Top 4 Online Learning Platforms Evaluated

Trying to decide which online learning platform is right for your class?

Congratulations, you’ve decided to share your talents with the world by teaching a class online! You’ve taken an important step, but things can get pretty confusing from here. There are a bunch of different ways to teach online that will allow you to share your newly created class, but each online learning platform offers something different that can make or break your success. We’ve looked through what Skillshare, Teachable, Udemy, and Youtube have to offer, so you can pick the online learning platform that works best for you.

Class Creation: Choosing Content and Posting Your Class

Getting your class started can be an overwhelming task, from deciding on a topic to teach online to figuring out how to film and merchandize your class, it's important that you're using an online learning platform with all the right tools.

  • Teachable a self-hosting platform, gives you the tools to build your own website, but it's then up to you to design and merchandize your classes. Courses on each self-hosted website created through Teachable can also vary in length.
  • While Udemy hosts content in their own marketplace, classes can range from 1 to 12 hours. There is a minimum requirement of 30 minutes of video, but the varying course lengths make classes less accessible to people who may be interested in learning a skill at a more rapid pace.
  • As for YouTube, there is no real standard for the type of content that can be submitted to the site. Educational pieces don’t necessarily need to teach a specific skill, and can be promotional in nature.
  • At Skillshare, we make sure that teaching online is easy, from first time teachers to professional bloggers. We help you through the course creation process with our monthly teach challenge, and provide resources through our Teacher Handbook and our blog that help you make the best quality class. Classes must be skill based and at least 10 minutes in length, and uploading your video to our online learning platform is easy, so students can find bite size classes that encourage learning a little bit each day.

Marketing: Building a following and Accessing a Student Community

Once your class is ready to be shared, it's important to think through your distribution and marketing plans, and figure out what online teaching platform offers the highest level of student engagement. Here’s a quick look at how the platforms lineup:

A breakdown of online learning platforms 

Of all the marketing tools, the ability to build a subscription and create a student following is key, and both Teachable and Udemy don’t provide this option. Skillshare makes it easy for students to subscribe to their favorite teacher and get notifications every time you add a new class. This will help you build a following and makes sure that you have a built in network of people you can already market to. Joining Skillshare means joining a community of students and teachers who can view and provide feedback on any student projects. This creates optimal student engagement, and can bring students to your class organically.

Christine teaching on the online learning platform Skillshare

Making Money: Maximize Your Earnings

Most importantly, choosing a platform that helps you earn money through your class content is key. Every platform offers a different payment structure.

  • Teachable allows you set your own price for your classes, but they take a 10% commission and $1 fixed fee on your classes if you’re on the free plan, or a flat monthly fee if you’re on some of their paid plans.
  • While you can also set the price of your course on Udemy, the earnings you make depends on how the student finds the class. Unless you refer a student directly, Udemy takes 50% commission for each student enrollment. Udemy can also run promotions without your consent that can significantly slash your class price and make revenue unpredictable.
  • Earning money on YouTube is a challenge as well-- once you’ve become a Youtube Partner, on average you can make only $7.50 per 1,000 views.
  • At Skillshare, your earnings are steady. You can think about revenue in terms of your channel overall-- it's not about how much you earn per student or class, but about how much you earn per month. Our top 100 teachers made an average of $1500 this month! Our subscription model makes it easier to get students on Skillshare to access your class--  since Skillshare students have unlimted access to every class, there’s no additional barrier to enrolling in yours.