31 Tips from 31 Course Creators on How to Build and Launch a Successful Online Course

Entrepreneurs from various niches share their number one lesson learned from creating an online course.

Pat Flynn August 7, 2017 16

31 Tips from 31 Course Creators on How to Build and Launch a Successful Online Course

This was my first year experiencing what it was like to create and sell online courses. With one public course launched (Smart From Scratch®) launched earlier in the year, and another one that just launched last month (Power-Up Podcasting®), I’m already experiencing the benefits I always heard other course creators talk about:

Increased income, yes. But, more importantly, increased amounts of success stories.

Truly, there’s no better way to package up information you have to solve a problem, and provide a win for your customer while also getting paid at the same time.

As an advisor now to Teachable, the online platform I use to host and sell my online courses, I knew there were tons of other course creators out there—many more and different experiences than my own—who could offer tips to those who are just starting out. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for Teachable.]

So here they are, 31 course creators from various niches with their #1 tip for creating and selling online courses:

1. Do not prepare an online course for selling. Create an online course for what you love to do and then sell it. You will earn a lot if you tell a topic that you love to do.

– Resit, Master of Project Academy


2. Stop worrying all the time about how you will sell your course and start worrying about how you will create such a good course that will provoke a real change in your students’ lives. Then, I promise you the money will come. Great content means good reviews, and good reviews mean more money.

– David Perálvarez, Club SiliCODE Valley


3. Build content that people can’t find anywhere else in the world for the same price or at the same level of quality. If you do both at the same time, sales will roll in like crazy.

– Dakota Wixom, QuantCourse

4. Stop making excuses as to why you aren’t qualified to teach, set a deadline, and commit to that deadline. Do not let yourself get distracted by trying to make everything perfect. It will never be perfect. Strive for professionalism, but don’t derail yourself in the chase of perfection. You can’t fix what you don’t launch. So launch it, learn, tweak, and repeat.

More advice from Sarah on her experience getting started: I lurked around the SPI and Teachable communities for 14 months. I listened to all the course-related podcasts Pat did. And I got stuck in a cycle of trying to gather all this intelligence. I wish I had stopped going into “research” mode and just committed that time to DOING IT. Finally, in January I committed to launching my course by the first week of March. I did it, and got 52 students. I was actually literally sitting in the audience at a conference Pat was speaking at and I was getting student after student and refreshing my app to see how much money had come in!

It was an amazing feeling and I only wish I had done it SOONER :).

– Sarah, User Research Mastery

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5. For a fast and profitable launch, plan a launch on Instagram. We flipped $2k in ad spend into $60k worth of sales on our Teachable course. Micro-influencers are the way to go!

– Julie Cabezas, Social Brand School


6. Each one of us has a secret passion. Maybe you know more about Star Trek than anyone on this (or any) planet. Maybe you can recite the relative strengths and weaknesses of every car on the market. Maybe you have all your grandmother’s recipes for your family’s special foods. You think you’re the only one who cares about these things. You are not. Use your secret passion as material for an online course and people will respond. Because people respond to passion.

– Eric Goldman, Profit Leader Academy


7. Test your idea first. Don’t waste any time creating a course unless you have a solid list ready to buy it. Start small with blog posts and expand as the traffic steadily increases. Launch your course when your audience starts asking for it.

– Sarah Crosley, The Creative Boss: Create the Ultimate Opt-In Offer

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8. Don’t wait . . . set a date and get out there and pre-sell (better yet, create your webinar date to launch your yet-to-be-created course). Nothing will light a fire fast enough knowing that you have to get it done.

– Susie Parker, Family Success Academy: Baby Naps Made Easy

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9. Don’t try to be perfect.

– Cassie Zeider, Mommy & Me Wellness & Nutrition

10. No course is ever perfect when it launches. If you try to make your course perfect before you launch, you will NEVER launch. It’s okay to start with an initial version of your course that you improve on after receiving feedback from your students.

SPI is the primary reason I was able to launch my course. Without the SPI podcast, I would likely still be tweaking my course trying to get it to be perfect before I launched. Regardless of whether I’m chosen or not to be featured, I just want to say thanks for all the GREAT content your team gives away as it helped me tremendously.

– Daniel Milner, Make TV Easy

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