Creating a course is a natural step in the life of a blogger as you progress from new blogger to seasoned blogger wanting to make money from your own products.
There are many different course platform to choose from however that the simple task of selecting the best platform to host your course can be overwhelming.
You may also not know that there are many different ways to make money from these course platforms and so I want to highlight them for you here to help you maximize your income as a blogger and not leave money on the table.
Maybe you’re not at the stage of creating a course yet but still
Thinkific vs Teachable vs Podia: Why These Three?
These are the three platforms I have personal experience with and can speak about with you. They are three of the most popular e-learning platforms around and each offer unique experiences for the course creator and student.
For bloggers, creatives and digital marketers, these are the platforms that will help you to share your expertise the best and connect with your students.
They all offer free trials so this is a great way to jump in and try the platforms out for yourself after reading through this guide to see which suits you best.
Why Create an Online Course?
Anyone can create an online course. Don’t feel as if you have to be an expert with a
All you need is enough knowledge that the person interested in your niche coming up behind you will find useful in getting ahead. If you have some intermediate to advanced knowledge and you can show how you’ve used this knowledge to get ahead, people will pay you for this.
Creating your own product as a blogger or influencer is a great way to control your income online. You’re already creating amazing content, now you can get paid for sharing that content with those people who connect with you and are interested in learning from you.
Creating an online course is a great way to create a passive income stream for your blog since you’ll be creating the course once but selling it to multiple people over and over by simply attracting them to your course and convincing them to purchase with your awesome sales copy and content.
Course Platform Comparison Chart
|Payouts||Immediately||Delayed on this plan||Immediately|
|Integrations||Yes||Only on paid plans||Limited|
|Credit Card Fees||No||Yes||No|
I’ve picked out just a few of the features you may be interested in that were of importance to me when looking for a course platform. Here’s what mattered the most at the end of the day.
The cost of the platform is important to newbies starting out as there’s never any guarantees that your course will sell enough to keep paying for this service.
Sure you may have a great launch month but you need to keep the momentum going so that you can pay your fees each month.
I liked that two of the three platforms offered a free plan, albeit with limitations, so I could create a course and get my feet wet without committing right away to a paid plan.
I was able to take my time to create a course, offer it for free and test it out to see if it would work for me and my audience.
Payout schedule is also something important to me. Again two of the three platforms pay you immediately when someone signs up for your product while Teachable holds your money for 30 days unless you sign up for their highest plan.
Who wants to wait 30 days for their money? Not me. Even on the free plan, you get paid immediately with Thinkific.
I have always wanted a membership type product and have been building out the content to launch for some time so I was excited to be introduced to the Podia platform since there is a 3 month trial of their highest plan included in the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit.
While you can hack this with the other two platforms and simply create a course with a recurring monthly fee, things become a lot more complicated than they need to be without the dedicated membership options.
The downfall for me as someone outside of the US is that Podia only offers Stripe as a payment option for memberships and Stripe payments are not offered in my country. Podia has been promising that Paypal integration is coming soon for their membership products but I’m not holding my breath on that one and have decided to continue to build my Patreon community for now.
You’ll want to check if the platform you choose to go with integrates with your email service provider as well.
Teachable integrates easily with a number of different service providers as doe Thinkific.
Podia integrates with Convertkit but not with Mailerlite so this is a pain in the ass to add those who have signed up for courses to your email list so you can keep in contact with them if you do not use Convertkit.
Podia does offer some email marketing within their platform which is a plus for them. This means you can simply email your students from within the platform but you probably already have a fancy sequence set up in another service provider that you will want to keep.
Podia’s email marketing product does not seem sophisticated enough as yet to handle multiple signup forms and the delivery of different lead magnets, email segmentation etc so I am not in
The possibility of having one platform to handle my courses, memberships and email subscribers for one monthly price is attractive however I think Podia needs more robust features to make this a reality.
So who’s the winner?
The Best Online Course Platforms for Bloggers
Thinkific offers a free plan, pays immediately and their backend is just a little cleaner and easier to work with which beginners will appreciate.
I must say though that if Podia integrates memberships with Paypal before my trial is up, I may be convinced to stay with them. This will make it super easy to have my memberships on the same platform as my individual courses and to email members and students with ease.
Therefore if you’re in the US, Podia may just be the platform you’re looking for because of it’s wider product features. Just be prepared to manually add your students to your email service provider if you’re not with the limited number of ESPs supported by Podia.
Are you thinking of starting an online course?
- So you’ve started a blog, what now? Learn how to grow a blog from scratch here
- Struggling to create content? Here are my secrets to pumping out quality content rapidly
- Learn how to grow your email list and why you should
- Struggling with SEO? Check out my SEO tips for bloggers
- Learn how to narrow down your audience for a more engaging blog
- Pick the most profitable blog niche to start your blog