This is a rather interesting website where you can create online courses and sell them. Of course, you need to have a skill, or some kind of knowledge worthy of crafting a course to teach people about it. But supposedly, doing so can be extremely profitable. Can you really make money with Teachable.com?
This is what I wanted to know, so I decided to take a closer look at it.
Making Money With Teachable.com
The first thing to talk about is what Teachable.com offers.
On the landing page, you can see that they label their website as a place to ‘create and sell beautiful online courses.’They also say this.
“Your skills and experiences are unique and valuable. Easily build a beautiful course website, share your knowledge, and be rewarded for it.”
Of course, right out of the gate, I do know this… that you have to have some kind of marketable skill or knowledge to make use of this site. If you don’t really know about anything well enough to design a course for it, then you will probably have to educate yourself before you will be ready to make any money using Teachable.com.
But—with that being said, most people do have some kind of skill that they could design a course for. I could also see how you might have to do a bit of your own marketing to make money with something like this. There is doubtlessly traffic on the website, for sure—but it seems to me like people who actually market their own courses would probably make more.
This means that people who are already good marketers, or people with a thriving social media presence to start with, would have an upper-hand where selling courses are concerned.
I feel like it is safe to say that this is not an opportunity for everyone… but if you have the means and the knowledge to create, and market, an online course of some kind—then this website could definitely help you to do it, save you a lot of time and hassle, and give you a platform to work from.
And that is why we are going to talk about it in today’s post.
The Importance Of The ‘Side Hustle’
As you probably know, I write a lot about side hustles on this website, and I have a very good reason for this. I firmly believe that the best way to get ‘on top’ of your financial situation, regardless of where you are in life, is to increase the number of revenue streams coming into your bank accounts at any given time.
Obviously, the more money and resources you have to work with, the better—but for most people, getting started on the right foot means not being required to invest a lot in a particular side-hustle, while still being able to put in some time to earn some extra cash on the side.
But side hustles need to be ‘profitable’ to make them worth the time… which brings us to this question.
Is the side-hustle potential of Teachable.com worth it in the long run?
Let’s take a closer look at it.
Digging A Bit Deeper Into Teachable.com
On the landing page, I was able to learn some vital statistics about the site. For starters, I learned that there are more than 7 million students learning on the site at any given time. I also learned that there are over 34,000 active courses, designed by over 22,000 active instructors.
But… what really excited me was the fact that $100 million had been earned, thus far, by instructors over Teachable.com.
That is a LOT of money!
So I started looking into how to get a piece of this ‘pie,’ so to speak, and here is what I found out.
To get started on this site, all you have to do is create your ‘page,’ and start designing courses. They actually feature a pretty informative video to help new users to understand how the site works. You can access this video from the landing page if you scroll down a little bit.
Essentially, you can design courses using all kinds of elements. Here's what a basic course layout will look like:
You can record or upload videos, audio, PDFs, graphics, images, etc.
For your landing page, you can design it like most other landing pages. You won't have as much versatility as if you were using something like Thrive or Elementor, but you can use Teachable's builder to customize some colors and basic layouts.
Users would pay you for your courses, which consist of several lessons that go together to make a complete ‘course,’ and would then gain access to all of those course materials so that they can learn at their own pace.
You can also upload many different courses, and they even give you the ability to upsell your clients to different courses through your online storefront.
As far as building your page goes, everything seems to be pretty much ‘click and drag.’ It looks very similar to using a site like Wix.com or a platform like WordPress, except that it really seems like coding, or needing to be able to write in HTML, is not a requirement for using this. They also let you customize pretty much every facet of your online school.
How Much Can You Earn On Teachable.com?
The site makes it clear that getting started is free. But you will quickly find that there is little to be done on this site before buying a subscription. Take a look at these monthly pricing plan options.
So here, you can see that $39 per month gets you the basic package. For this, the company charges 5% transaction fees… but they also give you monthly payouts, unlimited video, unlimited courses, unlimited students, unlimited hosting, basic quizzes, no fees on free courses, etc. And of course, this is all supplied on larger plans as well—plus a lot more! 5% isn't bad for a $40/month fee.
You can use your own domain if you want to, which is pretty awesome… or you can use a Teachable.com domain.
As for pricing courses, you actually have a lot of different options. You can offer them…
- For free
- For subscription
- For a one-time fee
- With payment plans
You also have the option of editing, deleting, restoring, and/or closing courses at any point. Adding bonuses regularly seems to be a popular option with the courses I've tried, and it makes a great excuse to email your students with new offers.
I took a look at what some other developers/teachers are charging for their courses and found some pretty awesome stuff. For example, I found that one guy was offering a course on becoming a VR developer for $297. I found a course about watercolor art for $67, and even found cake-making courses ranging in price from $25 to $147!
Obviously, there is a lot of variety here—and people charge different amounts for their courses, depending on what they are and on how much material is available for the price. I noticed that a lot of teachers were offering a free course or two to give users a taste of what they had to offer—which seems to be a pretty good idea if you want to get more attention and show your audience what you have to teach them.
Another great strategy is to offer your course for $97, then set a timeline where the price will go up to $197. The price increase will be an incentive to join sooner rather than later. After that, you can offer additional bonus material to “add value” for further price increase, then discounts from time to time.
How much can you earn?
The short answer is that you can earn quite a bit on this site. Some people even earn 6 figures a year here! But… with that being said, this site isn’t necessarily going to prove to be an awesome side hustle unless you can somehow get web-traffic into your school—and that is the challenge associated with it.
Want some proof? I ran a promotion for a great SEO course, and these were the results. Not a ton of sales for this promo, but if I'm earning, the course creator is earning.
Which brings me back to the beginning – those who know how to market themselves will be the most successful with teachable. Part of that marketing effort is making connections on social media, or finding affiliates.
Chris Lee is a friend of mine, and SEO expert. Chris is working to build his Twitter profile, grow his website, and create a brand outside of Teachable. These social media connections and website traffic can send referrals to his own course (no need for affiliates in this case!).
You can find affiliates for your courses too! It will be a different promotional strategy than just recommending the course, but finding people who want to make money by promoting you is definitely a viable way to make money with Teachable. Have the affiliates do the heavy lifting, then pay them 50%. That's passive income baby.
Want to learn how to drive traffic to your course and find affiliates to promote you? Learn how to build a website, find keywords, and grow organic traffic the same way I do it.
The Main Problems With Teachable.com As A Side Hustle
This is not necessarily one of those side-hustles that you can just work on in your spare time, when you get the time. The main issue is that, since it charges you a monthly fee to use the site, you are forced to either hit it really hard, or just forgo it altogether. To make this site work for you, you would need to be able to drive traffic to your online courses.
You would also need to be able to offer marketable knowledge to people that would cause them to want to pay you for what you could teach them.
And on top of this, you would have to spend the time to build the courses, design your page, and create incentives for people to want to sign up. You might even need to design some free courses to get people interested.
So, for the right kind of person, this could be a gold-mine. If you want this to be more of a “passive” stream, you need to at the very least, build enough organic traffic interest to send new leads to your course monthly. Having it sit on Teachable.com just waiting for accidental discovery is a recipe for just paying out monthly fees and not making any revenue.
If you have a huge social media following, or already have some kind of an audience who might pay for courses if you decided to offer them, then this may be perfect for you. But if not, be ready to really, really work for your success on Teachable.com. It is certainly not impossible to make work, but it would be a challenge—and you would have to grind hard for it to get it to work for you.
Oh, on a side note, there are other services that work in a similar way to Teachable.com. Thinkific is one example and Skillshare is another. If you don't like some aspects of Teachable.com, you might find that one of these alternatives works well for you.
What Are Some Course Ideas?
It's dinner time, and I gotta go eat, but I'll leave you with a couple of ideas of what you could make a course about. Also, just browse Teachable.com/examples or this post about discovering what your profitable course idea will be.
- how to build a website
- how to make a cake
- cooking with kids
- build a custom shed
- digital audio editing
- building a resumé
- how to write a romance novel
- how to self publish books
- Christmas decoration ideas
- puppy training
- meditation 101
- yoga (all styles and levels)
Got a course idea? Leave it below in the comments!