How To Price Your Online Course | Proven Strategies

Article by Sona Hoveyan / Updated at .10 Apr 2024
14 min read
How To Price Your Online Course | Proven Strategies

Online course pricing is one of the most critical aspects. Why? Because the decision of purchase by your potential client is greatly affected by the price of your product or service. This is why knowing how exactly you should price your course appears challenging.   

This complete guide includes course pricing strategies, best practices, and tips from Jessica Terzakis, an online course creator and curriculum designer. 

How much do you charge for an online course? 

You put so much time and effort into creating your online course with the best hopes that it’s going to sell well. For your online course to sell, you will need a persistent pricing strategy. To give you a clearer idea of how you should price your online courses, we will analyze the main pricing ranges. 

  • If you create a mini course consisting of up to 15 lessons, each under 10 minutes, you can charge at least $57 unless you decide to offer it as a freebie. 
  • If you are creating a complete DIY course with about 10 modules, Jessica Terzakis, who has helped hundreds of creators launch and price their courses and programs, recommends pricing it between $97-$500. If you do not plan to keep in touch with your students via calls, live meetings, or anything else as they progress through the course, then this is the pricing range for you. 
  • If you are creating a regular course where the students have access to the community, they can contact you regularly via a call, messages, live sessions, etc, you can charge over $1000 for your course. Further in this guide we will be discussing how you can increase the values of your course and start charging more. 

“Once you attach a call with you or a community, you approach the $1000 dollar mark. However, if all a student does is sit down and watch the videos, the days of being able to charge more than $1000 for this type of course are gone.” 


Jessica Terzakis

Course Creator and Curriculum Designer

What determines my course price? 

When thinking about what you should pay attention to when pricing a course the first thing that comes to mind is the volume of your course. However, course pricing includes a lot more essential factors. Here is what Jessica Terzakis from Terzakis and Associates recommends asking yourself before coming up with the right price for an online course. 

 What’s the outcome of the course?

Imagine you're browsing through an online store looking for a new laptop. You wouldn't just pick any randomly, right? You'd consider what features it offers, its quality, and most importantly, what value it brings to your life.

Similarly, the results and course outcomes you promise have a lot to say about pricing. If you provide quicker, tangible, and practical results, your students are more likely to purchase your course regardless of the high pricing.  

For example, let's say you've created a course on digital marketing. If your course teaches advanced strategies that help students land high-paying clients or significantly increase their online sales, then it's delivering some serious value. In this case, you can price it accordingly because the outcomes are tangible and valuable.

On the flip side, if your course only covers fundamental concepts that can be easily found for free online, then it might not justify a high price tag.

That is why you want to ask, “What will my students get? How will it help them in their lives or careers?”

See more: Develop Learning Outcomes with 5 Steps

Expected impact on students/learning outcomes

How big of a problem does your course solve? 

Your students consider buying your course because it solves a particular problem for them. Depending on this problem and how huge of a gap you are trying to fill, your course pricing can change. 

In this case, consider the impact your course has on people's lives. Does it save time, reduce stress, or help them with an in-demand skill? The bigger the positive impact, the more you can justify charging higher for it.

For instance, someone might be offering a course on beginner-level knitting techniques. This course will not be as expensive as the one teaching how to fast-track the use of ChatGPT to come up with all your email marketing content. Of course, the knitting course serves a specific niche audience interested in knitting, but it doesn't address a pressing problem or offer transformative outcomes in the same way as the second example. So, course pricing also depends on how pressing an issue you solve is. 


How quickly can you solve it? 

People are willing to invest more if they know they'll see immediate or rapid improvements. It does not suggest, however, that your course must take a student from zero to hero in two weeks. 

For example, let's say you've created a course on mastering a specific software tool that's essential for a particular job. If your course can take someone from beginner to a solid level of proficiency in a few weeks, it's offering a quick solution to a pressing problem. And, as the potential student is sure they will be able to apply those skills in their current job or before applying for a certain job, the relevantly higher price for your course will again be justified. 


What does my course include?

The next factor that needs to be considered when pricing your course is the content and resources. 

As we discussed above, your pricing ranges differ based on the type of course you are offering. Is it a full, comprehensive course that provides a deep dive into the topic, or is it more of a mini-course offering a quick overview or specific skills? The answer to this question will help you determine the value proposition of your course and set a price that aligns with what you're offering.

Besides, it is not only the volume of the resources and materials you included in the course, but the uniqueness and originality. If your course offers unique insights, strategies, or approaches that set it apart from others on the market, it becomes more valuable to potential students. They're not just paying for information—they're investing in your exclusive knowledge and expertise.

Perhaps you developed cheat sheets or templates that can’t be found elsewhere, and those are the ones that helped you succeed. This is worth paying for, as it is not just a piece of information easily found on the internet, but a unique strategy you came up with yourself considering your years of experience in a particular field. 


How much involvement does a student have in the course? 

If you were to hire a personal trainer, would you expect the same price for a self-guided workout plan as you would for one-on-one coaching sessions? Probably not. The level of involvement and personalized attention you receive greatly affects the value of the service.

Some courses are self-paced with minimal interaction, while others offer live sessions, group discussions, or personalized feedback from instructors. The more involvement and support students receive, the more valuable your course becomes.

For example, let's say you offer a self-paced course on photography. Students get access to video lessons, tutorials, and assignments, but there's no direct interaction with you as a course instructor. This type of course might be priced lower because it requires less time and resources to maintain.

On the other hand, if you offer a premium course with live Q&A sessions, personalized critiques of students' work, and a dedicated community forum for discussion, the increased student involvement and support justify a higher price point. Students are not only gaining knowledge but also receiving individualized attention and feedback, which is essential for a full learning experience.

How do you price an online course the right way?

Now that you are well aware of what usually contributes to your course having a higher price, let’s see how exactly you can price your online course.  

Consider your market 

Knowing your market is critical to pricing your course correctly. When you are aware of who your target client is, including their income rates and popular modes of payment, you will have a much better idea of what they are ready to pay for the knowledge you promise them. 

As you have a certain course price in mind  according to the criteria and questions we set above, you will be able to identify:

  • Will my students be able to pay for this?
  • Is this something my students will be wanting to pay for? 

You might also consider competitor-based pricing strategies. Knowing who your competitors are is a highly critical factor that will affect your further strategies related to pricing and marketing. 

Before making your final decision, check out similar platforms and courses. Look carefully in which price range they are, and which ones get higher sales. Of course, we are not saying you should price your course exactly the same. It just gives you a clearer idea on what your audience is willing to pay. 

Calculate your costs & potential return on investment 

In order to price the course in the right manner and develop a working strategy for pricing courses further, you need to have an idea of what you invested in the final product. For the course creation, you most likely spent not only your time but also your energy and money, be it equipment, the purchase of editing software, or website creation. 

As you estimate your expenses, continue setting a specific goal. Let’s say you want to make $6,000 with your online course. And you estimated the price for your course as $150. This means you will need to have at least 40 students to reach your goal. And what if you sell it for a higher price, like $300? In that case, 20 enrollments will be enough for you to reach your goal. You get the idea!

This will help you later calculate whether your course launch was successful. And how do you know the average number of enrollments? If you launch your course with the help of an email list, 2% of your list is likely to purchase your course. You can also decide based on how much engagement you get on social media. 

Consider your authority in the field 

As you have a particular price in mind, also think about the credibility you have in the field. For example:

  • Do you have specialized skills or certifications that demonstrate your expertise?
  • Have you helped others achieve success through your guidance or mentorship? 
  • Have you received accolades or awards from reputable sources?
  • Are you collaborating with a well-known and reputable company?
  • Are you known for providing unique perspectives? 

If you are a complete beginner, think about how you can build your name and authority. One way is to educate your audience for free. This can be done through blog articles, videos on YouTube, podcasts, etc. 

Price according to the value 

There are courses that provide practical value and those which do not. The value of your course solely depends on you.   

First of all, choose the right topic to excel in to provide accurate, high-quality materials. Secondly, make sure you include additional materials and have a list of readings, audio, or e-books to help your students understand the material better. Last but not least, provide interactive live sessions or even pre-recorded classes, and make sure to include quizzes and tests. You already put much of your time into designing the course, so $99 is your starting point. 

Also, a good step would be to include a certificate that students will gain after the course; it can motivate them to complete the course. 

How do you charge more for your course? 

Consumers of educational content tend to perceive the higher price as more valuable. It is a proven fact. This is just one of the reasons why you do not want to charge low from the very beginning.  

Low prices do not guarantee huge sales as you might expect. On the contrary, your perceived value decreases, and you start attracting students who are there solely for the sake of a low price. 

Higher Price = Higher Value

If you want to avoid it, you should make sure your course offers as much value as possible. Here is how you can increase your course value and start charging more. 

Find the gap 

It is more than obvious: The more specific your course is, the more unique it will be. As we have discussed above, your pricing greatly depends on how specific and big the problem you are trying to solve is. 

There is a huge probability that there are lots of courses available on the topic you are trying to address. Sure, you are not going to reinvent the wheel! However, you can find that unique angle and approach to the same topic. 

Such topics tend to be highly specific. Let’s say you are offering nutrition courses, which is a pretty general topic. And if a sportsman is looking for a nutrition course about post-championship diet, he/she is less likely to take up that general course. Instead, they would like to enroll in a course covering their specific problem. 

This means the outcomes for your specific course resonate better with them, making your course much more valuable than the existing ones. In this case, you can price your course totally higher. 

Award certificates 

Getting a completion certificate is one of the motivating factors for your students to complete the course. Besides, they can always share it as part of their achievements. This is how providing certificates can add additional value to your course. 

Stay in touch with your students 

A great majority of courses are just students accessing the video material and completing tasks without the latter being looked through by the course instructor. If you want to be able to charge over $1000, think about how they can stay in touch with you. For example, you may include

  • calls with your students
  • keeping in touch via email or social media
  • live lessons or additional coaching sessions
  • inviting them to groups 

Of course, if you have more than seventy students enrolled in just one of your courses, keeping in touch with all of them is not realistic. However, as you are going to charge more, you can limit the number of participants who enroll in the course. This way, you will be able to provide a full learning experience and help all of your students progress through the course. 

Offer a community 

Lastly, you may want to create communities for your courses to increase course value. This way, your students can keep in touch not only with you but with other students as well. If you are using a course management platform like Uteach, you can easily create and manage communities directly from your dashboard.   

Set up pricing strategy 

Set a price and just do it! 

Pricing your online courses correctly is crucial for further success. However, the idea of overpricing or underpricing your course should not keep yourself from successfully launching the course.  

All you have to do is determine a price that feels right for your specific course and settle with it. What’s more important is making your course as valuable as possible. As you launch new courses, you will determine which pricing strategy works best.

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