The Basics: How to Market Your First Online Course

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Do you have enough specialized knowledge to create an online course that others would buy as part of their ongoing education? Read on for tips on how to create your first online course.


Online courses (also known as “eLearning”) have experienced significant growth in popularity in recent years. Online courses are beneficial for both students and teachers as they provide more flexibility and creativity in learning as well as teaching. 

If you have a unique set of skills or knowledge that can benefit others through teaching, you can turn your assets into building online courses and generating extra income. However, before you go and create your own courses, you should know how to market your online course first.

Create the Course Platform

Choosing a platform is one of the most important decisions you have to make when it comes to marketing your online courses. A course platform is where you design your courses, get in touch with your students, sell your courses, and generate income. When building your own course platform, you should consider your students’ user experiences and the features which they will need. Apart from the user experience for learners, you should consider the tools that are available for you to best manage courses and make your teaching life easier. 


That being said, creating the perfect platform is no easy feat. Research and plan carefully to choose a platform that can support you as you grow your audience in the future and advance your teaching path. A good platform should have all the expected e-commerce features such as various payment options, advanced learner tracking tools as well as easy-to-use features for importing files, and editing content. 

Identify Your Target Students

Before deciding on what to add to your online courses, give thought to who your target students are. Remember that successful learning courses all prioritize students and their needs first. Aside from having a well-designed online course to fit students’ needs, knowing your students and their characteristics will allow you to plan your marketing campaigns and marketing messages effectively. 


Identifying your student profile is one of the most important foundations for building a successful eLearning business, so it is recommended that you have a detailed description of your target students to implement in the other marketing plans later listed in this article. 

Define your Unique Selling Point

The chances are your chosen subject of teaching is already being taught by other online instructors as well. Therefore, it is a good idea for you to do a thorough research of existing courses available online that are related to your chosen subject. As you conduct your research, it is important for you to determine how your courses will be different than those already available on the market. This is how you will determine your value and unique selling point. As a result, your marketing messages and sales pages will be clearer and more targeted. For instance, you can consider covering the areas that other instructors missed and add value that other courses are lacking. 

Compose a List of Professional Accomplishments 

In order to increase your potential for student recruitment, you need to show your potential students reasons why you are worth learning from and why your courses will be beneficial for them. You should compile a list of all of your accomplishments over the years and feature them in prominent places such as your sales pages, homepages, landing pages, and professional profiles. 

Choose your Course Title Strategically

Imagine if you were your target student, how would you search for information regarding courses and articles about your teaching topics? Search terms and keywords that you are going to use in search engines will give you some suggestions on choosing your course titles. 


Aside from putting yourself into your target students’ shoes, there are tools available such as Google’s Keyword Planner to help you identify popular keywords related to your online course.

Include your Student Testimonials on Sales Pages

Testimonials play a crucial role in influencing buyers’ purchasing decisions. The same goes for reviews and feedback. In your case, including student testimonials along with your marketing messages will greatly enhance your image as a trustworthy instructor. If there is no one taking your online course yet, it will help your business if you consider letting a few learners take your course for free in order to exchange lessons for testimonials.  

Create A Free Online Mini-Course

Giving students trial-classes and free-courses are effective business strategies for online instructors. This gives your students a chance to experience how your courses will help them and to see how interesting your courses can be. Plus, people are often hesitant when buying a brand new course. This will give your potential students to help a risk-free way to learn and experience your mini-courses before signing up. 


Becoming an online instructor and starting to generate income from your own online courses are wonderful ideas. No matter how good your courses are, you will need a well-designed marketing plan to help you boost sales and expand your audience. Use our tips and recommended strategies to ensure your courses’ success. 


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Arnov Rahman

Arnov Rahman

Arnov is a Marketing Manager at SqueezeCMM, a B2B content marketing and analytics start up. He is fascinated by the intersection of technology, marketing, and people in the development of awesome products. He's into life-hacking, psychology, and data-science.
Arnov Rahman

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