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Knowledge Economy: How to Sell Knowledge Online

12 min
Scientia Potentia Est
Knowledge is power

Often a phrase attributed to Sir Francis Bacon is more accurate today than ever. Automation, artificial intelligence, and the internet have accelerated our civilization towards a knowledge economy.

The Knowledge Economy

Knowledge is the most valuable resource we possess. The thirst for learning has fueled the rise of knowledge entrepreneurs.

Whether you are a blogger, vlogger, educator, or creator, people seek out your knowledge and value it by spending time engaging with your content. The time has come to leverage your expertise by selling it.

LearnWorlds enables creators to package their knowledge as an online course or digital product and sell it. Check out LearnWorlds with a free trial:

Everyone is looking for a way to acquire knowledge at a faster pace. If you are an expert on your topic, an influencer in your niche, or an advice-giver, you have the potential to take part in the knowledge industry and sell your expertise as a knowledge product.

Selling your expertise in a digestible way is known as knowledge commerce and enables others to achieve their potential and learning goals.

What is Knowledge?

Knowledge is a collection of facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education. It is the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject (Oxford Dictionary).

By extension, a knowledge economy worker is a person working with information instead of producing goods.

Knowledge vs. Information vs. Data

But, you might ask, what is the difference between knowledge, information, and data?

The following are simplified definitions of the three concepts based on the Oxford Dictionary:

The pyramid of Knowledge. Knowledge is on top, the middle layer is Information and Data sits on the bottom.

Knowledge Commerce

Knowledge was always valuable, from creating fire to the medicinal properties of herbs that could save lives or hard skills like woodworking, sewing, and building.

Today, information is plentiful and easily accessible. Everyone can read an article or watch a video to learn a new skill.

The real value that knowledge entrepreneurs provide is when they offer structure and make the information digestible and memorable.

To sell knowledge online, you need to be the solution to your audience’s problem. Whether you sell a PDF online or a coaching session, your goal is to solve a problem achieved by a knowledgeable revelation.

If you are planning to start an online business, then think of these types of digital products το monetize your knowledge:

Types of Knowledge Commerce

Who can participate in the knowledge economy?

To be a knowledge entrepreneur, you need to have a higher level of knowledge in a topic than your audience. You don’t need to be an expert on the topic. You just need to know enough to make your knowledge desirable and teachable.

Anyone can sell their knowledge. Whether you are writing a blog on taking care of your garden to being the best spreadsheet user in your company. If you have people reading your blogs, watching your videos, or constantly asking for your advice, you can sell your knowledge.

Knowledge entrepreneurship value power words. Structure, Digestible, Memorable.

Here is a list of professions (or hobbies) that can become knowledge entrepreneurs or vice versa:

Becoming a knowledge entrepreneur can be a part-time job or your full-time employment.

How Can I Sell My Skills Online and Monetize My Knowledge?

In a digital world, knowledge has become the most valuable commodity, and it’s only becoming more valuable with time. You can monetize your knowledge to start earning money by selling digital products such as ebooks, courses, coaching programs, and more.

People are looking to learn new skills and improve their lives. They love to learn from experts in the field and look for creators who can help them reach their learning goals and guide them through the chaos of information towards true knowledge!

If you are an expert in any field, there is always something new to learn. You can help people learn by sharing your knowledge and making money in the process.

The good news is that you no longer need any technical knowledge to create your own course or ebook. You can use an all-in-one platform like LearnWorlds to create, sell and earn from your knowledge online.

If you don’t know what to teach yet, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Monetize your passion by understanding what you know, love and need.

You can use our workbook to help you find the right topic to teach!

Download Workbook

How to decide on a topic

Let’s take a couple of examples into account to help you better understand how to decide what method works best for you:

Mass, Impersonal & Self-Paced

Vicky is a vlogger who posts videos of recipes on YouTube. She has about 300 followers and regularly posts recipes for cakes, cookies, and homemade ice cream every month. She decides to take the most popular recipes from her YouTube channel and make longer, step-by-step videos with extra tips.

She is very comfortable with shooting videos but doesn’t like personal interactions. Vicky decides to create a self-paced course for each recipe with minimal instructor interactions.

Personal, Blended Learning with Added Services

Josh is a designer and an expert in PhotoShop. He doesn’t have a substantial social media followership, but his friends, colleagues, and even random Instagram followers ask him questions. He loves answering and helping everyone. Josh prefers to have a video call to personally guide others to his process but also sends Loom videos with quick tips.

He wants to sell these skills online as tutorials and decides to offer PhotoShop coaching services as an upsell where he goes on video calls to help his students personally.

A Step-by-Step Process to Monetize Your Knowledge!

It might sound hard to sell knowledge, but, in truth, it’s easier if you start small and grow your own business as you go. By following a step-by-step process at a time, any daunting task can feel easy and natural.

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1 – Equipment and tools

You already have the essential tools to start your business, and that’s your smartphone or your laptop. Ideally, you need a good microphone, which doesn’t need to be more than $25-50 to begin with.

Then, you need a platform to host and sell your knowledge products.

Here is the list:

Step 2 – Plan the content

You can create an outline of the learning content to guide you. Creating an outline to map your work will keep you from creative blocks and help you move faster.

Planning and writing the content beforehand will help you deal with uncertainty and plan ahead.

Step 3 – Create the content

You now need to record your lessons as videos create the ebooks, PDFs, workbooks, or other course material you may need.

You might even create assessments, quizzes, certificates, or a coaching guide.

There are many tools to help you create e-learning content on the web. See the top tools we have collected here for each type of content.

Step 4 – Upload your content to a platform

You need to host your online business in one place. The best solution for knowledge products, online courses, or digital downloads is LearnWorlds.

You can get a 30-day trial and upload content.

Upload your content on LearnWorlds Gif

Step 5 – Promote your product

To make money online, you need to promote yourself. If you already have an audience and a mailing list, it is more accessible. If not, you will need to start building both.

Check out our guide on How to Sell Online Courses, a step-by-step process you can follow to sell your knowledge. Download our free ebook to learn how to build and sell to an email list:

Selling Online Courses Through Email Marketing

Skills for Selling Online 101: Growing an Audience

The first step in selling your knowledge is to target a relevant audience. Address people interested in what you have to offer, whether to learn web design skills or start a podcast.

You need to find or build a community around your subject. You can look for Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Reddit threads, or Slack communities on your topic and join them or create your own social media community.

P.S. Check out our free workshop on No-budget Social Media Strategies here, featuring the Queen of Facebook – Mari Smith!

Now it’s time to start building your email list; this is the best way to build an audience you can reach and monetize at any time.

Invite people to download a free resource. This can be a short PDF, a webinar, or a workbook to solve a small problem.

💡 Maybe it’s a free seminar to business owners on improving productivity with Microsoft Office skills.

The next step would be to monetize this audience. People are willing to pay for your expertise. Follow up with an email sequence to sell your product.

There are many ways to make money selling your knowledge. Some are passive income streams, while others require more effort on your part.

Digital products, templates, certificates and more you can sell online.

Here are different ways you can profit from your expertise:

Online Courses

If you want to earn a high income from home, online courses are one of the best ways to do that. Whether you’re a teacher, accountant, doctor, or just someone who loves the topic they are an expert on, online courses can easily be your profitable way to earn an income on the side of whatever else you do.

Membership Sites & Subscriptions

Membership sites are best suited for continuous education and a sense of community. They are for highly engaged learners who come back for more.

Platforms such as WordPress offer membership plug-ins that help you sell access to members of your site. Squarespace, Wix, and other website builders provide similar solutions. But, the best way to create a membership community is with specialized software.

Here are a few options:

Host Paid Webinars

Webinars are another way to turn the information you know into revenue. Webinars can be free to grow your email list or promote another product. Still, paid webinars can be one-off masterclasses, workshops, or specialized topics with high interaction by the audience.

Provide Consulting

Consulting takes many forms, but the goal is to provide a solution based on your experience.

You could offer consulting over the phone or via Skype, or you could make house calls for hands-on work. For example, you can offer consulting for technology users or teach new parents how to care for their babies properly (e.g., breastfeeding help, sleep training, etc.). It’s up to you to decide on the time, location, and type of consulting services you will offer.

Ebooks

Is writing your strong point? Then, maybe you prefer to document your knowledge in the form of a book or an ebook. It’s very easy to self-publish these days, and you can find yourself selling knowledge on Amazon or through your website.

Workbooks

If you’d like to teach others how to do something, you can create an interactive resource with worksheets and templates and have other people fill them out as they’re learning. This is a great way to help people learn and develop new skills, as well as apply what they’ve learned in real-life situations. As with ebooks, you can self-publish workbooks from your website.

Usually, workbooks come along with coaching, consulting, or a course and are bundled with it or used as lead captures to sell one of the other more valuable services!

Coaching

If you’d like to teach others one-on-one, coaching might be the best option for you. You could coach individuals in person or online (e.g., via Zoom) or charge for group coaching sessions where multiple people learn together under your guidance.

Coaching is about leading people to self-realization over providing the solution as consulting does. It’s also an easier way to start, and there are many online certifications and training to become an online coach.

Podcasts

Podcasts are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to distribute information online. You can reach out to potential customers through podcasts and promote your expertise while they listen on their commute, during exercising, or even while they work.

While you may only know free podcasts, premium podcasts exist inside membership sites, Patreon, Spotify, etc.

💡 Check out our blog post with nine great podcasts to inspire your online business in 2022.

All you need is a computer and a microphone — it’s the perfect way to get started selling your knowledge online.

Tutorials

Like podcasts, you can find tutorials for free on YouTube or blogs. Many people, though, are willing to pay for premium tutorials. The premium tutorials may be on a niche, specialized, offer knowledge that cannot easily be found, more in-depth, or even a more structured approach than your YouTube channel playlist can offer.

Templates

If there are templates that you use for your business or templates that you know could help others in their business ventures, consider selling them on your website or through an online marketplace like Etsy, CreativeMarket, or through your website.

You’ll have to put in some time and energy upfront creating these templates. However, once you prepare them, you can sell these templates repeatedly without much more effort from you. It’s a great way to earn passive income with the knowledge that you already have!

Which Topics Can You Monetize?

Everyone has something to teach! Whether you are a prominent expert that everyone looks up to, a professional educator, or a passionate hobbyist, you are a potential course creator.

Here are some inspirational ideas, trends, and examples of course topics you can teach. Your time to turn a course into a profitable knowledge business is now!

See the complete list of topics, ideas, and examples you can monetize in the knowledge economy.

Where to Sell My Digital Products?

The first thing you need to decide is how to sell digital products online. There are several different options you can consider:

1Sell Digital Products on Your Own Website Using LearnWorlds

If you want to sell digital products online and keep 100% of the profits, then selling them through your own website is the best option for you.

The main challenge, in this case, is that you need to take care of all the marketing and promotion of your digital product. That means attracting traffic, capturing email addresses, and building relationships with potential customers.

However, if you already have a social media following or an audience interested in what you offer, selling digital products can be a very profitable endeavor.

LearnWorlds is the top digital platform for selling online courses, digital downloads, and other knowledge products.

2Course Marketplaces

There are many marketplaces where you can sell your digital products. The two most popular ones are Udemy and Skillshare. These marketplaces will take care of everything for you; all you need is to create the content and upload it. The main downsides are that they will take a hefty cut from each sale; you have no control over your students’ data, branding, and competitors can show up next to your courses.

3Digital Publishing / Marketplaces

Ebooks and other digital products might find a better home in marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy.

Amazon / Kindle (Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing)

Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing) is another top destination for shoppers. If you create ebooks, Amazon’s self-publishing platform Kindle Direct Publishing is an obvious choice for selling your work. The payouts per sale aren’t as good as some other platforms, but with more than 200 million Prime members worldwide and even more active customers across its platforms, Amazon offers a massive reach for your content.

Of course, there are other digital publishing marketplaces like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many smaller ones.

Etsy or CreativeMarket

Etsy is one of the most popular and successful eCommerce platforms globally. It started with smaller shops and handicrafts; now, you can find designs, templates, and many more digital downloads there.

A more “marketplaces” approach for digital downloads creatives is Creative Market, in which designers offer digital products.

The choice is ultimately yours.

Every option has its benefits and drawbacks. You can determine what is right for you based on your product and target group.

The best way to make money is to sell your products from your website, but that requires more marketing effort.

However, keep in mind that you also need to manage your self-promotion and make your products visible to succeed in marketplaces. Still, you will put lots of effort into empowering the platform that could promote similar products from your competitors.

Final thoughts

We’re all knowledge workers now, whether we realize it or not. The rise of digital products means that people create value on a never-before-seen scale.

Selling your knowledge is a simple but effective way to put your skills to work for you; this includes everything from writing an e-book to creating an online course.

All you need is some original content and the right platform to launch it on. I hope this post has helped you get started down the path to creative knowledge commerce and allowed you to share your knowledge with the world.

The critical thing to remember is that selling your products and services on the Internet will always be a good idea. Digital products come without limitations, warehousing, and shipping costs. Not to mention that knowledge products can grow in value over time.

Take advantage of the growing creator economy and join the knowledge economy, shape the future of humanity by sharing your knowledge with the world!

And, if you already have a digital business, knowledge products such as courses and education programs can support your business as upsells, marketing lead captures, or even new revenue streams.

Don’t miss out on the Knowledge Revolution; join LearnWorlds.

Further Reading:

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Nick Malekos is a Senior Digital Marketer in LearnWorlds. He is a results based and well-rounded Digital Marketer with years of experience in the education industry, writer and digital literacy trainer.