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Selling Online Courses as a Side Hustle

Sell Online Courses Side Hustle

A side hustle refers to a secondary job, business, or income stream that individuals engage in addition to their primary source of income. It's typically something people do outside of their regular working hours, whether it's evenings, weekends, or during their free time. Side hustles can take various forms, such as freelancing, consulting, selling products online, offering services, tutoring, driving for ride-sharing services, renting out properties, and more.

The motivation behind starting a side hustle can vary. Some people do it to supplement their primary income, pay off debts, save for specific goals, or simply pursue a passion or interest that they might not be able to explore through their main job. The rise of digital platforms and the gig economy has made it easier for individuals to find opportunities for side hustles and connect with potential customers or clients.

It's important to note that while side hustles can offer additional income and personal satisfaction, they can also demand extra time and effort, potentially leading to work-life balance challenges. Additionally, individuals need to consider any legal and tax implications associated with their side hustle activities.

The Business Opportunity in Selling Online Courses

Selling online courses can be a lucrative business opportunity, given the increasing demand for online education and the accessibility of digital platforms. Here are some key points to consider:

Growing Demand for Online Education

The convenience of online learning has led to a significant increase in demand for online courses. People are looking to acquire new skills, advance their careers, and access specialized knowledge from the comfort of their homes.

Wide Reach

Online courses allow you to reach a global audience. With the internet, you can attract students from different parts of the world, expanding your potential customer base.


Creating and selling online courses provides flexibility in terms of content creation, delivery methods, and schedule. You can develop courses at your own pace and update them easily to stay current.

Low Overheads

Compared to traditional brick-and-mortar education, starting an online course business generally requires lower overhead costs. You won't need to rent physical spaces or invest in physical materials.

Passive Income Potential

Once you've created and launched your online course, it can generate passive income as long as it remains relevant and valuable to your audience. This means you can continue to earn revenue even when you're not actively creating new content.

Niche Specialization

Online courses allow you to target specific niches and cater to a unique audience. This can lead to higher engagement and customer satisfaction.

Various Monetization Models

You can choose from different monetization models, such as one-time course purchases, subscription-based access, or tiered pricing with different levels of content.

Expert Positioning

Creating and selling online courses can establish you as an expert in your field. This can lead to opportunities for speaking engagements, consulting, and other related ventures.

Platform Options

You can choose to sell your courses on established online learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera, or Teachable, or you can create your own website and marketing strategy for your courses.

Marketing and Promotion

Effective marketing is essential to attract students to your courses. Building a strong brand, leveraging social media, content marketing, and utilizing email lists can help you reach your target audience.

However, it's important to note that success in selling online courses requires careful planning, effort, and a focus on quality content. Here are a few challenges you might face:

  • Competition: The online course market can be competitive, so differentiating your courses and providing unique value is crucial.

  • Content Quality: Your courses must offer valuable and engaging content to keep students interested and satisfied.

  • Technical Skills: Depending on the platform and tools you use, you might need some technical skills for course creation and maintenance.

  • Marketing and Visibility: Standing out in the vast online marketplace requires effective marketing strategies to attract potential students.

  • Continuous Updates: To remain relevant, you might need to update your courses periodically to reflect the latest trends and developments in your field.

Customer Support: Providing good customer support to address inquiries and concerns is essential for maintaining a positive reputation.

Should You Build and Sell Your Own Courses or Resell Courses?

Deciding whether to build and sell your own online courses or resell existing courses depends on your goals, expertise, resources, and preferences. Both options have their pros and cons, and the choice you make should align with your strengths and the needs of your target audience.

Here's a comparison to help you make an informed decision:

Building and Selling Your Own Online Courses:


  • Unique Content: Creating your own courses allows you to share your expertise, insights, and unique perspective. This can help you stand out in a crowded market.

  • Brand Building: Developing your own courses contributes to your brand identity and reputation as an expert in your field.

  • Flexibility: You have full control over the content, structure, and presentation of the course. You can tailor it to the specific needs of your audience.

  • Customization: You can design interactive and engaging content, quizzes, assignments, and discussions that match your teaching style.

  • Greater Earnings Potential: While there are upfront costs to consider, successful courses can lead to higher profit margins over time.


  • Time and Effort: Creating high-quality courses takes time and effort, including content creation, video production, and course design.

  • Expertise Required: You need a deep understanding of the subject matter, as well as the ability to create effective learning experiences.

  • Initial Investment: Building your own courses may require investment in equipment, software, and potentially hiring help for video editing or graphic design.

Reselling Existing Courses:


  • Quick Start: Reselling existing courses allows you to enter the market faster, as you don't have to spend time creating content from scratch.

  • Diverse Subjects: You can offer a wide range of courses without having expertise in all of them.

  • Lower Risk: There's less risk involved since you're not investing significant time and resources into content creation.

  • No Technical Skills Required: You don't need advanced technical skills to develop and maintain the course platform.


  • Limited Customization: Reselling courses may limit your ability to customize content to your teaching style or audience's needs.

  • Competition: Since these courses are available to others as well, it can be challenging to stand out.

  • Less Brand Recognition: You might not build as strong a brand identity compared to creating your own courses.

  • Lower Profit Margins: Reselling often involves paying a percentage of sales to the course creator or platform, which can impact your profits.

Which Option Is Right for You?

Consider the following factors when making your decision:

  1. Expertise: Do you have in-depth knowledge and experience in a specific subject that would make your own courses valuable?

  2. Time and Resources: Can you commit the time and resources required to create high-quality courses?

  3. Brand Building: Do you want to establish yourself as an authority in your field by creating your own content?

  4. Market Research: Is there demand for your specific expertise or the courses you plan to resell?

  5. Budget: What is your budget for course creation, platform fees, marketing, and other expenses?

  6. Long-Term Goals: Consider your long-term goals. Building your own courses can lead to greater brand recognition and potential for higher profits, while reselling might be a quicker way to start generating income.

In many cases, a hybrid approach might also work well. You could start by reselling existing courses to generate revenue quickly and then gradually transition into creating your own courses as you gain experience and resources.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your vision, strengths, and how you want to position yourself in the online education market.

About LMS Portals

At LMS Portals, we provide our clients and partners with a SaaS-based, multi-tenant learning management system that allows you to launch a dedicated training environment (a portal) for each of your unique audiences.

The platform offers eCommerce integration to enable you to sell online courses to both businesses and individual users.

The system includes built-in, SCORM-compliant course authoring software that enables most anyone to build engaging courses quickly and easily.

We also offer a complete library of ready-made courses, covering most every aspect of corporate training and employee development.

If you choose to, you can create Learning Paths to deliver courses in a logical progression and add structure to your training program. The system also supports Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) and provides tools for social learning.

Together, these features make the LMS Portals platform the ideal solution to sell online courses as a side hustle.

Contact us today to get started or visit our Partner Program pages

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