How Much Can You Make Selling Online Courses?

Melinda was excited because she found out that it was possible to generate income online by selling courses.

However, she had lots of other questions that needed answers. The most obvious question is this.

How much can you make selling online courses? The answer depends on several factors such as your niche, audience size, business model and competitiveness of your field.

There are thousands of online course providers offering anything from basic English lessons to advanced programming skills.

If you want to start earning some extra cash, then you should consider starting your own online course. The e-learning market is growing and is a great source of potential revenue.

You can sell your courses through multiple platforms, including Udemy, Teachable, Skillshare, and CreativeLive.

Each has its pros and cons, and you’ll need to decide which suits your style and target audience. You can scale up as you go to reach more students and create additional courses to increase your potential revenue.

In this post, you’ll learn how much you can make from online course sales and other tips and tricks.

photo of a woman sitting at a table, staring into a laptop screen with a book on the table and a pen in her hand

Is It Possible To Earn Money Selling Online Courses?

Yes, it is possible to sell online courses for profit.

There are several ways to do this, such as through Amazon, Clickbank, Udemy, Teachable, Skillshare, and others. The key to making money from these platforms is to create high-quality courses that teach something valuable and useful. Your educational content should have real value.

You can opt to create your course on a course creation platform or WordPress site and market it through social media ads or Google Ads. Great options for generating revenue if you do not already have a built-in audience to whom to sell your course. 

Another option for earning money from selling an online course is to utilize an online course marketplace like Udemy. Potential students visit these sites seeking out online courses which can reduce your marketing pressure.

A downside might be the competitiveness of offerings and the low cost of courses on these sites. Additional marketing outside the platform and creating a stellar brand reputation is the best option for helping you manage these downsides. 

How Much Revenue Can You Expect From an Online Course?

Income in the course creation field can vary widely. Course creators might make only a thousand dollars a year from a course while others might be raking in more than a hundred thousand dollars a year in passive income.

Several factors go into what end of the spectrum you might find yourself on.

1. Marketing Effort

First, how much effort you put into marketing your course is going to have a huge impact on how much return on investment you will see.

To get people to purchase your course they need to see it and for them to see it you are probably going to need to show it to them in the form of an ad, social media post, Pinterest pin or blog post.

Your advertising style and strategy are going to depend on factors personal to you but rest assured putting effort into marketing will pay off.

Once people have found your online course you want them to go beyond browsing. The percentage of viewers who become students is your conversion rate. The higher your conversion rate the higher your revenue.

Bear in might that the lowest acceptable conversion rate when it comes to online marketing is 1%.

2. Addressing the Pain

One way to increase your conversion rate is to offer students value and a compelling reason to buy.

They want to learn new skills via the online education industry.

Your job is to make sure your digital courses appeal to them by offering value and quality.

It’s important that your course helps your students move away from pain and towards pleasure and that you address these points in your sales page copy.

3. Price Point

The third factor that goes into determining how much you can make from selling online courses is the price point.

While it stands to reason that the higher you sell your course for, the more you will make, you can’t set the price so high you have no students.

You have to strike a delicate balance between a lower price that doesn’t reflect the quality of your course material and a higher price that discourages conversions.

Choosing an ongoing membership instead of a one-time payment can make the price point attractive.

Additionally, consider any fees or advertising costs of revenue the platform you choose to host on will take.

4. The Numbers

Here’s an example when it comes to figuring out how much revenue you can expect from your online course.

Course prices can range between $97 to $997 on the low end. In the mid-range category, you’ll be looking at $1,297 to $4,997.

When it comes to high-end aka high ticket course prices you can expect to see $5,997 to $19,997+.

Therefore how much revenue you can expect will be calculated as follows:

Number of enrolled students x course price

So if your program sells for $997 and you get 10 sales a month then your annual revenue will be as follows:

120 x $997 = $119,640

These revenue figures exclude expenses and other overhead costs.

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How To Increase the Value of an Online Course

As we laid out before, your earnings for an online course will equal the number of potential students who view it times your conversion rate times your price point.

To increase all three of the numbers you should consider the aspects which I’ll cover shortly to launch a successful online course.

Brand’s Recognition

Do you already have a successful blog or a sizable social media following? If yes, then you are halfway there by already having a company or personal brand. If not, no worries.

You can start building a brand today and working toward a large audience.

For those that already have a brand, whether it be personal or professional, consider how you can leverage it to sell your online course to your target market.

If your course is not related to what you are currently posting, start to move your posts in the direction of your course to begin establishing your brand’s relation to the topic. Your brand is one of the most powerful marketing tools you possess.

If you are starting from scratch, it is a good idea to build your brand with your online learning course sales in mind.

Start accumulating followers that are interested in your course idea and you can convert them to students when you launch a course. Make your new social media platform a lead magnet.

Your Level of Knowledge

Teachers should know something about what they intend to teach and that applies to you too.

Choose a topic that you can educate your students about. A topic to display your expertise.

You don’t have to know every single little thing about the topic you choose for your online course but you should know more than the Average Joe. Potential students want to know that their teacher knows what is up.

If adding a certification or brushing up on your skills will benefit you, do it! If potential students are more likely to convert when they see your additional training that will only increase your revenue.

Investing in your personal development is one of the best things you can do to establish your expertise in the field.

The Depth of the Subject of Your Course

The topic of your course is understandably going to have an impact on your revenue. In the formula mentioned previously the larger the number of students you can get to enrol in your course offerings the larger your income.

A Case Study

Your topic is going to affect the course enrollment. However, you should not change your topic away from an area in which you are qualified to one in which you are just going to fill a trend in online learning.

Sticking to what you know best is going to create more income for you in the long run than any trend will.

If your topic has a high rate of interest you will also find that you are probably not the first to offer a course on the subject.

So, though the number of people that view your course might be high they might not be converting to students but rather opting for other courses. You can remedy this by offering value and quality.

Include a case study of what your potential student’s journey looked like before enrolling in your course as well as their results after taking the program.

What’s Included

Give students a reason to buy your course rather than browsing through another twenty additional options. You can do this by creating a sales page that establishes your course is created by an expert(you!) and offer value via things like free digital downloads, a live coaching component and other bonuses.

You know from experience that browsing becomes exhausting. Converting potential students into students benefits not just you but also them by allowing them to end their search and move on to learning.

If your topic is more niche perhaps you will have fewer people viewing your course but it creates opportunities for you elsewhere. You can increase your price point if options are limited. When you are the only show in the town you have a bit of power over the price of admission.

You might also see a high student conversion rate since students are so excited to finally find a course offering about their interests.

Especially, if students need to develop a skill for their job or business that’s not available online.

An online course that will help them will encourage them to purchase yours if it meets that need.

Your Target Audience

Your target students are the people who will ultimately decide how much you earn from your online course. You need to understand and cater to them to increase your revenue.

Consider hosting a webinar or challenge to establish yourself in your field and find out from potential students what they are looking for in a course. You can use the webinar to tease your eventual course as well.

You can take their feedback and use it to create marketing strategies for your course and set your price point. As valuable as your knowledge you have to meet market demand.

Hosting a webinar also means that you will collect the email addresses of the attendees. 

You can use that later to convert these interested people into students when your course is ready to launch. Be sure to offer them a freebie or discount for getting in early and helping you with the course creation process.

Market Size and Competition

You aren’t the first person to create an online course and it would be silly to pretend you are.

Take the time to consider the other players in the market. Understand the dynamics of pricing and how much you might expect to make from an online course. 

You have all the tools and skills you need to create a course on any topic and should not be discouraged by the competition. Rather leverage your knowledge of the competition to make your online course even better.

If you scope out the competition you might also be able to find gaps in what they are offering. With that knowledge, you can fill that gap with your course. Advertise to potential students that your course covers x, y, and z. 

Create value and increase your student conversion rate.

If you have noticed that other courses are missing an essential piece of the puzzle other students have probably noticed too.

Assure them that they are in good hands with you and that they will get all the pieces to complete their learning puzzle.

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How to Make More Money as an Online Course Creator

Determine Your Ideal Price Point

Just like Goldilocks, you want your course to be priced just right. Not too high and not too low. An overly expensive course will drive off potential students and negate any gains that might be made from increasing the price of the formula. 

Price it too low and you are giving away your valuable time, effort, and knowledge for less than it is worth. Market research is key to striking the perfect balance.

Create an Effective Sales Page

Once you have gotten students interested in your online course through marketing you need to convince them to purchase the course.

Your sales page is the ideal place to offer that last push. You are selling a high-quality product and you can use your sales page to highlight that. 

Include testimonials and reviews related to your subject. You can highlight your experience in the field. You can offer students a bonus for signing up now! 

Create a sense of urgency and offer value. You have a lot of tools at your disposal to get browsers to convert to students and increase your online course income.

Create a High-Converting Sales Funnel

Once you have created your sales page you need to funnel your potential students to it. You can create a sales funnel via effective social media marketing that grows your following.

You can use your email list to direct students to your sales page and create excitement. Start teasing the course before it launches and start a countdown. Make it something they cannot miss!

To grow your email list offer freebies that require a potential student to sign-up with their email address. You could create a free newsletter that offers value to readers to start getting names on your email list if you don’t already have a list at your disposal. 

If you hosted a webinar to gather information from students those attendees are prime potential student conversions. Reach back out to them and get them enrolled in your online course.

Invest in the “Right” Marketing Strategy

There are many ways to advertise in the 21st century. Take the time to identify the one that works best for what you are offering.

Set your budget and invest in tools like Facebook Ads or Google Ads. Perhaps try a less conventional advertising strategy like Podcorn, a marketplace where podcasts can present offers for you to sponsor their podcasts.

The options for marketing are as limitless as the internet. With a little thought and investment, you will be on your way to a large online course revenue in no time. Persistence and consistency are key.

Develop More Courses!

It might be counterintuitive, but creating more courses can be a way to not only create more revenue from online courses through the volume of sales from additional offerings but also to increase the sales you are making from existing courses. 

Consider creating a mini-course or planner and offer it at a low price point to increase interest in your larger course.

People like a deal and once they see the real expertise and opportunity for growth your courses give them they will be excited to move on to your offerings at a higher price point. 

Students might also be attracted to what they see as a series of courses since it means there is a way to continue to learn if they enjoy what they get from the course they are purchasing. This lends itself well to fields that naturally progress in difficulty like learning to code.

Which Online Courses Are the Most Profitable?

The most profitable online course is the one that you are able to successfully create and market. Having said that, there are topics that tend to generate more interest than others:

Business and Entrepreneurship

People seem to always be interested in working for themselves. These courses remain popular for people with a business idea and a dream and also those looking to scale up their existing business. Entrepreneurship isn’t something one completes and thus there will always be a demand to learn more about it.

Computer and IT

Learning to code is popular and not without reason. Coders are some of the most in-demand people in the job market. It is no wonder people are flocking to online coding courses since it is a skill that can bring you gainful employment without a degree.

Web Design

Though a sub-niche of computers it is worth mentioning on its own. It remains one of the most popular subsegments of online learning in the computer field, If you have a talent for graphic design this can be a great course to create.

Do not be discouraged if your field isn’t above. Any high-quality online course can generate good revenue if marketed well. 

photo of a woman sitting at a table, staring into a laptop screen with a book on the table and a pen in her hand

What Is the Cost of Creating an Online Course?

Just like revenue from online courses can vary widely, so can the cost of creating one. The hosting platform you choose, there are dozens out there, will affect your upfront cost and how much you earn as you go. 

You might want to hire a video editor or a copywriter to polish your material which is an additional expense. You might need to invest in software or a higher-quality camera to really create your vision of a course. 

There isn’t a high-cost barrier to entering the online course creation field but you can increase your cost as your needs and desires dictate. 


Online courses are an ever more popular offering on the internet and many people consider making them to have a source of passive income once they are launched. 

Creating an online course is an investment of time, labour, and perhaps money depending on the course you are creating and what equipment and materials you already have. Given this, it is natural to be interested in knowing how much you can make selling courses online before you begin. 

Course viewers x course conversions x course price = revenue

The secret to increasing your income from online courses is to increase one of the three numbers in the equation. Potential students viewing your course can be increased via effective marketing and creating a sales funnel.

Course conversions can be increased by creating value for your students, making a great sales page, and highlighting your experience. Careful with the third factor, price. You do not want to increase your price beyond the point the market can bear. 

To help you navigate the factors that go into how much you make from creating an online course, book a call and create an action plan. 

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