Deciding on a pricing plan for an online course can be a challenging task. Price the course a bit too high and it will risk turning off your potential customers. Price it too low and you might not even make enough to cover the cost of creating the course.

To ensure you can turn a profit while also providing value to your students, it is crucial to carefully consider how to price your online course. 

In this blog, we will share the best pricing strategies, along with the factors you should take into account when setting the price of an online course.

Factors to Consider on How to Price your Online Course

Let’s start by looking at the factors that you should keep in mind when you learn how to price your online course.

1. Cost of Creating the Course

It’s important to understand the costs associated with creating your course before you decide on a price. This includes the time you have to spend, any necessary hardware or software, hiring help from independent contractors or freelancers, and any other costs associated with developing the course. Make a breakdown of all the costs associated with creating your course and add them all up. You can use the cost of producing the course as a starting point to determine a price that will allow you to turn a profit.

2. Market Demand

Before deciding on a price, it’s important to do research and analyze the demand for your course. Look for similar courses in your niche and see how they are priced. You can conduct keyword research to find out what people are looking for in relation to your course. Additionally, survey your audience or conduct market research to determine how much they would be willing to pay for a course like yours.

You can choose to charge a higher price for your course or offer it at a lower price in order to draw in more students based on your research. Just keep in mind that a higher price point might draw in a more selective, niche audience while a lower price point might draw in a larger, more diverse one.

3. Competition

As we shared above, It’s invaluable to identify your competitors in the market and see how they are pricing their courses. If you don’t have a lot of competition for your course, you may be able to charge a premium price. On the other hand, if your course has a lot of competition, and many others are offering similar courses, you may need to price it competitively to attract students.

4. Value of the Course

When deciding on a price, the perceived value of your course is crucial. You might be able to charge more for your course if it provides unique value and has high-quality production value, or has extra resources. A certification or accreditation may also boost the perceived value of your course and allow you to charge a higher price.

Different Pricing Models for Online Courses

In addition to the factors to consider when pricing an online course, there are different pricing models to choose from. Every pricing model has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s critical to select the one that best fits your course and target audience. Here’s how to price your online course following different pricing models.

1. One-time fee

The one-time fee model is the most straightforward pricing model for online courses. Students pay a one-time fee for access to the course content and any additional resources. This model is popular for courses that are self-paced and do not have a set time limit for completion.


  • Students know exactly what they are paying for
  • Can be a lower price point than other models, making it more accessible to a wider audience
  • Course creators receive a lump sum payment up front


  • May not provide recurring revenue for the course creator
  • Students may not feel a sense of urgency to complete the course if there is no time limit

2. Subscription Model

The subscription model allows students to pay a recurring fee to access course content. For courses that are regularly updated or have a deadline for completion, this model will suit well.


  • Provides recurring revenue for the course creator
  • Encourages students to complete the course within a set time frame
  • Can be priced at a premium for courses with frequent updates or ongoing support


  • Students may be hesitant to commit to a recurring payment
  • The cost may add up for students over time

3. Tiered Pricing Model

The tiered pricing model offers different price points for different levels of access to the course content. For instance, a basic level might just give you access to the course materials, whereas a premium level might also give you access to more resources or one-on-one assistance.


  • Offers different price points to suit a wider range of budgets and needs
  • Encourages students to choose a higher-priced tier for additional value
  • Can provide additional revenue streams for the course creator


  • May require more work to create different tiers of content and resources
  • Can be more difficult for students to choose the right tier for their needs

4. Dynamic Pricing Model

The Dynamic Pricing Model is a pricing strategy that adjusts the price of a course based on certain factors, such as demand, time of year, or the student’s location. If you want to how to price your online course based on this model, your revenue will not be linear. This model is predicated on the notion that the “idea” price for a course will vary depending on the context, and that course developers can maximize revenue and maintain prices competitively by dynamically adjusting the price.


  • Can lead to higher revenue by optimizing prices for different situations
  • Can help keep prices competitive with other courses in the market
  • Can be automated using algorithms and data analysis tools


  • Requires sophisticated algorithms and data analysis to implement effectively
  • Can be difficult to communicate to students why the price is changing
  • May require frequent adjustments to pricing, which can be time-consuming

5. Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) Model

The Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) Model is a pricing strategy that gives students the option to set their own price for the course, as long as it falls within a range that has been suggested. This model is based on the idea that some students might be willing to pay more than the suggested price and that they will be more likely to buy the course if they feel like they have some control over the price.


  • Can be a powerful way to build trust and connection with students
  • Can encourage more people to try the course by lowering the barrier to entry
  • Can potentially lead to higher revenue if some students choose to pay more than the suggested price


  • Can lead to lower revenue if students choose to pay very little or nothing at all
  • Can be difficult to predict revenue and budget for the course if the pricing is uncertain
  • Can be abused by students who take advantage of the option to pay very little or nothing at all

6. Group Pricing Model

The Group Pricing Model is a pricing strategy that gives students who sign up as a group or team a discount. This model is based on the idea that businesses or organizations may be willing to pay for the attendance of their employees, and that by providing a discount for group enrollments, course developers can encourage more of these large purchases.


  • Can lead to higher revenue per student, as businesses or organizations may be willing to pay more for group enrollments
  • Can be a powerful incentive for companies or organizations looking to upskill their staff
  • Can be an effective way to market the course to businesses or organizations


  • May require custom pricing based on the size of the group, which can be time-consuming
  • May require more effort and marketing to target these groups
  • May require additional support and resources to manage multiple students within a group

Bonus: Strategies for Maximizing Course Sales

In addition to pricing models, when learning how to price your online course there are several strategies that you should know to maximize you online course sales and revenue.

1. Promotions and Discounts

Offering promotions and discounts is a proven way to increase sales and draw in new customers. This can involve one-time deals, discounted rates for ordering in advance, or special offers for certain demographics like veterans or students.

It’s critical to have a specific objective in mind when using promotions and discounts, such as boosting sales or luring in new customers. However, it’s also important to make sure that the promotion or discount doesn’t lower the value of the course or give students a negative impression of it.

Tips for Implementing Promotions and Discounts Effectively Include:

  • Establish specific terms and conditions for the promotion or discount.
  • Utilize urgency and scarcity to motivate students to take quick action, also known as FOMO.
  • Think about offering an additional benefit or value in addition to the discount.

2. Bundling

Bundling involves combining multiple products or services into a package deal. For online courses, this can mean bundling multiple courses together, or combining a course with other resources or services.

Effective bundling strategies include:

  • Offering a discount or bonus for the bundle to incentivize students to purchase
  • making bundles that clearly demonstrate their value to students
  • Utilizing bundling to cross-sell or upsell additional courses or resources

3. Payment Plans

Instead of paying the entire cost of a course up front, payment plans enable students to pay for it over time. Students who might not have the financial means to pay the full cost all at once may find the course to be more accessible as a result.

To implement payment plans effectively, it’s important to:

  • Clearly state the conditions of the payment schedule.
  • Use a reputable payment processing system to guarantee dependability and security.
  • Set a reasonable interest rate or payment amount for the payment schedule that strikes a balance between students’ affordability and the course creator’s profitability.

4. Affiliate marketing

In affiliate marketing, you collaborate with other people or businesses to market your course to their audience in exchange for a commission. A great way to reach out to new audiences and increase sales is through affiliate marketing.

To use affiliate marketing effectively for online courses, it’s important to:

  • Find relevant partners who have an audience that would be interested in your course
  • Specify the affiliate program’s terms and conditions in detail.
  • Provide affiliates with a competitive commission rate to encourage them to market your course.
  • Give affiliates the resources and tools they need to successfully promote your course.

5. Upselling and cross-selling

Offering extra goods or services to customers who have already purchased a course is known as upselling and cross-selling. For example, upselling could involve offering a more advanced or comprehensive course, while cross-selling could involve offering related products or services, such as coaching or consulting.

To use upselling and cross-selling effectively, it’s important to:

  • Understand the requirements and preferences of your current clients.
  • Offer supplementary goods or services that are useful and meet the needs of your clients.
  • To encourage customers to make additional purchases, use compelling messaging that is clear and concise.

6. Free Trials and Samples

Offering free trials or samples of your course can be a great way to show prospective students what it has to offer and to gain the audience’s trust and credibility.

To use free trials and samples effectively, it’s important to:

  • Offer enough of the course to give prospective students a good idea of what it’s about.
  • Clearly explain the course’s advantages and how they can help prospective students accomplish their goals.
  • After a trial or sample, follow up with clients to encourage them to purchase the full program.

7. Social Proof

Utilizing social proof entails using testimonials, reviews, and other types of social proof to prove the worth and authority of your course. Social proof has the potential to be a potent tool for gaining the trust of potential customers and boosting sales.

To use social proof effectively, it’s important to:

  • Gather and display endorsements from satisfied customers.
  • Use social media and other platforms to interact with your audience and establish a powerful online presence.
  • Showcase how your course has assisted others in achieving their goals by using case studies or success stories.


Pricing an online course can be a complex process, and it requires careful consideration of various factors such as the cost of creating the course, market demand, competition, and perceived value. Different pricing models such as one-time fees, subscriptions, tiered pricing, dynamic pricing, Pay-What-You-Want, and group pricing can all be effective depending on the specific needs of the course creator and their audience.

Additionally, implementing strategies like promotions and discounts, bundling, payment plans, affiliate marketing, upselling and cross-selling, free trials and samples, and social proof can all help maximize course sales.

In the end, how to price your online course and launch it is a decision that requires thoughtful planning, market research, and experimentation. By taking the time to carefully consider these factors and strategies, course creators can increase their chances of success and provide value to their students.

Author Faisal Sarker Faisal is a tech writer and marketer. Apart from writing useful content that help people around the world, he also likes to travel and read books of all genres in his leisure time.
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