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The educational market is currently estimated to be worth over $315 billion. This figure continues to rise with each passing year as more and more people look online to satisfy their educational needs. 

After all, why pay $50,000 – $100,000 per year for skills you can get over a weekend for a couple of hundred dollars? 

If you are looking to learn how to sell online courses, which can make you a lot of money, then you need proven strategies from someone who’s been successful at selling online training for the past decade.

And guess what?   You found him. 

I spent months creating my first online course and after it went live, I was very disappointed with the sales results. After taking a deeper look at what went wrong, I realized my sales tactics kind of sucked…so I tweaked things.  Again and again.  

Once I realized what I had to do, sales began flowing in consistently. 

I’ve written this guide on how to sell online courses to share with you the tactics that worked for me so you can stop spending time searching for the best way to sell your online courses to your audience.  

1. Create a Sales Page

First things first, a sales page is an absolute must.  A sales page serves a single goal, and that is to get a conversion. Depending on the online course platform you use, or if you sell courses on your own site, you’ll be able to find tons of different templates for creating effective landing pages that will help influence people to enroll in your course. 

Make sure your sales page incorporates the following core features to ensure maximum conversions:

  • A magnetic headline that will capture the attention of your audience
  • Bullet points that highlight the benefits and solution(s) you offer
  • An opening story designed to introduce the problem in a compelling way
  • Testimonials that serve as social proof
  • FAQs to help overcome doubt and objections
  • An instructor bio to boost credibility
  • Clear pricing details with a prominent call-to-action
  • Risk reversal (e.g. a money-back/satisfaction guarantee)

With these elements on your page, you’ll have an easier time attracting your target audience and convincing them to sign up for your online course. 

Keep in mind that your online course sales page can be as long or as short as you want, depending on the type of audience you are catering to.  Most people think short is always best and while that’s true to create compelling copy, some sales pages are much longer to show testimonials and build credibility. 

Onto the next method with which you can learn how to sell online courses!

2. Use the Webinar Launch Method

This is a great strategy to employ because it has been shown to work effectively in selling courses for beginner creators. 

The reason webinars work so well is that they provide an environment that allows you to quickly earn your audience’s trust so that when you do ask for the sale, they are more likely to go through with the purchase. 

Plus, you don’t have to have an audience already established to use this method.  All you need is a budget of a couple of hundred dollars to run ads to your free training and an email list of registered attendees.  

Once you’ve nailed down your pitch and presentation, webinars offer the unique ability to become “evergreen”  Meaning, you can record the webinar once and show it over and over again to those seeking the information and sell courses on autopilot.  Not every webinar platform offers this, but most of the ones I recommend do.  

To put this strategy to use, you can offer free training, and at the end of the training, offer learners the option to purchase your course at a discounted price or as a bundle with other courses or resources to help them put what you have learned into practice. 

This can be quite an impactful action for your revenue that can generate thousands of dollars with minimal effort once things are dialed in. 

3. Pre-Sell Your Online Course

One of the best things about selling online courses is that you can start selling your course even before you’ve created it.  With every course I launch I do this myself because it makes it MUCH easier to know if the demand is really there. 

This is called pre-selling and it allows you to avoid spending weeks or months creating an online course that no one has an interest in. 

Not only is this a great way to protect yourself from wasted time and energy, but it also motivates students to enroll early, particularly if you provide an early bird special for anyone who pre-registers for your online course. 

A sales page is all you need to presell your course.

When I do this, I offer a “early bird” discount to my audience and tell them that I’m only going to create the course if I hit “X” sales.  Sure, you need a following to make this method work but if you have an engaged email list, this can be a big win. 

Just make sure that your course is created and published in the time frame promised to your customers, otherwise you risk upsetting your customers who may end up demanding refunds. 

4. Use Email Marketing to Sell Your Course

If you already have an email list, you can send email marketing campaigns, including early-bird promotions and discounts.  

If you don’t have a list of subscribers to market your content, you can use lead magnets from a YouTube channel or a blog to grow your email list.

For example, on my site I offer free courses for students to sign up for.

Why do I do this?


When someone signs up to my email list they get a TON of value up-front and I help them solve problems.  From there, I periodically send emails to them and when the time is right, I open up enrollment for my paid courses.  

Regardless of the industry you’re in, there are likely a lot of people searching for free online courses. A lead magnet is often a great way to fill your funnel.

Just make sure that it’s something that your target audience will find valuable enough to exchange their email addresses for, such as: 

  • A guide
  • Case study
  • Checklist
  • Free mini-course, etc. 

So, for example, you could create a mini-course with sections or concepts taken from your main course. Give these away for free as a way to entice learners to purchase the complete course. 

At the end of the mini-course, invite learners to buy your main course so they can dive deeper into the topic.

Once they have enrolled in your course, use your email platform to set up a funnel designed to convert them into paying customers. 

Pro Tip: Include a link to your course in your email signature to get more eyeballs to your content. 

5. Promote Your Course on Social Media

You can also promote your course on social media and in relevant groups. LinkedIn is a great place to start since users are in a professional mindset already. When presented with relevant course content, they are more likely to convert. 

Make sure to optimize your social media profiles. They are a great way to build your personal brand, allowing you to position yourself as an authority or expert on your topic. 

Maintain consistency by updating your bio on all of the social networks where you have a profile so you can showcase your area of expertise. 

Include a link directly to your course or your main website in your profiles so users who are interested in your course know where to go to discover more.

Pro Tip:  Install pixels on your site to bring your customers back from various social media platform.  What is a pixel, you ask?  It’s simple….and brilliant.  

When you visit a website, they’ll often “drop” a pixel into your browser to record that you’ve been there.  The reason?  After you leave the site, they can use remarketing ads to bring you back and attempt to sell to you.  

You’ve probably seen this before with Amazon or other big brands you visit.  You check out a product, leave, and log on to Facebook and that product ad is now “following” you.  That’s a pixel with “retargeting” ads and it’s extremely effective and cost effective when done correctly. 

6. Run Paid Ads to Target Specific Demographics 

Use Google Ads and Facebook Ads to target specific keywords that your ideal learners are searching for. 

You’ll be able to create ads that appear in search results for important words and phrases related to your online course topic. 

This way, your course content will be shown to people who are seeking that exact information online, making it that much easier for you to get a conversion. 

For example, if you had a course explaining how to use Microsoft Excel, you may create an ad in Google so that every time someone searches “excel pivot table” or “how to ___ in excel” your ad will pop up with a free training.  

While Google is greaty or intent, Facebook is a different ad platform but can still be quite successful when done correctly.  

Using Facebook, in particular, lets you create ads that target users according to specific interests, demographics, behaviors, and affiliations. 

With Facebook, for instance, you could target small business owners to help them understand how to manage and project their business finances in Excel with a free course, then upsell them to other useful functions for use-cases that will be helpful for them.  

7. Promote Your Course on Your Website or Blog

If you regularly publish free content related to the topic of your course, which you should, then your blog is a great place to promote your course. 

You can also showcase your course on the top bar of your site, in your sidebar, or at the end of each blog post. 

Add it to your About page and let people know what you’re about. Using a platform like Thinkific, you’ll be able to create an online course sales widget that you can place anywhere on your blog. 

In addition, you can even create a “course” section to your site like I have. 

You can simply include a link to buy your course directly on the courses page, or send visitors to your course sales page so they can learn more about it before deciding whether or not they want to buy it. 

If you don’t have a blog, create one and write posts about your course and the topic you cover. This will help you to boost your SEO and showcase your knowledge.  Or, just use an online course platform to blog at and build everything directly there.  

8. Contribute to Other Blogs and Publications

Guest posting is a great strategy to bring more attention to your online course. Write articles related to your course topic and submit them to relevant blogs and publications online. 

I’ve personally guest posted on over 200 different sites for this exact reason.  The more your name gets out there, the more recognized you are, and the more courses you can sell. 

Here’s an example of an article I write for Business.com.

And here’s another one I wrote for Thinkific.com.  

Make sure you submit a unique, high-quality article to each website and include a link to your site or online course in your author bio at the end of your article.

Research popular websites related to your topic to help ensure you submit an article that is a good fit for their audience. 

The more relevant your content is to the readers, the more likely they are to click through to your blog or course website. 

9. Get Referrals, Testimonials, and Reviews From Students 

Another way to sell more courses is to simply ask your current or past students to review your course. You can do this at any point during your course or after they’ve completed it. 

Ask your students to leave you a review or testimonial for your course. This simple request will help to ensure you receive an ongoing flow of positive reviews which you can then use as part of your marketing online. 

If you get any negative reviews from your students, it’s important feedback that you can use to help you improve certain parts of your online course so that you provide a better learning experience for future students.

Alternatively, you can get bloggers in your niche to review your course.

A good review from a popular blog related to your topic can definitely help you to increase your course sales. 

The best way to get your course reviewed by a blogger is to offer them free access to your course plus affiliate commissions in exchange for a public review of your course on their blog.

10. Get Affiliates to Promote Your Course for You

Speaking of affiliates, you can create an affiliate program and let other people promote your course on your behalf in exchange for a percentage of each sale. Many platforms allow you to do this by default once you’ve signed up for a plan. 

But, you must be proactive, and not just sit back hoping affiliates will find you. 

Reach out to bloggers and social media influencers who have readers or followers that are likely to purchase your course. Ask them if they would be interested in promoting your course as an affiliate.

If you’re using an online course platform, you can easily add people (including current and past students) to your affiliate program with just a few clicks so they can start generating commissions automatically from each sale they refer. 

Here’s an example of the affiliate module available on Thinkific: 

11. Get Interviewed on Podcasts

A podcast is a great way to spread the word about your online course and highlight your knowledge and expertise on your topic.

I’ve been on many different podcasts myself over the years and each time it’s fun to watch how much traffic spikes the day that the show is published. 

Here’s when I was featured on the Niche Pursuits podcast with Spencer Haws. 


Here’s another podcast I joined with my buddy Doug from the Doug Show. 


Do some research to find podcast shows related to your course topic that have listeners who would likely be interested in your course. 

Spotify, iTunes, and Stitcher are great places to start your search for podcasts. Enter some of the keywords relevant to your topic in the website’s search bar, and make a list of the podcasts that appear in the search results. 

Read the description of each podcast. Ideally, listen to a few episodes before contacting the host. 

Once you’ve found relevant shows, send each podcast host a personalized email, introducing yourself and explaining why you think you would be a good fit for your show.

Remember, the purpose of doing a podcast interview is to add value to the listeners, so don’t turn your interview into a giant sales pitch for your online course. 

At the end of your interview, tell the show’s listeners how they can reach you to learn more about your course.

Pro Tip:  Facebook groups have become a great way to connect with podcast hosts as well.  Simply join a Facebook group relevant to your niche and then become active in the group.  After a couple of weeks, ask everyone in the group if they have a podcast or know of someone who does in the niche and you’d be surprised at what opportunities might come from this. 

12. Use YouTube and Promo Videos

Another effective way to promote your online course is to start a YouTube channel and launch video promotions for your course. 

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, second only to Google. Millions of people search for “how-to” videos on the site every day. 

Here’s a peak at the Youtube channel I created:

Often, YouTube videos rank higher than blogs and websites in search. This is not surprising when you consider that these days more people prefer to watch videos than read written content. 

So, start a YouTube channel around your course topic, publish helpful videos regularly, and include a link to your online course in the video description.

You can also publish a course promotion video on YouTube.

Simply create a short video designed to promote your online course and publish it on the video-sharing site. You can even publish multiple promotional videos, and use a different title on each one as a way to boost exposure for your online course. 

Don’t forget to add popular keywords that are related to your course topic in your titles and descriptions to help your videos rank well in search results for those terms. 

13. Create Multiple Courses and Cross-Promote

Create multiple courses that cover different areas of the same overall topic. This way, each online course in your “series” will help to promote your other courses. 

At the end of each course, mention that you have other courses related to the same topic. Creating additional courses for your current learners is actually a great idea since they are the most likely to purchase from you again.

You can bundle your courses and offer discounts to students who purchase your courses together or with additional resources.

Once you’ve created multiple courses that are closely related by topic, you can bundle those courses together and sell them at a discounted price. 

For example, if you have 3 courses that sell for $97 individually, you could sell all 3 courses together for $247 (which gives your customer a $44 discount). Ultimately, this provides an incentive for learners to purchase multiple online courses at once.

14. Become a HARO Source

HARO stands for “Help A Reporter Out”, and is a popular platform that serves to connect reporters with relevant experts, or news sources. 

Sign up as a news source and you will receive emails every day that include media opportunities for you to be quoted. 

You must reply quickly to increase your chances of being selected for a quote in an article. You can then ask for a link back to your website or online course. 

15. Partner with Other Online Instructors

Collaborating with instructors is another effective way to sell more online courses. Work together with other instructors to co-teach lessons or tap into each other’s networks.

When searching for other online instructors, look for those who not only serve your target audience but also have courses that are complementary to yours.

Consider becoming an affiliate for them and having them become your affiliates, or bundling your online course together with theirs to create a “package deal” that you can offer to all new students.

Wrapping Things Up

So there it is, those are the tactics I personally use when selling online courses.  I recommend that you choose two or three methods that you think might work and start testing them soon after you’ve published your course. 

Keep in mind that having your own audience is definitely ideal when launching a course, but if you don’t have that, it’s still possible to be successful. You’ll just have to have patience, some money to spend on ads, and a willingness to put in the work to master your purchase funnel. 

I wish you good luck and hope that everything I shared in this article has helped you learn how to sell online courses.

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