Can You Make Money Selling Online Courses?

Simple answer – Yes!

Ok. That’s it then, nothing else to say.

Well, of course, it’s not quite that simple, but online courses can be very profitable.

To sell courses successful, it is important to –

  • Be determined
  • Willing to make an effort

But firstly though – Why Bother?

Should you bother to sell courses? Aren’t there other ways to make money more easily? Potentially, yes, but

If you want to sell online courses or eBooks and are not currently, then you are missing out on great opportunities to start selling in this rapidly growing industry.


Why ?

Growing Industry – People

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way in which we educate children and adults.

  • Suddenly, children were not able to go to school in many countries.
  • Adults were not able to attend traditional training classes.
  • Education became remote and online

This meant that more traditional students, educators, businesses and organisations suddenly recognised the potential of online training. 

Distance learning has been around for decades, but it has often been viewed as the Cinderella of the education industry, second best, not as good as traditional education. No more. Literally millions, if not billions of people, are recognising the advantages of online education.


As well as more people studying online for the first time, we also need to recognise that education is now lifelong.

  • People change careers more often.
  • The world is constantly changing and people need to update and improve their knowledge.
  • Reaching adulthood does not mean the end of studying anymore.

This means that people continue to study throughout their lives.  This, of course, means a massive growth in the number of people wanting to study courses.

Growing Industry – Comfort

People lead increasingly busy lives. With the growth of zero contracts, remote worker, digital nomadism and flexible working, people may find it hard to study in the traditional way – sat in a classroom at a certain time each week. This has led to the growth of people wanting to study online, as they can study when and where they want to!

Growing Industry - Money

There has been a massive increase in the sale of online courses worldwide due to changes in technology and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated to be worth US $645 billion by 2030. This means that there is great potential out there for people wanting to sell courses.

This all means that the online and e-learning industry is growing rapidly and there is a great potential to make money selling online courses.


How Can You Make Money With Online Courses?


Do your research.

  • Find out what courses are in demand.
  • Is there a gap in the market that needs filling?
  • Are there courses available but people don’t know about them?

Find a Niche

It is hard to sell all courses to everyone, so find a niche. Perhaps you want to sell psychology courses, marketing courses, agricultural courses. Finding a niche and sticking to it can be a good starting point. You might want to develop further as you move on, but a niche is a good way to start.

For example, you might start off selling marketing courses, then expand into business, then psychology, perhaps writing and advertising. The options are virtually limitless with online courses that you can sell.

Course Creation

Creating a course can the most expensive aspect of selling your own online courses.

  • Research, writing and developing the course.
  • Designing your own LMS (learning management system) or using someone else’s

All of this takes time. 


However, there are options where you can resell existing courses from organisations, such as ACS Distance Education. We have over 700 courses and 150 eBooks available and more are coming all of the time.

If you would like to avoid the creation of the course step, why not jump straight to making money?

Contact us to find out more about how this works.



You have created your own course or decided to resell courses, you now need to decide how much you sell the course for.

Your aim is to make a profit.

You need to cover your costs. For example, tutor costs, postage costs, administration costs etc.

If you plan to advertise, you need to include those costs.

Think carefully.

  • What will I have to pay a tutor for this course?
  • Approximately what will admin costs be?
  • Will there be sales and marketing costs?

Then calculate a suitable figure for your course.

You do not want to undersell yourself, but you also do not want to be too expensive as you run the risk of losing potential customers straight away.


Pay attention to what is going on worldwide. The current cost of living crisis that is occurring in many countries can affect people’s disposable income. This can then affect how much they are willing to spend on courses, if at all. There was a massive increase in people buying online courses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has settled down now, but as the figures above suggest, people are still buying courses and more and more of them.

So pay attention. Recognise that people may not have as much disposable income, BUT they may still want to study.

Perhaps off –

  • Easy to pay instalments
  • Money off
  • Discount vouchers
  • Value items 
  • Reduced costs for repeat students



Your Customers - How will you attract your students?

Will you advertise?

There are many different options for advertising

  • Print advertising – You can advertise in magazines, journals and newspapers. Print advertising can vary in costs. Print advertising can also be quite limited. Only a certain number of people will purchase the magazine, for example. However, if you are selling online courses, a wider potential audience may be more useful. This is where other options come in, such as social media and online advertising.
  • Social Media and online advertising can be paid for or free. It really depends on how you decide to market your products. Social media is a good way to interact with potential customers and attract followers.

Will you use an email out list?

How will you get this?

  • You can purchase email out lists. These are ready-made. But they can be expensive and they are not necessarily specific to your needs.
  • Many organisations will try to create their own. For example, encouraging people to follow their blogs or sign up for free offers or discounts etc. As people sign up, you are developing an email list of people who are potentially interested in YOUR products.

Using Blogs and Vlogs

Vlogs and blogs can be a good way to attract attention to your products. Say you run a photography course, a short vlog or blog on taking photographs of sunsets can be a good way to attract people interested in photography, who hopefully then follow you or sign up to your blog.


Make sure you have a good website.

It should be clear and easy to use.

You want to make it a usable website. One that customers can easily go from viewing the course to purchasing the course. Too many websites today are overly complicated and hard to use.  They may look wonderful, but if they do not lead to sales, then they are useless. So make sure your site easily takes your potential student down the path to enrolment.

Answer Questions

On the site, also make it clear how potential students can answer questions about your courses.

For example –

  • Chat facilities
  • Email contact
  • Contact us page
  • Phone number
  • Social media contacts etc

Make it easy for the potential student!

Then make sure you answer their questions quickly. 

Analyse your website

Pay attention to your visitors.

Look at analytics for your site.

If you can see that a lot of people come onto your site, but no one buys, there is a reason for that. Try to find out why.

Or a lot come on, and tend to purchase the same courses. Is there something about those courses that is better than the others? Use that information to improve the other courses.

Marketing and Sales Experience

Often when looking at articles and blogs about creating and selling courses, the focus is on education professionals. However, selling courses is not just about education, it is also about having the skills and knowledge to market and sell courses effectively.  A good sales person or marketing person can promote and sell courses better, because that is their skill set. 

So if you are interested in marketing and selling courses, we have options for you too. 

Side Hustle or Full Time

Starting your own online school can be a side hustle to start off with or a full time business. Only you can decide that. You might start off small and expand or head straight off to being full time.

Setting up a school as a side hustle to your existing job

If you want to start your own business or online school, then working with ACS can be a great way to start.  You can start as big or small as you want to, developing your sales and marketing, your student relationships until you are ready to set up full time.

Expanding your existing business

You might already have an existing school or your own online business and want to expand, we can help there as well.

  • Expand your range of existing courses or start offering courses for the first time.
  • Expand your products
  • Monetize your website and social media further
  • Bring in new and different potential customers
  • Add added value to your existing products. For example, say you sell roses, you might offer eBooks or courses on roses to your customers.

Setting up full time

Or head straight in there and set up your business as a full time online school. We can help you there too, with over 700 courses for you to go at.  You can specialise in a niche or offer a wide range of courses.


So – Can You Make Money Selling Online Courses?

The answer is definitely, and a resounding, yes, if you are willing to commit and work hard to create your own online school.

  • This can be a side hustle or full time!
  • You do not need to be an educator.
  • Marketing and selling experience is very useful.
  • If you are determine and self-disciplined.

If you are at the beginning of your journey into selling online courses - have a look at these blogs below to give you some answers to frequently asked questions we  get from prospective affiliates  : 

Contact us to find out more about the courses and eBooks that you could be offering and selling to your clients and potential students very soon.

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What our partners say

We've been working with ACS over the course of the last three years. Being able to mix and match content to suit our students' needs has been extremely useful. With their material in combination with our own in house tutor service we have been able to provide a complete online learning service which has helped us expand our student cohort and advance our teaching techniques! We are thankful that we have had them as a partner throughout our time in the industry and look forward to many more years of growth together.

Jason T - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

ACS Distance Education have been fantastic to work with over our first 12 months as a start-up online short education affiliate.
They provided immense support in the foundation period ensuring we setup the best support mechanisms for students and engaging quality tutors.
ACS have continued to be receptive to feedback and promptly moved to make improvements wherever required.

David C - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

Having access to ACS' extensive library of digitalised education content has allowed us to scale our business quickly and efficiently. Their LMS is easy to access and manage, whilst also providing the consumer (student) with a professional and easy to use experience. John and Kate have always been a pleasure to work with and are quick to provide support when it is required."

Andrew O - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

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