The best tools you (actually) need to launch and market your Online Course

Are you struggling to create an online course? Then you will love my in depth blog post where you are about to learn about the best materials for online course creators that will help you with building your course.

I know the dilemma, some creative entrepreneurs will make you believe that it only takes 72 hours to create an online course-but they don’t talk about how to create a website, how to market your course, how to drive traffic to your course with great SEO (so that your brand ranks high on google, they don’t mention how to work on personal development and all that stuff!

That’s why I came up with this list of tools for course creators, so that you know which steps to take to scale a purposeful and profitable online business !

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First of all, if you want to have an online business, you need a website!

It’s not enough if you offer your Online Courses on Udemy, Skillshare or selfhosted on Teachable, Podia or one of the other amazing online course platforms out there.

In order to make your Brand legit, you need a website, trust me!

And I am not talking about Wix, Squarespace or a Bloggingpage.

They will advertise that they are beginner-friendly and super easy for anyone to get their website up and running.

But trust, me once your Brand is up and running, it will be impossible to migrate your website from one of these platforms to another, or to a more open platform like WordPress.

You need to start your self hosted website on WordPress from the beginning!

Self-hosted is a 100% free software that you can install on any server.

There are plenty of great WordPress hosts with one-click WordPress setups.

My host is a german company called Strato and for the first year I only paid 1€ /month and then it was raised to 3/month. The prices might have changed since then, not sure.

I am pretty satisfied with Strato, I like my website speed and a lot is included in the Basic Plan that I am using, so if you are based in Germany, you should definitely have a look.

Below I will introduce to you the most popular international website hosts that can be connected to WordPress.(as I said, WordPress should be mandatory because then you can use a lot of amazing free plugins to run your page). Honestly speaking, I think that wordpress is easy to learn and I taught myself how to use the wordpress editor or use a visual drag and drop editor like elementor, through youtube videos.

But if you prefer learning faster through courses, you can have a look at this WordPress Websites for Beginners course (absolutely no experience, programming, or coding necessary!)

Bluehost is one of the largest website hosting providers worldwide and powers millions of websites. Bluehost offers:

  • FREE Domain Name for 1st Year
  • FREE SSL Certificate Included
  • 1-Click WordPress Install
  • 24/7 Support
  • Starting from $7.99 to only $2.95/month here

👉🏽 They provided a special discount for my readers, so check it out here*

Siteground is another amazing website hosting company that is known internationally. It provides hosting for about 2,000,000 domains worldwide.

If I hadn’t already started with Strato years ago, I would probably get started with Siteground.

Whether you’re a small blog, medium-sized business, or large online store, SiteGround has an option for you:

  • Starting as low as $3.99 per month ,for up to 10 GB
  • They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee)
  • Free SSL certificates included
  • 1 Click WordPress install

👉🏽 You can use my special discount code here to get started.

The third and last website hosting provider that I would like to mention here is called Hostgator.

The reason why I am mentioning three of the leading providers here is that I want you to be able to look into them and make an informed decision, before you make your purchase.

Hostgator starts at only only $2.75/month  and offers:

  • a 99.9% uptime guarantee,
  • free SSL certificate,
  • easy WordPress installs,
  • and a free domain for a year.

👉🏽You can sign up with my special discount rate for Hostgator here.

Chosing your WordPress theme

Now that you have chosen a website hosting provider that can be connected with WordPress in one simple click, the next step would be to chose an eye catching, yet simple to use WordPress theme.

What is a Theme you might ask? A WordPress theme is a folder of files that work together to create the design of your site. And if you want people to stay on your page longer, apart from writing great content, you want the overal appearance to be beautiful!

Divi (Elegant Themes) Astra are two of the most popular multipurpose WordPress themes.

I am using the Astra theme and I am pretty fond of it. As a beginner, you want to use a theme that does not require any coding and is beautiful to look at.

Premium Themes

You can always start your website with a free Theme and then upgrade it to make it faster and to be able to make it look more unique.

Maybe you have heard of Studiopress? To run any Studiopress themes, you need to have Genesis framework. It’s a popular choice among professionals and creatives.

👉🏽You can have a look here and read what makes it so special.

How to make your website legally compliant

Well, you’ve already taken important steps on your way to building your profitable Online Business.

You now have a couple of website hosting companies to choose from, installed wordpress and you have also  heard about beautiful, fast and responsive website themes.

Before you publish your Website, Blog, and make your courses available to your target audience, you really want to make sure that your Online Presence is legally protected.

If you have been paying close attention to the look of your favourite Blogs and Online Courses out there, you might have noticed that they all have the same legal pages in their footer.

There are 3 legal pages you must have BEFORE you launch your online business. I highly recommend this legal bundle  which will help you to easily set up the pages . That’s the quickest ad safest way to protect your blog and also comply with all the rules.

  • Privacy Policy page
  • Disclaimer page
  • Terms and Conditions page

Make sure to add an affiliate disclosures as well if you are planning to become an affiliate for the products you love. This way you can earn a small commission whenever someone decides to purchase a product (through a link) that you have mentioned in one of your online course(s).

What Pages to add before launching your website

Don’t launch your website before adding the 10 Pages Every Website of a Creative Entrepreneur should have:
  1. Homepage. The homepage is where all the action happens on your site.
  2. About Page. The About page is an opportunity to connect with your target audience, share some personal stories but also present yourself as an authority by sharing your credentials, vision, mission statement and what they can expect from you .
  3. Products or Services Page. The products and services page is important because at the end of the day you want to make money. Instead of having a products page, you could also call it “courses”. This page would then lead to your online course platform like teachable, podia etc (wherever you are hosting your courses).
  4. Blog Page. Even if you are planning to focus more on course creation, you could write a few blog posts that will help you to drive traffic to your courses and build trust with your ideal students.
  5. Contact Page. Let your readers know the best way to get in touch with you.
  6. Work with me Page. Make Sure Your Offering is Clear. Can people collaborate with you? Do you offer guest  posts on your blogs? Is their an affiliate program your readers/students can join to help you promote your products? Do you offer coaching etc?
  7. You’ll need to make sure to have at least 3 legal pages. Read my blog post3 Simple way to protect your Online business” to learn more! Start with the Privacy Policy. smartphone mockups with 3 legal pages for your website
  8. Don’t forget a Terms and Conditions Page
  9. Make sure you have a Disclaimer page 
  10. At some point, make sure to add a Resources Page. I added this at the end of the list because you can create this page after you have launched your Website. But make sure to add it so that you have one place where your students can see which resources you recommend for their passion (or professional) project.

Best tools to host your Courses

Congratulations! So far, you have made sure your Online Business has an Online Presence. You have set up your website so that your target audience can find you and learn more about you.

What could you do for visibility?

Apart from writing  Blog posts, you could also think of being visible through social media- maybe create a Facebook Page, Instagram, Pinterst, Tik Tok-choose the platform where your target audience likes to hang out and that you enjoy making content for!

Okay, so you still need to figure out where to host your courses. There are multiple options to chose from, and you are never limited to one option only.

Basically, there are 2 styles: offering your courses on a marketplace or selfhosting them.

Hosting on marketplaces (like Udemy ,Skillshare, Etsy, Amazon, Creative Market) is “free” because they get paid every time they sell one of your courses or digital products (they take a percentage of your sale). 

All self-hosting platforms charge recurring hosting fees, which means you have running costs, but you get to keep most of the money you make through your sales.

A self-hosting platform is completely different then a marketplace. A self-hosting platform is more of a website builder, that allows you to quickly build your own branded academy  where you will publish your courses.

Even though you can have a fully functional website this way, it’s still advisable to invest in your own website. That’s why we spoke about creating your website as a first step, because you want to build your business on a page that you can fully control!

So what to choose? Should you start with Zero costs on Udemy or pay monthly fees to self host?

Well, If you are planning to make several courses and want to share your passions and skills with people from all over the world without having to pay for technology and monthly fees- start with udemy!

( Be aware though that Udemy will keep up between 50% – 75% of your revenue in exchange for driving visitors to your courses. So while you need to share your revenue, your courses are seen by a huge number of students who are already signed up on this well known marketplace.)

If you are focussing on making a high ticket signature course and don’t want your courses to be available for as little as 10$ (this is how low priced courses are on udemy), then go self hosted with a trusted online course platform (I’m doing both, I have courses on Udemy but I’m also using and loving Teachable.)

Quick advice on how to do this as a beginner:

If you are starting out, hosting your course on a marketplace is probably the easiest way to get your first sales and find out if there’s even a demand for your course topic.

You also get to experience what type of people buy your course and can get a feeling for who your target audience is and what they are looking for (through the reviews and maybe personal feedback that they provide you with).

However, if you plan to build a sustainable source of income, you need more control, and you want your online business to be scalable, and you plan to sell premium online courses, self-hosting is definitely the right way to go!


What are the Pros and Cons of self hosting?

There are numerous online course platforms out there, which means depending on your needs, chances are high that you will find the perfect match for your business.

All the self hosting platforms will offer you full control. Let me mention some of the benefits:

  • You have full control over branding, customization, integrations
  • You own your students email addresses (on udemy for example, there are set rules on how often and what you can write your students)
  • You can charge what you want and offer discount codes whenever you want

One of the huge drawbacks is that you are in charge of your marketing!

That’s why I sell some of my courses on udemy, because udemy does the marketing for me. I already have more than 40.000 students on udemy, that would never have heard of me, if I hadn’t started on udemy.

I do however believe it’s important to build your brand and to take over control, which is why you need to self host your content as soon as possible.

Some of the leading companies are:

While Teachable has been a market leader in the online course platform space for a long time, Podia is still relatively new and has has gained in popularity among bloggers (especially for digital products).

Elopage is one of the biggest online course platforms in Germany( but you can access it in English as well).

For those of you that want an in depth comparison, make sure to check out my blog post where I compare 15 popular online course platforms for you.

Best tools for Marketing your course and building an Email List

As soon as you have launched your website, you will need an email marketing service provider to start building an email list. Really try to work on this as soon as possible to create a relationship with your audience!

You can create a freebie to attract your target audience and “funnel” them into your email list.

There are several email marketing providers to choose from, but I will talk about the most popular among course creators and bloggers.

Convertkit is popular among creatives due to its ease of use, automation, landing pages and other features. Creators love its lexible tagging and segmentation system!

👉🏽Find out more. You can try Convertkit for FREE here.

convertkit email marketing free

Mailerlite is the best choice for an absolute beginner, because its budgetfriendly and easy to use. Similar to Convertkit, MailerLite is packed full of features that help you save time and grow your business. Mailerlite is actually the email provider that I am currently using and I love it!

👉🏽You can use Mailerlite for free for up to 1000 subscribers!

SendinBlue is an all in one email marketing and marketing automation software (they offer you the option to communicate with your audience via SMS+ Chat) .

Sendinblue takes pride in being GDPR complaint and offers tons of features for you to leverage your marketing campaigns.

Sendinblue is one of the cheapest options that I have found to date!

🔥It’s completely FREE to up to 1000 subscribers, and with just $19/month you can send emails to unlimited recipients.🔥

Not sure how to build an Email List? Check out my related post:

60+ Free Online Courses Bloggers and Course Creators should know!

Once you have your email list up and running and nurturing your List with regular emails, you might wonder how and what you can market to that audience.

Remember that apart from offering your Brands services to your list (like online courses, downloadables, coaching services etc) you could also make money with affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is an advertising model in which a company compensates third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products. So whenever you are mentioning resources in your online courses (and emails), you could add your affiliate links ad earn a little commission off of that.

Here are some free trainings ad resources to learn how to build your Email List:

3Day Training:

Free Online Workshop:

Here is a very effective free training to learn more about Affiliate Marketing:

Best tools to help you Market your Courses with Pinterest

Hopefully you haven’t been neglecting Pinterest. If you are serious about scaling your Online business, make sure to create a Pinterest Business account today!

Pinterest is a search engine and can help you to draw massive traffic to your page.

In order to attract the right audience for your courses, you need to focus on brand awareness. Pinterest is a page where people are actively searching for something. You could create visually appealing Pins with Canva, which is a free graphic design tool.

There are multiple resources available online that teach Pinterest, but beware! Most courses do not update their content, which is a great disadvantage because Pinterest changes very fast.

For everyone who is completely new and has no clue how Pinterest can help to grow their business, I recommend the following online course (that is updated regularly):

Pinteresting Strategies. mockup of two smartphones and notesheets In my honest opinion this course by Carly Campbell is the only one that you will need to take!

She teaches you how her pinning-without-a-scheduler method helped her to blow up her traffic and how YOU can do the same!

Personally, I love creating my Pinterest templates in a free graphic design tool called Canva.👈🏽

I create most of my Pins myself, but sometimes I simply want to save time and energy, and it’s also good for the algorithm to have a variety of pins.

Therefore I like purchasing done-for-you templates online.

👉🏽Access 30 beautiful and click worthy pinterest templates

mockup with several feminine pinterest templates

👉🏽 Access my 5 FREE high converting Pinterest Templates here.

👉🏽You can also grab some FREE pinterest templates here.

Best tools to help you market your courses with Youtube

Youtbube belongs to Google. Google is THE biggest search engine in the world. Because Youtube belongs to Google, they will make sure that videos on youtube show up on Google as well.

Besides that people love consuming video content, which means you can film free video trainings and share them on youtube.

Hopefully this way you have an additional source that can help you attract your ideal target audience.

Most online course platforms like Udemy, Teachable and the others, will enable you to create course coupons.

Why not add a special coupon to one of your courses in your Youtube description? That’s a great aditional way of advertising your course(s)!

Need help creating a successful youtube channel?👉🏽 Check out this complete guide to youtube.

YouTube is the perfect place to grow your own brand, drive traffic to your website, and earn money from YouTube ads and your product and service promotions. And this is the perfect course for you to jumpstart your YouTube Channel.

Best tools to help you Market your Courses on Facebook

Simple but effective steps to take on facebook:

  • Create a Facebook page. This could help you in building a professional presence on the platform and to build trust with your target audience.
  • Post consistently on your Facebook business page. This is also good to increase your know-like and trust factor
  • Interact with your audience. Most people are already on facebook, which is why its a good medium to talk about your course and your services
  • Offer Freebies or share value in live sessions. Every now and then you could offer or announce something special this way.
  • Try ads (this is optional, personally I’d advise you to try growing your brand awareness with free Pinterest strategies first. You can invest in this Pinterest Strategy course to help you get started.
  • Free Coupons. You can look for coupon code groups and share some free coupons to your course in order to make people aware of your brand new course. That way, with the first 50 subscribers or so you can gain social proof and  collect your first reviews.

Best Tools to learn about SEO

Even if you choose to host your courses on a marketplace like udemy or skillshare, you’ll need to have a basic understanding of SEO. The better your course descriptions are, the better your courses will rank and be visible to interested students!

If self hosting is your preferred method, and you plan to self host on Teachable or one of the other great online course platforms, you need to spend some time perfecting your seo skills.

Here are some free and paid resources to learn Search Engine Optimisation:

Easy on Page Seo by Debbie Gartner- the queen of SEO wrote an Easy Guide to SEO for Beginners.

👉🏽Grab your copy here you are looking for a detailed and easy to follow SEO for beginners to intermediate guide.

Stupid Simple Seo– Mike Pearsons premium training program, Stupid Simple SEO, teaches you everything you need to know about growing your traffic and revenue with SEO!

👉🏽You can join Mike Pearsons free SEO Training here

Another in-depth course that you can use to learn SEO is an online video flagship course from WhatMommydoes. She offers some free lessons for you to get familiar with her teaching style and decide if you want to buy the whole course.

👉🏽Enrol in Adventures in SEO for free here

adventures in seo course image with several mockups, laptop, worksheets, computer etc

Best Tools to improve your Money Mindset and work on personal development

Personal development leads to business growth. You can not only work on a perfect online course and hope that your business will grow-if you are not taking some time to focus on personal growth.

I love to learn from the best and participate in motivational (and spiritual) trainings.

Have you ever heard of Harv Eker? Eker is the author of the best-selling books, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind and SpeedWealth. You can start with some of his free trainings below to work on your personal development.

Don’t believe a thought you think- in this T. Harv Eker signature class, you’ll discover:

  • A simple shortcut to access your TRUE inner power and become unstoppable in 60 minutes or less
  • The 6-letter word that gives you the ultimate upper hand in having the ability to tame your mind and master your life
  • The actual SOURCE of what causes more or less success, more or less inner peace, better or worse relationships, better or worse health and may be considered the greatest secret to a better life
  • How to combat the #1 enemy in your life that’s secretly holding you back from living the life you truly desire
  • and much more!

Passion, purpose and profits- on this T. Harv Eker signature class,
you’ll discover:

  • The #1 problem most people have when choosing a business or career that leaves them with no passion, no meaning and a lot of frustration.
  • How to effortlessly stop living in your ego-centered self and start living in your higher, more conscious, and enlightened self.
  • 3 critical guidelines you MUST follow if you want to turn your passion and purpose into profits
  • Why looking for the hottest new businesses and upcoming trend is most likely hurting you vs. helping you succeed
  • and much more!

I hope you found my overview of the best tools to help you launch and market your online course valuable!

Remember that you can always go to udemy (the leading marketplace of the world) and look for a course that will teach you how to create digital products, launch, market and sell them to your target audience.

Please let us know in the comments which resource and training material inspires you the most!

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