online course

An online course can be a great source of income and leads for your business. You can use the courses you publish to either generate a good amount of passive income on the side, or you can create several of them and run an e-learning business like Lynda.

There’s a good demand for online courses right now, and this demand will only continue to grow. One recent report projects the industry to reach $325 billion in annual revenues by 2025.

But people won’t automatically buy your course just because you put it out there, as they have a ton of options to choose from. Within almost every niche, there are dozens of people selling courses on the same topic.

The number of people who choose your course over your competitors’ courses will depend on how good your content is and how you position and market it to your target audience. Therefore, to make sure you get this right, I have put together a step by step process for creating a successful online course in 2020. Let’s get to it.

Check out what topics people are interested in

A common mistake people make is that they don’t do any research before creating the course. They usually assume that their audience would be interested in a topic they themselves like, so they go about spending days and weeks creating it. And they end up with a course nobody wants.

So, instead of assuming things, go out and do the research. If you want people to buy your course, you need to create a course on a topic they want.

Start off by checking what keywords people search on Google while looking for queries related to your topic. You can use an inexpensive tool like Keywords Everywhere to help you with this. Then look up these keywords on social media to get even more information. If you have a blog or newsletter, you can also check which pieces of content generated the highest engagement.

After that, use the data from your keyword research to set up surveys and interviews to get direct answers from your audience.

This process will give you a clear idea about what exactly your course should cover.

Create your course

You can begin creating your course once you have a clear picture of what your audience wants. You have two options while choosing the topic of the course. One is to create it on a topic that no one has covered before, while the other is to create one with a fresh take on a topic that has been covered before.

You might think that creating a course on a topic that has already been covered several times would be a waste of time. But the opposite is actually the case. Chances are, if several people are offering courses with similar topics, then a large enough audience is curious enough about the topic.

So, if you create a course on the same topic, you should be able to generate a lot of sales too. But in order to stand out, you will need to create a better version of the course, with higher quality content, videos and bonuses.

Set it up on a good platform

Make sure you set up the course on a good platform, as people need to be able to navigate it easily and watch all the content comfortably.

One great platform you can try is Kajabi. It makes it easy to set up a la carte course sales funnels or even a full-blown subscription membership community site. This way, you can publish organized course pages where people can watch the courses and download any ebooks such as workbooks you give away as part of the course.

The platform also lets you upload videos, which are hosted on Wistia, a professional-grade video hosting service.

Another benefit of Kajabi is that they have a mobile app, where people can receive push notifications about updates to your courses. So, if your audience prefers watching your course on the go, this will be a good selling point you can make.

Promote it

Once the course is set up you need to promote it. As I mentioned there’s too much competition out there and the only way you can get people to choose your course over your competitors is by getting your product in front of your audience before your competitors’ do, and showing them that it has all the value they need.

So, set up a well-planned funnel for your course with landing pages, nurture emails and other content and promote them to your target audience with ads, content marketing and email outreach.

You should be able to set up this funnel with Kajabi, too, as it lets you create landing pages and send triggered email sequences. And to set up the ads you can use a tool like Adespresso.


This is how you create a successful online course. It takes a lot of hard work to make one, but it can be very profitable for your business. So, give it a try in 2020.

Mitt Ray is the Founder of Social Marketing Writing. You can connect with him on Twitter @MittRay.

Online course stock photo by GaudiLab/Shutterstock