I see this question in groups almost daily. What online course platform should I use to build my course?
Now just stop and think about where you are and who you are asking!
If you are in a group of course creators, you will get 101 people to suggest what they are using, others will tell you about their affiliate system because that pays them a commission.
And of course, they do not tell you that they are going to be getting a commission for recommending you use that particular site.
This is like a journalist writing an article premiering one type of product over all the others and being paid a percentage of the sales for people that click their link. That would be totally unethical and would probably get them fired.
Again, asking the questions ‘Which Online Course Platform Should I use?’ will sometimes make it more confusing for you, as you might have known about 5 systems now you are looking at 25 or more. And you are now more confused than ever, as they all have pros and cons.
Now it’s up to you to click and look at each software and look at what they offer and what’s involved in signing up.
Let’s do a quick run down, I am not mentioning any names of any Online Course Platforms, but just things you need to look out for.
- Is it a monthly expense to host your course? And How many courses can you add before the price goes up? Some even charge for excess students.
- Does the monthly cost have an additional % of sales? This can get expensive if you sell a lot of courses.
- What’s included, do they have a marketplace? This can be a bonus as you may get found and make a sale just for being there.
- Do they offer marketing software in the package? This one is a tricky one because a lot of people do not realize that there are email systems and email systems, by that I mean that just because they have an internal system it may not have a good rating, and it won’t send all the emails, making it useless. (ending in spam folders)
So let’s go deeper into the marketing system attached to platforms, as this is where people can get caught up.
A basic online course platform with no marketing systems can cost you $49 a month, which will get your course up and your students can sign up and start learning.
You can then go to another style of platform that gives you everything you need with say a limit of 15 courses, for $159 a month.
So that $100 a month is paying for email and sales funnels. Which bring me to another software that is $97 a month and can do everything, but their email system is not that great.
So what’s the best option?
I personally think that you need to work out, are you willing to learn how to use some of these more expensive systems, there is a learning curve, and you may be paying for things you are not using.
And of course, people will tell you that is great that everything is on the one platform, but that does not really matter if you can find a better system elsewhere and integrate it.
My wife started with a $49 system, and we used a totally independent email system and different landing page system. You can make it all work without any problems. For a lot less and with better results.
And let’s face it, if you only have one course that means you are only building one landing page, so you do not need to pay for all the bells and whistles or monthly charges on it.
But let’s step away from the money issue and look at quality and reliability, as this is the most important aspect.
You can Google email systems and get feedback on which systems do what and for how much, and what is their deliverability like. These are important. Now, some emails systems have their own landing page and website building systems included, so that will cut down on the expenses of finding a third-party landing page system.
Let me say that email delivery is more important than landing page functions. Some pages will give you a funnels’ system, which is great for affiliate marketers, but if you only have one course for sale it is not needed.
Now let’s discuss the actual internal of the course platform. Because again, all are not created equal.
Some courses will offer certificates, some will allow you to have quizzes, some even have gamification.
They all have the basics of being able to add PDF files and Videos, at a bare minimum, but how complex do you want to make it.
And also, you need to look at how easy it is for YOU to actually add it all into the system and get it working.
I know of one site in particular that actually has to approve your course before they allow it up and will make you change things they do not agree with.
I know one site that will dictate your pricing and can at any moment put your course on a sale item and virtually give it away on you.
So in summing up:
Look for something that you feel comfortable adding your course onto.
Something that does not charge a % of each sale.
Something that does not dictate their terms on your course.
Something that allows you to use third-party systems.
Something that does not charge you for things you will never use.
As a warning, I have been caught over the years buying things on a lifetime deal.
Stick with the big companies that have been around awhile, but just work out which one suits your budget and requirements.
If you have any questions…
Connect with Steve D Pfister
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