Creating and selling online courses is a booming market internationally. The elearning market was worth $107 billion in 2015, $190 billion in 2018 and is expected to exceed $300 Billion by 2025 (E-Learning Market Size By Technology)!
Investing in education and lifelong learning is an emerging trend among both old and young. Online courses have come to fill in the gaps of knowledge. A lot of people seem to prefer the comfort and flexibility of their own homes, avoiding the complexities of commuting to physical classes.
And this is perfect for the growing elearning industry.
If you are not already selling an online course, you are missing out on a big opportunity. Be among the first to get into your niche and you won’t regret it.
But the question remains, how much money can you make out selling online courses?
Make Money With Online Courses
There are a lot of factors at work when creating your own online course and the profits you get from the course sales can vary wildly.
For example, as an online instructor you could be earning from a few hundred dollars per year to a six- or seven-figure income. In fact, you could reach up to a six-figure number while treating your course business as a part-time project.
Course creation is only part of the process. The work on marketing and sales, including your personal brand can give you an edge.
How Much Revenue to Expect from an Online Course?
This varies a lot from instructor to instructor. You will have to consider a lot of factors that affect your potential revenue.
The price of the course: Are you selling a 5$ or a $500 course? This makes a huge difference on how many people you need to sell your course to make your revenue goals.
Your audience: Do you have an email list? Any social media followers? Do you have a YouTube channel with subscribers? Do you have access to partners and their network? The bigger, more engaged network, the more customers you can expect to get. If you are starting out right now, building an email list is the first step to your new online course business.
Marketing and sales experience: Have you done this before? If you already have an online business and have sold products before you are at an advantage and should expect a higher conversion rate from your audience.
Current customer loyalty: How loyal are your customers? Are they coming back for your new products or disappear? Do you have an engaged customer base?
If you are just starting out, all of the above can be learned, but you should expect a slower start than a seasoned entrepreneur.
Now, how can you calculate your potential revenue? You will need to calculate the:
Revenue = Number of your Audience x Conversion Rate x Price of the Course
If you don’t have an audience yet, you can make some hypothesis based on how many people you expect to reach out. Will it be 100 or 200 or 1000 email subscribers?
Conversion rates for online courses depends on the subject, the price and your capability to attract and sell to the right people. You can think of conversions as:
Low conversions: 0.1% to 1%
Medium conversions: 2-5%
High conversions: 6-10%
You can run the calculation on all three conversion rates 1%, 5% and 10% to see different scenarios and set your goals based on them.
Then, if you want to see if you are making a profit, you will need to subtract the expenses. Luckily, online courses do not cost anything per additional customer, but might have production or marketing expenses. This is how to think about it:
Profit = Revenue – Production costs (fixed) – Marketing expenses – Other related costs
Now, you can really calculate if your course can be profitable, how much work you need to do and how much money can you make selling online courses!
Increasing the Value of an Online Course
Of course, there are ways to improve the value of your course. Some factors that affect the value and you can think before pricing are:
Your personal brand recognition: how approachable, memorable and visible you are as a person on social media and the web. We suggest that you google your name to find out where you are at and what the internet says about you.
Your level of expertise: the more knowledgeable you are in your subject, the more high-quality and unique content you are producing. Also, the easier it is for you to become known as an expert in your field.
The training content at hand: depends on the amount and variety of course content you have created and whether it is ready to be shared with your students (e.g. blog posts, books, videos/vlogs, audio/podcasts).
The course topic: a successful online course starts with a profitable topic. Your course idea determines whether people will love your course or not and if it’s going to sell.
The size of your audience: Having big followership on social media, an email list or a number of business contacts interested in your expertise is important. Course creators with a ready-made audience such as established professionals, bloggers/vloggers, people with authority and celebrities have an advantage over others when starting their own online academies. Their brand recognition helps to boost sales.
Your audience’s income: consider how much your target audience earns and whether they are willing to spend on digital products, such as online courses.
Think about this: would someone pay to learn more about you teach? If so, how much would that person be willing to do so? This will also affect your course pricing – when determining the best price point, and should also affect the quality of the course on offer.
The market size & competition: think about how many people are in need of your courses (a solution to a common problem) in your niche, and how your competitors are using this information. Carrying out market research helps to determine if there is an actual market for it.
The effectiveness of your site: search how people arrive at your business website and how they interact with your pages (landing page, sales page, etc).
Working to improve these factors can help to promote your business and gain greater exposure to online communities to sell your courses. If you need help with marketing your school, check how to increase your course sales.
And, you can also start an online course as a side-project until you start making some revenue to move on full-time.
Are Online Courses Profitable?
Yes, they are. Online courses offer one of the best business models to digital entrepreneurs. The demand is rising and people are more than willing to pay for them, and they are one of the top ways to make money online.
This is a great piece of information to start with. However, you will need to research more into your chosen subject to make a new course launch. Launching your first course might seem like a lot of work. But it’s easy, and here at LearnWorlds, we offer the best online course platform to create, market and sell your online course.
On top of that, when it comes to creating content for your course, you have many options to choose from.
One of them is to reuse your old material, including your:
Lowering spending on new content and reusing your old material, can increase your online course’s ROI – return on investment and your own income. Then, you only have to think about your minimum expenses and it’s a simple equation of (Income – Expenses) / Expenses.
Why Sell Online Courses: The Benefits
Launching an online academy can bring you a passive income or a truly impressive new source of capital, but it can also offer other multiple benefits to you or your business.
An online course can do the following:
As you would expect, in a knowledge society where information is power, utilizing your expertise through online education is a revolutionary way to teach others. On top of that, it can open up an array of opportunities, to you or your organization, and help benefit your community by educating its members!
Now Over to You: Are You Onboard?
Undoubtedly, online learning is the way forward. Course creators have the chance to make money selling courses to create additional sources of passive income or even make a living teaching online from your own website.
Monetizing your existing content from training workshops, YouTube videos, podcasts, coaching sessions or any other skill people are looking up to you to learn.
The real question is, are you ready to create your own school and harness all of what it already has to offer?
You can start with a 30-day free trial on LearnWorlds and launch your course today!
In the meantime, make sure to check out our step-by-step guide to creating courses which make online course creation an easy task 🙂
Further reading you might find interesting:
Nick Malekos is a Senior Digital Marketer in LearnWorlds. He is a results based and well-rounded Digital Marketer with years of experience in the education industry, writer and digital literacy trainer.