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The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your eLearning Business: Business Models, Steps, and Features

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What Is An eLearning Business?


An eLearning business is an online platform that educates people, either by imparting niche-specific knowledge or teaching new skills. 

eLearning businesses generate income in a number of ways, but the most common are:

  • One-off sales of products 

  • Subscription access to independent online schools

So, what makes eLearning businesses so popular? Well, for students, it’s because they offer a lot of flexibility. They can choose their own…

  • Instructors 

  • Topics

  • Learning schedules

  • Payment options

To create a customized experience that fits their needs. These are all important elements that aren’t typically offered by traditional offline learning environments.

Instructors can also take advantage of higher levels of flexibility and creative freedom. You’re not bound by traditional syllabuses or teaching structures.

Instead, you can cover the topics that interest you, in the niche you care about, to provide the most value to your audience. Better still, you can work on your own schedule.


At Trawex, we’ve seen people build profitable eLearning businesses around:


  • Arts & Crafts.

  • Basketball.

  • Cooking.

  • Dance.

  • Self-Help.

  • Nutrition.

  • Magic.

  • Musical instruments.

  • Language learning.

  • Many, many more.


How to Build An Online eLearning Business In 5 Simple Steps ?

So, let’s get down to the steps to build an e-learning business!  


1. Business Aspect – Audience & Competitor Research 


The audience research goes mostly for tutors who look forward to starting an online course whereas competitor research is suitable if you’re planning to build an e-learning website (if you’re a tutor looking forward to having an e-learning platform all for yourself, suits you more). 

When planning for your online course, it’s best if you come up with an audience persona. Persona is nothing but the representation of a single individual who’d most likely be your customer. 


In order to do this, you need to ask yourself a few questions like, 




  • What age would they fall between? 

  • What would be their possible profession?

  • What languages would they know? 

  • Where could they be located? 

  • What would they expect out of the online course you’re offering them? 

This not only helps you to identify your target audience but also helps you to come up with a robust online course!

On the other hand, if you’re planning to build a platform that acts as a bridge between the tutor and the student, you should take a look at your competitor’s eLearning platform. Do rigorous research and find out how the signup process works, the walk-in demo, and more. 

Going forward, it’s better if you start taking note of unique functionalities they’ve come up with – should be helpful when you create your own e-learning platform. 

We’ll be discussing the essential functionalities your platform should have in the later stages of the read. 


2. Course Aspect – Build a Robust Online Course


You wouldn’t have to worry about this if you’re planning to build only an e-learning platform like Udemy. But if you’re a tutor who is about to create an online course, sit tight! 

This matters the most! If you’re working on a timeline and you’re pushing yourself to come up with a course, we’d strongly recommend against it. Because when your online course lacks quality, there’s not only going to be dwindling registrations but the bad WOM makes things even worse! 

So, make sure your online course is top-notch and crystal clear. Come up with 

  • Infographics as downloadable content for better understanding and quick grasping. 

  • Video content facilitating a more personalized and easy learning experience. 

  • Courses in the form of lectures so that your student doesn’t have to gobble all information at once. 

  • Also, make sure you conduct in-depth research to know if your online course idea is a great one before you pin it down. Here, this read can help you know how to validate your online course idea! 

Now you know who your audience is and how your online course materials should be as well! 

So, to the next step! 


3. Pricing Aspect – Set Appropriate Pricing for Your Courses


Pricing is another important step when it comes to building your e-learning website. This is kind of a double-edged sword – overpricing your course will not help you get registrations and setting the price too low might not help you earn revenue! 

So, you’ve got to make sure you price your courses accordingly. Always have these things in mind when you set the price for your course, 

  • Consider the course quality and the materials provided

  • The course duration and the assessment activities that come along 

  • Competitor course details and pricing 

  • This should help you come up with a price for your course! 

On the other hand, if you’re building an e-learning platform only as a destination for other tutors, come up with a nominal commission percentage or fixed price slabs. 


4. Technical Aspect – Pick the Right Platform for Your e-Learning Business


On a scale of 1 to 10 (built for importance), we’d rate this particular section 10 (which is why this is going to be fairly long)! 

Starting an e-learning business requires you to make the right decision in every aspect. Calculated risks are a luxury you cannot afford because there’s no looking back when you’ve thrown in the hefty dollar package (not all e-learning business platforms cost you a fortune). 

At this point, we’re pretty much sure that you’d be looking for a basic solution that’ll allow you to upload single courses but we strongly recommend you opt for sophisticated solutions. Because down the lane, you’ll be finding it very useful! 

Since we’re talking about choosing a platform, we thought why not come up with features the platform you choose should have!

So, here you go – the 10 features your eLearning platform should have!


1)You Control What Happens 


You’re the owner of your e-learning business and you get to make full decisions on your platform – without any third-party interference. Right from creating a new course to accepting a new tutor on the platform, it’s all on you! Putting it in a phrase, the ball is in your court!


2)Standalone Platform with Direct Audience Interaction

It’s going to be yourself and your audience (students here). Make sure that your platform allows you to interact with the audience so that you can create a more personalized online learning experience. 

The interaction part would be great if you can conduct group video class sessions and 1-on-1 private sessions. Also, students should be able to chat with tutors during video sessions or once when it is over. This helps students clarify their doubts and gives them a classroom environment at their home.


3)Analytics & Insights 


The e-learning business platform you choose should allow you to connect with common analytics platforms like Google Analytics. Also, you should be able to get in-depth insights into the performances of your courses. 

With Trawex, you get to know details like total students registered, number of tutors onboard, total revenue, etc. from your dashboard.


4)Tutor Profile Setup 


A good profile is always known to attract eyeballs. And it’s nothing different here. When a tutor profile is handcrafted and has in-depth details along with his/her expertise and certifications, students will more likely choose the tutor for their learning process. 

Luckily with Trawex, you can handcraft your profile and make sure you get maximum eyeballs and revenue. 


5)Course & Tutor Filter Options


Choosing can be quite a difficult task especially when your e-learning platform has a huge number of courses and tutors in it. This is where “extensive filtering” plays an important role. You should allow your students to find courses and tutors based on factors like price, categories, date of creation, and more. 


6)Multiple Payment Gateway Options 


Not all of your audience is going to be a part of the one payment gateway you have. This is why your e-learning platform should have multiple payment gateway options like PayPal and Stripe.


7)Option to Add Multiple Languages 


This is another important feature your chosen e-learning business platform should have. If you’re planning to start your business in a country that primarily speaks languages other than English, you need to have the option to add multiple languages. Here’s how you can do it with Pinlean – in a click. 


8)Multiple Currency Availability


When you go for the language, this comes next! Your online business platform should support multiple currency options so that you don’t get stranded with what’s available on the platform.


9)Easy Site Configuration Settings


The primary reason you’re looking for an e-learning solution is that you’re not tech-savvy (in most cases). And if the platform you choose makes things difficult for you, then there’s really no point going for it!

But with Trawex, things are usually a piece of cake!

Right from SEO details to adding social links/banners, you can get it done with ease – no design or development skills required! 

Digging through competitor platforms might help you find more unique features but the above-mentioned are a must-have when you build an e-learning platform.


10)Clean UI/UX


It’s okay even if you overlook some of the most prominent features above but if you fail to do a good job on the user interface, you might as well put aside your e-learning business aspirations.

A clean user interface is the key to increase customer retention rates and creates a positive impact on audiences the very first time they visit your e-learning website. 

So, make sure you aesthetically design your website to appeal to both the existing and first-time web visitors.

We believe you now should have got an idea as to what features your eLearning platform should be having. Once you’ve chosen your platform, you’re all set to go live. 

Since most of the e-learning platforms today come with everything pre-built, the setup process is going to be quite easy! 


5. Marketing Aspect – Marketing Ways for Your eLearning Business


You’re all set and live. Now, it’s time to bring your eLearning business to the limelight. 

Frankly put out, there are a huge number of e-learning platforms today striving to create a difference. A few have been recognized, thanks to all possible kinds of marketing activities that made it possible for those brands! 

So, here are a few marketing activities that can help you draw more attention and lead to your e-learning business platform (We’ve just come up with the gist here. You’ll know more about how to market your e-learning business in a separate read)!


1)Social Media Handles


Starting off by creating social media handles is always a good idea! Because it’s free and you’ve got like a billion users on popular social platforms. Social handles not only help you to establish your presence but can also drive traffic to your landing pages.

Coming up with regular posts that contain useful information can help you grow your follower base substantially. Make sure you are witty at times, use proper hashtags and tag someone if necessary! 




YouTube is a more powerful way for advertising your business. If you’ve got a marketing budget, you should sure try advertising on YouTube – immense views and highly possible chances of conversions.

Going the organic route helps! Platforms like Udemy and Coursera have their own YouTube channels which help them drive sign-ups for their courses. 


3)Lead Capturing Forms


Lead capturing forms can always come in handy when you’re looking forward to growing your email list. You can create surveys to capture the email addresses of your audience and later send them newsletters with coupons or discounts. 

Here’s something that’ll be helpful when it comes to capturing leads – promise them rewards. Offer them a $5 Amazon gift card and you’ll be surprised by the conversion rate!


4)Email Marketing


The most effective and affordable way to drive revenue for your e-learning business is to send out emails. Surprising them with seasonal offers or discount coupons can help you do the trick! 

Udemy is extremely active when it comes to emails – they send a couple of emails per week. Similarly, come up with a schedule and email marketing ideas for your business.

Remember, email marketing works only when you have a sizable number of subscribers.


5)Reviews & Testimonials


Flaunt your testimonials in all possible scenarios. If you’re a tutor (and you run the platform), leverage the positive reviews you get from your students. If you’re running the platform alone, make tutors talk about how they feel when they are using it! 

Create & Launch Your Own E-Learning App In Minutes




Marketplace e-learning


  • Tailor your curriculum with an impact mode of video learning by offering personalized tutoring in real-time. Set your standards high with accurate content delivery to have a better learning experience.


Certification course eLearning


  • Certify your legitimate course with high standards of accreditation via an e-learning structured platform with smooth global content distribution.


Live classes for eLearning


  • Online video streaming classes in real-time for your students, and provide a buffer-free viewing experience through a cloud transcoding facility.


Language learning app


  • Learning is a never-ending process and likewise, you could keep this option viewable through your target’s digitized smart palms! Create your customized e-learning app and spread valuable knowledge on the move.  




There has never been a better time to start an eLearning business. People want and need to learn, and the demand is higher than ever.

If you want to learn more about the key skills you need to launch and grow your own eLearning platform, be sure to check out Trawex's Instructional Video Business Accelerator!


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