How to Price Online Courses

Pricing your online courses can be challenging. We’re here to help you figure it out.

Whether you run an online training business or are just starting out, online course pricing is a challenging step in the process.

But understanding how to price your online course doesn’t have to be scary. By taking the time to come up with the right pricing model for your course, you’re valuing yourself and all of your hard work.

Ahead, we’re going to break down some approaches to understanding online course pricing. But before we jump into the tips, let’s look at why online course pricing is important.

Why is online course pricing so important?

Pricing your online course is important because you want to strike a balance between value for your students and value for yourself. What would make this online course worth it for your students? And what would make it worth it for you to do all the work involved in making a course?

Let that soak in for a moment.

When you build an online course, you’re using your ideas, skills, and perspective to give your students the tools to achieve their goals. That is immensely valuable. But many still sell themselves short. Let’s make sure you don’t.

Ahead, we’re going to dive deep into a plethora of ways you can rethink how to price your online courses.

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Do your research

If you’re wondering how to price your online course, it’s important to research what other people are doing. When you understand what your competition is charging, you can plan your online course pricing more accurately.

Don’t view this so much as figuring out what price you need to charge to undercut your competitors. This is more about having a lay of the land for what students are willing to pay for the online course you’re offering.

Also, seeing what others are doing is a great way to inspire your own content!

Consider your baseline price

The first step for pricing your online course is deciding what your baseline price will be. Figuring out your baseline price is important for a number of reasons, but here are two questions we think are most important:

  • What price would make you happy? This might seem like an odd question to ask, but it’s not. If you’re trying to make money running an online course, then you need to know your worth. Or more importantly, what’s worth it for you? When thinking about how to price your online course, you’re also asking how much money you deserve for the amount of work you’re putting in. This will be different for everyone.
  • What kind of online course are you trying to build? Pricing your online course also correlates to the size of your class. If you charge a high price, you might have fewer students, but they are more invested. If you charge a lower price, you might have a lot more students, and in turn, a lot more work. Being savvy with your online course pricing will help you build and control the type of community you’re after.

Once you can answer these questions, you’re headed in the right direction in pricing your online course.

Your perspective is the draw 

The online course space isn’t a burgeoning field anymore. Many people are in it and offering similar classes. But what sets you apart from the competition is your unique perspective.

When figuring out how to price your online course, take some time to inventory what makes your point of view valuable. Remember, when you build an online course you’re providing people a path to complete goals they couldn’t on their own.

The important distinction to make here is that having a unique perspective doesn’t mean that you need to be an expert on your course topic. You can create a successful online course whether you’re highly accomplished in the field your course is about or you’re simply an enthusiast.

When you narrow down why your perspective is unique, you’ll have a much clearer picture of how to price your online course.

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Set income goals for yourself

When you run an online course it’s easy to only think about helping your students achieve their goals. But yours are important too!

Another great way to help decide online course pricing is to know what you would like to achieve. When you have a goal in mind for how much you’d like to make from your online course, you can set a price that will help you reach it.

For example, let’s say you wanted to make $4,000 from your online course. If you charged $50 for your online course, you’d need 80 students to meet your goal. And if you charged $100, then you’d only need 40 students. You get the idea.

What we’re getting at is pricing your online courses isn’t just a tool to entice potential students. You can also charge in a way that helps you reach your income goals and control class size.

Experiment with new offerings

As more people join your online course, you can rethink your online course pricing by adding new features. If you were building an online course for the first time, it’s understandable that you focused on creating educational content that helped students achieve their goals.

But after you’ve gotten some reps under your belt, consider experimenting with new offerings. When you offer new features in your online course it increases its value and allows you to rethink how to price your online course.

If you’re wondering what types of features you could add, here are a few to consider:

  • Hosting a monthly live Q&A. A great way to encourage more student engagement is to offer a chance for them to ask you questions live. Consider posting on your discussion board a call for questions. Then, you can hold a monthly Zoom meeting where you answer the questions posed by students.
  • Offer online coaching. Another great way to rethink online course pricing is to offer opportunities like online coaching. This gives you a chance to meet with students one on one (or in small groups) and addresses their personal questions and goals in a more intimate setting. On top of that, it allows you to build deeper connections with your members.
  • Create a paid membership group. Another great avenue to consider in your online course pricing is a paid membership group. This group can be for students who are looking for help on more specific topics pertaining to the online course. Or it could simply be a community space that is added to the course. This is a great option to continue the longevity of your students’ engagement once they’ve completed your online course content.

These are only the tip of the iceberg for features you could consider adding, but they are a good start. At the end of the day, adding new experiences to your online course will reengage existing students and entice new ones to join.

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Consider tiered pricing

The question of how to price your online courses ultimately depends on what you have to offer. A great way to experiment with pricing your online courses is through tiered pricing.

If you’re wondering what we mean by tiered pricing, it’s basically a fancy way of saying, “give your students options.” For example, you could offer your online course at a base price of $100. At the base level, this gives students access to your course materials for them to work toward their goals.

But you can also offer a packaged deal for $150 that gives students access to the online course and an online community space. This gives students more benefits for a slightly higher price while still giving people options for how they interact with your content.

A great way to build good connections with your potential customers is by showing them that they have some autonomy when they work with you to accomplish their goals.

It’s easier to go down, not up

It’s much easier to start with a higher price for your online course than a lower one. Why? Because if you decide you want to change your online course pricing, reducing the price of a course is much more effective than raising it.

This goes back to our idea about starting with a higher baseline price. When you start high, it gives you an idea of what your potential student’s threshold is for paying for an online course.

For example, if people were willing to pay for your online course at $250, then it would only make sense that if you reduced it to $150 that you would get more potential students to opt-in. At a higher price, you can offer move involvement through live content and private coaching. At a lower price, you can be a little more hands-off by utilizing pre-recorded content to reduce your workload while increasing your class size.

On the other hand, if you flipped that scenario and raised the price by $100 dollars you probably wouldn’t see many gains and you might actually lose students in the process. In short, people aren’t going to complain about a discount, but they certainly will be turned off by a price hike.

Time to get started

We’ve explored a few ideas to help answer how to price your online course. But the most important thing you need to do is get the ball rolling.

When you’re determining your online course pricing it’s important to remember that your needs are just as important as your students’. Take the time to think about these questions:

  • Why are you jumping into online course development?
  • What do you hope to get from offering an online course?
  • How involved would you like to be in your online course? 

Once you’ve thought through these questions and the ideas noted above, you’ll be in a great place to get started.

We can’t wait to see what kind of online courses you’ll make.

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