Should You Avoid Platforms Like Teachable, Udemy, and Skillshare?

by | Comparison

A few years ago, I read Dany Iny’s book Teach and Grow Rich, an obvious play on the ever-popular Think and Grow Rich.

It’s an important—and underrated—book that opens the mind to a new world of opportunity that most don’t know exists: Teaching what you know online.

Don’t think someone would pay to know what you know?

Think again.

Just my business alone serves course creators who teach marriage, front office training, graduate program management training, guitar lessons, and more.

I’m aware of people who make a living online teaching others how to do everything from passing their SATs and ACTs to raising goats.

If you know it, you can teach it, and someone will pay for it.

Once a person has this realization and sees the opportunity, they will often go looking for a place to share their knowledge.

Given this, the online education market has grown rapidly in recent years, and platforms like Teachable, Udemy, and Skillshare have become household names.

These platforms offer a wide range of courses, from coding and web design to art and wellness.

They have made it easier for people to learn new skills and generate income from their expertise.

And while there is much to love, not everything about these platforms is perfect.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of using Teachable, Udemy, and Skillshare, and whether you should avoid them.

Pros of Using Teachable, Udemy, and Skillshare

Accessibility and Affordability

These platforms have made it possible for learners worldwide to access courses in various subjects at affordable prices.

The course catalog is enormous and caters to different skill levels and interests.

What’s cool is that online courses are often more practical than theoretical, allowing people to learn what they want, when they want to, at a price that makes sense.

In fact—I would venture to say that many career paths need little more than a few online courses to get started.

College and advanced learning are necessary for some industries (think medical), but their necessity is waning writ large.

Passive Income for Creators

For instructors, these platforms offer the opportunity to generate passive income by creating and selling courses.

The platforms handle marketing, sales, and hosting, making it easy for creators to focus on developing high-quality content.

Truth to be told, once you get your thoughts outlined and videos recorded, you could be selling your material in a matter of hours on these platforms.

It’s a quick path to some passive income, and it will always live there so you can continue to point more and more people to your courses.

Flexible Learning Experience

Online courses provide flexibility for learners, as they can access the content at their convenience.

This freedom has made it easier for people with busy schedules to learn new skills without compromising their daily commitments.

Once again—this is a tremendous advance over traditional forms of higher education and is one of the reasons that the online education market is exploding.

Cons of Using Teachable, Udemy, and Skillshare

Saturation and Competition

The market is becoming saturated with courses, making it harder for creators to stand out from the competition.

As a result, instructors need to invest more time and resources in marketing their courses to attract students.

This can be challenging for those who are new to the platform or lack marketing skills.

Additionally, there is only minimal (if any) branding and customization allowed on these platforms.

If your goal is to create a branded experience that is uniquely yours, these platforms may be too inflexible for you.

Quality Control Issues

While there are many high-quality courses available, there is also a fair share of poorly-produced content.

With the platforms having a limited quality control system, it’s up to the users to sift through the available courses and find the ones that meet their needs.

You’ll have to work extra hard to stand out, and you may even need to create free content on platforms like YouTube to get enough interest into your courses.

Revenue Sharing and Pricing

The platforms take a significant percentage of the course sales revenue.

In some cases, this can be as high as 50%!

This means that creators need to generate a substantial number of sales to make a reasonable income.

Additionally, these platforms often run promotions and discounts, which can further reduce the earnings for creators.

Make no mistake, it might be easy to get going on these platforms, but you will pay for it in the long run.

These are companies that have to make money—which is fine!—just be sure you understand the transaction that is taking place and you deem the convenience to be worth the value.

Alternatives to Teachable, Udemy, and Skillshare

If you’re considering avoiding these platforms, there are two main alternative options to consider:

Partner with Industry-Specific Platforms

Niche platforms cater to specific industries, such as coding or design. Partnering with these platforms can help you reach a more targeted audience and potentially generate higher revenue.

Here are some examples across various niches and industries:

  • Codecademy (Programming and Coding): Codecademy offers interactive coding courses in various programming languages, such as Python, JavaScript, and Ruby.
  • Pluralsight (Technology and IT): Pluralsight provides a wide range of courses in software development, IT operations, data, and security.
  • Treehouse (Web Design and Development): Treehouse focuses on web design and development courses, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more.
  • DataCamp (Data Science and Machine Learning): DataCamp offers courses in data science, machine learning, and data analytics, covering languages like Python and R.
  • Coursera (Academia and Research): Coursera partners with universities and institutions to offer courses across various disciplines, including business, computer science, and social sciences.
  • LinkedIn Learning (Professional Skills): LinkedIn Learning, formerly known as Lynda.com, offers courses in various professional skills, such as project management, marketing, and software development.
  • MasterClass (Creative Arts and Lifestyle): MasterClass offers high-quality courses taught by industry-leading experts in areas like writing, filmmaking, cooking, and photography.
  • Kadenze (Arts, Design, and Music): Kadenze offers courses in art, design, music, and creative technology, partnering with universities and institutions in these fields.
  • CG Cookie (3D Animation and Game Design): CG Cookie focuses on courses related to 3D animation, game design, and digital art using Blender, Unity, and other tools.
  • Yoga International (Yoga and Wellness): Yoga International offers courses and classes in yoga, meditation, and holistic wellness, taught by experienced teachers and practitioners.

Creating Your Own Online Course Platform with NorthMac Services

Building your platform allows you to have full control over the content, pricing, and marketing.

This approach requires more time and resources initially but can lead to a more significant long-term payoff.

Working with a company like NorthMac Services can help you create a customized online course platform tailored to your needs and requirements.

NorthMac Services offers a variety of services that cater to different aspects of building an online course platform. We can guide you through the process, from deciding whether creating your platform is the right choice for you to handling the technical aspects of building and launching your platform.

Here are some key points to consider when deciding to create your online course platform:

Time vs. Money

As an entrepreneur, you need to determine whether you have more

time or money to invest in creating your online course platform. If you have more time, you might consider building the platform yourself, using available tools and resources.

On the other hand, if you have more money to invest, hiring a professional company like NorthMac Services can save you time and provide you with an expertly crafted platform.

Platform Preferences

You need to decide which type of platform suits your needs best. There are three general categories of eLearning websites: marketplace sites (e.g., Skillshare and Udemy), hosted platforms (e.g., Teachable), and self-hosted platforms (e.g., WordPress with Learndash or TutorLMS).

NorthMac Services specializes in building self-hosted platforms, offering more flexibility, customization, and control over your content and data.

Budget Considerations

Your budget plays a significant role in determining whether you should create your online course platform alone or seek professional help.

NorthMac Services offers a competitive pricing structure for building self-hosted eLearning websites using WordPress, TutorLMS, FluentCRM, and other tools.

Comparatively, as discussed above, marketplace and hosted platforms charge per-transaction fees or use revenue-sharing models, which can vary depending on the provider.

These can be great for the short term, but in the long term, might turn out to be more expensive.


Teachable, Udemy, and Skillshare offer valuable opportunities for both learners and creators. However, they also have their drawbacks.

As an instructor, you should weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether to use these platforms or explore alternative options.

As a learner, be prepared to invest time in finding high-quality courses, and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations or read reviews.

In the end, these platforms can be excellent tools for personal and professional growth, but it’s essential to approach them with realistic expectations and a discerning eye.

If you think the self-hosted route is more your style, creating your online course platform with the help of NorthMac Services can offer you more control, customization, and long-term benefits compared to using ready-made platforms.

Just click here to get in touch.

Consider your time, platform preferences, and budget, to help you make an informed decision about whether building your platform with professional assistance is the right choice for you.


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