Online courses are a viable way to make passive income. If you are knowledgeable about a topic, you can create an online course and sell it.

Digital courses are a lucrative business model that provides a breakthrough for students and employees looking for a cost-effective education alternative. Most companies have also adopted online courses to train their staff, thus saving on training costs and increasing revenue and productivity.

Are you knowledgeable in a certain field? Do you find yourself talking passionately about your craft to educate others? You can turn this passion and knowledge into an online course and earn a decent wage. Most people search the internet for travel recommendations, unique recipes, or advice, allowing you to provide an online course that will solve your audience’s immediate pains.

An online course is ideal for providing value to your audience and generating passive income. We present you with steps you can take to create an online selling course and generate a steady income.

Benefits of Online Courses

Online courses will benefit you and your audience in many ways. It is worth investing time and resources to create and run it. Let’s consider some of its obvious benefits.

  • Accessibility of Time and Place

Online courses allow your audience to attend learning sessions from any location they prefer and build an extensive network. Since online lectures can be archived or recorded, students can access the learning content at their convenient time.

  • Cost-effective

Physical learning is more expensive than online education since students must pay for meals, transport, books, and classroom space. However, online courses do not require these expenses.

  • Efficiency

Online courses have better resources than traditional textbooks, including podcasts, videos, and PDFs. You will become a better tutor by incorporating these resources into your online course.

  • Offer more Individual Attention.

Your audience can reach out to you directly via email if they need clarification on a concept they do not understand in the online course.

  • Provides Varied Options

Online courses provide your audience with various programs to choose from depending on their field of study, including accounting, language, nursing, mathematics, and personal development.

Ways to Make Money Via Online Courses

Let’s consider some way you can turn your passion to a money-making machine via online courses.

1. Charge Up-front Fees for Courses

Since online courses do not necessitate meeting in person with your audience, you can introduce up-front fees for those interested. Upfront fees guarantee cash flow for your online business and eliminate the risk of late payments or clients failing to pay.

Moreover, an up-front fee creates trust between you and your user, assuring them that they will get value for what they pay for, either partially or fully. We all love to receive payment in advance for the service because it eliminates the what-ifs and gives you peace of mind to provide high-quality content. 

2. Use the Subscription model for recurring fees

Most online courses are long-term project that allows you to have an ongoing relationship with your audience. This will enable you to create a recurring payment option on your platform that bills your client’s credit card a given fee at the beginning of the month.

Subscription models can also come in handy to improve your passive income every time a new subscriber enrolls for your online course. Since only members have access to the course, you can grow the course and determine your earnings beforehand.  

Students can spread their learning costs throughout the year and reduce their financial burden. This provision will likely motivate more learners to subscribe to your course and increase your income. However, before you offer a subscription model for your online course, ensure you have mastered your art and be willing to provide high-quality content; otherwise, your subscribers will discontinue the subscription.  

3. Charge for Course Certification

Maybe you have heard the common adage that the best things in life are free. You can use the principle behind this expression to make money with online courses by creating free high-quality educative content but charging for course certification. If you have a stellar course, students will be willing to demonstrate their gratitude by paying for certification.

If you charge for certification on a practical course, you will undoubtedly attract serious students who want to showcase their certification from your class. Graduates from your course may share their certification and flaunt their skills to friends and families online and offline, thus freely marketing your course.

Some entrepreneurs are scared of offering free courses while charging certification, but the benefits often outweigh the risk. Throughout the course, you will know which students are likely to complete their learning and pay for certification. Other benefits of offering free online courses include: –

  • Users acquaint themselves with knowledge before they pay for certification
  • You can provide users with various courses to choose from
  • Provides access to everyone regardless of their educational background or age
  • Users can study independently and understand the concepts before taking an exam.

4. Charge Extra for Downloadable Course Materials

You can also make money with your online courses by selling your students’ relevant extra materials. Why not make these course materials downloaded by users? Ensure the materials add value to your students looking to dive deeper into a given subject.

People are often willing to pay for quality downloadable course material since they are accessible even offline. Ensure your clients know about these additional materials at the beginning of your course so that they can plan to buy them to improve their skills.

5. Offer a Tier Payment System

You can make money selling online courses to your subscribers by introducing the tier payment system. This system allows your audience to enroll for some parts of the course for free but to pay for the rest of the lessons if they are willing to continue.

The tier payment system attracts more users to your platform because it allows a free preview of the course before payment. The secret lies in offering your high-quality audience content that adds value and improves their skills.

Most students who find the course helpful are likely to buy the rest of the lessons. You should start by providing free beginner-level courses and lock the rest unless someone pays for them.

6. Offer Premium Consulting

Most learning institutions offer free consultation services to their students and charge for courses. Instead of following the bandwagon, you can do the reverse by charging a consultation fee and offering free courses.

You can introduce live sessions on your platform that allow you to have a one-on-one consultation with your potential clients. During consultations, you can guide your students to choose an ideal career by discussing your course content and answering their queries.

Charging a premium consulting fee will enable you to take your online business to the next level and generate more revenue. Since most people may not be sure what career to pursue, your consulting services can come in handy, helping them make informed decisions.

7. Pre-sell Online Courses

Pre-selling online courses enable you to test the water and see if the course will sell. It saves your time and resources that would go to unsuitable courses. Pre-selling online courses allow you to validate the demand for your ideas up front before you commit to creating a course.

You improve the chances of the success of your online course by creating awareness of the course before you launch. This will help you identify clients who are willing to pay for it. Some of the benefits of pre-selling online courses include:-

  • Save your time and resources     
  • Instant feedback from your audience
  • Self-fund your course creation
  • It gives you the motivation to create and launch the course
  • It helps you build an email list of customers you come into contact with when creating awareness

You can survey to help you identify which online course topics will appeal to your potential audience to help you create only those that will sell.

8. Sell Course Licenses

The internet is inundated with websites selling online courses, but you can diversify by selling course licenses to established online schools. Alternatively, you can create educative videos and sell them to popular teaching platforms and still make some money. Selling online course licenses is also suitable for entrepreneurs who do not have the time and resources to create online courses.

Final Remarks

Creating and selling online courses requires lots of time, knowledge, and resources. However, it is an awesome way to earn a stable passive income. If you are knowledgeable and passionate about a certain subject, you can create an online course and share your experience at a fee. You can market the course through your social media pages and call for subscribers.

Online courses allow you to make money by charging up-front fees, offering course certification, premium consulting, and pre-selling the courses. Remember to incorporate a strategy that works best for your online school and adds value to your clients.

Which other additional strategies can help you make money with online courses?