This Teachable review is part of a series I’m focusing on tools and platforms to help side hustlers grow their businesses. I’ve been using the platform for over two years now, and I’m going to share what my experience has been like.
What do you need to create an online course? Ideally, you would have a custom course platform built on your site, but that’s expensive because you have to pay a developer to create that for you.
Or you can piece software together – a video hosting service, e-commerce platform, website hosting, LMS plug-in, etc.
Then there’s an easier and more affordable option for beginners: an out-of-the-box platform like Teachable.
Teachable is what I’ve used to create two courses and generate over seven figures in course revenue in just over two years. Learn about my experience and how to get started with Teachable.
Teachable Review | Is This the Best Course Platform for Beginners?
What is Teachable?
Teachable is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that you can use to create, host, and sell online courses and coaching programs. It’s a single-hosted solution that gives you the infrastructure to create your educational products.
Since it was relaunched in 2015 (Teachable was originally founded as Fedora in 2013), Teachable has been used by over 100,000 course creators to generate over $500 million in sales.
Teachable has tiered pricing starting at $29/month – this is for the Basic plan when billed annually. The Pro Plan ($99/month when billed annually) comes with a 14-day free trial.
All of the plans come with unlimited videos, courses, and hosting. You also get integrated payment processing, student management, lecture comments, basic quizzes, no fees on free courses, and VAT for the EU.
Here are the additional features you get with each plan:
Creating online courses and coaching with Teachable
After you sign up for Teachable, you’ll start by creating your Teachable School. This is the main website to host your content and courses.
You can customize your schools with branding, descriptions, and list all of the courses you run through Teachable. You can also add and customize pages to your school using a drag-and-drop editor.
Here’s an example of what a Teachable School looks like:
Your actual products (courses and/or coaching) are packages of content you upload and organize onto the platform, and each course will have its own sales pages – more on selling features in the next section of my Teachable review.
But first, let me explain how Teachable software guides you through the process of creating your products.
On the left side of your Teachable dashboard (seen below), there is a spot that says Products, and you can click on that or the plus (+) icon to add a product.
You will be prompted by screens for:
- Naming your coaching service
- Setting a client intake flow – you can either do this directly with just an intake form, or with an intake form and your approval
- Setting the price – can do subscription, one-time payment, or payment plan
- Set when the course starts – fixed or on the enrollment date
- Add the first milestone – what your student will work on
- Review the information
Once you’ve reviewed everything, your service will show up under products. But before it goes live, you should add an image, description, and information about the instructor.
Teachable has native support for Calendly so you can view your upcoming coaching appointments.
The last step is to click on “Make Visible,” and this publishes the product on your site. If you want to create hidden or private coaching sessions, you don’t have to click the “Make Visible” button, and you can share the direct link for that product listing.
Now, if you set up your course to include an intake form, you’ll need to set that up – the intake form is edited as a block on the sales page editor for that product. Intake forms are unique to coaching products and they let you get to know a little more about who you are about to work with.
I also mentioned milestones, which set goals or a focus for your sessions. You can create milestones for upcoming sessions, and even add files if you want your student to review or read something before you meet.
You can also upsell coaching products to students in your courses. This gives them an optional support component, and they can be added as individual lectures or course pages.
You’re going to start in the same place you did for creating a coaching product – your teaching admin area or dashboard.
Again, you’re walked through prompts that ask you to:
- Create a course title
- Create a subtitle
- Select an author – course Author Bios are blocks that go on the sales page for your course
- Pick a category – helps students search your school for courses if you have multiple ones
Each course has an SEO area where you can make the sales page more search-friendly. You’ll be able to edit the URL, page title, and meta description.
Then it’s time to start adding course content. Teachable has content organized by sections and lectures. Sections are groupings of lectures – I’ve always called these modules, and lectures are individual lessons.
Below you can get a sense of how these are organized in the course creator, and the red arrow points to where you click to add new sections.
Lectures are created by adding files to your course, and you can bulk upload files, including PDFs, videos, and images. Each file becomes its own lecture, so make sure you go through and edit the names to match the lesson.
You have a few options for customizing lectures and adding components, including:
- Text blocks
- Quizzes, both graded and non-graded
- Comment boxes for students
- Embedded forms
You can also give potential students the option to preview select lectures. This is a good way to show them what the course format is like.
Teachable also lets you set course compliance and create certifications. Compliance ensures students move through the content in a specific order, complete lectures, etc. And certificates can be automatically or manually delivered to students who complete your courses. Certificates are fully customizable.
Just like coaching products, you can add pricing plans for each of your courses, including free, one-time, or payment plans. You can even sell recurring course memberships that give students monthly access to all of the courses in your school.
You can also create course coupons and tiered pricing for course bundles. Below is an example of how that might look to students. This gives you the chance to upsell other products.
Teachable also has a drip content feature so you can release content to students on a specific date or so many days after enrollment, instead of giving them access to the entire course at once. If you set your course up for drip content, Teachable will send emails when lessons are unlocked.
More Teachable features
- Teachable dashboard: This is your administrative homepage. It’s where you access courses, student information, sales pages, analytics, emails, site design, and more. It has a live news feed running along the right side of the page to give you updates on enrollments and when students log in.
- Create custom domains: Teachable comes with a default Teachable subdomain, but you can also create your own domain or transfer an existing one.
- Liquid on Teachable: Liquid is an open-source template language developed by Shopify.
- Facebook tracking Pixels: If you’re running Facebook ads for your course, this can help you track and retarget your ads.
- Power Editor: Developers can use this to make changes to your Teachable template code
- Add a blog: You can create a blog right on Teachable, but I highly recommend going with a WordPress blog hosted by Bluehost, which you can integrate with your Teachable site.
- Payments through Stripe and PayPal: Teachable processes payment through these two platforms. For instructor payouts, there is no delay through Stripe, but there is a 30-day delay on PayPal payouts.
- BackOffice: This is an optional service that helps you manage affiliate and author payments and author tax forms, but there is an additional 2% fee-per-transaction to use it.
- Course emails: You can send bulk emails, contact individual students, or usw segmentation. All Teachable students will see an opt-in/opt-out form when they enroll in your school.
- Customizable Facebook sharing information: Instead of letting Facebook generate sharing information, you can create specific information for title, description, and meta tag.
- School affiliate program: Create an affiliate program so students who promote your course receive a percentage of revenue when someone signs up through their link. Affiliates can be school-wide or course-specific.
I want to point out integrations specifically in my Teachable review because I use several of them for my courses. Currently, Teachable offers integrations for:
- Google Analytics
Zapier is what I’ve been using to connect a third-party cart option. I used ThriveCart, which is a great cart and payment system – I use it because Teachable didn’t have all of the options I wanted when I first started using it. Now they do, but I still use ThriveCart because I’m comfortable with it.
Teachable’s security features
One of the reasons I’ve chosen Teachable for my courses is because of the security features. I want to make sure all content and data is secure for both me and my students.
Teachable security includes:
- Seamless hosting
- You retain ownership of all of the data you collect from your students and courses
- 24/7 monitoring to protect you from outages
- Instant upgrades
- 2048-bit SSL certificate to secure your student’s login and checkout information
- Teachable only works with PCI level-1 compliant payment providers
Why I chose Teachable for my courses
When I was researching options, Teachable kept popping up, and it was highly recommended by blogger friends who were already using it for their courses. I honestly didn’t want to spend a lot of time learning how to code a course or spend money paying a developer to design a dedicated course site for me.
Teachable looked like an easy, out-of-the-box solution that allowed me to quickly get my course up and running. And the truth is that it definitely lived up to those expectations.
I’ve been using Teachable for a little over two years, and I have two courses on the site: Facebook Side Hustle Course and Facebook Ads for Bloggers. My first course had a six-figure launch back in 2018, and Teachable made it easy to manage all of those incoming students.
As an instructor, I feel it’s a really good course solution on my end, but I have heard complaints from students that the sign-up process is clunky. In Teachable reviews from students, they’ve said that it can get a little confusing when you want to log into the course. I’ve always been able to explain and resolve this issue early on, though.
My only other complaint is that course content doesn’t deliver well on the Teachable app for mobile. In my experience, most people prefer to take their courses via computer, but this is still worth pointing out.
What other tools and software I recommend for courses
If you’re looking for software to help you design and sell your courses, I want to give you my top picks. Full disclosure, I’m an affiliate for a couple of these products, but I use all of them:
- Canva is a graphic design software for beginners, and it’s really useful for creating professional-looking images. Read my Canva review to learn more about pricing (there is a free option!) and how to use it.
- Grammarly is editing software that will help you polish your course text until it’s error-free. My editor wrote a Grammarly review that explains what the software does.
- Active Campaign is my preferred email service provider, and I use it to create custom email automation and funnels.
- Loom is the software I use to create videos with screen sharing for my courses.
- Asana is a project management software you can use to plan your courses.
Teachable Review: Pros and Cons
Teachable Review: The final word
All in all, I think Teachable is a solid course creation platform. I’ve been incredibly happy with my experience using it, and my students have seen great results with what they’re learning in my courses – that’s a strong recommendation in my book.
If I do move away from the software it will be for a custom-designed course platform, but that’s not where most people start – it’s way too expensive for most new solopreneurs.
But that’s why I like Teachable. You can create a course that is customized to your business and student’s needs without the high cost of doing it on your own.