Online Courses Business Model
For many years I have hosted a number of courses on my own domains using various membership or closed content p[lugins. These days there are a lot of online providers that allow you to host your coaching and courses and they provide all the resources and in many cases the payment system.
You create the content and load it on their platform and then promote it. I have listed one course on many platforms and it brings in a nice income so I am now developing new courses.
Types of Platforms to Sell Online Courses
There are a number of different types of platforms with Udemy being one of the most popular as they do a lot of advertising for you so it can be a set and forget system. These type of platforms geared toward individual or small businesses that want a relatively turnkey way to create their own branded site to sell online courses.
Basically they all run the same with some different design features but learn to set up one and you will have covered 80% of the next one. Lets go have a look at some.
One of the things I really like about Ruzuku is that they put a LOT of effort into helping subject matter entrepreneurs use their platform successfully – including everything from designing a great course, getting it online, and marketing it effectively. Their “Up and Comer Plus” plan also includes unlimited Webinars. If you are looking for an easy-to -use platform combined with a soup-to-nuts approach to helping you be successful with it, this is a great option. I recommend you sign up for their free trial today to give you an idea of what the platform can do.
Teachable got started out of frustration with Udemy (listed below) – in particular, with the way in which Udemy controls information about and access to students. In response, the Teachable team has created a platform that enables you to “host courses on your website and control your branding, student data, and pricing all from one place.” I like the pricing model they offer. You can use the platform for free and pay $1 + 10% for all transactions. Or, you can choose to pay a monthly fee, which eliminates the $1 per transaction fees and also reduces the percentage paid to Teachable based on what level of monthly fee you choose. If you are ready to get started with online courses (or already have, but are looking for new technology), be sure to check out the free Teachable Quickstart Webinar (offered weekly on Thursdays).
Thinkific provides a full-featured solution to help you create, deliver, and market and sell online courses – including a $0 starter plan (based on taking a 10% commission on your sales). A big vote of confidence for this platform is that my friend Dorie Clark – a bestselling author multiple-times over, guest on the Learning Revolution podcast, and generally very smart and business savvy person – is using it for the online course she is currently developing. Similar to Teachable above, you can use Thinkific completely free and then pay a 10% fee on all transactions. Or, you can pay for a monthly plan and get your transaction fees all the way down to zero. Definitely worth checking out.
Originally developed as WordPress plug-in, Zippy Courses is now a standalone platform. The person behind is Derek Halpern, who is well-know and respected marketer who certainly knows a thing or two himself about how to create and sell online courses. I’ve participated in a couple of courses that use Zippy Course (one was Derek’s, another by a well-known course development coach who pitches Teachable in the program, but is actually using Zippy Courses to deliver it). All in all, a very solid platform that will get you up and running – and, of course, selling online courses – quickly. Pricing starts at $99 per month with no transaction fees.
While I don’t endorse specific platforms (see above), I do understand that the range of choices can be confusing and it can be helpful for an expert to just say “look at this one, it’s a top choice” if you want to sell online courses. So, here’s one of my top choices: Thinkific. Check it out. You can create a free course right away and they are very upfront about their pricing and about how the different plans compare. Most importantly, I hear consistently from readers that that they have had a good experience with Thinkific. – Jeff
This category of online course platforms provides everything you need not just for offering online courses, but also for managing your full Web presence. They combine elements of a Web content management system (CMS) with marketing and customer relationship management tools (CRM).
Academy of Mine
While they stop a little short of being the same breed of “all in one” system represented by platforms like Rainmaker and Kajabi. The Academy of Mine folks are very focused on blending marketing tools with learning tools in the administrative interface for their system, I have gotten feedback from some users that the learning curve to get up and running on the system is pretty steep (which can be true of all-in-one systems in general). That said, if you can make your way up the curve, you will have pretty powerful set of tools at your disposal. Pricing starts at $199 a month.
Kajabi describes itself as “the one system you need to market, sell, and deliver your knowledge online.” As it happens, selling online courses is a big part of the equation. Along with courses, you’re able to sell memberships, training portals, file downloads, and pretty much any other digital product you can come up with. For many people who just want to sell an online course – and who are already set with a Web site and marketing tools – this may be overkill. Then again, if you don’t have those things or simply want to get everything under one roof, Kajabi may be just the ticket. There’s a free 14-day trial (credit card required), and pricing starts at $129 a month ($103 if paid annually).
Marketplace Online Course Platforms
These are some online course platforms that, in addition to providing ways to author/assemble courses, also provide an existing marketplace in which to sell online courses. (Note: I’ve started to expand on this list in my post Looking for an Alternative to Udemy?)
With Coggno, you can create courses or upload existing content – including SCORM files. You also have the option to deliver these courses privately or to distribute them through the Coggno marketplace. Coggno also provides the useful twist of enabling organizations to use a branded instance of the Coggno platform for free to offer courses to their target audience (e.g., employees, members) – thus providing yet another distribution option for your content. Organizations that use the LMS in this way pay only for the content they use. For course developers looking to sell their content, pricing starts at $24.95 per month plus 10% of sales.
If you happen to be an expert, or manage experts (e.g., if you represent a training firm or association) that is developing offerings at this level of sophistication,OpenSesame might be the first place you want to check out. You can also upload video, and the company claims that courses published in its system can be accessed by any learning management system (LMS). So, for example, if you know there are businesses out there that would want your content, but are going to want it on their own LMS, this could be a very powerful option. The company takes 40% of any sales you make through its platform.
ProProfs give you tools to add media, quizzes, and certificates to your existing documents, videos & presentations – and then put them into a market place that the company claims reaches more than a million users. Monthly packages start at just under $75 ($60 if you commit to a year) and the company takes 9.5% off of sales through its marketplace.
Skillshare provides instructors with tools to create courses composed of video lessons and a “class project.” (All classes are have these two elements.) Classes are normally 10-25 minutes long, broken down into short videos, and they are all pre-recorded and self-paced. Once you have enrolled more than 25 learners in a class, you become eligible for participation in Skillshare’s Partner Program and can earn money through the royalty pool managed by the company – usually $1-2 per enrollment, according to the company. (Unlike Udemy – discussed below – Skillshare sells subscriptions to all of its content rather than to individual courses.) Once you are a partner, you’ll also get compensated for new Premium Members ($10 per) you bring to Skillshare through your Teacher Referral link. The Skillshare site reports that “Top teachers make up to $40,000 a year.”
The folks at Udemy say “Our goal is to disrupt and democratize education by enabling anyone to learn from the world’s experts.” From what I can tell, they have been doing a pretty good job at it. The Udemy platform gives subject matter experts a simple, straightforward way to assemble content like PowerPoint slides, PDF documents, and YouTube videos into a coherent course experience. You can then publish into the Udemy marketplace and use a variety of tools to promote your masterpieces. Udemy is free for instructors – the company makes it’s money by keeping 50% if it sells your course. If you make the sale, you keep 97% (Udemy takes a 3% transaction fee). Keep in mind that your are currently required to price your courses in $5 increments between $20 and $200 on Udemy (source) – quite restrictive, in my opinion. Even so, ThinkTraffic reports that some some instructors have been having quite a bit of success.
For experts who want to deliver live and on-demand Webinars, WizIQ is an old standby. The company provides a platform through which you can easily offer a live Webinar session – with slides, desktop sharing, audio, and video – that can also be recorded for on-demand access by learners. Courses can be published and sold in WizIQ’s online marketplace. WizIQ does also plug-ins for Moodle, Sakai, Blackboard Learn – popular learning management systems in the academic world. While I have placed WizIQ here under “Marketplace” platforms, it does have a very academic feel to it and could just as easily be in the “Enterprise | Academic” section below. There’s a free 30-day trial, and then paid plans start at $33 a month (billed annually) plus a 5 percent per transaction fee of use of WizIQ’s payment gateway. (It’s unclear from the Web site whether you can use your own gateway.)
Information take from https://soloprenaut.com/course-platforms/platforms-for-teaching-online/ Vist them for more detailed information.