When I tell people I make money online they tend to assume that I'm running some sort of Ponzi scheme. But I've never been a good enough liar to pull that off, so instead I blog. While I make pocket change, there are plenty of other people who have completely replaced their full-time jobs in favor of making six figures working online.
There are countless ways to make money from home, but not all monetization tactics are created equally. In this post, I’ll walk you through some of the most common ways online entrepreneurs make money and provide you guidance on getting started with each.
Spoiler alert: Creating and selling online courses is number one. I’m not going to make you sit and read through all 16 other methods before jumping into that.
If you're interested in checking out all the methods, click to jump or read the full post.
13. Course Marketplace
10. Search Engine Evaluation
9. Domain flipping
7. Virtual Assistant
6. Brand Ambassador
4. Freelance Writing
3. Online Store
2. Freelance Design
1. Selling Online Courses
17. Earn money online with Fiverr
If you’ve been trying to build an online empire for anytime you’ve probably heard of Fiverr. And because you’ve heard of Fiverr you may have let out an audible groan when you saw it listed here.
Despite the criticism Fiverr receives, the site is a legitimate way to make money online, but it is in no way the best way. Fiverr’s entire premise is that you can sell ‘gig’s for $5 but for most people a few $5 gigs won’t pay the bills.
Especially because Fiverr takes 20%, so really you’re selling it for $4 (and that’s before PayPal takes their cut).
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t make good money on Fiverr. Because like any good rule, there are exceptions, and some people do make thousands of dollars each month on Fiverr.
Your time and talents are worth more than what you can make on Fiverr. While you might be pulling in a few hundred dollars here and there on Fiverr, another platform (*cough* your own) could be making you even more.
How to get started:
- Click the green “Start Selling” button on the upper right hand corner of the homepage
- Enter your information to create an account
- Pick which category you fit best into (writer, video editor, developer, designer, etc.)
- Fill out your gig info and set a price
From there you can hope for the best or start marketing on social media and community marketing websites. If you’re lucky you’ll become a featured seller which will help drive sales.
If you’re interested in reading about Fiverr’s marketplace, Joseph Feliciano offers an in-depth look at how he got 88 orders in a month without promoting his gig.
How profitable is Fiverr? Because there was no clear data on how much the average seller makes on Fiverr, it’s safe to assume that most users aren’t making significant income.
16. Earn money selling pictures
If you’re insta-obsessed (guilty) you might be able to pull in a few dolla dolla bills from the pictures you post.
Foap is an app where you can upload original photos and customers can buy them from there. Like Fiverr, you’re only making $5, but if you were going to take the picture anyhow there’s no harm in the extra few minutes it takes to upload to the app.
Besides selling your pictures for $5, you can also enter ‘missions’ which are sponsored competitions searching for the best picture in a given category. These missions are more lucrative, oftentimes with cash prizes of several hundred dollars.
How to get started:
- Download the app to your phone - available on iPhone and Android
- Start uploading and categorizing your photos
- Explore missions
- Wait for purchases to roll in… hopefully
How profitable is Foap? Like Fiverr, there is no data available on how much you can earn using Foap. Me? Because there isn’t a large community (yet!) Foap isn’t going to bring in consistent income, but if you’re lucky it might allow you to splurge on a latte or two.
15. Earn money online with a blog
With so many six figure bloggers out there, you might be surprised to see this ranking so low. But in two and a half years of blogging I’ve learned a hard lesson: Blogging doesn’t make you money.
Influence makes you money. A following makes you money. Running a blog is a means to gain that influence and following, but at the end of the day, the blog itself is not what is going to make you money.
Bloggers earn money online through advertising, partnerships, selling their own products and affiliate income, all of which are means listed elsewhere on this list.
Monetize your blog with advertising
On most blogs you might see a snazzy ad or two in the sidebar or within the posts. These aren’t there to annoy you, rather they are raking in the dolla dolla bills for the website owner.
Well, kind of.
A lot of bloggers have a problem with sidebar advertisements because they really don’t generate much income. Even with 50,000 monthly page views you will be lucky to pull in $200.
Monetize your blog with partnerships
Brand partnerships are one of the most popular options for bloggers who are just getting started with monetization. These partnerships are most popularly referred to as ‘sponsored posts.’
Bloggers charge anywhere from several hundred dollars up to several thousand per sponsored post.
Monetize your blog by selling your own product
This is the most successful way to make money as a blogger. Many bloggers will focus on consistently putting out great content and building an audience for several months and then creating and selling their own product to that audience.
While this money isn’t truly made through their blog, most bloggers consider this ‘blog income’ because their blog audience served as customers.
I’ll be going more into selling your own product a little further down the post.
How to get started:
- Come up with your domain name and niche
- Write a handful of posts before launch
- Set up your blog and publish your posts
- Establish a consistent posting schedule
- Promote your blog on social media
How profitable is blogging: Bloggers can expect to make 1% of their average page views. If a Blogger gets 50,000 views a month, they’ll make around $500.
14. Earn money creating and selling ebooks
Ebooks definitely had their time in the sun and it seems like everyone and their brother (my brother included) is writing one despite the fact that they aren’t the most profitable online medium anymore.
Ebooks take a lot of time, research and energy to write, whereas you can’t sell them for very much. If your end goal is to be a published author then online self-publishing is a wonderful way to make that happen, but if you’re hoping to be profitable, ebooks aren’t always the best bet.
That’s not to say that there are no successful ebook sellers because there definitely are, but in a saturated market of online authors it's hard to stand out.
How to get started:
- Outline/write/edit/revise/perfect your ebook
- Consider paying a professional to create a cover for your book
- Choose a self-publishing platform
- Upload your ebook to marketplaces or sell from your own website
How profitable is selling ebooks: While half of self-published authors make less than $500, we are going to put you in the more profitable half and say you’ll be able to earn at least $10k a year, or just over $800 a month.
13. Earn money online with a course marketplace
If you’ve got a lot to teach but haven’t established an audience (and have no desire to) then a course marketplace might be for you.
With a course marketplace, you create the online course and they take it from there. You have control of your content, but nothing else.
This lack of control has driven a lot of former marketplace users to course creation platforms like Teachable.
One such example is when Udemy put a cap of $50 on their courses and nearly 1000 of their instructors migrated to Teachable so they could have complete control over their course.
How to get started:
- Create your online course content - this can be video, text, audio, downloadable assets, or anything else you come up with, the Teachable Blog has a ton of course creation tips
- Upload your course to your marketplace of choice
- Let the marketplace promote for you or go the extra mile and promote to your list and social media accounts
How profitable is selling on a marketplace: A Udemy cofounder claimed that ¼ of creators on Udemy make at least 10k a year, or $833 a month.
Want to know more about earning money with online courses? Check out our webinar where we walk you through the 7 steps to a successful online course AND offer a live Q&A at the end.
12. Earn money online with affiliate marketing
If there is a store or product that you love so much that you’re constantly recommending it to your friends and family, you might want to consider becoming an affiliate.
People earn affiliate income by partnering with a brand or company and earning a commission of every sale that they drive. There are thousands of affiliate programs online - apparel stores, Amazon, tech companies and more.
Most people pull in a few hundred dollars a month with affiliate selling, though there are some outliers who have created entire businesses from it. If you join enough programs and are strategic in implementing them, you may be able to pull in $80k in 5 years like Hash Agrawal did.
When looking into affiliate programs be careful to do research on how you’re getting paid. A lot of programs pay you in gift cards or store credit - and while that’s great - internet points don’t pay the bills!
How to get started:
- If you’re looking to become an affiliate for your favorite company there are a few ways to find out if they have an affiliate program. Your first option is to Google “*company name* affiliate”
- If that doesn’t pan out, most companies that have affiliate programs will have them listed sneakily on the verrrrrryy bottom of their website
- Once you are accepted into an affiliate program figure out how you want to promote (blog posts, social media, business cards, etc)
How profitable is becoming an affiliate partner: There is no clear data on the average income you can make as an affiliate. Instead (very scientifically) I went to five blogs that share income reports and averaged their affiliate income to arrive at $987 a month.
11. Earn money online with YouTube
Ah, YouTube stardom. Growing up watching iCarly on Nickelodeon and YouTubers like Fred I was sure that online video stardom would be my scapegoat from ever having to work an adult job.
Fast forward to now and I’m pulling in a humble $5 a month through YouTube.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other online personalities finding success on the platform. SocialBlade estimates that some YouTube stars like Miranda Sings are pulling in up to two million dollars a year.
Needless to say, she’s an outlier, but with figures like that chasing YouTube stardom sounds pretty darn appealing.
For every YouTuber making a full-time living through YouTube, there are thousands of YouTubers chugging away making pennies a month. Those people might rise to YouTube stardom, but the rise tends to be a slow one.
A lot of YouTubers also monetize their success by branching out from YouTube. Angela Fehr, for example, is a talented watercolor artist on YouTube and has since created an online academy teaching watercolor on Teachable.
How to get started:
- If you have a Google account you can set up a YouTube account with just a few clicks
- Establish a niche for your channel - you can do comedy, music, tech tutorials or anything in between
- Go into your settings and turn monetization on
- Establish an upload schedule and be consistent
- As your subscriber count grows consider reaching out to brands for paid collaborations
10. Earn money as a search engine evaluator
With over three and a half billion daily Google searches it’s fair to assume that a few bugs might pop up from time to time. To stay on top of these bugs, Google hires independent contractors to work as search engine evaluators.
Steve Gillman described being a search engine evaluator as a great learning experience - he makes several hundred dollars a month googling search terms and rating them on “quality, relevancy and usefulness.”
How to get started:
- Sign up with a site like Leapforce
- Take the entrance exam (it’s said to be easy)
- You will have several hours of unpaid training before you can get started
How profitable is being a Search Engine Evaluator? It looks like the average pay for search engine evaluation is $12/hour but the hours are unpredictable at best. You can expect to make $1000 each month give or take.
9. Make money online selling domains
People don’t always think of domain flipping as a reputable way of earning money online, but domain powerhouses like GoDaddy beg to differ.
The idea behind this is you buy a domain name that you think someone will want to use in the future. If you’re lucky you’ll be right and you’ll get an offer from someone looking to own that domain sometime down the road.
You can also buy domain names similar to domains that are already popular and reach out to the owners of those sites and see if they’re interested in buying.
Domain flipping is a long-term commitment and not something that you will see any sort of profit off of right off the bat.
How to get started:
- Decide a niche you want to focus on and start researching keywords
- Buy domain names that fit in your niche
- Research how much you can sell your course for on Namebio
- Wait for people to reach out or be proactive and reach out to potential buyers yourself
How profitable is domain flipping? While there have been domains sold for millions of dollars, a more common price point is several hundred to a thousand dollars. Assuming someone can sell two domains a month we will estimate their monthly income at $1000.
8. Earn money podcasting
Not too long ago I had to explain what a podcast was to my grandma and as she so eloquently put it, “... so a podcast is talk radio for kids?”
And by kids, she means anyone under the age of 50.
She had basically the right idea - a podcast is an audio show that will feature at least one host and oftentimes high profile guests.
There are wildly popular podcasts covering virtually every niche possible. Like blogs, podcasts aren’t profitable in themselves but once your audience grows you can monetize your following through ads which you can sell in fifteen second blocks.
How to get started:
- Figure out a podcasting setup and purchase any equipment you might need
- Figure out a niche and posting schedule
- Start recording podcasts
- Reach out to guests to feature on your podcast
How profitable is podcasting: Again, statistics are hard to find. But School of Podcasting reports his numbers at around $1600 and I've found that number to be consistent amongst mid-tier podcasters.
7. Earn money as a virtual assistant
If you’ve been playing in the online business game for any amount of time you’ve probably heard the pros preaching outsourcing and delegating tasks to a virtual assistant time and time again.
Virtual assistants take care of any aspect of business that can be done virtually. This might mean scheduling tweets, designing blog graphics, managing an inbox, or researching for blog posts. Or something else entirely.
Really, the sky is the limit with what a virtual assistant can do.
How to get started:
- Join Facebook groups geared towards virtual assistants
- Decide which services you’ll offer and research pricing
- Set up a VA site or look on Facebook groups for people searching for virtual assistants
How profitable is becoming a virtual assistant: On average virtual assistants earn $22,000 a year or just over $1800 a month.
6. Earn money as a brand ambassador
If you have a large blog or social media following you might be able to snag a deal as a brand ambassador. Brand ambassadors are usually given free product to model and show off on their platforms and an affiliate code to track sales.
A lot of brand ambassadorships also have perks and contests where you can win more free product, cash, or even trips.
There are some companies, though, that do accept applications on a rolling basis. For those you can search: “*company name* brand ambassadorship” and if they have a program you should be able to apply from there.
How to get started:
- Find companies that are taking ambassadors and start engaging with them on social media
- See if your ideal companies accept applications and apply
- Many companies handpick their ambassadors rather than using open applications - this is why it's important to get on their radar with step one
- After you’re selected be active in promoting the brand and driving sales
How profitable is being a brand ambassador: According to Simply Hired, the average brand ambassador will make $24,000 a year or $2,000 a month.
*Note: A lot of affiliate programs tend to advertise themselves as an ambassadorship, but in a true ambassadorship you’ll be provided free product to promote.
5. Earn money crowdfunding
So this option is a bit different - people tend to use crowdfunding for one of two reasons:
- To raise money for a good cause
- To fund a project
So if your “project” is quitting your job and relaxing - you might not have much luck. But if you’re crowdfunding to quit your job and work on creating technology that will benefit your investors you might have a better chance of success.
Yancey Strickler, the founder of Kickstarter, advises “Most ideas in the world are funded because they have the ability to make someone else money.”
With that in mind present your crowdfunding idea in that light. Rather than say, “I’m making this product that does x, y and z.” say, “I’m making this product that does x, y and z to make life easier for you.”
People are benefit driven so you need to show them what they will get from funding you.
How to get started:
- Come up with your crowdfunding idea
- Choose a crowdfunding platform (IndieGoGo, Crowdrise, Go Fund Me, etc.)
- Get your page set up with benefit driven language
- Start promoting on social media
How profitable is crowdfunding? According to Fundable, the average successful campaign will last 9 weeks and bring in around $7,000. Break that down and you’re making about $3,500/month (though you probably won’t be running back to back campaigns every other month).
4. Earn money freelance writing
If you have a way with words and a wallet crying out for some extra cash you might want to consider becoming a freelance writer.
Freelancing is a great way to use your talents to earn money online. We recently interviewed Aja Frost in Make Change Weekly. She's a 21 year old who paid for school through freelancing, and she is just one of many freelancers making a full-time income.
There are a lot of ways you can get started freelancing - whether you reach out to publications directly or build a portfolio and wait for customers to come to you.
Either way, the more proactive you are the more successful you might be.
Sites like Freelance to Freedom offer great advice and community for freelancers.
How to get started:
- Build a portfolio of sample writing to showcase your work
- Submit to sites to get your name out there
- Consider setting up a website to act as a landing page
How profitable is Freelance Writing: The average freelancer makes $42,000 a year, or $3500 a month.
3. Earn money with an online store
Real talk: Etsy is my favorite website ever. I find myself spending hours browsing and oftentimes spending more than I budgeted for on decor that I really didn’t need.
What I’m trying to say is that Etsy shops have a way of turning frugal twenty-year-olds into buying fiends and that is something you should take advantage of.There are listings for anything you can imagine on Etsy - from apparel and accessories to groomsmen gifts and voodoo dolls.
So if you’re particularly crafty or have an awesome digital product worth selling then hop on the Etsy train, y’all!
And if Etsy's not your speed Shopify is another solid option.
Unlike Etsy, Shopify isn’t a marketplace. What this means is you are in total control. You set up your store, customize it, organize it and advertise it.
Shopify is a great platform for earning money online if you have a vision and need complete control to execute it, while if you’re just looking to set up a sales page and not worry about it again - you might be better off on Etsy.
Etsy Shop: Pick Some Colors by Tiffany Fields
How to get started:
- Decide what it is that you’re going to sell - this can be a physical or digital product
- Choose a selling platform based on your needs
- Upload your products/services and set a price
- Advertise your page on a blog or social media sites
How profitable is selling on Etsy: According to Slate the average income of profitable Etsy sellers is $44,900 which comes out to be a bit over $3700 a month.
2. Earn money creating as a freelance designer
Just like with freelance writing, you can also become a freelance designer. The process is largely the same - build a portfolio, gain testimonials and the money should start rolling in.
What you will be designing can range from webpages to infographics to Pinterest images and anything else imaginable.
You can niche down and specifically be an infographic freelancer, or you can keep your horizons broad - that’s the beauty of working for yourself.
How to get started:
- Build a portfolio showcasing your work
- Advertise your services on social media
- Set up a website to act as a landing page
How profitable is freelance designing: The average income for freelance designers is $60,000 a year or $5,000 a month.
1. Earn money selling online courses
So I know we've already covered this, but selling online courses is the best way to make money online. I can sing praises for online courses for as long as you’re willing to listen, but for now, I’ll just say this:
Online courses are a great way to earn money online because they allow you to monetize your skills, you create a course once and can sell it for years and they establish you as an authority and it's a lot easier than you think!
How profitable is selling online courses?
Our average instructor earns $5,426 with each online course making courses the most profitable means of earning money online.
It’s no surprise online courses are the next big thing when it comes to working from home by making money online. Here’s the deal. The EdTech industry is booming. Valued as a 107 billion dollar industry (according to Forbes), the early-adopters are looking at courses and thinking: I. want. that.
It’s why our customers, who are just normal people, have made upwards of six figures in just a month while launching their courses. It’s why the best content marketers (like Seth Godin, Marie Forleo, Noah Kagan) are selling courses. It’s why there was $2.51 billion invested in educational-technology companies during the first half of 2015 (according to InsideHigherEd).
There are 7 key reasons that make online courses an optimal online product.
I'll be quoting some of the most successful online teachers talking about why courses are awesome then going into the next 16 top ways you can make money online.
Make a Living Online. Fast.
Here’s the thing: an online course is easy to monetize, especially when you compare it to blogs, ebooks, YouTube followings and Podcasts. We ran the numbers, and here at Teachable it takes 47 days on average for someone creating their course to go from first step to first sale.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, courses are gated content. You simply can’t access someone’s course unless you enroll and an instructor can set the price tag.
By contrast, 81% of “bloggers” never make even $100. An author makes only 8-15 cents on every dollar made on their book. The “average” YouTuber with 5K views per month makes just $15/month.
Secondly, people are willing to pay for a course more naturally than other online products. Because our society values education and is trained to think of courses, classes and education as valuable, it’s easier to convince someone to pay for an online “course” than say, a blog, where a writer is expected to give away their content for free.
BLOG: When people think of blogs, they think of something free AND they think of new content. What that means for a blogger is that they must constantly create content and promote it, and they’re getting very little direct income from the process.
We’ve actually seen many bloggers move from this medium to courses to make money off of their investments.
“Advertising rates have plummeted and bloggers can no longer make a living with ad revenue alone (unless you get 10 million uniques a month). The over-saturation of blogs and websites means that competition is fierce. Simple supply and demand - there are more blogs and they all want a piece, which means advertisers will pay less and less.
You’ll work your buns off for pennies. This is also the slowest and worst way to make money as a beginner. Making a living online with ad revenue means you have to waste years building up traffic. Even tiny bloggers with small audiences can make a living with their own products.”
PODCAST: A podcast is similar to a blog in that people expect to download your content for free. Podcasts lend themselves to marketing efforts since it’s easy to have guest speakers, but that still won’t make you money unless you bring in advertisers. You also have to continually put out new pieces of content to grow.
ONLINE STORE: An Etsy store takes an initial investment, you have to create the goods with physical materials, you’ve also got to keep creating to make money.
Another big point, you have to be creative and skilled. Considering my crafts are generally worthy of pinterest fails, this is not a medium that works well for me.
Compare this to an online course. Everything is digital so there’s very little cost investment AND everyone has their own unique knowledge and skills that can be taught.
EBOOK: Ebooks take a substantial time investment. It’s the equivalent of 10-50 blog posts in one place, and then, you try to market and sell them, but no one wants to buy an ebook. They’re just not that engaging.
If you compare to an online course where you move through progress section by section, actionably learning through video, sound, blog posts and worksheets, well, in my opinion, there’s no comparison.
Scale from Part-Time Income to Working from Home Full-Time
The beautiful thing about a course is that you get about as much out of them as you put into them. If you want to do one course launch, make a few thousand bucks and walk away, you can do that. If you want to create multiple courses around a general topic and run an academy that you advertise through webinars, podcasts, blogs, and joint-ventures and build a lifestyle business from your home, you can do that too!
A course scales to the amount of work you want to put into it, which means you can generate passive, part time or full-time income.
- Launch before you backpack Europe, and you’ll have money in the bank.
- Continually promote a course with webinars, deals and through other online platforms, and that’s part time income.
- If you continually make new courses and expand your school, you can make enough money from home for this to be your full-time business.
For example, Brennan Dunn who hosts a course on freelancing called, Double Your Freelancing, has become one of the most successful online entrepreneurs today by creating a course to give advice on freelancing and setting up your own business.
"Does the idea of selling or marketing yourself make you cringe? Do you know you’re undercharging, but aren’t sure what to do to fix that? If so, I’ve created a handful of premium courses that have helped thousands of freelancers build a more stable and more profitable business."
Monetize Other Online Products & Audiences
Courses are a high ROI way to help monetize already existing content and audiences.
We’ve seen thousands of instructors with followings on YouTube, Facebook, Podcasts and published authors convert to online courses so they can make a more substantial income from home.
Take Nick Stephenson, he created an online course, Get Your First 10,000 Readers, for writers and authors to help them build their email list and make money off of, what I feel, is a very undervalued talent.
"Get the EXACT System I use to Generate a Six-Figure Income Selling my Books Online - and find out how to attract Your First 10,000 Readers."
A course works for this because they utilize already existing content, keeping initial time investment small.
Simply take your chapters to an ebook and put them into course sections. Take your watercoloring tutorials from YouYube and create a course (like Angela Fehr). Courses allow you to gate and charge for your content, which works extremely well.
Courses are a Reusable Asset
Unlike a blog or podcast which require fresh content to keep readers engaged, a course can easily be repurposed and resold. If you weren't happy with your first stab at a course, you can update it and relaunch.
If you feel you've exhausted the content in your course and create a new one, you can also use your first course as a lead magnet, bonus, or part of the offer in selling your second, third, or fourth course.
Anyone Can Teach & Everything's Teachable
Here at Teachable, we believe that everyone is an expert and can teach. Why? Here’s the definition of an expert:
Webster defines expert as “having or showing special skill or knowledge because of what you have been taught or what you have experienced.” Just by nature of living life as an individual you’ve experienced something unique that you can create a course out of, helping you share your knowledge.
Many people don’t believe this but many of those who do, succeed.
We've found that those who have just learned a topic are often much better at teaching it than an “expert.” Take for example John and Eliot of Bitfountain. After just completing a programming bootcamp and with no experience teaching, they launched a course that made over 2 million dollars.
One of the major reasons for this is because they had just learned, they were better in touch with the issues beginners' face.
Also, from our experience getting over 15,000 teachers up and running since Teachable’s initial launch, we’ve found that you can teach almost any subject area.
You don’t have to teach programing, you don’t have to teach business. We have courses on hundreds of topics, some creative, some technical, some entrepreneurial focused.
"Rarely just shoot one video at a time. Instead, we batch filming multiple videos into a single day. This leads to releasing videos on a consistent basis, which is how you actually build a thriving audience online.
This means you're saving time and money, so you can focus your energy on the rest of your business instead fiddling with cameras, lights, microphones, and editing videos multiple days a month."
Help A Lot of People At Once
One of my favorite things about courses is their ability to quickly spread ideas, words and skills rapidly. They are one of the quickest ways to share your knowledge with people who need it.
That is a beautiful and powerful thing.
For example, course creators Bharat Patodi & Swati Choudhary founded Pyoopel, a course that prepares students in India for standardized testing.
“Both of us felt that students paid exorbitant amounts of money on coaching. This was a gap we wanted to bridge,” says Bharat, who, along with Swati, has published a couple of books as well.
A good course idea, is a good business idea, and that’s one that people want and need, no scams involved. For more on that, check out our other post here: Find Business Ideas That Make Money and Do Good.
This couldn’t be more true for someone like Melyssa Griffin who says...
“I dreamed of creating a community that empowered people and gave them the tools to achieve their dreams. At the time, I felt unfulfilled and unhappy with my job and life, so TNC rapidly became my after-work obsession...I am crazy about helping others find that same “something” in their lives. Whether it be sharing all of my lessons learned so you can grow the biz of your dreams or reminding you why you’re ready, even when you think you’re not, I hope TNC unlocks something BIG deep inside you.”
Build A Community Around Yourself
A course has the amazing benefit of quickly helping you create a community around yourself. Unlike an ebook that’s completed and shipped into the world, an online store where your customers are one time purchasers probably all over the nation, or a blog where you’re lucky to get a few comments on your posts, courses have a high community factor.
It’s common for instructors to ask for students to comment in the course through Disqus, or to ask students to engage with each other through various steps of the course. You can do this within your course, or, as many instructors choose, through a Facebook group or Slack group.
You become the moderator of these communities and it can be fun and incentivizing to see an active community around your product. In this position, you also become an influencer in your niche and an authority on your topic that you can leverage to grow your business.
Take for instance Kim Coles, actress, comedian and game show host best known for her role as a cast member on the sketch comedy, In Living Color.
In the course bio for a lifestyle course on Gratitude, Passion and Success, she says, “The journey is going to be fun (that is the ONLY way that I know to do things) and filled with real life solutions and tools. And even better, we will be accountable to each other! We are going to look in the rear view mirror and be amazed at how far we have come!”
Why online courses?
Courses are a great way to monetize your knowledge or presence online, and many of the above options can be converted to online courses. For example:
- Instead of writing an educational ebook you can create an online course on the same topic
- Harness the momentum you've gained on YouTube and create a course to sell related to your niche
- Create a course on automating the systems that somebody might otherwise hire a VA to do
- Or create a course on how to be successful using any of the above monetization tactics
And the most clever way to make more by selling your online course? Offering different pricing tiers.
By setting an additional (or more) pricing tiers for each course, you can unlock more money from the same customers you are already selling to without considerable additional effort.
Why do multiple prices work so well?
The solution you are selling is worth drastically different amounts to different people.
Think about it… your audience probably:
Has various amounts of income - A $149 course could be a month’s salary in parts of the world or cost of a nice dinner in New York City.
Values their time differently - I’d spend a lot more money to save time, while I have friends that would spend time to save money.
May be purchasing for their business - Purchases made on behalf of a company are made with very different considerations with price usually less of an issue.
Has different leverage on the information you are sharing - While your course could be a cool weekend project for a hobbyist photographer, it could help a photography teacher charge their clients more.
With everyone having a different propensity to pay, can you see why having only a single price for your course is naive?
How to get started:
- Sign up for your Teachable account
- Come up with your profitable course idea
- Start creating your online course
- Promote your course launch
If you’re at all interested in creating an online course (and hopefully you are!) check out our free e-book to learn everything you need to create a course and start making money online.