Before picking a platform to start selling online courses, read my review of Teachable. I’ll share the pros and cons of the platform and compare it to the other top online course providers.
I’ll also discuss a big mistake to avoid when selling your first course.
What Makes Teachable Different than Other Providers?
Teachable features are geared towards new course creators:
- It has an intuitive admin interface which makes building your first course easy
- It has a Free plan to get you started
- It has the only built-in payment processing system, Teachable Payments
More on these below…
Let’s take a high-level look at Teachable and then we’ll dive into my review.
Teachable Overview and Pricing
Teachable is probably the most well-known online course platform that you can use to create and sell courses and membership sites. Teachable will provide a framework for everything you need to create and sell your course.
You can build your course with videos and written content and then sell it through a Teachable sales page with a pre-made template.
The Teachable platform comes with built in payment processing, Teachable Payments, or you can use your favorite 3rd party payment processor like PayPal or Stripe.
Teachable has 4 price plans: Free, $39, $99, and $499. The free plan allows unlimited courses but comes with a caveat, you must pay $1 plus 10% of every sale. The first paid plan, the Basic Plan ($39/mo.) is a little better but charges a 5% fee each time you make a sale and still adds up quickly.
My pick for best plan is the Professional plan for $99/month. This is the first Teachable plan with no transaction fees. The Professional Plan comes with affiliate tools to help you sell your course and built-in course completion certificates which only Thinkific also offers.
Get the full run down on Teachable pricing plans here.
Recognizable Teachable Customers
Teachable is used by over 68,000 course creators with big names like Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Annapurna Living).
But it’s not just for solo entrepreneurs, Enterprise users include The New York Times, Intuit, Shopify, Penn Law, and many more.
Teachable is accessed by over 18 million students and has generated over $338 million in sales.
Teachable Review – The Good & Bad
Pros: Here’s what I like about Teachable
- Teachable Payments is a built-in payment processing option so you don’t need to get a separate Stripe or PayPal account.
- Teachable's built-in email marketing tool lets you message students when events occur like enrolling or completing a course.
- Course completion certificates are offered on the Professional plan and up (many providers do not offer this or require you to pay a 3rd party).
- Your course can be accessed from the Teachable iOS app.
- You can offer students payment options like a monthly payment plan for more expensive courses.
- You can offer a monthly recurring subscription for ongoing access to a course in a membership model.
- Teachable will handle EU VAT for you
- There is a free option to get started, although this also falls under the Cons (see next section).
Cons: Here are the only things I don’t like about Teachable
- There’s not as many course and site customization options as some of the other platforms.
- The Free plan has $1 + 10% transaction fee and the Basic plan comes with a 5% transaction fee. (no transaction fees starting on the Professional Plan)
- You would need to use a 3rd party platform (like ClickFunnels or LeadPages) for a sales funnel builder.
- There is no phone support
- No course marketplace
Review of Teachable’s Best Features
I first started this review by explaining that Teachable was focused on helping new course creators. Let me expand:
1 – Teachable’s intuitive interface
Teachable has a straightforward admin panel which makes building your first course easy. Teachable’s navigation is clean with only the most important customization features. Some other course platforms have so many customization features that a newbie can get a little lost.
2 – Teachable’s payment processing
The Teachable platform comes with built in payment processing through Teachable Payments. This saves you the trouble of having to get an account with a 3rd party payment processor and then configure within the platform. Teachable Payments fees are comparable to industry standards, Stripe and PayPal at 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. The only caveat is that Teachable charges a 25 cent fee for each payout, which is negligible if you get your payouts once or twice a month.
3 – Teachable has a free plan
A great tip for beginners is to test the waters and see if your course sells through a free plan. That said, be wary of the high transaction fees on the Teachable free plan and upgrade as soon as you can afford it to save money in the long run.
Alternatives to Teachable
Teachable is one of the few providers to offer a free plan, unfortunately, it comes with a hefty transaction fee. If you are looking for a truly free plan, Thinkific has a good option (read my review of Thinkific).
Teachable’s Professional Plan and above are worth considering and are very popular with many big names in the online course industry. However, if you are looking to explore options besides Teachable, check out my reviews of the 5 best course platforms.
Avoid This Mistake when Starting to Sell Courses
As you probably know, creating and selling online courses is one of the easiest ways to build a large passive income stream. If you’ve got a great idea you may be tempted to dive head first into a course and spend a ton of time and money on content creation, video production, and platform fees.
I’m excited about selling courses too and would be the last person to discourage other entrepreneurs. However, if this is your first foray into course production, I’d suggest testing the waters and seeing if there is a market for your course.
Before investing months building out a course, setup a mini-course in your niche. Pick one topic or chapter of your master course and use that for your mini-course. You can offer this for free or a nominal fee.
You can use your existing audience, social media followers or paid ads to find students.
At the end of the mini-course add a survey and ask students what could be improved and topics of interest. This way you can tailor your full course to match the topics your students really want to know about. And be sure to collect email addresses so you can notify those students when your full course is released and hit the ground running with course sales.