How Much Does it Cost to Develop an Online Course?

Online courses when done right, can help instructors to create impact and revenue that let you do what you are passionate about.

One of the first questions creators ask before creating a course is: how much does it cost to develop an online course?

The cost of creating online courses is an elaborate task with many factors to consider. The price range can vary drastically.

In this blog, which is a guide on the costs of developing online courses, we have elaborated on common factors to consider when determining the cost of online course creation and a lot more.

How much does it cost to develop online courses?

According to research, the average cost per finished hour of developing online courses ranges from $5,934 to $50,371. 

Building an online course involves various tasks, including writing the online course content, recording video lessons, planning the assignments, and getting the course uploaded to the platform. At each step of course creation, you need to understand the scenario and make several decisions (like opting between a course website creation from scratch and choosing a readymade solution) that would reduce the costs and make cost estimation an easy task. 

With that said, let’s look at the steps to calculate the costs involved in developing an online course.

Analyze the factors involved in creating an online course

As you know, the question of how much does it costs to create an online course depends on different factors, and there are certain decisions that will influence it. 

For example, 

  • The type of online course you want to create.
  • The quality of your video lessons and the equipment you need. 
  • The course length.
  • Whether you are doing everything from content creation to video creation and more.

And here are the tasks that are involved in deciding the cost of developing an online course. 

Target audience research and client acquisition: Find out your target audience and bring them to your course-selling platform. If you are assigning this task to a marketing agency, you must calculate the cost involved. 

Course curriculum planning: Do you want to create the online course with new and fresh content, or will you repurpose the existing content? In this section, you can choose to get help from an expert team or try doing it alone. 

Course development: We are going to use text-based content alone or a hybrid approach by including multimedia with text, audio, videos, PDFs, infographics, etc.

Course platform choosing: You need an online course platform to upload and sell your online course. How are you going to build it? Choosing a readymade script like Pinlearn to build your course platform will reduce the cost tremendously and bring down the cost to your budget or even less than that.

Creating online course content

The major step of creating an online is creating the course content. To outline the cost you need to bear at this step, let’s look at different types of content:

Text-based content, course videos, slide presentations, PDFs, Q & A sessions, 

Branding assets and graphics for your online course material.

The estimated cost:

If you create all content by yourself using free tools, it won’t cost you anything; most first-time course creations won’t outsource this part, but if you want to outsource, you would have to pay around $2000 to $8000 or even more. This estimate is based on hiring a freelancer writer to work around 50 to 200 hours with an average rate of $40/hr.

Creating graphic elements etc., will cost you extra as well.

Recording course videos

Now, this aspect of developing an online course is another section where you need to shell out some money depending on the type and the quality of video lessons you want to create. 

If you are creating head videos that show your face, you must consider the equipment for shooting the videos (if you don’t already have one, setting up a home studio, and the cost of the video editing software. 

If you aren’t showing your face, you will just need an audio recording setup and software that screencasts to build presentation-style video lessons.

When billed yearly, the screencast software will cost you around $2 to $5 per month.

You must consider getting a microphone to get quality audio output for your online course videos, along with a pop filter, which will cost you around $150. 

Whereas creating videos with your face will cost you around $300 to $500 depending on the equipment you need to buy and the video editing software price, which would come around $250. Now, if you are outsourcing the video-taking and video-editing tasks, it would cost you approximately $150 to $2000.

Setting up your online course website

After creating the content, you need a course-selling platform to start selling your course successfully. Now, you can choose to develop an online course-selling platform from scratch, which will cost you around $20,000 to $60,000 or even more. 

So, what is the best way to build your online course-selling platform or course marketplace like Udemy? With Pinlearn, you can set up a website to sell your online courses and process payments, so you don’t have to integrate different tools. Pinlearn is an all-in-one solution to building and launching your course-selling platform without spending a lot of money by building it from scratch.

And what you get when you build your course platform with Pinlearn:

  • Online courses with self-paced components like live sessions. 
  • Coaching sessions that are either one-to-one or group sessions.
  • Ability to customize the platform for different niches and industries, including consulting, services, and training.
  • What’s more, you can have your branded tutoring platform to sell courses and expand your reach.
  • And more!

The estimated cost: Pinlearn comes in 2 price packages Starters, priced at $699 and Professionals, priced at $1499. Both price packages come with the ability for course creators to sell both online courses and live classes, payment gateway integrations, multiple revenue channels, tutor dashboard and analytics, learner management, calendar and appointment management, internal messaging, and more. The only difference between the two packages is that the former doesn’t give you access to 100% unencrypted source files, whereas the latter gives you that.


When it comes to creating an online course, there are several tools, equipment, software and other “shiny” things. But in reality, you don’t need all fancy things to get started. Going minimal will help you cut unnecessary costs and spend money on important things like tutoring software and promotions. 

If you need assistance getting started, you can contact us or leave a comment to share your thoughts and feedback on this post.

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