An effective online course is a combination of great video content and a website that sells it.
Illustrators, writers, photographers, fitness instructors, coaches, and all types of professionals create online courses to serve their audience with skills and knowledge. It can be a source of additional income or the main occupation.
Learn the process of creating an online course in CreativeMindClass with our free guide.
When creating an online course (or a webinar), sooner or later, every creator needs to answer the question: how much should I charge for my online course?
Pricing is the most effective way to generate higher profits, and it's an essential element of success to start your online courses. After you spend time creating content, it's the next step to take. Deciding on the right price is an important part of your business strategy and brings some level of discomfort. But putting the price tag on your skills doesn't need to be intimidating.
Frankly, it's simple. 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.
We took a look at the three most common prices 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 website 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 are going to have. Use CreativeMindClass's profit calculator to find a profitable selling price for your online course.
What influences an online course price
Not all courses are equal. Prices of online courses vary widely. Some courses are offered for free, while others can cost hundreds of dollars (or euros).
Before trying to price your online course, you first need to know how what factors influence the price.
So let's explore the six main things that impact Online Course Pricing.
- Average prices of online courses on the market 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. What prices do online creators charge on average
Research the competition
Many courses are priced in the $10-$350 range, with a significant number of 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.
An interesting point to know 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 for the basic question.
What online course platform does the creator use to sell an online course; on a stand-alone platform or a shared platform?
If you sell your online course on a stand-alone platform, your prices should be set much higher than the prices you see on the platforms that are grouping thousands of creators.
The average price of a course on a stand-alone platform varies widely, as course prices are set by the instructor. Some courses may be available for 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 course or a 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 this said, 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 get into later.
The gist of the explanation, though, is that it's because 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."
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 .
5. 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.
Estimate the course profitability: How much does it cost you to create an online course?
It takes time and effort to create an online course. 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.
There are three straightforward strategies for calculating a price for your online course.
- Launch your first course as a mini-course at a low price
- Create a full-length course for a minimum of $100
- Increase the value of your course
1. Are you selling an online course for the first time? Launch a mini course 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.
2. Set your baseline price at $100 for a full-length online course. Never lower!
To launch a 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.
3. Increase the value of your course. Go ahead and charge $350 for a high-value course.
If you feel like spending more time on course creation and preparing additional assets, you should consider launching a high-value online course at high prices.
Launching a high-value 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 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.
What payment methods do creators offer?
Easy online payments allow customers to pay quickly for an online course can lower the entry barrier.
There are three main online payment methods a creator can get money with:
- Credit cards and wallets. Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.
- Bank debits and transfers. A debit card or wire transfer.
- Local payment methods. Supporting popular payment methods around the world increases conversion.
We are big advocates of supporting multiple online payment methods - it's why we make it so easy for you to offer it to your potential customers.
If you decide to use multiple payment methods to charge for our online courses, we recommend adding 4% on top of your online course price.
Payment provider software usually charges around 3% and 5% for payment transactions, so make you consider when setting the course price to be sure it won't hurt your baseline.
As a digital business, the point is that you don't need to limit yourself to one payment method. There should be nothing that can stop you from growing globally if you offer your customers multiple payment methods, so it is the right way to go.
We'll analyze three pricing scenarios and explain how creators might have ended up choosing the price for their online course.
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!
- A Mini Course: The Best Way to Start with Online Courses
- Creative Ideas for Online Courses: Top Video Course Topics (with Examples)
- How to Create an Online Course: The 5 Easy Steps
- Creating an Online Course: How to Choose the Right Topic
- How to Sell Courses Online: 5 Strategies to Boost Your Sales
Brave New: How Much Does Video Equipment Cost?
Online Course Pricing FAQ
What is online course pricing?
Online course pricing is the process of determining 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 not only 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 you 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 you share what you learned, your skills, and things you experienced on your own during your life, that makes it already truly 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 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 Packge fee -> 8%
- Earnings -> $63 for each course sold, hassle-free.
How can I increase the value of my online course?
In order to increase the value of your online course, you need to think about what matters to your audience. Thankfully, it's an easy task to do as humans universally want a good quality product, in order to buy it they need to be seen what they buy and they 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 get started on CreativeMindClass.