Teachable can help you create and market an online course
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: Vary based on the plan you choose
Requirements: Be over the age of 18, or over the age of 13, with parental permission
Teachable helps you create and sell classes on everything from sewing to stocks.
The site offers an easily navigable process by which you create and upload your classes, decide on the length and number of sessions per class and direct people to the site. You also price your classes and determine if you’ll offer promotional discounts.
(This post may include affiliate links. You can read our affiliate policy here.)
You own your content. Teachable simply licenses it for limited use so that people can buy your online classes. When a class sells, Teachable will remit payment to you 30 days after the date of sale to accommodate the site’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
Why teach classes?
If you have expertise in any topic, that could be broken into steps, teaching that skill to others can be a highly lucrative and largely passive source of income. The reason? You put in the work once. But people can continue to buy this class for years to come. And, in fact, if you create a great class that gets good word-of-mouth recommendations, your income may increase as time goes on.
You can also use beginner classes to market more advanced — and more expensive — classes.
Once you’ve created your content, the only “job” you have is marketing. Otherwise, this becomes continuing passive income.
Users have several different ways to pay for Teachable’s service. You can opt to pay a monthly fee, a transaction fee, or a combination of both.
The free plan, for instance, charges nothing monthly, but levies a 10% commission on sales; The $39 per month plan charges a 5% commission on sales; higher-cost plans have no transaction fees. (You can find Teachable’s pricing options here.)
The idea is that you can get started cheaply, but if your class becomes highly popular, you might be better off paying the monthly fees, rather than higher commissions. Payments are processed through Stripe, which also takes a 3% fee.
Notably, Teachable also provides a wide array of tools to help you develop and market your class. This is important because the site does not do the marketing for you. It provides the software and tools, but you have to bring in the clients.
The site suggests that you build a community around the class topic on other social media sites, such as Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok.
Another option is to offer a loss-leader class on Udemy, another teaching site that does offer class marketing but offers less pricing-control to creators.
If you have expertise in anything from building picnic benches to investing, we think this is a great place to develop and offer a class. We also like Teachable’s competitor, Thinkific. And, frankly, because they both offer free plans, we suggest setting up your classes on both platforms. (Neither demands exclusivity and they both offer somewhat different bells and whistles.)
But because neither of these platforms do much to market your class, we also like the idea of creating a low-value beginner class on Udemy. Because Udemy largely dictates the price of your class, we think this site is only useful for marketing.
How might you do that? Let’s say you’re teaching a beginner investing class. Offer a one-hour introduction and put that on Udemy. At the end of that class, tell students that you have a 10-part class at … and put in a link to the class on Teachable or Thinkific. This allows you to use Udemy as a way to help new people discover your courses.
Want to sign up for Teachable?
What their users say (from TrustPilot):
In 10 minutes I started an online business, verified it, linked it to my bank account, and got a payment page to share with my customers:)
We asked to enable 3rd payment payment collection via Stripe and were initially told that cannot be done for customers eligible for TeachablePay. Only after threatening to cancel our subscription was Stripe activated for us.
It’s fairly easy to set up a course on Teachable, but the support is quite limited. There are persistent issues with students being able to log in, as well as issues that Teachable doesn’t normally help with if you need assistance. Some glitches seem to be ongoing. I’m considering a different platform, especially since they are increasing their pricing by about 50%.
This platform is everything I need. A beautiful website, and my course portal. It’s also where people can find my latest coaching packages and offerings. I love the customization options that help my Teachable feel like me. Also, Teachable is extremely user friendly, which is super important to me, being that I struggle with tech. Everyone who has visited my Teachable website has loved it.
Teachable vs. Thinkific
SideHustleAcademy, which uses and is an affiliate for both sites, did a nice side-by-side comparison here.
Question and answer site Quora also has a whole string of answers to the question of whether Thinkific or Teachable is the better platform.