How to Sell Online Courses from your own Website

Written By John Ravi

On September 18, 2021

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One of the best ways to monetize your website without using affiliate marketing platforms is by selling online courses. Yes, you can create and sell online courses from your own website. Several creators built a variety of online courses and sell them on their websites. This solution allows them to create a steady flow of income and earns money. So, if you are looking to create an additional revenue channel. Selling online courses can be an ideal option. Creating an online course does not require much time or effort. Also, there are no delivery or shipping costs involved. Thus, you can simply put your knowledge down and monetize it using your own website. 

The world is constantly evolving, and we live in a society where knowledge is power. This has increased the demand for online courses, and the market is booming with opportunities. Thus, it is a perfect time to create and sell online courses from your own website. In this article, we will discuss how to sell an online course? There are three different approaches you can take while selling your online courses. 

  1. Selling them with the help of a marketplace similar to Udemy
  2. You can sell your courses via a Learning Management System (LMS) similar to Teachable
  3. Lastly, Selling your courses directly from your website. 

There are several benefits of each option. Thus, you should study them all first before you decide to go with any one of them. We will look at all three alternatives and discuss their pros and cons. This will give you an insight into your decision-making process and help you choose the best alternative to sell courses online.  

sell online courses from your own website


Selling Your Courses With The Help Of A Marketplace 


This is one of the most convenient ways to sell courses online. This method does not include any stress and makes the process of selling courses easier. You can take the help of marketplaces like Skillshare to conveniently sell your courses. The process is simple, you just upload your online courses, and once they are approved, you can sell them to people. Although it is a stress-free option, there are a couple of noticeable cons with this alternative such as:


You Cannot Decide The Selling Price Of Course 


The marketplace companies allow you to list a price for your course, but they can still sell your courses at a lesser price. The platform will run its promotion to market your course and may reduce the price to sell it. Since their primary motive is to convert these courses into quantifiable solutions, they will set the price according to them and sell it. Thus, you will not have control over the price of your course, and you may see it getting devalued in the marketplace. 


Marketplaces Will Not Give You Contact Information of Your Customers 


The marketplace you are using to sell your course will take a hefty amount from the sale. Thus, you will not get the whole amount of selling price. Consequently, your course will not only be sold at a reduced price, but you will also not get the complete amount. This is why you should sell online courses from your own website. However, there is a silver lining to this, you will get the full amount of the course if a student buys the course from the unique link you have provided. 


You Will Not Get THe Whole Amount For Your Course 


With these marketplaces, you have limited growth opportunities. Since you will not have the contact information of the students, you might not be able to contact these students again. Although you can send a few promotional emails, it is still not effective as having your own email list. Having an email list of your own will help you grow your business. Thus, you should go with an alternative that allows you to scale your business. 


You Cannot Run Google or Facebook ads


The final drawback of using a marketplace to sell online courses is the limitation of using Google or Facebook ads. Thus, you will not have a chance to promote your courses using your own methods. Since the marketplace uses its own ads to promote the courses, you are not allowed to promote the course on your own. Also, your course amount will not be paid in full, and you will be charged for using their platform and promotional services. So, if you want more control over the sale of your courses, you should consider other alternatives.

sell online courses from your own website


Sell Your Online Courses Using a Learning Management System (LMS)


Using an LMS is considered a better alternative than using a marketplace. This alternative does not have the cons of a marketplace. LMS platform allows the users with a facility of uploading or hosting online courses to students using a professional interface. These platforms are just used to display your courses, but they do not perform any marketing services for you. This allows you to get a fair price for your courses, and the price of the course is not affected by anything. You can sell your course at your own set prices, and it will not be reduced. 

In addition to all these benefits, these companies also give you access to emails from all the students that buy your course. Most of them also have several integrations with email marketing providers. This will add the student to your email marketing system. You can also use third-party tools to integrate the LMS with your email marketing company. With an LMS platform, you can build your email list and have an option to scale your online course business. Although it is a better alternative than the marketplace one, there are still some cons to using this option. 


The Landing Pages Will Not Be As Good As Your Own Website 


Although LMS companies allow you to design your sales pages, these are not as great as having your own website. You can customize some aspects of your sales pages, but you will not be able to match the quality of building a website. One of the most significant factors that can affect the sale of your courses is the quality, performance, and loading speed of your website. Having your own website will allow you better customization options and create an effective landing page as well. 


You Will Have Limited Payment Options 


The payment options on an LMS platform are limited. Thus, students may drop your course if you do not offer their preferred payment method. Your conversions will suffer and you may lose sales because of the limited payment options. In addition to this, the LMS platform will charge a transaction fee whenever your course is purchased. So, even though you can set the price of your course, you will still not get the full amount. A small part will be charged for using the platform. 


You can use only use Google and Facebook Ads Paid Plan


Yes, you are allowed to use both Google and Facebook ads to promote your course. This is a major benefit over the marketplace option. However, you will need a separate plan to run these ads. Thus, you will be paying more money to display and promote your courses. This will increase your operational cost and may affect your overall profits when you sell courses online.  


You Will Be Dependent on LMS Company 


Since you will be using an LMS company to host your online course and as your website. You are being completely dependent on them. This increases your risk, and if the LMS company suddenly shuts down, so will your landing pages and courses. It can be a massive hindrance for you and can cause significant losses. Thus, you should go with a trusted LMS company when you decide to sell courses online. The LMS company is a big part of the decision and will affect your future sales, so you should choose wisely. Or else, you can move on to another option of selling the online courses from your own website 

sell online courses from your own website


Sell Online Courses From Your Own Website


If you want to have full control, then selling courses from your own website will be the best option. When you sell online courses from your own website you will not have to worry about price or building an email list. Since all the students will directly contact you. This means you can build a list of potential customers and scale your business easily. To sell online courses from your own website you only have to integrate a payment gateway. This gateway will be used by students to pay for your online courses and integrating a payment method is not that difficult. The only challenge with selling courses from your own website is delivering them. 

With other platforms the delivery is flawless. Once a student purchases the course, they are redirected to the login page. Once they create an account and make the payment they can access the course right from their account. The process is fairly easy for users. Anda accessing a course is hassle-free. However, this is not the same when you are selling courses from your own website. Implementing this aspect can be a challenge. There are a couple of factors you will be required to implement:

  • Where will you host the course videos?
  • How will you integrate a payment gateway?
  • How will students access the courses once they buy them?

Integrating a payment gateway with your website is not a challenge. Thus, you will face issues with hosting your course videos and making them accessible for students. 


How To Host The Course Videos?


If you are thinking about hosting videos, you should not upload them on your website directly. Since videos are massive in size, they can affect the loading speed of your website and make it slow. Several hosting providers don’t even allow uploading videos directly to the website if you are on a shared hosting plan. Thus, you will have to use other third-party platforms to upload your videos. You can use platforms like YouTube and Vimeo to upload the videos and hide them from the general public using privacy settings. This will allow you to share your course content with the students who have paid for it, and keep everyone else out. 

Now that we have tackled this issue of hosting course videos let’s look at other major concerns. One of the most significant questions is delivery. 

sell online courses


How To Deliver Courses Once They Have Been Purchased 


When you are hosting your videos with a platform. You should not integrate your video URL on a normal page and upload it on your website. This will mean that anyone with the URL can access your course without paying. So, try to refrain from that. You can try implementing a membership plugin on your website. This plugin will allow you to send a login ID and password to the page that has all the course videos. 

Implementing a membership plugin to your website will not be that simple. You will need to learn how they work and spend a lot of time and effort to integrate them on your website accurately. Thus, you should research the membership plugins and find the best one. However, if you want to avoid all that effort, there is another way out. One of the best options will be using an LMS for delivery. You can sell the courses on your website, but deliver them using an LMS. LMS payment buttons can be integrated into the website and make the selling process easier for you. Although using an LMS + your own website solution is the best option there is still a learning curve. You will have to spend some time understanding the workings. But once you do, it will be extremely profitable. 


Final Words


Using your own website to sell courses is better. This will give you complete control over your material, and it is better for your identity and brand as well. If you sell online courses from your own website, you can do anything you like. Since you own the website, you can customize the pages and add multiple functionalities. You will also have an option to run ads to promote and use other platforms to promote your online courses. Using your own website will also make it easier for your family and friends to promote your courses. They can mention your website on social media via a direct link and drive more students to your website. If you enjoyed reading this post, you should also check our article about What is an XFN Link Relationship in WordPress. Also, check out our blog for more interesting and informational articles. Happy Reading!

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