Teachable vs Udemy

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Learning Management Systems: Teachable & Udemy

We’ll review Teachable and Udemy.

You can launch and sell a course online by structuring your experience and field of expertise into educational videos or podcast audio files.

You’ll need a platform (or Learning Management System) to host your online courses (i.e. podcast, video courses, etc). This will allow students to sign up to your courses, and study the courses online with a computer and an Internet connection (i.e. through web browsers or mobile apps).

Udemy and Teachable are online learning management systems to let you host and launch your online courses. Students will be able to consume the courses online.


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On Teachable, you can host and launch your online courses.


Teachable offers four different plans with the following monthly or yearly fees:

  • Free plan
  • Basic plan: US$39 per month or $399 per year
  • Pro plan: US$99 per month or $999 per year
  • High Volume plan: US$299 per month

The plans will incur fees every time a transaction happens:

  • Free plan: US$1 plus 10% per transaction, and 30 cents plus 2.9% credit card processing fees.
  • Basic plan: 8% per transaction, and 30 cents plus 2.9% credit card processing fees.
  • Pro plan: 5% per transaction, and 30 cents plus 2.9% credit card processing fees.
  • High Volume plan: 0% per transaction, and 30 cents plus 2.9% credit card processing fees.

All Teachable plans let you:

  • Upload unlimited videos.
  • Launch unlimited courses.
  • Acquire unlimited students.
  • Have unlimited hosting space.

On Teachable, you can launch a course to the public right away, without having to wait for Teachable’s review.

Your course can be in any format or multiple formats including video files, audio files, etc.

Free Plan Cost and Payments

The free plan may not be the best option for everyone (or all the instructors).

But technically, you can stick with the free plan for all your courses for years without having to upgrade to any paid plans.

If you’re new to Teachable, the free plan is your best option. With the free plan, you can test and get similar with all the features in your Teachable account.

With a free plan when you launch a free course (where you don’t charge your students a fee), Teachable takes no fee from it.

The free plan does incur fees. Teachable only takes a fee from your paid courses.

For each paid course your students purchase, Teachable takes US$1 and 10%, and a flat rate credit card processing fee of 2.9% and 30 cents.

You cannot use own domain name with the free plan. If branding and having your own domain name is very important to your business, you should upgrade to the basic plan.

Basic Plan Cost and Payments

It costs US$39 per month or $399 per year for using the Basic plan.

The Basic plan lets you:

  • Use your own domain name for your school website.
  • Generate coupon codes to promote your courses.
  • Use the built-in email marketing system and some third-party tool integrations.
  • Provide an affiliate program for other online marketers to promote your courses.
  • Have two owners or authors for your school.

Normally, you would release all the materials at the same time when you launch a new course. With the Basic plan, when launch your course, you can first release some of the materials, and finish releasing the rest over time.

On the Basic plan, it’s compulsory to set all your courses on a 30-day refund policy.

You’re forced to use Teachable’s payment method. This means you won’t be paid instantly after a student has signed up and paid for your course. Teachable will keep this fund for 30 days before releasing it to your Paypal account.

If your online course / teaching business is more or less a hobby for you, you’ll find the 30 days of payment delay okay. But when you’re trying hard to make profit and break even for your new business, the payment delay sometimes may cause you problems.

Consider your cost and stick with the Basic plan if you expect to receive a relatively low number of purchases each month.

Pro Plan and Payments

The Pro plan will cost US$99 per month.

Your Paypal and Stripe accounts can be integrated into the Teachable account. You’ll get instant payouts directly into your choice of payment methods (e.g. Paypal, Stripe, etc) once a student purchases your course.

You can remove the 30-day refund policy because it is optional with the Pro plan.

Your Teachable school can have up to five authors or owners.

You’ll get the ability to bulk import students.

You can pull some advanced reports which will reflect the your students’ progress with your courses by viewing the completion rates of your courses.

Your website won’t be branded with a Teachable logo or trademark.

You’ll given the access to edit the codes of your school (i.e. website). This lets you customize your website’s design and add additional analytics tracking codes.

High Volume Plan and Payments

For the High Volume plan, it will cost US$299 per month, and you would only use it for a large corporation where many staffs will have to login to the Teachable account.

One example is requiring more than five authors/instructors or owners for the account, and needing them to upload their own course materials.

In any other cases, the free plan, basic plan or pro plan will suffice.

Work Out the Plan with the Highest Profit

There should always a plan that will give you the best profit. It mainly depends on how many times your courses are sold.

We can work out the profits.

Let’s use an exmaple where your US$200 course is sold 10 times a month.

Free plan

On the Free plan, you’ll end up paying $21 (i.e. $1 and 10%) on each course sale.

You’ll be paying $210 fee per month, and getting $1,790 (before the credit card processing fee).

Basic plan

On the Basic plan, you’ll end up paying the $39.99 fee, and $16 (i.e. 8%) on each course sale.

You’ll be paying $199.99 fee per month, and getting $1,800.01 on monthly plan or 1806.75 on yearly plan (before the credit card processing fee).

Pro plan

On the Pro plan, you’ll end up paying the $99.99 fee (per month) or $999 fee (per year), and $10 (i.e. 5%) on each course sale.

You’ll be paying $199.99 fee per month, and getting $1,800.01 on monthly plan or 1816.75 on yearly plan (before the credit card processing fee).

High Volume plan

On the High Volume plan, you’ll end up paying the $299.99 per month.

You’ll be paying $299.99 fee per month, and getting $1,700.01 (before the credit card processing fee).

What plan should you choose?

You’ve got the idea when you work out your profit with the above method.

Each instructor knows her own courses, and should choose the plan that gives her the highest possible profit.

Get New Students to Buy Your Teachable Courses

The downside is that Teachable isn’t platform who will bring your new customers (i.e. new students).

You’ll need a marketing plan to get students to sign up and purchase your courses. When marketing your Teachable school, treat it as when you’re marketing a website:

  • Find out exactly where you can get people to visit your website. This free traffic sources guide will be useful.
  • Learn how to do SEO the right way by following the mobile SEO best practices. What makes SEO traffic a good choice is that over time the resources and efforts required to get SEO traffic will gradually reduce.
  • Spend time building up your Facebook groups. Go through the article before selling on Facebook.

The upside is that once you’ve students signed up with your free course or paid course, you’re going to get their information (i.e. Names and email addresses).

When you launch a new course, you can notify your existing students by email. The best way is to sell to existing customers because they have previously purchased from you and are likely to buy from you again (provided they’re happy customers).

Set Up Monthly Membership

Teachable supports monthly subscriptions. This allows you to turn your school into a membership site.

The monthly membership is an important step to let you earn recurring revenue from students who have subscribed to your courses.

Pre-sell Courses

Teachable lets you pre-sell a course with different pricing plans.

Why would your pre-sell your courses?

During the pre-sell, you let your students validate your course for the first round, and get feedback from them. You want to know if the course materials are something that people would purchase.

You can make the necessary updates to your course before launching the official version for full price.


Udemy is a great platform that would help first time instructors to get started with their first online course.


Udemy can give you a quick start.

Udemy is a very active community with thousands of existing students, even though its major focus is to provide an online course platform.

Usually after a few weeks you’ve launched a new course, you’ll be getting students to enroll to your course, with you having to take care of marketing your course.

When you’re getting students taking your course, it gives you confidence to continue with creating more online courses.

The result of having students taking your course is that you’ll get feedback quickly about your course. From the students’ feedback, you’ll be able to make improvements to your next few courses.

Students Contact Information and Resell Opportunities

However, you must know that the students on Udemy are customers who belong to Udemy. What this means is that you’re restricted to how you can communicate with these students.

Normally when you’re to grow your online course business, the most important information you’ll need to get include the name and contact details (e.g. email addresses) of your customers (i.e. students).

Udemy doesn’t share the name and emails of your students who have enrolled to your courses.

Problems that are going to arise from this is that one day in the future you’re going to launch a second course, a third course, and more.

But who are going to sell the new courses to? Of course, first notify and sell to your existing customers who are the students who have bought your first course.

Without the students’ contact information, it becomes very difficult to re-sell to them.

Udemy Cost and Payments

It’s free to upload course materials and launch a course on Udemy.

Udemy splits the money (they receive from students buying your courses) with you (i.e. the instructor). This is how the revenue share works:

  • Instructors can offer a coupon code to their potential students. When a student buys your course with your coupon code, you get 97% revenue.
  • A third party or an affiliate can promote your course. When your course is sold through an affiliate link, you’ll receive 25% revenue.
  • When your course is sold through Udemy’s marketing program, you’ll get 25% revenue. You don’t have to opt-in to Udemy’s marketing program, so your course won’t be promoted. But you’ll get fewer sales.
  • When a student purchases your course (without coupon code, with no affiliate link and without Udemy’s marketing program), 50% revenue goes to you.

Let’s consider this case for a course.

Udemy allows you to set the price of a course between US$20 – 200.

You’ve priced your new course at US$199, and opted into Udemy’s marketing program.

To promote your course to students, Udemy puts your course on sale at $9.99, and you end up getting paid less than $2.50 each time a student buys your course.


To choose between Udemy or Teachable as your online course platform, it will depend on your major objectives of your business.

Try Udemy:

  • If you need to try out creating and launching your first online course.
  • If you need to launch a course quickly and won’t concern about growing your online course business for long term.
  • If you need to test a course with a relatively large student base, and get feedback to improve your future courses.

Try Teachable:

  • If you need full control of all your students’ contact information. This will allow you to grow your customer base for long term.
  • If you need full control of pricing to all your courses. You may well end up earning more by setting your own prices.
  • If you’re able to do marketing and acquire your customers for your courses. You need to be good at finding and selling to people who are your potential students.

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