Teachable and Udemy are the two most popular options to create & sell online courses and if you're interested in selling courses, you will need to answer the Teachable vs Udemy question.
To help you answer this question, I have created an infographic (this is the first infographic I've created on this blog and I'm sure you'll love it) that compares the two online course platforms based on specific criteria.
Share the infographic on your site:
Here’s my take on selling online courses on Teachable vs Udemy:
Teachable is an online platform that allows you to build your course website and sell online courses using your own brand while Udemy is an online marketplace that allows you to list and sell their courses through the platform.
While Teachable provides you the infrastructure to sell your courses, it doesn't market them. It is you who is responsible for marketing your courses.
The upside of using a platform like Teachable is that it gives you complete control over every aspect of creating & selling online courses and is thus ideal for running an online course business.
Watch this quick demo of Teachable where I give you a walkthrough of how to build your course website on the platform:
[Update to Video: In the video at 12 minutes 27 seconds mark, I discussed that the students will require to create an account on Teachable before they can purchase your course. Teachable has now optimized the checkout process and students need to sign up only after they complete the purchase, thus improving conversions significantly.]
In Udemy's case, it not just provides you the infrastructure to sell your courses but also actively promotes your courses to its audience. It requires you to share a certain percentage (50%) of your course revenue with them (which is fair) but it puts all sorts of restrictions and control on pricing, promotions, access to student data etc.
As far as I'm concerned, Udemy is a great platform and it is where I made my first dollar as a course creator. It was easy to use, helped me get started quickly and most importantly, helped me market my courses.
However, I am not a fan of using marketplaces as your primary strategy to sell online courses. I will share a couple of examples that explain why:
In 2013, Udemy suddenly reduced the instructor revenue share on the platform from 70% to 50%. In fact, before that the revenue share used to be 90%. Now imagine being a seller on Udemy at that point, your revenue would have come down by 20% in a single day and you could do nothing about it.
In 2016, Udemy decided to cap the prices of the courses on its platform in the range of $20-$50. Many instructors, including me, were badly hit but we could have hardly done anything.
This was the point when I realized the importance of having my own list, my own audience and my own business and so I decided to move away from an Udemy centric strategy and built my online school on the Teachable platform.
Let me now give you specific reasons why I think selling solely on Udemy (marketplaces) is a bad idea:
Teachable vs Udemy: Conclusion
So, should you stay away from Udemy? Not at all.
I would rather say you should try Udemy and there is a fair chance that it might work for you. Udemy has a huge audience base and you should leverage it. However, use Udemy only as one of the sales channels for your course business.
Udemy can’t be your online course business as having a Udemy centric business is just too much risk.
Right from day 1, you should focus on building your own audience and selling online courses from your own website built on a platform like Teachable.
Treat Udemy as one of the sales channels and use it to generate leads, test your courses and even make some real money.
If you want to give the platform a try, you can sign up for a lifetime free account on Teachable.
If you have any questions regarding Teachable vs Udemy, post it in the comments below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: I am using affiliate links within this post, so if you do want to go purchase Teachable, clicking a link will pass me off a little commission (without costing you anything extra)!