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6 Best Online Course Platforms for Solopreneurs

Our Top Pick: Thinkific

Our top choice for its flexible pricing model and robust feature set, Thinkific is a great platform for solopreneurs looking to build courses. Their free plan makes it easy to get started, their drag-and-drop course builder is easy to use, and their 0% transaction fee means you keep what you make. All around, it's a winning platform.

Runners-Up

Best Course Marketplace

Best App

Easiest Funnel Builder

As a solopreneur, you have information. By sharing that information, you can establish thought leadership, network, and make money.

But how do you get your courses online, where others can sign up and complete them?

That’s where the right online course platform can help.

Here’s a quick list of our top online course platforms for solopreneurs:

  1. Thinkific
  2. Udemy
  3. Teachable
  4. Podia
  5. Kajabi
  6. Skillshare

What Is an Online Course Platform?

It’s never been easier to learn. From the comfort of your home, you can take courses toward certification or a degree, or you can simply further your education.

This ease of learning is in large part due to the number of online courses available. Colleges and universities have their own online offerings, but you don’t have to be a professional educator to teach an online course. You just need some learning materials and a place to provide them, and you’re good to go.

But the big question is, where do you provide those learning materials? An online course platform will not only host your courses, but it can also help you accept payments, manage access, chat with participants, and more.

With all that clarified, let’s look at some of the best online course platforms for solopreneurs.

1. Thinkific

Entry-Level PriceFree
Free TrialN/A
Rating5 out of 5

Thinkific is designed specifically for the unique course-building needs of entrepreneurs. Templates give you a head start in creating attractive courses, and the drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to add your content.

With Thinkific, you’ll get all the features of an online learning platform in one streamlined package. The platform supports both video and text-based materials, and you can add quizzes and surveys to your courses, as well.

What really sets Thinkific apart, though, is its community-building capabilities. You can host live courses and set aside a section of your classroom for students to interact with each other. Notifications let you alert students when there’s something that needs their attention.

Thinkific offers a free plan that lets you post one course and set up one community to try things out. A basic plan at $36 a month allows unlimited courses and unlimited students. You’ll pay no transaction fees, even on the free plan.

Pros of Thinkific

  • Templates for easy course creation
  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor
  • Live lessons and interactive community
  • Compatible with many popular third-party apps
  • Payment processing with no transaction fees

Cons of Thinkific

  • Only one community provided with free and basic plans
  • No browsable catalog of courses
  • No site-hosted marketing opportunities
  • No built-in email tool

Give Thinkific a shot here.

2. Udemy

Entry-Level PriceFree
Free TrialN/A
Rating4.75 out of 5

With more than 200,000 courses and more than 59,000 learners, Udemy is a user-friendly option that makes it easy to upload your courses. It’s free to use, but Udemy takes a percentage of your revenue. If you bring the students, you’ll keep 97 percent of anything you earn, but that drops to 37 percent if the students find you through the Udemy platform.

Udemy content is video based, so you’ll need to have at least 30 minutes of video for each course. Each course will also need at least five learning modules.

If you’re new to course creation, Udemy is a great place to start. You’ll get plenty of support, and the interface makes uploading your materials easy.

What’s really great about Udemy, though, is the free exposure you’ll get. Udemy has its own built-in customer base who can discover your courses through the platform. You can also join their email blasts, site-wide promotions, and affiliate marketing efforts to reach even more potential students.

Pros of Udemy

  • Large built-in audience
  • Free to join and post courses
  • Great revenue-share deal for students you bring
  • Easy for beginners
  • Site-sponsored marketing opportunities

Cons of Udemy

  • Lower earnings on Udemy-referred students
  • Video courses required
  • Heavy competition can make reaching new students tough
  • No customized branding allowed
  • Udemy sets policies and can change them without notice

Give Udemy a shot here.

3. Teachable

Entry-Level PriceFree
Free TrialN/A
Rating4.5 out of 5

If you’re hoping to monetize your courses, Teachable can be a great choice. You can upload courses and drive traffic there, with the site handling payment processing for you.

Once you set up an account on Teachable, you have your own school that serves as your learning environment. There, you can start creating courses using the drag-and-drop builder, integrate with apps like MailChimp and Google Analytics, and add quizzes and certifications.

Teachable has tiered pricing, starting with a free plan that lets you set up one course. Paid plans start at $39 per month. On the lower-tier plans, you’ll also pay a fee on each transaction, but that fee is waived if you choose either a Pro or Business plan.

Pros of Teachable

  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop course builder
  • Free for one course
  • Quizzes and certifications can easily be added
  • Teachable app lets students take courses on the go
  • Coaching feature allows you to offer one-on-one help

Cons of Teachable

  • Transaction fees on lower-tier plans
  • Monthly fees for more than one course start at $39 a month
  • No browsable catalog of courses
  • Cost can be high for casual users

Give Teachable a shot here.

4. Podia

Entry-Level PriceFree
Free TrialN/A
Rating4.25 out of 5

Podia is a course platform that can serve as a website, classroom, and product catalog. This all-in-one service is especially useful if you’re hoping to sell products or services in addition to your courses.

With Podia, you can upload unlimited videos and course content, using their drag-and-drop builder to arrange it all. You can also add quizzes and offer payment plans and upsells. Podia supports drip content, which simply means you can release content to users based on criteria. For instance, only provide an upper-level course once certain prerequisite courses have been taken.

Podia has a free plan with all the features of its higher-tier offerings. However, with the free plan, you’ll pay an 8 percent transaction fee. For those offering free or low-price content, this might be a better deal than with some competitors. Paid plans start at $33 a month and come with no transaction fees.

Pros of Podia

  • Free plan offers all the features of the paid plans
  • Upsells and payment plans make it easy to monetize your courses
  • Website builder lets you create a full website to go with your classroom
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Integrates with many popular services
  • Affiliate program included with some plans

Cons of Podia

  • The vast number of features can make it overwhelming
  • High transaction fee on free plan
  • Course compliance features are lacking
  • No mobile app available

Give Podia a shot here.

5. Kajabi

Entry-Level Price$119 / month
Free TrialYes
Rating4.25 out of 5

Another all-in-one platform is Kajabi, which offers course hosting, website hosting, email marketing, and dedicated podcast marketing tools. Kajabi is on the pricier end of online course platforms, so it’s best for solopreneurs looking for a full online marketing solution.

Templates and intuitive design tools make it easy to create attractive courses with this platform. You can build mini-courses or full online courses using the tools, hosting it all within your Kajabi account.

Kajabi easily integrates with both Stripe and Paypal to process all your payments, and a mobile app means students can access your courses from a smartphone or tablet. The built-in marketing tools let you alert subscribers to new modules and remind them of upcoming events.

Pros of Kajabi

  • Free 14-day trial
  • No transaction fees
  • Templates and themes to make course creation easy
  • Integration with Stripe and PayPal
  • Mobile app available

Cons of Kajabi

  • Pricey in comparison to other tools
  • No free plan
  • Payment limited to Stripe and PayPal
  • Membership features aren’t sophisticated

Give Kajabi a shot here.

6. Skillshare

Entry-Level PriceFree
Free TrialN/A
Rating4 out of 5

Skillshare is a great fit for solopreneurs in creative fields like design or photography. You demonstrate various aspects of your job to an audience of engaged community members. You can also refer your own students to the platform.

What sets Skillshare apart is the course content itself. Members join the site to improve their website design skills or learn how to make professional-quality TikTok videos. It’s a great way to establish thought leadership in your field.

Courses on Skillshare are video-based, so you’ll need to be comfortable on camera. You should also be prepared to demonstrate your lessons through screen-sharing or slide presentations. Once you’ve posted your content, Skillshare recommends engaging with your community by providing feedback to students and being available to answer questions.

What most appeals to me about Skillshare, though, is the way it encourages participants to learn and grow as teachers. Skillshare’s teacher programs help you earn badges and improve as a course instructor.

Pros of Skillshare

  • Free to join and post courses
  • Courses displayed to an engaged, active community
  • Earn royalties on every minute of video watched
  • Referral program pays you for new students you bring
  • Plenty of support and advancement opportunities for teachers

Cons of Skillshare

  • Success on the platform might not directly benefit your business
  • The only revenue comes from royalties on minutes watched
  • All content is video based
  • Certifications typically aren’t recognized by businesses and colleges
  • Limited to creative courses

Give Skillshare a shot here.

Why should I teach online courses as a solopreneur?

The important question is, why should you teach courses? It takes time out of your busy day, after all. You can get a few benefits out of teaching online, including:

  • If you charge, you can bring in a little extra income for your business
  • You’ll establish thought leadership within your industry
  • Interacting with customers helps build long-term loyalty
  • You’ll continue to learn and grow as you teach others

One thing that’s clear from those benefits is that making money isn’t the only goal. Even if you charge nothing at all for your courses, teaching will help you build long-term relationships with colleagues and customers. So you might not make money today, but the long-tail rewards could make it well worth it.

How do solopreneurs make the most of online course platforms?

Finding the right platform is only the beginning.

The next step is to create engaging content. With each course, students should walk away having learned something valuable. If you can make it fun and engaging, even better.

Once you’ve started posting your coursework, it’s time to get eyeballs on it. Even if you’ve chosen an online course platform jam-packed with students, it can’t hurt to bring your own students over. Make sure you mention your courses in all the places you market to new customers, including your website, social media posts, paid ads, and in-person networking events.

How do solopreneurs learn to create content for online course platforms?

Now, for the key question. What do you teach?

This starts by taking a step back and looking at what you’ve learned as a solopreneur. What were the most valuable lessons for you?

Most importantly, what do you know that would be valuable to others in your industry?

Plan out what you’ll teach in advance, then get started. You can also take advantage of all the helpful “how to” videos online course platforms offer. Remember, it gets easier with practice, so don’t expect to be a pro teacher right out of the gate.

Final thoughts on online course platforms for solopreneurs

Whether you’re interested in establishing thought leadership, connecting with consumers, or simply sharing your knowledge with others, the internet makes it easy. But with so many online course platforms, it can be tough for solopreneurs to choose just one.

The first step is to decide exactly how you plan to use your online courses. If you’re hoping to make money, you can quickly shorten your list to those that let you take payments. Then, it’s all about finding a platform that will host the type of content you plan to create and help you get it in front of students.

Most importantly, though, you should have fun with it. When you’re clearly enjoying teaching, students will enjoy learning from you. And that will hopefully convert to more sales for your business.

With all that out of the way, it’s time to start creating your courses. Ready, set, go!

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