Online courses are a great way to generate revenue for your business while sharing your knowledge and expertise with the world. You can set them up on your own website using WordPress and an LMS (learning management system) plugin such as LearnDash, or on a third-party course service such as Udemy, Teachable, or Thinkific.
You’re probably thinking the only way to make money from courses is to charge for your course. However, there are ways to make revenue from a free course through indirect methods, which we’ll go through below.
- Building An Email List – By giving your audience a short free course via email, or in a membership on your website, you can use the course to build your email list. You can then promote other things to them via the course and the email list. For example, on each email that you send about the course, you can include a link to your paid courses or products.
- Backend Sales – Remember that for any page on your site (such as the page where you send people to collect the next free module of your course), you can put recommended products that match things that your audience will need if they are to become successful at whatever you are promoting through your course.
- Affiliate Links – Within your free course you may be linking to useful tools or software that you recommend students use. Most of the time services will have a referral or affiliate program you can join so that you can make money from new customers you refer to them.
- Course Series – One strategy is to have a series of courses, each building on the last as you take the student through beginner material all the way up to more advanced lessons. You can make the first course free to teach the basics, and then to learn more they have to pay for the advanced course.