The Best Skillshare Alternatives

Skillshare is one of the most popular online course marketplaces. But is it the right fit for you? Below, we dive in.

If you’ve ever expressed an interest in finding a way to make money teaching people a new skill you’ve probably heard of Skillshare. It’s best known for offering a robust marketplace filled with online courses taught by experts in practically anything you can think of.

In the past, Skillshare was a great place to make additional revenue for your expertise. But nowadays, there are a number of more robust platforms to host your online courses.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the best Skillshare alternatives for you to house the awesome content you’re creating. But first, let’s look at what makes an online course successful these days.

What makes a successful online course?

Successful online courses tend to have a few things in common: transformative content, highly customizable features, and thriving course communities.

Part of learning any skill is the journey you take to get there. The best Skillshare alternatives not only provide instruction to members in the form of digestible lessons but also pave a road to guide members on their journey. In other words, your online course should offer your members both a path to transformation and clear results at the end.

To do that, you need a platform that will allow you to build your online course and nurture your online community in one place.

Creating a welcoming space is the first step to cultivating a thriving community. Why? Because of the network effect: every member that joins your online course or community brings with them a wealth of knowledge and experiences to share with everyone else, which makes your community even more valuable than before.

To make the most of that, your community members should feel comfortable navigating challenges, seizing opportunities together, and connecting with each other. The best alternatives to Skillshare provide options for you to create discussion boards, small groups, direct messaging opportunities, and more so that your students can give you feedback and make connections in the network you’ve built.

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Where Skillshare excels

Skillshare didn’t become popular for nothing. Their platform is fairly easy to get started with and hit the ground running.

Their marketplace is well-known and set up with creators in mind. Many of their classes are focused on creative skills like design, crafts, photography, and writing. And because Skillshare leans in on creative pursuits they’ve developed a number of features that help members connect with one another to give feedback and support for each other’s work.

That makes Skillshare a good place to get your feet wet for creating an online course. They have a number of support options and a mobile app.

Where Skillshare stumbles

When you start looking at the fine print, however, Skillshare becomes less ideal. As a marketplace platform, it is highly competitive. And it’s hard to set yourself apart from others when you have little control around how you build your online course and no control when it comes to designing your own website.

On top of that, you can’t earn money for your hard work until you’ve got 25 students enrolled in your course, and once you do, it’s only $1-2 per student.

Hold up! Let’s make sure that registered.

You can’t start earning money for the hard work you’ve put in until Skillshare has determined that you deserve it. 

Furthermore, it’s harder to add new revenue streams when using a platform like Skillshare because you’re working under their platform parameters.

Since you don’t host your own online course, you can’t grow your network beyond the Skillshare platform because you don’t have any access to your course member’s emails or personal information. This means that the growth of your community is governed by Skillshare’s performance, not your own!

We think you should be paid whether you have 1 member or 1,000. So below, we’re looking at six alternatives to Skillshare that will enable you to expand both your course and your course community.

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6 Alternatives to Skillshare in 2020

Kajabi: Best Skillshare alternative for “Online Course and Marketing”

Kajabi is a great Skillshare alternative for those mainly concerned with business and marketing features instead of providing a transformative experience for their members.

Their slogan is, “if you can dream it, you can monetize it,” and they do a good job at delivering on those promises. But we think building an online course should mean more than making money off of your members. The best online teaching platforms emphasize the importance of building a community that expands your network and brand value.

Pros of Kajabi

Kajabi offers a wide range of tools such as online subscriptions, gated content, and membership sites. Their automation features give you control over how and when your online course content is delivered to your members.

In addition to offering a variety of features to build your online courses, Kajabi has a lot to offer for marketing your courses with email campaigns to replace services you might be using like Mailchimp.

Cons of Kajabi

While Kajabi is doing a lot of things right when it comes to providing awesome online course tools, they fall short in what they offer for their prices. The “Basic” plan starts at $119/month. And despite the steep pricing, that tier is pretty restrictive of your growth potential: There are caps on how many members you can have, restrictions on support options when things go wrong, and more.

Their community options are also lackluster compared to some of their competitors, especially given the price. On top of that, their privacy levels for gated-content are limited. Either members have all-access or none at all. There are more affordable options on the market that give you more bang for your buck.

Thinkific: Best Skillshare alternative for “Course only”

Remember how we said that Skillshare is a great place to get your feet with online course creation? That might be true but Thinkific is a wonderful Skillshare alternative because of how beginner friendly it is.

Pros of Thinkific

If you’re just starting out, Thinkific lets you build your online course for free with unlimited students, quizzes and surveys, and more. Instead of having to work in a confining framework, Thinkific is a great alternative to Skillshare because they have flexible and customizable tools that let you build your course how you’d like it.

Cons of Thinkific

Thinkific is a solid course content building platform, but it falls short when it comes to community building and management. If you’re looking for a Skillshare alternative in 2020 then choosing one with robust community building tools is a must. Thinkific doesn’t provide live events, Q&As, in-person coaching, or any major event-based learning options. This severely limits the growth of your online course.

When the community features are lackluster, that means there are fewer ways for your students to interact. Remember, you aren’t just bringing people together to listen to your lectures. You’re building a network of value. That means your students need a robust set of features to interact with one another, share their experiences, and master something interesting together.

Thinkific is a good place to start, but not to grow. Most creators will eventually outgrow their limited features and be forced to look elsewhere.

Udemy: Best Skillshare alternative for selling multiple courses at once

Udemy is another online learning platform that is similar to Skillshare. Creators and entrepreneurs can build multiple online courses and list them within the Udemy marketplace for people to find and purchase. This is a good alternative to Skillshare if you are an entrepreneur with a few different courses you’re promoting in your business plan.

Pros of Udemy

Udemy is a great Skillshare alternative because it is just as popular of a service and, in turn, also offers a large marketplace that entices many potential customers. The Udemy marketplace has easy-to-use navigation and a rating system, so your supporters can help boost the visibility of your business within the platform.

Additionally, Udemy allows creators and entrepreneurs to build a wide range of content from video, text, and audio lectures to quizzes, Q&As, and more.

Cons of Udemy

While Udemy has a plethora of features that make it a great Skillshare alternative, it also has some oversights that will add up in the long run. One major problem with the Udemy platform is on the instructor side of things their mobile app is limited to mobile web (while from a student perspective they do have an app available on iOS and Android devices.)

Another important thing to remember is that while a marketplace can be great for gaining exposure due to the wide range of users looking for courses, the algorithm isn’t kind to everyone. Your online courses can easily become buried amongst the thousands of other creators and entrepreneurs selling courses on Udemy.

Mighty Networks: Best Skillshare alternative for “All-in-One” Course and Community Platform

Mighty Networks is a new major contender in the world of online courses and a great alternative to Skillshare. With a Mighty Network, creators and entrepreneurs can cultivate thriving communities, memberships, and courses in one place, instantly available on the web, iOS, and Android.

Pros of Mighty Networks

On top of amazing online community features, Mighty Network enables creators to build premium online courses. From there, you can offer those courses on your own or as an added bonus to your membership within your community.

Mighty Networks is a great alternative to Skillshare because of its flexibility in offering you tools to create a website, online courses, community, premium groups, and more from a variety of different angles. Mighty Networks is revolutionizing eCommerce for digital subscription services in the same way Shopify did for physical products.

On top of all that, Mighty Networks provides three distinct ways to deliver your online courses:

  1. A content-only online course. This option directs students into a single community in the main Mighty Network and offers your online courses as a benefit of their membership.
  2. An online course with a dedicated course community. In this configuration, there is a separate community only visible to the members of that online course, allowing you to address your various members’ needs more specifically with added privacy.
  3. A course delivered “live.” The last option is the most interesting one, especially for instructors creating their first online course. With this alternative, the dedicated course community is front and center, with course content being created and added as you go. This is a great way to experiment when you’re just starting out, and again, allows your community to help shape the path they’d like to take.

If it’s not clear yet, Mighty Networks allows you an immense amount of possibilities in how you approach building, delivering, and managing your online course and community.

Cons of Mighty Networks

For some people, Mighty Networks not having a marketplace where your online course can be discovered will be a downside. But marketplace environments are actually highly competitive, often restrictive in regards to what you can post, and don’t help in building real equity for your business and brand outside of the platform.

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Teachable: Best Skillshare alternative for a beginner

Teachable is a great alternative to Skillshare for a creator or entrepreneur that is just starting in the online course field. On the Teachable platform, your online course will mainly be in the form of pre-recorded videos that can be supplemented with live coaching sessions, text resources, and more.

Pros of Teachable

There is a lot to learn when you’re jumping into the world of online learning and the Teachable platform is an approachable place to get your feet wet. On Teachable you can utilize a custom domain name, edit your content with their powerful multimedia editing software, and combine multiple third-party integrations to construct your online course.

Cons of Teachable

Teachable is a great Skillshare alternative to start out with, but it also is a platform that many entrepreneurs grow out of. Why? Because the platform doesn’t offer great solutions for those wanting to build a thriving community for their business, and on top of that the marketplace style platform that Teachable operates under can make it hard for your content to be found by new customers. Additionally, Teachable’s mobile app experience is more geared toward students with limited functionality on the instructor side.

Podia: Best Skillshare alternative for courses + digital products

Another alternative to Skillshare that you should consider is Podia. Podia is an online course, memberships, and digital products platform for entrepreneurs helming digital businesses. They’ve built their software to help entrepreneurs market their products, create digital storefronts, and more.

Pros of Podia

Podia is a great Skillshare alternative if you are an entrepreneur that is offering a variety of types of content and wants to offer it all in one place. While you can create online courses on Podia, you can do much more such as offer digital memberships, one-off webinars, and even digital downloads. Additionally, you can create your own custom website, access email marketing tools,  and have access to 24/7 support.

Cons of Podia

While Podia offers many great features, their platform always relies heavily on utilizing integrations. Some key factors where this could be a problem come in the form of analytics where you’ll need to use a third-party service to connect to your Podia products. Additionally, while Podia is built to host online courses, the structure of them is a bit less familiar to traditional school formats than other platforms on the market.

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The winner for best Skillshare alternative: Mighty Networks

When you choose Mighty Networks you’re not only choosing the most cost-effective option of the bunch. You’re also investing in a platform that grows with you: Each new member that joins your online course or online community provides additional value to your members. While Kajabi,Thinkific, and the other platforms are doing solid work in their own spaces, Mighty Networks is clearly the best choice.

Wrap it up already!

Don’t get us wrong, Skillshare is a great place to try your hand at delivering an online course, but by design it’s a platform that won’t grow with you and your skills in scalable ways. We believe that the alternatives to Skillshare that allow you to house all your awesome content and your growing community under one network will be more beneficial in the long run.

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