Free Publicity: 8 Top Ways to Promote Your Online Course

Do you have an online course that you want to sell? Or maybe an offline workshop? If so, you'll know that one of the biggest challenges course creators face is attracting your ideal students and getting your course in front of the right people.

So how about letting someone else do some of the work by giving you some free publicity?

Journalists, bloggers, podcasters, social media influencers, and other regular content creators are always looking for something to talk about and share with their followers and readers. You and your course could be that story!

Start out by identifying the people and places where your ideal students are reading, watching, and interacting. Then think about a ‘hook' or topic that would entice those people to add your story to their content schedule.

Some examples of a good, newsworthy topic that would get visibility for your online course are:

  • A step-by-step solution that's laser-targeted to the other person's audience (and related to your course, naturally)
  • Something unique that you're doing to help students get results
  • A free seminar you're giving that will address a hot button for their audience
  • A new local meetup for people who would be most interested in your course
  • A challenge you're running for people who want some quick wins

Remember that the other person's goal is to deliver good content that will help their audience. If you can offer that, then they'll be happy and eager to talk about you and even invite you to speak or write to their followers.

Now, how do you find the opportunities to pitch your story? Check out the infographic and ideas below…

Top Ways to Get Free Publicity for Your Online Course

8 Top Ways to Promote Your Online Course 1

1. Haro

Help A Reporter Out ‘provides journalists with a robust database of sources for upcoming stories and daily opportunities for sources to secure valuable media coverage.' Your first step is to register and then you can look for source requests relevant to your industry. Once you've found some relevant source requests, send them a ‘pitch'. Don't forget to include answers to the journalist’s questions, any specified requirements requested, and a bio with your contact information. If you are a good fit for them, they will contact you back with more info.

Tip: You can also search on Twitter with the hashtag #HARO or #journorequest to find reporters looking for stories on specific topics.

2. Local Seminars & Meetups

Check out what’s going on in your area. Look for local small business associations, communities, or meetup groups. Join and get involved with their calendar of events.

Even better, start your own meetup on a topic related to your course and invite people in your current network to attend to get it going.

3. Social Media Communities

There are social media groups for everything! Become an active member in online learning groups or groups relating to your course subject. Then you can share your course when it gets close to launch time or after you launch, so long as it's ok with the community leader.

Remember that even if you can't post directly about your course, people will check you out when they see you add valuable answers to questions. So make sure you have a link to your course on your site and social media platforms!

4. Guest Blog Posts

Find blogs relevant to your courses’ subject area. Read through some of the content they've written and see if they have any guest bloggers. Once you have a good feel for their audience, offer to write them an exclusive guest post. Make sure you add a bio with a link to your course or lead magnet. Also be prepared to send them a ‘media kit' with info about you, your business, any standard logos and headshots, and other key data they'd want to see that establishes your credibility.

5. Guest Interviews (Podcasts and Webinars)

Podcasts and webinars are incredibly popular with a range of audiences, and they're a powerful way to create a personal connection with a new audience. Look for ones that have your ideal student among their listeners and viewers. Watch and listen to their episodes. Connect on social media. And then pitch your topic for an interview for one of their upcoming slots.

6. Conferences

Even if you're not speaking at a conference, they're a terrific place to get some free publicity simply by networking with your audience in a place that's designed for meeting others. Just be sure, at in-person networking sessions, to always be prepared with printed info about you and your course.

7. Social Sharing

Nothing beats word-of-mouth marketing when it comes to establishing your credibility and building trust. So make it easy for your audience to share information and links about you on social media. Put social sharing buttons on your sales pages and website. Add in click-to-tweet buttons for quotes in your blog posts. Send direct requests to students who have been through your course, asking for recommendations and reviews. For social media, you can also entice people to share by offering them a bonus based on how many shares and tweets they've done.

8. Facebook Live (or other Live Video)

There are lots of free livestreaming platforms such as Facebook LiveYouTube Live and LinkedIn Live. Do a series of live videos on specific challenges your target students have and run them online wherever your audience is. For example, you can run a livestream on your Facebook Page and then offer to do the same topic for the audience of a Group you belong to and have been active in.

BONUS: Top Paid Publicity Options

1. Press Release

When you have a press release to send out, you can pay a distribution service such as PRWebBrand24 or BuzzStream. It costs money but it will save you valuable time.

2. Online Ads

Use online ads to target your audience. You can send them to a small freebie or to a blog post that contains a content upgrade. After that free gift, offer an even higher value freebie, such as a webinar or video series. At that point, you can start telling those leads about your course.

3. Affiliates

Get to know people who have same audience and then offer a commission for recommending your course


Those are just a few ideas for getting free publicity, and you definitely don't need to use them all. Try focusing on one or two to start with. For example, join two active Facebook Groups and start engaging in the discussions, including posting your own questions. You'll attract the notice of the group leaders surprisingly quickly, since most groups are constantly struggling to keep up engagement. That's your cue to contact them about doing a Facebook Live for the group.

While you're busy networking and interacting, create your ‘media kit' by pulling together some summary information about you and your course. Include a brief bio that highlights your relevant experience, some testimonials if you have them, social media stats if they look impressive, a headshot, high level details about your course, and anything else that someone might want before they write about you. Make it easy for them.

Finally, don't be afraid they'll say no. That's to be expected. But you won't know where the best places are for free publicity, or what the best approach is, until you start asking!


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Want to learn more about how to get free publicity for your business…. AND teach others?

In our ready-to-go course on How to Attract Free Publicity, we go through how to find the key journalists and influencers in your niche, and then explore different marketing and engagement tactics you can use to get them talking about your business.

Head here to learn more and grab a license to our brandable, ready-to-teach course:

How to Attract Free Publicity

Teach Yourself. Then teach your audience.

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When you purchase a license to any of our ready-to-go course kits, you get the rights to edit it any way you want (or leave as-is) and add your own name and branding.

Then use your new course to:

  • Attract new clients and customers (such as with a free training, webinar, or eCourse)
  • Add a new stream of income (such as with a paid course or workshop)
  • Keep your current customers successful and coming back for more (such as with bonus webinars, videos, and other learning resources).
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