How Much Does it Cost to Create an Online Course?

Are you considering becoming a course creator but have been put off by the cost of creating a course? While you dream of creating a sustainable and recurring revenue out by selling online courses, you might be wondering how much does it cost to create an online course.

This blog will explain everything about the cost of creating an online course; let’s break it up into different categories for better understanding. 

How much does it cost to create online courses?

Creating an online course involves several factors, and no courses are the same.

So, if you ask how much does it cost to create an online course, the overall cost will vary depending on the following:

The course type you are going to create: Are you planning to deliver your lessons through simple texts, or does it require an elaborate video or complex communication from your students? You need the right equipment to shoot extensive video lessons, like an HD video cam, microphone, editing software, etc., to ensure you have tools at your fingertips. 

Course video quality: Are you going to film your course with your smartphone, a webcam or a professional camera?

Are there more people involved- You can create a course on your own, but if you are creating an online course on an advanced topic, you can hire other educators and speakers or even outsource your work. The more educators you bring in, the more expensive it could get.

The key components of a successful online course

Let’s do it this way before breaking down the cost of creating an online course. While online courses are diverse and highly customized, some common elements of key components comprise successful online courses. Let’s look at each component and elaborate on the costs involved. 

Here are the key components of successful online courses:

Choosing the right topic

The fundamental step and the one component that decides the success of your online course is selecting the right topic for your course. 

It decides whether your online course will be a hit or a miss! If it resonates with your audience, offers them great value, and transforms their lives, it’s a win-win situation. But if you don’t get it right, the entire money you spend on creating your online cost will be in vain. 

So, how do you find the right course topic idea?

Let’s do this 5-minute exercise- Brainstorm topics or ideas about something you know or are passionate about. 

You might have an idea of what course topic to create but don’t worry if you don’t have anything in mind. 

Here are some ideas to help you get started.

  • Knowledge or skills you have developed in your career.
  • Hobbies you are passionate about.
  • A personal transformation journey.
  • Topics others come to you for your advice. 

The cost involved

Come up with a couple of topics, say 5, and make sure your target students will want to enroll in the list of topics you choose.

From the list of 5, refine the process and finalize on 2 or 3 before you choose your course topic. 

But how does it add up to the cost?

If you are using a collaboration platform like Miro or any other online workspace for innovation, you must consider that cost, too. 

For example, Miro comes at $ 8 to $and $50 for more advanced packages.

This software doesn’t just help in penning down your course topic ideas but also helps visually represent your thoughts and structure your ideas. It comes with online whiteboards, flowcharts, and more features and tools.

Outlining your online course 

After coming up with the right course topic and ideas, you have to outline the key points or lessons that will make up your online course.

Some course creators choose to mind map while others note into down to bullet points, whereas some course creators document everything in Word or Excel sheets.

If you are working with other educators, you can also use Google Docs for better real-time engagement. 

Cost involved

Again, the cost involved in this process involves the cost of the software you use ( if any) to structure the course outline and note down the lesson plans. Again, that can vary vastly according to the tools you use.

Creating course content and assets

Now, the most important part of creating online courses is creating your course content and related resources.

Turn course outcomes into different modules and create your online course content.

Courses and resources can be in the form of:

  • Text-based.
  • Videos.
  • PowerPoint slides.
  • Workbooks.
  • Quizzes and worksheets.

Costs involved

When it comes to creating course assessments and the actual course content, you can do it all alone or outsource the work. If you hire a virtual assistant, you might have to spend at least $50 per hour, and the total cost could be around $200 to $500. According to your budget, you can decide how much you will spend creating course content.

Choosing the right platform to host online courses

To deliver successful online courses, you need a reliable course-selling platform. The platform you choose to host your self-paced courses must include features that you need to sell your online courses to your audience. 

For example, if you want educators to record classes they teach so that both students and teachers can watch it later, you must make sure the platform you choose has a lesson recording option. 

So where can you sell online courses

You can choose a complete online tutoring software like Pinlearn to build your course-selling marketplace. Not just online courses, Pinlearn is equipped with features to build a marketplace to host live classes and online courses, all using one software. 

Pinlearn is a white-label solution that comes with the following features:

Open source code: 100% open source code for complete platform ownership. 

Customizability: Pinlearn allows you to customize your eLearning marketplace with your domain name and other features.

Self-hosting: Pinlearn allows you to build a free self-hosted course-selling platform to choose your web hosting partner.

Cost involved

How much does it cost to build an online course-selling marketplace using Pinlearn? The pricing of Pinlearn is interesting; it is truly a premium product at an affordable price. Given the features and functionalities it is equipped with, and considering the one-time payment without recurring fees or hidden charges, it is a cost-effective solution. 

Pinlearn comes in two price packages:

  • Starter plan priced at $699.
  • Professional plan priced at $1499.

How to create online courses on a budget

As you can see, there is a lot of work that goes into building online courses.

But there are affordable ways by which you can do it. For example, you can cut costs if you do everything manually instead of relying on software for course outlining, planning, and creation. There are free tools that could help you do that. 

If you are creating advanced courses, keeping aside a specific budget is recommended so that you will maintain the content quality. 

Some educators take 3 months to 6 months to create their online course. 

If you are on a limited budget, here are some of the techniques you can use to cut down the expenses while still retaining the quality of your online courses and the creation process.

Use your smartphone to record videos- Minimize the amount of work you outsource. You can use free tools, and AI can help with course content creation, generation of course outlines vid,eo scripts etc.

Leverage freelance platforms- Instead of outsourcing your work to professionals, you can look for freelancers on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork, which would help you reduce the cost. 

Preselling the online course- This will help you make some money before actually selling your online course. Create the first few lessons of your online course and try selling them at early bird offers. 

Repurpose old content- If you have any content related to the topic you are choosing to develop your course, you can use that instead of putting in effort and money to create new course content.


Creating and selling online courses is a lucrative business idea; if your course gets clicked, you have an evergreen product that will help you make money for a long time. You just have to create the online course, and the money will start flowing. 

When creating advanced courses, you have to spend some money to ensure the quality of your course is not compromised. 

Plus, choose your software wisely so that you can cut down a major percentage of your overall cost, as this part can get costly. 

If you want to get started building your course-selling marketplace, Pinlearn can assist you with the steps. Get in touch with us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *