When to Consider the Udemy Model

Are you a landlord or a tenant?

If you have read much of what I’ve written on online course platforms, you know I am mostly not a fan of the approach offered by platforms like Udemy and its alternatives – what I call the “market maker” business model.

The gist of this model is that one company – basically, a “landlord” – creates a market place in which individual course producers or other companies – basically, “tenants” – can sell their courses, usually in exchange for paying the landlord a share of the revenue.

Now, if you happen to be the landlord – as Udemy is – this model is fantastic. You create a highly-scalable content engine that generates a continuous revenue stream. If you are the tenant, on the other hand, this model usually limits your options in a number of ways, including: [Read more…]

10 True Alternatives to Udemy for Selling Online Courses

photo of an orange in between two apples

Don’t mix apples and oranges when looking for an alternative to Udemy

I run across a lot of blog posts that aim to highlight an alternative to Udemy, the major online marketplace for publishing and selling online courses and a very popular option for subject matter entrepreneurs. In most cases, though, these posts highlight platforms like Teachable or Thinkific as alternatives. While, technically speaking, these are good alternatives (and I am a fan of both), I suspect that a lot of people searching on “alternative to Udemy” or “sites like Udemy” are really looking for a substitute for Udemy.

Simply put, an alternative represents a different way of achieving essentially the same purposes – in this case, selling online courses.

A substitute, on the other hand, is essentially a replacement – in this case, a platform that offers essentially the same functionalities as Udemy.

While that may sound like just a bunch of academic hair-splitting, it’s actually a critical difference. One of the main functions of Udemy, after all, is to offer a marketplace, a ready-made destination for people who are shopping for online courses. This is one of the main reasons that subject matter entrepreneurs flock to Udemy in the first place. So, sites like Udemy – ones that are really like Udemy – need to offer a marketplace.

While both Teachable and Thinkific – both often touted as alternatives – offer significant advantages over Udemy in many ways, they do not offer a marketplace – and, as far as I know, have no plans to. (For other options like Teachable and Thinkific, see 15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses.)

So, what other platforms do offer a marketplace for your courses? That is, which sites like Udemy may truly be a substitute for Udemy rather than (or in addition to) an alternative to Udemy? Take a look at the following: [Read more…]