Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Teachable, Thinkific vs Udemy? Which is the Best Online Course Platform in 2024?

I have been researching a lot about how to create a successful online course since last year. I have yet to launch my video course but I have started with some Udemy practice courses like my Spring certification practice test course on Udemy which has more than 1500+ students so far. I chose Udemy because they have a great platform for practice tests, but I am also learning other platforms like Teachable and Thinkific to create an online course website that is fully owned by me. Along the way, I have also started mentoring many readers about creating online courses and why they should create them. Why I am doing this? because I believe together we can learn better and succeed. If I have a group of passionate developers who like to teach online, there is a better chance of creating a successful online course. 

Anyway, one of the common questions which keeps popping up is which platform is better for beginners, Teachable, Thinkific, or Udemy? Which has better support for creating and selling online courses? If you also have similar doubts, then you have come to the right place.

In this article, I'll share some of my understanding and insight about Teachable, Thinkific, and Udemy, two of the most popular online course platform which will help you to make a decision. Most of the points when I say about Teachable are also true about Thinkific when compared to Udemy.

Talking about online courses, I have been thinking about them for quite a long time but couldn't do it because of all things required to host and sell an online course like hosting, checkout, payment, refund, and much more.

Thankfully, today's creator has a lot of useful platform and tools which help them with all this system-level stuff and allow you to focus on what you need to do, creating an excellent course that is beneficial for your readers.

Both Teachable, Thinkific, and Udemy have tools for hosting and handling payments, so they are very similar, but there are a couple of points on which they differ drastically, and not understanding those differences can be the difference between success and failure of your course.

Teachable, Thinkific vs Udemy? Which is best in 2024?

Here are some of the useful points which will help you to analyze the pros and cons of both Teachable, Thinkific, and Udemy, two of the most popular online course creation platform and help you to make a decision in choosing the right platform to create and sell your course.

1. Audience (Sales)

If you ask me what is the hardest thing about the online course business? I would say getting the Audience and making Sales. Yes, even if you have an online presence and authority over the subject, it's not easy to make a sale, until you have an interested audience. With Udemy, you get this Audience, and that's the most critical reason for choosing Udemy.

It has more than 20 million students enrolled on the platform and a lot of people promoting Udemy courses on the Internet, which means once you put your session live on Udemy, it will get a lot of eye-balls.

Of course, it needs a bit of promotion from your end to kick-start what many people call Udemy's virtuous growth cycle, but once you start sending traffic, your course will be exposed to these massive audiences.

Teachable or Udemy? Which one is better for creating Online Course?

With Teachable, you don't have that audience; hence, you need to build it yourself. Though Teachable people are very helpful, and they provide a lot of guidance, tools, and email templates to sell your course and create an audience for you.

Similarly, Thinkific also allows you to create and own your online course platform but you need to bring your audience. Thinkific is a great platform, and they also have a one-month free trial which is great to start with. 

Another difference in Audience comes from the fact that Udemy doesn't allow you to keep your Audience with you, which means you don't know their email address and you cannot communicate with them outside Udemy.

This means if tomorrow you need to move to your own course website, you cannot take the Audience you built over the years on Udemy.

On the other hand, Teachable or Thinkific allows you to collect email addresses, and you own your audience, which is an essential asset in the long run. So, if you are in the online course business for the long term, Teachable and Thinkific is a better choice than Udemy for sustainable success.

But, if you need to see the success first, I think you will see it quickly on Udemy than Teachable, especially if you don't have an online presence and audience of your own.

2. Cost

In terms of Cost, Udemy is entirely free, you don't need to pay a single penny to host your course there, but they will take a lot of cut from your payment when the sale happens. For example, if Udemy brings traffic to purchase your class, they take close to 50% of the money, but if you bring traffic to sell the course, you get all cash except minimal transaction costs.

On the other hand, you need to buy a Teachable plan like TeachableU to host your courses on Teachable. The program will not just allow you to organize the course but also give you all the help, guidance, mentoring, and tools to successfully create your course, which means it's worth of money but yes cost is involved.

Teachable also runs many free online pieces of training like Teachable Creator Challenge and Teachable Live, where they offer access to their Teachable bundle at as low as $29 a month (Teachable Basic Plan), but that's a promotional offer and you should be lucky to get that.

So, if you don't want to buy a plan and don't have a built-in audience or online presence then Udemy is a better choice for you, but again, if you are here for a long run, investing a little bit of money on Teachable and creating your own online school will pay you much more in long run.

Here is a snapshot of their Teachable's different annual plans, click on the image to learn more:

which teachable plan is best for beginners

Btw, when it comes to creating your own online school, Teachable is not the only option, Thinkific is also a great platform and you can also try that. You can use their one-month free trial to check out this platform and find out if it's a good fit for you.

3. Community

At first, creating an online course can be a daunting exercise. Apart from subject matter expertise, you also need to know technical details about filming and tools you need like which Mic to choose ( I love BlueYeti), which camera to choose, and how to create high-definition course material with crisp sound.

Though Udemy also provides a lot of useful material to get yourself familiar with the video creation process, I believe Teachable has better community support. They often run Teachable Course Creator Challenges where you get to interact with many successful course creators and learn from their experience.

You are also challenged to create a course in a definite time frame and collaborate with other creators. It's an enjoyable and very engaging process. You also happen to learn a lot from others. You’ll also earn rewards when you hit crucial milestones—like your first sale!.

They also offer much free online training for course creators like Teachable Live, a 3-day live event where successful course creators of Teachable will teach you everything you need to create a successful online course, and recently Teachable Launch Accelerator, where you will get to learn everything about the online course from 20+ speakers who have successfully created online courses.

Teachable Launch Accelerator benefits

This challenge and community support is the single biggest reason I have suggested many of my followers, who are interested in creating online courses to join Teachable.

Apart from these three main reasons, there are many more technical reasons like Teachable allows you to change the look and feel of your online school(website) to match your brand, etc.


The critical thing, in my opinion, between choosing Udemy or Teachable and Thinkific, comes from the fact that whether you have an online presence or not and whether you want to build it or not.

If you are happy to create a course and sale, then Udemy is the best platform because it will help you to make sales. It will promote your course on various platforms like Google and Facebook. So, you can only focus on creating a course and making it awesome.

With Teachable, you need to do the marketing, You sure get support, but whatever you build it will be yours like Audience and your online school. Hence, it suits better for those who already have an online presence like a blog or want to create an appearance in the long run.

You may not need sale as many courses as you will on Udemy, and you may need to wait a bit longer for success but whatever you will build will be yours, and you can leverage that when you move to another platform or create another course.

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P.S. - If you join Teachable, I suggest you take their professional plan, which costs around $79 per month. In this plan, you don't need to pay the 5% transaction fee you have to pay for selling your courses on the basic plan, and you also get access to many more useful premium features like Course Completion Certificates and Support.

P. P. S. - Btw, when it comes to creating your own online school, Teachable is not the only option, Thinkific is also a great platform and you can also try that. You can use their one-month free trial to check out this platform and find out if it's a good fit for you.


Anonymous said...

Another key difference between Teachable and Thinkific is that, Teachable has an option to offer your course into multiple currencies which Thinkific lacks. This is a useful feature for people with global audience. For example, if you have a lot of students in India, better offer them courses on Rupees than Dollars, you will see a lot of conversion. This feature is by default for Udemy.

Anonymous said...

I think the point you made about having audience is key, if you don't have audience even Udemy courses will not do so well, so you should first create audience, create your profile on social media sites like Twitter, and Youtube and start sharing your content for free to build audience. This you should do as soon as you start building your course. If you do this then you will have some audience when you go live and that will generate first 100 sales for you. This is true for hosting your course on Udemy as well as on Teachable/Thinkific.

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