If you are considering using a site like Udemy or a course hosting platform to host your online courses, this article may be for you.

Platforms here means sites like Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi, NewZenler, etc that allows you to hosts videos, PDFs, collect payments etc and you pay a certain fee to do so.

Read about my experience using different course hosting platforms here.

Some platforms allows things like a custom design, may include live or recorder webinars, marketing funnels etc.

This is based on having created my first online course since 2015 navigating all the challenges that comes with it.

Udemy has been around for a few years and are well known.

For your customer or student, there is a 30 days money back guarantee, a rating and feedback system in place for past student who signed up for your course.

Udemy advantages

Udemy is a large established marketplace so there are lots of potential eyeballs to your course for someone seeking a similar type of course.

This is the true advantage of a marketplace.

Visitors go there looking for a solution. They are likely willing to come out with money provided the course is good.

A potential customer can tell if your courses are good through the rating system and the number of students taking your course.

They actively market the courses

See the emails I received from Udemy below. This tells me they have teams of people doing marketing.

Udemy or self hosted content

I can’t write that many emails and test the headlines even if I wanted too.

Faster to Market

Udemy allows you to launch a product much faster than building your own site.

You invest less time to bring your product to market using Udemy.

What do you have to give up

30% or more of whatever you want to charge for your course!

This is a significant amount of money.

While you can charge more to offset this cut but then, if you charge too high, less people will sign up for your course.

You are in competition with other instructors!

They can change, have changed and will likely continue to rules in the future.

Advantages of a platform

Your site. Your rules.

Money back guarantee or no guarantee. Multiple price points, discounts, upsells, etc.

Sales psychology have proven that people are more inclined to buy something when there is a comparison between two product even when initially, they did not intend to buy anything.

The more control you have over your business, the better it is for you.

Sell a range of products from low priced to consultation.

Instead of deciding which package of your course to buy, they are comparing your product to another person’s product.

The customer and prospective customer emails belong to you exclusively.

You can cross promote your students to others with their own online courses.

You could sell services too which is not possible on Udemy.

Use both!

Use both with the idea of self hosting later.

You can use Udemy to get your initial students with the understanding you are going to earn very little to test the market.

Later one figure out a way to get your customer off Udemy.

That way, you get the best of both worlds.

You will be giving up some money up front in exchange for students and building your profile.

Which platforms to consider

If you are thinking of using platforms that allow you to control almost every aspect of your courses, here are some platforms that I’ve used to host my courses.