The 9 Top Platforms for Creators to Make and Sell Courses

  • Creators are often looking for new ways to monetize their content, services, and audience.
  • Because of this, many developers have chosen to teach online courses and offer coaching sessions.
  • Insider highlights 9 platforms developers will use to create and sell courses in 2022.

After Catarina Mello left her full-time job at Google in 2019 to pursue a career as a travel content creator, she noticed an influx of DMs from followers who wanted to follow a similar path.

“My followers kept asking me how to grow and monetize their Instagram accounts, how to quit 9-to-5 jobs, how to even make money as an influencer,” Mello told Insider.

So creating and teaching an online course is a “natural next step” for her business, she said.

“I wanted to be in control of my business growth and not just rely on brands approaching me as an affiliate to make money,” she said. “Out of [the] DMs, I knew there was a lot of interest. From a business perspective, I knew I had to bring some type of product to market.”

Mello started her course in 2020 kajabi, a platform with the sole purpose of helping professionals create and sell online courses. Today, the income from her “Influencer Mastercourse” makes up more than 80% of Mello’s income. She has made a total of $1 million from her course. (Insider verified these earnings with documentation provided by Mello).

Catarina Mello is sitting at a table with her laptop open and her hair pinned up in a bun.

Catarina Mello teaches a course on how to be a full-time influencer.

Courtesy of Catarina Mello

She’s not the only YouTuber using online courses — whether on-demand or live — to make money.

Emma Cortes, a lifestyle influencer with 47,000 Instagram followers, is selling three courses on running an influencers business, each ranging from $200 to $250. In 2021, Cortes earned approximately $27,000 from the pre-recorded courses hosted on Teachable, another course platform. (Insider verified these earnings with documentation provided by Cortes).

Creators even launch their own course startups. Nuseir Yassin, the creator behind the Nas Daily accounts with more than 30 million followers on Facebook, YouTube and TikTok, launched his own creator-focused course platform in 2020: Nas Academy.

“The reason we started in the first place is because of our founder [Yassin] had 30 million followers but was struggling to make regular money,” Nas Academy chief business officer Alex Dwek told Insider. “When you start getting bigger [as a] Creator and you start hiring and building staff, you need to have more regular sources of income.

“A lot of YouTubers randomly create educational content”

Whether a creator creates content about houseplant care or fitness, classes or coaching provide a reliable way to monetize their content and their relationship with an audience.

“Not all creators want to teach,” Dwek said. “But one thing we noticed is that a lot of developers create educational content rather randomly.”

While the content page can be a natural fit for creators, turning that content into a monetizable service often requires help.

“Many developers start building the course right away,” says Wes Kao, co-founder of the platform maven, insiders said. “They are passionate about their subject, community building, and immediately start creating the curriculum without thinking, ‘Is this a subject my students want to pay for?’

This is where course platforms come into play. Maven, for example, helps its developers think through everything from course design to developing a marketing plan, Kao said.

However, choosing which course platform to use can be daunting.

The space has garnered a lot of buzz as buzzwords like “creator economy” or “creator middle class” have dominated industry discourse and blue-chip VC firms are pouring millions of dollars into these ventures.

Last year, Nas Academy raised an $11 million Series A led by Lightspeed, and Maven, for example, raised a $20 million Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz. Kajabi, which poached former TikTok product head Sean Kim earlier this year, has been valued at $2 billion in 2021.

“There’s just so many out there,” Mello said.

To help creators narrow this search, Insider has compiled a list of 9 outstanding platforms creators will be using to teach courses in 2022. Insider has narrowed the list based on each company’s presence in the creator economy, fundraising, and reputation among influencer industry creators and experts.

Here are 9 platforms helping creatives make money from online courses and coaching services:

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