Using online course hosting platforms is an opportunity to teach from wherever you are and have students from all over the world. With the pandemic, many classes, including from universities, have gone to the digital world. Besides, with more time at home, people started to look for options to learn new things through the internet.
The e-learning trend seems to continue strong. Statista research revealed that this market is foreseen to surpass 243 billion U.S dollars in 2022. To enjoy this opportunity, though, it’s essential to plan your course with attention to the details, provide valuable content, and invest in marketing strategies too.
8 Online Course Hosting Platforms
With Udemy, you have the chance to create a course in your way and publish it on a platform that already has more than 40 million students. To help you begin developing your course plan, Udemy provides an instructor dashboard and curriculum pages so you can keep organized.
When it’s time to record the videos, you can count on its team to help you with feedback and to test videos.
When you publish the course on the platform, you can enjoy the custom coupon tool to encourage enrollments, Udemy also makes global promotions to help boost sales. You are going to get revenue from each paid enrollment.
- Have control of your content
- Customer support
- Coupon tool
- Global promotions
- Present in more than 180 countries
Teachable is an online course hosting platform that allows you to completely customize the learning experience you wish to create. If you already have a website, it’s possible to link to Teachable under a custom domain and use the power editor to personalize the course. You can create engaging multimedia lectures, videos, and coaching sessions.
To analyze how your course is performing, you will count on tools to track sales and also to get insights on how to improve. You also have the opportunity to run one-on-one sessions with your students, create quizzes, provide certificates, and offer course compliance control.
When it comes to payment, it’s possible to enable coupons and advanced pricing options, including subscriptions, memberships, and bundles, for example. You can also use the affiliate marketing tool to publicize your course and encourage students to refer your course to friends and gain discounts with it.
- Use your domain to connect
- Customize your online school experience
- Integrate with several tools
- Track sales
- Talk to your students live
- Flex your pricing options
Kajabi is an all-in-one platform where you can create, sell and use marketing tools to spread the word about your courses. Your customers will have quick access to your courses whether they are on smartphones or using their desktop computers, while you have the chance to transform your knowledge into profitable products.
Kajabi allows you to integrate the platform with your website, CRM, analytics and automated marketing tools, and email software too. You can offer different payment options with Stripe and PayPal, for example. You also have the option to create landing pages and customize them as you see fit.
- Monetize your knowledge
- Kajabi mobile app
- Integrate with several tools
- Offer different payment options
- Build landing pages
4. Learn Worlds
LearnWorlds provides several tools not only to sell your course but to help you build its content. You can insert transcriptions to your videos, enable interactions, for example, add questions, pointers, and links, post-production, and host the videos inside the platform.
To improve your content, you will be able to check stats about video interaction. It’s possible to customize the entire experience of the course, such as selecting if the students are allowed to navigate freely or sequentially in the course material, and offer multiple options to insert notes and highlights.
You can create assignments in multiple formats, easily track your students’ progress, and design your own personalized digital certificates.
To increase sales, you have the option to offer coupon discounts, customize the checkout, and build partnerships using the affiliate system. LearnWorlds also has the advantage of connecting with multiple tools, such as Zoom, Google Analytics, and MixPanel.
- Show a synchronized transcript
- Add interactions
- Check out stat about video interactions
- Customize your course
- Assessment for every need
- Branded digital certificates
- Customizable checkout
- Use your custom domain
Podia allows you to choose the type of course you want to create, host the content inside the platform, select the payment options, and provide certificates. It’s possible to make standalone, drip, and bundle courses.
You can pre-sell courses, pre-launch them, and even set a future date to start the course, so all the students can take the classes at the same moment.
To enhance user experience, you have the opportunity to customize the course pages, for example, add images, your brand logo, use the colors that match your brand’s visual identity, and have a responsive design that looks beautiful on all the devices.
Facilitate the sales process by automatically accepting credit card payments via Stripe or PayPal. There are no limits on content, emails, students, or earnings, sell as much as you can, and offer free content to gain more leads.
- Choose from a variety of course types
- Pre-sell courses
- Pre-launch courses
- Modern site builder
- Video hosting included
- Track student progress
- Online payments
With Thinkfic, you can have a customizable website, post unlimited video content, make live lessons, and create assessments. It’s possible to develop your course as you want, insert quizzes, engagement surveys, exams, and provide certificates.
To help you deal with the sales part, the platform enables you to accept payment from more than 100 countries, and there is no transaction fee.
Set pricing as it better fits your business needs, for example monthly, or subscriptions, and include coupons as well. It also enables you to use your domain, and integrate the platform with mailing lists, CRM, and your website.
- Live lessons
- Unlimited video
- Ready to go ecommerce
- Customizable website
- Sales tools
- Progress tracking
- Product flexibility
Put your courses available for desktop and mobile, create a learning community, and provide tools to encourage engagement: Pathwright allows you to do that and much more. You can teach from anywhere, easily track students’ progress, set a schedule, and control access.
You will have the option to edit your course material using the Pathwright app, add readings, exercises, assignment instructions, and plan projects to customize the learning experience. To keep data secure, the platform counts on full SSL encryption and daily backups.
Easily manage the ecommerce by setting the price courses your way, inserting subscription plans, integrating with Stripe, and offering trials.
- Teach anywhere
- Review progress
- Set a schedule
- Engage learners
- Control access
- View stats
- Edit on any device
- Price courses your way
LearnDash allows you to have your own branded learning portal and create a free distraction environment for the students.
You can easily develop the course homepage using the drag and drop course builder feature. Enjoy tools like advanced quizzing, which has 8 questions types, enables you to create custom messages, and to have a question bank.
To foment learners’ engagement, you have the opportunity to create discussion forums, award and display the learners who get the best scores on your course quizzes, make assignments, and give badges and certificates.
LearnDash also provides multiple marketing and sales tools, and you can integrate the platform with other ones such as WooCommerce, MailChimp, and Slack. To facilitate the payments, it’s possible to use Stripe and PayPal.
- Create a branded learning portal
- Drag and drop course builder
- Advanced quizzing
- Dynamic content delivery
- Discussion forums
- Badges and certificates
Aspects an Online Course Hosting Platform Should Have
Course Building Features
If you are starting to develop courses now, it’s interesting to count on an online course hosting platform that helps you not only to sell the course but also in the process of building it.
For example, some of them provide customer support that gives tips to create good content and have features that enable you to deliver interactive material.
What types of courses does the platform allow you to offer? Can you make live sessions? Is it possible to host the videos inside the platform? Does it provide multiple tools to make assignments, like quizzes and other test formats? Evaluate all of that as you analyze where to put your course available.
When we think about making it easy for a product to be bought, one of the most important aspects to consider is providing different payment options to better fit the needs of the customers. That isn’t different when it comes to selling courses.
Choose a platform that enables you to set the pricing according to your business model, and also provides quick payment solutions, for example, which integrates with the main payment gateways, such as PayPal and Stripe, and accepts credit cards.
It’s important to have customization tools that enable you to create a unique learning experience for students who opt for making your course.
Adding your brand’s identity to the details makes the whole difference, for example, by having the option to develop a landing page, and having your own domain connected to the course’s page. Pay attention if the platform offers these possibilities.
Creating an amazing course is just the beginning to make it profitable, it’s also necessary to develop marketing strategies. The online market is a very competitive one, you are going to need to think of ways to highlight your products, conquer visibility, build credibility in your area, generate leads, and turn them into customers.
Implementing SEO practices, using your social media pages can help you with that. If the online course hosting platform of your choice also provides marketing tools even better. For example, giving you the option to add coupon discounts, use an affiliate system, or integrate with digital marketing solutions.
Can the online course hosting platform be integrated with other software, such as CRM, email marketing, CMS, and helpdesk? When you have that option, it becomes much easier to manage different aspects of your business in a more unified way, diminishing the risk of errors and enhancing productivity.
When choosing the platform where you are going to sell your course, pay attention if it provides an easy-to-use interface. You probably are going to use the platform features every day to post content, track student progress, manage sales, and much more, so you need to be able to navigate easily through it.
Counting on intuitive tools will save you time on different steps of selling and teaching a course. Check for customer reviews to have a broader view of the platform usability, and enjoy the free trial periods to make sure you are making the right choice.
Counting on a course platform that provides excellent customer support is also essential to guarantee that you are going to be assisted in case of any doubt or problems during the time the course will be available.
Check the communication channels the company provides to get in contact with them, and customer reviews too.
How to Create And Sell An Online Course
1. Create a Plan
To begin creating an online course, it’s fundamental to develop a plan on how you are going to develop it, sell, manage, and attract your target audience. Define what is your goal with the course, what you aim to teach your students, and how your course will make a difference in their lives.
With that, you already may have an idea of who your potential customers are, do market research to understand them better. What are they looking for to learn? What demands can your course help to solve? What is going to distinguish your course from others related to the same subject?
By answering these questions you will have a guide to start structuring the course, defining the methodology you are going to use, and the learning tools you wish to put available. Then, develop a learning path for your students.
2. Analyze the Cost of Developing a Course and Set your Budget
Once you have your course plan structured, it’s necessary to see what’s the most viable way to produce it, and what investment you need to make. Write a list of the costs, which may include, for example:
- Video and audio equipment
- Video editing software
- Marketing automation tools
- Online course hosting platform
If you or your team aren’t the ones who are going to teach and edit the material, it’s also needed to consider the cost of hiring teachers, a video editor, and a web designer. The cost of every course will vary depending on its specificities and what you aim for.
But, you should list everything you need, research values, set a budget to have a clear idea of the expenses and set the course prices, and plan how to get the return on your investment.
If you are starting and don’t have a high budget to invest in, it’s possible to create a course by yourself with a good camera, microphone, video and audio editing software, and screen sharing tools.
One thing, though, makes the whole difference, the quality of the content you are going to create. A high-produced video is beautiful and appealing to the eyes, but your course needs to deliver valuable knowledge to the students as well.
They must leave the class with the feeling that they are learning something new and that is worth their attention and time.
3. Invest in Good Equipment and Software
Creating a course goes far beyond selecting the best online course hosting platform. Before, it’s necessary to record and edit the video classes, if they aren’t going to be given live.
The videos need to look professional and enable the students to understand what is being taught, audio and image quality will affect the experience. The basic device set that you are going to need to record would be:
- Screen recording program
- Audio and video editing software
- Lighting set
4. Develop Valuable Content
There are thousands of online courses available on the internet about the most diverse themes. To offer a new course, one of the fundamental bases must be to deliver high-quality content, which fulfills your students’ needs.
Study your target audience to understand what they expect of a course in your area. Are they interested in learning a new hobby, specializing in a particular subject for improving their career? Do they need a certificate? Consider those aspects when structuring the content.
The videos are crucial, but it’s also important to include other learning tools, for example, quizzes, worksheets, PDFs, to help the student to engage more with the course. It’s also interesting to have an online forum space where the students can talk with each other and the teachers to build a community.
5. Choose the Best Online Course Hosting Platform for You
To define where you are going to publish your course, evaluate the features, pricing plans, usability, and other aspects of the online course hosting platforms.
Make a list of the features you need to have in order to develop your course and implement the sales and marketing strategies you intend to. Then, see the one that best suits your requirements and fits your budget.
6. Implement Marketing Strategies
After you have produced the course, edited it, selected the material and tools that you are going to use, along with the course hosting platform, it’s time to think about how to sell it, and marketing strategies are indispensable in this part.
If you already have your company’s website and social pages, enjoy them to develop actions that show the course and its benefits. You can make posts about it, create ads for social media and Google, and also an email marketing campaign, among many other possibilities.
Another alternative is to build a website and social media pages exclusively for the course. You will need to analyze what’s better according to your plans and goals. Identify where your target audience is, and how you can reach them, and start planning your marketing actions.
Enjoy the Features of the Online Course Hosting Platform of Your Choice
After you have chosen the online course hosting platform you are going to use, go deep into discovering all the features it provides. Take time to get acquainted with the interface, and understand how the processes inside the platform work. This will help you to make the most of the benefits offered, and identify how you can use them to create an excellent learning experience.