How to Sell Online Course for Free

By David Nge • Last Updated: June 02, 2022

This guide will show you the best way to create and sell an online course for FREE, no credit card needed.

There's no shortage of online course platforms in the market — Teachable, Thinkific, Udemy, Podia, Learn Dash, just to name a few.

Most of them do not have a free plan.

However, a few online course platforms offer a generous free plan, one that allows you to upload courses, set up a curriculum, and accept payments online without needing a credit card from you.

They would take a small fee from your course sales instead (more on this later).

In summary, we'll go over:

Let's dive right in.

Which Free Online Course Platform to Choose

Let's compare some of the most popular online course platforms that allow you to sell online courses and classes for free:

  1. Teachable — Teachable is the most popular online course platform for independent course creators and entrepreneurs. Their free plan allows you to sell one course with unlimited students.
  2. Thinkific — Thinkific is an all-in-one course creation platform for entrepreneurs to market and sell their expertise. They have a free plan for you to test drive Thinkific's core features with limited number of courses.
  3. Udemy — Udemy is the largest marketplace for course creators. It's free to upload your courses on Udemy, however, if you're to charge a fee for your course, you have to sign up and get approved as a premium Udemy instructor (no cost involved).
  4. Payhip — Payhip is an easy-to-use platform for anyone to sell courses and digital downloads. Their free plan gives you access to all features where you can sell unlimited courses on their platform.

Let's compare the free plan from these online course platforms and see which offers the best value.

Comparing the free plans offered by Teachable, Thinkific, Udemy, and Payhip
Comparing the free plans offered by Teachable, Thinkific, Udemy, and Payhip

In summary

Payhip seems to be offering the most value on their free plan. Not only do they allow you to sell unlimited courses, you also get access to the ALL the Payhip features for free, forever.

More importantly, Payhip allows you to use custom domain and include your own branding for your courses on the free plan!

The ability to custom-brand and establish credibility for your course matters, a lot, especially for a course creator for a few reasons:

All of which helps your course succeed in the long term.

Shoutout to Thinkific, which was a close second, for offering 0% transaction fee on their free plan which is the lowest amongst all.

Now that we have chosen a platform, let's create a free course on Payhip.

How to Create & Sell Online Course for Free on Payhip

Here are 8 steps to set up your course on Payhip before you can start selling. Feel free to skip around with the table of content below:

  1. Create a course curriculum
  2. Update course settings
  3. Add a pricing plan
  4. Customize course sales page
  5. Create a drip schedule
  6. Publishing your course
  7. Set up payment
  8. Start selling

1. Create a course curriculum

First, sign up (free) or login to your Payhip account

Once you're logged in, head to the Products page, and Add a new product.

Add a new product in Payhip
Add a new product in Payhip

Then select Course.

Select Course
Select Course

Add a course title then select Add Course.

Give a title to the new course
Give a title to the new course

In the curriculum page, you can now build out your course structure. Your Payhip course is divided into sections and each section contains one or several lessons.

Edit your section name. You can use Section, Chapter, or Module. Whichever you find appropriate for your course.

Add a new section to the course
Add a new section to the course

Then proceed to add your lessons.

Add a new lesson for the course
Add a new lesson for the course

Click into the lesson page to edit the lesson details.

Edit the lesson details
Edit the lesson details

Give your lesson a title and choose the format for your lesson.


Hosting videos on Payhip

Payhip will host your videos for $5/month (up to 16 hours of video content) if you sign up for their video subscription service.

However, for the purpose setting up a course for free on Payhip , we will upload our videos on a third-party platform like Youtube or Vimeo and then embed the videos in Payhip.


Select Embed for your lesson type.

Add an embed lesson
Add an embed lesson

Here you'll add the video lesson and edit the settings:

  1. Upload a video lesson file on Youtube and paste the embed code in Payhip.
  2. Add a lesson description or accompanying files (to download) for the lesson.
  3. Enable lesson settings such as making it available only when it's published, make the lesson a prerequisite to the next lesson, and more.
  4. Select an icon for the lesson. They have various icons for video, text, code and more.
Add the lesson details
Add the lesson details

Once you're done editing the lesson, click Save Changes.

Continue to build out your course by adding new sections and lessons.

Build out the rest of the curriculum
Build out the rest of the curriculum

Once you're, head over to the settings page and update your course settings.

Head to the course settings page
Head to the course settings page

2. Update Course Settings

In the course settings page, update the following:

  1. Upload a thumbnail for your course — This thumbnail is visible on your store listing, checkout and social media when the course page is shared. If you don't have a thumbnail, create one in Canva for free. Make sure it's at least 500px wide.

2. Add your Author details and profile image.

Update the course settings
Update the course settings

Once done, click Save Changes.

Then head over to Pricing and add a pricing plan for your course.

3. Add a pricing plan for your course

Head to the Pricing page and add a new pricing plan for your course.

Add a new pricing plan for the course
Add a new pricing plan for the course

Then set a price, name your pricing plan and add the new pricing plan.

Add the pricing details
Add the pricing details

You should see the new pricing plan added to your course.

Pricing plan added for the course
Pricing plan added for the course

4. Customize the course sales page

In the Pages section, edit your sales page.

Head to the Pages section to edit the sales page
Head to the Pages section to edit the sales page

Here are the sections to customize on your sales page

Update the heading section

This is also what's referred to as the above-the-fold section, where your main heading, subheading, and background image sit.

Select Course Title from the sidebar to start editing your main heading section.

Update the heading section
Update the heading section
  1. Update your main heading.
  2. Add a description for your course.
  3. Replace the background image.
Update the headings and replace the background image
Update the headings and replace the background image

Background Image Tip

Increase the overlay opacity to reduce the brightness of the background image. This will accentuate the white text and make the headings easier to read.

Darken the background image to improve headings readability
Darken the background image to improve headings readability

This is optional but you can add a call-to-action button, which is an effective method to drive sign up on your sales page. Make sure the button links to the course you've created.

Add a call to action button
Add a call to action button

Save changes after you're done editing.

Add an Intro section for your course

Click into the Text section and add a quick intro about your course. It's best to describe what value will you provide and the end result the customers will experience at the end of your course.

Edit the intro section
Edit the intro section
Update the intro description
Update the intro description

Add more info about your course

Click into the Image and Text section and update the image and description accordingly.

Edit the Image and Text section
Edit the Image and Text section
Update the section Image and Text section
Update the section Image and Text section

You can also add as many section as you want to illustrate your course to the audience.

Make sure to save changes after you're done.

Publishing your sales page

You're almost there!

There are other things you can customize on your sales page, such as:

Once you're happy with your sales page, hit the Publish button.

Publish the sales page
Publish the sales page

5. Create a Drip schedule for your course

This is optional but if you'd like to set a specific time and date to access your course content, you can set up a drip schedule for your course.

Setting up a course drip schedule in Payhip lets you specify when content should be available to students so that you can release content over a period of time.

Head over to the Drip page and select Create Drip Schedule.

Create a drip schedule for the course
Create a drip schedule for the course

You can then specify when the course content should be released for each of your lesson and module.

Schedule the release for each module and lesson
Schedule the release for each module and lesson 

Once you're done, click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

6. Publishing your course

You're almost ready to sell your course!

Head over to the Publish page, change the publish status and the visibility of your course, and hit Save Changes.

Publish the course
Publish the course

7. Set up Payment on Payhip

The last thing to do before you can officially start selling is to set up a payment account on Payhip.

Payhip allows you to connect Paypal and Stripe, so when a customer buys from your Payhip store, the payment is instantly transferred to your PayPal or Stripe account.

Here's how to set up Paypal on your Payhip account.

In your Payhip dashboard, click on Account from the top right corner and select Settings.

Head to the account settings page
Head to the account settings page

Head over to Payment Details and you'll see the options to connect to your Paypal or Stripe account.

Connect Paypal to Payhip
Connect Paypal to Payhip

Select Paypal and enter your Paypal email address.

Add your Paypal email address
Add your Paypal email address

Confirm to connect your Paypal account to Payhip. You will then be asked to log in to your Paypal account.

Confirm Paypal integration with Payhip
Confirm Paypal integration with Payhip

Once you've successfully logged in, you'll be redirected back to your Payhip account, and you'll see the confirmation message that your Paypal account has been connected.

Paypal integration success
Paypal integration success

8. Start Selling your Payhip Course

You're now ready to sell your course and make some money! To retrieve your sales page URL, head over to the Products page and click on Share.

Share your course page URL
Share your course page URL

Copy and share the sales page URL to start selling.

That's it!

Payhip has made it easy to set up and sell online courses for beginners. If you have all your course assets ready, you can probably set it up in an hour or two.

Here are some additional resources to help you in your selling journey:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Payhip a legitimate company?

Yes, Payhip was founded by Abs Farah and Kahin in London, UK, back in 2011 when they couldn't find an easy way to sell digital products, courses, and memberships online.

They're registered in the UK (Reg No. 08386910), and their office is located on the 1st floor, 2 Woodberry Grove in London.

You can learn more about the company here.

Is Payhip free to use?

Yes, Payhip offers a Free-Forever plan that allows you to use all its features to sell unlimited products with no revenue cap. You can get started with Payhip without a credit card.

What can you sell on Payhip?

There are five categories of  products you can sell on Payhip:

  1. Downloadable digital files —  Ebooks, design files, audio files, design templates, etc.
  2. Physical products — Clothes, shoes, and other physical goods.
  3. Courses — Written, audio, or video courses with a structured curriculum.
  4. Coaching services — Coaching services either for 1:1 coaching or recurring group classes.
  5. Subscription Billing — Start accepting recurring payments either for your service or product. 

How do I get paid on Payhip?

Does Payhip take a fee?

Payhip takes 0-5% transaction fee depending on which Payhip plan you're on.