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The YouTuber's Guide to Course Creation: How to Build, Market, and Sell Your Online Courses

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The YouTuber's Guide to Course Creation: How to Build, Market, and Sell Your Online Courses

Dive into the world of online education with our post, "How to Sell Online Courses on YouTube." Discover actionable tips to harness YouTube's reach, engage potential students, and build a thriving community around your online course

Did you know over 2 billion people use YouTube monthly according to YouTube statistics from Statista? That's a lot of audience for your online course! But how do you tap into it? 

This guide provides a step-by-step roadmap to help you sell your online courses effectively on YouTube.

I'll walk you through everything you need to know to sell your online courses on YouTube. From setting up your channel to promoting your course and handling payments, I've got you covered. 

I'll cover the steps I've learned and perfected over the years for selling courses on YouTube. I'm confident they'll work for you too! 😉 So, without delay, let's get started.

Table of contents

You can also check out all the free guides available at the Course Creator Academy by clicking on the Academy link on the top menu.

So, how do I sell my online courses on YouTube?

Follow these steps to sell your online courses on the YouTube platform:

  • Choose the right course topic
  • Build your audience
  • Create video content that sells
  • Optimize your YouTube channel for course sales
  • Choose the right price
  • Create High-Quality, SEO-optimized Content
  • Create Trailers and Teasers
  • Apply SEO and YouTube Optimization Features
  • Optimize YouTube Video Descriptions With Target Keywords
  • Incorporate Video Testimonials and Reviews
  • Offer Free, Valuable Content
  • Build an Email List
  • Create Course Landing Page
  • Promote on Social Media
  • Build A Community 
  • Create Special Offers
  • Publish Video content regularly
  • Integrate Easy Payment Options
  • Run Sponsored YouTube Ads

I explain each step below.

Why Sell Online Courses on YouTube?

YouTube boasts over 2 billion monthly users, enabling you to reach potential students globally.

By offering valuable content for free, you can build credibility and trust in your field, which can lead to increased course sales. Moreover, utilizing YouTube is more cost-effective than creating your own platform and offers engaging video content that captivates learners.

You can also use features like comments and community posts to interact with your audience, creating a sense of belonging, and as your channel grows, so does your customer base, allowing for scalability with minimal effort.

Thus, selling courses on YouTube combines broad reach, high engagement, cost efficiency, and community building, making it an appealing choice for educators.

However, achieving success requires careful planning and strategy, which we'll talk about in the next section on selecting the right course topic.

How to Choose the Right Course Topic

Picking the topic for your online course is one of the most important decisions you'll make. Choose wisely and you'll find an eager audience. 

Choose poorly and you may struggle to find students. Here are some tips to help you identify topics that will lead to success.

To identify topics that will lead to success, you need to solve a Pain Point. Look for topics that solve a painful problem or frustration for your target audience. 

Maybe there's a technical skill they're struggling to master or a common challenge they face in their business or life. Courses that provide solutions to real issues people care about tend to do very well.

It’s also very important to teach something you're passionate about. Your enthusiasm will shine through and motivate your students. If there's a hobby, skill, or subject you love learning about, chances are other people will love learning about it too. 

So, Let your interests guide you to a great course topic.

Another is to pay attention to the latest trends in your industry or area of interest.

Trending topics tend to drive a lot of interest, at least for a limited time, and if you can create a course quickly on an up-and-coming topic, you may be able to take advantage of the momentum before interest starts to fade. 

Don't be afraid to ask your audience for suggestions too. Run a survey on your YouTube channel or email list and ask what kinds of courses they'd like to see from you. 

Look for common requests and suggestions that line up with your areas of expertise. Your viewers will appreciate that you created a course just for them!

Choosing a topic that ticks one or more of these boxes will set you up for success on YouTube. 

So, look for the intersection of your skills, your passions, your audience's needs, and current trends. When you find that sweet spot, you'll have discovered a course topic destined to thrive.

Build Your Audience

By creating a YouTube channel and posting regular content like video tutorials, vlogs, reviews, and more, you can build an engaged audience that trusts you and your expertise. 

When you have an audience that resonates with your content, they will be more inclined to purchase your paid courses. Focus on solving their problems and being helpful.

The truth is the more useful content you post on YouTube, the more you establish yourself as an authority in your niche. This makes people more willing to pay for your premium content. 

To build your audience, offer tips and valuable information for free, and promote your paid courses as a way to go deeper into the topics that interest your viewers.

You can create video previews, reviews, and trailers for your courses. Explain the benefits and share some of the topics you will cover. 

Provide discounts and special offers for your YouTube subscribers. This direct promotion, combined with your authority and loyal audience, will drive more people to your course sales pages.

Creating Video Content That Sells

Once you’ve built your audience, it’s time to start creating content that converts viewers into customers. 

Remember that your audience is watching because they have a problem they want to solve, so focus your content on providing solutions and value to their needs. 

By putting the viewer first and crafting content that informs, inspires, and motivates action, you can turn YouTube fans into paying students. 

Explain exactly what viewers will learn and achieve from your video, and discuss the specific skills, outcomes, and benefits they can expect. This helps demonstrate the value and gives people a reason to buy.

Let your passion and enthusiasm shine through. Be lively and engaging on camera to build an emotional connection with viewers.

You also need to anticipate concerns viewers may have and tackle them head-on through empathetic communication. This builds trust.

Don’t forget that every video should have a strong call to action telling viewers what to do next, whether it's purchasing the course or downloading a free resource.

Research shows thumbnails with contrasting colors, main subjects looking directly at the camera, and minimal text perform best, so use one that captures attention.

By putting the viewer first and crafting content that informs, inspires, and motivates action, you can turn YouTube fans into paying students. Compelling video is the make-or-break factor for selling your online course successfully.

Optimize Your YouTube Channel for Course Sales

In addition to creating compelling video content, you need to optimize your YouTube channel itself to maximize course sales. 

Let’s start with the channel art. Your channel art, like your profile photo, is the first thing people see when they visit your channel. 

Make sure your images are high quality, on-brand, and help tell the story of your channel's purpose. This helps to make a good first impression.

So channel trailer is also important. It plays automatically when someone first visits your channel. 

Use this prime real estate to explain who you are, what you teach, and what viewers can expect from your content and any courses. 

Keep it short, around 30 to 60 seconds. This is your chance to capture their interest.

Also, group your tutorial videos, live streams, and other content into organized playlists on your channel. This makes it easy for viewers to find what they’re most interested in learning. 

As you build up anticipation for your course launch, add videos to a dedicated playlist. This is an easy way to see all the value in one place.

Once your course is ready, announce the launch on your YouTube channel. Upload a video explaining what the course covers, how it will benefit students, and how they can sign up. 

Pin this video to the top of your channel for maximum visibility. 

Your followers will be excited to finally get access to your knowledge and skills.

Optimizing your YouTube channel by providing value, making a good impression, and keeping viewers engaged will prime your audience for your eventual course launch. 

With an interested following eagerly awaiting your paid content, you'll find more success selling your online course.

Here are some of the things you should do:

  • Clean Branding: Ensure your channel icon, banner, and thumbnails align with your brand identity. Maintain a consistent look and feel.
  • Trailer Video: Create a 30-to-60-second channel trailer that highlights your personality and course offerings. This gives new visitors an overview.
  • Playlists: Organize your videos into playlists around topics/courses. Make it easy to navigate your channel.
  • Link in Descriptions: Include links to the course sales pages in each video description. Capture viewers' interest.  
  • Cards and End Screens: Use YouTube's cards/end screens to link to course sales pages, trailers, and related videos.
  • Metadata: Include keywords relevant to your courses in titles, descriptions, and tags to get discovered.
  • External Promotion: Drive traffic to your channel through social media, paid ads, collaborations, and other channels. 

By making your YouTube channel visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimized for promotion, you can maximize the number of viewers who will purchase your online courses.

Price Your Online Course

To price your course, first determine how much it costs you to create. Factor in the time you spent making content and any other overhead expenses. 

Price your product to at least cover costs, ideally making a profit. If experienced, lean towards higher prices. If new, opt for lower prices.

See what other similar courses are selling for. Check sites like Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity to determine an average price range. 

You'll want to price competitively, so your course is appealing to potential students. Don't price too low, or students may perceive it as lower quality. 

Don't price too high, or you'll price yourself out of the market. Find a good balance in the middle.

You can do bundle deals if you have multiple courses, or offer discounts for the first students. 

Also, your pricing strategy should not be static. Reevaluate your pricing from time to time based on demand, reviews, and student feedback. 

You may need to lower the price to drive more enrollment or raise the price if you're getting a lot of positive reviews and demand is high. 

So, look for the price that maximizes both enrollment and your revenue. With the right price and some savvy marketing, you'll have a successful course in no time!

Use Trailers and Teasers to Promote Online Courses

You've created an amazing course - now tell people about it! Start by making an engaging trailer.

Creating trailers and teasers is one of the best ways to generate interest and anticipation for your online courses, and well-designed previews shared on YouTube can drive quality leads to your course offerings. 

Follow these tips for attention-grabbing trailers and teasers:

Keep them short. Trailers should be 30-90 seconds maximum, and provide a quick introduction to your channel and show brief clips from your online course. 

Use a soft CTA. But, don't ask viewers to purchase yet, instead, have them subscribe for more info on your courses. Educate first, sell second.

Make them visually engaging. Use eye-catching graphics, animations, text overlays, and more to capture attention within the first few seconds. 

Highlight key benefits. Showcase the most exciting parts of your courses, and focus on the value they will provide students.

Share success stories in your trailers and teasers. You can use testimonials and examples of past students who achieved great results. 

Optimize for mobile. Many viewers will watch on their phones. Ensure trailers and teasers are optimized for vertical viewing.

Trailers and teasers are powerful marketing tools for your online courses, so ensure you strategically share them on YouTube to drive leads and increase course sales through compelling previews.

Apply SEO and YouTube Optimization Features

Boosting the visibility of your online course videos on YouTube can significantly impact your sales. By implementing SEO strategies and leveraging YouTube's optimization features, you can maximize your channel's reach and attract more viewers

So, focus on using high-quality, relevant keywords rather than spamming with numerous irrelevant ones. Conduct thorough keyword research using tools like Semrush or Google Keyword Planner to identify the best keywords for your content.

Also, craft video titles that align with search intent by including target keywords or key phrases. Similarly, ensure your video file names contain relevant keywords to improve discoverability.

It is important to keep video descriptions concise, under 200 words, and include target keywords early on. Regularly update descriptions to maintain relevance and improve search rankings.

Hashtags are also great for increasing video visibility and attracting targeted traffic. Make sure to include relevant ones, because YouTube prioritizes videos with tags similar to viewers' search queries.

It’s also great if you categorize your videos correctly to make them more discoverable in advanced searches. This ensures they reach the right audience.

Clear and captivating thumbnails can significantly improve click-through rates, so design visually appealing thumbnails that entice viewers to click. 

Want to appeal to a broader audience? Add subtitles and closed captions to your videos. This accommodates viewers with hearing disabilities and improves the overall viewer experience.

By implementing these SEO strategies and optimizing your YouTube channel effectively, you can increase the visibility of your online courses and drive more sales.

Incorporate Video Testimonials and Reviews

People want to see and hear the experiences of others who have undertaken your online courses.

Incorporating video testimonials and reviews in selling your online courses on YouTube is a powerful marketing strategy as it boosts the credibility and trustworthiness of your online courses.

You can start by reaching out to former successful students of your online courses across diverse backgrounds and demographics and request them to provide you with video testimonials. 

Remember, authenticity is key, so encourage them to share their honest thoughts and experiences with your online course.

Encourage your past students to include a before-and-after scenario in their testimonials where possible. Visual evidence of progress or transformation can be a powerful and persuasive strategy in converting potential students to buyers of your online course.

Once you have gathered several video testimonials, compile them into a dedicated playlist on your YouTube channel. This makes it easy for potential students who enroll in your online courses to find and watch multiple testimonials in a single sitting. 

Strategically incorporating video testimonials and reviews of successful past students into your YouTube marketing strategy of selling online courses can significantly increase the chances of your online course sales. 

Offer Free and Valuable Content

Offering free content with valuable insights is a powerful YouTube marketing strategy that attracts, engages, and ultimately converts potential students to purchase your online courses. 

Start by cultivating trust and credibility by providing free content with valuable insights to potential students on relevant discussions. This establishes you not only as an expert in your field but also as someone genuinely interested in sharing valuable information, not just after a quick sale.

Also, sharing free content with valuable information helps create awareness of your online course to audiences and increases your chances of being discovered by audiences that may otherwise not have come across you.

You should also identify challenges your potential students are struggling with and create free, valuable content addressing those challenges. This can increase the conversions of Your Online Courses

Build an Email List

Creating an email list of potential students to sell your online courses on YouTube gives you a target audience that you can engage, nurture, and ultimately convert into customers of your online courses.

Create a compelling lead magnet such as downloadable guides or mini-courses that provide insights on your online courses' training and expected outcomes. 

Use these lead magnets to capture the email addresses of your potential students, which you later direct to a subscriber list. 

You can use YouTube annotation cards and screens to direct potential students to your online course landing page, which contains a CTA, encouraging them to subscribe to your email marketing.

Ensure you encourage video viewers to subscribe to your email list or click on a link embedded in your video descriptions. The CTAs should clearly explain the benefits students will receive once they enroll in your online courses.

And, once you capture a sizeable number of emails from potential students across different demographics, you need to segment your email list based on the subscribers' behavior and preferences. 

Create a Course Landing Page

A strategically designed course landing page for selling online courses on YouTube can significantly increase your chances of converting potential students into paying students. 

First, you need to Identify relevant industry keywords with high search volume that align with your online course offerings and incorporate them into your course landing content. 

Also, clearly articulate and highlight the unique value and benefits of your online course.  You do this by identifying what sets your online course apart from your competitors in the market. 

Your USP should be prominently displayed on your online course landing page. Incorporate attention-grabbing and engaging visuals such as images, videos, and graphics. 

The visuals should be relevant and accurately represent your online course content.

Promote on Social Media and Build A Community 

Promoting your online course on YouTube through social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook can significantly boost your reach and engagement. 

To effectively sell your online courses on YouTube using social media platforms, you have to maintain a consistent brand image across your YouTube channel and social media handles.  

You can achieve a consistent branding image using the same logo, profile picture, background banners, and messaging.

It is important to make your YouTube videos shareable across multiple platforms by adding social media sharing buttons and a clear call to Action encouraging viewers to share your content within their networks for further reach. 

You should also leverage YouTube’s community features to post updates and share behind-the-scenes content with your audience.

Establishing a YouTube community of potential students increases the trust and credibility of your online courses. This trust and credibility make converting them to paying customers of your online courses easier. 

Through sharing experiences testimonials, and engaging in discussions by community members, your YouTube community can generate user-generated content that serves as social proof and extends the reach of your courses to a broader audience.

Create Special Offers

Creating special offers to help you sell online courses on YouTube is an effective marketing strategy for attracting potential students to purchase your online courses.

One special offer you can consider incorporating in selling your online courses on YouTube is limited-time discounts.

You should communicate the reduced price and emphasize that it's available for a limited time. This creates a sense of urgency to encourage viewers to take advantage of the special offer.

You can also create bundles that combine multiple courses or additional resources at a discounted price. Bundles provide added value and make a strong proposition for potential students contemplating purchasing your online course.

Another is to introduce early bird pricing for upcoming courses. Incentivize this offer by rewarding early enrollees with a lower price or exclusive bonuses.

Do you have a freebie? Everyone loves freebies. So, consider offering free trials or sample lessons of your online course to students who are considering taking your course but are still sitting on the fence. 

A free trial allows them to experience your online course content before committing to a purchase. 

You can also implement a referral program that rewards existing students with cash bonuses or credits that can be used to claim discounts on your online courses for each successful referral. 

Publish Video content regularly

Consistency in publishing content on YouTube is crucial for building an engaged audience and promoting your online courses. 

So, plan your content by creating a content calendar, which allows you to organize your video topics, schedule publishing dates, and maintain a consistent posting frequency.

Create your content in batches to ensure a steady stream of videos, and dedicate specific days or periods to produce multiple videos simultaneously, allowing you to stay ahead of your schedule.

Ensure you choose a posting schedule that is realistic and sustainable for you, because consistency is more important than posting too frequently and burning out, whether once a week, twice a month, or another frequency.

Another tip is to repurpose your existing content to create new videos. You can expand on topics, create series, or update and re-share evergreen content to maintain a consistent flow of valuable information.

Integrate Easy Payment Options

YouTube does not directly handle payments for online courses - at least for now. 

Generally, when course creators sell online courses on YouTube, they direct users to external online course hosting platforms such as OnlineCoursHost, where these courses are hosted, and payments are processed.

So, include a link in your video trailers or teasers directing viewers to your course payment page, making it easy for them to enroll and make payments.

This link would allow potential students to pay through the integrated checkout system on your online course sales landing page.

Ensure you partner with a trusted affiliate marketing company to enroll in your course. 

They'll provide unique affiliate links for your affiliates to share. Your affiliates can then make videos urging their followers to purchase your courses through these links in the video description.

YouTube also offers a membership feature allowing subscribers to enroll for a fee. Consider offering this membership program on YouTube to potential students to join. 

Membership fees are usually handled directly through YouTube.

Run Sponsored YouTube Ads

Running sponsored ads on YouTube can be an effective strategy for reaching a wider audience of potential students of your online courses.

Before you start promoting your online courses with sponsored ads, ensure that you have high-quality content that provides actionable insights to your potential audience. 

This increases your conversion rates when potential students access your online course content.

Start by setting up a Google Ads account, as this will allow you to create ads to be shown on YouTube. Use Google Keyword Planner to identify keywords in your industry niche with high search volume. 

Then create a campaign and choose campaign goals that align with your objective of selling online courses, such as website traffic or conversions. Define your potential students based on demographics, then create an attention-grabbing ad that clearly communicates the value of your online course.

Remember to provide a backlink to your online course landing page on your YouTube ad where viewers can go and purchase your online course.

Another piece of advice is to implement retargeting strategies to reach people who have interacted with your channel or website but haven't made a purchase.

Selling online courses on YouTube is a powerful digital marketing strategy. However, YouTube doesn’t yet provide the features to allow you to sell your online courses on the platform directly.

So, your best strategy should be to use YouTube to promote your online courses and then direct potential students to your courses hosted on an online course hosting platform such as OnlineCourseHost.

Collaborate with Other YouTubers in Your Industry and Pin Your New Course

Collaborate with other YouTubers in your industry. Appearing as a guest on their channel or having them feature in your videos is a great way to tap into new audiences. 

You can also interview influencers in your field to provide value to your viewers and gain exposure. Look for YouTube channels with a similar number of subscribers as you, as they'll be most willing to cross-promote.

Also, make an announcement video for your new course and pin it to the top of your channel. In the description, provide details about what's included in the course as well as a discount code for early students. 

Since pinned videos remain at the top of your feed, anyone visiting your channel will see the promo right away. So, upload a new pinned video with updates whenever you have news about the course to share.

With consistency and the right promotional strategies, you'll build an audience of eager students for your online course in no time. 

Delivering Your Course and Managing Students

Once your course is live on YouTube, the real work begins—managing your students and delivering an amazing learning experience.

Start by building a welcome video to introduce yourself to your students and set the right expectations. 

Share your experience and qualifications, explain what they can expect from the course, and lay out your policies on things like refunds, course updates, communication, and more. Be friendly and approachable—you want students to feel comfortable reaching out with any questions.

As students progress through the lessons, stay actively involved in the comments. Answer any questions, provide encouragement and feedback, and foster a supportive community among your students. 

Consider hosting live Q&A sessions on YouTube to build connections and allow students to get their questions answered in real-time.

Also, keep tabs on how students are progressing to ensure no one falls behind. Reach out directly to any students who seem to be struggling or not actively participating. 

Let them know you’re there to help in any way you can. Their success is your success!

And, continually improve your course by soliciting feedback from students and making updates based on common questions or topics people seem to be having trouble with. 

You can also release new bonus content, resources, and materials to keep students engaged for the long term.

Make Use of YouTube Analytics

Use YouTube analytics to track key metrics like average watch time, video completion rates, traffic sources, and more. 

YouTube Analytics can provide ways you can use to optimize your content and promotion to increase course sales and student success rates over time. 

With regular attention and care, you'll build a thriving community of happy, motivated students.

The key to success on YouTube is delivering tremendous value to your students and building real, meaningful connections. 

Put in the work to actively support your students, foster their growth, and make a positive impact on their lives. In return, you'll build a sustainable business and change lives along the way.


How do I promote my course on YouTube? 

The key is to build an audience first. Create useful content that provides value to your viewers. Engage with your viewers in the comments. Once you’ve established trust and authority, you can promote your course in your video content, descriptions, and comments. Mention the benefits and features to capture interest.

Should I do a free intro course? 

Offering a free intro course is a great way to give viewers a taste of what you have to offer. Keep it short, around 5 to 10 minutes. Cover key concepts and highlight the most useful parts of your paid course. Viewers will get a sense of your teaching style and expertise. Many will sign up for your full course after seeing what you provide for free.

What’s the best way to price my course? 

Research what other comparable courses are charging to determine a competitive price. You’ll want to price on the higher end of the range if you have more experience and expertise. Don’t make your course too expensive, or you’ll limit the number of students who can afford it. You can always run sales and promotions to boost enrollment.

How do I maximize sales? 

Once your course is live, focus on promoting it actively on your channel. Create video ads for the course and run them before your regular videos. Offer limited-time discounts and coupons for your subscribers. Engage with everyone who comments on your ads and videos to answer questions and address any concerns. Stay active in the comments of all your videos to build trust and connections with your viewers.


So there you have it, a complete guide to selling courses on YouTube. 

With so many viewers flocking to YouTube to learn and be entertained, it's a great platform to build a course business on. 

You just need to create high-quality, engaging video content that teaches valuable skills or information, build your sub-base, and offer your courses directly on your channel or website. 

Also, continuously improving your content and optimizing your promotion strategies will lead to more viewers discovering your channel and courses, and with time and consistency, you'll gain authority in your niche and build a loyal following of paying students.

Keep learning and stay dedicated, and you'll be selling online courses successfully on YouTube in no time!

After creating your course, you'll still need a reliable hosting platform to create your course landing page.

That's where OnlineCourseHost.com comes in. With Onlinecoursehost.com, you have everything you need to create and sell your online course.

It has marketing features to make selling your courses easy.

The platform is integrated with an AI assistant and comes with powerful marketing features like email marketing and Facebook Ad integration.

You can also collect emails on autopilot directly on your course website and send bulk newsletters to your students.

Overall, the platform is user-friendly both to course creators and students.

I hope you find this post helpful, and to get notified when new content is available here at the Academy, you can subscribe here to our weekly newsletter:

If you are looking to ask any questions on online course creation, you can reach me here on my Facebook group:

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Ready to learn how to launch your first coaching program or course on OnlineCourseHost.com? Here are the helpful guides for you to check out:

Let me know in the comments below what other topics you would like me to cover or any questions that you have.

Thanks for reading… and enjoy the course creation process! 😉

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