How can I effectively market my online course?

I am currently on my way to creating an online course. The problems that I'm trying to solve are: 1. Getting additional money from freelancing jobs as a programmer 2. Difficulties on learning to program 3. Getting clients It's for Ruby on Rails programming at the start, but once this succeed I want to branch into other programming like React, Python-Django and Node.js. Probably the target market is people who already have a job and want to switch careers into IT/programming, people who want to get additional income from freelancing, people that want to get dollar online (my target country is not USA), or perhaps start up founders who want to learn to code. I'm still clueless on how to market this course once it completed.


Primary Marketing Rule - Everything revolves around benefits, not features. People pay for benefits.

If you write a course about programming using some tech like React or Django or Node... likely your income will be much lower than starting with a benefit.

So... A benefit might be..

"How to tool a high traffic Websites to churn cash like a big dog."

So this is the benefit, then you "chunk down" from there.

First work out how to create a high traffic site, fast + stable under massive load.

Then write your course.

Hint: If you're going to write a course + likely to live well off your course sales, make sure your title contains one or more of the following keywords...

WordPress or SEO

Here's how to pick your course title keywords.

Ask tech conference producers the titles of the most attended talks. This is how I picked my areas of focus years ago.

I asked Shawn Collins (Affiliate Summit) + Brett Tabke (PubCon) what people attended, since each of their conferences have multiple tracks.

They both said, given any two talks, whatever talk had WordPress or SEO in the title always "pulled better" (more people in room) than any other talk.

Be sure to always start with a benefit + money first, then design your course from there.

Hint: You'll get rich from courses about WordPress site design + likely stay poor writing React/Django/Node courses.

Answered 7 years ago

I'd start with #1 & #3 and ignore #2 for the moment.

Teaching people to program is a brutally competitive space with some pretty sizable funding behind it.

But teaching current programmers to make more money and win more clients? Much lower barrier to entry IMO.

The reality is, there's no magic formula in launching something like this (although, many will attempt to sell it to you :)).

My Advice:

1) Build a useful course.
2) Create a presentation touting the benefits of your course.
3) Setup reoccurring webinars (read: record once, have daily 'airings')
4) Buy a niche set of Facebook ads to your dream buyer.

Test from there... Happy to discuss further if you're interested.

Answered 7 years ago

You seem rather undecided on important factors that will affect the outcome of any marketing plan. Rather than provide you with marketing advice, I'll provide you with the information you need to conduct proper research so you can make informed decisions when it comes time to market.

According to, research is the step people who want to start a business skip often. They either assume they have all the necessary information to go forward, or they think they lack the time and money to be thorough and go forward anyway.

But with only a fraction of new businesses surviving their first year, you don't want something as preventable as "I don't know" to be the thing that does you in. So start with research.

You can get primary research (info direct from customer base) from social media platforms, forums, other network sites, and local spots (schools?) where you know people interested in learning about programming tend to gather and talk about their circumstances, needs, likes and dislikes about the current market options, etc.

You can get secondary research (info from research entities on your market) from sources like, which has reports in every industry searchable by country. There are many others, including research reports available from corporations in your industry.

You'll know you have enough information to decide how to market when you can build a detailed profile of the person most likely to register for your course, list some of your nearest competitors and their strengths and weaknesses, and have at least a general understanding of market trends for online courses like yours.

As you go, you'll find certain pieces of the marketing plan will fall into place intuitively. Others you might still need some assistance with. I'd be happy to talk with you again at that time.

Answered 7 years ago

It is worthy to note that in this Covid-19 world where masks, sanitization and social distancing has become a new normal and most of the schools, colleges and universities are closed, online courses are a big hit. Covid has forced our students and teachers to look at what is feasible right now through online education and what is not. Before the pandemic, we were postponing a serious look at this because there are always daunting challenges to overcome and we were in the comfort zone of what we were familiar with. To be sure, there are serious difficulties in terms of teaching without eye contact and instant feedback that we get in the classroom, in terms of equity of internet access and in terms of what can and cannot be learnt online. However, we are also discovering that there is a lot we can do using this medium. Once the pandemic is behind us, we will be able to leverage the ease and scale provided by the online medium wherever it works, find workarounds for some of the roadblocks we have encountered to expand its effectiveness.
Here are some ways that I hope will be effective for you to effectively market your online courses:
1. Know Your Audience BEFORE You Create Your Course: For those of you who have not created your course yet, this is the best first step you can take. You probably have a general idea of who you are looking to educate. But how specific is that group? Having a more solid demographic in mind is going to help you to create a more balanced and helpful course. Let us say you want to create a course on creating a Disavow file. You would not spend the first half of the course going over the basic of what those updates are, what they mean and how SEO applies to website traffic. You would assume they already knew that much, at least. Searching Google for your focus keywords will help you a lot when it comes to understanding your target audience. Google search results adapt to searchersā€™ needs: Google has been successful learning to give its users exactly what they want, so now we can learn from Googleā€™s results what it is our customers need.
2. Understand What Makes Your Course Unique: There are so many courses out there right now. If you are not offering something special, no one is going to take the bait. You should predicate your promotion on what it is you have to offer that is different than everyone else. If you have a well-established brand, just having it offered under that banner could be enough. If not, you may want to start thinking of a few angles that you can use in a trial and error process to find what is the most effective way of advertising your course.
3. Monitor Your Competition: In any industry, there is always a brand that has positioned itself as a knowledge hub, i.e. the leader of niche education. In the SEO industry we have Moz, for example, which provides Q&A, weekly videos, downloadable guides, and more. Small businesses have SmallBizTrends that monitors news, offers downloadable business resources, and more. If you are trying to become a knowledge hub in your industry, you need to monitor existing leaders to get a better idea of what they create, how they engage readers, and how they turn them into leads.
4. Take a Survey of Potential Students: A quick was to get the above-mentioned unique perspective is to find out what it is your potential students are looking for in a course. If they are searching that must mean they have not found it in all the others that are floating out there on the web. It is a good place to start for ideas. Try Wyzerr for collecting feedback: It gamifies the surveying experience making it more entertaining and engaging. There are many more surveying options though that integrate right into your WordPress blog.
5. Use a Platform that Offers Flexibility: There are free course hosting platforms out there, but they have little to no control over anything: Branding, pricing, linking, etc. You can send updates to your students, but you cannot add links in them which is also extremely limited.

If you have at least some budget to spare, consider using a more advanced solution that would allow you to create lead generation magnets, lead generation landing pages and lead generation special offers. Uscreen is one of the best solutions and itā€™s very affordable too. You will be able to brand your course, place it on your own domain, schedule newsletters and special offers and more. You will also be able to easily create your own app to offer your students a handy mobile access
6. Use Multiple Promotional Platforms: Your blog and Twitter are obvious places to promote your course. But what about a landing page? A Youtube channel? Youtube videos? Instagram posts? Snapchat stories a teaser? Reddit? Tumblr? Slideshare? You can really expand beyond the average platform and have a well-rounded promotional launch that takes advantage of the many different forms of media that different people respond to. You want videos, slideshows, infographics, blog posts, social media posts, podcast interviews anything you can get that reaches a different audience that may respond better to varying forms of promotion.
7. Do not Just Use a Single Learning Form: Just like not everyone responds to a single form of promotion, not everyone learns the same way. That is why online university courses use videos, graphics, written questions, and discussions to help their students learn the material. It is a great way to make sure everyone learns something in a way that is beneficial to them. One of the best ways to promote a course is to be able to boast about this multifaceted approach to learning. If they know they will not just be reading page after page of dry content, they will be much more willing to sign up. This means more work for you, but it is worth it.
8. Leverage Email Marketing: Remember that hint about getting email addresses? Email marketing remains one of the most effective forms of marketing available. For small to medium businesses, the click-through versus open rate is good and the fact that everyone has their phone connected to their email means you have mobile covered, as well. If you can build an email list, or even if you can incorporate email directly into your course, you will be much more successful. I personally love using more traditional drip campaigns as a reminder system for daily or weekly lessons and to keep people on task.
9. Offer a Condensed Version for Free: The assumption is that you are charging something for your course. But even if you are not, you should have a free condensed version that acts as a ā€œmini-courseā€. This takes some of the ideas, tips, and lessons you have made for your bigger course and offers it for something faster. It may seem as though you are giving the cow away for free. But this whets the whistle of anyone who might consider taking the course and is not sure yet if they want to invest the time, energy and money into it. Think of a mini course as the lead gen magnet.
10. Have Promotions, Bundles or Discount Opportunities: Planning to make multiple courses? Have a service, product, or eBook? It is a great opportunity to sweeten the deal with bundles. If not, you can create promotions, discounts and sales that give people your course for less.
11. Get Out into the Community: Did you know you probably have live meetups in your community about the very thing you are teaching? See about joining up by checking sites like Join localized subreddits and Facebook groups. Start your own.

Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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