Teachable vs Udemy for Selling Online Courses

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.

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Teachable vs Udemy for Selling Online Courses

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Here’s my take on selling online courses on Teachable vs Udemy:

Let me first explain the basic difference between Teachable and 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:

Teachable Demo

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:

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    The biggest drawback of selling on Udemy is lack of control. You don’t control Udemy’s policies, the course pricing, communication with your students etc. Basically you don't control anything on Udemy except what course you want to create.
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    With Udemy, you neither own the brand nor the email list. It's their brand thats being marketed and it's their list that's getting built. So for some reason if you can't sell on Udemy, you would have no business and no income.
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    Udemy has become a race to the bottom and you can see courses being sold at $10 every other day. So, you effectively get $5 per course sale on an average when you sell on Udemy. With this type of pricing, it's not possible for most instructors to make a full time income.
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    While Udemy has a huge audience base for certain niches like Technology and Personal Development, it has a very small base for so many other niches.

​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.

You can also get a 30-day free trial of any of Teachable's paid plans

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.