online course platform

How Much Money Can You Make Selling Online Courses?

We’ve all heard the phrase “knowledge is power”, but is knowledge also money?

How Much Can You Make Selling Online Courses

Yes! By using the right tools, you can educate others all over the globe from the comfort of your own home.

It’s not as hard as you might think… An increasing number of creators are making money from their talents, reaching students all over the world.

And is selling online courses profitable?

Successful course creators can make between $1,000 to $10,000 per month on average when they create and sell top-quality courses. In special cases, people have even made up to 1 million dollars!

With that being said, just how much can you make selling online courses? Also, what is the best way to go about it?

Calculating potential income from your courses

According to Codeless, e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom. Therefore, anyone who wants to quickly pick up a new skill can learn online more effectively than using traditional learning methods, such as reading a manual.

That’s why online courses have become so popular!

However, before you jump into creating and selling online courses, there are some important things to consider.

First, revenue

The first thing you have to do is make an educated guess about your revenue. We’ve based these figures on doing one-time launches to sell individual courses, but you might also do something different like a membership site for online learning courses.

So, here’s the formula to calculate your online course revenue:

Revenue = The size of your audience x Your conversion rate x The price of your course

Simple, right?

But what do these even mean?

What is an online course conversion rate?

A conversion rate is a metric, often expressed as a percentage, that measures how many people take a desired action out of the total number who could have.

For instance, let's say you have an online course, and in a given month, 1,000 people visit your course's sales page. Out of those, 50 people sign up for the course. In this scenario, your conversion rate would be 5% (50 out of 1,000 is 0.05, or 5% when expressed as a percentage).

Your conversion rate depends on many factors. Most importantly, those are:

  • Audience
  • Price point
  • Industry
  • Trust and credibility
  • Website experience
  • Quality of offer

How much should your conversion rate be?

If you want to be conservative in your calculation, use 1% as your conversion rate. This is a low number that is attainable even as a beginner. In the above example, we used 5%, which is a medium-level conversion rate.

You can also do several estimates with different conversion rates and price points to help you gauge the price point and the conversion you’re looking to achieve. Here is an example table.

Example: Possible online course conversion rates


Conversion Rate

Course Price

Skill level

Course Sales (Traffic x Conversion Rate)




10 (500 x 0.02)

$500 (10 x $50)




50 (1,000 x 0.05)

$5,000 (50 x $100)




20 (2,000 x 0.01)

$4,000 (20 x $200)




150 (5,000 x 0.03)

$22,500 (150 x $150)




200 (10,000 x 0.02)

$50,000 (200 x $250)

This table assumes that every visitor is unique and that all visitors are equally likely to purchase the course. In reality, various factors can affect the conversion rate and revenue.

Now, on to the second part of the equation – profit. Just like any business, you will also have expenses.

Second, profit

Your profit equals the revenue minus the expenses, as well as any taxes and transaction fees you expect to pay.

Profit = Revenue – Marketing expenses – Fees – Production cost – Other related costs

That is a lot of minuses, unfortunately. But, hey, it’s the cost of doing business.

Let's say you've created an online course that you plan to sell for $100.

  • Revenue: If you successfully attract and sell to 500 students, your total revenue will be $100 x 500 = $50,000.
  • Marketing expenses: You've spent $5,000 on advertising and promoting your course through various channels such as social media, email marketing, and paid ads.
  • Fees: You are selling your course on an online platform that takes a 5% commission on each sale. The total platform fees would therefore be 5% of $50,000, which equals $2,500.
  • Production cost: Creating the course, including your time, resources, equipment, and possibly hiring outside help (like a graphic designer or a video editor), cost you $10,000.
  • Other related costs: You've also incurred some other costs, like purchasing a domain and hosting for your website, or subscription to an email service provider. Let's say these amount to $500.

Are online courses profitable?

Are Online Courses Profitable

Let’s use the above formula to calculate your profit:

Profit = $50,000 (Revenue) – $5,000 (Marketing expenses) – $2,500 (Fees) – $10,000 (Production cost) – $500 (Other related costs) = $32,000

Using this example, it would be possible to make a $32,000 profit on the basis of selling online courses to 500 online learners.

Not bad at all! Considering this is something you can do in less than a month, you can easily make more than 500 sales and walk away with quite a decent (and passive!) income.

This sounds quite profitable, doesn’t it? These creators certainly proved it can be profitable:

Mikkelsen Twins - $1.44m per year (online education and coaching to help people create income using Amazon and Audible).

Stukent Inc - $7.5m per year (provides Simtermships™ and courseware to educators).

Animal Behaviour College - $12m per year (dog trainer and veterinary nurse training courses).

Before you start: Do your research

Firstly though, before selling an online course, or any digital product for that matter, you should research the following:

  • Market demand
  • Your competitors
  • How much your audience is willing to spend
  • Your audience’s pain points

This helps you focus on a course topic that people really care about and create online courses that make money.

Now, the next important question is, “Where should you sell your online course?”

That might not be your first question, but trust us, it’s a decision you need to make early on, and you need to be careful about it.

Let’s look at what hosting options are available for online course creators.

Selling courses on your website vs. through a third-party website

Online Course Creator

Getting to the point where you’re able to sell access or tickets to your content can sound daunting initially. Managing a website in addition to your business can be time-consuming as well as stressful!

This leads many people to use third-party websites, such as Thinkific or Udemy, to sell their educational content, which can be limiting. This is not to say that you shouldn’t use these websites.

However, using a video platform and publishing the content on your website means that you retain complete control over the content and its monetization. You also have all of your customer details available to you, i.e. you can send emails to your audience.

What’s the downside then?

One of the drawbacks of publishing content on your own website is that you will also need to do your own marketing, without the support of a third-party provider.

Some of the big online course hosting platforms do this for you in exchange for a cut of your profit (a fee). That’s fair. But it also means that you’re giving up a lot of control to them.

So, not only are they taking a big chunk of your revenue, but they are also limiting you in other ways. On an online course platform, you typically have limited access to customer data and limited options to price your course.

Finally, on an online course platform, you don’t have a monopoly over the visitor’s attention. There are hundreds of other courses competing with yours. You can expect lower conversion rates compared to selling on your own website.

Selling directly gives you all of the power as a course creator to make money with online courses. You can choose to sell access to individual videos and playlists, or even rent access to your content. You can also rest assured your content is protected.

The best video hosting platforms support the latest encryption technologies in addition to 2FA, which prevents multiple people from sharing a single account to access your course.

So, if you choose to go with a video platform, all you need to do is take this money that the online course platform would have otherwise taken from you and invest in marketing your course. In the above example, we assumed that would be around $2,500 but it could be more, depending on the provider.

Video platforms can also take a fee for each sale. Make sure the one you go with allows you to keep 100% of your earnings without any hidden fees. That is exactly what StreamingVideoProvider does. We provide you with all the tools you need without taking away your hard-earned cash.

Direct via Video Platform

Online Course Platform


Full control of your content

Limited, some standard features can be locked behind paywalls


No hidden fees - only pay for your monthly plan

Possibility of sales fees and currency conversion fees in addition to monthly cost


Sell, rent, or enable PPV. Sell access per video or per playlist. Fully customizable.

Limited to the platform. Not much control over monetization options.

Terms of service

No strict terms of service agreements or community guidelines; no censorship.

Often strict terms of service agreements and guidelines to follow


You can add your own logo and adjust the colors to match your brand

Your course uses the branding of the provider


Can simply embed to your website and sell access from HTML5 video player.

Limited options, less control over where your video can be posted

How to sell online courses directly with no fees

By now, you’re probably wondering how to make money selling courses online, directly on your website with a platform like ours.

Don’t worry — It couldn’t be simpler!

With a platform like StreamingVideoProvider, you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. We have an intuitive and easy-to-use setup wizard that takes you through the configuration process quickly and without jargon.

  1. To start selling access to your courses, start by signing up for the StreamingVideoProvider free trial.
  2. Best Platform To Sell Online Courses
  3. Upload your course or any other video file to try out our system.
  4. How To Sell Online Courses
  5. With your uploaded file selected, fill out the pricing data under the Monetize tab displayed at the bottom of the screen. Use Simple PPV ticket under Paywall.
  6. How To Make Money Selling Courses Online
  7. From the menu on the right, select Embed Code. This will generate an embeddable video player that requests payment to play.

And it's as simple as that! You can immediately start selling from the video player wherever you have embedded it. This can be on your own website or any other that supports embedding.

StreamingVideoProvider also supports the monetization of entire playlists and playlist folders, as well as custom pricing. Whether you’re selling training videos or another type of content, you can easily put your entire course behind a paywall and embed it on your website.

Now that the hard part is done, you can now dive into customization options! Start making our white-label video player truly your own by adding your own branding and visual styling!

You can also see a list of the best free and paid video hosting sites to see which option suits your needs the most.


The best platform to sell online courses ticks all the boxes for you as an online course creator. The best platforms offer the following features:

  • Erase all traces of the platform’s branding – Customizable white-label video player (HTML5)

  • Smooth streaming on all devices and internet connections – Multi-bitrate/adaptive streaming

  • Global coverage – Global video CDN

  • No fees

  • Sell access from the player directly – for the best user experience

  • 2FA to increase security and tackle ticket sharing

  • Enhanced security, such as video encryption to protect your courses from being downloaded

At the very least, your video platform for online courses has to offer no fees, great security, and global coverage. This means that you can sell your courses to anyone regardless of their location.

The fees for selling online courses through third-party websites can be high, and these costs will be on top of what you are already paying for the service.

Typical fees include transaction costs and giving up a percentage of your ticket income.

StreamingVideoProvider simplifies this process by just charging a monthly subscription. We don’t charge any additional fees meaning you know exactly what you will be paying.

It is natural to think that it’s difficult to sell courses online directly. This simply isn’t true!

The best video platforms that allow you to sell directly offer intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces. This means drag-and-drop interfaces that allow those that aren’t technical to navigate the systems with ease.

You won’t even need to worry about integration with complicated ticketing software, as your video platform will handle everything.

You don’t have to be a marketing master or know things like how to create high-converting landing pages or even monitor video metrics. All you have to do is be genuine — share your course launch with your friends, community, and email list, and, very soon, word of mouth will be driving all the traffic you need to make sales through your website. You won’t be needing fancy sales funnels, crazy marketing and sales tactics, or pretty lead magnets.


The answer to the question, “Are online courses profitable?”, is a definitive YES!

As long as you put in the work, with strategic planning, production of high-quality content, and minimum marketing, creating online courses could be very lucrative for you.

Deciding whether to sell the course using a third-party platform or via your own website will have a large impact on your profitability and how much effort you will need to put in yourself.

You will need to choose the best option based on the requirements and resources you have. In any case, it’s really important that you understand the target audience you are marketing to so that you can design content that delivers real value to customers.

Being a content creator of any kind requires a lot of work and success is very rarely instant. It can take months and even years of effort before you start to see the gains, so stay motivated and be consistent. Developing the right strategies will put you on course for success and enable you to create high-quality course content.

We hope you find all of these resources helpful as you start and grow your online course business.

References & Further Reading

To find out more about selling courses online or video hosting in general, check out these links:

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