In this Teachable review, I explain if it will help you create and sell an online course.
I joined Teachable in 2016 to create and and sell my first online course.
If you’re a non-fiction writer or blogger, creating an online course is a fantastic way of increasing your income, helping readers and building your authority.
But what tools should you use?
This post contains some affiliate links meaning I earn a small commission if you sign up. I only ever recommend tools I’ve used or tested personally.
I also pit Teachable against Udemy.
What is Teachable?
Teachable is a learning management system (LMS) provider for bloggers, creatives and online educators who want to create and sell courses. It was founded by Ankur Nagpal and was previously known as Fedora.
Who is Teachable For?
Teachable is for bloggers, creatives and entrepreneurs 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. s
More than 22,000 teachers have created in excess of 34,000 courses for seven million students around the world with Teachable.
That’s a lot of personal development!
It’s also recommended by top bloggers and educators like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income and Mark Dawson who sells his course, Advertising for Authors.
Teachable vs. Udemy
On Teachable, you control how your course is sold—the pricing and so on.
Udemy, however, bundles and sells your course alongside other courses and often at a discount. Teachable offers more features for changing the look and feel of your course, compared to Udemy.
It costs a small amount 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 also offers more advanced tools for course creators than Udemy.
For example, you can customise the look and feel of your school, whereas your Udemy course matches their brand. With Teachable, you can have more control over discounts and coupons for students.
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
- Publish your course
- Sell your course via a Teachable sales page
After you join Teachable, it prompts you to create a school that represents your brand or website. You can link this school to your website using a subdomain name, for example, course.yourdomainname.com.
You can customise the look of the school by changing the logo colour scheme so it matches your website.
Students opt to join your school before purchasing one of your courses. Or you can give them access to all other courses for one fee. It depends on how you want to teach online.
I’ve taken lots of online courses built on Teachable. Many educators bundle several courses as part of their school.
How Much Does Teachable Cost?
Teachable offers three plans: Basic, Professional and Business.
This plan costs $39 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.
This plan costs $99 per month. You get all of the above plus:
- No transaction fees
- Instant payouts
- Advanced reports
- An unbranded website or school that you can customize with your own branding
- Live chat
Choose this plan if you’ve created and sold your first online course and are earning more than the monthly fee.
Teachable Business Plan
This plan costs $499 per month. You get all of the above plus:
- Bulk student enrollments
- 100 owners/authors
- Manual Student Imports
- Custom User Roles
Choose this plan if you and several other educators are creating and selling lots of online courses.
Pricing options are flexible. You can even take on a free plan, providing your course is free.
At the time of writing this Teachable review, they don’t offer advanced features like Office Hours, an ability for students to state learning goals and so on (These are offered by some competitors.).
Creating Your First Online Course
It’s best to outline your course lessons and modules and record your materials before you start using Teachable. The good news is your book’s table of contents can represent a good course outline.
Even if you’ve written a book, a course takes time to create.
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!
Once ready, you can upload videos, PDF documents and presentations using a drag and drop course builder. Or you can import materials from services like Dropbox, Google Drive or One Drive.
You can also create quizzes and checklists and award certificates to students, depending on your subscription. Students can access all of your materials at once, or you can choose to drip feed course materials to them over time.
Teachable hosts and backs-up your materials 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.
Working With Students
The best way of communicating with new and existing students is via email. You might want to welcome them to your course, ask for feedback or let students know about a new module or lesson.
I set up a series of welcome emails for new students in ConvertKit. These emails sent without issue until I changed my course pricing. Then, I had to reconfigure Zapier and Teachable based on the new pricing plan.
Again, this works without issue, but I wasn’t able to set up a series of welcome emails. I contacted Teachable support about this, and they said the development team is working on updates to this feature.
Within Teachable, you can also see who logged into your school and when, as well as the lessons they took. An additional fee unlocks insights such as the average lecture completion rate.
Selling Your Course
There’s no point in creating a great course if you can’t sell it!
Teachable provides several sales page templates designed to convert. If you can build out a page in WordPress, you can customise these templates.
When I first started selling on Teachable, I was confused by the sales process: Students first had to join my school before they could buy a course. In some cases, students joined my school but didn’t complete the purchase of my course.
However, before writing this Teachable review, they simplified this sales process and now students can buy a course directly from my sales page.
A dashboard shows how many students have signed up over the past month and how much revenue I earned within a given period.
Managing refunds and cancellations is part of doing business online. I found it relatively easy to cancel a student subscription and issue a refund to another student within Teachable. I was also able to set up a discount for students without issue.
Additional Sales Features
You can avail of features like one-click of cells.
While writing this Teachable review, I particularly liked being able to create discount codes for students, coupons and promotions. Affiliate codes are useful too if you’re working with others to promote your online course.
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.
If you’re running a Facebook ad to promote your online course, you can add your pixel to a sales page.
The support is relatively good too. I raised multiple tickets over the years about customising my school, pricing and so on and always got helpful responses.
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
Online course creators in the EU must charge VAT on their courses. This tax is painful to collect and even more time-consuming to pay, as you must track the value of each student.
I also investigated using different WordPress plug-ins to create an online course.
However, Teachable is a learning management system that’s purpose-built for educators. I spent less time trying to set up my school in WordPress and more time creating lesson materials .
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- Ease of Use
Is Teachable Worth It?
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 creatives.
- Easy to use
- New features added regularly
- Lack of email integration
- Drip emails are tricky to set up
- It takes several clicks to get to the right place inside Teachable