Traditional teaching from a physical classroom is rapidly being replaced by online methods. It’s now very much a time when you can learn anything, at a time that suits you and at your own pace.
You may be very knowledgeable about a particular school subject, musical instrument(s), hobby etc. Anything really. So you might be thinking, how can I make money from what I know?
How to sell knowledge online is not straight forward if you don’t know where to start.
There is more and more you can do these days to sell knowledge online like broadcasting podcasts and webinars. There are some exciting new web sites too which I discuss in detail below which can help you design really professional courses. They will also get your courses in front of audiences that want to learn what you know.
Also, I will share at the end what you can do if you feel like you don’t have any knowledge to ‘sell’.
I think sharing knowledge via e-books would be the route you would take if you had an idea for a novel, essay or manual. You can add images to your text but it won’t be possible to add video and audio files.
You can write your draft on Microsoft Word or a Rich Text Format and then via one of the sites or by purchasing specialist software mentioned below, covert this to an EPUB format so that it can be read on an E reader or other hand held device.
An e-book can be created through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). The website is found at kdp.amazon.com. However only those who have Kindle readers can read your material. It is free to use but Amazon takes a 30% commission on all sales.
The site has a ton of information about how to get started, how to market etc. The E-book is published in Amazon’s bookstore in countries all over the world so there is great potential to reach a large audience.
There are others sites that you can try:
⇒Lulu.com: I like the user-friendly feel of this site. It has some helpful guides such as how to self publish and how to build your audience. Again, the e-book is free to make and publish through Lulu but when you start to make sales, the site takes 20% commission from these.
⇒Smashwords.com works with 130.000 authors and has published 450,000 e-books. Once again, through Smashwords, you can publish you book for free but once the money starts coming in, the site keeps 15% from the proceeds for sales on the site and an even bigger percentage for sales through retailers and libraries.
In the alternative you could use specialist software (e.g. Adobe Acrobat Pro) to self publish. Seek the link to Wikihow for more details on this. However, you would probably lose out on the marketing that the sites mentioned above could provide.
These digital audio files are becoming more popular. It is a crowded market though. There is quite a bit to sort out and buy before you get started such as: the recording equipment, set up some intro music and decide who you are going to converse with. To build up a following you would have to do regular podcasting (preferably once a week) .Also, there is a lot of free podcasts already. You may have to do some free podcasts and then advertise a paid version that would offer more advice or tips. Or you could think about advertising on free podcasts to make money that way.
Podcasts are a good medium for discussing such things as current events and sports. But it could be anything really that will attract an audience.
Some sites that offer podcasting services are:
⇒Acast: It provides publishing tools and analytics (find out which country your listeners live, how long they listen for etc). It can also link you to advertisers and sponsors.
⇒Patreon. It is free to use but will take a percentage cut when you start earning money. The cut depends on the type of package that you take up (lite, pro or premium).
〉 Clickmeeting.com is really user-friendly for this. Webinars can be set up for live events or recorded/on demand or automated. You can set it as a paid webinar (it uses PayPal integration).
It has various price plans. As expected the more features and the larger the audience you have, the higher the price. There is a free trial to try it out.
What I really like about the site is the amount of features it provides. You can introduce graphics and slides to your presentation. You can seek a performance rating from your audience to learn what your audience thought of your material. You can get feedback by carrying out polls and surveys. This way you can find out what your audience is interested in and tailor your material accordingly.
Below I provide the details of 3 great web sites where you can design and monetize e-courses:
This site gives you the opportunity to have a virtual school open 24/7! It has over 68,000 instructors on its books and over 18 million students. You can set up amazing multimedia lectures displayed on your own website or you can build a website for this through Teacheable.com.
You can make learning fun and rewarding for your students by incorporating quizzes and providing course completion certificates. You can engage with your students by asking for feedback about your course material and maintain contact once the course is complete to inform them of your next course.
The site handles the payment processing for you so you don’t have to worry about this.
But how much is this all costing? Well, it depends on the package. All the packages allow you to set up unlimited courses and video and access to unlimited students.
Basic is $29 per month (billed annually)
Professional is $79 per month (billed annually)
Business is $399 per month (billed annually)
Oh, there is a free plan so you can try it out first to see if it is for you.
This site prides itself on its simplicity and quick set up as opposed to the more complex features offered by Teachable. You can still provide multimedia courses by uploading videos, audio, PowerPoint presentations and PDF files.
It costs $79 per month or $65 per month if you are paying annually. In addition, the site takes a 10% commission on all courses sold. There is also a free trial.
As opposed to basic quizzes offered by Teachable, Click4course offers quite a variety: multiple choice, true/false, multi-answer and short answer quizzes.
There is unlimited phone and e-mail support with this site’s plan.
I love Thinkific…it is just so slick. It offers the whole package as well to get you going with monetizing your online courses. Like Teachable it offers a ‘drag and drop’ builder to make designing your course as simple as possible.
The site has four price plans ($0 – free trial, $49 per month for basic plan, $99 per month for the Pro plan (comes with the complete suite of tools) to a whopping $499 per month for the premier package for the advanced customer). You also save 20% if you pay on an annual basis. Thinkific say they never take commissions for revenues. A contrast to Click4course.com then.
On the paid plans you can offer your students promotions in order to grow your audience and increase sales….everyone loves a discount so I can see this working well! With the pro plan you can offer your students flexible payment options.
How To Start Off By Building A Website
But you may be thinking this may be all well and good but I don’t have the knowledge to make a complete e-course, give a webinar, podcast or write an e-book. Well don’t despair! There is an alternative or something you could do first before you do these things.
Why not build your own website and monetize it through affiliate marketing? I think there is no better place to do it on the web than Wealthy Affiliate.com. If you would like to read my review about this site, click here. This may even give you the knowledge and experience you need to go on to teach others.
If You Have The Know How, You Can Make An Income From It
So there you have it. Some great ways to make money by charging for what you know. There are so many ways of doing this now from E-books to Webinars to online multimedia courses. Never before has it been made so easy to build an audience which could literally be worldwide!
If you have some great ideas for online courses then one of the 3 sites above will provide the perfect platform to showcase your knowledge. The tools on these sites are becoming ever more sophisticated so you can receive feedback and tailor your course material accordingly.
If you are not ready, though, for any of these options, I think a great place to start is with affiliate marketing. Learn a new skill and you never know you might be teaching about it in the not too distant future!
Thanks for reading this post. If you have any questions about it, please leave a comment below and I will come back to you.