Learn the story behind OnlineCourseHost.com, a creator-friendly online course platform. Learn all about the Course Creators Academy, which is our free course creator community.
Hello everyone, my name is Vasco Cavalheiro and I'm the founder of OnlineCourseHost.com.
A few years ago I created a 6 figure online learning business (around the topic of software development, it's here), but looking back I must admit that I was extremely lucky to have managed to make it work at all.
If you want to know the whole story about how my online course business came to be, I've written about it here - How I Made $1.615.000 Selling Online Courses (So Far)
Long story short, here is the main reason why it worked. 😉
Luckily, and without even knowing it, years before launching myself as an online course creator, I started building an audience via a popular blog on web development.
Early difficulties as a course creator
When I started teaching online, I thought that everything was extremely hard: from the process of choosing a course topic, to recording and editing a course, but most of all, to know how to sell a course and where.
Besides not having this baseline knowledge about how to create an online course business, I also thought that the student experience for existing self-hosting tools wasn't that great.
Also, as I was just getting started, I had quit my job as a freelance software developer, and for several months I dedicated myself full-time to developing my own online course business from scratch, without any guidance or help, which wasn't easy.
It would have really have helped me in those initial times to have all the knowledge needed to succeed in this business, as well as somewhere where I could host my courses for free, on my own website, without committing to a full monthly payment in the neighbourhood of $100 per month.
I almost went for the option of only publishing in marketplaces to keep my costs to a minimum.
But something told me that I should have my own website with my own brand, so that is what I ended up doing and it turned out to be crucial for making it all work.
What happened after a few months?
I made a ton of mistakes in the beginning and wasted a lot of time, but after a few months I had a few online courses ready to go, and I made them available in my own website.
Over there, unlike in any marketplace, I had support not only for one-time sales of single courses, but also for recurring subscriptions as well as for higher-ticket sales, like course bundles, team plans, lifetime access sales and other promotional tools.
Luckily, the blog that I had started writing as a hobby years before proved to be absolutely instrumental, as I was self-hosting it.
I managed to migrate it to my new domain, and redirect all the blog traffic to a new version of the blog in my company website, and I promoted the courses in the blog.
This way, my courses had a steady flow of over 2000 visitors a day since day one, and growing!
I didn't plan on any of this, and had I not have self-hosted my blog just for fun, I couldn't have redirected the traffic and kickstart my business that way.
I also started asking for subscriber's emails and managed to grow an email list that increased to the size of several thousand subscribers in a few weeks.
I started getting some sales on my website, and after a couple of months I tried to send out a promotional email with a higher-ticket Lifetime sale of $89.
How to NOT promote an online course
I did almost everything wrong in that email campaign to try to sell my courses. First of all, I did a Lifetime sale, meaning that I would never be able to charge those students anything else in the future.
Also, I did not provide a link to a direct purchase and instead I asked for an email reply.
I then emailed back a link with an invoice that some people paid, some people didn't, and asked for a reply. Then when they replied, I had to activate everyone manually one by one, together with my assistant.
But over the course of 3 to 4 days, I managed to make over $5000 in course sales thanks to one single email! How cool is that?
And from then on, that together with the growth of my subscriptions convinced me about 6 months after starting my course journey that this was possible.
That it's possible to make a living teaching other people online, if it's done in the right way.
Why did it work?
I can see how lucky I was to even manage to make my online course business work at all. Many of the things happened purely by accident.
If I had not started a blog years before trying to start my online course business, this would not have worked because I wouldn't have had the audience to do it.
If I had decided to sell my courses only on marketplaces instead of hosting them on my own website, I would only be able to make something close to a minimum wage income, and I think I would have ended up giving up teaching online and go back to work as a freelance.
If I had not decided to grow a mailing list on my website and develop a long-term relationship with my subscribers, I would not have been able to make a large part of my revenue.
Hosting my courses in my own website had proven to be in hindsight an absolutely crucial decision, but I only realized that months after making that decision.
It could have gone either way.
As as a learning exercise, I built back then a custom website from scratch to sell my courses with all the features that I needed, and this very early initial version that I still use to this day was the starting point for the OnlineCourseHost.com platform.
I did this to cut costs and as a learning experience, as I thought that the existing platforms for hosting courses did not have a great user experience from the point of view of the student, and that they were extremely expensive especially for beginner course creators.
I know well the power of online learning, having taken myself many courses on all sorts of subjects.
But I knew from experience that even though it's possible, the journey to become a course creator is full of obstacles, that will end up causing many people not to be able to start teaching online, and to quit very early in the process due to lack of results.
As an online course creator myself, I wanted to create a place on the web where both aspiring and established course creators would find everything that they need to be successful in their course creation journey.
I'm talking about everything from all the information and training necessary on all the key aspects of online course creation, to a platform where they self-host their courses for free (initially) with access to all features, and no fixed recurring charges.
I also wanted to create a free-to-join public community where course creators can join and ask any questions that they have on online teaching to other creators, or to our team.
And that is how OnlineCourseHost.com was born.
What is OnlineCourseHost.com?
In order for online education to keep growing, course creators need to be able to quickly set up their own online course business, with minimum hassle or expenses and with no prior technical knowledge.
This is why my team set out to create the online course creation platform that I would have liked to have when I first started, affordable and with an awesome student experience.
OnlineCourseHost.com is a white-label, online course hosting platform where you can easily create and sell your own online courses (videos, E-books, and other assets) on your own website.
Besides the platform, we also provide a series of in-depth guides on everything related to online teaching, as well as a free community of online course creators, for exchanging experiences with like-minded creators and and for helping each other out, together with our support team that is very active in the community.
Where to start?
We are looking forward to helping you build own your successful online course creator career, teaching thousands of people along the way!
- Try the OnlineCourseHost.com white-label online course platform, and start creating your first online course - Sign In
- Check out our Course Creator Academy Guides, and learn everything that you need to know to become a successful online course creator
- Join and ask questions in our Facebook Course Creator Community, where you will get answers either from other creators or from our Support Team
- Join the Academy newsletter, and get more useful content and insights on how to become an online course creator:
And if you have any other questions, just let us know in the comment section below. We would love to help!
OnlineCourseHost.com Founder & Online Course Creator
You are welcome to ask me any questions in the comments below: 👇👇👇👇