How To Create & Sell A Course: A Guide

How To Create & Sell A Course: A Guide


Trust & Credibility

What Is An Online Course?

An online course is a set of instructions accessed by learners via digital networks. The instructors and learners interact via the digital platforms, and so there are no physical meetings.

According to research, the global E-Learning Market is expected to reach $374.3 Billion by 2026.

The flourishing market is a good reason for brands to create online courses. Besides, brands can grow their customer base by simply creating and selling online courses.

In this post, we tell you how to create courses and sell online, while still using the approach not only to market your brand but also to earn a passive income and expand your revenue streams.

Online Course Key Takeaways

  • An online course could help you build brand credibility and earn customers trust
  • The market for online courses is profitable and evergrowing
  • Creating educational content can differentiate your brand
  • Online courses bring higher customer retention

Understand How Online courses Work

Brands create online courses with an intention of highlighting their mastery of the subject matter. In that regard, creating online courses establishes the brand as an authority in the respective industry.

Besides, the learners will apply the tactics transferred from your brand when serving their customers, and often recommend your brand, or use your examples to explain concepts.

In that regard, creating a course and selling online does not only generate passive income but is also a way of marketing the brand.

Why Launch An Online Course

Creating an online course is much more rewarding than investing in some digital marketing tactics. When you create an on-demand course, it will put your brand in the limelight, and attract more engagements, and converting leads easily.

Here are the top reasons to consider creating and selling an online course.

  • Reach a wider audience: Creating an online course is an opportunity to expand your online visibility, as you sell the course to the global audience.
  • Earn Passive Income: As an online instructor, you have the potential to sell the course countless times and so you create a passive income.
  • Easy to manage: You can manage an online course easily using lightweight learning management systems.
  • Builds Trust and Credibility: Selling online courses gives your brand an opportunity to cement its position as a thought leader in the respective field.

Online Course Best Practices

  • Begin with a clear course syllabus
  • Design a course for your specific audience
  • Optimize the course duration appropriately
  • Deliver consistent and customizable content design
  • Make the content accessible to learners

Real World Examples: Create & Sell A Course

Here are great examples you can draw inspiration from

1. How Pat Walls Made $28K A Week After Launching Online Course

In December 2020, we decided to launch our very first course at Starter Story called Lean SEO.

The results in just one week of launching?

  • Sales: $28,226
  • Hours spent creating: 85.5
  • Hours spent promoting: 18.5
  • Total hours: 104

Here's the backstory:

We just hit 500k/month visitors at, mainly through SEO. I figured my approach to SEO might be valuable to others, and I wanted to see if there was any interest:


After that tweet, I got hundreds of emails.


Some ideas for the info product:

  • Series of blog posts?
  • @Loom videos?
  • Zoom consulting sessions?
  • Live stream it?

So many options. In the end, I decided to do a paid video course.


I wanted to make sure people would pay for this.

Before starting the actual work of creating the course, I did three things:

(1) Created a landing page (2) Coded a checkout feature with @Stripe to take preorders (3) Set a firm launch date (Dec 8th)


I tried to keep it simple, but with the following:

  • Short intro
  • What you'll get out of the course
  • Link to purchase

Here's the landing page:



A bit about the course:

  • It’s everything I know about SEO
  • It's a framework for how you can win SEO
  • I called it “Lean SEO” because it pulls many concepts from the famous startup book “Lean Startup”


I priced the course at $129.

To incentivize preorders, I added a $50 discount if you buy early.

You can also get the course if you're a Starter Story Premium Plus member.


2. How Khabeer Rockley Launched An Online Course To Expand His Reach

Khabeer Rockley is a sales coach and the founder of the 5 Percent Institute, an organization that focuses on helping businesses generate leads and increase sales.

When he launched his business, he knew that he wanted to scale his audience, in order to generate leads. Therefore, he launched an online course related to sales. The online course teaches a simple yet effective step-by-step sales process, helping the students to win more clients consistently.


The online course not only helped his business to generate leads, but he also earns a passive income, selling the courses.

How To Create and Sell Online Course

  1. Come up with a working idea and a plan
  2. Research the subject
  3. Create a course outline and content
  4. Upload the course on a learning management solution
  5. Market the course on different platforms


Contributors to this article:

  • Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
  • David Gitonga, Writer @ Starter Story
  • Ankita Ghosh
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.