13 Best Online Course Platforms to Teach & Learn in 2022 (Ultimate Guide)

Choosing an online course platform is key to your success as a course creator. Even if your online course is excellent, you need features to help you market it to the right people.

A good choice can help you with your marketing strategy for selling courses.

For example, you may want to charge a membership on top of charging one time payments. Unfortunately, if you choose the wrong platform, you cannot do this.

And if you make a mistake, it is a nightmare to transfer your videos to another platform.

But, it is a nightmare that I want you to avoid. Because of this, I will share with you the 13 Best Online Course Platforms to Teach & Learn in 2022.

What Are the Best Online Course Platforms?

1. Thinkific

BEST FOR: Beginners who online have one course and a free platform.

BEST FOR: Beginners who online have one course and a free platform.

Thinkific is one of the best platforms for an online course because of the sheer features it offers. The best thing I like about it is that it has a free version.

With Thinkific, everything you could think of is in the system. You can create quizzes, upload videos, get no limit to students count, and charge the student money from the system.

Thinkific has several plans, and the extent of the features you can use depend on these plans. You also have options to integrate more robust marketing software programs with the system.

One thing that sets Thinkific apart from the rest is that it has an app store. As a result, you can purchase program snippets that can make your landing page look more professional.

Thinkific Video Library and Control Panel screenshot

Key Features

  • Affiliate Marketing – If you get the Basic Plan, you can create an affiliate marketing program. You can give individual influencers so they can promote your online course. Then if their followers click on the link and buy, you will pay the influencers a commission.
  • Landing Page Creator – You can create a landing page in Thinkfic – a one-page website that includes the checkout process. However, since Thinkfic is not precisely a website builder, do not expect too much. The other Option is to build a landing page on another site, like wordpress, and integrate that into your Thinkfic course.
  • Integration Options – There are several software programs that you can integrate with your Thinkfic account. For ex, you can incorporate Brillium Exams, Aweber, Converkit, MailChimp and many others.
  • Different Course Types – You can run your course in different ways. For example, you can ask the student to pay one time. from there, they can access the entire class. Another option is to do drip content where the student will receive content as per schedule. They cannot access the rest until you release them. One thing you can do is offer membership. Here, the students will pay a monthly fee. you have to provide new content every month.

Pricing

  • Free – free for life; you can upload one course and only charge a one-time payment for your class (or free).
  • Basic – costs $49 per month; you get to offer drip pricing and integrate other software programs. In addition, this plan allows you to create an affiliate marketing program.
  • Pro – costs $99 per month; you will now have access to building a membership site where you can charge subscriptions.
  • Premier – costs $499 per month; you will have access to live chat support.

Get Thinkific for free and test their system.

2. LearnWorlds

BEST FOR: Best to create interactive videos.

BEST FOR: Best to create interactive videos.

LearnWorlds takes away the complicated process of creating engaging and interactive video courses and resources.

As one of the best online course platforms, it enables you to easily add transcripts and interactive elements like pop-up texts and navigation buttons.

Apart from creating interactive videos for your online course, LearnWorlds also gives its creators the ability to create interactive ebooks, making it easy for students to keep notes, highlight sections, and share content from the ebooks.

You don’t need to create your layout from scratch. LearnWorlds has over 400 responsive templates that are quick and easy to set up. In addition, they have block builders with the drag and drop feature that makes things extremely easy for you.

LearnWorlds can also be integrated with platforms like Zapier, Zoom, Mailchimp, and Hubspot, making your online course creation and maintenance process extremely simple.

One excellent feature of LearnWorlds is that it has an automatic newspaper feature called Daily News Zone. It is your newspaper section, where you can include your articles and tweets.

LearnWorlds also conducts daily sessions and live webinars that you can enroll in without any hassle.

One unique feature is that you can create a social network for your students so they can get to interact with each other. It is also an effective method to sell online courses.

LearnWorlds Interactions screenshot

Key Features

  • Unlimited Courses

Even at the lowest plan, you can create multiple courses. Therefore, it is not like other online course platforms where you could only upload one course at the starting plan.

The benefit of adding several courses is simple. You can break down your course content into several categories. As such, you can reach out to different online course marketplace websites.

  • Affiliate Program

The feature starts with the Pro Trainer plan. You can now have a program where people can promote your course. The system will take care of the entire process. The only thing you have to do is to set the commission rate.

People who register for your affiliate program will get links. You can track the link clicks. You can also issue payments from the system itself.

  • Subscriptions and Memberships

Subscriptions and memberships are excellent to earn recurring income. However, it works best for niches where learning does not end. With memberships, you can offer exclusive content that only members will see.

You can also use a subscription as a work-around for drip content. For example, if people do not have the money to pay a one-time payment, they can subscribe and then you only release new content on a specific day of the month.

  • Custom Course Certificates

You can customize certificates that your students will receive after completing the course. It makes students feel that they have accomplished something. As such, they will be more likely to buy your future classes.

  • Bulk Enrolments

You can enroll many students if you have their email addresses. The system will generate accounts for them, and all they have to do is to log in.

Pricing

  • Starter – costs $29 per month; there is a fee of $5 per purchase, but you will get most of the features plus a drip-feed option.
  • Pro Trainer – costs $84 per month; you no longer pay a transaction fee, and you can build an unlimited number of landing pages. This plan also gives you access to the affiliate feature.
  • Learning Center – $245 per month; you get more analytics data in your dashboard. In addition, you can add up to 20 instructors plus launch interactive videos.

LearnWorlds offers a 30-day free trial. So get it now to try the system and see what it can do.

3. Teachable

BEST FOR: Course creators looking for robust online course platforms at a low cost.


BEST FOR: Course creators looking for a robust platform at a low cost.

Teachable is my #3 choice as one of the best online course platforms for online courses. It has over 100,000-course creators and is one of the most popular online course platforms at the moment.

The Dashboard is very extensive and provides detailed metrics that will help you analyze your marketing and strategy.

You can create custom sales pages, sales pages, and even checkout pages to help you in selling courses.

Teachable also provides a Coaching Feature that helps you schedule coaching sessions.

While coaching is standard practice in selling online courses, you can use this feature to offer 1:1 coaching within your classes or even hold Q&A sessions for your students.

Teachable is also integrated with Zoom, Calendly, and Zapier to make this whole business much less tedious for you.

Discover is Teachable’s built-in marketplace designed to market and sell your online courses. It is not something that many others offer.

While most creators drive their traffic to their course with all white label platforms, Discover is a centralized platform where Teachable hosts the best practices on the platform.

The only noteworthy difference between the plans is that Teachable deducts 5% transaction fees and allows only two admin-level users when you sign up for the Basic plan.

You can also accept payments from your students in around 130 different currencies.

Teachable Dashboard screenshot

Key Features

  • Data InsightsTeachable offers a rich analytics dashboard where you can see your traffic, sales, and the number of students who completed your courses. Data analysis is an integral part of your business. For example, if you have access to customer or user behaviour, you can make informed decisions.
  • Sales Pages – The landing page on Teachable is part of the course creation process. You no longer have to build it on another platform. On top of this, you can also integrate your domain. What it means is that your URL will not carry the Teachable brand.
  • Unlimited Courses and Students – If there is one thing I love about Teachable, you can upload as many courses as you want. Unfortunately, many online course platforms require you to upgrade to upload more course material files. The course creation panel is also easy to understand. In addition, you can enjoy an unlimited number of students even at the fee account. You have to pay a fee, which is excellent since you do not have to pay a monthly fee.
  • Different Course Modes – You have the option to charge monthly or one-time. If you want, you can also do drip campaigns where your students could only access a few videos to students at regular intervals.

Pricing

  • Free – you can have unlimited students, but you will pay $1 + 10% per transaction. You can upload several courses with this account and also launch product bundles.
  • Basic – costs $29 per month; the transaction fee is 5%, and you can now build a members-only community. In addition, this plan gives you access to drip content.
  • Pro – costs $99 per month; you will no longer pay transaction fees, and you can take advantage of an unbranded website. This plan also allows you to send course completion certificates automatically.
  • Business – costs $249 per month; you can add up to 20 admin users and enroll students in bulk.

Get the FREE plan now and upload your course.

4. Kajabi

BEST FOR: Professionals who have already built a following and have students on stand-by.


BEST FOR: Professionals who have already built a following and have students on stand-by.

With Kajabi, you can create and sell online courses, build membership sites, or even launch your entire digital business leveraging its robust engagement and marketing tools.

While most other online learning platforms offer integrations with other platforms to provide additional services, Kajabi offers almost everything you may need without any added plugins or integrations.

You also have the option to build your entire website or blog with Kajabi. You can even create a community forum for your students to enable like-minded people to engage with each other and encourage group learning.

Amongst Kajabi’s essential marketing tools is the Kajabi mobile application that helps you connect with your customers and increase your engagement and retention rate.

Kajabi offers real-time insights about your business and how your customers are interacting with your products, which will help you optimize your marketing to sell online courses.

You can leverage Kajabi’s email automation system to create successful email campaigns using its customizable templates for various scenarios like event announcements, a product showcase, or anything else you may think.

Kajabi Podcast screenshot

Key Features

  • Online Courses – You can upload courses on the platform and charge your consumers for them. It includes a fully-integrated suite for marketing and monetization. In addition, the platform gives you access to analytics, sales, CRM, and many other marketing tools that you need to run an online course.
  • Podcasts – Kajabi’s podcast system gives you access to different marketplaces like Apple, Spotify, and Google. In addition, you can monetize your podcast and ask the users to pay to listen to your premium content.
  • Membership Sites – You can offer membership programs where you can charge consumers every month. What you get is a monthly recurring revenue. To make it easier, Kajabi has what it calls the product generator. It is like a template that you follow. As a result, you do not have to think about the process for creating the membership site.
  • Pipeline – The pipeline is a funnel builder. You can build sales pages and then add specific steps for your consumers to take. For example, the landing page can have a checkout page, an email subscription page, and a thank you page.

Pricing

  • Basic – costs $149 per month; you can offer a maximum of three products and have up to 1,000 active members.
  • Growth – costs $199 per month; you can sell 15 products or services and have ten admin users.
  • Pro – costs $399 per month; the maximum is 100 services or courses and 20,000 active members.

Get Kajabi now, as it still offers a 14-day free trial.

5. LearnDash

BEST FOR: Course creators who want to use their WordPress websites for online teaching.


BEST FOR: Course creators who want to use their WordPress websites for teaching.

LearnDash is an award-winning self-hosted LMS plugin that is best for WordPress. It is an online course creation software program.

If you already have a WordPress site, LearnDash is an excellent option if you want to run everything from your WordPress Dashboard.

To use LearnDash, you need to purchase LearnDash’s license, and then you can install the plugin on your WordPress site.

Part of the course creation process is the certificates and awards. You can also leverage the engagement trigger features, mark student work, award badges, see detailed reports of their progress, and make use of the advanced quiz features.

Additionally, you can create licenses for your courses. You will need to get the Group Registration add-on from LearnDash to leverage this feature.

LearnDash Student Course View screeenshot

Key Features

  • Engagement Systems – You can engage your students in many ways. For one, you can create a discussion forum. You also have the option to create badges and certificates that students get after accomplishing a task. There is a leaderboard where you can show top performers.
  • Course Flexibility – The platform offers a drag and drop editor or course builder. There is also a focus mode in which the learner will not be distracted while studying. If you want, you can add quizzes to the lessons to make them more effective.
  • Marketing and Sales – The entire system already has a shopping cart and different payment types. You can charge on a subscription basis, and you can also create bundles, memberships, and a one-time purchase for your courses.

Pricing

  • Basic – costs $150 one-time payment; you can create and sell online courses with limits. In addition, you can offer drip-feed lessons and also get free integrations.
  • Plus Package – costs $189; you can use the platform on up to 10 websites.
  • Pro Package – costs $329; you can use the plug-in on 25 websites.

LearnDash has no free trial, but they offer the plug-in with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6. Podia

BEST FOR: Course creators who also want to offer digital products like eBooks.


BEST FOR: Course creators who also want to offer digital products like eBooks.

Podia is a straightforward online course platform, and it doesn’t overwhelm you with extensive plans, but they include almost everything you could wish for in the two packages they provide.

You can set up a membership site, create an online course, set up digital downloads, and even host webinars. Webinars are excellent for making money online.

It has a built-in marketing platform that you can use to send newsletters and set up drip campaigns to connect with your students.

If you don’t already have a learning platform, you can create your Podia website to host your courses. Podia’s website builder helps creators build their websites without any technical hassle.

Podia also has a live messaging feature for online courses that allows you to tell potential customers about your products.

Every week, Podia hosts a Live Webinar that you can register for free. During the webinar, you’ll overview how Podia works and get all your questions answered by experts from Podia.

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Key Features

  • Online Courses – You can create many types of courses on this platform. If you want, you can make a stand-alone course, drip-feed, bundle, and others. You also have the option to pre-sell your class and do a pre-launch.
  • Digital Downloads – You can sell eBooks and anything that consumers can download on a device. But, of course, it is also up to you if you want to give them away for free. What makes Podia a good platform is that you can use its pre-made templates for your offer.
  • Community and Membership – The community feature enables you to create a membership site. The community is exclusive, and your members will have access to forums. People can post comments, answer them, and engage with one another.
  • Webinar – You can sell online courses in the form of a webinar. There are no transaction fees, and you can also sell the webinar in advance. The Podia platform also allows you to integrate your webinar with Zoom and with YouTube.

Pricing

  • Mover – costs $39 per month; sells unlimited courses and digital downloads. You can also host a community.
  • Shaker – costs $79 per month; this plan gives you access to sell coaching services. In addition, it increases your membership limit from 1,000 to 15,000.
  • Earthquaker – costs $179 per month; you now have access to extra features such as a dedicated support agent, a white-label learning platform, and team seats.

You can get Podia for free with its 14-day free trial.

7. Ruzuku

BEST FOR: Course creators who want a robots platform with no transaction fees.


BEST FOR: Course creators who want a robots platform with no transaction fees.

Ruzuku integrates with various other platforms, including Infusionsoft, MailChimp, and payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal.

It doesn’t charge any transaction fees and is one of the few platforms that offer complete courses, unlimited students, unlimited uploads, and unlimited storage, no matter which plans you choose.

The platform offers a wealth of resources to course creators, including free training on starting your online course and various other blogs, guides, and tutorials to help you become a top-notch creator.

The best part about Ruzuku is that its customer support is exceptionally personalized for both you and your students.

Ruzuku Course Dashboard screenshot

Key Features

  • Step-by-Step Course Creation – Creating a course is easy. The interface is easy to understand. The process on how to do it is on your dashboard. The guide allows you to decide whether you want to upload videos, PDFs, or audio files.
  • Webinars – You can run webinars on the platform. In addition, the panel has a chat box where people can ask you questions. You also have the option to use the platform with slides.
  • Community – If you want, you can build a community where your students can help each other. You will moderate this community and set your own rules.

Pricing

  • Bootstrapper – costs $74.75 per month; launch unlimited courses with one instructor. There is no limit if you create online courses, plus you can charge customers via PayPal or Stripe.
  • Up-and-Corner – costs $83.08 per month; you can now upload polls and quizzes. You can also charge subscriptions if you want.
  • University – costs $125 per month; you get all the features from the previous plan, but now you can use your domain name and have multiple instructors.

Get it now as Ruzuku is available for free in the 14-day free trial offer.

How To Sell A Profitable Online Course?

To sell the best online course, the first thing you need to know is the level of demand and supply. Indeed, there is a demand for everything. However, knowing the extent of this demand allows you to create reasonable goals.

The supply of online courses is also a factor. For example, you need to know if many people are already doing the same thing as you are.

But, more importantly, you need to know if many people are providing the same course as you do.

Suppose you know how many courses are available for your niche. In that case, you can start digging into what content is already out there and prevent yourself from replicating what is already available.

What it means is you can create a course that is unique to your target audience.

Below are some tips to help you market your course correctly and sell them to the right audience.

1. Choose A Niche That Matters

While this sounds obvious, many people fail in this regard. They attempt to sell online courses even if they are not an expert. What happens is that the people who buy their courses see through this, and then they ask for a refund.

Choose a niche that you love. It must be a niche that people like. It would help if you had a volume of demand because this is where you will get sales.

Creating a course that nobody is paying attention to will not make you financially successful. There’s just little market in there for you to expect a high number of sales.

2. Watch Other Courses

Before you begin, make sure that you watch other courses so you don’t just regurgitate what they already have said.

It is also an opportunity for you to understand what mistakes they made and what content they lack.

Watch maybe three or five online courses that are similar to what you are planning. Do not copy the courses. What you want to know is how they delivered and took the student on the learning journey.

If you were the student, would you have learned something from this? Do you think the student would have enjoyed the course?

Put yourself in the shoes of a student, and you will know how you can make your course significantly better than the one you watched.

3. Create Your Course

The next step is to build the course. Write down your chapters or your curriculum. Before you begin, make sure that you have planned out the standards and methods you will teach.

For example, do you want to show your face on every video? If you don’t want to do that, it is OK. Make sure that the entire course has the same standard format for each video.

Also, pay attention to the colors you use, the PowerPoint background you use, and many other things that can help you build or standardize your brand.

4. Decide The Strategy To Sell Courses

The next step in building a course is to decide what kind of payment strategy you want. Do you want your students to pay one time? Do you want your students to sign up for a membership or subscription?

You must have an answer to this question. It is one deciding factor by which you will decide which online course platform to use.

5. Choose A Host Where to Sell Courses

The next step is to choose a host. It is one of the most critical things you have to decide upon because your host will affect your success rate. If possible, choose one where you can create unlimited courses.

For example, a host that is always down will result in a lot of refunds. Also, maybe you don’t want to choose a host with hundreds of thousands of online courses.

For example, if you choose Udemy, you might be surprised that you get less traffic and impressions on the entire online course platform because there are so many other courses with high ratings compared to yours, which have no rating at all.

6. Market The Course In Various Channels

The last step is to market your course. There are many ways to do this. Below are some examples:

  • Advertising – you can advertise on YouTube, Facebook, Google, and many other places to sell courses.
  • Social Media – you can create a community on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and many other social media sites. What you have to do is to post valuable content. Then, as you grow your followers, you will have a strong base of followers and a considerable number of leads from which you can sell your course.
  • Blog – another effective method to sell your course is to create a blog. Your blog intends to provide snippets of what people will learn from you. First, you need to establish yourself as an authority in your niche and then convince people that buying your course is beneficial for them. Hire an affordable writer to do this for you.

The most important step among all of these is the plan.

Draw a project on a piece of paper. Without a plan, you cannot execute your goal to sell courses.

The plan should allow you to see a vision of what your course is going to be. It also tells you what actions you have to take to market it.

What Are Online Course Platforms?

An online course platform is a website where you can upload your online course business.

It is not like YouTube because the platform has all the things you need to run the course.

Here are the components of an online course platform:

  • Video uploads and hosting
  • Sequencing of the videos
  • Payment processing systems
  • Password creation for the students

Instead of building your course platform from scratch, all you have to do is sign up for an account on the platform.

From there, you can upload your videos, give them titles, price the course, and choose how to get paid.

It is like Amazon, but for videos and not for physical products. The best platform should allow you to focus on marketing your new course, not on building a website.

You can access online courses from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection and are a cost-effective option compared to the standard educational system.

What Are the Best Online Learning Platforms?

The courses in this section are often called massive open online courses (MOOCs). However, unlike the online course creation platforms discussed above, you can upload your online course business to these marketplaces instead of hosting them yourself.

People either directly pay for individual courses or buy a subscription to the platform to access several courses.

As a course creator, you can upload courses here and sell them, but you will have to pay a transaction fee. The thing is that you do not have to pay a monthly fee. You only pay if someone buys your course.

However, there are some online course marketplace platforms where you need to receive an invitation before creating an online course.

While you can gain a brand new audience from these platforms, the competition is relatively high, and I would not recommend you approach these platforms as a content creator.

However, as social distancing is becoming the new norm, it is an excellent time to educate yourself from home by leveraging these online learning platforms.

Here are my picks for the best online learning platforms for both course creators and learners.

1. Udemy

Udemy Homepage screenshot

Udemy is a course marketplace that launched in 2010, and it has over 40 million students, 50,000 instructors, and 130,000+ courses in over 60 languages.

It should come across as no surprise that Udemy is one of the world’s largest online course platforms.

Udemy Course Creator Page screenshot

Key Features

  • Unlimited Courses – The course creation is simple. You can upload an unlimited number of courses in Udemy. There is no limit to the number of videos or how heavy the files are. The more classes you upload, the more likely you will get students.
  • Automatic Audio Caption – You do not have to pay a separate audio decoder or transcription for your subtitles. Typically, you will spend at least $30 for six hours of transcription. With Udemy, it is free. Just upload your video, and the system will create a subtitle for it.
  • Simple Interface – The instructor interface is easy to use. The panel to the left tells you the steps you have to complete. From there, you can add text for your landing page, add videos to your course, and set your course pricing.
  • Reporting – Udemy has a robust reporting system. You can see the traffic coming into your course links plus your course sales. It also shows you the revenue, how many hours people spend on your courses, and so much more.]

Pricing

Udemy is free to use; there is no monthly fee, so you can register now and create your first online course. However, the transaction fee is between 3% and 37%.

2. Shaw Academy

Shaw Academy Homepage

Shaw Academy was launched back in 2012 and is an Ireland-based company. It is an all in one platform with 12 million students and 100+ courses in several categories.

Unlike the usual online courses where you can learn at any given moment, Shaw Academy functions a little differently.

While it does offer on-demand courses that you can complete at your own pace, most courses you take are accessible via interactive webinars.

Shaw Academy is not a platform where you can easily upload content for online teaching. Therefore, you need to be a teacher, or a professional, to apply. You can do this in the Careers section of the course platform.

These interactive classes happen twice a week, and you can only join the webinars during the scheduled times.

If you happen to miss a session, you don’t have to worry. All the webinars have a recording. You will find them in the Members Area.

Shaw Academy List of Courses screenshot

 

Key Features

  • Lots of Courses – You will find courses in many industries on this platform. For example, you can learn coding, photography, interior design, digital marketing, and many more.
  • Certified Diploma – Unlike other learning course platform sites, Shaw Academy gives you a diploma that is globally recognized. The certificate comes from Austin Peay University. The courses offered here are part of what they call the Continuing Education Program.
  • Interactive Classes – This feature only applies to Enterprise plans. A company has to pay Shaw Academy a significant sum of money to enroll its employees in this program. Then, these employees can attend two interactive classes per week at the student’s preferred time.

There are no pricing details about the platform. You need to contact them to get information on how much you would pay as a student.

Shaw Academy has a free trial.

3. Coursera

Coursera Homepage

76+ million students, 100+ Fortune 500 companies, and over 6,400 campuses, businesses, and governments use Coursera as their online learning platform.

It was founded in 2012 and is an accredited organization that provides various high-level educational courses. Unfortunately, like Shaw Academy, you cannot upload a course in Coursera unless you apply as a professor.

Coursera offers five learning options.

  • Individual courses
  • Specializations (Cost starting at $39 per month)
  • Professional certificates (Cost starting at $39 per month)
  • MasterTrack Certificates (Cost starting at $2,000)
  • Degrees (Cost starting at $9000)

You can get your Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from leading universities like Arizona State University, the University of London, and many more.

Additionally, Coursera has designed four different packages.

Coursera courses are available on PC and mobile, and you can download them to access them offline.

One fantastic initiative by Coursera is that if you can’t afford to pay for the courses, you can apply for Financial Aid or a Scholarship.

Courera Masters Degree screenshot

Key Features

  • Certificates – With Coursera, you can get professional certificates. These, however, are not diplomas. Instead, the certificates are merely proof that you passed the courses you took.
  • Degree Courses – One thing that makes Coursera unique is that you can take degree courses here. There are even master’s degree courses like Business Administration, Finance, Business Analytics for your course sales, and so much more. Take note that these are courses that you cannot take in a day or a week. You would have to complete the courses in two years.
  • Business Account – A business account is one for companies that aim to develop the skills of their employees. The employees will have access to more than 4,000 courses to improve their skills. They can also participate in guided projects from top universities.

Coursera is free to join, but you would have to buy each course that you want to take.

4. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning Homepage

LinkedIn Learning came into existence when Lynda.com, one of the oldest eLearning platforms, merged with LinkedIn.

It offers 16,000+ courses and has over 700 million users in more than 200 countries.

And one of the best parts about this free trial is once you sign up for an account, you get access to LinkedIn Premium membership, too!

With this platform, you can download courses and access them offline mode.

LinkedIn has courses in multiple languages: English, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

You can also take advantage of the Business membership package for your entire team.

While signing up for LinkedIn Learning has several benefits, it comes with its limitations.

  • The certificates issued by LinkedIn Learning are not accredited.
  • You do not get as many options about what you can learn. For example, you can only get courses on Business, Creative, or Technology related topics.

Linkedin Learning Sample Course screenshot

Key Features

  • Unlimited Library Access – There are over 16,000 courses on the platform. These courses do not come from mere enthusiasts but are professionals in their real-life careers.
  • Certificates – You will get a certificate for completion of a course. This certificate is something you can show in your LinkedIn profile, and it can help you stand out as an applicant.
  • Flexibility – The courses are not live webinars. Instead, you can access the classes you want anytime and no matter where you are. Some videos are also downloadable, which means you can do offline viewing.

Pricing

  • Annually – costs about $20 per month. You will have unlimited access to the library of courses and get certificates from the courses you took.
  • Monthly – costs $30; you will have the same benefits as the annual plan but at a higher monthly cost.

LinkedIn Learning is free for a month.

5. SkillshareSkillshare Homepage

Skillshare is by far one of my favourites on this list. It’s an online learning platform based in America, and it launched in 2010.

The best part about Skillshare’s courses is that instead of lectures or guides, the lessons on Skillshare approach a subject as a project.

After you create and publish your project, your course instructor can check it out and give you feedback about how you can improve.

Even other students on Skillshare can share their feedback on your project.

The Skillshare interface lets you set your own goals, read the video transcripts, participate in discussions, ask questions, and of course, check out other students’ projects and submit your own.

With Skillshare, you will have access to over 20,000 courses.

SkillShare Course Selection Dashboard screenshot

Key Features

  • Self-Paced Courses – You have the option as a student to learn at your own time. You can pause the courses you take if you are tired and continue them later. These videos will not get lost, as you will have access to a dashboard to see which classes you have.
  • Workshops – Some people like to participate in a community. Skillshare has this if this is what you need. The company offers regular workshops in virtual learning management systems. These workshops are classes where you have to attend as per schedule.
  • Unlimited Access – If you are in the Premium plan, you have access to all the courses offered on the platform. In addition, you can also enjoy offline classes and get support from the teachers.

Pricing

  • Monthly – pay $4 per month; get access to all the courses.
  • Premium – pay $per month; you have the same access as the monthly plan but at a lesser cost.

Skillshare offers a free trial for seven days.

6. Treehouse

Treehouse Homepage

Treehouse is another excellent online learning platform, but it mainly focuses on technology-based subjects.

Technology is constantly evolving, and it is crucial to keep on top of what’s new in the industry. With Treehouse, you can find courses in nearly every technical domain.

If you have a business and would like to empower your team to advance their skills, Treehouse has a team membership package for you.

Treehouse programs list screenshot

Key Features

  • Expert Teachers – The courses you take here are not from hobbyists. They are real professionals. They can help you learn the skills necessary for entry-level jobs.
  • Coding and Design – Unlike other learning management systems, this one specializes in technology and design. You will learn coding, software programming, framework principles, and UX/UI standards.
  • Certification – The platform offers a certification program for all skill levels, including beginners. They call the program Techdegree, and you will complete a series of projects that will allow you to create an attractive portfolio.

The only pricing for Treehouse is $25 per month. If you need certification, the price is $199 per month. Treehouse is free for seven days.

What Should I Look for in an Online Course Platform?

After reading through so many different options for online course platforms that provide several features and have varied pricing options, it may be a little overwhelming to choose an all in one platform for your business.

If you’re still unsure which one is right for you, don’t worry, I got you. You just need to take note of a handful of core features while choosing a platform.

Choose a White Label Platform.

If you want to create more than a few online courses, I recommend using a white label training platform. With a white-label platform, you have complete control over your online course, from the pricing to the branding and student data.

Reputation in the market.

Always choose a platform with an established reputation. Too many negative reviews is a definite red flag.

User Friendly.

Make use of the free trial and ensure that the platform is easy to navigate for you.

Payments.

If you want to offer monthly or quarterly payments to your students, choose a platform that gives you this feature. Also, see what mode of payment it provides to your customers and if it gives you the choice of adding your payment method.

Mobile Learning.

You need to consider if a platform supports on-the-go learning.

Supported Media.

Some platforms only support text and video. If you want more options like audio, PDFs, JPEGs, or any other file formats, check if the platform offers that feature.

A few other things that you should note are Tech Support, Website integration, Affiliate Marketing Support, Software integrations, and of course, Cost-Effectiveness.

What Online Courses Are in Demand?

The market is always more important than the actual product.

If the niche you choose has no demand, no matter how fantastic and knowledgeable your course is, it won’t be selling courses.

So, here is a list of the most popular fields to help you brainstorm more online course ideas.

1. Technology

Technology is always a field you can teach. While it is a vast field, there are a lot of exciting options for you.

Digital marketing. In a decade where everything is going online, it should come across as no surprise that Digital Marketing is on the top of this list.

Here are the best Digital Marketing specializations you can choose from.

  • SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Branding
  • Google Ads (Adwords)

If you want to create courses in the technology domain, a few other fields are in demand.

  • Artificial Intelligence and robotics
  • Data Science
  • Blockchain
  • Game Development

2. Health & Fitness

Due to the pandemic, people have started taking their health much more seriously and learning more about their bodies.

Here are the most trending topics in the health and fitness niche.

  • Losing weight
  • Home workouts
  • Vegan cooking
  • Muscle building
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Mental Health

3. Business and Entrepreneurship

After the uncertainty people face during the lockdown, many want to build their own business or at least a side hustle to have an alternative income source.

You can create courses around:

  • Starting an Online business
  • Earning from home
  • Freelancing
  • Blogging
  • Dropshipping

4. Arts and Crafts

People are always looking to gain a creative skill or just pick up a new hobby, so this niche will never go out of fashion.

There is genuinely no limitation with what you can do in this domain. Painting? Nail art? Origami? Hand Lettering? Knitting? Quilling? Sewing?

Summary

Making a high-quality online course is just the beginning. The online learning platform you choose is the next critical thing to your success.

In the end, what I want you to do is to choose the best platform to deliver online courses that suits your strategy and budget.

Of all these, my recommendations are:

  • Thinkific – best online course platform for people who want free software. It is also an excellent choice for those who are starting. There are several limitations, but you will not pay a monthly subscription fee to use the platform.
  • LearnWorlds – best online course platform for people who are looking for an excellent backend framework. It has robust marketing features, especially for building landing pages.
  • Teachable – best online course platform for people who want the best value for money. Each upgrade is affordable in the pocket and can give you a lot more features that you need to market your online course as you grow your business.

Visit the different course platform sites that I showed you. Then, go to the pricing pages of each one and take a look if the features they have to match the ones you need.

For a quick start, choose between Thinkific, LearnWorlds, and Teachable.