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Course creation expenses: How much does it cost to create a course?

Course creation expenses

Many starter course creators might be scared of making it happen because of the possible course creation expenses. So how much does it cost to create a course?!


First of all, just like it is for anything in life, things can be done in many different ways. And the same goes for online courses!

There are plenty of platforms you can use. This also includes plenty of tools and additional help that you may or may not choose to opt-in for.

I started out with no money to invest in my course creation and I always searched for either free or madly cheap offers. However, as my business grew, I also started exploring some other options and find the best ways to invest in improving my courses.

Through this article, let’s review some of the different decisions you might need to make along the way and how much does it cost to create a course if you choose some of the most common options. It will include all the must-know course creation expenses.


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Course creation expenses: How much does creating a course cost?


Course creation expenses

There are several questions to consider before clarifying the possible course creation expenses:

  • Are you planning to outsource any part of course creation? For example, writing, design or video editing. You CAN do it all on your own, by the way!
  • Is course creation your main focus at the moment and you want to build your business based on this income module or is it just a “side thing” for other of your business offers?
  • Do you have any previous experience and are you ready to truly make it happen? Or do you just want to “dip your toe” in the idea and see how it goes?

Once you have clarified your answers to these questions, you can move on with a better vision on what will and won’t be WORTH the investment.


INVESTMENT #1: Platform = one of the key course creation expenses

You will need to purchase a subscription to a platform where your course will be uploaded, where your students will have access to it, where you receive your payments, etc.

Course Platform Guide: free online course platform guide for online coaches

Here’s a price point for some of the most popular options [updated for 2023]

  • Payhip is a forever free course platform option. With a 5% transaction fee (when any sale is made, not before), you can create unlimited digital products and even add a custom domain on your site. Payhip is one of my favorite platforms for starters and those who seek simple setup and want to offer more than courses.
  • Thinkfic starts from $36/monthly if paid for a year, $49 if paid month to month. It’s currently one of the most affordable of the popular course creation platforms. You can also start for free plus there are never any transaction fees.
  • Teachable increased their pricing in 2023, putting themselves out of the run as one of the affordable course platforms… Currently, their plans start at $59/monthly if paid month to month.
  • Kajabi – from $119/monthly.

Additionally, you might also want to consider a personalized domain name. A domain name costs up to $20/per year.

The most likely average investment option: Payhip FOR FREE or $29/monthly. Thinkific is another option to start for free with (my personal favorite!) 



Another important part of having a successful online business is design. However, here you have plenty of free options to go for instead of making any investments.

For example:

  • Canva as your free design tool
  • Free stock photo websites
  • Icon, background and other design feature websites like FreePik.com (available for free or a small monthly fee of less than $10).

If you choose to rock’n’roll through your design decisions all on your own, you’re covered pretty much without any investment.

Investing in course design starts if you decide to use more upgraded tools OR hire help.

For example:

  • Canva Pro costs 14.99/monthly
  • Adobe Photoshop costs $20.99/monthly
  • Hiring a VA for design tasks could cost starting from around $20/hr (the pricing is highly individual though and you might find plenty of different options

Another option where investment might come in is if you decide to purchase any templates. For example, Canva templates from CreativeMarket. Such templates cost anywhere between $19 to $79, depending on your needs.

Design templates can be a major investment since one template can help you to build out your whole course. For example, eBook templates usually consist of around 100 different pages! You can also find presentation and workbook templates.

The most likely average investment option: Around $49 one-time fee for a template package if designing the course on your own.


INVESTMENT #3: Video recording gadgets

Generally, video recording might come off as the biggest investment in your online course creation. However, there are also plenty of variations and none of this is a MUST if you want to create an online course.

If video-making is on your to-do list, you can easily start recording videos with your phone.

But if you are ready to upgrade the quality of your content, FIRST OF ALL, I’d suggest investing in a microphone and a ring light in that specific order.

The prices of microphones vary greatly. For example, I purchased my simple mic for $29. It’s small and not wireless but the quality is just what I needed!

Investing over $50 you might also find some wireless options or on-desk standing mics.

Another recording tool you might want to consider is the ring light. This would assure that you’ll have a great video light in any settings + you won’t have to figure out where and how to put your phone for it to stand.

Such lights cost starting from around $30. Once again, the pricing would depend on your preferences and location.

There, of course, are other filming gadgets you might want to consider, however, none of them are necessary if you are just starting out!

The most likely average investment option: Around $70 for the mic and ring light. None of which are must-haves right away!


INVESTMENT #4: Slide recording app

Presentation preparation rarely will require any additional investment. And the only biggest investment – the design part – is already explained in the previous step.

However, you also need to have a way how to record your slides.

Good news though – there are plenty of slide recording tools to choose from! If you want to explore more options, join us in Savvy Offer Hub where you can find many different course creation tool reviews.

  • You can record your slides on Canva for free! This is especially great if you have designed them on Canva as wel.
  • Another very popular option these days is Loom. Along with recording, you can also directly edit your videos with a simple and straight-forward video editing tool. Plus Loom makes it easy to share the content with others!  Loom costs $8/monthly.

The most likely average investment option: $0 – $8/per month


INVESTMENT #5: Video editing tools

As it always goes, we have plenty of room for variations.

  • My favorite absolutely free editing tool online is ClipChamp. It’s created by Microsoft and doesn’t have any limitations. I’ve been using it for recording all of my course videos recently – it’s easy to use even if you’re a starter.
  • If you’re purchasing Loom for recording videos, you can also edit them directly in the app.
  • You can edit your own videos for free on iMovie if you’re a Mac user. Or opt-in for other similar apps where the investment might vary.

You might also want to consider hiring help and here is where the investment might rise. Video editing is one of the most expensive freelance services out there since it can take a lot of time. On average, you might find a decent video editor for around $30/hr if you need just the basic edits.

The most likely average investment option: ClipChamp for free!


How much does it cost to create a course?

It is possible to create a course for free if you choose to do so. And overall course creation expenses are quite average and won’t require high investment upfront.

If you’d opt in for an average upgrade, as explained in this article, it could cost you around the following:

  • $39/monthly for course creation platform
  • $119 one-time fee for design templates + some video recording gadgets
  • $26.99/yearly for presentation and video editing tools

Remember that these course creation expenses can be done gradually and are not specifically required to make an online course happen.


Follow @coursecreationlab on Instagram and TikTok for more tips.

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