Selling E-Learning Courses

Dec 30, 2013

Hi Folks,

I am thinking of taking a leap into selling e-learning courses, and for this purpose I am planning to invest in Articulate Storyline.  I do not know if there is a strong market for off-the-shelf e-learning courses.  Marketing is my next big concern, as I am more of a developer.  I know of portals like, where they do the marketing and give 60% of the price on each sale.  If anyone has made sales through this or other site, do share your experiences.  I would appreciate if you would give any other insights into selling e-learning courses.

Thank you for your help.

11 Replies
Nick n/a

Hi John,

My advice before searching for sites like Opensesame to make sales (for developing courses) from would be to look at the Freelance Heroes thread started by Daniel Brigham:

Then read through all of it again and post your question there.

You'll find some of the best advice from professional freelancers there.

Then read it again and check out the freelancer  Articulate blog series also written by Daniel:

Ask others for advice directly or via the forum.


Bruce Graham

Jeff Kortenbosch said:

I'd say just start your own site. Create a wordpress site or something similar and find a shop plugin. Shouldn't be that hard.


Why pay for someone else to take a cut?

If your content is good enough it will sell anyway - so you may as well get to keep it, PROVIDING you have a sales and marketing plan to tell the world about what you have to sell.

Bud Keegan

We looked into this briefly.  What we learned:

1.) This is a value in a portal that gets lots of traffic-- BUT ask how aggressively the distributor markets itself and traffic around your subject area.  10,000 visitors means nothing-- how many of those visitors are interested in YOUR area?

2.) Watch out for portals with BAD e-learning offerings as they will tarnish your own offering (and there is a lot of bad e-learning on these sites from what I've seen)

3.) Make sure the agreement isn't exclusive w/them and has easy opt-out clause

4.) Consider your time investment in dealing w/them... your time is precious

5.) It is the 80/20 rule-- 20% of the offerings generate 80% of the revenues.  If your offering isn't in a hot or compliance-oriented area, you're likely to see little to no revenue.

We decided to skip as it would have been a diversion.  I think there's a business there but have yet to see anyone really crack becoming the of e-learning.

Calvin Erto

Hi John, what area e-learning topics do you specialize? I'm currently working on some e-learning contents for a company providing corporate training in Asia. You may contact them as they could help to promote your content to their clients in Asia. My experience with them are good and professional.

Check out this site and send them email listed on the website. You may probably mention a referral from me  

Steven Hornak

I have developed many courses for clients who design them to sell to an end user. If you are planning on developing courses that you will sell with the intention of creating an income stream keep in mind one thing. You will need to have a good budget for marketing. The old adage "If you build it they will come" does not hold true unless you put up a sign letting them know where to find you and what they should expect.

I find that e-learning development and marketing are two different skill sets. I have seen great courses go unseen because there was no marking budget or one limited to some SEO.

Best of luck. If you would ever like to chat feel free to reach out to me.

laia Font


I'm looking for an answer to pass our course catalog to storyline.

We sell licenses of course content. We send our customers a fraction of SCORM (a manifest and other files) and our costumers upload ing this SCORM into their LMS. The major fraction of content is stored on our servers, so we can controled they use. 

We need make this with Storyline. It's possible? 


Joshua Roberts

In my opinion you absolutely have to do this independently. Don't let someone take a cut of the hard work you're going to put in. Dedicate some time to establishing a WordPress site with a shop plug in and start to self market yourself. 

It depends on your prior experience and whether you have a strong portfolio, there is definitely some room for creating a bespoke area. Do you already own Storyline or is this something that you now have to purchase individually if you want to sell your own content?

Kate Salvan

When we talk about selling courses, there are several ways to do it and each has its pros and cons.
To build a website from scratch. You can use any of popular CMS platforms (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) to simplify the process (after reading some materials even newbie will be able to create smth). Minus – it requires time and knowledge.
To use LMS as a base of online business for selling e-courses. Correctly chosen LMS will save you a bunch of time, you will not need to manage all the learning materials manually and will have a full control over your course. To choose the LMS right, pay a particular attention to such criteria as the LMS pricing strategy & ecommerce tools integration. Minus -any LMS implementation requires investment, that is why make a decision based on your budget and long-term goals. (Cheap alternatives here are Moodle JoomlaLMS, eFront, Guru etc.)  If you are planning to sell just one course and not to make anything else in future, LMS is not an option and selling-courses portals are better.
To use a third-party portals like Udemy, Coursera, OpenSesame etc. A good point about it is that you don’t need to care about marketing promotion and finding course buyers. Minus here  - you have to share your profit.

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