43 Tips For Starting A Successful Online Courses Business

Want to start your own online courses business? Here are 43 tips you should know.

We've interviewed thousands of successful founders at Starter Story and asked what advice they would give to entrepreneurs who are just getting started.

Here's the best advice we discovered for starting an online courses business:

#1: Adrian Wood, founder of Modern Producers:

We chatted with with Adrian, founder of Modern Producers ($120K/month). In our interview, Adrian says:

Don’t think too hard. If you already have a business idea, dive right in and roll with the punches.

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#2: Jure Pučko, founder of Doctrina:

We chatted with with Jure, founder of Doctrina ($90K/month). In our interview, Jure says:

Don’t make predictions, put yourself out there.

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#3: Kelan Kline, founder of The Savvy Couple:

We chatted with with Kelan, founder of The Savvy Couple ($20K/month). In our interview, Kelan says:

Keep it simple and commit to making it happen. If others are being successful, learn from them.

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#4: Adam Tal, founder of Pushtak:

We chatted with with Adam, founder of Pushtak ($150K/month). In our interview, Adam says:

Be obsessive about trying to make money before spending any money.

Additionally:

What some people consider to be an MVP is not really the minimum viable. I didn’t want a “lean” business, I wanted an “anorexic” business.

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#5: Diego Rios, founder of Markeko:

We chatted with with Diego, founder of Markeko ($4K/month). In our interview, Diego says:

Don’t be afraid to price your product on the high-end: I made the decision to price my product too low thinking that I was gonna get more customers.

Additionally:

Don’t wait and think you need a huge audience to start monetizing your blog or online business.

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#6: Praveen Malik, founder of PM-by-PM:

We chatted with with Praveen, founder of PM-by-PM ($17K/month). In our interview, Praveen says:

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. I believe one should recognize their weak points and work on them. It is never a good idea to brush something under the carpet.

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#7: Radoslaw Fabisiak, founder of Duomly:

We chatted with with Radoslaw, founder of Duomly ($1.2K/month). In our interview, Radoslaw says:

If you'd knew how to do it properly, you'd do it much faster, cheaper and better.

Additionally:

I learned the most crucial skill is the possibility of solving problems and looking for new solutions, so sometimes we could solve a problem in a much shorter time than we would spend on looking for somebody who can do that for us.

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#8: Austin L. Church, founder of AustinLChurch.com:

We chatted with with Austin, founder of AustinLChurch.com ($2.25K/month). In our interview, Austin says:

Create the products you want to use. I first planned to make Freelance Cake a video course. But I don’t watch many videos. I do listen to a ton of audio. I like audio because I can learn while I’m on the go.

Additionally:

Make 1,000 people feel special, and you’ll have more momentum than you can handle.

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#9: Shannon Mattern, founder of Shannon Mattern:

We chatted with with Shannon, founder of Shannon Mattern ($30K/month). In our interview, Shannon says:

Be open to possibilities and keep your eye out for the clues on which direction to go. Those clues don’t come from working in a vacuum alone, they come from trying things and getting feedback, making adjustments and trying again.

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#10: Gabriel Kramer, founder of SI Certs:

We chatted with with Gabriel, founder of SI Certs ($125K/month). In our interview, Gabriel says:

It may be tough to let go of some ownership in the interest of growing the business. But for me, the right business partner made all the difference.

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#11: Rasmus & Christian Mikkelsen (or Mikkelsen Twins), founder of Mikkelsen Twins:

We chatted with with Rasmus, founder of Mikkelsen Twins ($120K/month). In our interview, Rasmus says:

Shiny object syndrome is currently the biggest plague in entrepreneurship there is. Just focus on one damn thing for at least 12 months minimum without losing focus.

Additionally:

Stop giving in to all the short term gratifications that make you feel good now because they are hurting your future.

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#12: Steven Applebaum, founder of Animal Behavior College Inc. :

We chatted with with Steven, founder of Animal Behavior College Inc. ($1M/month). In our interview, Steven says:

Don’t define your life entirely by your business. That’s a trap! Sure, it takes dedication and a willingness to forget or forgot other things in your life at the start, but avoid making this your only source of happiness.

Additionally:

Failure often leads to success if you can handle admitting mistakes and making changes. Don’t quit BUT learn from your errors and come back not only working harder but also working smarter.

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#13: Lidiya Kesarovska, founder of Let's Reach Success:

We chatted with with Lidiya, founder of Let's Reach Success ($10K/month). In our interview, Lidiya says:

Starting the blog was the best decision and not giving up on it over the years (even when no traffic or money was coming in) was what helped me move forward.

Additionally:

I waited too long to take my email list to the next level, create digital products, and start treating my blog as a business.

Further:

Blogging is a never-ending learning process and you must enjoy every part of it.

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#14: Kelan Kline, founder of The Savvy Couple:

We chatted with with Kelan, founder of The Savvy Couple ($20K/month). In our interview, Kelan says:

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s important to have many streams of income as a business owner so when one gets cut in half you can lean on the others.

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#15: Shannon Mattern, founder of Shannon Mattern:

We chatted with with Shannon, founder of Shannon Mattern ($30K/month). In our interview, Shannon says:

Stop starting over. If you made an offer once and didn’t get the results you expected, ask people why they didn’t buy. It probably has nothing to do with you or your offer, you just need to go make more offers.

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#16: Tom, founder of Mandarin Monkey:

We chatted with with Tom, founder of Mandarin Monkey ($1K/month). In our interview, Tom says:

Always add more value than is expected. Your customer will talk about you. Notable service deserves being noted.

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#17: Gabriel Kramer, founder of SI Certs:

We chatted with with Gabriel, founder of SI Certs ($125K/month). In our interview, Gabriel says:

If you’re doing really well, don’t forget where you came from. You had to learn too, and you should never stop growing as an individual.

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#18: Caitlin Pyle, founder of Proofread Anywhere:

We chatted with with Caitlin, founder of Proofread Anywhere ($200K/month). In our interview, Caitlin says:

I paid for less than two years on my domain because I was so certain it wouldn’t take off.

Additionally:

So many people want to wait until everything is perfect to start but it’s much better to just start and continually improve -- what you’re working on is never going to be perfect!

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#19: Keyul, founder of Coursesity:

We chatted with with Keyul, founder of Coursesity ($1K/month). In our interview, Keyul says:

Don’t focus on so many things at once. This will take lots of time and effort. Set 1-2 goals and plan everything that helps you to achieve them. Once these goals have been achieved set the next goals.

Additionally:

Just start something and spend a few hours time to work on it every day. Remember, consistency is the key to success for so many things.

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#20: Stuart Draper, founder of Stukent, Inc.:

We chatted with with Stuart, founder of Stukent, Inc. ($500K/month). In our interview, Stuart says:

One of the greatest challenges in growing your team from 5 to 20 is convincing talented people to join your small company instead of the large corporation.

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#21: Bram Kanstein, founder of No-Code MVP:

We chatted with with Bram, founder of No-Code MVP ($6K/month). In our interview, Bram says:

Finishing something is hard. It really is. You’re not motivated all the time, a lot of work is ‘boring but crucial’ and if you’re a perfectionist like me you have to compromise on a lot of things to keep moving forward.

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#22: Alex Nerney, founder of Create and Go:

We chatted with with Alex, founder of Create and Go ($100K/month). In our interview, Alex says:

[Our first] blog was called Health and Happy Hour and… it was a flop. We spent three months working our tails off just to fail.. miserably.

Additionally:

One of the most important things you can do when you’re just starting out to increase your odds of success is to only listen to one, two at most, resources. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all the data that is available out there.

Further:

Your story is what sets you apart. There are probably hundreds of people out there trying to do exactly what you are doing. What will make you unique and stand out is your story.

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#23: Adrian Wood, founder of Modern Producers:

We chatted with with Adrian, founder of Modern Producers ($120K/month). In our interview, Adrian says:

By working with influencers and similar companies in your space you can reach a much wider audience.

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#24: Gabriel Kramer, founder of SI Certs:

We chatted with with Gabriel, founder of SI Certs ($125K/month). In our interview, Gabriel says:

Looking back, the biggest lesson from the beginning is that small starts can turn into something huge. If you’re patient and work hard every year, you can reap great rewards in the future.

Additionally:

When I consider how small the company was in the beginning, I’m still amazed that we made over half a million last year.

Further:

It is better to try something and fail miserably than to never try at all. Then, you don’t have to live with the “what if” doubts, and even if you failed, there is so much you can take away from the experience.

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#25: Ellen Yin, founder of Ellen Yin Media LLC :

We chatted with with Ellen, founder of Ellen Yin Media LLC ($80K/month). In our interview, Ellen says:

By pre-selling my program to a few beta students before I created any content, I was able to test and validate my offer.

Additionally:

If you're talking to everyone, you're talking to no one. Your copy and online presence should speak to only ONE person, with ONE specific pain point, and ONE desired result.

Further:

Build your owned assets - instead of obsessing over every new social media platform, its algorithms, and chasing vanity metrics like how many followers you have, focus on building your own database of contacts that you have full control over.

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#26: Graham Cochrane, founder of The Recording Revolution LLC:

We chatted with with Graham, founder of The Recording Revolution LLC ($100K/month). In our interview, Graham says:

Because generosity is attractive. It magnetizes you and draws people in. A generous person and a generous business will always grab people’s attention. So, be generous.

Additionally:

I’ve learned that I’m a bad delegator. I always want to do it all myself. But the moment I made my first part-time hire, things completely changed. I gained back a lot of my time and sanity.

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Want to start an online courses business?

See our full guide ➜