I’ve been selling courses online for years, so I was delighted to have found Teachable – this is the best way to sell courses.
How do I know this? I’ve done it the wrong way. In fact, I do everything wrong the first time. I call this “learning”. I lose money or I lose time. Usually both.
I’ve lost a great deal of money and time by selling courses on my site using WordPress plugins. There’s so much wrong with this approach. You are responsible for the video storage, the video delivery, collecting the payments, the security of the payment procedure, etc.
Selling courses through a WordPress site makes you responsible for so much that you hardly have time to create the courses in the first place. When you sell your courses with Teachable they do all the work.
Before, I was using a poorly supported WordPress plugin that was targeted by hackers – it was an accident waiting to happen. I was hacked. I love that I use my WordPress site for what it was originally intended for … blogging.
The above video about how to sell courses through your own site might sound like a Teachable advert. I don’t apologise for this. Let’s go through all the things I like about Teachable and why I think it’s a great solution for selling courses on your own site.
It looks like your selling courses from your site but you’re not
As I alluded to above, your domain is mapped onto the Teachable servers. So visitors to your site have a seamless experience passing from your blog to your school.
It’s so easy and simple
I first started selling courses on Udemy. Why? Because it was easy. Selling courses from your own site was so difficult before Teachable (or, in the early days, “UseFedora”) came along.
On Udemy, you upload the videos and addition resources, drag them into the right order, set a price, and baaam!, hit Publish.
It’s exactly the same with Teachable.
Bulk upload from Drive or Dropbox
I’ve published multiple courses on multiple platforms and to do that I utilized the cloud. Uploading videos takes time if you have bad internet (especially when you work from tropical islands as much as I do – lol).
So it’s best to upload everything to the cloud and then you, hopefully, don’t have to upload it all again. Now Teachable (and Udemy) have a direct from Drive and Dropbox feature. That means you can upload all your videos for one course (a gigabyte, at least, usually) with one click – instantaneously. Cool, ha?
Coupons, coupons, coupons
Where would we be without coupons, everybody? I mean, if it wasn’t for coupons, would Udemy actually make any sales at all?
The point of coupons is to offer your audience, or a section of your audience, a course at a reduced price for a limited amount of time. This fatal combination of both scarcity and price reduction is too much to resist for some customers.
Booom! This means sales.
So, say you have a course priced at $99. You offer it to your email subscribers for $25 and tell them the offer is only available for 24 hours – and sit back back and watch the money come in. That’s the power of coupons.
Teachable allows you to make unlimited coupons easily.
Another way to sell courses is to combine them with other courses and sell them at a different price. For example, I could put all my WordPress courses into a bundle and sell them at a different price. I could add a coupon to that bundle and sell the bundle at a reduced price for a limited period of time. You get the idea.
… all this is easy to do on Teachable.
Teachable works with all email platforms
I must have said this many times before: email marketing is the most effective form of marketing in my online business. Teachable works with all the major emailing platforms like Aweber, Mailchimp, etc.
I use ActiveCampaign (not the most helpful company in the world) and we have to use Zapier to make sure the Teachable users get added to a list. However, now that it’s set up, it works beautifully.
And, once you have their email addresses you can offer them new courses at special launch prices!
Above is the income I received in the week after I launched my self publishing course. The spikes in the graph occur on days I emailed my lists with the launch offer. I’m just about to do another of these launches with my new Merch By Amazon course. Wish me luck!
So, I think you can onboard affiliates on Teachable but I have yet to test it out. However, I know how to do it and it seems possible.
What I would improve about Teachable
I don’t want this to sound like a Teachable ad so here are some suggestions for improvements they could make.
- People often complain about Teachable’s support and I have been frustrated with them, not least because the support form forces you to choose a subject from a dropdown with a few options that never match your query. Their Facebook group the Teachable Tribe is a good place to go with questions.
- Although we can accept PayPal and credit card, we can’t accept Bitcoin for purchases.
Their schools are insecure! You do not get the SSL secure green padlock icon when visiting my Teachable site which is beginning to look really bad. Google penalizes sites without the SSL secure green padlock. Update 27 October 2017: pleased to say Teachable have now fixed this.
- There are other limitations to the UI of the backend, for example you can’t get an adequate visual breakdown of what courses have sold when or how many sign ups you have on each course. You can get this information, it’s just not as easy as it could be.
At this point I should mention Thinkific which is a direct competitor to Teachable. I’ve never used it but I’ve spoken to the founder on Skype and I’ve heard good things about it. It has the same benefits as Teachable (the schools are hosted on their servers) so I would recommended it as an alternative to Teachable. I could also mention Kajabi but that’s at a higher price point.
You can do it!
However, the most important thing is … action! Get out there and create content. Help people. Start making videos and listen to the feedback. In no time at all you can sell courses on your own site and start making passive income.