Online courses have become increasingly popular each year. Colleges are offering them and you can also purchase them from experts whether you’re looking to learn a new skill or would like to know how to create or sell something.

Almost anyone can make an online course and sell it. If you’re buying a program from an entrepreneur online, you may spend anywhere from $100 to $2,000+ on average. College courses are often charged per credit hour and you may have more incentive to work on them consistently since you’d be earning credits today a degree or certification program.

While other online courses can be extremely valuable, the truth is that most people don’t take the time to complete them or apply what they learn. In fact, one-course creator found that after thousands of people signed up for her program, two-thirds of the registrants did not even complete the course.

If you’re thinking about investing in a course to help improve your professional or personal life, here’s what you need to know about how to complete online courses and get a return on your investment.

Get Clear on the Pain Point the Course Would Solve

All good courses are intended to help you solve a pain point or overcome an obstacle you’re facing. It’s important to identify that pain point early on and determine whether you need to solve it right now or now.

Want to start a successful blog? How bad do you want to do this? If your motivation to address this pain point isn’t high enough, you may not really prioritize working on the course.

Some online course sales pages are written extremely well so be sure to keep your emotions in check to avoid acting on impulse. Take some time to really analyze what you’d learn from the course and how it can help you.

Review the Course Outline to See If It’s Realistic

If you’re considering taking a course on your own and are wondering how to complete online courses so you can get the results you want, don’t skip this step. Some courses are massive while others are more concise. This is important because it can help you map out your progress.

If a program can be completed in 6 weeks on average, that would probably sound easier to complete than a program that is 6 months long. Often times you can view a list of the modules or lessons before committing to buy the course.

You can even reach out to the course creator to ask them questions about the curriculum and the assignments. Consider all your other commitments at the time and be honest about whether you can afford to invest the time and effort into learning and applying new course material.

Determine What Results You’d Need to Get a Good ROI

Whenever I consider buying a program or investing in myself, I think about the return on my investment. With college, I was able to get a bachelor’s degree in 4 years and took out $20,000 of student loans. In this situation, college was well worth the cost since I’ve utilized what I learned in my journalism program and have also earned way more than $20,000.

Even if you’re considering taking a smaller online course, look at the price, and set goals for the results you want to obtain. Determine when you’d earn back your course investment and how you plan to do that.

I have a friend who teaches people how to become a Pinterest virtual assistant. Her course is $700 but she helps people learn important Pinterest skills and market their services to clients that will pay them anywhere from $250 to $400 per month. With this in mind, students who are serious could earn back their course investment in less than 3 months with 1-2 clients.

Schedule In Time to Work on Course Material

Once you are convinced that you need to learn the material in the course right now and would get a good return on your investment, it’s time to schedule your action steps. Courses don’t work unless you do. This is the biggest secret (not really a secret) when it comes to determining how to complete online courses in a timely manner.

Set deadlines for when you’d like to complete the course and take certain action steps. A quality online course will have assignments or actions you can take after each lesson. You’ll need to allow yourself time to work on this.

Be realistic but also don’t give yourself too much time. The longer it takes to complete an online course, the less likely you’ll actually complete it. Schedule time blocks out on your calendar to work on course material whether that’s 1 hour per day, 3 times per week, or a crash course on weekends.

Show up for yourself and be consistent if you want to get consistent results.

Take Full Advantage of Course Bonuses

One thing most people fail to do is take full advantage of all the bonuses and features that are included with their course purchase. If you want to get a good return on your investment, don’t make this mistake.

Whether it’s a Facebook group, private coaching, a template, or bonus videos, be sure to utilize these extra resources so you can get more value. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you prioritize your time, energy, and motivation levels in order to do this. Let’s discuss this further with the final tip.

Limit Other Commitments and Distractions

Distractions and competing commitments will only limit your time and focus which can prevent you from completing the online course you paid for. Once you commit to taking an online course, set your timeline, and schedule out your action steps, it’s crucial that you limit distractions.

Say no to other opportunities that pop up and could deter your focus. It may seem like you’re doing less by only focusing on one thing but you’re actually doing more and will get better results.


Taking an online course to boost your skills could turn out to be very profitable when done right. The key is to narrow down quality programs and commit to completing them and applying what you learn.

Otherwise, the alternative is just to waste your money on a course you don’t complete. Don’t make that mistake and utilize these tips if you want to know how to complete online courses and get a good ROI.