8 Common Misconceptions About Online Course Pricing

8 Common Misconceptions About Online Course Pricing
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Summary: Many students are reluctant to enroll in an online course because they think it's not worth the cost. Little do they know that the cost of distance learning is very reasonable compared to that of offline classes. Here is why.

eLearning Course Pricing Myths You Should Know

Setting the right price for your online course is definitely not an easy task. With so many factors playing into it, from your target audience to the production costs, it can be hard to know where to start. But it's essential to get it right since the price is often one of the first things potential students look at when considering whether or not to enroll. A few common misconceptions about online course pricing can trip up even the most experienced eLearning entrepreneurs. Let's take a look at some of these myths and see how you can avoid them when pricing your courses.

How To Avoid eLearning Course Pricing Myths

1. Your Course Should Be Priced According To Its Length

One of the most common mistakes people make when pricing their courses is basing the price solely on the length of the content. Just because your course is ten hours long doesn't mean it needs to be ten times more expensive than a one-hour course. Your students are paying for the value they'll receive from taking your course, not the amount of time it took you to create it. So don't get too caught up in the length of your content when setting a price.

2. You Need To Offer A Discount For Early Enrollees

It's common for online courses to offer a discount for early enrollees, but this isn't always necessary. In fact, offering a discount can actually devalue your course in the eyes of potential students. If you do decide to offer a discount, make sure it's not too steep. A small discount is usually enough to entice people to enroll without making them question the value of your course.

3. You Need To Offer A Payment Plan

Another common pricing mistake is offering a payment plan for your courses [1]. While this might seem like a good idea, it can actually end up costing you more in the long run. People who enroll in a payment plan are often more likely to cancel their membership before completing the course. This means you'll end up losing out on money that you would have otherwise made if they had paid in full upfront. If you do decide to offer a payment plan, make sure it's interest-free and doesn't require any additional fees. This will help to ensure that you're not losing money in the long run.

4. Cheaper Courses Are Everyone's Go-To

Just because a course is cheaper doesn't mean it's preferable. In fact, people often associate low prices with low quality. So, if you're selling a high-quality course, don't be afraid to charge a bit more. It's important to remember that people are willing to pay for quality. You can justify why you put a certain price on your course based on the value it provides. Just make sure that your price is in line with the quality of your course. If your course is truly valuable, students will be happy to pay a fair price.

5. Only Pay Attention To Competitors

One of the first things you might want to do before you set a certain price for your online course is to research your competitors. It's not uncommon for entrepreneurs to only look at what their competitors are doing and completely forget about other important factors. Competitor research is important, but if you want to go a long way, you should pay attention to the overall market. See what people are actually looking for and how much they are willing to pay for it. This data will give you a better idea of how to price your courses.

6. Students Only Pay For Your Knowledge

This is perhaps the most dangerous myth of all. If you think students are only paying for your knowledge, then you will severely undervalue your courses. Students are paying for your knowledge, yes, but they're also paying for your experience, your insights, and your ability to help them achieve their goals. Not to mention all those materials you've put together, like worksheets, training videos, templates, and even checklists. All of these factors are what make your courses valuable. So don't sell yourself short by thinking students are only paying for your knowledge.

7. Your Time Is Your Only Investment

Another common misconception is that your time is your only investment when it comes to online courses. This simply isn't true. Time is important, but there are other investments you need to consider, such as:

  • The cost of any software or tools you use to create your course
  • The cost of hosting your course on a Learning Management System (LMS)
  • The cost of marketing your course

All of these costs can add up, so don't forget to factor them into your pricing.

8. You Need To Recoup Your Investment Right Away

If you're thinking about how quickly you need to recoup your investment, then you're likely going to price your courses too high. Of course, you need to make sure you're not losing money on your courses, but that doesn't mean you need to make all your money back immediately. In fact, it's often better to price your courses fairly—based on their values and the resources you used—and make more sales in the long run. Keep in mind that it costs money to acquire new customers. So even if you're not making a profit on each sale, you're still making money in the long run by acquiring new students.


Pricing your courses doesn't have to be a guessing game. By busting some of the common myths about online course pricing, you can be sure that you're setting a price that's fair for both you and your students. With the right pricing strategy, you can create a sustainable business model that works for everyone.


[1] 5 Questions To Ask When Selecting An Education Payment System