I am Java programmer, blogger on http://javarevisited.blogspot.com and http://java67.com
Hello guys, if you are an online course creator, teacher, instructor, or blogger and looking for the best platform to create, market, host, and sell your online courses then you have come to the right place.
Today, I am going to share the best online paltforms to create, host, market, and sell your online training courses. Some of them also support online coaching which means you can earn money by coaching your students online one-to-one or one-to-many even if you don't have online courses but have a passion for teaching.
In this article, we will take a look at best online teaching platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, Udemy, and Podia and analyze them to find out which is best for online teaching and selling online courses.
Online teaching is becoming bigger and bigger with so many bloggers, professionals, programmers are creating online courses and making good money.
It's a new avenue for passive income creators and I think it's one of the best I know. Why? because it's a win-win for everybody.
For example, if a blogger or teacher creates an online course he earns money by teaching. Students get benefits because he learns from an expert who has acquired that knowledge hard way by their own mistakes and practical knowledge, and online creators platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, Udemy, and Podia benefit because they earn some fees and commissions.
So, it's win-win for all three parties - students, course creators, and
platforms that make it easy to create and sell a course online.
The biggest reason many people are creating online courses nowadays is
that the industry is growing very fast. As per an estimate, the online
learning industry is about to grow from 170 billion dollars from 2017 to around 350 billion dollars in 2022, which is phenomenal.
Another significant reason for creating an online course is that it scales really well.
You just need to create a course once and then you can sell it multiple times to multiple people without actively working on it. This is a powerful and genuine way to create a passive income stream and that's why I have been asking people to create online courses as side-hustle.
Though, if you care for your students and your course, you should spend
some time helping students, and updating your course material to keep it
relevant and up-to-date, but that's a very minimal part of the work,
comparing to blogging, freelancing, writing, or any other online way to
Now, that we are clear that creating an online course is amazing ideas,
let's focus on the platforms which can help you to build and sell your
When it comes to creating and selling courses online, there are many options like Thinkific, Teachable, Udemy, Skillshare, Kajabi, Podia (previously known as Coach), Gumroad, etc.
You will also find many detailed reviews of them on the internet, but I have
to choose based upon my own assessment, keeping some very important
feature in mind like how easy is to create a course, marketing(sales),
When it comes to creating online courses, Thinkific is the market leader, with well 32,000 influential bloggers, programmers, marketers have chosen them to host their courses. That fact itself says a lot about Thikific becuase that many people cannot be wrong, they are also not beginners but many of them are experts and influencers.
Thinkific is simply amazing when it comes to course delivery and student engagement. It allows you to add multiple content types including videos, quizzes, text, PDF, surveys, etc.
You can also provide course completion certificates, the biggest selling point for courses nowadays as it allows students to showcase their skills on LinkedIn and their Resume. They also allow you to create learning paths with prerequisites and lesson locking, which is great for skill-based teaching.
They are also very cost-effective. Their free plan allows you to create up to 3 online courses with an unlimited number of students. Content hosting is also free, but if you are serious about your online course I suggest you to their Pro Plan ($99/mo) to get features that are needed to take your course to next level. If you are interested, here is the link of 1-month free trial* of Thinkific's Pro + Growth Plan. This is for limited time only so make sure you fully utilize it.
The only problem with Thinkific is that they don't handle VAT (EU tax) for yourself, but they have documented their reason here and think that it's unfair to charge VAT for many courses that otherwise would not have to pay VAT. You can read their reasons to learn more about it.
Teachable is another wonderful platform or website which helps you to create and sell courses online. It's very similar to Thinkific and there are only some subtle differences between them.
When it comes to course delivery, Teachable also allows you to add
multiple content types including videos and quizzes to your course, drip
your course content, create course completion certification, ensure
course compliance and it also has a very well designed course player
which together result in a great learning experience for the students,
one of the most important factors for choosing Teachable vs Thinkific.
Though Teachable's USP is their powerful sales and marketing features
like coupons, highly optimized 1-step checkout process, 1-click upsells,
EU VAT handling, as well as a suite of services to manage your finances
and paperwork, trust me no online course creator like to manage
accounting and taxes.
They also have a free plan which allows you to host unlimited course but only 10 students and they also charge up to 10% of transaction fees. This means their free plan is only for trail and not practical and I don't recommend that to anyone.
What I recommend is to choose their basic plan (39$ per month) or even
better professional plan (99$ per month) when charged annually. To start with you can choose the basic plan and when you got some success,
switch to their professional plan to make it even bigger.
They are now also allowing you to do online coaching and one-to-one training with your students online. This means you can earn money by online coaching even if you don't have time to create a full online course. This is actually great thing to start with and once you gain some experience and confidence you can create your best selling online course.
Podia (previously known as Coach) is a relatively late entrant in the
hosted online course platform market that lets you create and sell
online courses and other digital products like memberships, PDFs,
e-books, and templates. This was the one platform I got my first
exposure with online course creation but unfortunately, I didn't launch the course as I wanted to make it great.
When it comes to teaching and online learning experience Podia allows
you to create engaging multimedia lectures with videos, audio, text,
PDF, etc. which are then delivered through the beautifully designed
course player and creates amazing learning experience.
Another useful feature that Podia offers is for building membership
sites, which is not available on Thinkific and Teachable (at least I am
not aware). So, apart from bundling your courses, you can also create
individual Posts that work great for delivering one-off content on a
regular basis and making some side income.
Kajabi is one of the best but an expensive online platform that allows you to do much more than just hosting and delivering online courses or memberships. You can not only build a beautiful course website but also
create a blog, build sales funnels, do email marketing, etc.
Apart from all important course creation features which Teachable and
Thinkific offers, it also provides some powerful features like
Community, Assessments (quizzes and assignments), Automations, learning paths, etc. which will help you create a great learning experience for your members.
The only downside of Kajabi is their pricing, which is also fair because
they offer so many features and provide an all-in-one platform for creating online courses. Kajabi's pricing starts from $149/mo and their most popular plan costs $199/mo.
Unlike Teachable, Kajabi doesn't charge you a single dollar in
transaction fee whether you choose their basic or professional plan.
Academy of Mine is another (not so popular) option for creating,
hosting, and selling online courses. It allows you to build a
fully-fledged website to host your online courses and start selling
One of the best things about the Academy of mine is its powerful LMS
features. It has inbuilt support for Certificates, Gamification,
Discussion Forums, GradeBook, etc. These features can be game-changer
for boosting your student engagement and enhancing their online learning
Academy of Mine's pricing starts from $199/month and you'll need to
upgrade to their $299/month plan if you want to sell subscriptions or
share revenue with other teachers on your website.
That's all about my list of best platforms to create and sell online courses in 2020. You have so many choices available but Thinkific and Teachable are market leaders and many programmers, bloggers, and marketers have chosen them. I also recommend starting with the Thinkific platform.
In this article, I have purposefully omitted Udemy, Pluralsight, Educative, and Skillshare because they are just marketplace and don't provide you full control of marketing and sales.
No doubt, Udemy is still the best platform to sell your course but if you
are thinking long term, you should choose any of the above platforms to
start with, I personally recommend Thinkific to start with.
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Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like this article then
please share it with your friends and colleagues. If you have any
questions about creating and selling online courses then please drop a
P.S. - If you join Teachable, I suggest you take their professional plan,
which costs around $79 per month. In this plan, you don't need to pay
the 5% transaction fee you have to pay for selling your courses on the basic plan, and you also get access to many more useful premium features
like Course Completion Certificates and Support.