting this on your own Website domain, you get everything you’d get in a hosted plan, but for a lower price; however, you still have your own website/domain running costs to maintain. If you don’t have a Website yet, read my guide on Build a website (for Beginners), I’ve listed the prices for the Learndash packages below.

$159 basic ( per year)

$189 Plus ( per year)

$329 Pro (per year)


Learnpress is another LMS; however, it is open-source software designed for WordPress and is free.

It doesn’t quite have the polish that Learndash and other paid-for LMS platforms have, and there is little support for the product other than on forums. I still think it is an excellent bit of software for beginners; however, I’d be concerned that if I’m competing against other course providers, then mine might not stand up. There are some add-ons below that you can add to Learnpress for a cost; these are one-off payments and not monthly subscriptions which make it a great value product.

LearnPress Theme Bundle – $249

LearnPress PRO Bundle – $249

Paid Memberships Pro – $39.99

Assignments – $39.99

Frontend Editor – $39.99

Stripe add-on – $39.99

WooCommerce – $39.99

Frontend Editor – $39.99

myCRED add-on – $29.99

Announcement add-on – $29.99

Co-instructors – $29.99

Commission – $29.99

2Checkout – $29.99

Net add-on – $29.99

Random Quiz – $29.99

Co-instructors add-on – $29.99

myCRED add-on – $29.99

Collections – $19.99

Coming Soon add-on – Free

Sorting Choice – $19.99

Course Review – Free

Fill-in-blank Question – Free

Student List add-on – Free

Course Wishlist – Free

Offline Payment – Free

I have only reviewed two LMS platforms since the intention was to give you an overview of what they are and their capability. I’ve made a list of other LMS platforms you might want to consider so that you have an informed choice of which one to choose.

Promote and sell your courses

Most of the hosted course content sites we’ve mentioned above have their own marketing campaigns which draw significant traffic;( apart from free WordPress software such as Learnpress) however, you’re still competing against other course providers on their sites.

It’s always good practice to do your own advertising through your website via pages and blogs. To send traffic your way, you could use Google AdSense or Facebook adverts.

For free traffic, you can use social media; the primary forms of social media and how to promote your courses on them are in the list below

Social networking sites


Image sharing sites

Video sharing sites

Discussion forums

Social networking sites

Some of the main Social media sites which businesses advertise on are sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube. Visual content is a great way to promote your courses and it is becoming the most popular form of media for people to watch and share.

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For instance, you could create a video showing a Yoga class or an Art or pottery class and anything in between, To grow your social media following you can set up a business account on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest,, then follow other social media accounts in your niche with less than 50,000 followers. Comment regularly on their posts and follow their followers. Eventually, if your content is good then you can attach a large following of your own.

Use freemium sites like Canva and Flexclip to make high-quality visuals and videos. You can use sites like Tailwind to link all of your social media accounts, create content and schedule your posts days, weeks and months in advance. this tool also has analytics that measures engagement, so you know what is working and what isn’t.

Discussion Forums

Just like microblogs, discussion forums are another great place to drop your course content into the conversation, just pick a topic that’s relevant to your promotional product and start recommending your services. Discussion forums are full of people searching for answers to their problems which gives you the ideal opportunity to solve their problems while promoting your course.

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My favourites are Reddit and Quora. Reddit has over 1.5 billion subscribers; it is a mixture of social news, groups, and forums; the site divides into sub-Reddits, covering many subtopics for you to join in and comment on. Quora has over 300 million active users on the web and it is one of the most prominent sites for businesses to target. Here are some interesting statistics from foundationinc.co

  • Quora has 300 million monthly active users.
  • The site has a 43/57 female-to-male ratio.
  • Adult users who are 18 years and older with a household income greater than $100K spend 2x more time on Quora than LinkedIn.
  • Mobile generates the most impressions and click-throughs on Quora Ads
  • Users spend on average 4:11 minutes on Quora

check out their site here for a full breakdown

Some of the most popular discussion forums are



Stack Overflow


If I can give you a last word of advice, try to keep most of your comments helpful and informative and not constantly referring to your products when you are on these sites and forums. Stick to maybe a 70-30% to 80 – 20% in favor of genuine advice and reflection, with a small percentage towards promoting your product, making sure to make your referrals relative to the conversation, since most sites don’t encourage direct advertising.

Case example of a course you can create without any experience

I promised you a case study of an idea to get you started. These video tutorials can be listed on both Fiverr and Udemy. If you look on Udemy and search my first topic, Health and Safety you’ll see that many on the front page have also used animated videos.

I’m sure that with a bit of creativity; you could more than compete. However, with these kinds of videos, you can approach small and medium-sized businesses directly, which means you also get to cut out the competition.

Animated Video Courses

Video courses are one of the fastest-growing forms of online course content today: the most engaging being Animated Whiteboard and Cartoon Videos. By adding a visual representation of what you’re teaching, you’ll find that your presentation will not only be much more engaging, but your viewers will retain more of what you’re teaching. They’re not only listening and reading, but they’re also watching.

When we first started looking for ways to make extra money, and before we created our website, we toyed with the idea of creating Animated induction videos for Small to Medium businesses. These are the type of video’s that you cover when you first join a company, and some of the subjects are mandatory by law, so the demand is high and include such topics such as.

Health and Safety at work

Manual handling

Data protection

Diversity and inclusion

Racial awareness

Company ethics

Working as a team

The larger companies will create their training in-house, but most Small to medium businesses will outsource these. Also, the beauty of selling to small and medium businesses is that you don’t have to go looking for your customers online.  Most companies advertise their details so you can pitch them directly without having to compete for their attention.

Take a look at our Websites pages, and you’ll see that we created a Whiteboard Animation video for matched betting by using software from Doodly 

We had no prior experience of this, and you can create a video like the one below in less than 15 minutes

Doodly offer two plans, Starter and Enterprise, with the below prices for their software

$49 (£35.60) to $69 (£50.13) per month or $240 (£174.36) to $480 (355.25) if paid annually

I find whiteboard video’s the most engaging; however, there are cheaper alternatives, such as the animated video creator below.

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VidToon  One-time payment of $49 (£35.60)

You  might be worried about using your voice on your videos, but again you can also outsource this on Fiverr

if you want to use a cheaper option, you can use one of the many text-to-voice software, such as the one below.


Voicely One-time payment of $49 (£35.60)

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Speechelo One-time payment of $47 (£34.14)

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If you decide to make and sell an online training course, please let us know how you get on, and we will be happy to promote this for you

Contact us at Admin@helpthefamilies.com

Good luck!

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