(The Good AND the Bad)
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission of you click through and make a purchase.
I've been using Teachable to host my online courses for about three years now, so I thought I'd share some of the things that I love about the platform, and some of the things I think could be improved.
If you're not familiar with Teachable, it's an online software program that allows you to create and sell your own online courses.
I'm sure you're much more curious about what I DO NOT like about the platform, so we'll start there...
However, I do have plenty of GOOD things to say about Teachable. I've been able to grow my online course revenue to over $12,000 a month on this platform, essentially on autopilot. So make sure that you read about all of the GOOD things this company has to offer online course creators as well.
Also, make sure you check out the time limited bonuses at the end of this post :)
Downside #1: Getting your money
My biggest complaint about the Teachable platform is that you have to subscribe to their $99/mo Pro plan if you want to have immediate access to your course revenue. If you are on the Free or $39/mo Basic Plan you have to wait six to eight weeks to get paid out from Teachable.
When you are just getting started and trying to bootstrap your online course business, having immediate access to your funds is essential. I know for me personally, I would roll all of my course revenue back into paid ads to pay for traffic so that I could continue to grow my course profits month after month. I wouldn't have been able to to that if I had to wait two months to get paid out from Teachable.
To be fair, the reason why Teachable does this is because they offer a 30 day refund policy on all courses purchased on the Free or Basic plan. They hold all course revenue for 30 days and then they pay you out the following month.
I have no issues with offering a refund policy personally, however, I'm not a fan of Teachable requiring that people offer a refund when they are paying for an account. If this were limited to the free plan only, I would feel a lot better about it.
Now, if you are on the $99/month Pro plan you get to connect your own payment gateways (PayPal and/or Stripe) and your funds will be paid to your directly instead of having to go through Teachable's payment processor.
Bottom line: if you plan on selling more than $99 worth of courses in a month, I'd highly recommend upgrading to the Pro plan because it will give you instant access to your funds and you won't get hit with extra "transaction fees" so you actually get to keep more of your money.
Downside #2: It's hard to FIND the free plan.
I love being able to "try things before I buy" so being able to set up a free account to tinker with was a big deal to me. But here's the thing, if you go to Teachable's pricing page, this is what you see ...
As you can see, the FREE plan is not highlighted here. If you want to try out the service for free you need to have a REALLY good eye. There is a link to sign up for the FREE plan at the bottom of the page, but you have to look for it.
I don't want to sound too entitled here. I'm grateful that they offer a free plan at all. They certainly don't have to. I just wish they would make it easier to find.
I'm sure that Teachable has a good reason for "hiding the ball" so to speak. Maybe they've tested this in the past, but I'm a big fan of how Thinkific really promotes their free plan BEFORE promoting their paid plans.
For comparison, here's the top section of Thinkific's homepage.
Downside #3: You can't fully "white label" your school.
One of the major reasons why many course creators choose Teachable is so that they can have more control over their online business. While it's true that Teachable gives you nearly complete control over your marketing, course content, pricing and how you communicate with your students, there is one little drawback: they don't offer fully "white labeled" schools.
When something is fully "white labeled" it means that there are no logos or references to the software company on your site.
When other companies' logos and URL's are present on your site it can cause confuse your customers.
For example, imagine you're buying something on Amazon, and they all the sudden, when it's time to checkout, you end up on some other site that you don't recognize. It can feel a bit sketchy.
The most noticeable place where this is an issue is with the roll out of "My Teachable" accounts.
What's the issue with "My Teachable" accounts?
When Teachable first launched, students were required to create a new account for every Teachable hosted school that they signed up for.
This was fine because it meant that your students had a specific account for your school only.
In an attempt to streamline the process for students who may end up enrolling in more than one Teachable hosted school, Teachable came out with "My Teachable" accounts that gave students access to all Teachable hosted courses that they were enrolled in regardless of whether they were taught by the same instructor or not.
Here's what the login looks like for my Audiobook Tutorials school that does NOT have the MyTeachable feature enabled:
Here's another school that has MyTeachable turned on...
As you can see, if someone goes to sign in or sign up for the "Idea Babies" school, they are going to see quite a few references to "Teachable" which is not my brand, nor it it something that my students are likely to be familiar with.
That is really the extent of the "bad."
Now let's talk about what I LOVE about Teachable.
Love #1: It's an all-in-one solution
You could theoretically run an entire online course business using Teachable for free. This might not be the best choice for everyone, but it's definitely possible.
Teachable comes complete with:
- a full content management system for all of your videos and course content,
- integrated sales pages that allow for one-click upsells, payment gateways to give your students the option of paying upfront or subscribing to a payment plan, and
- a messaging system for emailing your students,
- you can also create blogs and individual web pages right inside your Teachable school,
- AND you can even set up your own custom URL for your school.
If you wanted to perform all of these functions WITHOUT a platform like Teachable you would need:
- A website or blog
- Credit card processing
- Video hosting
- Course or membership software
- an email service provider
Now, obviously many people do choose to have a separate website or use more advanced email management services, (I prefer ConvertKit myself) but the point is that you actually don't NEED all of that stuff if your goal is to create a course for free.
Love #2: So easy to use.
Everything from the signup process to creating your school is incredibly easy with Teachable. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's one of the easiest software platforms that I've ever used. I've tested similar course platforms like Thinkific, New Kajabi, Udemy, and Podia as well, but Teachable was by far the easiest to get the hang of.
Once your inside of your Teachable account (free or paid), there are a number of helpful resources waiting for you.
You can sign up for Teachable's free weekly live QuickStart Webinar (highly recommended). This will walk you through the process of setting up your school and creating your first course inside of Teachable.
Or you can jump right in to creating your first course or customizing the the look of your school.
Teachable also has an extensive "Knowledge Base" full of tutorials and answers to commonly asked questions. If you get stuck at any point, you have immediate access to the knowledge base right from within your account.
Love #3: Unlimited Everything!
Even if you are on the free plan, there's no limit to the amount of videos you can upload or courses that you can create. At first glance, this might not seem like a big deal to you, but if you've ever tried storing your video on a service like Vimeo or Wistia, you know that video bandwidth fees can add up fast.
Love #4: It's Built to Scale and Grow
There's no limit to the number of student accounts that you can have on your school EVEN IF YOU'RE ON THE FREE PLAN!!!
Regardless of whether you are just getting started with your first group of students, or whether you have thousands of students in your course, Teachable doesn't charge you more for additional student accounts. It's built to scale as you grow your online course business.
Love #5: Drip Courses
Want to release your course modules over time? It's possible with Teachable. Studies have shown that releasing content over time helps keep your students engaged and prevents them from becoming overwhelmed by too much content all at once.
You can set a specific date that you want your course to start or you can set the course to "evergreen" mode to release modules on a schedule depending on when a student enrolls. This feature is available on Teachable's Basic plan and up.
Love #6: One-Click Upsells
Want to maximize your course revenue by offering relevant add-on's during the checkout process. Teachable supports it. I've seen everything from additional courses, templates, workbooks, or even 1-on-1 coaching offering as an upsell on the Teachable platform. The sky is the limit.
Love #7: Payment Plans, Subscriptions & Coupon Codes
Want to offer a payment plan for your course? You can do it with Teachable.
Want to create recurring monthly revenue by turning your Teachable School into a membership site? You can do that too!
You can even offer different coupon codes to your students to give them access to various discount levels on your course.
Love #8: Supports Affiliate/JV Partners
Want to work with affiliate or joint venture partners to get more students in your course? Teachable let you set assign affiliate links to your JV partners, track sales and even pays your affiliates out for you.
Love #9: Advanced Customization
If you sign up for Teachable's Pro plan you can customize almost any aspect of your Teachable School through the "Power Editor." You can also add additional functionality through Teachable's Zapier integration.
If you are on the free or basic plan, you still have the ability to change the look and feel of your school, you just won't have access to the advanced code editor.
Love #10: Bonuses!!!
Teachable has oodles of data on what it takes to create a successful course because they get to see behind-the-scenes of the thousands of schools that have been built using the Teachable platform.
Instead of keeping all of that info to themselves, they've created a bonus course called "The Profitable Teacher" that walks you through the entire process of creating and launching a successful course. For a limited time, they are giving this course (as well as several additional bonuses) away for free to anyone who signs up for a paid Teachable plan (even the Basic plan.)
As you can see, no platform is perfect, but there's a lot to like about Teachable.
Thanks for checking out my review!