Sell digital courses online is hard and it is also hard to create online courses. You somehow created online courses but if you can not sell them you’ll be in a frustration.
Thankfully, WordPress is here to solve this problem. There are lots of plugin available to create and sell digital online courses.
There are also some online site and online course software available like CourseCrfat, you can use. But all these are complex to use and not simple as the WordPress plugin.
In this article, we’ll show how to create an online course with WordPress. With WordPress, WooCommerce and Dokan, you can sell online course for free.
Why Create and Sell Digital Online Courses
Before we move forward and show how to sell digital online courses, let’s have a look at why we should even bother. The most obvious reason is to generate revenue, and indeed there are lots of people who earn their livelihoods purely through their course sales.
However, there are additional benefits to create and sell online courses beyond making money. And, depending on what your goals for your business are, there are different ways to go about creating and selling one.
Online courses as an income source
Generating revenue is the most common reason for an entrepreneur to create and sell online courses. This is the simplest use case – you create an online course once, and people buy it over and over again from you.
Of course, there’s a lot more reasons that goes into it, which we’ll cover in detail, but that’s the allure of creating and selling an online course. As a digital product, it doesn’t cost much to produce, and it’s cheap to distribute. No shipping costs at all!
Many other entrepreneurs are entering into online courses in a similar fashion.
YouTubers have historically depended on advertise revenue. However, with all the video content they create, packaging it into an online course is simple and easy. This helps them to generate a much higher income than what they get from ads.
Sunny Lenarduzzi is an YouTube marketing expert. As a consultant, she helped some big companies to grow their YouTube channel. Today, she teaches others to do the same in her YouTube channel for Bosses online course.
Bloggers publish posts that are free to read on their blog sites. They previously legalized their blog with banner ads and affiliate links. Now they’re realizing that creating an in-depth course is a more natural and lucrative way to legalize.
Danny Iny started the popular Firepole Marketing blog to share his marketing knowledge. After re-branding to Mira-see, he started creating and selling online courses to legalize his audience.
Podcasters are denying the sponsorship model in favor of selling their own courses. This allows them to legalize their audience without interrupting their shows with advertorials for other companies.
John Lee Dumas had built one of the most popular business podcasts and was earning through sponsorship. He then created an online course on podcasting that brings more revenue than previous.
Authors are augmenting their diminishing book revenues by creating online courses. These courses are the extension of the concepts they cover in their books.
Dorie Clark is one of the best-selling author and personal branding expert. After the success of her books, she took it to the next level with her Recognized Expert online course.
Speakers who have hit a ceiling with the number of speaking jobs they can take on are creating courses to scale past that barrier. Many of them actually speak for free because they can make it back and more with the resulting online course sales.
Michael Port has been giving his speech across the world for the last 15 years. Now he’s taken traditional speech off his plate so that he can focus on making a bigger impact via his online courses.
Coaches and consultants who have reached the capacity and can’t trade more time for money are scaling up by creating courses as digital complements to their coaching.
Online courses for customer acquisition
Some businesses invert the model and use online courses as a way to build an audience who then go on to purchase other digital products.
Online courses for customer success
In this scenario, businesses use online courses as a way to show and train their customers on how to use their products and ensure they don’t leave to a competitor. This is quite popular amongst companies whose products have a bit of a learning curve.
The logic behind this approach is very simple: when you help your customers to achieve success with your product, they tend to have higher lifetime values, lower churn rates, and are more likely to refer other customers to your business.
Another important reason to sell online courses are less monthly maintenance costs like the SaaS-based eCommerce platforms.
According to the above data to sell downloadable products on a SaaS-based eCommerce platform is very expensive. Therefore, if you are on the thought to create an educational website to sell online courses then it would be wise to create the site with the self-hosted platforms like WordPress.
The main reason to choose WordPress is not only it is free but also customizable. Since there are lots of plugins available, you don’t need to pay extra to enhance its functionality. Plugin like WooCommerce and Dokan, it will be so simple and easy for you to build your own digital course selling site.
How to Sell Digital Courses for Free with Dokan
You can sell online courses from your own website. To sell digital online courses in WordPress require the following:
Everything is free apart from the Domain name and Hosting.
How To Install WooCommerce
Installing WooCommerce is as simple as installing any other plugin from the WordPress Plugin sore.
From your WordPress dashboard you have to go to Plugins > Add New and then search for WooCommerce.
When you will get the plugin in the list. Simply click the Install Now option.
Once the installation has completed click Activate Plugin.
This will take you to the WooCommerce basic Settings page, which requires one final step before the plugin is completely installed. At the top of the screen there is a large notification asking you to install WooCommerce Pages:
Clicking on the Install button will create all of the necessary pages for your online store. After adding your pages, you’ll be redirected to the WooCommerce welcome screen:
Now, the plugin is fully installed and you should check the WooCommerce System Status to ensure that there are no immediate problems.
You can find the system status under WooCommerce > System Status. If there are any problems then you will get information on how to resolve them.
Now it’s time to begin configuring your web store. In the WooCommerce > Settings menu you will get numerous options. Let’s have a look at the options to configure under each tab.
How To Install Dokan
After installing and configuring WooCommerce, install and activate the Dokan – a multi-vendor marketplace plugin and use the Quick Setup Wizard to set up the basics for the first time, these can be changed later on.
Once done, you will get Dokan on the sidebar of WordPress dashboard. Go to the Dashboard of Dokan and it looks like:
There is no limitation to set the number of vendors in Dokan.
Configure Dokan Admin
After successful installation of Dokan as an Admin you can let your vendors sell any courses. Since Dokan has built in feature for adding downloadable products, you don’t need to configure anything for this purpose.
In the Product category of WooCommerce you have to create two categories –
To do so, go to Products > Categories > Add New Category just like the below screenshot.
These categories will help your vendor to categorize their courses easily.
As a vendor, you can sell the digital courses using two methods with Dokan and they are:
- Uploading the course contents
- Using affiliate file links
Uploading the Course Contents
After logging in, as a vendor you will be able to add products.
To add products, you have to navigate to your Dashboard > Add New Product.
After that, you will get a modal window just like below to add your courses where you will have to provide the course name, price, relevant image, tags, and description for the product. Next, you have to click on the “Create product” button.
After that, you will be redirected to the edit page of the product and you get all the options to configure the product in this page. All you need to do is select the Downloadable option, as we are going to upload a downloadable product.
Then, you will get the options to upload your downloadable product. Now, click on the Add File button to get the Choose File option. you can use the Choose file option to upload your course.
You can also use the Add File button to upload more than one files.
With the Download Limit option, you can specify the number of times a visitor can download the product. You can also limit the number of days when your course is going to expire.
After putting value click on Save Product button to save the settings.
Now, you will be able to see your course in your online store:
Using Affiliate File Links
It’s also possible to showcase your store with affiliate links if you are unwilling to upload the files. Here is how you can do this.
It is the same way just like the step 4 above. So, instead of uploading a downloadable file we will use the link of a file from another website.
Finally, click on the “Save Product” button and you are done with adding your affiliate link.
How a Customer Will Download the Online Course?
To get the online course, one has to buy the course from the front-end of the website like a regular WooCommerce digital online marketplace. When a customer buys the course he or she will get it as downloadable files such as zip, pdf, mp4 or any files you upload.
For example, after purchasing a course the customer has to go to “My Order” option just like the below screenshot.
After that customer will be able to see the purchased courses in a list view. However, to download the course, he/she now has to click on the ‘View‘ button.
Now, the customer can get the download option.
Now the customer can click on the Download button and save the file in his / her desktop.
Example of a Real-life Digital Course Marketplace Using Dokan
If you are not convinced yet that Dokan is the right platform for you to create and sell digital online courses then you can simply visit the ‘Practity‘.
Practity sells various courses on graphics and various programming languages. Here is the screenshot of that website:
Please note that the front-end view of any website may differ to the customers depending upon the theme you use.
Start Selling Online Courses with Dokan
It is time to get started with your own course using Dokan.
Most people can’t afford to take on the massive amounts of debt required to go back to college/versity. Many older people also can’t take time away from their day jobs and families, either.
That’s why online courses are getting popularity. They’re the perfect mix of both convenience and popularity.
That means people are looking day and night for your expertise. They need your help and skills to solve issues in their life or learn how to do something better in future.
They need help, and you can help them easily. Creating and selling a new online course today can make that all possible.
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