So you’ve finished creating your online course but have no idea how to launch it?

Launching an online course can be a daunting task. With so many steps to launch, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and quit before you even start.

Launching an online course

Thankfully, we’re here to help. We’ve created this blog post as your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about launching an online course!

This article will give you a 10 step roadmap that will guide you through the launch process from beginning to end. You’ll learn what tools are necessary, how much time the launch process should take, and how best practices can change depending on where your course is hosted among other things!

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Pre launch your course

Create your launch plan and launch strategy

You want to make sure you have a launch plan in place before the course goes live so that there are no surprises at launch time. Think about how long each step will take? How many tweets or Facebook posts do I need to get people excited about my course? What can I do right now, today, to help start growing anticipation for my course’s release date?

Be aware of best practices when it comes to launching an online course

Different platforms require different strategies around social media marketing and email campaigns–it all depends on where your platform is hosted! For example: Udemy courses tend be launched with large social media pushes while Teachable courses rely heavily on drip emails over the first two to three days of launch.

Be realistic about launch time and how many people you can reach in that time frame

Yelling formal man watching news on laptop

Launches take a lot of work, make sure to set yourself up for success by being as organized with your launch plan as possible! It’s better to be overly prepared than not prepare enough. Don’t think you need to launch an online course the moment it’s ready if you know it’ll only bring in a few sales.

Save it until closer to when students will actually start enrolling! You never want launch day stressors getting into the way of your ability to create awesome content. If there are certain parts of launching where you feel like throwing in the towel because they’re just too stressful or don’t fit well within your launch timeline, try delegating them to someone else.

The launch process can be nerve-wracking and stressful but if you have a strategy in place it’ll make the process much smoother!

By having your launch plan together before launch day, you’re less likely to get overwhelmed or stressed out–which is exactly what we want for our course launches!

Planning ahead will help ensure that everything goes smoothly so when launch day comes around all you need to do is just follow through with your detailed plans of action. If something falls apart at launch time (because inevitably stuff does fall apart during launch) then simply refer back to your original pre-launch plan and fix where necessary because taking care of problems as they arise ensures that nothing gets neglected and forgotten about.

Don’t wait to finish your course before launching

Person holding white round plate with white powder

This will only prolong the launch process and leave you with more things to do at launch time.

You can actually start making money without very minimal course content! This should give you great motivation to build an amazing course that will earn you for years.

The main aim with pre-selling your course to a few people is to validate if your course idea can make you sales.

You don’t want to waste months and months creating your course only to find out that no-one is interested in enrolling.

It’s a lot smarter (and motivating) to start with a very minimal content and drip feed it over time with amazing content while getting a nice cash flow that could be used later down the track for a proper launch.

Offer a beta version of the course for free or at a discount in exchange for a testimonial

If this is your first course or if you don’t have an audience, see if you can offer the course for free to your closest friends and family in exchange for them giving you a testimonial.

If you launch a course that doesn’t have any reviews or testimonials from previous students, then it’s going to be much harder to convince potential customers into buying it.

Test your pitch and sales page before launch day so you can make sure both are flawless!

Include detailed information on what the course is all about as this will help people understand if they should buy it right now or not. You also want to be clear about what it’ll take for them to get started because some people may need more hand-holding than others when getting set up with their new online business school.

Give an overview of how long each module will take and why certain modules were chosen over other ones (and explain why!)

You don’t need to launch with a course full of modules, you can always launch first and then build out the rest as time goes on.

The important thing is that your course structure makes sense so students understand how everything fits together.

Make sure each module has detailed supporting materials (like presentations, workbooks etc) that are easy-to-use by anyone regardless of where they live in the world.

It’s much better to launch without content than launch with low quality or hard-to-understand content because this will reflect poorly on your brand value and overall image If anything does happen during launch day, refer back to your launch plan and fix the problem immediately.

Remember: Don’t wait until launch day–start planning early so everything goes as smoothly as possible!

Get feedback and improve

You’ll need to continually improve and update your course so it continues to add value for students over time. This means making regular changes and updates such as adding new modules, updating old ones etc in order to make sure that each release makes things even better than before.

As you are creating new course content and publishing it, always look to get feedback from your small group of students. Your goal isn’t to create a course that you think is amazing. Your goal is to create an online course that is actually amazing!

If someone tells you that your latest video is hard to understand or too boring, don’t be afraid to delete that video entirely and re-do it again by taking into account their honest criticism.

You might need to develop a bit of thick skin during this process. It’s a god-send if you can get early students who are super honest and brutal, sort of like Simon Cowell.

Just know that if a handful of your students tell you that your content is rubbish, then it probably is. Adapt and move on!

You’re looking to create the best online course out there for your topic!

Do another beta launch making use of word-of-mouth

Two students gossiping with one another

This is where you get a small group of people to help spread the word about your awesome new online course by letting their friends and colleagues know about it on social media, through email etc. You can even incentivize students for helping you out with this launch!

The more early beta-students that you have who are willing to support your launch efforts during beta launch #b or #c then the faster these next few steps will go.

Reach out directly via phone/email to previous customers who could benefit from knowing what’s inside. This is similar to how software companies like Microsoft used to reach out when they released an update.

The point of this is to get more students to give you feedback and really re-enforce how amazing your course really is.

The added bonus is, if they truly find your course really amazing, they will continue to spread the word-of-mouth and it can create a sort of viral effect.

Continually improve based on feedback

You’re going to need to constantly improve your online course based on feedback that students give you in order for them not only feel happy with their decision but also confident enough to keep paying for more content (i.e. modules) or other add-ons down the road such as live coaching sessions, etc.

It gets easier each time because by now you have all of this launch experience under your belt which will help speed up future launches made possible through what they learned during previous beta tests/launches along with real-world launch experience.

This is why I recommend that you do at least two beta launches. It allows you to be able to test out new ideas, changes in the course etc before going live with it again during future real-world launches.

By now, if you’ve executed each of these steps correctly, there’s very little chance that anything will go wrong because everything has been tested already!

But even then, if something does go wrong on launch day/weekend–don’t worry as long as you are constantly improving based on feedback from students along the way then this should happen less than previous times depending on how many prior tests/launches have taken place.

Get testimonials and build out marketing content

Your testimonials are a great marketing tool that you can use to get more students interested in joining your online course. They also help give current students the reassurance needed before making their decision on whether or not they should invest in your new program/online course.

Get your small group to give you testimonials. Preferably a few sentences. Something like “Nice course” isn’t really good enough as it doesn’t convince someone else to get out there wallet and make a decision to enrol in your course. Video testimonials are even better. And a video testimonial from an influencer in your niche? That is 100x better!

You want to do a small group launch because it’s going to be much easier for yourself as well as them since there will be less people involved during this process. I recommend doing an exclusive mastermind call so only those who have already invested are able to ask questions, share ideas etc about any concerns that may come up such as fears around putting themselves out there, time commitment etc.

The purpose of this launch is more so to create a private community for those who have already taken action which means that it’s much easier than doing another public launch (e.g. free webinar) because you’re going to get a higher quality lead with less people involved in the process which helps save on your marketing cost as well as makes everything run smoother from an operations perspective!

You need these masterminding calls scheduled at least once every two weeks initially and then gradually increase them down the road if needed based off what students are saying in their testimonials/emails/social media posts etc about how they want more advice around certain topics etc. You can also bridge gaps between masterminds by helping out students one-on-one if they want more personalized attention. This can be done through your launch office hours etc.

You’ll also need to schedule a launch day webinar for all of the new launch students who are just joining in order for them to get up and running with their online course/membership site as quickly as possible so you should already have this scheduled before launch begins!

You will most likely turn this into an ongoing live streamed call that is automatically recorded along with time stamping each video since people tend to forget what was talked about or simply don’t like watching videos when it’s not at the top of mind.

It’s also a good idea to have launch day messages scheduled for all of your social media platforms as well as an email autoresponder series set up with different pieces of content so people who join during launch are able to get familiarized with what you offer right away! This is why it’s important not force them into just purchasing something from you immediately because they haven’t had time yet (like on prelaunch) and will most likely be turned off by this, leaving forever… 🙁

This might look like a lot of work, and it really is. So make sure you’re pricing your courses to match. All of this effort is a waste of time if you’re just looking to promote a $25 course. Online courses should be priced around $299 – $2999 even if you’re starting out.

Promote your launch on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter

Don’t launch your course on social media channels and expect students to sign up for it, especially if you don’t have a brand or a following yet. You need to put some effort into promoting the launch of your online course in order for there to be any chance that anyone will find out about it!

You could even hire a marketing/advertising firm if you want, but I recommend staying away from paid advertising unless you have an unlimited budget. If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know how much I just loathe using paid advertising for almost anything!

Promoting through free means such as organic search engine results (SEO) is usually more effective than paid advertising these days due to recent Google algorithm changes which focus more on user experience when ranking websites or pages within their SERPs.

However, if you do have a following, make use of all of them to promote your upcoming launch.

Whether you use social media or SEO, the key is to build up hype for your upcoming course.

You warm them up so that eventually they’ll want you to shut up and take their money.

Build an email list of potential customers using lead magnets like free eBooks or webinars

Building an email list is one of the most important things that you can do to launch a course because it basically allows you to market directly to your email list and build up hype without relying on SEO or social media as much.

You can’t just get people to sign up to your email list by telling them to. It’s no longer that easy anymore. People get flooded with spam too much nowadays that they avoid doing this at all costs.

The best way to get a LOT of emails, is to offer some kind of incentive like a lead magnet. A lead magnet can be a free eBook or a webinar.

My favorite lead magnets are free webinars because you can promote them for days and build up a lot of hype really quickly.

While there’s nothing wrong with using social media or SEO to launch your course, it doesn’t work as well anymore especially if you don’t have an existing brand/following.

Don’t get me wrong though; this is still not bad at all! But the best way to launch online courses has always been through building an email list first.

That was when these kinds of launch strategies were truly effective in helping people make money by promoting their own products/services. I think we’ve reached somewhat of a “plateau” where those launch methods just aren’t that effective anymore unless you’re famous already (or know someone who is).

That’s why launch phases are so important. Once you have an email list, everything becomes easier because the launch process can be done in pieces rather than all at once which may result in a lot of people not knowing about your course or signing up for it if there are too many steps involved!

This also helps to avoid overwhelm and gives potential customers time to consider buying your course rather than rushing into it right away without giving much thought towards what they’re getting themselves into.

If you continue to create more online courses in the future, the launch process gets easier as you will then have an email list and a social media following which will only continue to grow and snowball over time.

Send out an email announcement

Shortly before launching an online course, let everyone know that your launch date has been set along with any promotional campaigns or deals you’re offering during launch week.

You can also set up an email sequence and launch it at the same time to help you launch your course with a bang.

An email sequence is basically just an automated series of emails that go out every day or two which helps to promote your course and get everyone excited for launch week. You could even set up some kind of welcome mat on your website so people can signup beforehand!

Launch online course

After all of this hard work, it’s finally time launch!

Make sure that each step of the process was done correctly. That is, you have validated that your course is something that people actually want and/or need. You have testimonials and you have a group of students already enrolled in the course.

Build a high-converting landing page

landing page, website, design

It’s time to build a selling machine.

A high-converting landing page is the absolute key to launch your course and sell it successfully.

The process of building a conversion optimized sales funnel takes time but once you’ve done this, selling courses becomes much easier as long as you give them what they want (valuable content).

Validate that there’s demand for your course by collecting at least 100 email subscribers beforehand so when launch week comes around, all these people have already expressed interest in going through with purchasing your online course! If you don’t collect those emails though, it will be very difficult to launch an effective launch strategy because most of your marketing efforts won’t yield any results if no one knows about your product/service yet. It doesn’t matter how good or how valuable your course is if you can’t launch it successfully.

Once launch week comes around, create the landing page that basically gives all of the information about your online course and why someone should purchase it (including testimonials). Also include any bonuses or discounts here as well to give people extra incentives to get them to buy sooner rather than later! This one-time offer could be anything from bonus content/materials, live workshops held by an industry expert who will teach students how they can become successful in their niche, etc.

You need to have launch materials such as an email template and cover photo ready to go before you launch so that everything is set up from day one. Your landing page would need to be mobile responsive (meaning it doesn’t look good or load properly on a smartphone) to help convert the maximum amount of visitors.

The best landing page builder that I currently use is

Offer a seriously good deal for launch day

Surprised black girl standing against blue wall

Launch day is the most important launch phase by far.

This one-time offer could be anything from bonus content/materials, live workshops held by an industry expert who will teach students how they can become successful in their niche, etc.

Set up a prelaunch page and email sequence which goes out to your launch list for days or weeks before launch so people are already excited about what you’re offering them as well as know that it’s coming soon! This way when launch day comes around, everyone knows exactly what time it is (and thus why not pre-purchase now?). People love discounts anyway because let’s face it – nobody wants to pay full price if there isn’t a good reason for it, especially if there are other competitors who are offering the same course but at a discount!

Leverage your existing following to get more sales

If you’ve been using your email list, social media or SEO to build up hype, it’s time to use it again to push for that sale!

Email list

Launch day is the time to blast your list with a 30-60 second video explaining what you’re offering through email but make it fun and engaging so people don’t feel like they are being sold something.

Keep sending them a link directly to where they can purchase (i.e., on your landing page).

You can also create an email sequence of 5 – 10 emails that sell your online course for you.

Social Media

Leverage your existing following to now start pushing for that sale.

Create videos and posts showing all the benefits of your course, testimonials, results students can expect, and screenshots from the course.


Launch week is prime time for SEO! Get those rankings up quickly by using keywords in all social posts as well as blog posts that you publish as much as possible.

Get some of your students to write reviews on their blogs about your course so that they can quickly rank for “{your course name} review”.

Offer existing students an incentivized program for introducing their friends

This is a great way to launch an online course successfully, especially when you have built up hype for it from day one.

If students are happy with the results they’ve gotten as well as how much value their friends could get out of taking your course, they will be more than willing to refer them and share links on social media about where their friends can purchase! When this happens naturally, everyone wins: you get new sales while at the same time building trust in your brand which builds even more momentum for future launches (and those sales!).

Create launch incentives that incentivizes students who promote your product or service to others by offering discounts off their next order or free access if someone spends over a certain amount. The launch incentives you offer should be time-sensitive and expire well after launch day so that the launch momentum doesn’t fizzle out as soon as launch week has ended.

Get the help of top influencers in your niche to be an affiliate

Mention other influencers in your niche and ask them to share launch day posts on their social media accounts so people get even more excited about it! This can work especially well if these influencers have larger followings than you do because they’re likely going to generate a lot of buzz (and sales) for launch week which is exactly what we need right now.

It’s super easy to get sales when influencers in your niche mention your course, but it can be super hard to get influencers to say yes to promoting your online course. You may have to offer them an affiliate program or some other incentive.

Run a Facebook Group to support students

Launch day is the best time to start a Facebook group because everyone will be actively engaged with their new course. Here, you can answer questions and offer support (if someone hasn’t started yet or has gotten stuck). You’ll also have plenty of people who are excited about your online course so they’re more than willing to come help out! This way students know that they won’t just be left alone after launch day which provides them peace of mind knowing that there’s always going to be an expert on hand should anything go wrong.

Sharing images from within your course makes it easy for people to see exactly what kind of value they can expect when purchasing this product – especially if these photos show amazing results other students have seen before launch day.

Create launch week giveaways and contests to get people excited about buying your course early on launch day

Glass jar party favors

You can create launch week giveaways by offering a discount off the course or even paying for someone’s purchase as long as they share it with their friends! This will encourage students to spread the word even faster, getting more sales in just a few short days.

If you choose this option, be sure that you have enough money set aside to pay for everyone who purchases because there is no guarantee of how many customers will actually buy when using this method. You may end up spending thousands of dollars on launch if none of them purchase, which isn’t ideal at all so make sure you’ve budgeted properly before deciding whether or not this giveaway is worth it for launch day.

Create launch week bonuses to incentivize students with even more value

Launch week bonuses are the perfect way to boost momentum and get people excited about purchasing your course on launch day! You can offer launch week discounts, free access if they spend over a certain amount or money off their next purchase as an incentive (just make sure you have enough budgeted in case everyone uses this discount).

You could also create bonus modules that focus on one specific topic within your course which provides customers with yet another opportunity to deepen their knowledge of whatever it is you’re teaching them about. This will help ensure that those who take advantage of these bonuses end up walking away feeling like they got everything possible out of your program so they’re more likely to come back for your future courses!

Run launch day webinars and launch week live events to give students an opportunity to ask you questions in person!

If you host an event, make sure that it’s going on during the time of year when most people (who could be interested) are available. You can even offer incentives such as free food or drinks which will encourage participants to attend in person (assuming we have no lockdowns anymore, otherwise some kind of digital gift card).

You may also offer some type of prize if they sign up online before attending so get creative with this one – just be careful about what kind of information you request from them first because we don’t want anyone signing up under false pretenses here! The last thing any course creator wants is someone who didn’t actually sign up to attend their launch party because this will be a waste of time and an unnecessary expense.

Run paid ads

This should be done as a last resort in my opinion, and only if you’ve proven that your course is successful. Or if you have a good grasp with paid ads in general.

You can run paid ads to launch your course and get it in front of as many people as possible (without having to do all the work yourself). Simply create an ad, choose a budget for how much you want to spend each day or week then sit back and enjoy the sales that start rolling in.

If you’re not sure what type of ad is going to make sense for launch day, try running Facebook ads because they offer targeting options where you can target super specific audiences who are more likely than others to be interested based on their location, interests etc.

Bear in mind, it might take thousands of dollars of testing before you find that winning ad.

Marketing your online courses for long term sales

There are 3 types of online courses; permanent, one-off and seasonal. One-off courses are courses that will be launched for a short period of time and would then be closed forever. Seasonal courses are courses that open during a set period of time (e.g, during June every year, or Christmas, etc) and then closed off for the remaining period. Permanent courses are always open indefinitely.

The strategies below are best suited to permanent courses to help drive long-term sales. A great marketing strategy can help you launch profitable courses with minimal effort.

Create a blog related to your course content

If you launch an online course, then chances are that this may not be the only course you launch. It is a good idea to create a blog related to your topic of expertise (e.g., everything about creating delicious cakes) and link it from each page in your course site or landing pages for each new launch.

This will help drive long-term sales as people who browse through your content will find more opportunities to buy what they need from you elsewhere on their journey towards becoming loyal customers.

Create a YouTube channel to drive traffic to your blog and/or course

youtube, media, video

Create a YouTube channel related to your course launch and build up the subscribers. Post videos about the topics that people are searching for on Google (e.g., “how to make cakes”).

You can also link it from each page in your online course or landing pages of launches you have coming out, so as not to get irrelevant traffic driving away potential buyers looking at information they need.

Use annotations when linking back to other content as this will help increase CTRs and drive more relevant traffic that may become long-term customers once they find what they want elsewhere on your site/landing page.

Offer a freebie in exchange for an email address as well.

Create a public Facebook Group to continue promoting and improving your online courses

Create a public Facebook Group that is related to your course launch and build up the members. This can also be used as another place for people who are interested in buying courses from you, but need more information or advice before they take the plunge of starting their own online business.

Allowing new leads access into this group will give them an opportunity to speak with like-minded individuals while sharing ideas similar to those on your course launch content, making it easier for them to make decisions when ready. It’s a way to nurture and cultivate your target audience.

It’s similar to building an email list. You’re building a community of like-minded people where you can promote your future courses and make launching new courses easier over time.

Create email sequences to funnel new people to check out your course

The new gmail app on iOS

You can setup a smart email sequences so that all of the selling is done for you in the future without you having to lift a finger.

For example, you can setup an email sequence to fire if someone lands on your landing page.

Or another email sequence if someone lands on your blog post and get them to go to your landing page.


You may have heard that the launch of an online course is a complex process, but it doesn’t need to be. This article has given you 10 steps for launching your own courses quickly and successfully. We hope this breakdown will provide you with some food for thought as well as give you a place to start in order to launch your next successful course launch today!

If you’re interested to learn the complete process of coming up with a course idea all the way to launch, check out our post on How To Create And Sell Online Courses. If you’re looking for ways to make money with your new or existing online courses, check out our post on How To Make Money With Online Courses.