If you are thinking about becoming an online course creator, the first few thoughts that run through your mind are probably:
- is selling courses online a good idea?
- are online courses profitable?
As an an aspiring course creator, you’ve likely heard that the online course industry is a booming, soon-to-be $300+ billion industry.
Everyone you follow seems to have an online course on something. 😉
You believe you could join this trend and create a course that has a genuine impact on your audience.
But still… is selling courses profitable? Will you make any revenue at all? If you do, just how much?
How much can you make selling courses online?
You can make anywhere from $1000 to $100,000 or more per year selling online courses. Your revenue is going to depend mostly on the amount of traffic that you can bring to your courses, your conversion rate, and the price of your courses. For example, if you get 10,000 students to your course page, and your conversion rate is 2% at a price of $89, then you make $17,800 in sales.
Your revenue will depend on a lot of factors, so we are going to explain everything in detail in this post, so that you can decide whether creating an online course is the right choice for you.
You can always find an up-to-date index with all the free content available in the Course Creator Academy by clicking on the Academy link on the top menu bar.
How Much Do Online Course Creators Make?
I’ll share with you here an easy-to-understand formula that helps you get a rough estimate of your revenue potential.
To understand the numbers, it’s important to differentiate between Revenue and Profit.
What we are about to teach you how to calculate is your overall expected sales total. From there, you need to deduct your expenses, your salary, and the taxes.
How To Calculate Revenue For Your Online Course
The formula to estimate your revenue as a course creator is actually quite simple:
Revenue = Audience Size x Conversion Rate x Price of Course
No matter what type of course you create or industry you’re in, three factors determine your revenue:
Audience Size: This represents how many people you can reach with your course. Through your email list, social media following, paid ads, etc… how much traffic does this drive to your blog/sales page?
Conversion Rate: The size of your audience is one thing, but that number alone means little. What really matters is how many of those people convert from leads to students (1%... 2%... 5%...10%?).
Price of Course: The final factor to consider is price, as your revenue differs greatly between a course that costs $19 and one at $89.
None of this is an exact science—at least, it won’t be in the beginning. Yet these three factors allow you to gauge the type of revenue you can generate for your course.
For example, let’s say 1,000 people visit your sales page each month. These people arrive via your blog, email newsletter, social media posts, and so on.
All this represents your audience size.
From here, you need to determine your conversion rate.
If you start from scratch, you may have to estimate this number—although you can hone in on it by running an experiment.
Let’s say you do, and you create 20 sales from those that visit your sales page… this gives you a Conversion Rate of 2% (0.02)
The final part of the equation is your course price. To continue this example, let’s say you charge $19 for each sale.
You now have the three numbers you need to calculate your revenue.
Revenue = 1,000 x 0.02 x 19
For this example, your revenue comes in at $380.
If you were to replicate this each month, it results in $4,560 per year.
This gives you a baseline and allows you to experiment with different price points and conversion rates.
For example, a 2% conversion rate is on the low-end of the scale.
- 1-2% = Low
- 3-5% = Average
- 6-10% = Good
- 11%+ = Excellent
This means the better your sales page, the better your conversion rate.
Likewise, your conversion rate increases the better you target your audience.
If you combine this by increasing your price (and by providing enough value to justify the price)… you quickly generate more and more income.
Here are a few other examples:
Audience Size Conversion Rate Price Revenue (per month)
1,000 5% $29 $1,450
1,500 7% $39 $4,095
2,500 10% $69 $17,250
5,000 12% $89 $53,400
That final number of $53,400 equates to 600-course sales per month.
That’s not an easy number to attain, but it’s by no means impossible.
There are many course creators that achieve this (and much more)... it comes down to knowing who your audience is and giving them the solution they need.
So… Is Selling Online Courses Profitable?
As you can see, you can earn a good living as a course creator. It does take time, and it’s unlikely you’ll earn life-changing amounts overnight.
You need to develop, nurture, and grow an audience.
You need to improve your marketing and increase your conversion rates.
You need to experiment with different price points and find what works for you.
Do this and you can build success. I know this firsthand, as I’ve walked this walk in recent years and made revenue that changed mine and my family’s life.
I talk about it in these guides and reviews:
- How I Made $1.615.000 Selling Online Courses (So Far)
- My Revenue as an Online Course Creator (Full 2020 Report)
- How To Be Successful on Udemy (How I Made $436.335 on Udemy)
- How I Started My Online Course Business
I encourage you to read these and study what I did and did not do, I'm sure many of these ideas will also apply to you and your business.
How To Increase your Revenue as a Course Creator?
If you are a course creator already, and are looking for ways to increase your revenue, here are a few tips that might help you.
1: Have a Clear Unique Value Proposition
Selling online courses becomes easy if you have a UVP (unique value proposition).
This means that it should be extremely clear to your target audience that your courses are meant for them, as soon as they land on your course sales page.
The value proposition should be right there on the course title, such as for example: "Turn Bad Habits into Good Habits in 90 Days".
If your copy on your content and sales pages does not speak to your audience, if it doesn't address directly their pains, wants and needs, your conversion rate will be very low.
So a simple way to increase your revenue potential as a course creator is to refine the message in your copy, everywhere: in emails, course sales page, website, etc.
I dive into this in more detail with the guide: Create a Powerful Brand for Your Online Courses (In 5 Steps)
2: Understand WHO Your Ideal Student Is
If you're creating online courses for profit you need to find that perfect student who will benefit from it.
In order to be able to optimize your copy and refine your message as explained in tip 1, you will have to develop a deep understanding of who your audience is, and what they are looking for.
Namely, you need to understand in detail:
- What is their current pain?
- What’s the biggest problem they face?
- What are the excuses they come up with?
- What are their objections, fears, and worries?
- What is the solution they need right now?
- What is the solution they need a few months from now?
- Where are they… how do they consume content… what do they like and don’t like?
The better you know who your ideal student is, the better you can “speak” to them.
Create an avatar. Reevaluate it, often. Engage with your audience in forums and see how they react to different types of content.
3: Find The Perfect Price-Point
Many people assume the only way to make a living as a course creator is to sell high-ticket items.
This is not true!
As I explain in this guide: Online Course Pricing Guide (Top 7 Science-Based Tips)
Study this guide in detail. There are certain pricing rules to follow, yet every course differs. Your job is to experiment with your pricing. Keep testing different price points. Find what works for you.
It’s an overlooked part of the process that can potentially leave a lot of revenue on the table.
4: Craft a High-Converting Sales Page
As important as marketing is (as you’ll soon see), it means little unless your sales page POPS!!!
Remember, your conversion rates play a huge role in your earning potential. A sales page that generates a 2% conversion rate is okay, but one that rises to 5% is better. In time, with enough testing and perfecting, it’s possible to craft a sales page that converts close to 10% or more.
These are the levels that can take your earnings from five to six (or even seven) figures.
I dive into how to create a high converting sales page in this guide: How To Create The Perfect Online Course Sales Page — I encourage you to study and turn yours from good to great.
5: Build a High-Converting Sales Funnel
A sales page is great, yet you need to take your audience on a journey before you present them with it. That’s where your Sales Funnel comes in, and it’s something far too many course creators overlook.
This guide shows you how to build one: How To Sell Online Courses: Complete Sales Funnel
At first, it can feel daunting. Don’t allow yourself to get wrapped up in it. Start small. One of the great aspects of a sales funnel is how it evolves over time.
6: Commit To The “Right” Marketing Strategy
Marketing… if there’s ever a topic that can make or break a course creator, it’s this.
The point is to focus on the “right” kind of marketing. To build a strategy around this. To then create a plan and stick to it. To evaluate it often, adjust, and adapt where necessary. Your marketing’s fluid. What you create in the beginning isn’t set in stone.
This trips a lot of course creators up as they compare their way to someone else. It’s a minefield.
Study these separate guides to cut through the fluff and focus on what you need to:
- How To Sell Online Courses? A Complete Marketing Strategy
- How To Promote Your Online Course - The Complete Guide
7: Create More Courses!
It may surprise you how often a course creator builds something great, launches it, promotes it, and then moves on to the next “shiny object”.
Success as a course creator doesn’t just happen.
It’s a process. You need to commit to this.
Don’t build and launch it. Don’t promote it for a while. Continue to drive people toward your course and generate momentum. Leverage this momentum with more courses… more programs… more offers. This is how I did it.
One course is great, but it’s rarely enough. Don’t stop now. Keep going 😎
Conclusion: How Much Money can You Make Selling Online Courses?
This final tip may be the most important one of all. Not just for creating a course, but for life in general.
Start!! Start today. Don’t waste any more time.
The saying goes that the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago.
The next best time is now.
The same applies here. Ideally, you’d have joined the course-building industry a few years ago. But don’t worry, you haven’t missed the boat (yet!!).
You soon will. Each day, more course creators join the party.
People with audiences. People with fame. People with authority. Soon, entering this industry will become harder and harder, as the industry gets fully professionalized.
Right now, you can. So what’s stopping? What’s holding you back?
Whatever it is, push past it.
Here is an article that I wrote that I think is a great next step: How To Create an Online Course To Sell (Top 9 Ways).
I’m here for you, not only with The Online Course Creator Academy that houses dozens of tutorials and guides (which we continue to add to each week)…
And not only through the Online Course Academy Facebook Group (with 5,000+ members that share tips, answer questions, and support one another)...
But also through a FREE, intuitive, powerful, and easy-to-use course-building platform that gives you everything you need to Create, Publish & Profit from your online course.
Register for your free account today and start creating your course today 👇 👇
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I hope you found this post helpful, let me know in the comments below what other topics you would like me to cover, or any questions that you have?
Thanks for reading… and enjoy the course creation process! 😉
OnlineCourseHost.com Founder & Online Course Creator
You are welcome to ask me any questions in the comments below: 👇👇👇👇