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Best Online Course Platforms for Counsellors

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As a counsellor or coach, offering online courses to your clients is a great way to diversify your income stream and reach a wider audience. In this article, we will explore the best online course platforms available that can help you easily create and sell your online programs. We will consider important features of each platform, so you can make an informed decision on which suits your individual needs best.

Most online education platforms offer the same features and benefits, so to choose the best option for you, we recommend comparing the capacity limits and ongoing fees to find the one most compatible to your budget and future plans. With the right platform, you could see yourself selling your programs and courses online in no time at all.

There are two ways you can start offering your programs online:

  1. By subscribing to a third party education platform
  2. Directly through your own website using plugins or addon features (WordPress websites)


Download our FREE Online Course Platform Comparison spreadsheet to help you find the best online course platforms.



Popular Online Learning Platforms – third party

Here are some of the most recommended online learning platforms that are popular for counsellors, consultants and life coaches to use to offer their own online learning programs:


Online Course Platform Click Funnels


If you haven’t heard about ClickFunnels yet, well it’s as good a place to start as any. If you have heard of ClickFunnels, you’re probably thinking isn’t it about sales funnels and landing pages? That’s how it started, but ClickFunnels 2.0 is here, and now it is about so much more.

Online courses, CRM, membership sites, ecommerce and more are all now part of the ClickFunnels family. Once you Click, you will see ClickFunnels founder, Russell Brunson, everywhere. He is a dynamic character but also very generous, sharing a lot of valuable information and resources.

I like that you can start with a free trial, to see if it really is the best model for you. But remember this – ClickFunnels, and all the platforms mentioned here – is SAAS (software as a service). That means they host the content. If you create the content within their platform and don’t have your own digital or hardcopy versions of it, once you close your account, the content you created will possibly be deleted forever. So always prepare your content separate from these platforms.

User friendly with comprehensive marketing features & support

ClickFunnels is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, even for non-technical users. The platform provides a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to create landing pages, sales funnels, and other marketing materials without any coding experience.

ClickFunnels provides a range of marketing features, such as email automation, sales funnel templates, and split testing, that can help you promote and sell your online courses more effectively.

ClickFunnels has an active online community of users and provides comprehensive support resources, including training courses and a knowledge base, to help you get the most out of the platform.

  • user friendly
  • drag and drop editor builder
  • includes email automation and funnel templates
  • an active online community for support
  • comprehensive training courses and knowledge base

Expensive with limited course creation functions

Some consider ClickFunnels relatively expensive compared to other course platforms, particularly if you want to take advantage of all of its features and integrations. However, you do need to factor in the cost of external email marketing platforms like Mailchimp that you might be using in addition with other platforms.

The course feature is relatively new to ClickFunnels so course creation features are somewhat limited. While it provides the standard course creation features, such as drip content and course completion tracking, it may not be as well-suited for more complex course materials or assessments.

  • higher priced
  • limited course creation features
  • limited customisation ability in templates
  • does not include a marketplace for targeting potential students (for some this is a good thing)

If you’re a little unsure about selling your expertise as a course or in a webinar format… then start by reading Russell’s book “Expert Secrets”. He shows you how to get paid for your expertise while increasing your reach, impact and influence.



Udemy Online Education Platform


Udemy is a popular online learning platform that allows people to turn what they know into an online course they can share with others. Your course is housed on their platform and students can find yours and other courses in its markeplace.

Global audience marketplace vs increased competition

One of the key benefits of Udemy is that it boasts an existing large audience. Udemy has an existing user base of over 40 million students globally. This means that there is a ready-made audience for your course. However, this can also mean your course will be in competition with many other similar programs also available on the platform.

  • access to an existing global audience
  • competing with other courses on the platform

Managed payment processing vs commission deductions

Another benefit is that Udemy handles all the payment processing, making it easy for you to receive payments for your course. However, they do take a percentage of your sales as their commission. Instead of taking a monthly or yearly subscription for you to use their platform, Udemy is based on a revenue share model. The commission percentage they take, varies depending on how students found you and signed up to your course.

  • they manage payment processing
  • revenue share model means they take a percentage of sales as commission
  • commission amount varies depending on signup source

Overall, Udemy can be a great platform to sell your online course, as it provides access to a large audience, marketing support, and easy-to-use course creation tools. However, it’s important to note that Udemy takes a percentage of your course sales, and you won’t have complete control over the pricing or marketing of your course. It’s worth considering other platforms and options before making a final decision.


Teachable Best Online Course Platform


Teachable is an all-in-one platform that allows instructors to create and sell their own courses. It offers a range of tools and features, including course creation tools, a customizable website, and marketing tools.

Convenient subscription model vs reduced access to features

Teachable is based on a monthly or annual subscription model, with limits on the number of courses and downloads you can offer as well as other available features such as email marketing, integrations, theme customisation and support. To gain access to all the features you’re looking at the higher priced tiers.

  • subscription model
  • feature and capacity limits
  • free to get started

High degree of customisation vs limited course gamification

Teachable provides a high degree of customization control over the layout and design of your theme, pages and courses. The built in page builder allow you to create custom course pages and landing pages while Teachable’s course builder allows you to customize the layout and structure of your course content. You can add sections, lectures, and quizzes, and rearrange them to create a logical flow for your course.

One of the proven ways to keep students engaged is through gamification. While you can create quizzes and awards, there are limited options for adding interactive elements like badges or leaderboards.

  • customise theme, page and course layout
  • can include quizzes and awards
  • can not include interactive gamification like badges or leaderboards

Overall, Teachable is a strong choice for anyone looking to start creating and selling online courses, particularly if you value ease of use and robust sales and marketing features. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons against your specific needs and goals to determine if it’s the best fit for your business.



Skillshare Online Courses Platforms


Skillshare allows instructors to create and sell their own courses. You do need to have a paid membership subscription to be able to teach on Skillshare. They also offer a class that teaches you how to teach on the Skillshare platform.

Wide audience reach vs high competition

Skillshare has a large user base of students who are interested in learning new skills. This means that your course has the potential to reach a wide audience, which can be beneficial in terms of exposure and potential revenue. However, Skillshare also has a large number of creators sharing courses on the platform, which means that you will need to compete with others in order to attract students to your course.

  • large existing student base
  • potential for increased exposure and revenue
  • competing against other courses on platform

Royalty based revenue vs limited revenue potential

Skillshare pays creators a royalty based on the number of minutes watched by premium students. If you create high-quality content that resonates with students, you can potentially earn a steady stream of passive income from your courses. However, this model can also work against you. If you fail to create high-quality content that engages students the viewing time will be low reducing the ability to earn a substantial income.

  • income based on minutes watched
  • increased pressure to create engaging content



Thinkific Online Courses Platform


Thinkific is another relative newcomer that will help you turn your expertise into revenue by creating and selling your courses online while building community and monetizing memberships. Thinkific is considered to be user-friendly and reliable, well-suited for individual course creators and small businesses.

Intuitive course builder vs limited brand customisations

Thinkific provides an intuitive drag-and-drop course builder that makes it easy to create and publish your courses. You can include a range of multimedia content, such as videos, audio files, and PDFs, to create engaging and interactive courses. It does allow for basic brand customisations (logo, colour and navigation) but the platform’s overall design and layout can be somewhat limiting.

  • drag and drop course builder
  • compatible with various multimedia files (video, audio, pdfs)
  • basic brand customisations – logo, colours, navigation

Built-in marketing features vs limited mobile support

Thinkific provides a range of built-in marketing features, such as email marketing and affiliate marketing tools, to help you promote your courses and attract more students. While Thinkific offers a mobile app for students, the app’s features are somewhat limited compared to the web platform.

  • built-in email marketing tool
  • built-in affiliate marketing tool
  • mobile app for students



Mastera Teaching Platform


Mastera is a new video experience platform for running teaching programs. It gives you the tools needed to host live classes, take bookings, sell videos, content & memberships. You can host live classes and deliver on-demand video content through its seamless integration with Zoom for your live classes. Create your on-demand video library with your hosted content.

You can set your own pricing with flexible memberships plans with limited or unlimited access to live classes and content. Turn your audience to paid subscribers & get peace of mind with auto-pay through Paypal, Stripe or Razorpay.

As a new platform to the online course market, Mastera has a special introductory offer through Appsumo at the time of posting this piece (Mar 2023).

Which is the Best Online Course Platform?

I didn’t want to overwhelm you with all of the options. So I selected a handful of the most popular and widely used of the many online learning platforms used by counselors, coaches and consultants (plus one newbie on the market). There isn’t one best course platform over and above all others. Each platform has its own set of features, tools, and pricing models, so it’s important to research each platform carefully and choose the one that best matches your requirements and future plans.



Best Online Course Platforms Comparison Tool

Best Online Course Platform Comparison Spreadsheet

To help you track your research on the various online course platforms and make the most informed decision, we have prepared this Course Platform Comparison Spreadsheet. Download it for FREE and make a copy so you can add your own findings.

Sell Online Courses from Your Own Website

The above only considers third party platforms through which you can sell your courses. But our preferred option is to sell online courses from your own website. That way, you have complete control over the appearance, pricing, content and it can become a valued asset in your business. Read this article that outlines the WordPress Plugins you can add on to a WordPress website, to start selling courses online through your own website.

How to Work Out How Much to Charge for a Course

Are you stuck on how to work out how much to charge for a course? This post outlines what to consider when determining how to price your online course. You can also download for free, our Online Course Rate Calculator.

Best WordPress Plugins for Online Courses

The question “which are the best wordpress plugins for online courses” is a popular one. And one there is no hard or fast answer to. Here is our list of what we have found to be the best plugins with their pros and cons. Plus, download for free our Online Course Comparison checker.

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