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Some platforms provide a high range of customization with a relatively low reach, whereas others have very minimal customizations but allow for a high reach. Platforms like Thinkific are known for their high range of customization and control. Some users prefer this over the high traffic generated by other platforms such as Udemy. Udemy will not allow for any customization but will provide a high volume of students that will get access to your course. So the potential of making money is higher. You need to know what is of a higher priority at this point in time in your business and make a decision based on that assessment.
Some platforms have been around for very long whereas others are just emerging. This might work in your favor or against you, it all depends on what your requirement is. If you are looking for a credible platform, a tried and tested one might be a good idea. Platforms such as Udemy and Teachable have a high volume of students that gives them a high amount of credibility. If yours is a brand that is still not developed, such platforms might serve to extend your reach and create some quick revenue before you establish the brand.
If you are looking to invest very little time and resources to your online teaching business, a self-hosting platform might be one that serves your purpose. Even if you are an experienced marketer who is looking to establish a brand and want to execute marketing strategies by yourself, a self-hosting platform like Thinkific might be a better call. However, if you are looking at creating a high volume of customers in a short period of time while not being highly aware of the various marketing tactics used in the business, you might be better off with a marketplace platform like Udemy that does all that work for you while taking a certain fee for all their services.
Many platforms offer free packages for most beginners. While this might be a very lucrative feature for many, it is imperative to understand what the structure of costs are when it comes to every course that is sold. Transaction fees vary from platform to platform, but one thing to remember is that marketplace teaching platforms such as Udemy are not interested in promoting your individual brand. There might also be brackets that are the only options when it comes to pricing your course. So make sure you have gone through the pricing policy of each of your options before you make your decision.
Some people are looking at creating a high volume of courses that cater to a large and generalized audience. Others are looking to experiment on several platforms to determine the best choice of platform as well as course type for a brand they want to establish. One must understand that when it comes to ownership of courses and course material, some platforms such as Thinkific allow full ownership whereas other platforms like Udemy don’t. This might be another factor you might want to consider when picking your online platform.
There are a lot of alternatives when it comes to online platforms. They are also of different types such as self-hosting platforms and marketplace teaching platforms. Self-hosting platforms allow you to customize courses and maintain complete ownership of your courses while providing a moderate amount of reach and volume when it comes to students. Marketplace teaching platforms are all about exposure. They don’t provide a lot of options for customization but they make up for it with a large student volume that it caters to. That allows for greater streams of revenue in a shorter period of time. Both such platforms are reviewed here.
This platform is highly rated in allowing for a very no-nonsense exchange for students and teachers. Built essentially to empower teachers and students to pursue their passion, Skillshare allows both parties to achieve exactly what they are looking for with nothing more or less than that. It is focused more on online video production as the primary method for teaching and is based on teaching a lot of quick tips and tricks to its users. Once the course reaches 25 students, you earn a specific amount of money per registration. The short and well-spaced nature of the courses allows for a good response from students who generally do well on all courses due to their interests and option of pacing. There are also community managers and a well-connected stream of experienced instructors that learn a lot out of the time they spend on the platform as well.
Thinkific has been one of the best-known platforms when it comes to self-hosting your course. With a free plan to start off, Thinkific allows the user to generate a customized course page with its own outreach strategy. Not only this, there is a high amount of control when it comes to design as well as course material. Unlike marketplace teaching platforms, Thinkific allows you to control every feature related to your course. It also allows you to upgrade features in the course and pull it down if needed. You can also access the student list associated with your course, which is something that does not happen very regularly in marketplace teaching platforms. With a very friendly user interface and great customer service, Thinkific might be the best option for you if you are looking at hosting your course yourself.
You must remember that with the luxury of customization in every step of your course, there is a cost of limited reach and volume. If you don’t have a client list or a marketing strategy in place, it might take a good deal of time before you break even. You can even customize the rate at which the course is sold — something that largely determines the sales and revenue of your course. So if you have a fair idea of your pricing and marketing strategy, Thinkific might be a very lucrative platform for you. If you are one that does not have much of a clue about these aspects of your business, you might find it difficult to earn a good amount of money through Thinkific. Therefore, if you dislike Teachable due to its payment structures or ownership strategy and are looking for a self-hosting platform with a simple and easy-to-understand pricing structure, Thinkific might be the right choice.
Udemy can certainly be referred to as the veteran of the online teaching platforms out there. It boasts staggering figures of over 20,000 instructors and 12 million students. It might not be one of the most flashy or beautiful of platforms out there, but it makes up for all the lost glamour with immense reach and volume. The reason why Udemy is so famous amongst the edu-preneurs around is the network of students and instructors it has built over time. The platform offers a free plan to develop a basic course but makes its money on the transaction fees based on the students that buy the course through their various marketing efforts. 3% transaction fees are taken if you bring in students yourself, whereas upwards of 50% transaction fee is charged for students brought by Udemy. You are not allowed any access to the student list, nor can you undertake any personal communication with the students outside of the Udemy platform.
If you are looking at creating instant exposure on your course and don’t want to worry about the various efforts when it comes to marketing your course to a specific audience, Udemy might be a good choice for you. But you must be certain about the variety of costs that are charged by Udemy. For example, if a student is brought in through a third-party affiliate, Udemy will take 75% of the fee, leaving you with a marginal earning from the student. You will also not be allowed to remove the course from Udemy if you decide to pull out of the platform. It also has a video quota that requires at least 30 minutes of content or 60% of the entire course content to be in video form. Therefore, if you are adept with video creation and are used to teaching in that form, this might be a good option.
Overall, if you are someone who is lacking the technological and financial capacity to create your own teaching website at the moment, Udemy might be a good place to start. It is also a highly credible platform when it comes to reputation and reviews due to the vast number of students that have used it time and again. It is also very good for those who are not yet established and lack a following due to its reach once again. It might be a very good stepping stone for those who are looking to create a brand identity in the future but need a certain volume of income to begin somewhere. This is when Udemy might be the most lucrative option.
These are just a few of the options that are available when it comes to online teaching platforms. There are other options such as Podia and Academy of Mine that offer similar packages and features. But when it comes to the veterans of online platforms it has to be Teachable and Udemy representing the two large types of online platforms out there. There might not be a clear-cut winner when it comes to best features or cheapest pricing because of the varying structures upon which these platforms are built. But one can certainly make a distinction when it comes to the type of service you are looking for. Self-hosting platforms are for those who have a pre-existing brand identity or value. It is also for those who are looking for a high range of customization and a greater amount of control when it comes to graphics, design as well as student lists. There might not be a better alternative to Teachable than Thinkific if these are your specific needs.
If you are someone who is looking for a quick and easy-to-execute platform where a singular content investment leads to a steady source of income, Udemy might be the place for you. It might also be the right option for someone who is just starting out with a low reach and popularity. This is when you can access the immense network that Udemy has created over the years. So make sure you are aware of your specific needs and make the choice based on the aforementioned criteria.