Monetizing Your Online Courses

consulting-ratesToday it is rather easy to create an online course, especially if you are using a flexible platform like WordPress. There are many teachers out there that use WordPress to deliver their course content, but what about monetizing the material?

At first glance this may seem pretty straightforward – just give your course a price. However, there are multiple models for pricing that you may want to take a moment to decide which one fits your business (and course topic) the best. Some of the more popular models include:

  • Pay Once – Just as the name implies, you set a price for the course and once it is paid the person has access to the course material forever.
  • Subscription – This involves setting up a recurring payment. It can be daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Renewal – Similar to the subscription fee, a renewal is usually longer in duration, such as every six-months or yearly. Customers aren’t automatically billed but have to opt-in to maintain access.
  • Pay-Per-View – Rather than sell a course, you can sell each lesson on a pay-per-view basis.
  • Pay For Quiz – Some businesses do well to create a free course and then pay for the ability to “sit” for the final exam, which in turn awards the certificate.

These are just a few of the ways you can monetize your courses. You will also want to determine if you use one of these models for a course-by-courses basis, or if payment grants access to all course material on the site (or perhaps even a combination of both to allow for bundle opportunities).

Whatever you decide, make sure you price your course accurately from the beginning. Remember that it’s always easier to decrease a price than to increase it. Don’t pick a lower price simple because you think it will make you more competitive – often it will end up driving you out of business altogether!


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

4 Responses

  1. Does LearnDash support a “Pay For Quiz” or “Pay for Certificate” format? I plan to create an eLearning website based on this model and I’m considering using LearnDash.

    1. Hi Jim-
      There are ways to configure this. One is to create a course that contains the quiz you wish to sell – then make the course with the material a pre-req to this paid quiz component (so people cannot skip the course content and go straight for the quiz).

      1. Hi Justin – is this the only way to configure this? Or do you have any other suggestions for ways to achieve this?

        Thanks in advance,

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