005 · Offer Free Online Courses

Offering a free service is often a very effective way to attract people quickly. This allows you to offer other services, more complete or more targeted, but paying. It is also the perfect way to make your brand or your product known when you are starting out.

It may seem paradoxical to offer something free when you are trying to earn money, but you will see that it is a very good way to achieve this goal. The principle is simple: Attract people with a free service, and then offer them a more complete and enriched or personalized version but with a fee. The difficulty lies in convincing your visitors to opt for the paid version, but there are techniques to achieve this.

The first step is to offer free content such as pottery, photography, website creation, mechanics, painting, guitar, coaching, or anything else. For this, you will have the choice between several possibilities that you can even cumulate.

Communication Channels

  • Create a YouTube channel with an explicit name and add video lessons to it regularly. Take care of the look and content for each one. Create a short opening sequence (intro) and make sure the lighting and sound quality are optimal. A good quality video is a sign of confidence and professionalism. You can offer your paid content at the end of each video or even in the middle.

  • Create a blog and regularly add articles with your free courses or any other interesting topic. If you have a YouTube channel, it’s very easy to integrate your videos in the articles and thus complete (or modify) the useful information. It is also a very good method to offer your paid courses. So create a compelling visual to entice your readers to buy what you offer.

  • Create podcasts on SoundCloud if your courses are not necessarily visual (learning philosophy, public speaking, a foreign language, etc.). Be careful; the quality of the sound and your elocution are essential here.

Free podcast courses Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels

Ideas for Paid Services

For the second step, you will need to create your paid content. This can come in many forms, but the goal here is to offer something that provides a real advantage over free content.

  • As I said, more complete courses, enriched with illustrations or personalized.

  • A paper book or digital book (ebook) containing a complete method and enhanced with relevant elements.

  • A series of online exercises on different levels with corrections and personalized support. You can also simply offer the first exercises for free.

  • Personal coaching at home or via Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Messenger….

  • Selling objects. If, for example, you make mandolins, giving mandolin lessons online can be a very good way to find buyers.

There are a lot of possibilities, and it’s up to you to find the ones that best suit what you are proposing. The key to the success or otherwise of this idea, in my opinion, is the quality and efficiency of the services that will be provided (free and paid). Because, even if you are not alone in the sector you have chosen, this is where you will have to make the difference. A good idea to start with would be to go and see what already exists in order not to do the same but better (or at least different).


  • Ability to travel or work from home.
  • Teaching is always gratifying.
  • Fairly high earning potential.


  • A lot of work ahead.
  • Difficult to predict results.

Environmental and climate change issues are more than ever at the heart of the concerns of this 21st century, which is why I am proposing a few ideas that will enable you to limit the negative impact that the implementation of this idea could have.

These solutions that I suggest are sometimes largely insufficient to compensate for these negative impacts, such as carbon offsetting. Unfortunately, there is not always an ideal and 100% efficient solution, far from it. And if you have others, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments below.

  • There is nothing particularly bad for the environment here unless you want to offer courses on building a coal-fired power plant. The only thing you could do is to choose an eco-friendly host when you create your blog. This is the case with Greengeeks, Inmotion or Ikoula.
Disclaimer, please read this

Legal and administrative aspects of the ideas you'll find on Sweekr are rarely discussed because they vary greatly depending on the country you live in. I would advise you to check with your local adminitration before starting any business. Keep in mind that if you make money, the state will ask for "its share" in order to guarantee the proper functioning of schools, hospitals and other public services. Therefore, you will probably have to acquire a micro-entrepreneur status, or any other similar.

Please also note that there are currently NO affiliate links on Sweekr! This means that NO commission is charged when you make a purchase from any of the sites recommended here. Some links are optimized for performance testing only, and each recommendation reflects the opinions or evaluations of the writer of this article. And be sure you'll be notified if (and when) this situation ever changes.

This article could be completed or improved with your help. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any question, a relevant remark, a feedback, additional information or spotted any error.Go to comments


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