Here we are on Post No: 6 in the series Working From Home. Great you have stuck with it. So let’s get to it.
Creating and selling online courses is a booming market internationally. The eLearning
market was worth $107 billion in 2015, $190 billion in 2018 and is expected to exceed
$300 Billion by 2025 (E-Learning Market Size By Technology)!
Make Money with Online Courses
There are a lot of factors at work when creating your own online course and the profits
you get from the course sales can vary wildly.
For example, as an online instructor you could be earning from a few hundred
dollars per year to a six- or seven-figure income. In fact, you could reach up to a sixfigure number while treating your course business as a part-time project.
Course creation is only part of the process. The work on marketing and sales, including
your personal brand can give you an edge.
How Much Revenue to Expect from an Online Course?
This varies a lot from instructor to instructor. You will have to consider a lot of factors
that affect your potential revenue.
- The price of the course: Are you selling a 5$ or a $500 course? This makes a huge
difference on how many people you need to sell your course to make your revenue
- Your audience: Do you have an email list? Any social media followers? Do you have a YouTube channel with subscribers? Do you have access to partners and their network? The bigger, more engaged network, the more customers you can expect to get.
- Marketing and sales experience: Have you done this before? If you already have an online business and have sold products before you are at an advantage and should expect a higher conversion rate from your audience.
- Current customer loyalty: How loyal are your customers? Are they coming back
for your new products or disappear? Do you have an engaged customer base?
If you are just starting out, all of the above can be learned, but you should expect a slower
start than a seasoned entrepreneur.
Now, how can you calculate your potential revenue? You will need to calculate the:
Revenue = Number of your Audience x Conversion Rate x Price of the Course
If you don’t have an audience yet, you can make some hypothesis based on how many
people you expect to reach out.
Will it be 100 or 200 or 1000 email subscribers?
Conversion rates for online courses depends on the subject, the price and your capability
to attract and sell to the right people.
- You can think of conversions as:
- Low conversions: 0.1% to 1%
- Medium conversions: 2-5%
- High conversions: 6-10%
You can run the calculation on all three conversion rates 1%, 5% and 10% to see different
scenarios and set your goals based on them.
Then, if you want to see if you are making a profit, you will need to subtract the expenses.
This is how to think about it:
Profit = Revenue – Production costs (fixed) – Marketing expenses – Other related costs52
Now, you can really calculate if your course can be profitable, how much work you need
to do and how much money can you make selling online courses.
Increasing the Value of an Online Course
Of course, there are ways to improve the value of your course. Some factors that affect
the value and you can think before pricing are:
- Your personal brand recognition: how approachable, memorable, and visible
you are as a person on social media and the web. We suggest that you google your
name to find out where you are at and what the internet says about you.
- Your level of expertise: the more knowledgeable you are in your subject, the
more high-quality and unique content you are producing. Also, the easier it is for
you to become known as an expert in your field.
- The training content at hand depends on the amount and variety of course
content you have created and whether it is ready to be shared with your students
(e.g. blog posts, books, videos/vlogs, audio/podcasts).
- The course topic: a successful online course starts with a profitable topic. Your
course idea determines whether people will love your course or not and if it is
going to sell.
The size of your audience: Having big followership on social media, an email list
or several business contacts interested in your expertise is important. Their brand
recognition helps to boost sales.
- Your audience’s income: consider how much your target audience earns and
whether they are willing to spend on digital products, such as online courses.Think about this: would someone pay to learn more about you teach? If so, howmuch would that person be willing to do so? This will also affect your course pricing – when determining the best price point and should also affect the quality
of the course on offer.
- The market size & competition: think about how many people need your
courses (a solution to a common problem) in your niche, and how your
competitors are using this information. Carrying out market research helps to
determine if there is an actual market for it.
- The effectiveness of your site: search how people arrive at your business
website and how they interact with your pages (landing page, sales page, etc).
Working to improve these factors can help to promote your business and gain greater
exposure to online communities to sell your courses. If you need help with marketing
your school, check how to increase your course sales.
Are Online Courses Profitable?
Yes, they are. Online courses offer one of the best business models to digital
entrepreneurs. The demand is rising, and people are more than willing to pay for them.
This is a great piece of information to start with.
However, you will need to research more into your chosen subject to make a new course launch.
Launching your first course might seem like a lot of work. On top of that, when it comes to creating content for your course, you have many options to choose from.
One of them is to reuse your old material, including your:
- Old blog posts (if blogging is part of your business activities)
- Video/Audio recordings (webinars, speeches, interviews, etc.)
- Books/eBooks or other company-related information material
Lowering spending on new content and reusing your old material, can increase your
online course’s ROI – return on investment and your own income.
Then, you only must think about your minimum expenses and it’s a simple equation of (Income – Expenses) / Expenses.
Online courses can also be a great way to start building your membership site.
Membership sites have the advantage of selling subscriptions for a learning
community and get recurring income for it.
Undoubtedly, online learning is the way forward. Course creators have the chance to
make money selling courses to create additional sources of passive income or even make
a living teaching online from your own website.