If you’re looking to create and sell online content, no doubt you’ve heard of Teachable. It’s a really popular course-only platform. Teachable lets you create and sell your course with an intuitive course-builder and it also gives you landing pages to help sell it.
But Teachable has some downsides too. It lacks the functionality of an all-in-one, meaning that it’s missing key features like a community function. It’s limited in how you deliver courses, and primarily works for asynchronous learning. Plus, it’s only available on an iOS app and not Android, leaving out 85% of global smartphone users.
All this might leave you wanting to find a Teachable alternative, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. There are lots of great options for building your online course that give you more, in some cases for less money. So here are 6 alternatives to Teachable if you’re looking for somewhere different to host your online courses.
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In this article…
What Makes an Online Course Successful Today?
Before we get to the Teachable alternatives, let’s talk about what makes a great course. If this is your first time building a course, welcome! And if you’re a veteran, you’ll know a lot of this from experience. Let’s talk about some of the steps:
- Identify your ideal students. Get clear on who you serve with your online course. It will become easier to find those people, recruit them, and deliver something meaningful. This is critical no matter what course platform you ultimately decide to use–Teachable or one of the different Teachable alternatives.
- Craft a unique course or program for these ideal learners. Then you need to structure the course so that it gives your students the transformation they need.
- Market your online course. Once you have an online course, then you actually need to market it to your ideal learners. This has typically been done via a ton of email, webinars, and marketing landing pages designed to deliver a hard sell to prospective students.
- Ensure learners apply your online course to their lives. The biggest opportunity available for both aspiring and established course creators to distinguish their courses from the competition is paying attention to how your learners become a community mastering your topic together. Increasingly, this focus on community is unlocking faster growth, better results, and the ability to charge a premium for a new generation of online course creators, especially as more people seek to launch their own online courses.
In this context, let’s now look at where Teachable works, where it falls short, and six alternatives to Teachable you can choose to explore from here.
Where Teachable Succeeds
With Teachable, you can go from idea to execution pretty quickly. It’s pretty simple to get up and running, and doesn’t require special technical skills or coding to get your course materials in place. It also has payment processing you can configure in different ways to bundle your courses or offer ongoing access with a subscription fee.
Teachable also has an interesting pricing model that lets creators start at no cost. Build your online course and enroll students, and you only pay when your course sells. There are fees with each transaction that are based on a flat fee and a percentage of your course price. This is convenient if you’re experimenting, but it can start to feel steep once your course is selling well.
One additional unique feature of Teachable is that it’s set up to support more formal learning and training. They have tools to make sure members meet certain requirements, like compliance checks to ensure students have completed the required part of the courses. They also offer certificates for completion.
Where Teachable Struggles
The three most common complaints about Teachable are:
No community options
Course creators on Teachable either start a Facebook Group (which is noisy, distracting, and has a habit of cheapening the value of your online course offering) or go without a community altogether (which means many people won’t stick with their courses).
Without any kind of community feature, members miss the opportunity to take the course with other people. What does a community add to an online course? It turns out, a lot. For any given student, fellow classmates keep them engaged and focused via sharing stories, experiences, inspiration, challenges, and wins.
It’s this living, breathing, incredibly dynamic asset that makes the difference between a successful online course and one that’s “dead on arrival.” This has never been more true than it is today as tens of thousands of people launch new online courses every week.
Limited delivery options
With so many different ways to deliver a course, from live streaming a cohort-based course to running interactive, virtual sessions, Teachable is limited in terms of what you can actually do with it. There’s no native live streaming for example. It works best for an old-school asynchronous course that you don’t need much flexibility from.
For Teachable, a native mobile app experience was not the priority. It’s been built well for the web and has a very light app, but it’s only available on iOS and both course creators and learners find it glitchy. The fact that Android users don’t have an app at all means that 2.5 billion people can't access your course from their devices.
The 6 Best Teachable Alternatives
We’ve researched a dozen different alternatives to Teachable for this review. Ruling out custom development on WordPress or a homegrown online course website, we’ve narrowed it down to 6 alternatives.
1. Mighty Networks
If you’re ready to energize your online courses by connecting your members to each other for better results, this Teachable alternative is the best place to start for course creators and entrepreneurs who want to build a robust, engaged community of learners.
Mighty is a cultural software platform that brings online courses, content, community, and commerce together all under your brand. And its flexible Spaces let you mix in live events, live streaming, forums, messaging, and member profiles.
A Mighty Network is the only alternative to Teachable where you can get the full power of a sophisticated online course platform and a community together in one place, and branded for you. You can market, run, and charge for your online courses (and/or launch paid mastermind groups) directly in a Mighty Network.
A Mighty Network also comes equipped with a combination of native marketing tools and integrations to help you make the most of your sales funnel. It also supports the most ways to connect and communicate with your learners: interactive polls and questions, rich media articles, private and direct messaging, as well as online and in-person live events with RSVPs.
With Mighty, you can start simple and scale to bundles of online courses, groups, and more. Your website, email marketing, blog, course, and community are all in one place.
The best part of a Mighty Network is that it’s instantly available to your members or students on every platform–web, iOS, and Android. Over 65% of Mighty’s rapidly growing engagement happens on its native mobile apps. And when you’re ready, you can upgrade to offer your entire package of courses, community, and memberships on your own native mobile apps available directly in the Apple App and Google Play Stores.
Kajabi is a well-known platform for running paid memberships and online courses. If you’re looking for an alternative to Teachable that will give you a complex course-marketing platform and delivery together in one place on the web, Kajabi is an option.
Marketing and sales tools are where Kajabi makes its mark. With Kajabi, you get powerful marketing tools to deliver email campaigns, welcome flows, weekly updates, and more. They have optimized marketing landing pages to create email waitlists or sell exclusive “windows” for purchase, and they have checkout and payments that support multiple currencies around the world.
The main downside to Kajabi is that it’s the most expensive platform on the market. Its strength in marketing online courses has meant that it could charge instructors a lot of money for its platform.
The other issue is that Kajabi’s community is an extremely limited forum feature. It’s web-only and doesn’t have much by way of features. But all-in-all, Kajabi gives a good course platform with an excellent marketing system.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Teachable to deliver just your online courses, Thinkific is a similar course-only platform and also offers a free tier.
Thinkific offers two things that Teachable doesn’t. First, it has more advanced quizzes, with question banks and randomization, as well as surveys you can use to communicate with people who take your courses. Results from your surveys and course feedback can be embedded in marketing pages offered in the paid tiers, which is a nice way of closing the loop.
The other thing that Thinkific offers is a closer connection to your website. Like Mighty Networks and Kajabi, Thinkific will also link back to your website. With a little technical know-how, you can integrate your website with your Thinkific online courses for a more seamless brand experience. This is a long way from putting your courses, your site, your community, and your marketing under one umbrella, but it’s a step.
Thinkific has added more features and integrations that support marketing efforts, but they have yet to take any steps to support any real community features. Choosing a course-only option like Thinkific or Teachable means you’ll be not only missing native marketing tools but also the opportunity for like-minded learners to inspire and encourage each other on the way to the finish line.
Skillshare is a well-known online learning platform for people looking to learn and teach others new skills. It’s a good alternative to Teachable because it offers a similar marketplace vibe on their platform, but with a more approachable interface.
One reason that the Skillshare platform has grown so much in popularity is that it’s attracted a wide range of content creators to offer courses. This is great for instructors because it means they will have diversity in potential customers coming to the platform compared to some other Teachable alternatives.
On Skillshare, creators and entrepreneurs can create online courses as well as promote them using built-in tools. The main form of content you’ll be creating on Skillshare is videos. The prerecorded nature of the platform will be approachable for those who might be scared of public speaking, but it can also lead to less dynamic courses.
Marketplace solutions for online courses can prove to be very valuable; you never know who might come across your course through searching certain keywords.
But the downside to Skillshare is in how competitive it is to get your course seen.
And even worse, it’s hard to make much money. Skillshare has a 25 student minimum for monetizing your course. Basically, until you have 25 students, you can’t actually make money off your content. After you reach that goal, Skillshare divides up a piece of their revenue pie among course creators according to hours watched. As you can imagine, new creators get a very very small slice of this pie until they get some serious eyes on their course.
Udemy is another marketplace Teachable alternative that you should have on your radar. Their platform offers over 130,000 courses every month and they’ve built software that allows creators and entrepreneurs to automate their courses easily. Because of this, Udemy has become a popular Teachable alternative for entrepreneurs and people working in tech-related fields.
Compared to Teachable, Udemy is less restrictive about the kinds of content instructors can offer. They allow video, text, and audio lectures, as well as robust quizzes, Q&As, reviews, and more.
All of the content you create can be downloaded for offline use by your members. Additionally, Udemy has some basic community building tools, like giving creators the ability to send new students a welcome message.
One downside to the platform, however, is that similar to Skillshare, Udemy utilizes a marketplace solution for hosting your online courses. If you sell a course to someone who comes through your own link, you keep 97% of your revenue. But if you sell to someone from their platform, you only keep 37%. That’s a lot to give up. You also don’t get access to your students’ email addresses; they’re Udemy’s customers, not yours.
And the lack of a real community makes it tough to build great relationships.
Our final alternative to Teachable is Podia, an online course, membership, and digital product platform. It’s sort of like a cheaper version of Kajabi, but its platform is much more basic.
On Podia, you can create a wide range of content that exists within one digital storefront. This is convenient because their user interface is easy to navigate and customize to fit your business needs. Some examples of what you can build on Podia are online courses, digital memberships, one-off webinars, and digital downloads.
If you’re new to using the software, they offer a great 24/7 support system to help you along with whatever problems you may have, which can prove to be very valuable. But one downside that can’t be overlooked is that Podia’s community-building tools are pretty limited. While they do offer community-building features, they are relegated to individual community spaces for each of the digital products you offer. That will make it harder to have a unified experience.
Conclusion – Want to try Mighty Networks for free?
When you choose a Mighty Network as a Teachable alternative, you’ve got the newest and easiest way to launch or grow online courses faster, more efficiently, and with more energy. It’s a powerful platform that’s easy to learn and is perfect for someone “low tech” just starting out or a sophisticated course creator ready to take their business to the next level.
Choose The Right Teachable Alternative for You
Between all of these Teachable alternatives, you have many great options for running your online courses and memberships. Whether your emphasis is on certification, a mobile presence, or you’re ready to scale faster by bringing your courses and community together in one place, you’ve got some great choices.