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How to Turn Video Tutorials into Passive Income by Selling Online Courses
Cristian Stanciu

How to Turn Video Tutorials into Passive Income by Selling Online Courses

In the past two years since the pandemic, video tutorial has proved itself as an effective alternative to classroom training. Online courses have democratized knowledge. They allow learners to pursue their desire to learn at any age, at any time, and from anywhere.

On the other hand, any person who is an expert in a particular field or subject can now share the knowledge with others. And in the process of doing so, the video tutorial creator can earn a passive income by selling online courses.

Creating and selling online courses is easier said than done. It’s nothing like recording videos on a smartphone and publishing them on YouTube. The learning market is one of the fastest-growing fields. Some industry experts predict the market to reach around $400 billion within the next five years.

Learners are looking for credible and authentic courses and you can supply this demand by converting your video tutorials into online courses. How to create online courses that are credible and professional? Let’s find out.

How to Generate Passive Income by Selling Online Courses

You’ll find many examples of people who have made hundreds, thousands, or even millions each year selling online courses. The common thread passing through all these success stories is a solid investment in time and effort.

Creating online courses when done properly gives you the best chance of making passive income. The following steps will show you how.

Select a Subject (or Niche)

Deciding the niche could be as easy as answering the question “Are you the master of a craft and/or have you a skill that other people want to learn?”

Allow me to make your job even easier. Have you gone through significant life transformations recently? You can teach others who are struggling with the same issues to overcome theirs and achieve their goal.

Are you a great organizer, an expert in managing time, or who owns a beautiful flower or vegetable garden? You can share your expertise and impart valuable knowledge to hundreds of thousands of people looking for help in these fields.

Bear in mind, the online course you plan to create must be something people are interested in and want to buy.

To understand the target audience’s needs and wants, you can post a simple question or start a poll on social media. Suppose you run a popular entrepreneurship blog with a considerable social media following. Post a poll or ask simple questions – “What’s the biggest challenge you face starting a new business?”

You can learn a lot from the answers to these questions. You may even find the subject for your first online course among the responses.

Pre-Sell the Online Course

Many creators wait till the online course is ready, but bear in mind that pre-selling can really help boost the success of your course launch.

Pre-selling allows you to create a base of interested buyers. But, most importantly, it allows you to measure interest or appetite for your online course among the target audience.

If the interest in the product is slim or no one is pre-ordering your course then you save a ton of money and time that would have gone into the making of the online course.

You need marketing material to spread the news of the course’s impending launch. Create short videos with nothing more than a few images, recorded clips, or free Premiere Pro templates and effects. In addition, also use blog posts to create awareness on social media platforms.

Some rules to follow at the pre-selling stage:

  • Inform the audience it’s a pre-sale and the course will be available soon or their money returned.
  • Provide steep discounts because the buyers are taking a risk ordering a course that’s yet to be built.
  • Deliver the online course in stages and request the buyers for feedback so you can make changes, continue with the course, or drop the project if the response is poor.
  • After the course is built and delivered, invite feedback again from the pre-sale customers (who couple as beta testers).
  • If even 10% of your target audience opts for the product before it’s created and 15% of the pre-sale customers give positive feedback then the online course is worth creating to earn a passive income.

For a more in-depth checklist, check out our guide on how to launch an online course.

Choose a Suitable Online Course Platform


Selecting the online course platform is the most important step in the whole process. Building an online course becomes much easier and simpler if you choose the right platform.

That is because the only skills you need to know are how to drag and drop and use the keyboard. The online course-creating platform will do the rest.

Using Payhip to Build an Online Course

Payhip is an all-in-one platform to create, host, process payment, market, and do a lot more for your online courses. Creating a credible online course requires a lot more than just developing video tutorials.

Payhip’s online course platform provides rich features such as the ability to add digital files, assignments, and quizzes. Additionally, creators also get to publish drip courses and distribute completion certificates after taking the full course.

The following features will make creating and selling online courses easier and also enhance the learning experience of your students.

how to sell online courses on payhip

Custom Video Player: Adding brand colors to the video player and modifying controls can improve the engagement rate of the video. Custom video players will give your course a professional feel and improve the audience’s confidence in your brand.

Landing Page Builder: The landing page is a key element that determines the success of the online course. It needs to contain all elements that attract the attention of the visitors, engage them, gather necessary information, and convert them into customers. You can use the Payhip landing page builder to create the front end of the online course without any coding or programming skills.

Separate Account to Each Student: Allows learners to access, add notes, and bookmark their progress. Giving control to the learners will increase their interest and engagement with the course.

Multiple Lesson Formats: It’s easy to acquire a skill or learn a subject through a multipronged approach. Payhip allows creators to include quizzes, texts, eBooks, assignments, and surveys along with videos in their online courses.

Include Brand Elements: If you don’t plan to stop with just a single course and want to grow your passive income then it’s vital to include brand elements such as brand logo, brand colors, etc. Payhip lets creators build their own theme and choose the primary background, button, and text colors.

Multiple Payment Gateways: Provide multiple payment options for learners to boost customer experience. In a Baymard Institute survey, nearly 15% of customers leave without buying if there are no payment options or their payment is declined due to any technical fault. In Payhip, you can set up multiple payment options which are quick, easy, and secure.

Create Video Tutorials and Build the Course

create online course

Now you have everything in hand to build the course – the subject, course outline, and course development platform. So, switch on the camera and convert your subject knowledge into video content.

Bear in mind the recorded footage is still incomplete. To make the course and content credible you need to professionally edit the footage.

Use video editing software to add graphics, slides, subtitles, etc. Keep each lesson (or chapter) of the online course short for greater engagement and easy understanding and retention of information.


Join over 130,000 sellers who have launched their online businesses with Payhip

Market Your Online Course

Creating an online course isn’t enough. You need to market the course so the people know what you’re selling and how the course will benefit them.
You can’t generate sales if the target audience is unaware of the online course’s existence. Market your product as much as possible. Choose a course creation platform that also provides marketing tools.


In the world of videos, a blog can still have an impact on the audience. It can help in creating awareness about your course, converting traffic into leads, and also boost your reputation.

Start a blog at the same time you launch the online course, publish blog posts regularly, and provide the readers with useful content. Each person reading the blog is a potential customer. Running a blog is one of the best methods to increase organic traffic and generate leads.

Social Media

The top four social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn – together have a user base of around 4 billion users. There isn’t a better place than social media to market your online course. You can start by sharing blog posts to attract attention. In addition, regularly post texts, short videos, polls, quizzes, and images to engage the target audience and encourage them to buy your online courses.

For greater success, with as little as $5, you can run video ads on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to generate leads.

Email Marketing

From discovery to sale, a potential customer travels through several stages of the sales funnel. Email marketing can help you in every stage. Plus, it’s non-intrusive, highly personalized, and has better ROI than other promotional mediums.

Regardless of the email marketing software you use, Payhip allows users to integrate the tool, helps build your mailing list, and connect and build long-term relationships with customers.

Final Thoughts

The online courses industry is lucrative and set for massive growth in the coming years. To attract your target audience and make a passive income from your video tutorials, you need to convert the videos into professional-looking online courses.

Our easy-to-follow guide explains in a simple, concise manner the steps and tools involved in earning a passive income by selling online courses.

To sum up, all you need to make a passive income is our guide and a dependable platform to create, launch, and market your online courses.


The easiest way to sell courses, coaching, digital downloads, memberships and physical products.