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Teachable Review 2020 – Should You Use It To Sell Your Course?

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Teachable is an online platform for course creators. If you’ve ever wanted to create an informational product and sell it online, you can do it through Teachable. Teachable handles everything for you including hosting (no need for hosting your own website on your own domain), the course creation itself (through Teachable you can add any kind of content to your course easily) and payment processing. This makes it an appealing service for course creators who want to put something out there easily without all the annoying tasks that come with trying to do everything yourself.

As one of the biggest online course platforms, Teachable is well established and has a strong track record. Here are some of their numbers:

  • Over 100 employees
  • Established in 2013
  • Over $500,000,000 in sales made by course creators on the Teachable platform

How easy is it to get started with Teachable?

It is easy to get started on the website – just go to teachable.com and enter your email. You’ll be taken to this form:

Then you enter the name of your “school”:

They’ll also ask you some questions “to help us get to know you better”:

Then you’re taken to the Teachable dashboard:

From within this dashboard, you have the following sections:

  • Users (containing lists of the students, owners, authors and affiliates of your course(s))
  • Site (here you can customize the logo and background, the font, domain(s), navigation, bios and pages of the site that will market your course)
  • Sales (showing transactions, statements, a breakdown and upsells, if any)
  • Emails (allows you to email students of your course – this requires the basic plan or more)
  • Settings (info about yourself and your course, payment info, taxes, notifications, your plan and so on)

Here’s an example of me putting together an example course – you can add different sections, and upload course content (text, video or anything else):

Then Teachable will create a subdomain on your site for your course, like https://katie-holmes-s-school.teachable.com. If you want to use your own domain (as you absolutely should), then you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. Also, the free plan only allows 10 students, so if you’re doing anything beyond just playing around you will need to spend some money at Teachable.

What kind of courses are sold on Teachable?

All kinds of informational products in all kinds of niches can be sold on Teachable. You’d be surprised by the variety of courses and information that people are willing to pay for online, in niches you may have never even known existed. There are courses on the following, for example:

  • how to bake cakes
  • using Photoshop
  • sketching
  • creating virtual reality games
  • doing magic
  • becoming a blacksmith
  • freediving
  • yoga

To the best of my knowledge, Teachable does not verify the quality and claims made by courses and course creators. They’re simply a platform for course creators who can host any legal family-friendly content they want. Therefore, there may be courses hosted on Teachable that are of subpar quality, though there are definitely plenty of good ones too.

What sort of fees does Teachable charge?

As mentioned above, if you’re going to be selling to any more than 10 people and want to have your course on your own domain name, you’ll need to join a paid plan at Teachable – the free plan is really only for playing around with the platform to see if you’d like to use it. Here are the different plans for Teachable (taken from teachable.com/pricing):

My advice? For the vast majority of Teachable users, the Basic or Professional plans make the most sense. If your course does over $1,000/month in sales on average, you should definitely go with the Professional plan, since for that one there are no transaction fees, unlike the Basic plan that charges 5%. It’s also important that the Professional plan allows you to remove the Teachable branding and gives much better analytics. So if you’re unwilling to fork out money and have a course that will do $0 or perhaps only a few hundred dollars a month in sales, you can go with the Basic plan — otherwise, you should absolutely use the Professional plan.

I do not see the Business plan as necessary other than for a very, very small subset of users.

What kind of support does Teachable offer?

Teachable’s support is very good — you can create a ticket at Teachable about anything and they’ll get back to you within 24 hours with a helpful response. Before creating a ticket, you should have a browse through their knowledge base (https://support.teachable.com/hc/en-us).

What alternatives are there to Teachable?

Online courses have boomed over the past few years, so as you’d expect, there are other course platforms out there. The 3 I’ve identified as being the ones you should consider the most along with Teachable are these:

  • Thinkific
  • Udemy
  • Kajabi

The closest service to Teachable is Thinkific. Udemy and Kajabi are in the same space as a course platform, but have 1 very fundamental difference. Let’s go through these.

Teachable vs Thinkific

Thinkific started in 2012 and is slightly smaller than Teachable, with between 50 and 100 employees and $200,000,000+ in sales from its course creators (clearly still a very well established and reputable company).

Teachable advantages vs Thinkific

  • Easier to make courses with its course builder
  • Fantastic analytics and course reporting
  • Can handle EU Digital Goods VAT tax
  • Nice checkout process
  • Has Apple Pay and Google Pay support
Thinkific advantages vs Teachable

  • More direct integrations with business tools like AWeber, ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit
  • Free plan allows unlimited students and zero transaction fees
  • Has some nice course templates
  • More pricing options for your course(s)
  • Can include assignments and surveys in your course(s)
  • Allows social logins for students and automated emails to be sent to them

Teachable vs Udemy

Udemy is massive and if you’re interested in Teachable, you’ve almost certainly already heard of them. They were established in 2010 and have some very impressive metrics: as of March 2020, they have had over 50 million students, over 295 million course enrollments, and there are over 150,000 courses on Udemy. It’s easily the biggest online course platform. So how does Teachable stack up against it?

Teachable advantages vs Udemy

  • You can use your own domain
  • Ability to customize the theme and style of your courses
  • Any pricing on your course (Udemy only allows $20-$200 courses)
  • See all the info on your students
Udemy advantages vs Teachable

  • Promotes your course to its audience (though it’ll take a 50% cut on those)

The difference between Teachable and Udemy is quite straightforward: the advantage of Udemy is that it’ll help to promote your course, so you may get some sales without doing any marketing yourself. That’s a huge help to new course sellers who haven’t built up an audience yet. However, it’s clearly far more restrictive than Teachable, so if you already have an audience and want to have more control over your course, you’d probably do better going with Teachable.

Teachable vs Kajabi

Kajabi was established in 2009 and its course creators have made over $600,000,000 on its platform.

Teachable advantages vs Kajabi

  • Superior course reporting and analytics
  • Can handle EU Digital Goods VAT tax
  • Has Apple Pay and Google Pay support
  • Lower pricing (for Basic and Professional plans)
Kajabi advantages vs Teachable

  • A complete, all-in-one platform to handle everything regarding your course, including its marketing
  • Integrates with email marketing tools like Aweber, ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit
  • A lot of themes and course customization options

If you really want everything under the one platform, then Kabaji is the service for you. Teachable is only a platform to create and host your course, then the marketing is up to you. With Kajabi everything you need is under the one roof.

Are there any Teachable coupon codes?

No – Teachable does not offer coupon codes. This may confuse you, as it did me, as in searching for “Teachable coupon codes” on Google I found a lot of rubbish coupon sites claiming 50% off Teachable or something similar. However, when you clicked the link to get the coupon it’d just be an ordinary affiliate link to teachable.com. The only way to get a discount on Teachable is to sign up to an annual plan with them, as opposed to monthly. That will save you 25%.

Note that if you create a course with Teachable, it’s possible to create coupon codes for it, so that’s a nice feature they offer. That’s of course completely different to coupon codes for Teachable’s plans themselves.

The bottom line

I quite like Teachable, and strongly recommend considering them if you’re putting a course out there. Just have a quick read through how they compare to their competitors (as listed above) to make sure they’re the best fit for you.

Katie Holmes

I am the lead editor of OutwitTrade and an accomplished data analyst, writer and internet marketer. I was motivated to help to build up this publication after being frustrated with most review websites being obviously biased, wrong, or which didn't seem to even test the products they were reviewing. Now, I spend 20+ hours every week reviewing products, conversing with our contributors, and reaching out to different companies.

Before joining OutwitTrade.com I had several years of experience in online marketing, advertising and SEO before also working as an analyst at Hertz for over 2 years.

In my spare time I like drawing, creating music and reading. 🙂

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katie-holmes-sydney
Twitter: https://twitter.com/outwit_trade
Katie Holmes
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