Marketing 4 MIN READ

How to Use Amazon to Find out if Your Online Course Can Sell

Developing an online course is a lot of work. While it can be a very profitable endeavor, sometimes it’s hard to know if there’s a true market for the course you’re creating. Running the risk of spending hours creating a course that isn’t going to sell very well is a huge reason people are deterred from creating their own online courses.

While you can’t sell your online course directly on Amazon’s website, that doesn’t mean you can’t use Amazon’s information. Amazon has a huge customer base and the information you can learn about what sells and what isn’t selling is an asset that you can’t afford to be without. The trick is knowing how to use Amazon’s information to your advantage.

Using Amazon as a scouting tool to see what kind of market there is for the topic you’re thinking about creating an online course for is a great idea. Amazon sells ebooks and educational materials covering all kinds of topics. You can use the information about how those materials in your topic’s category are selling to make good decisions about your course.

Knowing that Amazon has good information is the first step. Knowing how to find and use that information is next. If you’re wondering how you can use Amazon to figure out how marketable your online course could be, keep reading. These are some key steps you’ll need to know to get the most relevant and helpful information.

Use A Sales Rank Lookup Tool

Sales rank lookup tools are going to be your best friend when you’re looking at the data Amazon has to offer. You can use the tool to look up a topic or category and get back a lot of really good information. Sales rank tools help you determine the market for items on Amazon and they’re extremely accurate. Because Amazon has such a large marketplace and huge sales volumes, the information you gain will be applicable even if you aren’t selling on their site.

Think of Amazon as a test environment for the topic you want to develop your course around. Using a sales rank tool will help you get information about how that topic is selling in the Amazon environment. That is the information you want to see to figure out how marketable a topic is overall.

What Can You Learn From A Sales Rank Lookup Tool?

In short? A lot. The bulk of your scouting for information on Amazon is going to come from a sales rank lookup tool. They really are going to be your most valuable resource. So here’s what you can expect when you’re using a good sales rank tool.

Sales Rank Of An Item

This is probably the most obvious information a sales rank tool is going to give you. You can look up items related to the topic you want to create a course for and see how they’re ranking in their respective categories. Lower numbers mean higher sales, so the lower the number the better. This gives you a good initial insight into the demand for your topic.

Total Number Of New Sellers

An influx of new sellers could indicate a topic is hitting its stride or currently a big trend. Either way, it’s good to know how many new sellers there are in the categories related to yours. It gives you an idea of potential competition as well as some insight into how many other people are seeing your category as a potential money maker.

Feedback Rating Information

Topics that have a lot of customer engagement in the feedback section is a sign that this is something customers want and feel passionate enough about to come back and review what they’ve purchased.

You’ll want to look at the balance between positive and negative reviews of course, but if there’s a lot of positive reviews that’s a good sign. It means customers like what you are thinking about offering.

Sales rank tools also give you pretty up to date information. Things related to sales rank and possible trends can change quickly on Amazon. If you’re looking to scout information for a course you’re thinking about creating you’ll want to watch things closely while you’re researching. Using a tool that updates every hour or two is a great way to stay current.

Look At Amazon Brand Or Partnered Digital Products

As you already know, as a 3rd party seller you aren’t able to list your online course directly on Amazon’s platform. But, Amazon itself does sell their own digital products. Big brands have also partnered with Amazon to create digital products available on the Amazon website. Look at what Amazon and their partners are selling to gauge interest in your course.

You can search Amazon for online courses or course videos on the topic you have in mind. See what’s selling and what Amazon itself has listed. That information is something you can use to see if there’s already a lot of competition in your potential sales space. If Amazon is already selling the exact topic you’re thinking of, expect competition to be pretty fierce.

Amazon is a big company and they aren’t going to waste time creating digital products that aren’t going to sell. It doesn’t mean if Amazon is selling your topic that you can’t make your own course, but it does give you an idea of what to expect when it comes to how aggressively you might have to market your course.

If Amazon is already selling a course or video for your topic you’ll want to consider what makes your course unique. As you start trying to gain customers make sure you’re highlighting why your course has more intrinsic value than other similar courses out there. You don’t have to call out competitors by name, but you should make sure you’re showing why you’re special.


You don’t have to be able to sell on Amazon to use their information. Knowing what information you can glean from a sales rank tool and seeing what’s out there on Amazon’s site will be invaluable going forward. Seeing how things are going on Amazon for topics related to your course is a good indication of what you can expect when you create your course.

You’ll be able to see what kind of interest will be out there, the competition that already exists, and get an idea of the type of marketing you’ll need to be doing. All of this information will add up to having a more successful launch of your online course, as well as keeping that success going for the long run.

It might take a little extra time to analyze the Amazon market but when you start selling your course you’ll be glad you put that effort into your research. Knowing what to expect can mean the difference between huge success or a course that barely sells at all.

Set yourself up for success by putting the time in now. It will be worth it when you’re selling your course like crazy.

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Ashley Coblentz is a lifestyle blogger currently writing for Viakix ( and a political journalist. After graduating from college, she worked as a Registered Nurse at one of the largest hospitals in South Dakota until deciding to be a full-time mom. She remains very passionate about the nursing profession and often volunteers in her extra time to teach community education classes on first aid and other related topics. She has one amazing child who keeps her on her toes. Who knew 10-year-olds could have so many questions? If you want to keep up with her and see what she’s writing next you can find her on Twitter or check out her portfolio for other fun reads.