Do you have specialist knowledge of a particular subject? Building an online course is a great way to start a business.
You can benefit from recurring income, and there’s plenty of ways you can scale your business with add-on sales, up-selling, and cross-selling strategies.
Selling courses online requires you to sign up with a platform to manage the process.
There are dozens of platforms, so which one is the best choice for your content and business?
Let’s look at the three best platforms to build your online course.
Use Podia to design and launch a virtual storefront for your business.
This platform allows you to create as many online courses as you want, with customizable templates that optimize conversion rates.
You can launch multiple courses, create digital download products like E-books, mp3, and video files, and host everything on one central platform.
Build landing pages that drive traffic, featuring modules like course overviews, information, creator bios, and FAQs.
Set up multiple landing pages for each element of your strategy, whether it’s courses, digital downloads, or memberships.
Podia includes a pre-launch function to help you market your launch date, building hype around the release while snatching you some pre-orders from the market.
The built-in marketing tools and functionality with Podia are impressive.
You get options for creating newsletters and building drip campaigns to grow your email list.
Segment your email list by course information and modules, and track vital data like click-thru and open rates on your marketing campaigns.
We like the way Podia enables you to sell more than just online courses.
You have an option for selling digital downloads like videos, cheat sheets, e-books, and other virtual products.
With Podia, you have the option of building membership sites which allow you to connect and engage with your customers and prospects.
Podia comes with an integrated web-builder program, allowing for drag-and-drop design of your website, and if you have any issues with the platform, they run a 24/7-live chat with excellent support.
- No Free Trial
- Mover – $39/month. (No transaction fee)
- Shaker – $79/month (No transaction fees)
With this powerful, comprehensive online course solution, you get an all-in-one platform to create and sell your course material.
This robust platform scales with your business, featuring capability and functionality to serve millions of subscribers or students.
We love the design templates with Thinkific; they come with impressive customizable options and fantastic standard designs.
You get a drag-and-drop editor included with your subscription fee, allowing you to create a custom template to meet your design needs.
If you’re looking to install widgets on your landing pages, Thinkific gives you the option of adding code.
The course types available with Thinkific include handling of surveys, quizzes, PDFs, text, audio files, and video.
Import all your files in bulk format through the dashboards content importer function.
Thinkific comes with all the content marketing tools you need to drive traffic to your landing pages.
You get access to plenty of payment methods and a host of tracking tools to monitor student behavior.
Thinkific integrates with a host of marketing tools, such as Segmonet.io, MailChimp, and Mixpanel.
Thinkific doesn’t charge any transaction fees when you make a sale, even if you’re using the free plan.
However, you’ll have to pay the fees your payment processor deducts, such as 3% or so for PayPal.
This platform’s low-cost option makes it a great choice for anyone starting with minimal seed capital for their business.
- Free Trial – No Charge
- Basic – $49/month
- Pro + Growth – $99/month
- Premier – $399/month
Teachable offers you another online course option for fully-responsive educational courses and other related content. Create landing pages compatible across all smart devices for a mobile experience, and issue your students customized completion certificates for your course.
With Teachable, you can leverage their library of compliance tools for enforcing module completion.
You set mandatory requirements and pre-requisites for students, monitoring enrollment or progression through your courses.
An example would be a minimum quiz score at the end of each section or segment of the module.
Teachable’s user-friendly platform features a host of marketing tools included with your subscription.
You get access to tools to help you build and manage your list, create coupons, special promotions, and multiple pricing tiers.
With Teachable, you can set up an affiliate program and customize your sales pages to improve conversion.
Teachable’s templates feature a clean and functional design, with advanced customization options to tailor them to your needs.
Use the onboard power editor to edit or add code, and integrate with popular support tools like Intercom and Zendesk.
When signing up with Teachable, you get a free domain and hosting at yourcourse.teachable.com.
Teachable also has functionality for adding custom domains.
While Teachable lacks a free trial, the Basic package is affordable, and you have no contractual obligation to the site.
- No Free Trial
- Basic – $29/month (5% transaction fee)
- Professional – $79/month (no transaction fee)
What to Look for in Online Course Development Platforms?
Make sure you check the platform’s terms and conditions for the transaction costs associated with processing customer orders for your course. Podia is your best option because they don’t charge a transaction fee.
Look for platforms that offer customizable templates and easy-to-use web-builder tools. These options give you everything you need to build custom, effective templates for your landing pages and course material.
Most platforms include a marketing suite with tools designed to help you promote your courses. Set up sales funnels, lead capture forms, freebies, and more. Your course is worthless if people can’t find it online. These marketing tools help you get the exposure you need to make your course a success.
Your content platform should come with a user-friendly interface. There’s no point in going with a platform that’s functional but confusing.