There are many ways to run cooking courses, and the most successful for us was an email course. We opted for a free one to drive newsletter signups, but you could easily charge $10, $25, or even $50 depending on how thorough it is.
Our course consisted of 20 emails containing about 35 lessons, making it a very big course. In fact, we turned the email course into a cookbook, getting double use out of the content!
We used MailChimp, though ConvertKit or MailerLite would have worked as well, to set up a simple auto-responder series. Once the reader signed up, they received an email with the latest 1 or 2 lessons every 4 days.
I hosted the actual articles on my website. They were accessible to anyone (since it was a free course) but I didn't promote them much outside of the course. Though some of them have also become very popular in Google now, leading to more signups for the course.
During the first year of running our free email course, from November 2016 through December 2017, we had over 10,000 people sign up. And 8,000 of those people received all 20 emails that are in the course.
We have sent out 185,000 emails with an open percent that starts at 71% and slowly decreases to 43% on the final email. The industry average is around 20% so we are still double that. Our click rate also starts at 41% and generally hovers around 17%, which is four times the industry average.