You’ve spent months working on a course that you want to sell. After all your hard work, it’s time to start making money from it!
In this article we will show you how easy it is to get started selling courses with ConvertKit and WordPress.
We’ll cover the basics of what you need in order to take payments, upload your course, and design the course structure so that everything looks professional for your customers. Let’s dive right in!
Taking Payments to Sell Courses on ConvertKit
You have several options when it comes to taking payments for your online courses. The most popular payment processors are Stripe and PayPal, and they both have pros and cons.
Using ConvertKit Commerce
If you already have ConvertKit (affiliate link), you’ll want to consider the ConvertKit Commerce route, which is powered by Stripe under the hood.
This means that Stripe will process your credit card payments for you, and each time someone purchases a course on ConvertKit Commerce there is a small transaction fee (less than $0.30) paid on top of a set percentage.
Stripe has an excellent reputation in the industry for security and stability as well as customer service; it’s also very easy to use!
If you’re already using ConvertKit, this could be a great option for taking payments from your online courses because it doesn’t require any additional information about who bought what or how much they owe.
The great thing about ConvertKit Commerce is that it’s built into your ConvertKit automation system. So you can apply tags when someone successfully purchases. We’ll come back to that in a minute when we get to releasing your course to customers.
Using AccessAlly Order Forms
Another option is to use AccessAlly to take payments. AccessAlly is a WordPress plugin that integrates seamlessly with ConvertKit.
It takes payments through Stripe and PayPal. You’ll want to set up your Stripe account before you start selling, but it’s a really easy process, and they have some great tutorials.
You can also use the PayPal integration, which is handy for some customers in parts of the world where Stripe isn’t available.
With AccessAlly you can offer recurring payments and payment plans on both Stripe and PayPal. There’s also a built-in way for customers to update their credit card on file, pause and resume their subscription, and cancel directly.
But AccessAlly doesn’t just take payments – it integrates with ConvertKit too!
So when someone purchases one of your courses through AccessAlly, that customer will be automatically added as a subscriber in ConvertKit, so we can tag them or send out an email announcement about their purchase. We cover this more in depth below.
Another big plus in the AccessAlly payment column is the built-in affiliate program functionality.
It allows you to create a customizable affiliate center, create affiliate tracking links, and set your affiliate payout percentage. All of this adds up to more sales of your online courses.
AccessAlly’s built-in ConvertKit affiliate plugin makes it easy to run your business like the pros do. Affiliate powers activated!
Deciding between the two options
Both ConvertKit Commerce and AccessAlly order forms have their pros and cons. ConvertKit Commerce is going to be easier to set up out of the box and get going with fast.
AccessAlly offers more options for flexible payment types, bundles, coupons, and more automation on the payment management side.
AccessAlly also doesn’t take charge any processing fees on top of what Stripe and PayPal collect. Plus there’s the affiliate marketing option that works out of the box.
Creating Your Courses
No matter which payment option you chose, you will need to create the course structure and start uploading your course content.
With ConvertKit Commerce you could keep things super simple. Just create a zip file with your course content and make it a downloadable file available after purchase.
But if you want to create a full online learning experience, AccessAlly’s offering wizard makes it easy to create modules and lessons.
Once you get the hang of using AccessAlly, you’ll be able to create a course in just minutes.
When creating these modules, we recommend including at least two types of content: videos or audio recordings with transcripts for easy reading.
You can also include illustrations, short text blurbs and links to external sources where needed.
Plus you can create quizzes to help students retain information. On top of that, you can display a customer’s progress as they go through your course to keep them motivated.
The Pros and Cons of Dripping Course Content
There are many ways to run online courses.
You could make everything instantly available after someone purchases. Or you could drip content out over weeks or months.
A lot of people argue that a sequence-based course is better than an open one because it forces students to complete the material linearly.
That way they won’t miss anything important by skipping around.
There are strong arguments for each style so what’s right will depend largely on your audience and topic.
For example, if you were teaching people a new language you might want them to learn the basics before moving onto more advanced sentence structures.
On the other hand, it might not make sense to lock away certain modules if you have a mix of beginner and advanced students.
We’re talking about online courses here, but this concept applies anytime someone wants to share their knowledge with others.
Of course if you’re selling courses directly through ConvertKit, it’s a natural approach to create an email course.
What’s an email course? It’s a series of emails that go out with a short text lesson, dripped one at a time.
Email courses are some of the easiest courses to set up. But they do have their limitations, too. Students might get too busy to follow along or lose the emails. That can cause more admin headaches on your part.
It’s also not possible to include any video content directly inside an email course.
But there is a great solution that combines both online course options!
Dripping Course Content with ConvertKit
The biggest reason to choose ConvertKit as the foundation for a dripped course? It does a great job at automation.
With ConvertKit’s automation sequences you can create campaigns that drip your course content on a schedule. For example, you might unlock one new lesson or module every week.
You’d send an email letting everyone know that the next module is ready for them, with a link back to your online course portal in AccessAlly.
You can also set up automated sequences for people who don’t follow through with completing lessons or modules on time.
In this example, they would be sent emails encouraging them to get back on track with their coursework.
You could even use ConvertKit’s automation tooling to build sequences around behaviors like abandoned carts. That way when someone leaves items in a shopping cart without checking out after some period of time (let’s say 5 hours), you might automatically send them an offer coupon code via email – just one more incentive!
This type of abandoned cart follow-up is easily set up with AccessAlly’s order forms, which integrate directly with ConvertKit.
I hope these few thoughts about creative ways to use ConvertKit’s automation tools have given you a few ideas for how to get the most out of your email marketing software!
Your Turn to Start Selling Courses on ConvertKit
Let’s face it: email is one of the best ways to sell courses. That’s because so many learners start from their inbox in hopes of furthering their career or improving skills.
There are plenty of options for selling online courses. One of our favorites is ConvertKit’s email automation combined with AccessAlly’s ecommerce and course delivery.
Because this was written about two different topics – selling courses with ConvertKit and using an email platform to deliver learning experiences – we focused mainly on course sales throughout the blog post.