What: Thinkific helps you set up your own website aimed at teaching and selling online courses, and allows you to set the price and terms

Expected pay: varies

Husl$core: $$$$$

Commissions & fees: 10% of your course price or a monthly fee

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: Have a course to teach; have the legal right to teach it; and be able to navigate simple commands to post on Thinkific’s website

Review: Like Udemy, Thinkific allows individuals to design and publish an online course. It can be anything from “How to Master Excel,” to “How to Improve Your Abs.” However, Thinkific doesn’t dictate how much you charge for your course, nor does it limit your ability to communicate directly with your clients.

“You have total control over your clients; your marketing; your brand; your price,” said Patrick McGill, business development manager in an interview with SideHusl. In fact, Thinkific often runs silently in the background of well-known teaching sites, such as HootSuite, McGill says. The fact that the course was prepared with Thinkific software would only be disclosed if you happened to choose the company’s free plan. In that case, Thinkific places its logo on your site (much like Mail Chimp does with its free email service).

Also unlike Udemy, the only courses you’ll see on Thinkific’s site are those offered by people who have provided the site with testimonials and case studies. SideHusl chatted with one such client — John Michaloudis of MyExcelOnline.com.  He raves about the platform.

What Thinkific does not do, however, is help you sell your course.  McGill suggests establishing a following elsewhere — Facebook, Instagram, or even at Udemy — before launching on the Thinkific platform.

Why does SideHusl rate Thinkific so much more highly than Udemy? Because it will not discount your offering and you have the option of using the platform for free, paying just 10% of revenue, if a course sells. This is a far lower commission than charged by Udemy. Better yet, if you start selling a ton, as Michaloudis did, you can switch over to a monthly fee plan, which saves the highly-successful users a fortune on commissions. Finally, user reviews are highly complimentary. Looking for another attractive option for creating online courses? Try Teachable.

What their users say (from SoftwareAdvice). 

Thinkific won’t host all your marketing needs, but it will nail your online course, and I’m a big fan of that. They also offer GREAT webinars and opportunities for professional development, which I really appreciate. I really do feel like they want me to succeed. I wish there were more options for how my course pages are laid out. It’s pretty much all standardized with the course online on the left of the page and the content on the left. That course outline is ALWAYS there. Now, that might be really handy for students, but I wish I had some options and maybe could make things a little prettier. (It’s not ugly or anything, I just would like another option or two to choose from)

I really like how simple it was to create an online course. All I had to do was create the content and Thinkific supplied the platform to present it in a clarified and seamless way. Also, the customer support has been outstanding. I haven’t had too much natural traffic come across my course. 

This software is quite flexible and enabled me to take over 200 students through 15 learning modules. Each module has multiple videos and pictures. Thinkific enabled me to include assignments, which I used Airtable to integrate with. The progress bar has been confusing for some of our students. Replaying courses can be slightly confusing for them too.

The free plan has so many features that one has to wonder at times if he needs to upgrade ever 🙂 . Many other free plans try to give you a taste of the software and then nudge to upgrade. Not thinkific . They give you all the tools you need even on a free plan and then when you decide to upgrade , they add awesome value to your investment. 2) Ease of use is just awesome . They have explained the tiniest details with videos . Learning curve at best can be surmounted in a single day with the resources they offer. 3) The course player is just terrific and can host almost anything imaginable including content made on authoring tools . The interface is very mobile friendly. 4) Unlimited video hosting even on free plans ! This is as good as it gets . The video player is high quality . I suspect they use Wistia for playing videos . 5) Customer support is great and very responsive

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