January 15, 2019
You're excited to make your first profitable online course.
You’re debating between Teachable Vs Udemy.
Which is the best platform to create your course on for maximum profit and control?
That’s exactly what this fair comparison of the two online course creation platforms article is going to cover.
With a primary look at features which will affect your income and brand growth.
These are my personal opinions from generating over $100,000+ in online course sales after using both platforms.
Let’s jump in:
Let’s start off with the features.
It’s important to know what each course creation platform gives you.
You want as much control as possible — so you can build your course the way you want it, and have full ownership over it.
As well as having the ability to communicate with your students, manage payments, and offer a great learning experience — to keep customers happy and your course reviews positive. 👍
Here we go:
Udemy is an online learning and teaching marketplace. Imagine Amazon.com but for online courses.
The problem is that you are competing with lots of other people and don't have much control over your listings.
Therefore you could spend weeks or months creating your product for it firstly to not meet their approvement criteria.
And worse your course could rank really low and not get any sales.
Teachable let's you create online courses with no limiations because they let you create your own website.
Therefore you have no competition because you will only be listing your courses.
It’s entrepreneurs go-to choice as it gives you full control over how you sell your course without an organization dictacting how it should be done.
Both Teachable and Udemy offer a dashboard that lets you:
Udemy is simple and easy to use.
The only downside is that you are restricted to Udemy's branding so you can't customize the layout of your page.
You also need to meet specific criteria for your course to be published, which can get annoying.
The dashboard is much larger, and contains more site options.
Teachable let's you have full control over how you create your course.
You also get cool features such as Drip which lets you release content over time.
Both platforms offer enough insights for you to understand where you're generating sales and let you intergrate with Google analytics for further information.
The biggest problem is that Udemy doesn't let you install custom code snippets, such as a Facebook Pixel or Google Tag, which is vital for businesses tracking user behaviour to improve conversions.
You can see your average rating, plus how much revenue the course has made.
It will also give you information on the traffic source that sales have come from which is really nice.
You get full reports on revenue and where students where refered from (if using the Teachable Affiliate feature).
On teachable you also get the Reports feature that let's you check students performance, such as which videos are popular and where students are dropping off so you can improve the lessons.
Overall, the informaiton Teachable provides you is a lot better than Udemy.
Plus you can integrate your Google Tag or Facebook Pixel to track and collect even more important information!
Udemy doesn't let you export any important data as they own it.
You can see all your information about customers, even the IP they sign in with.
Also you have full access to revenue data too which you can export for safekeeping or tax purposes.
Having control over how your sales page looks and functions is CRITICAL to converting visitors to customers.
When creating a sales page you want to be able to change the text, colors, layout, elements and so on to have a conversion optimized sales page.
You are stuck with their sales page template. Which kinda sucks...
It doesn't look bad, but it is the same as everyone else on Udemy and therefore it's hard to stand out.
When you make a sales page with Udemy, you can only modify the text, sales video and categories you want to list your course in, as well as the cover image.
Teachable gives you full control and customization of your courses sales page and how it looks.
You can even import custom code to create your own design (I use Webflow to build my custom sales pages).
However, Teachable has a backend builder that lets you create a custom sales page without needing any code knowledge.
In addition, Teachable let's you customize your checkout page by adding in reviews and guarentees:
And you can even customize your thank you page after someone makes a purchase. You can include upsells or a nice thank you note.
Teachable is constantly rolling out improvements, features and updates to make the process checkout as good as possible — so you don't miss out on any sales.
Being able to create and promote your brand is important to build a relationship with others online.
There's let's see what each platform let's you customize.
You may be noticing a theme already that Teachable alows you to customize more...and that's the case here too.
You are stuck with Udemy’s branding.
The problem is that when you use Udemy to create and sell a course, you are actually making it for them and not you.
They are selling the course branding as a 'Udemy course'. It isn't a 'Your Name Course' and that's one of the problems with using Udemy if you want to build your brand.
You can control how your site looks with your own logo, favicon, colors and fonts.
When you use teachable you have your own domain name and site branding — so the courses you sell are under your name and brand.
In addition, you can also modify the code of your website to change the look if you're #tech enough 😉.
Sometimes you will want to create extra pages if you're hosting online courses.
These pages could be:
On Udemy you are limited to only creating a course.
They will supply people with support, TOS, Policy and FAQ pages.
You can create a course and pages such as a refunds policy/affiliate sign up and so on...
You can also create blog posts on Teachable, which is a great way for new people to find you.
However, if you are going to make a blog I recommend doing it on a CMS platform such as Webflow (that's how I built this site).
Both platforms let you add the same lesson features.
You can upload:
Both platforms have comments for each lesson in the course.
On Teachable you can approve comments before they’re shown on the lessons.
This can be helpful to let you easily manage which comments you’ve seen and replied to.
And also stop any nasty comments being approved.
Both platforms let you add quizes to lessons.
Adding quizes can be a great feature to increase interactivity from students...
...and test their knowledge to help them retain course information.
Before you make your course public, you should review your course to make sure it's as good as possible.
Udemy's staff has to approve your course before it goes live.
It can be very annoying as they can get super picky about non-important factors that don't effect peoples learning experience.
For example, they may say your lighting isn't good enough, even though it's clearly visible.
Or that your audio quality is not perfect...even though you have a fantastic audio setup.
The approval system can be very demotivating for first time course creators too...this is evident inside of the Udemy Creators facebook group where people are constantly frustrated and baffled why their courses won't get approval.
You can choose when you want your course to be public without approval from others.
Which is awesome because you don't need someone else to tell you if your course is good enough or not.
As long as you try your very best to make the production quality as good as you can with your budget, people will enjoy it and you can improve it over time.
Both platforms let you have multiple instructors on your course, as well as revenue sharing options.
Both course platforms let students view your lessons on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
Therefore students can enjoy your content at any time in their busy lives.
Both platforms let you offer certificates to students who complete your course.
Teachable let’s you upload a custom designed certificate to give to students who complete your course.
Pricing your course is one of the most important decisions.
If you sell a course for $1,000 you only need to sell it 10 times to make $10,000.
If you sell a course for $10 you need to sell it 1000 times to make $10,000. And it's a lot harder to find 1000 people to sell to than 10.
Udemy limits you to pricing your course from being free or in the price range of $19.99-$199.99.
But here's the kicker:
Udemy has a Revenue Share Policy which takes 50% of any course sales they generate.
So let's say you price your course at $100 and Udemy generates the sale, you only earn $50! And whats worse is that Udemy constantly has sales on which means you'll find your course sells consistently at $19.99, so you only earn roughly $10 per sale! That's a 90% loss from your pricing.
You can price your course with no limitations on Teachable!
It could be $5.00 or $500,000!
There is no revenue share either. If you make the sale you keep 100% of the profit after standard credit card fees.
You can also choose to split profits if you have multiple instructors on your course.
Finally you can do different payment options and subscription plans, which is fantastic for converting users who can't pay the full amount and want to do monthly payments instead.
Both platforms accept international payments.
They automatically show the price of the course in the visitors native currency too.
You can choose to create payments in different currencies.
If you price your course in only USD, you can still accept 130 different currencies in the payment gateways.
You cannot add a Facebook pixel.
You can add a Facebook pixel using the custom code feature.
This is important if you want to create retargeting adverts to convert users who left your website but showed interest in purchasing your product.
Using discounts strategically can be great to boost sales or reward loyal customers or followers.
Both platforms let you create your own discount codes, but theres a big different between them...
You can create coupons and discounts.
The problem is that Udemy will often automatically apply discounts your courses.
Which is a bad thing because on Udemy people always wait for discounts to happen, meaning your course is devalued because no one believes they should pay full price for it.
It's very common to see everyone price their course at $199 because they know Udemy will discount it and they want the discount to be the smallest loss possible.
You can create coupons, and choose when to offer the discount.
Moreover, you can limit how many times that discount can be used.
Has its own affiliate program that you don’t have control over.
You can start your own affiliate program, control the commision, see reports and manage your affiliates inside your Dashboard.
On Udemy you don't have control over adding a custom domain name.
You have the option to use your own custom domain name which helps you brand your website and build your business.
Being able to communicate with your customers and students is a feature you want to have.
This way you can let them know if:
You have a built in messenger system, but you’re not aloud to promote your courses or link to anything.
You get access to a basic email marketing tool that you can use to contact students and promote your courses with.
If you want to use a better email marketing tool I recommend ConvertKit — I use this tool to build my email list.
Sometimes you want to release your course content over time and not let people have instant access to everything.
That's when you need a Drip feature.
Dripping content is not available on Udemy.
You can release content to students on specific dates or after a certain amount of time.
You can only integrate Google Analytics which is a very easy setup process.
You can integrate Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel and thousands of other apps plus use Zapier to integrate even more apps.
In addition, you can also connect your email marketing software such as ConvertKit to add students to a sequence to send them updates and other content automatically.
Thankfully both platforms include hosting so you don't have to use an external service.
Udemy hosts your course on their website for free.
Teachable plans come with free hosting.
An SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites. It's the Padlock icon you see next to your browsers URL to let customers know the site is safe.
Because your course is hosted on Udemy.com, you automatically get an SSL certificate.
Teachable has an option for you to enable a SSL which is very easy and free.
So we concluded that Teachable is the winner for features due to the flexability it gives you when creating a course.
But does it win on the price?
Udemy offers a completely free plan to be an instructor on their platform.
To sell on Udemy you will need to complete a Premium Instructor application. It’s fairly simple and you can learn more about it here: https://support.udemy.com/hc/en-us/articles/229605368-Pricing-Your-Course
However, when you become a Premium Instructor you agree into a revenue share policy.
This means that what you price your course at, Udemy will take a 50% revenue share for any course sales they generate.
Which is just plain horrible because they're taking 50% of your hard earned money.
So let's look at Teachable instead:
Teachable also offers a free plan to test the platform.
You can see all their plans here: https://teachable.com/pricing
On the free plan you’ll be able to create and sell your online course.
However, you will be restricted to using a a teachable domain (your-course-site.teachable.com) and each course sale will have a transaction fee of $1 + 10% of the course price. Ouch!
So this leads us onto the paid plans which save you money.
Here me out:
You’re planning on making money selling courses right?
So spending $29 on the Teachable Basic Plan is not going to leave a dent in your pocket.
The Basic Plan it’s going to lower your transaction fee cost from the free plan’s $1 + 10% to the paid plans $0 + 5%.
And the Basic Plan lets you:
I personally use the Teachable Professional Plan.
The Professional Plan has 0% transaction fees when you use PayPal or Stripe as your payment gateway — custom payment gateways are very easy to set up.
If you use the Teachable Basic Plan it costs $29/month and charges a 5% transaction fee on all course sales...
Which means you lose 5% of your overall profit.
So let’s say for example that you do $5,000 in course sales this month.
If you used the:
Basic Plan —
You would be charged $29 for the Basic Plan and an extra $250 in transaction fees (5% of $5,000). Meaning your overall profit would be $5,000 - ($29 + $250) = $4,421.
Professional Plan —
It would cost you an extra $50 to upgrade from the Basic Plan to the Professional Plan totaling $79/month. But you unlock 0% transaction fees—using the custom payment gateways PayPal and Stripe. Meaning your overall profit would be $5,000 - $79 = $4,921.
You save $200 by using the more expensive, 0% transaction fee, Professional Plan.
To be successful at selling online:
You need to learn marketing techniques.
Let’s quickly discuss how both platforms let you utilize marketing strategies and tools to increase your income and help you build your brands audience.
Udemy markets your course on it’s platform for you.
Most users make the mistake of making a course, and then leaving it to Udemy to make the sales for them.
While Udemy can promote your course in various ways:
You can’t expect to generate a ton of income, especially as each sale Udemy generates gets a 50% Revenue Share split.
You can also market course to increase your income.
If you direct traffic to your course sales page URL, and make a sale...you will get 100% revenue and not have to split 50% to Udemy.
The only downside is, most sales only happen when a discount is applied. So your revenue is squished.
“The reality is that 90% of sales occur with a coupon code, and at a price less than $50.” - VP Content @ Udemy
This is because Udemy has a reputation of offering discounts; people only want to buy when they know they’re getting the best deal possible.
With teachable you are responsible your own marketing.
This is extremely good because it gives you control and teaches you to:
The BIG problem with Udemy like we discussed is that they have a 50% Revenue Share.
And you have no idea what they’re saying about your course, who they’re targeting and so on...
Whereas with Teachable you earn 100% of the revenue and control all marketing material.
So you understand how and where sales are coming from. Plus you’ll feel more fulfilled when you make a sale because you made it happen!
“Learn to market your product. You’ll gain a deeper understanding your demographics needs and wants—while you generate a human connection and lead them towards your product.”
If you’re not sure how to start marketing. My blog and Youtube and courses can help you with getting started.
If you want a platform which guarentees you success, use Teachable.
Here’s the issue with using Udemy.
It is very appealing that they sell your course for you...
But when you sell on Udemy you are helping their brand grow — students don’t buy from you, they buy from Udemy. You’re just another instructor out of the thousands they have.
Not controlling the pricing of your course is insane!
It completely devalues your product and brand.
People always expect discounts from Udemy and will be outraged once you move off the platform and you’re $15 course is suddenly the correct and well valued price of $127+.
Don’t be a victim of not having control over your business.
It will kick you in the ass later down the line.
When you use Teachable...
You are building your brand.
People have come to YOUR website, with YOUR branding and YOUR face behind the products.
You are building your businesses reputation, building up a customer base who love YOU, not another company.
Plus you have control when using Teachable:
If you are serious about creating a high quality, informative and share-worthy online course that people love…
You will make more money and build your brand successfully.
If you want to explore Teachable, you can click the link below to start your free account
Then let me know in the comments why you’ve decided to go with the online course platform you’re using.