Why Developer Courses Cost More
By Richard Rost
When I started Computer Learning Zone, my pricing scheme was simple; all of my lessons were $5.99. After making several levels of a course, however, I started noticing a disturbing trend. As the lessons got more difficult, fewer and fewer people were buying them. I might sell, for example, 1000 copies of Access Beginner 1, then 800 copies of Beginner 2, then only 400 copies of Beginner 3, and so on.
Why was this? I started asking people. Most of them just said they had learned enough already not to need any more advanced material to do their job. Some people lost interest. A few retired or passed away, and so on. Fortunately only a few people said they didn't like the lessons, so at least I knew I was doing things right. :)
In any case, recording more advanced lessons meant that I wasn't going to sell nearly as many copies of Access Developer 1 as I would Beginner 1. Obviously this is a business, and it's what I do for a living, so I had to make the decision to charge a little more for each lesson as the course went up in levels otherwise it wouldn't be economically feasible to make advanced courses. People were, for the most part, OK with that.
Advanced lessons are not only watched by fewer people, but they take me longer to prepare and record because of the difficulty involved. I can sit down and rattle off hours and hours of beginner material just off the top of my head, but developer lessons often involve hours of painstaking research and preparation on my part, so I feel the extra cost is justified.
I've always offered people discounts for buying a bunch of lessons at once. This tends to reduce the overall cost if you buy a block of courses. The shopping cart will give you an automatic discount. Also, I've always been sympathetic to folks with limited incomes, retirees, seniors, veterans, etc. I would hate for someone to not be able to learn because they can't afford my courses... so if you have a special need, let me know and perhaps we can work something out.
I do have a membership program called the Learning Connection where you get a new class every week (or at an interval that works best for you) at a 50% discount. This seems to work best for most people. There's also the MYOLP membership option for people who like more flexibility.
If you have any questions or comments, post them here, or let me know.
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