If you're a professional blogger, writer, or content creator, an online course is a fantastic way of increasing your income, helping readers and building authority.
What is Teachable?
Teachable is a learning management system or LMS platform for bloggers, creatives and online educators who want to create and sell online courses. It was founded by Ankur Nagpal and was previously known as Fedora. Hotmart bought the company for approximately a quarter-of-a-billion dollars in 2020.
Who is Teachable For?
Teachable is for professor bloggers, creatives and content creators who want to create and sell online courses to their audience or followers.
You can also use Teachable to create a membership site and communicate with your students.
More than 100,000 teachers have created in excess of 34,000 courses for millions of students around the world with Teachable. Top online creators like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income and Tiago Forte of Second Brain also use it to sell seven-figure courses to their audiences.
That’s a lot of personal development!
Teachable vs. Udemy
Over the past few years, I created and sold several courses via Teachable. I also created two courses for Udemy. I didn't sell those in the end.
Udemy bundles and sells lots courses together. It often offers these at a steep discount via promo codes and Udemy emails. With Teachable, you have full control over your course, and how much it cots.
It costs more to use Teachable whereas you can publish a course on Udemy free of charge. This price discrepancy is reflected in the cut of earnings Udemy takes for course sales.
Teachable offers more advanced tools for course creators than Udemy.
For example, you can customise your school's look and feel. In Udemy, a course matches its branding. Teachable also offers more control over discounts, coupons and student enrolments.
Udemy is a good choice if you're creating a course about a popular topic like web development or designer and don't have an existing audience. They will take care of promotion for you.
However, if you've an existing audience and are happy promoting and selling courses directly to aspiring students, Teachable is a better choice. You'll potentially earn more money from selling a digital product like a course.
How Teachable Works
Creating an online course is easy in Teachable.
- Set up a school that represents your brand
- Create a course within this school
- Create modules for your course
- Upload lesson materials for each module for example video, audio, PDFs, lesson notes
- Publish your course
- Sell your course via a Teachable sales page
After joining Teachable, it prompts you to create a school representing your brand or website. You can link this school to your website using a subdomain name, for example, course.yourdomainname.com.
As a new course creator, you can customize the look of their new school by changing the logo, fonts and colour scheme.
Students opt to join school before purchasing a course. Or you can give them access to all other courses for one fee. It depends on how you want to teach and sell online.
Basically, this enables students to see all of their Teachable courses across various schools in one place across (assuming course creators opted in). It's like Google single sign-on.
How Much Does Teachable Cost?
Good news: Teachable recently rolled out a 14-day free trial. Start here before going any further.
That said, the Teachable pricing plan is split across three tiers: Basic, Professional and Business.
Teachable Basic Plan
This plan costs $29 per month. Some key features include:
- Charges a 5% transaction fee
- Monthly payouts
- 2 owners/authors
- Drip course content (explained below)
Teachable Basic is suitable for most people creating an online course for the first time because it’s affordable. I started out on a version of this plan. It sufficed for two years. If you're new to creating an online course, start here.
The Teachable free plan is no longer available.
Teachable Professional Plan
This plan costs $99 per month. You get all of the above plus:
- No transaction fees
- Payment processing via Stripe
- Instant payouts
- Member-only community
- Coaching products
- Advanced reports
- A course completion certificate
- An unbranded website or school that you can customize with your branding
- Live chat
- 5 admin-level users
I upgraded to this plan recently so I could share access with two virtual assistants. I also wanted access to instant payouts over Stripe rather than Paypal. Why? Well, Paypal's fees are higher than Stripe. Some students also requested certs for completing their courses.
Choose this paid plan if you’ve created and sold your first online course and are earning more than the monthly Teachable fee for course sales. It will help you reduce transaction charges.
Teachable Business Plan Plan
Teachable offer this plan at $249 per month. You get all of the above plus:
- Bulk student enrollments
- 20 admin level users
- Bulk student imports
- Custom user roles
- Group coaching calls
I haven't use this paid plan. However, I'm affiliate for several online course creators on this plan. It's a good choice if you plan to work with a lot of affiliates, want to sell unlimited courses or you're expecting thousands of enrolments.
I'd love if Teachable adding an ability to have multiple schools inside of this plan. Also know as multi-tenancy, this would make it easier for course creators with different sites or brands to create schools for various parts of their business under one account–kind of like colleges forming a university.
Creating A Course
It’s best to outline your course lessons and modules and record your materials before you start using Teachable.
Understandably, that’s not something Teachable can help you with. I said creating an online course was easy, but I didn’t say it was quick!
If you have one ready, upload the videos, PDF documents and presentations into the course platform. Or you can import materials from services like Dropbox, Google Drive or One Drive. Then, move them around using a drag and drop course builder. At this point, you break a course up into modules with specific lessons per module. Or you can simply stick with a set number of lessons.
Teachable hosts videos and other materials inside of the LMS, so you don't have to worry about losing anything. You also own your student course data. If you’re concerned, you can export your student data, contact list and revenue information any time.
I sometimes got lost while clicking around menu items on the Teachable dashboard, but the drag and drop builder is relatively easy to use.
Teachable shows who enrolled in a course, what lessons they took and their progression to date. You can easily enrol or un-enrol students from the dashboard. Students can access all of your Teachable course at once, or you can drip feed materials to them. Again, you can grant full-enrolment or access at any time.
Occasionally, students requested a refund from my courses. They're able to do this directly within Teachable and I receive a minimal amount of customer service requests.
Communicating With Students
The best way of communicating with new and existing students is via email. Welcome them to your course, ask for feedback or let students know about a new lesson, module or even a course.
It integrates with popular email service providers like MailChimp and ConvertKit.
Alternatively, consider Teachable platform's inbuilt email service. I use this to email existing students about course updates.
After publishing a new lesson, I simply navigate to the relevant course, select all students and send them a broadcast email inside of Teachable. It's also a good marketing tool for letting students know about other courses. It's also possible to message individual students.
You can create quizzes for a course that test students on their knowledge about a course or topic. These quizzes can have one or multiple answers and students can receive a grade and even a certificate for completion.
Some students like receiving a certificate for completing a course. Teachable offers three different certificate templates that you can award successful students.
Teachable automatically adds the student's name, the course they completed and your school. You can change the color and add a signature. Alternatively, you can customize the look of these certs using HTML.
Selling Your Course
What's the point in creating a great course if you can’t sell it?!
You could offer a free course that complements a book, product or service. However, most course creators want to earn money.
Teachable provides several sales page templates designed to convert. They work via a drag and drop builder. If you can build out a page in WordPress, you can customize these templates. Again, I recommend writing your sales copy and gathering images for the course in question before building the sales page.
I've used Teachable sales page for a few years. In the past, I'd issues customizing the design of these pages. However, the newer templates appear to work ok. That said, the page builder still has some quirks.
Users can also connect a custom website domain to their Teachable school. Alternatively, you can create a landing page using Clickfunnels or LeadPages and link directly to the Teachable checkout page. I tried this for a bit, but the Teachable landing pages and checkout convert ok.
Teachable enables customization of the checkout process. You can add information about guarantees, support and some testimonials to convince prospective students on the verge of cart abandonment.
It connects to your preferred payment gateway too. In my case, that's Stripe over Paypal due to the transaction charages.
Teachable supports advanced pricing options such as one-time fees, a subscription, a payment plan and so on. It accepts payment via PayPal, Stripe and most major credit cards including Visa and MasterCard.
Tracking Course Sales
The Teachable dashboard shows how many students signed up over the past month and how much revenue I earned within a given period from each course.
Managing refunds and cancellations is part of doing business online. It's relatively easy to cancel a student subscription and issue a refund to another student within Teachable.
Inside of Teachable, you can set up discounts for students. Basically, decide what the amount of percentage you want to take off the original price and it will generate a coupon and a custom link. Then, give either to the student.
I use this feature quite a bit as I sometimes partner with other course creators. Basically, I generate a discount code which they share with their audiences.
The Teachable Professional Plan enables working with affiliates. You can determine how much they'll receive as payment for selling your course. It will give them a custom link to use and take care of tracking and payouts. You can also add as many affiliates as you want or even set up students as affiliates.
Additional Sales and Marketing Features
Teachable supports advanced sales features like one-click upsells and bundles. Basically, if you have more than one course, you can offer new students a chance to buy the second course on the thank you page, at a discount. This is a good way of increasing conversions.
If you’re running a Facebook ad to promote your online course, you can add your pixel to a sales page.
The support is responsive. I raised multiple tickets over the years about customizing my school pricing and design and got helpful answers.
Teachable offers a Knowledge Base, although I noticed some of the articles were out of date and referred to the previous name Fedora.
If you have a query, you can create a ticket and hear back within 24 hours. Professional Teachable customers can avail of live chat.
Why I Picked Teachable
Any online course creator in the EU must charge VAT on courses sold. This tax is painful to collect and even more time-consuming to pay, as you must track what each student paid. Believe me, I checked with my accountant!
Teachable takes care of this admin headache by building VAT into pricing and paying on my behalf, simplifying tax reporting obligations. This is the main reason I joined Teachable. It's also the main reason why I'm still on Teachable today.
I also investigated using different WordPress plug-ins to create an online course over the years. They were more cumbersome to use and that's excluding time spent recording a course.
Teachable is a powerful learning management system purpose-built for creators.
If you're interested, take out a 14-day free trial today.
Who uses Teachable?
Entrepreneurs like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income and Tiago Forte of Second Brain use Teachable to sell courses to thousands of students.
Can you make money on Teachable?
Is Teachable legit?
In 2020, Hotmart recently acquired this teaching platform for a reported nine-figure sum.
Is Thinkific better than Teachable?
Both course platforms will get the job done. I prefer Teachable due to its ease of use and support for EU tax legislation.
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Teachable Review: The Bottom Line
Teachable is a great learning management solution if you want to create and sell courses. It's relatively easy to use and has lots of powerful tools for any course creator. The 14-day free trial is a great opportunity to test this service for yourself.
- Building out a course is easy
- New features added regularly
- High-converting sales pages
- Handles EU VAT reporting
- Not possible to have one than one school
- Drip emails tricky to set up
- Page builder has some quirks
- No multi-tenancy