What are 5 of the best online course platforms that Teacherpreneurs use to run their businesses? In this post we will look at Kartra, Thinkific, Teachable, Learndash and Ruskhu and evaluate them on ease of use, price and value for money.
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When you work online as a tutor or teacher one of the best things you can do for your students and for yourself is start creating courses. Why is this important?
Firstly, it helps you to build your authority in your niche which is ideal to be able to position yourself for attraction marketing purposes.
Attraction marketing, is when prospective visitors to your website or blog start to navigate more towards you because of the content that you are producing.
This is important because it enables you to start to build relationships with your visitors who will hopefully become your clients.
Secondly, courses are a valuable resource that you can either use in your lessons and / or you can also sell them as part of your services / products to your clients. For example, you could create one large course that you build gradually but you could also create smaller, specific courses that are more niche and potentially more useful to your clients as a result even though they are smaller, as long as they are well presented. You may also be able to charge a little bit more for them also.
If you would like to learn how to start your online private tutoring business where you can sell your lessons and courses to online students, have a look at our 5 day Teacherpreneur Crash Course.
WHAT ARE ONLINE PLATFORMS?
Online platforms are systems of online learning so they are often referred to as Learning management systems (LMS). On these LMS a student can take lessons which are often presented as a digital or virtual course.
These online courses are prsented by a teacher of specialist of that field as the course often includes video tutorials, PDF’s, audio, image and text as a means to engage and educate the student.
Is our number one choice, that is because we have used many of the course platforms that are mentioned below but they did always seem to miss the main feature of selling courses which is the ability to successfully integrate the marketing and selling part of this – so the emails, into a website. For a monthly subscription fee of $99 we found that Kartra gave us the best bang for our buck as we have no other digital software courses after this and most importantly they take ZERO transaction fee per sale.
Kartra is really the platform for professionals as it also includes landing pages, a video editing centre, e-shop (great for facilitating payments for your courses / ebooks and more) email CRM system, lead systems, online forms etc. The best part is that all seamlessly integrates easily and quickly so that you can focus on teaching and managing your business. Not spending hours cobbling together parts of different subscriptions that may or may not work together.
We also like that in Kartra you can set different levels of access, from free to up to six other levels – each one having a different price point. This is an extremely valuable feature for marketing purposes that many other course providers have overlooked. Kartra is very easy to use with a simple drag and drop editor. No coding required!
Kartra also gives the biggest selection of diversity for format inclusions. With the Kartra course platform you can create booking schedules for classes and seminars for students, you can provide all lessons in all formats: video / audio / text / PDF etc. But you can also allow students to download workbooks / ebooks and literally anything you wish to include as either parts of your course or as special bonuses.
The email system that is also included in Karta and not in any of the others listed below is partiulary powerful and useful and allows you to organise your information very easily such as organising your students into certain lists, given them access to certain parts when completed and more.
Kartra is our number one choice for a course platform but now let’s look at some others.
Is our second choice of online course platform for it’s simple ease of use. It’s first option of just one course is $49 per month. It also has a drag and drop editor but for some of the other features such as those included in Kartra you will have to upgrade to the Pro package which is $499 a month.
They have a $99 a month package also where you can connect another email integration system like Aweber. But Aweber is also a monthly payable subscription that can cost $149 a month so although it is possible, it was not the most economic in the long run.
Teachable is our third choice for best online course creator. Whilst is starts at $29 a month, it also takes 5% of all payments and does not offer a custom domain possibility like Kartra includes. We find for online private tutors that part of successful marketing is in being able to brand yourself or your business as it sets you apart from the rest, so for us a domain that does not read teachablexxx.com is the best solution. Of course you can upgrade to the next level at $99 but again it does not include all the other features that Kartra gives for the same price.
Again a drag and drop editor in Teachable is applicable.
Fourth for the best online course platform is Learndash. Learndash is a paid plugin for WordPress users costing $229 a year. If you are a wordpress user this could be an option for you. Know that you will also need Woocommerce subscriptions at $199 and quite possible Memberpress at $249 Plus your email CRM from anything from $49 per month plus. So although we wanted to include a wordpress option for wordpress users it does start to add up and at the end of the day this is still only just for the course platform and not any lead pages, websites or any other features.
Is our fifth choice for best online course platform. Whilst it is easy to use and features a drag and drop editor also, it doesn’t include a Email CRM system, marketing tools, lead pages or a website.
However it does for the middle option of $83 a month allow you unlimited students and zero transaction fees and allows you to upload unlimited data which Thinkific and Teachable certainly limit unless you take their pro plan.
Phew … there is plenty for you to investigate now. Online courses are a great way to create and build relationships with your clients. However it also depends on the quality of the course – what you put inside it counts.
Online courses are also great because once you have done one, it is a constant source of passive income that can really improve your income.
So once you have the course up and running you need to know how to market it. We include exclusive marketing strategies and methods in our 5 day crash course and right now it is hugely reduced, so take a peak here.