When creating an online course, sooner or later, you need to answer the question: How much should I charge for my product?
Pricing an online course is one of the most important decisions you'll make as a business owner. The pricing model you choose impacts practically every part of your business.
It also affects your customers. People are more likely to consume a product when aware of its cost.
Choosing the right pricing strategy brings discomfort when launching a business, especially online courses.
Putting the price tag on your skills can be intimidating. When you create and sell online courses, a good price is the one that creates a sense of fairness and satisfaction between you and your audience. So we looked at the three most common price strategies for online courses to help you choose the one that suits you best. At the end of this article, you'll be able to decide on the price of your course that enables you to sell your courses and launch the online course confidently.
In this guide, you'll learn:
Need an effective pricing strategy for your online course? First, you’ll need to figure out your potential audience and how many courses you will have. Use CreativeMindClass's profit calculator to find a profitable selling price for your online course.
What is online course pricing?
Online course pricing refers to determining the monetary worth of an online course, taking into account internal and external factors. The pricing strategy significantly influences a business's overall success, impacting aspects such as cash flow, profit margins, and customer demand. The choice of pricing strategy is influenced by factors such as the industry, the target audience, and the cost of creating a course. In the online course platform industry, subscription-based and one-time models are the way to go.
What influences an online course price
Not all courses are equal. Prices of online courses vary widely. Some courses are free, while others can cost hundreds of dollars (or euros).
Before trying to price your online course, you need to know what factors influence the price.
So let's explore the six main things that impact Online Course Pricing.
- The average price for online courses Research the competition
- Level of the course Offer courses with multiple levels
- Market demand Choose a topic in demand
- Course format and length Create a comprehensive course outline
- Course value Develop high-quality content
- Course packaging Create a beautiful website
1. Average price for online courses
Research the competition
Many courses are priced in the $10-$350 range, with many courses priced at $70 or less.
When deciding on a high or low price point to sell your online course, the first thing you would want to do is match your price to the average price of online courses.
How to know the rates for similar courses?
Research the competition. In other words, check how much other online courses cost. Look at other online courses in your field and see how they are priced. This will give you an idea of the going rate for similar courses.
For example, the average price for online photography courses is $20-$100.
The interesting point is that the course placement can influence the price, so pay attention to where the course is offered (the platform).
- Online course placement (the platform) and its influence on the price
But before we get into the price ranges, we should first mention one of the essential differences in online course platforms so you don't compare apples with oranges.
When comparing your competitor's prices on the market, the most common mistake is not to look at the online course placement. So, it begs the basic question.
What online course platform does the creator use to sell an online course on a stand-alone or shared platform?
If you sell your online course on a stand-alone platform, your prices should be much higher than the prices you see on the platforms grouping thousands of creators.
The average course price on a stand-alone platform varies widely as the instructor sets course prices. Some courses may be free, while others may cost hundreds of dollars.
For simplification, let's omit in the analysis the courses priced at $0 and the ones that are more expensive than $350.
Here is how creators price online courses on average:
- $10-$50 for a first online or mini course.
- From $100 starts a baseline for a full-length online course.
- $200-$350 is a premium price for a high-value online course.
There is no chance that setting the price at the same level as shared platforms is a good practice for your business, as it's doubtful that you'll get the volume of sales compared to those platforms.
Here is what Hermann Simon said about pricing in his book about pricing strategy:
Never run a business in which you have no influence on the prices you charge. – Hermann Simon
So, if you decide to set your price higher than other online course creators, you need to stay competitive. It means that you need to make sure that your business offers something unique which is valuable to your customers.
As mentioned above, the online course pricing varies from $10 to $350. But how does it help to know it? While this information might look unclear now, there is a perfectly logical explanation for why creators go for such different prices, which we'll investigate later.
The gist of the explanation is that most creators use a value-based pricing strategy to set the price of their online courses. This includes the course level, topic demand, format, length (mentioned above), and "course packaging."
- Prices for photography and video courses
We've checked the average price for this category on Udemy.
In the case of 0-1 hour courses, the vast majority are priced at €16.99. The price varies between €16.99 and 54.99, with an average price of € 18.50.
For longer courses, 1-3 hours, which are the most often created, the average price is € 24, with most courses priced at €16.99.
The most expensive courses are 3-6 hours, €30 on average.
Surprisingly, even longer courses (6-17 hours) on Udemy are cheaper than 3-6 hour courses. The platform offers them significantly discounted, priced on average €28.
2. Level of the course
Offer courses with multiple levels
Prices may vary based on the experience of the instructor. Some things to consider include your expertise level and the level of the course (beginners, intermediate, advanced).
How can you charge a 'higher rate'?
First, if you are experienced, and the course is for advanced students, you may be able to charge a higher rate than if you were a beginner teaching a course for beginners.
Second, offering multiple courses for audiences with different levels can have a positive effect on the price of an online course. Not so much because you can set the higher rate but rather because it allows the course creator to serve a wider audience, set different price points, and spread the cost of creating and marketing the course over a larger number of students.
Here's a quick way to offer multiple levels of courses in CreativeMindClass
- Get a free CreativeMindClass account
- Click My Classes in main menu to open it.
- Click ADD CLASS button to create a new course.
- Add 2-3 classes with multiple levels (beginners, intermediate, advanced).
3. Market demand
Choose a topic in demand
Market demand is a major factor that can influence the topic of an online course. If there is high demand for a particular topic, then course creators may be more likely to create a course on that topic in order to meet the needs of their audience.
On the other hand, if there is little demand for a particular topic, then course creators may be less likely to create a course on that topic because there may not be as much interest or potential for revenue.
There are a few ways that market demand for a particular topic can be determined. One way is through the use of market research, which involves collecting and analyzing data about the needs and preferences of potential course students. This can include surveys, focus groups, and other methods of gathering feedback from potential students.
Another way that market demand can be determined is through the use of analytics tools, such as Ahrefs, which can help course creators to track the traffic on websites. This can give them an idea of which topics are most popular and in demand among their audience.
Overall, the topic of an online course selection will often be influenced by market demand, as course creators strive to create courses that meet the needs and interests of their audience.
That said, if there is a high demand for a particular course topic, the price of the course may be higher because students are willing to pay more for the course.
How do you choose an online course topic?
Online course topic involves four main steps:
- Brainstorm what you want to teach
- Name your course
- Craft an offer
- Evaluate your ideas
These steps are the main focus of our guide on how to choose an online course topic.
4. Course format and length
Create a comprehensive course outline
The course outline can influence the price of an online course in several ways.
First, the length and depth of the course content will affect the price. If the course covers a large amount of material and is divided into multiple modules or units, it is likely to be more expensive than a shorter course with less content. Similarly, if the course includes interactive elements such as assignments, or downloadable files, it may be more expensive than a course that simply consists of pre-recorded lectures.
Second, the level of expertise or experience of the instructor can influence the price. If the instructor is a highly qualified expert in their field, they may charge a higher price for their course. On the other hand, if the instructor is less experienced or has a less specialized area of expertise, they may charge a lower price.
Finally, the demand for the course may affect the price. If a course is in high demand and has a limited number of seats available, the instructor may charge a higher price to reflect the demand. Conversely, if the course is not as popular, the instructor may lower the price in an effort to attract more students.
- Consider your time and effort
Creating an online course requires a significant investment of time and effort. Be sure to factor this in when setting the price.
For example, take a look at the average online course prices based on the course length:
The online course price range generally goes from a low price tag of $10 to a premium price tag of $350.
But what else influences the price?
The value of an online course can influence its price in several ways. For example, if an online course is perceived as having a high value by potential students, the course creator may be able to charge a higher price for it.
On the other hand, if an online course is perceived as having a lower value, the course creator may need to lower the price in order to attract students.
5. Course value
Develop high-quality content
The value of an online course is often determined by the quality and relevance of the content. This includes the depth and breadth of the subject matter covered, the organization and clarity of the content, and the use of interactive and engaging features.
Here is how to determine the value of your course:
- Consider the benefits your course will provide to students: New skills, knowledge, or career advancement.
- Don't undervalue your course: While it's important to be competitive, be careful not to undervalue your course. If you price your course too low, it may be perceived as low quality, even if it's not.
There is no easy way to calculate the price of knowledge and skills. The price depends on the course value, and you can charge between $10 and $350.
The price a customer is willing to pay, (...) is always a reflection of the perceived value of the product or service in the customer’s eyes. – Hermann Simon
Here are some proven ways of increasing online course sales by increasing an online course value:
- Add a video to each lesson
- Choose the video lesson type
- Record videos for your online course
- Create a learning experience that primarily focuses on videos
- Add a downloadable file
- Choose the downloadable files for your lessons
- Add an exercise to a lesson
- Ask students to share their projects and get your feedback
- Build an online community around your course
These steps are the main focus of our guide on how to plan and record video lessons (with bonuses) for an online course .
6. Course packaging
Create a beautiful website
A beautiful website can help an online course business sell better in a few different ways.
First, a visually appealing website can create a positive impression of the instructor and the course, which can increase trust and credibility. This can make potential customers more likely to consider making a purchase.
Second, a well-designed website can make it easier for users to find what they are looking for and complete the purchasing process, leading to higher sells overall. As this can increase the likelihood that a user will complete a purchase.
Finally, a beautiful website can differentiate a company or product from its competitors, helping it to stand out in a crowded market. This can make potential customers more likely to choose the company or product over others.
Overall, a beautiful website can contribute to increased sales by creating a positive impression of the company or product, providing a good user experience, and helping the company or product stand out from the competition.
Here's a quick way to create a beautiful website in CreativeMindClass
- Use a free CreativeMindClass website template
- Click Website in main menu to open it.
- Type your copy.
- Add your visuals.
Ultimately, the best price for your online course will depend on the value it provides to students and the demand for the topic. It may take some trial and error to find the right price, but by considering these factors and continuously analyzing your sales data, you can find a price that works for you and your students.
Online courses offer one of the best business models to digital business owners.
Launch an online course that brings you a stream of passive income and lots of fun. Knowledge is power, and establishing yourself as an expert in your niche is a smart move in the current knowledge society.
Figure out how to sell online courses as a side-hustle and open the door to making a living. Come up with the price that works well for you. It all makes sense as long as it's profitable for you and brings value to your target audience.
We are big on profitable online courses here at CreativeMindClass - it's why we make it so easy for creators to launch their online courses that would bring solid income.
How to price your online course?
Setting a fair price for your work is a challenge that many creators face, particularly when it comes to online courses. Creating an online course requires work, and it's essential to ensure that you are compensated appropriately for it.
It's important to factor in the time and effort that went into creating the course, as this will help determine a fair price.
When pricing an online course, it's also important to consider the lifetime value of the course. Unlike other projects, online courses have a longer lifespan and can continue to generate revenue for years to come. As such, it's important to aim for a price point that will cover the time and effort invested in the course over its lifetime.
There are several strategies that creators can use to calculate a fair price for their online course. One common approach is to calculate the total time spent creating the course and then multiply it by an hourly rate. Another strategy is to factor in the expected number of sales and revenue goals and then set a price point that will achieve those targets.
Ultimately, the key to pricing an online course is to strike a balance between fair compensation for your work and making the course accessible to your target audience. While it's important to charge a price that reflects the time and effort invested, it's also crucial to consider what your audience is willing and able to pay.
In conclusion, considering factors such as time invested, lifetime value, and target audience, creators can determine a fair and reasonable price point for their course. With the right pricing strategy in place, creators ensure that their hard work is appropriately compensated and their course is accessible to those who need it.
So walking the talk: How do you put a price on your work? Do you usually get paid by the hour or by the delivered project? In the case of an online course, the time you spend on content creation needs to be paid back in the lifetime of the course. That's the minimum that you should aim for. And then we can talk about the profits.
Here are three straightforward strategies for calculating a price for your online course:
Step 1. Mini course pricing: Launch it for a low price
If you are new to online courses, you might feel most comfortable at a low price point and a mini course is a great way to kick start your online courses. It's safe to start low and build up your price with time.
Launching a mini course in a nutshell:
- Mini courses prices: $10-$50
- Time duration: 30 minutes
- Preparation effort: Low
- Perfect for: Beginners and side-hustle creators
- Additional assets: No
Create a mini course
A mini course is often a short, 30min video course that you can sell for a low price. More specifically, a mini course can be described as shorter in duration than the full-length course, and often it doesn't offer additional assets like printables, so generally, it requires less time to prepare. In other words, you can consider it as one of the types of discounted courses.
You can make your customers happy with a mini course at a low price range of $10-$50. It also is a fantastic marketing solution for busy side-hustle creators who don't want to spend long hours preparing an online course.
But if you spend time on multiple video recording sessions, perfect the editing, and spend hours preparing homework and printables, we encourage you to set the price of your course at around $100, even if it's your first course.
Value-based price requires considering the amount of work you put into the online course, so if you worked hard, we recommend reflecting it in your pricing.
Step 2. Price $100 for a full-scale course. Never lower!
To launch a full-scale (aka full-length) online course, we recommend setting your baseline price at $100-$200. No matter if you are a first-time creator or you already have experience with online courses.
Launching a full-length course in a nutshell:
- Full-length courses prices: $100-$200
- Time duration: 120-180 minutes
- Preparation effort: Medium
- Perfect for: Beginners, experienced creators
- Additional assets: Includes printables
The time you spend recording, editing, and preparing printables needs to pay back, so if you want to sell a full-length course below $100, ask yourself a question - why? It might be that you don't have a good answer.
Charging high prices, so let's say $100 and more, might feel intimidating.
So, specifically for creators who want to charge a higher price, it's essential to understand the profitability of online course pricing and course value.
Step 3. Increase the value of your course: Charge $350 for a premium course.
If you feel like spending more time on course creation and preparing additional assets, you should consider launching a premium, high-value online course at high prices.
Launching a premium course in a nutshell:
- High-value courses prices: $200-$350
- Time duration: 120-180 minutes
- Preparation effort: High
- Perfect for: Creators who bring unique value
- Additional assets: Includes printables, attachments, and exercises.
Here is how to increase your online course value even further:
- Create upgrade content. Provide additional learning materials as an upgrade.
- Give Feedback. In other words - care if your students actually learn. Become an active part of their learning process.
- Create a community. Getting involved in your student's learning process and connecting with them will make you an industry leader.
- Improve the production quality. There is always a place for improvement in your videos, better lighting and sound is crucial to improving the overall quality, and it pays off!
- Become a mentor. Teach by sharing your personal experience with your students.
Here at CreativeMindClass, we offer a wide range of features that help you increase the value of your online course big time and make it possible to offer premium prices.
Using an Online Course Pricing Calculator
To make life easier, use an online pricing calculator to find a profitable selling price for your online course. CreativeMindClass's profit calculator is a great way to figure this out. It uses a cost-plus pricing strategy that takes the audience that you have, then you set the number of your courses to determine the potential profit.Use this online course pricing calculator to help you price your online course
How much can you make selling online courses
The amount of money you can make selling online courses varies widely depending on several factors, including the topic of your course, your target audience, your pricing strategy, and your marketing efforts. However, to provide some actual money information, here are some examples of how much creators have earned from selling online courses:
- In 2020, one of Udemy's top instructor, earned over $2 million in revenue from his online courses.
- The popular online course platform Teachable reported that its creators earned over $338 million in revenue in 2020.
- Online course creator, Sarah Cordiner, reportedly earned over $1 million in revenue from her courses in 2019.
- Another online course creator, Kari Samules, earned over $150,000 in revenue in just one week from her course on psychic development.
Of course, these are just a few examples, and the amount of money you can make from selling online courses will depend on various factors, as mentioned earlier.
It's also worth noting that creating and selling online courses is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and it takes time, effort, and dedication to succeed in this field. However, choosing an independent online course platform like CreativeMindClass and with the right approach and strategy, selling online courses can be a profitable and rewarding business venture.
How much do online courses cost?
Online courses on course platforms can vary in cost, depending on the subject matter and the instructor.
On CreativeMindClass, courses can range from free to hundreds of dollars, with many courses falling in the $20 to $200 range. On some platforms, like Domestika, courses tend to be slightly more expensive, with some courses costing upwards of $200.
One benefit of online course platforms is that they often offer discounts and promotions, allowing learners to enroll in courses at a reduced cost. Udemy, for example, frequently offers courses at discounted rates of up to 90% off the regular price.
It's worth noting that the quality of the courses can vary widely, so it's important to read reviews and research the instructor before enrolling in any course.
How many courses do creators usually offer?
The value-based pricing model assumes that the lower the price of your course, the less time you spend on creating it. So you can offer multiple mini courses for $20 or one high-value course for $350. But how much do you need to work to earn 1k from your online course?
The general rule is that the cheaper the course is, you need to convince more people to buy it, so you work harder on promotion, and the higher the price of your course is you need to convince fewer people, so you work less on the promotion.
Low course prices are coming with their challenges, and, generally speaking, they're not a long-term business solution for a creator. The sooner you increase your course prices, the better the general sustainability of your online business.
Make the first sale as soon as possible
An online course needs a great website to sell it. Whether you're a designer, marketer, photographer, coach, or visual artist, this collection of online course templates will help you get started and create a successful website for any online course.
If you ever tried to sell anything, you already know that hearing "no" is quite common, and well, it hurts in the beginning. But you might also know that a business owner becomes immune to hearing "no" fairly quickly. After a while, the "yeses" and the sales start coming, making everything sweet and worthy.
You should hear the first "yes" and make your first sale two to four weeks after the course launch with the intentional and regular promotion. To make your first sale as soon as possible, you can pre-sell your online course.
Pre-sell: How to sell your first online course fast.
- Pre-sell your online course. In principle, pre-selling allows you to start promoting your online course before you create it.
- Offer a huge discount. You're offering your audience an idea, a prototype of your online course, in exchange for an exclusive discount.
- Get in touch with customers early on. When you pre-sell your online course, you not only get paid upfront but also get in touch with your customers creating valuable leads for the future.
Pre-selling an online course is something that course creators do to ensure the success of a full-length online course. The earned money could be reinvested in, for example, the gear needed to produce your course.
Later on, you'll sell the course at full price, so it's a tempting offer for early students to jump on.
You can presell your course on CreativeMindClass.
Building an Online Course Platform was never that easy. Want to turn followers into students with your own video course platform? Everything you need to launch engaging video courses and to build an online community. Start for free!
Validate the course value with your audience
When you decide on the price of your course, the best way to validate the perceived value of online course topic is to talk to your audience or try to sell it.
Talking to your audience on social media about your online course can do wonders.
You can get valuable feedback about your online course ideas course curriculum to improve its quality. You get lots of information and have a chance to keep it exciting for your customers with your updates leading to your online course launch.
Is premium pricing for everyone?
The truth is:
Setting your online course price at a premium level is something everyone wants to do, but only a few dare. It would help if you felt comfortable with the price of your masterclasses because, after all, you are the one who is going to promote them.
Regular promotion can increase sales. But premium pricing might lower it.
When the perceived value of an online course and the price match, you've got the sweet spot. The good news is that they are both in your power zone.
Choose the price that works for you and reflects the value of your course.
How to change prices to attrack customers?
If you are already selling online coures you might want to change your pricing to attract more custormers. But should you go cheaper or more expensive?
Studies show that when consumers see that the price today is lower than it had been in the past, they are more likely to buy now, because the current price seems like a good deal.
But in order to decide, you need to have your full price strategy in mind. Price strategy can help support your buiness growth goals to gain a bigger market share. You should ensure that your pricing strategy works well with your busness model, one-time payment or subscription.
Resell online courses
Reselling is a widly used practice in the ecommerce world. Buying a product and selling it at a higher price seems like an easy way to make some extra money. Before you start your online course platform you might want to take a test ride and sell someone else course. Find a creator that fits your business and which courses are suitable to resell with a profit.
If you only take away one thing...
Deciding on your price is easier than you think.
If you want to take only one thing away about pricing an online course, here is our quick recommendation.
Create a full-length course and price it at $100. Later on, get creative in the ways you increase the value of your online course and go for premium pricing of $250. If you don't feel ready to launch a full-length course, don't worry, you can launch a mini course and price it at $20.
You can launch your mini course, a full-length course, or a high-value course at CreativeMindClass. As you can see, increasing the value of your online course serves as a base for increasing the price big time, so it's worth spending time on.
If you are starting a new online course right now, check out our full guide on how to create an online course.
Building an Online Course Platform was never that easy. Want to turn followers into students with your own video course platform? Everything you need to launch engaging video courses and to build an online community. Start for free!
- How to Price an Online Course in 3 Simple Steps (+Calculator)
- 90+ Online Course Ideas For Anyone Who Wants To Sell Online Courses. Templates & Examples
- 5 Quick Steps to Create an Online Course: Guide
- How to Choose an Online Course Topic
- Website Builder for Online Courses & Course Website Maker by CreativeMindClass
Harvard Business Review: Pricing and the Psychology of Consumption
Harvard Business Review: How Price Changes Influence Consumers’ Buying Decisions
Online Course Pricing FAQ
What is online course pricing?
Online course pricing determines the amount customers are willing to pay for the value they get. The price you charge has a direct impact on the overall success of your business. Setting your online course price right will maximize your profits and bring a feeling of satisfaction but also create a sustainable business in the long run.
Prices determine how much money you make. – Hermann Simon
What is value-based course pricing?
Value pricing is customer-focused pricing, meaning creators can base the pricing on how much the customer believes a product is worth.
To give you an idea, if you know that you offer a unique, high-value online course, you can and should charge more than your competitors.
You are probably thinking: "But there are so many courses out there, so how is my online course unique?"
While this is not a strict rule, if you are a course creator and share what you learned, your skills, and things you experienced on your own during your life, that makes it already genuinely unique. As they say, "Be yourself. There is no competition in being you."
How can I find out how to price an online course?
It's easy to determine the cost of the online course with a price calculator. If you want to calculate the price manually, add up your variable cost and fixed expenses. After that, you can apply the profit margin to calculate an estimated market price.
What key factors should be considered when pricing an online course?
Two main factors in pricing an online course:
- Prices of other online courses on the market
- Value of your online course
How much can you make selling online courses?
Here is the earnings breakdown for a $100 online course:
- VAT for Germany -> 19%
- Stripe payment processing fee -> 4%
- Student invoicing fee for digital services -> 6%
- CreativeMindClass Basic Package fee -> 8%
- Earnings -> $63 for each course sold, hassle-free.
How can I increase the value of my online course?
To increase the value of your online course, you need to think about what matters to your audience. Thankfully, it's easy to do as humans universally want a good quality product. To buy it, they need to be seen what they buy and want to have the sweet feeling of after-purchase satisfaction.
Do you need more details on how to create an online course? Here is a guide on how to create an online course with CreativeMindClass.
Get Started with the CreativeMindClass Course Builder— It's Free!
TEACHING SPACERun your own creative business, teach, and get paid.
VIDEO COURSESCreate your own video classes, without limits.
LESSONSUpload lessons and provide learning materials in one place.
FEEDBACKGive feedback effortlessly and post it to your feed.
COMMUNITYBring together like-minded people and geek out about creative topics.
PAYMENTSCollect your payments globally with just a few clicks. Also in EU.
Building a Teaching Platform was never that easy. Want to turn followers into students with your own video course platform? Everything you need to launch engaging video courses and to build an online community. Start for free!