The current trend of consumer behavior moving into online media is fast becoming the new normal for many businesses. It’s no surprise that the same is true for non-traditional education via the multitude of online courses now available on the Internet. It has opened more avenues of learning outside the classroom setting, and has enabled nearly anyone with an idea to talk about their knowledge.
Whether you want to teach your hobbies, or something related to your expertise, there are many online course platforms (OCP) or learning management systems (LMS) which can help you begin. Some OCPs will offer services from scratch, like making your website, while others focus mainly on assisting you to achieve your target audience. The 1st step is discovering which one can move your ideas seamlessly onto the screens of your potential students.
With so many LMS to pick from, there’s one firm that has stood out because of its balance of reasonable pricing, customizability, ease of use, and marketing control. Teachable is the top choice of creative entrpreneurs, and after pitting it against its competitors, it’s clear why.
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Udemy was one of the leaders of LMS, which explains why and how their audience remains among the biggest markets in the industry: they were there . Udemy and Teachable are now two of the most popular options in selling online classes, but they’re extremely distinct in essence and progressiveness.
Teachable allows users to build their own course website and market their brand, while Udemy is merely a marketplace for class creators that have existing courses. At the very surface, this means that Teachable lets you use your custom domain while Udemy will have your customers keep coming back to Udemy.com. On another level, Teachable gives you tools to create and customize the entirety of your site, from content editing and building to sales, which aren’t in any way possible on Udemy. Among the more immediate consequences of this is that Teachable lets you communicate more directly with your clientele, by giving you access to student’s data and information; but as soon as you’re on Udemy’s platform, your students’ data is theirs alone for whatever other purpose it may serve them. And in accordance with this, Udemy seems to care about selling classes, period; so it’s not just your courses, but every other class in their list. There have been testimonials that mentioned this, when even competitor’s courses have been promoted to students that the user brought in. Sure, that may work in favor of newer users who could need the marketing, but from the point of view of a loyal user, that business sense could seem overly spammy and unnecessary.
Marketing at a Price
It is Udemy’s cut-throat policies that have turned off several former or potential users. They seem to be aware of the very value of their following, and have taken advantage of it, much to the detriment of the lecturer. True, Teachable does not promote the courses for its own users, that responsibility is left entirely to them. In an extreme fashion, Udemy markets their consumer’s courses aggressively, but with a significant price. That price is a massive chunk of control and revenue.
Udemy began with a 90% instructor revenue share, but they slashed those percentages to 70%, and then again quite suddenly to 50% throughout the years. A 50% share of the course earnings may still look sensible to others, especially to those whose classes were previously created for other purposes and were merely shared more publicly on Udemy, but that hurt many of the instructors that were selling solely from the company’s site. On top of that, what have driven people over the edge are the restrictions on pricing. In 2016, Udemy put a cap on its prices, and all classes on the system needed to be within the $20-$50 range. This is regardless of the uniqueness or skillfulness of a program, and it’s natural for some to turn away and look for better outlets for their thoughts. If you combine both of these policies, and have a class priced at $20 and a 50% creator revenue, selling on Udemy becomes nearly impossible as a dependable source of primary income.
So while it’s true that Udemy has a massive audience which you may want to tap into, most of the topics that they offer are really very limited to mostly Technology and Personal Development. Consider their dog-eat-dog marketing strategies and absorption of your brand’s identity, I would say Teachable is the response to many of Udemy’s shortcomings. In the long run, nothing is more satisfying than building your own following.
Teachable vs Thinkific
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If you’re looking for an LMS that’s comparable to Teachable’s cost, Thinkific is another great company that offers a lot for less. Both offer their first tier programs at no cost, and start charging for every higher tier thereafter. Many beginners choose Thinkific for its generous waiving of transaction fees on all of its plans; but a closer look at the fine print will reveal that it costs extra for certain options which are already included in Teachable’s monthly flat prices. But, those deviations are somewhat negligible, and with a range from $0-$499 per month, you really can’t go wrong with either of these.
But pricing is not all that they have in common. Both allow their users to create and sell personalized courses on their hosted platforms, without the hassle of handling the technical aspects like site maintenance, hosting, and security.
Newbies to the biz have a tendency to gravitate toward these firms for their easy-to-use interface which allows nearly all formats of content, such as video, audio, PDFs, and other multimedia. Most of these can be uploaded into the site by a simple drag and drop builder. They can host unlimited videos, create quizzes, send certificates, and track the progress of their pupils.
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Among the benefits of Teachable over Thinkific is the former’s course builder: it allows bulk changes to courses, which may be an enormous time-saver, especially for the ones that have built quite a few on their system; and it allows multi-format content in 1 lecture. What’s more is it can be connected to cloud services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, for quicker uploads from your devices.
In terms of course delivery, Teachable has an iOS application that permits pupils to learn on their mobile devices, which is something that Thinkific does not have.
Sales and Marketing
Following the content production comes the selling and promotion of your classes. This is where Teachable wins by a landslide. Both give the freedom to sell one-time or recurring products, offer discounts and bundles, or affiliate programs, but Teachable has more choices. The real clincher is Teachable’s 1-step checkout procedure, which reduces customer fallout (which happens more during obsolete, 2-step procedures like Thinkific’s). Additionally, it comes with a 1-click upsell upon checkout, increasing transactions per client. Another major advantage is Teachable’s payment gateway which accepts credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay payments. Another service included is the automatic payout to affiliates and authors (when applicable), taking care of tax forms and similar documentation. If you have users from the EU, it even goes as far as including EU VAT on top of course rates. That definitely gives you more value for your own content. Click here to check out pricing for Teachable.
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One of the online course platforms with the cheapest top tier is Podia. Though it does not have a free plan, and its basic plan comes at $39/month (with Teachable at $29/month), its top and only remaining plan is offered at $79 (with Teachable at $399). This price gap can be due to the vastly different things they each offer. On the one hand, Teachable is a fully customizable class creator and seller, and on the other, Podia decided to focus on Online Course Hosting, Membership or Email Marketing, and Digital Downloads. Those will immediately help you narrow down your choice to what is best suited to your needs.
Podia’s compact classes lets users filter out other aspects which they might not need to dip into, such as e-commerce. Its interface is simple, clean, and pretty good for novice instructors. Having said that, this is also why it may not satisfy the needs of creators who wish to do more with their site. Since the variety is not much, more advanced users may find it lacking.
Course Creation and Control
Teachable defeats Podia in design and customization tools, with choices for easy uploads of files, texts, and quizzes. The ones that dabble in code can also explore that within Teachable. Users can easily get the sleek look of a professional website by choosing from default themes which can be customized to satisfaction. Teachable’s editor makes it easy to create changes and push upsells, maximizing both user’s time and profitability.
Both have a trickle content attribute for the ones that want to space the lessons offered to their students, and prevent cramming modules in 1 go. What’s unique to Teachable is innovative control over course compliance, like keeping tabs on students’ completion of lessons and quizzes. It also has built-in certificates that users can create and send to their students at the conclusion of the course. In terms of integrations, Teachable has better autoresponders and analytics, both of which are extremely important to marketing and sales.
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To summarize, Teachable‘s interface is approachable even to the most inexperienced users, has excellent creation and builder resources for designing a sleek course website, gives you control over your marketing and sales, has attributes that cut time and effort on backend paperwork, and gives the best value for money. With more upgrades and user feedback, they’re certain to be a reliable company for years to come.