[12+] Best platforms to publish and sell online courses
In today’s post, we are going to discuss the top 12 best platforms to publish and sell online courses for creating and selling your online courses.
At the end of this post, you will be able to pick the best online course platform that suits you.
There is no doubt that the e-learning market is growing at a rapid rate and will grow higher in the upcoming years.
Teaching online is a great way to earn income aside by leveraging your time and knowledge.
You just need to invest your time upfront and it’ll give you residual income rest of the life.
No matter what your expertise – Digital marketing, programming, sky diving, drawing, singing. You’ll always find a group of students/professionals online who are eager to learn (from you) and willing to pay.
Once your online course started selling you can upsell your other courses with right marketing tools. But again to publish and sell online courses, you need the right set of tools.
To create, publish and sell online courses – you need a domain, hosting, payment gateway, email providers,etc., If you go and buy each component individually and integrate each other, it would take a few months to a year just for creating an online course platform and you need huge investment during the initial stage.
So, it’s always a good idea to rely on one of the best platforms to publish and sell your online courses.
There are so many platforms available on the market but how do you pick the best platforms to publish and sell online courses that offer the right set of tools?
Well, that’s what we are going to discuss in detail throughout the post.
We are going to analyze the platform’s features, design, payments, revenue model, marketing strategy and various other aspects in detail.
Choosing the best platforms to publish and sell online courses will definitely ease the course creation and publishing process and increase your potential earnings from the very beginning.
When I was planning to publish my first online course, I was doing research on the internet to find the best platforms for teaching online courses by analyzing each and every individual aspect.
When I was planning to publish my first online course, I had no idea of how I’m going to publish my online course, what platform should I pick, how do I attract students, how am I going to engage with my students and finally how would I get paid 🙂
So I started analyzing around 30+ best platforms to publish and sell online courses and shortlisted 12 finest platforms.
Here are those handpicked 12 platforms for you to sell your online courses.
Let’s dive into each platform and analyze the features in-depth,
12 best platforms to publish and sell online courses
If you are a newbie in creating a digital storefront (like an online course, digital downloads, affiliate marketing, and selling membership) then Podia is the best platform to keep all your stuff under one roof.
Podia is a user-friendly and very intuitive platform to create and sell your online courses. It allow you to create an online course, digital downloads and membership site.
You do not need any technical or coding knowledge to design your landing page as it offers a clear interface with multiple options for landing pages.
Once you have created your online course you can either publish immediately or pre-launch your course. As I mentioned earlier, Podia allows you to create your own membership site as well.
And a cool feature is that it has inbuilt e-mail marketing tool. So, you can notify your customer when you launch a new product. Your conversion rate is higher as they are existing customer and your new course get good exposure(enrollment, reviews, and ratings) within a few days of publishing.
You can also add affiliates to market your online courses and share the revenue when they drive sales.
There is no transaction fee or no commission fee from each sale you made in Podia. You take 100 %.
You only have to pay a fixed monthly subscription fee irrespective of how many
- courses you sell
- membership sites you have
- large data(Videos, ebooks, software)
- students enrolled for your courses
- emails you send per day
And an amazing feature that I like a lot is whenever you made a sale, you’ll get paid immediately!
Podia has a 14-day free trial(No credit card required) where you can sign up and play around the tool and you can explore all the features. There is no doubt that Podia is one of the best platforms to publish and sell online courses.
Here is the step by step guide on how to create your first online course on Podia.
It has two transparent pricing model.
- Mover plan – $39 /month
- Shaker plan – $ 79/ month
When you buy an annual package, you will be provided with 2 months of free subscription.
Udemy is the global marketplace for creating and selling your online course. It has 30 million students and over 100,000 classes.
Anyone can create an online course using Udemy in any topic of their knowledge and there is no restriction.
In one word, if you are creating an online course in Udemy you are in the safe hands because Udemy will take care of marketing (but it will take a big cut in each sale)
You no need to pay any fee to host your online course as their pricing model is quite different. If you don’t have subscribers base then you could try Udemy as it takes care of marketing your course.
If you want to sell a course on Udemy, you have to become a premium instructor and you should at least have 30 minutes of content and five videos.
Using Udemy you can create a sample video and ask for feedback from Udemy team. It has an active Facebook page where you can clear your course creation and publishing doubts.
Aside there are so many free courses on Udemy that teaches how to publish and sell online courses on Udemy and other platforms as well.
You don’t have access to your students’ email list but it allow you to send 4 Promotional and educational announcement every month to your students. But still, you have to follow certain terms and conditions while sending these emails.
As I mentioned earlier, Udemy pricing model is quite different. You no need to pay any monthly/annual fees but you have to share your profit with Udemy on each sale.
- Instructor coupon: If the instructor creates a coupon code and generate a lead then the revenue share is 97 % to the instructor and 3% to Udemy.
- Ad program sales without instructor coupon: If he creates a lead without the instructor coupon then the revenue share is 75 % to the instructor and 25 % to Udemy
- Organic Traffic: If the lead comes through Udemy organic traffic then the revenue should be divided 50:50.
- Udemy Ads: Sometimes Udemy partners with affiliates or run ads to drive sales to your courses. In this case, Udemy and instructor take 75% and 25% respectively.
Teachable is very similar to podia but with limited features compared to Podia. This platform is easy to use that allows you to create and sell your online course.
Teachable is super easy to set up but you can design your sales page if you know how to code or you can just use the existing templates.
It will accept all the files format from Dropbox, google drive, etc.,
Teachable provides a free e-book that explains how to publish and sell online courses on Teachable.
You can host any number of course and students as well.
Teachable offers powerful email marketing tool to collect the feedback from the students, provide coupons, 1 click upsell and affiliate marketing as well.
Unlike Podia, Teachable has limited editing option to change the look and feel of the website and 5% transaction fees on the Basic plan. It also has a free plan with limited features and a 10% transaction fee +$1. You can explore all the Teachable features and plans.
Teachable pricing plans have both monthly and yearly plans. Each plan has three tire pricing model(Basic, professional and Business).
The Basic plan has 5% Transaction fees
The Professional and Business plan has no transaction fee.
Podia Vs Teachable
Thinkific is another best platforms to publish and sell online courses stand next to Teachable. It allows you to create and deliver your online course in a quick span of time with built-in templates.
Thinkific has more themes to build your website without writing any code ( Don’t need to worry about technical headache).
You can add videos, pdf, text, a survey and also can drip your course, lock your content same as Podia. And also you can create an advanced quiz and it supports multimedia course.
Using Thinkific you can create a course certificate for your students.
The price seems to be higher than other online course platforms like Podia, teachable and Skillshare.
Teachable does not handle EU VAT and also the upsell is pretty basic. It has a two-step checkout.
The landing page is not too professional from the user perspective and you need to write code if you want to customize the landing page.
Teachable doesn’t allow to create a community forum. And Similar to teachable it does not have built-in email marketing.
As far as pricing concern it has 4 plans. Free ($0), basic ($49), pro ($99) and premiere ($499)
Podia Vs Teachable
Kajabi is one of the best platforms to publish and sell online courses and membership site. This platform is professional compared to any other online platform.
You can build your website, run your blog and you can send sales email using automated email marketing tools.
The cool feature in Kajabi is that it has 10+ product theme where you can use them anywhere in your course. You can also customize the theme if you want to stand unique.
Kajabi offers an excellent course delivery and student engagement platform. You can create a community forum, quiz, and assessment.
The sales and marketing features are great starting from the creation of a landing page, sending email to generate leads, until making sales.
The look and feel of the page are amazing according to the user feedback.
However, Kajabi doesn’t allow to create certificate natively.
The price starts at ($149/ month) and no free plan. It does not handle EU VAT.
As far as pricing concern it is pretty much high. It has three price ranges Basic, Growth, and pro.
Podia vs Kajabi
Skillshare is a good marketplace to publish and sell online courses if you have creative ideas. It offers online courses on different categories like Business, Technology, lifestyle, and creativity.
If you are looking for an alternative to Udemy then Skillshare is my recommendation.
An instructor can sign up for free and sell unlimited courses. Skillshare recommends the instructor to keep their course short(less than 30 minutes) and contain a hands-on project as an assignment at the end of the course. Remember the more interesting your class is the more you gain students.
You don’t have the option to give a price for your courses. Skillshare working on a subscription model. Premium students can take any number of courses until they pay a monthly subscription fee.
You may get a question, How you get paid then?
There are two ways to earn from Skillshare.
- Getting $10 for every student you bring to Skillshare who sign up for Premium membership.
- You will receive a royalty based on the number of minutes your courses were watched by Premium students.
If you want to create a learning academy you can go ahead with WizIQ.
WizIQ is a cloud-based Learning Management system that enables you to deliver the live classes, video streaming, mobile learning, assessment, analytics, and discussion boards.
It is easy to use interface to set up and also to engage students. You do not need any complex coding skills to create your courses.
Another cool feature is that it will allow multiple teacher accounts.
WizIQ also allows the user to message the other users in their contact list. It also has a notification tool that alerts the students for submission of assessments, bending assessments, etc.,
WizIQ available in iOS, Android, and Windows in mobile phones.
WizIQ pricing starts at $25 /month ( Paid annually)
Ruzuku is another best platforms to publish and sell online courses. It is often used by professionals and start-up companies.
In Ruzuku course management is quick and easy and it allows multimedia files. You can send automatic emails for your upcoming courses.
You can provide audio, video and PDF courses and chat with your customers/students.
The two cool features of Ruzuku are you can monitor your progress as well as your participant’s progress. And another one is you can integrate multimedia content, audio, video, and blog anytime.
There is no transaction fee.
Basic customization is available in site design page. It does not offer a course bundle.
There are three plans
- Bootstrapper – $99/ month
- Up-And-Comer -$149/month
- University- $199/month
Learnworlds is another best platforms to publish and sell online courses which offer amazing features for creating your own online school and support tablet and mobile view.
It provides the interactive learning service like interactive video player, interactive e-books, online test engines that allows you to generate the digital certificate, a social learning tool that allows to discuss and exchange their thoughts.
When it comes to marketing and sales learnworlds is doing a good job like providing a subscription, coupons, promotions, free courses, free chapter ( that will get you more leads).
It also provides full-scale analytics that allows you to read the behavior of your customers.
It has limited themes and not well designed according to the user perspective.
It has four pricing ranges, starter, pro trainer, Learning center, High volume and corporate. Starting from $29/ month
Note: You have to pay $5 for each sale in the starter. If you update to (pro trainer $99) there is no transaction fee.
When you have your own WordPress site/blog and want to create online courses and manage your students within WordPress you can go for sensei.
Sensei is an online course plugin from woo-commerce. It will let you add an online course, membership, and subscription.
You can integrate your WordPress theme to sensei. There are plenty of features available in sensei basic plan itself. Even if you want more there you can search in the extension tool and buy it.
However, sensei does not offer any marketing tools instead you have to connect email, social media, and affiliate marketing tools via extensions.
You will get 100 percent of your sale in sensei there is no pre-sale or shared revenue charges. You can connect any online payment provider.
There are three pricing options available at $149/year for a single site, $199/year for 5 sites and $299/year for 25 sites.
Ispring Learn is an online platform to deliver training to corporate employees, large companies, etc.
These platforms help companies to train their employees. In Ispring you can monitor the performance of your employees and also you can set the goal and make the changes if you want. It also provides a mobile app that allows the employees to take the course even without an internet connection.
It is much suited for MNCs to train their employees.
It starts from $167/month for 50 active users
You can have 250 active users if you pay $677/month
If you want more active users you can also customize.
Digital chalk is a cloud-based e-learning platform that allows to HD videos, audio, Quiz, animated Powerpoint and more, etc.,
It allows in creating videos effortlessly and provides online training. You can provide certificates and boost your brand name by adding logos and colors in the built-in theme.
The digital Chalk is also widely used by companies to train their employees. But it can also be used by small trainers as well.
It has features like blended learning, content management, eLearning, e-commerce, etc.,
As far as pricing Digital chalk is more expensive.
Learn more about Digital Chalk
Conclusion: What I recommend?
When you are planning to publish and sell online courses, you are not just going to stop with that. The next step would be collecting leads(students), convert leads to membership platform to earn residual income every month. So, you should always look for a platform that offers all these features at a nominal price and that’s why I personally use and recommend Podia.
Here are the other reasons why I recommend Podia?
- It is an all in one platform to sell your digital downloads
- It has unlimited everything ( like an online course, digital downloads, etc.,)
- 0% transaction fee
- Drip Email content
- Instant Payout to your bank account
- Payment protection plan
- An intuitive landing page without any complex coding
- Prelaunch your product
- Track your customers
- 24/7 customer support
- Free migration from other platforms to Podia
- Use custom domain
- Much more..
Having red this I thought it was extremely enlightening.
I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this article together.
I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time
both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!