Online course businesses are booming, as experts in virtually every topic you can think of are building viable side hustles and even bona-fide careers sharing their knowhow. If you’ve made the decision to build and sell your own online course, you could be on to something.

As per a report published on True Focus Media, around 45% of students are taking online courses and expect to take an online course in the near future. If you’re a teacher, a consultant or a trainer, the time is ripe to start offering an online course and start making money.

Not to imply that it’s easy. Indeed, every online business faces tough competition.

Two key factors that set the best online courses apart from the rest of the pack are how the students perform after taking the course and accountability from the instructor when they face challenges or make mistakes. But there are plenty of other factors.

Here are five key things you need to keep in mind if you are planning to start an online course business.

1. Think Strategically When Building Course Materials

The very first step you’ll take in this journey is the design of course material. Successful courses require continual revision of learning materials. Consult with colleagues who have taught similar courses or observe the strategy of your competitors to get an idea of what should be the components of your training material.

Define the course content and determine the order in which you will teach them. There are various ways to organize the topics. It can be conceptual, survey-oriented or process-oriented.

2. Not All Online Course Platforms Are Alike

You will need a platform to host your course online. With dozens of platforms available, it becomes difficult to choose the best one that perfectly fits your needs.

A good platform can help you earn more with the help of its marketing features and design customization options.

Platforms like Kajabi and Teachable are perfect for hosting online courses, as they have user-friendly interfaces. The pipeline feature of Kajabi allows you to systematically set up marketing funnels, which automates the customer journey from lead capture landing page to sales checkout.

Teachable is a worthy Kajabi competitor, but it features fewer built-in functionalities.

Always think about your goals before you choose any online course platform because a poor choice of platform can ruin your business.

3. You’ll Need to Actively Attract Students

Your ideal audience members aren’t going to somehow magically discover your course and immediately opt in. You’ll need to craft marketing messages that speak directly to the desires of your prospects. Publish some of your content publicly to attract the attention of your target audience.

According to Unamo, 54% of people have a positive attitude towards the companies that sends them emails. Offer free content to your subscribers and send regular emails whenever you publish new content.

Another way to attract people to buy your course is by promoting it on social media platforms. Create good visuals using Photoshop and attach a link to the title of the image that takes your potential customer directly to your course.

4. Develop Your Footprint as an Expert

Once people do find their way to your course website, there are several reasons why they might not plunk down your tuition fees on the spot. One of the most powerful is, they might not trust that you’ve got the knowledge they’re after.

The best way to win someone’s trust is by answering their query or solving their problem. This way you can let people know that you are an expert in a particular field and you know what you are doing.

Use social media platforms like Facebook or Q/A website like Quora to answer the questions of your target audience. Take note of all the common questions and add them into the FAQ section of your course.

This activity will help you generate new ideas which you can implement in your course. Also, you can create brand awareness by answering the questions on a regular basis even before you launch your own course.  

5. Setting Your Prices Isn’t Easy

This is one of the toughest parts for most of the people who start online course business. The price of your course is one of the biggest factors that determine how many people will buy it. Check out how much your competitors charge for similar courses and set your prices accordingly.

Make sure you don’t overlook expenses like hosting or course platform subscription charges along with marketing expenses, though, when calculating your profit margins.

It’s also a good idea to try selling your e-course individually via phone or email or one-on-one discussions via social media. It will help you understand how much your potential customers are ready to pay and why.

Build a portfolio before you even think of increasing the price. Having a good portfolio can help you attract more customers, because it assures people that the course is beneficial for them even if it is a little costly.


In order to launch a successful online course business, you need to understand the needs of your audience. Don’t sell what you want to sell – instead, sell what people want to buy.

A course that showcases your expertise and is priced intelligently can certainly bring success to your business.