Online Courses – Marketing or a Waste of Money?

As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your marketing and sales efficiency. You’ve probably heard of online courses. They’ve been around for years and offer students the opportunity to study from any location, at their own pace. Sounds great, right?

But is getting an online course for free or selling one for a profit necessarily a good idea? We looked into the value of some of the most popular online courses to find out.

Marketing 101

If you’re looking for ways to market your business, you’ve probably considered pursuing an online course in marketing. The wide array of courses available online means you can tailor your learning to fit your schedule. And, at least in theory, the information you learn in a digital marketing course should help you improve your business’ bottom line.

This isn’t a new concept. Traditional brick and mortar businesses have always utilized various marketing methods to promote their brand. As online courses have developed, so have the marketing strategies used in them. For example, the Facebook Ads course that Earnest Chambers completed at Teachable focuses heavily on using the giant social media platform to gain exposure for his marketing and sales firm.

Chambers’ experience is pretty typical. Most of the marketing courses available online fall into one of two categories: digital marketing or marketing analytics. While there is some crossover between the two, they are pretty distinct courses. In fact, the digital marketing courses at Teachable are quite a bit more comprehensive. They usually require several courses to be completed in order to graduate.

One of the distinguishing factors of a digital marketing course is that most of the information is gained from studying digital marketing platforms such as Google Analytics or Facebook Ads. Traditional marketing courses usually cover more generic topics such as marketing research or planning. So, if you’re looking to quickly increase your proficiency in marketing or learn about marketing analytics, an online course may be a good fit.

In order to determine if getting an online course is worth your while, you first need to assess how much you’ll actually be able to apply what you learn. This is where the value of the course really comes into play. If you’re looking to improve your marketing and sales efficiency, especially if you’re new to the field, an online course could be a good fit. But beyond that, will you be able to use the information you learn? For example, will you be able to analyze the results of your Facebook advertisements and determine what worked and what didn’t?

Sales 101

If you’re looking to improve your sales efficiency, you might also consider pursuing an online course in sales. Just like marketing, the courses available online in sales vary in terms of the platforms they utilize. But, generally speaking, they cover more of the tactical aspects of selling rather than the fundamental concepts of marketing. For example, the Sales Management course at Teachable is pretty comprehensive and includes modules on marketing research and planning, as well as specific courses on email marketing and social media marketing.

Unlike marketing courses, many of the sales courses available online are fairly short. Usually, they’re only a few hours to a few days long. This is mainly because the information taught in sales courses is much more actionable. For instance, you may learn how to identify a product’s value to a specific demographic in the Social Media Marketing course from Teachable. This information can be applied immediately to your work as a marketer. You may not learn the same thing if you were taking a digital marketing course.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to delve into the fundamentals of sales, an online course in marketing may not be for you. The information may be valuable, but you’ll have to be prepared to learn it the hard way. As mentioned before, marketing courses usually cover a lot of information, so it may take some time to fully digest all of its content. Even then, you may find that the information is quite abstract and not directly applicable to your work. This is especially the case if you’re looking to become a marketer, as opposed to someone who already works in the field.

General Business

If you’re looking to improve your general business efficiency, you might also consider pursuing an online course in general business. The courses available online in this field vary widely, but they cover a lot of the same basic information that you’d find in a traditional business school. For example, the fundamentals of accounting and finance. Of course, you’ll learn the theory and the basics behind the information. But you’ll also have the opportunity to apply this knowledge to real-life scenarios.

One of the biggest appeals of an online course is that they allow you to study from anywhere. This may be particularly useful if you’re looking to improve your general business efficiency and don’t have the time to physically commute to a campus every day. You may also find that the course content is quite a bit more comprehensive than what you’d learn in a traditional classroom setting. In the General Business course at Teachable, for example, you’ll learn how to plan a business budget, as well as how to prepare financial statements.

But, again, the value of any business education becomes quite a bit more relevant when you’re actually able to apply the information you learn. If you’re looking to become a more efficient marketer or sales professional, an online course may be a good fit. But beyond that, if you’re looking to improve your general business efficiency, you may find that a traditional classroom experience is still the best way to go.


One of the things you need to do before you make any decision about getting an online course is to determine how much it’s going to cost you. Just like any other form of education, the price for online courses varies widely. Some courses are free, while others can cost as much as a college tuition. Here’s a rough guide to what you should expect to pay for online courses.

If you want a basic overview of the cost of an online course, you can use sites like CourseRatings to compare educational institutions and determine the price of different courses. You can also use sites like TuitionTracker to figure out the exact cost of your chosen course, whether it’s in-person or online.

As you might imagine, the price for an online marketing course is usually quite a bit higher than the cost of a basic business degree. Also, be careful when comparing prices. Sometimes, you’ll find that an in-person, one-on-one business school education is quite a bit cheaper than the same degree from a school that doesn’t offer the program in-person. The savings may be accrued in the amount of tuition that is waived due to the school’s online status.

Getting a business degree online has become quite popular over the past few years. There are currently over 30 accredited universities that offer college degrees entirely online. This is in addition to the countless other universities that offer some of their courses online. In particular, the convenience of online courses is quite appealing to busy students who want to improve their competitive edge in today’s job market.

An online business degree is quite comparable to its in-person counterpart. Many traditional schools have adopted an online format, meaning that they no longer require their students to physically commute to campus. This convenience has proven quite popular, and more and more students are pursuing degrees entirely online.

If you’re interested in getting an online business degree, you first need to figure out which school to attend. Deciding between a traditional four-year university and an accredited online institution isn’t as easy as it seems. There’s a lot of overlap between the two, and many traditional school’s online departments are quite reputable. It’s also quite common for traditional schools to offer specializations in areas such as digital marketing or social media marketing. If you’re deciding between the two, do some research and make the right choice for you.