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Best ways to build, monetize, and scale an eLearning website

In this article we will teach you how to build, monetize and scale your eLearning platform.

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eLearning websites have been on the rise and have proven to be a successful means of generating income, with the likes of Udemy and Coursera.

This article will teach you how to build, monetize and scale your eLearning platform.

Just how big is the eLearning market right now? The eLearning market has unlimited growth potential, especially as this recent pandemic has exposed some loopholes in traditional learning methods. 

The global eLearning market is expected to hit $350 billion by 2025.

Unlike most industries, almost everyone is a potential customer, from K-12 and college students to corporate and SMB professionals.

Starting an eLearning site will not only provide users with knowledge but also is a profitable way to generate income for the owner.

That is why this article will show you how to create an eLearning website. Let’s get right to it.

Main types of eLearning platforms

There are four main types of eLearning platforms:

illustration with 4 steps to eLearning in purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Learning management system (LMS)

A learning management system (LMS) is an eLearning website or app to facilitate online training for students and/or employees.

It can also be used for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of educational courses or training programs. 

These platforms act as a facilitator between the tutor and students.

They can be customized to generate useful details such as informative analysis, tracking data, audience engagement, retention rate ratio, and more. 

LMS also provides chat assistance, Q&A support, and other related actions. 

Online course platform

This website or app provides video courses from experts in different fields. Here, the users can select the course they want by reading reviews from others or watching the demo videos.

Most often, users will obtain a certificate of completion after finishing the course. 

These are some of the most popular eLearning platforms nowadays, with Udemy and Coursera topping the rankings. 

The Skills is also another online course platform scaled by Sloboda Studio.

It is an educational platform that produces and distributes online lessons from the world’s top athletes like Michael Phelps, Maria Sharapova, and Shaun White collecting payments from end-users for a subscription.

Sloboda Studio has more than 12 years of experience building and scaling platforms. Sloboda enriched The Skills product functionality and developed and launched its mobile app. 

Online learning marketplace

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An online learning marketplace is a platform that connects learners and educators. It helps users to check and book group or one-on-one video lessons with teachers online. 

Users can check reviews and ratings or read the teacher’s profile description to select a tutor.

Also, users can even contact the teacher by email with extra questions if they have further questions. 

These types of platforms typically offer one-on-one live sessions through video calls.

Q&A student marketplaces

The Q&A student marketplace is also a subtype of an online tutor marketplace.

Here, users can ask questions on a specific subject and get responses from specialists or teachers in that field. 

So, a user selects their subject of interest, asks questions, and provides necessary contextual information.

Users also have the option to select the level of the tutor who should respond to their question and when they would love to receive the response.

Once the questions are posted, teachers or specialists can then bid for the right to answer the question. Now, the student chooses the most suitable tutor and pays.

A user chooses a subject, asks a question, and provides any necessary details. There are also some fields that a user must fill in, like when the user would like to receive an answer. 

Monetization models for eLearning platforms

Illustration of the 4 steps of eLearning in purple background
Image: KnowTechie

You need to choose a suitable monetization model for your eLearning platform to thrive and generate profits.

Subscriptions

A subscription business model is a form of revenue generation where users pay a recurring fee to access courses on the eLearning website. 

There are many benefits to using this type of business model. The most obvious benefit is that it provides companies with a stable income stream that they can depend on.

In Addition, it also makes customers more committed to their studies because they pay for it every month and will not want to lose their investment by canceling the subscription.

Freemium method

The freemium business model is a pricing strategy that offers a basic service for free and charges for premium features. The term “freemium” is a combination of the words “free” and “premium.”

For example, Coursera offers a free and premium subscription plan on its website. Only users who get the premium subscription will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Free users will only have access to the courses but no certificate. 

Online advertisements

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Online advertisement is one of the oldest ways that websites generate revenue.

Here, the site owners can leave blocks on the pages for others to post their adverts. They normally charge a fee for posting ads on their platform. 

This business model usually works when your site has started generating noticeable traffic.

In this case, you will mostly be approached by businesses who think their target audience visits your eLearning platform regularly. 

Marketplace

This is probably the most common type of business model of an eLearning platform, especially where individual tutors create and sell their courses. 

Here, the user navigates the site and purchases only the courses they are interested in. Then, the platform can charge a fee for all transactions that occur on the website. 

How to build and scale an eLearning website

A good eLearning website is more than just a collection of videos and courses.

It should have intuitive navigation, a well-structured course catalog, and core features to ensure users find what they need.

So, let’s look at how to build a successful eLearning website:

Idea stage

This is a huge step to ensure that your eLearning website is successful.

Here, you need to connect the dots between what you want to build and where the end users will be interested. 

Continue to analyze the ideas and combine them to create a solution that satisfies the customer’s needs and expectations.

During this process, various needs may surface that the customer never knew existed.

So, you must validate your assumptions, guesses, and hypotheses to find answers for real product demand. 

To validate the idea, you may need to gather customer reviews, surveys, and any other activity that provides more information about product demand. 

Research stage 

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In the research stage, knowing more about your potential customers, competitors, and the market is important. Try to understand the problem you want to solve and also customer expectations.

This will help create a good user experience and website that people will love to use.

Also, check what your competitors are doing and why they are thriving or failing. It will help you adjust your business model. 

Design and development stage

Designing the platform is critical to creating a good user experience on your eLearning platform. Even if the website has excellent courses, users find difficulty using it, and there will be less traffic and high churn rates. 

Once you have the website design, it is passed to the development team to start turning the idea into code. They build the minimum viable product (MVP), which has the website’s core features.

This is done as fast as possible and shown to the target audience for feedback. It will help them improve and add features that may be wanted. 

Launch and marketing stage

Once the website has been built, it is ready for deployment so the general public can use it. 

Launching is not enough to find users. Use a marketing strategy to acquire your first customers. People will know about the website and start using it with the right marketing activities. 

Scaling stage

As the eLearning website becomes more popular, many people are now starting to use it. The site may begin having performance issues because it was not built to handle that amount of users.

It needs scaling and optimization to ensure a smoother user experience. Sloboda Studio has over 12 years of experience building and scaling platforms.

The clients come to them with an MVP or finished project to upgrade and add functionality. Their team works closely with clients to understand their business needs and processes.

Then, they can begin adding functionality that will enable the platform to achieve its intended purpose.  

Ways to build an eLearning website

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Image: KnowTechie

Nowadays, software development has become flexible and accessible with the introduction of customer development and SaaS solutions.

These options are all great ways to develop your eLearning site so let’s check them out:

Custom development

This is the way to go if you want a specialized and unique website. Hiring a customer development company like Sloboda Studio will ensure that the website is built professionally from scratch.

You can scale easily and add custom features that are not generic for most website builders. 

An outsourcing company can transform your idea into a working website. Customer development also gives you access to some of the most talented developers on the market. 

SaaS solution

SaaS solutions are also a great way to start building your eLearning website. These platforms provide users with templates for building websites and don’t require any prior coding knowledge.

However, you will eventually end up with a website like most others on the internet since these platforms provide generic templates that everyone can access. 

Conclusion

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To ensure your eLearning website makes profits, apply for a minimum viable product (MVP). It will have all the core features of the website.

Also, it shows users what they will get when the final version comes out. The MVP can also help to attract investors. Your business model will also greatly affect how much profit the website will generate.

That is why it is important to contact experts while making that decision.

As we have mentioned above, the core business models are: 

  • Subscription
  • Freemium
  • Online advertisement
  • Marketplace

Ready to build your eLearning platform? Follow these three steps.

  • Think about your business plan and monetization.
  • Evaluate the core features that should be implemented
  • Choose the best method of development

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