Mitt Ray
January 15, 2020

How to Create an Online Course That People Will Buy

How to Create an Online Course That People Will Buy

E-learning might seem like a massive business sector that has already hit its saturation point. But it is actually just getting started. Forecasts show that it is going to be a $325 billion industry by 2025. That would more than triple its 2015 value, when it hit $107 billion.

March 2021 update: To show how quickly things can change, the estimate above was blown out of the water due to the COVID pandemic. As this study by Sell Courses Online shows, the current estimate is that eLearning will reach $375 billion by 2026.

Yes, lots of people out there are creating online courses. But more and more people are buying them, too. There will always be an audience who will be interested in purchasing your course if you share quality content.

So, if you have always wanted to create an online course but have been procrastinating because you are worried about the competition, you should put your worries aside and take the plunge.

To help you create a top-quality online course that people will buy, I have put together a step by step process to follow. Check it out.

First, Find Out What People Want to Buy

People are only going to buy your course if it solves their most pressing problems. So, find out what is currently concerning your audience. You can easily do this by conducting a survey. Create a short survey, less than 10 questions long, that asks your audience about the problems they face which you could help solve with your expertise. You can use a tool like Paperform to create it.

You can either create a survey from scratch or use one of their templates.

After you create the survey, you’ll need people to actually take part in it. You can do this by sharing the survey with your email list or your social media following. Just let them know that you are creating a course and would like their input before you create it.

If you haven’t got a large list or a strong social media following, you can use social media ads to promote the survey. Many social networks let you target people based on their interests. So, this can help you get a lot of answers from the types of people who might be likely to buy your digital product.

Another way to get people to take part in the survey is to reach out to them directly on social media. Just search for relevant keywords on more open networks such as Twitter, then identify your audience based on their tweets and then tweet out a link to the survey, asking them to take part.

These techniques will help you get some good survey responses. But don’t stop there with the research. Contact some of the people who took part in the survey and then interview them. Expand on the questions you already asked them, and learn more about the problems they have. Also, find out about the type of course they would be interested in buying.

When you interview people one on one, you should not just make a note of what they are saying, but also how they are saying it. Write down if something made them happy or sad or angry.

After you have all this quantitative and qualitative data, you should create a persona of your ideal customer.

Create the Content

The next step is to create the content. You should create quality content based on your audience’s responses. Make sure you think about your ideal customer’s persona every step of the way.

Invest in a good camera if recording yourself is an important component of creating your course. And invest in a good editing tool like Camtasia to edit your videos.

Camtasia also lets you record your screen. This can come in handy if you want to record a Keynote/PowerPoint presentation, which is usually an important component of online courses.

Make sure you fill this course up with your best tips. Don’t be afraid to give your secrets away, as to get people to buy it, it needs to be better than everything else out there. And don’t randomly share tips and hacks. Instead, organize them into a strategy people can implement and measure. This will help you stand out.

If possible, create additional downloadable materials like workbooks, cheat sheets, templates and other documents that will make it easy for people to implement what you teach.

Set it up on a Good Platform

It’s not just enough if you create a good course that is well recorded and has a lot of documents, you need to present it well too. So, use a good tool like Kajabi to set up the online course.

Kajabi makes it easy to create a professional-looking membership site, with neatly organized course pages. It also offers video hosting that is powered by Wistia, marketing automation capabilities, intuitive contact management and a powerful landing page builder.

You can even use it to set up a gated community forum and assessment quizzes, which add to the experience for your students.

Run a Beta Test

After your course is ready, you should run a beta test. For the pilot run, you should either offer the course at a discounted rate or for free, so as to motivate people to try it out. After that, you can get them to take an additional survey and find out what they thought about the course and how it can be improved. This data can be used to create an even better version of the course.

Eventually, once you’re running multiple course experiments with a variety of sales promotion offers for each, you can start to see how each one performs, giving you a better sense of what your audience is most interested in.


Kajabi offers advanced business analytics that gives you more details about conversions per offer. In addition, if you add quizzes after every module of your courses, your students will be able to determine the extent of which they’re ready to move on to the next, but beyond that, the data obtained from here can be used to optimize your course content and to generate ideas for your next course products.

You should also gather testimonials from happy customers who participate in your beta tests and add these as social proof to the course’s landing page.

Promote it to the Right People

The next step is to promote the course. No matter how good your course is, people won’t automatically discover it. You need to constantly promote it.

There are a variety of techniques you can use to promote the course. These range from just plain email to webinars to free versions of the course that can give a glimpse of what is to come from the paid version.

The tactics you favor should depend on the price of the course. If your course costs less than $100, a simple email funnel or a video sales letter will do the job. But if your course is more expensive, a webinar with a well-planned webinar funnel may be necessary to generate sales.

And make sure you constantly drive traffic to your funnel through paid ads and other marketing methods. You can use the data from your surveys to make sure you reach out to the right audience.


This is the step by step process you must follow while creating your online course. Make sure you implement the entire plan I have shared above. And remember that after you create the course and get a good stream of buyers, it isn’t the end of the course creation process. You need to constantly use the data you gain to better the course and funnel you are using to promote it. This will make current customers happier and will get you even more new customers.

What steps do you take while creating an online course? Did I forget to add anything important? Please leave your comments below.

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Mitt Ray is the founder of Social Marketing Writing, where you can download 100 free social media background images. 100 free social media background images