Make Money by Creating and Selling Online Courses

According to a study by Brandon-Hall, learners typically take 40% – 60% less time in online learning modes than in typical classroom training. Moreover, e-learning maintains 25% — 60% retention rate, while face-to-face training only just manages to retain 8% — 10% of the same. For these reasons alone companies worldwide have adopted online corporate training and 40% of them admit to achieve an 18% boost in their employee engagement.

Undoubtedly, the corporate world is gradually shifting its way to complete online learning. However, the stats for personal e-learning are also not less impressive. According to Statista, the e-learning market globally will best $243 billion by 2022. This is because learners in all spheres are finding online learning sources more accessible and effective as compared to physical classroom training.

Scope in e-learning as a tutor

When teaching through the internet is making its move beyond the walls of schools and colleges, the scope for e-learning as a business option is also increasing gradually. Entrepreneurs are coming up with fresh ideas to offer unique learning potentials to students and earning preferences to the tutors. Nowadays, as a tutor, you can have unlimited know-hows to sell courses online and make some sound money from them. Online teaching platforms are offering excellent ways to impart your knowledge with some significant financial benefits.

  • Explore your expertise: Some websites are even paying teachers to put up online courses on their websites. They are allowing tutors to put live as well as offline videos of their lectures. As a tutor, you can enjoy a sizeable market to explore your expertise and earn from it. As people are gradually grasping the value of online teaching methods, being an online trainer has become a significant deal.
  • Reach beyond physical boundaries: There are many countries and places where there is a huge shortage of teachers in physical classrooms. In this situation, e-learning comes as a boon to such people, where they don’t have to rest on physical classrooms to learn. For example, with e-learning platforms, a teacher in the US can take online classes for students in Africa.
  • Ease and convenience: Some people possess excellent teaching skills but cannot take classes due to their hectic schedules or traveling hassles. Such people can prefer online classes from the comfort of their homes and still make a good earning without essentially being to the classrooms.
  • Do more than just teaching: The e-learning is a multi-billion dollar industry. There are millions of people involved in it. It is not just about teaching students on third-party websites. You can do more than just putting your courses on Coursera or Udemy. You can create your own e-learning website and entrepreneur a business of your own.

Two ways to earn by online courses

If you possess an expertise that you think people would be interested in learning, you can create and sell courses online in two primary ways:


1.    Find a suitable platform according to your expertise

Numerous established e-learning marketplaces allow tutors to sell their courses on them. They offer Off-the-shelf e-learning courses accessible for purchase by the learners. As these platforms are already well known in the audience and you will not have to struggle much to find buyers of your course materials.

How do e-learning marketplaces work?

  • You need to create a tutor profile on the platform.
  • After updating your profile, you need to upload your courses.
  • People will come seeking courses on the website and purchase them accordingly.
  • You will be paid for each purchase happened for your course.
  • The marketplace will collect a commission from the combined sale made by you.

E-learning platforms to look out for

Here are a few of the most popular e-learning platforms where you can upload your online courses:

1. Open Sesame

Open Sesame is one of the most popular and reliable on-demand e-learning marketplaces with more than 20,000 courses already on the platform. Learners from around the planet make purchases of the courses uploaded here. With its highly accessible user interface, buying and selling of online learning courses are as easy as watching a video on Netflix.

  • You can upload SCORM, AICC or video file as a course material. 
  • It works on a revenue-sharing model; hence, there is no cost to you to sell courses online.
  • Learners can preview courses, read reviews, research sellers and buy courses. 
  • No subscriptions or sustained commitments, learners purchase only what they need

2. Coggno

Coggno is an e-learning marketplace with courses tutored by industry experts in different niches. There is a variety of topics offered here ranging from compliance and CEUs to safety and software development. Courses uploaded on Coggno are also purchased by enterprises to train their employees.

  • Using the syndication model Coggno allows PEOs and HR consulting firms to offer courses from their own website itself.
  • With its affiliate partner network, the platform provides an instant distribution channel to monetize and distribute courses directly.
  • Enterprises and organizations purchase courses in bulk and utilize its free LMS to train their employees directly from the platform.

3. Coursera

Coursera remains an online learning platform that additionally provides verified certificates to the learners. It has collaborated with prestigious universities and organizations worldwide to offer free online courses. Till date, it has been on-boarded by more than 10 million learners from across the world and raised more than $85 million in its venture capital.

  • Companies around the world purchase its courses for employee training and development.
  • The main source of its revenues is from verified certificates.
  • There are other sources of revenue as well: Fee-based courses and Sequence of courses.

2.    Create your own online teaching website

The second way to make money from selling online courses is to develop your own e-learning platform like the above ones. As the already established platforms charge commissions for listing your courses on their marketplaces, you can take a step forward and launch your own e-learning website. E-learning authoring tools will allow you to create your own personalized courses and sell them on your terms, claiming the whole income for yourself alone.

What is an e-learning authoring tool?

An e-learning software or authoring tool is a program that offers the necessary tools to design online courses and allow specified users to retrieve them from anywhere through the internet. With varying levels of access and features, any such online teaching software provides all set of abilities to accommodate a learner and instructor on the same platform. In simplistic terms, they come with an extra set of abilities to facilitate teaching, learning and earnings for the tutors.

Things to lookout in an e-learning authoring tool

Any e-learning authoring tool should at least offer the following functionalities to start your own e-learning website:

  • Editing tools to create and edit online courses.
  • Ability to access the uploaded courses via internet.
  • Show syllabus and course summary before purchasing the courses.
  • Allow tutors to create lectures in different formats like text, video and audio. 
  • Ability for learners to provide online feedback.
  • Allow monetization of courses: pay-per-course or subscription plans.

E-learning authoring tools to look out for

1. Adobe Captivate 9

With Adobe Captivate 9 you can develop responsive and interactive online courses and distribute them to the learners across the internet. It can accommodate multiple team members who can edit the ongoing projects in real-time. It offers various tools to create interactive courses like HD screen recording, screen-casting and audio synchronization. The MSP of this authoring tool is Branch-Aware Quizzing, which can conduct assessment quizzes after completing each module in the course. It comes with a free and personalized iPad app on top that extends your reach to the huge population of iPad users.

2. PinLearn

Pinlearn is an e-learning authoring tool cum readymade e-learning marketplace CMS. It has made to our list because of its turnkey monetization methods that allow you to instantly start earning by selling your online courses. With its unmatched scalability, you can allow other tutors to upload their contents on your marketplace too.

As an e-learning authoring tool, it offers a simplified UI to author online courses without any prior knowledge of coding. It accommodates three categories of users: Platform admin or owner, Tutors, and Learners. Tutors are allowed to create courses and earn from them. The marketplace owner can earn by charging commissions from the tutors for selling their courses on the platform. It comes with two mobile apps for Android and iOS devices as well.

3. Articulate Storyline:

Articulate Storyline is a Windows-based software that allows you to create interactive courses and post them online. It bears a broader similarity to the Microsoft’s PowerPoint, as the courses created here look like slides. As it is a windows based-software, you will possess some fundamental knowledge of MS PowerPoint to make an extensive use of this software. Its high-level video encoding allows users to upload even the HD videos without necessary compressing them. The USP of this software is its Dockable panes that make multi-tasking quite easy.


Online teaching has transformed the tutoring as a prospect. An instructor can connect with students according to his or her own appropriate time and from any preferred location. Learners can study at a period that matches them and from their homes itself. Both do not have to care about the hassle of commutes until they have a computer and a good internet connection. It has also enhanced the teaching capacity of a tutor, as he or she can now teach more students at a time. With proper skills and technology, making money by selling online sources is presently a great career option too.


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One Reply to “Make Money by Creating and Selling Online Courses”

  1. Great post! I wasn’t sure about courses but this really helped me make up my mind. I’ve learned a lot and a lot of great resources too. Thank you.

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