All the Tech You Need to Sell & Get Paid for Your Online Courses (Part 3 of 3)

By Alexis Rodrigo | Entrepreneurship

Feb 07
How to sell online courses

I can still remember the hair-raising excitement of waking up in the morning, firing up my email, and seeing line after line saying: 

“You’ve Made a Sale!”
“You’ve Made a Sale!”
“You’ve Made a Sale!”

When you’ve created a product and set up the system to sell and collect payments online, you’ll feel that thrill, too!

In previous posts, you learned what tech you need to create a video-based online course and how to deliver your online course to your students using the web.

This post covers All the Tech You Need to Set Up Your Very Own Automagical System to Sell and Get Paid for Your Online Course!

For your online storefront …

First off, you need to present your product to potential buyers. The way you do this online is through a specific type of landing page called a sales page. 

This is where you describe the features and benefits of your product, address your visitor’s objections, and give them the opportunity to purchase by clicking on a buy button.

How do you build such a sales page?

If you choose an all-in-one solution, then you’ll create the sales page within those platforms. The two all-in-one platforms I recommend are:

  • Kartra is a complete system for building and running an online business with robust marketing features.
  • Podia is a user-friendly platform that’s best for anyone who likes to keep things simple

If you’ve decided to go the WordPress route, you could simply create a page (instead of a post) and use that as your sales page.

However, you can add more sales-boosting elements if you use a WordPress page builder plugin. What are these sales-boosting elements? Well, things like countdown timers, price comparison tables, animated text and/or graphics, sticky buy buttons … you get the idea.

The WordPress page builder plugin I recommend is:

  • Thrive Architect (part of Thrive Suite) because it lets you do cool stuff on your page that would normally require you to hire a web designer and a programmer. (Trust me, I know! I've worked in organizations with multi-person IT teams and I can do what they do thanks to Thrive Architect.)
Thrive Architect Page Builder

The easiest way to build professional-looking and high-converting sales pages on your WordPress site is with the Thrive Architect plugin.

For collecting payments …

The buy button on your sales page needs to be connected to an online shopping cart that takes care of collecting and processing payments from your web visitors. You’ll need a payment processing tool. The ones I use are:

  • PayPal is the most common and you can collect payments from your web page and email.
  • Stripe processes credit card payments online and doesn’t require buyers to create a Stripe account.

Note: I recommend you create accounts with both. Give your buyers the option to use either PayPal or Stripe. It doesn’t cost you extra to do this. When I added Stripe to my sales pages, I noticed that almost half of my buyers chose that option. Would they not have made the purchase if they didn’t have that choice? We’ll never know, but there’s nothing to lose by offering it.

Next, you’ll need a way to connect PayPal and/or Stripe with your course site, so that as soon as someone pays, they get access to the course they purchased. 

They either get a username and password automatically generated and emailed to them, or they’re directed to a page where they can do so.

Again, an all-in-one platform like Kartra or Podia will take care of all this. All you have to do is to connect your PayPal and Stripe accounts to it.

However, if you’re building your course on your WordPress site, then you’ll need something like:

  • SendOwl, which integrates with Thrive Apprentice (another plugin available only as part of Thrive Suite) and Wishlist Member—the WordPress course creation plugins I recommended in my earlier email
SendOwl eCommerce Platform

SendOwl's easy-to-use interface and affordable pricing makes it easy for newbies to get started selling online.

How do you get paid for your online courses? Here's all the tech you need to receive and process payments.

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For marketing your online course like a boss …

Should you get more serious about creating and selling online courses, you’ll soon want to be able to do things that can increase your sales. You know, things like offering discount codes and recruiting affiliates.

Once again, you can do all this with either Kartra or Podia. (Are you getting tired of reading that line again and again?)

And good news: SendOwl has an affiliate marketing program as well. It's not the most robust affiliate management system, but for someone just starting out, it should be enough. (And you can't beat the affordable subscription, either.)

To Summarize … 

In this series of emails, you’ve learned all the tech you need if you want to offer online courses. They cover three areas:

  • Creation of video lessons

  • Delivery through a gated website

  • Sales and payment processing

I have purposely not gone into detail about the pros and cons of the various options I gave you.

That’s because people have different needs and preferences. You have to explore the options, do your due diligence, and decide what’s best for you.

As I said in my previous post, this isn’t a marriage. You can switch as your business grows. Online business owners do that all the time.

Don’t get “analysis paralysis.” Make a list of features that you absolutely must have. Besides, you often don’t even really know what you want in your online course system … until you’re doing it.

With that said, if you have any questions about the apps and tech I mentioned, then ask away! I’m always happy to read them and I reply to every email I receive.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I earn a commission when you buy through the links on this page. While I only recommend products I myself use or have vetted, you should always do your due diligence before making any purchases. (Full Disclosure)


About the Author

Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

  • Angela says:

    Omg the “You made a sale!” thing NEVER gets old, does it? I just love the times when I hit on something that my peeps LOVE and then I get sale after sale popping into my inbox. That’s WHY we work so hard to do all this setting up, isn’t it, to make sure that we can see the sales coming in and, over time, hear the impact our offers have made on other people’s lives. Great thorough series of posts, Lexi!

    • Alexis Rodrigo says:

      It’s an awesome experience, for sure! Thanks for stopping by (and for teaching me and so many others how to create and sell more stuff online)! <3

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