Monetization via Paid Online Courses

AKA: Paid Online Trainings

Payments from individuals for an online course about the open-source software from the maintainer(s). Often one-time payments for one course, but ad revenue from video platforms such as youtube etc. is an alternative.


Variants & Options:



Characteristics Value Note
Effort to set-up Weeks Creating a complete course is a lot of work
Effort to maintain Medium Updating the course or continuously creating short videos is time-consuming
Cost to set-up None Depends on quality: can include camera, greenscreen, etc.
Cost to maintain None Hosting the course might cost a little bit (but should be covered by income)
One-time Income Low Courses are relatively cheap for learners
Recurring Income Medium Up-to-date courses are popular with individuals and employers
Income Predictability Low Constant reminders to course might be necessary. Youtube might bring new customers
Full income Threshold 500+ clients per month; Youtube CPM is 1-5 USD;
Recipient I/C Depends on who contributes to the course(s)
Additional Work Medium Extra time to create and update course
Visibility Medium Easy to oversee. Youtube might increase reach
Necessity to pay Low Might increase with the complexity and wide-spread use of the software
Entry Threshold Low Credit card is sufficient
Scalability Medium Scales with the number of users (who want to learn)
Countervalue 1xWork Creation and update of course is time-consuming
Effort for marketing Medium Customers might find course via platform / google
Competitors O Everybody can create a online course to the OSS
Software types Big SW Better for big, complex and widely-used software

NOTE: Potentially, โ€œunofficialโ€ online courses can also be issued by non-maintainers (i.e., just expert), which could increase the competition.