Everyone has something to share with the world. The problem is, sometimes they don’t have the means to do so.
Giving courses traditionally required physical space and an institution that promoted your lessons. However, those things aren’t necessary anymore. Plenty of ecommerce platforms help you sell not only physical goods, but also online courses.
In this post, we’ll focus particularly on how to create and sell online courses with Payhip.
But first, let’s talk a bit about what exactly is Payhip.
Payhip is an e-commerce platform that lets you sell digital goods, courses, and memberships for free. It started in 2011, and it’s based in the UK. Currently, it’s trusted by over 130,000 sellers from across the world.
With Payhip you can show your lessons in your own branded course player, drip course lessons over time, and by 100% in control of pricing.
How to create an online course with Payhip
You can get started with Payhip for free, no credit card is required. They have a free forever plan with all of Payhip features and unlimited products. You only have a 5% transactional fee.
If you want that fee to be lower or even non-existent, go with one of their paid plans.
For the purpose of this post, I pretended I sell literary courses. The first step is telling Payhip a bit about yourself. You’ll have to give them your name or business name. You’ll also have to determine a username that will be part of your store page URL.
Creating the course
After that, you’ll land on your dashboard. The first thing you need to do here is to scroll down and click on the “Add your first product” button.
You’ll see this sign and please — fight your procrastination tendencies and select “Add a product”.
Then select “Course” and give it a name. Don’t panic, you can change it later, so feel free to write anything you want.
Once you do so, you’ll be taken to this page, where you can start building the structure of the course.
Click “Add a new lesson” and then click on that lesson to edit it. Besides choosing a title for your lesson —yes, you need to be very creative when building a course— you need to select what type of lesson you’ll deliver.
If you want to upload a file, keep in mind the maximum file size is 2 GB.
Typically, courses have video-type lessons. If that’s your case, you have three options:
- you can upload a video
- embed it from YouTube (or other types of video services)
- or use Payhip’s native video streaming. The subscription costs $5 per month and supports up to 16 hours of video being uploaded.
Once you have your lesson, it’s time to determine its settings. As this is our very first lesson from the course, we could totally make it available for free as a preview.
Then you can edit the lesson icon and label. Now click “Save Changes” and go back to your curriculum.
You can add as many lessons and sections as you want.
Determine when students will access the lessons
As my course is an Introduction to Classic Literature, I want my students to complete each lesson before proceeding to others. That’s why I checked the box on the “First section” and toggle the prerequisite setting of the whole section, except the first lesson.
Another way to control when your students access to content is by going to the “Drip” tab. You’ll see this sign and you want to click on “Create Drip Schedule”.
This is an awesome way to keep users engaged. They’ll be looking forward to new lessons, instead of taking them all for granted and forgetting they exist. The drip strategy can work particularly well with young people.
If you select the option “On a specific date”, choose a date for each lesson to be released.
The cool thing about this is Payhip takes into account students’ timezones. So no matter where they live, everyone will access the lesson at the start of their day.
Once you’re all set, it’s time to finally publish your course! How exciting!
To do that, go to the “Publish” tab. If you want students to enroll but not be able to access the course yet, click “Preorder”.
Otherwise, select “Publish”.
But hang on, that’s not all. You also need to establish what sort of visibility your course will have. These are the options:
In my case, I want everyone to be able to see my course, so I’m going with “Visible”. Then, “Save Changes”.
Note that the course will only be visible if you previously published each lesson.
I know you’re dying to see how my course page ended up looking, so here you go:
You can see the rest of the page and the course curriculum here.
When you, as a student, invest in a course, it feels nice to receive a course certificate at the end of it. Just to prove to yourself that you achieved something and made something meaningful, you know?
Payhip has a section where you can add certificates to reward your students and make them feel special!
And what’s great about it is you don’t have to create them from scratch. They have a series of themes you can easily customize to your desire.
Simply go to the “Certificates” tab and adapt one of their themes to the design you want.
This is my certificate and yes, I like it a lot:
Once you finish editing (and named it!), remember to click “Add certificate”! Since you can create multiple courses with Payhip, you’ll also need to assign a course to the certificate.
How to sell your online course
Edit your sales page
An important part of your course is your sales page. Payhip guides you in the process of editing this page so it ends up being fabulous.
Go to settings to upload a product thumbnail as well as your name and a profile picture. Remember that showing your face helps build trust with your students! Don’t be a machine!
Add pricing to your courses. Go to the “Pricing” tab and click on “Add Pricing Plan”. For this step, it’s important to consider which account you’ll use to receive payments. You can choose between PayPal and Stripe (or both).
However, if you’re thinking of going with a subscription plan, you’ll have no choice but to use Stripe.
Click on the Setup checkout button to connect with PayPal and/or Stripe.
As you can see, besides linking your accounts, here is the place to also choose your default currency.
Use Payhip marketing tools
The options to reach potential students are LOTS. For example, if you have an email service provider like GetResponse or Mailchimp, you can set up your mailing list!
You can also do cross-selling. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically promoting your products to customers when they add an item to their cart. Sadly, I’m only selling one course, so I can’t do this. But if you do, it’s a great strategy. A similar tool is the “Upgrade” feature.
You’ll find all these features in the Marketing tab, which you can see from your dashboard.
As to how people will access your course, you have several options.
You can keep the Payhip store URL or use a custom domain. To set up your custom domain, go to “Store”, then click the “Domains” tab. Payhip will give you the instructions for your DNS provider, and you just have to follow them.
You can also embed Payhip on your website, so visitors can buy your course without leaving your site.
For people in the European Union
If you are a digital content creator working within the EU, you’ve probably already experienced the hassle of the 2015 EU VAT law. However, the EU VAT rules also affect non-EU sellers, since your digital content is available to the world.
Payhip takes that legal burden from you and assumes responsibility to comply with the law, so you don’t have to.
So, there you have it. Our tutorial on how to create and sell courses online using Payhip.
As you could see, the whole process is effortless thanks to Payhip’s set of tools and Its overall super user-friendly interface. I, personally, had a lot of fun creating my imaginary course, so I’m sure you’ll do too with your real online courses!
What courses do you sell, and how do you create them? Have you tried Payhip?
Tell us in the comments!