If you’re looking to sell online courses, you might be thinking that Kajabi is the only game in town. But that’s not true!
There are now tons of different ways of selling courses and services online, and not all of them will cost an arm and a leg to do.
Here, we’ll take you through what Kajabi does and how it stacks up against competitors. Then, we’ll discuss what sorts of features online course vendors might need, and explore some alternatives to Kajabi while we’re at it.
What is Kajabi?
Kajabi is a website software platform that allows users to build a business selling online courses. The software specializes in helping business owners create online courses and sell them. Kajabi features:
- Website and blogging features
- Email marketing
- Payment checkout
- Online course area
- Member community areas
- Affiliate marketing features
Now that you have a basic understanding of what Kajabi is, we’ll go over what it does well and what it does poorly, and then we’ll explore alternatives.
What Kajabi does well
Kajabi can be a good tool for online course creators. Here are some of the important features that it offers:
- All-in-one solution that combines many features and tools
- 10+ themes
- Has a mobile app
- Allows you to create an entire website as well as run a blog
- Has some sales pipeline and marketing tools
- Includes private social network and community spaces
- Email marketing tools
Kajabi allows users to hit the ground running, offering tools that help users to create landing pages and sales funnels. It also gives them tools to create extra conversion opportunities in many different areas on a site. Additionally, the service offers email marketing within Kajabi itself, negating the need for a third-party platform.
For online course creators, Kajabi is a strong offering, but it does have some serious drawbacks that might make it difficult for new users, as well as having some functionality deficits in other areas.
What Kajabi does poorly
Kajabi’s major downside is that it lacks flexibility in some of the ways that educators and ecommerce course creators will need to be successful.
First up, the price. Kajabi comes with a pretty steep price tag out of the gate.
While this might work for some, for many entrepreneurs this can be a steep hurdle to overcome. Many people don’t expect sales in their first months, and Kajabi is the most expensive platform on the market!
Additionally, Kajabi has some limited functionality. It doesn’t allow native course completion or certificate generation, and it doesn’t support advanced quiz elements like question banks, randomization, and other elearning essentials.
For marketing purposes, Kajabi’s blogging functionality is bare bones. As of this time, there is no import from WordPress functionality.
While it might be a useful platform for some, many users need more customization or flexibility in their stores. Kajabi might not be the best bet, especially with so many other options available for businesses that want to dive into selling courses.
Let’s talk about some of the important features that an entrepreneur needs to sell online courses effectively, and then we’ll jump into some alternatives.
Creating and Selling Video Courses
One of the quickest ways to jump into e-learning is to create a video course. Many entrepreneurs or small business owners have a wealth of knowledge about their products and/or services. It’s a shame to let all this wealth go untapped.
Selling video courses can create an alternative stream of revenue for a business owner, and the barrier to entry is low. All you need is some basic recording equipment, a decent space to film, and you’re ready to go.
However, once the videos are in hand, creating a way to sell them to customers or turn those videos into income is a different challenge. The ideal is revenue generation; you want customers to purchase your videos over and over again but to create them just once, rather than having to make new videos daily or remake courses. Online video courses are cheap assets that need to be cheaply distributed, otherwise, they can become a resource drain.
Once you make a course video, there needs to be a solid, customizable vending environment to ensure that those videos are easily accessible to potential users and customers.
If the goal isn’t to make money, but rather raise awareness, that’s different. Branding and getting customers into your marketing funnel on a YouTube channel can be an effective way to accomplish this goal. However, most of YouTube’s educational functionality is limited, and if the goal is monetization, you’ll have to depend on ad revenue.
So, for an entrepreneur who’s trying to monetize video, a platform that allows for easy listing, renting, and selling is a must. Additional course functionality baked in sweetens the deal and brings everything together.
Selling Ebooks and PDFs
Another vital component of selling or creating an online course is having decent course materials. For an online course, it’s important to have a set of materials that form a complete picture of your course.
Ebooks, PDFs, and other course manuscripts and materials can be an important part of your online course. Learning to create supplementary materials that go along with a video course as part of a larger curriculum can really boost the value of your course.
For instance, if you sell a life coaching course, you might want to include little checklists and homework assignments that go along with the video or other materials that you’re selling.
Ideally, these should be available to your students as they move through your course, or there should be plenty of supplemental material that is available on a blog or other medium.
Or, eBooks and PDFs can be an online course unto themselves. If you don’t have the time and resources for a video course, selling an ebook (or even a physical book) can be a low-cost way to supplement income. Plus, there are many tools available to help in the self-publishing journey.
Selling digital materials to customers is easy when you use an ecommerce platform that makes digital sales a snap. Once you’ve set this up, these materials can fit nicely into your existing sales pipeline.
This final piece is likely more geared towards software developers. It can be a huge value-add to sell a course or course materials along with apps or software.
Like with videos and eBooks, having the flexibility of a hybrid approach will pay big dividends for businesses that make software and apps. Most people’s first step after installing a new complex piece of software is to try and learn how to use it. If you can provide documentation and course material to go along with the app itself, you often end up with something more valuable to customers.
And while you can give these materials away for free, or just host them somewhere for easy access, creating courses that teach specific uses of your software can be an additional source of income. Plus, this method allows for bundling, deals, and other sales opportunities.
Kajabi Alternative 1: YouTube
The oldest and largest video hosting website, YouTube is often the first stop for anyone who wants to do e-learning of any kind. It can serve as an excellent alternative to other platforms, especially if you’re interested in creating a video course.
YouTube has a massive audience, great optimization tools, and integrates with the Google Display Network. With that tool in hand, you can send advertisements to YouTube videos and other areas.
The major downside of YouTube is monetization. Unless you have a large enough audience and are serving up ads, it’s difficult to turn YouTube videos into cash flow. That’s not to say it’s impossible! But, this channel is best used for building brand awareness or funneling customers into other more profitable channels and platforms.
Kajabi vs. YouTube
When it comes to getting started with online courses or hosted videos, free is hard to beat. On that standard alone, YouTube stands head and shoulders above Kajabi. On top of that, it’s tough to beat a platform with a built-in audience.
Kajabi Alternative 2: Teachable
Teachable is an elearning platform that’s got a pretty large user base, and it markets itself as a user-friendly and accessible way to sell courses. Teachable markets itself to people who aren’t particularly tech-savvy and are looking for affordability and a basic toolkit.
The interface is clear and features a “power editor” for users that want to become a little bit more flexible with their content creation. The dashboard allows users to track sales and student retention. There are also roles that an administrator can assign to different users if there are employees that need different levels of access.
Teachable also offers unlimited video bandwidth, unlimited courses, and coaching sessions as part of course offerings. It integrates with Calendly, Zoom, Zapier, Zendesk, Olark, Intercom, MailChimp, ConvertKit, Vizia, and Webhooks.
The platform comes with four subscription options:
- Free: Limited to 1 admin and 10 students and has unlimited courses, video bandwidth, and hosting.
- Basic: $39/month, with a custom domain, third-party integrations, an option for creating drip course content, and integrated email marketing.
- Professional: $119/month with 5 admins and live chat support. Offers graded quizzes, course compliance, course completion certificates, advanced reports, and an unbranded website.
- Business: $299/month, offers 20 admins, advanced developer customization capabilities, custom user roles, an option to bulk import students, and group coaching calls.
Teachable is a good alternative for some but it lacks much of the diversity of other platforms. This platform is best for people who only want to sell courses and not much else.
Kajabi vs. Teachable
When compared with Kajabi, Teachable offers a much more competitive price point for ecommerce entrepreneurs or small businesses to start selling courses. This makes it a compelling alternative option.
Kajabi Alternative 3: Selz
If you’re looking for a full-featured ecommerce platform designed to sell courses, digital products, and physical products, Selz is the way to go. Here are some of the main features of Selz:
- Advanced product listing features – With Selz, you can create any type of product you need to sell. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a physical product, a digital product, or online coaching, Selz has it covered.
- Customizable store builder – Selz has a powerful and flexible store builder. Setting up and customizing a store to meet your needs as simple as dragging and dropping.
- Rent and sell videos – Selz has functionality for renting and selling videos. This is perfect for online courses where you want to set up and sell videos in a sequence or in a single package.
- Sell software and software keys – With Selz, you can sell software and software license keys. Generating a new key is as simple as a few clicks.
- Sell eBooks and other files – With support for many different formats, Selz allows you to upload and update ebooks and other course materials. Then you can sell them or give them away for free.
- 20+ integrations – If Selz doesn’t have the functionality, it has an integration that does. Integrate with whatever software you might need in an easy-to-use app store.
Selz offers reasonable pricing plans (as well as a free plan) starting at $29/month, so you can get started with an online store for very little cost.
Kajabi vs. Selz
When it comes to selling courses online, there’s no contest. While Selz might not have some of the specific features that Kajabi has, it more than makes up for it in price point and customization. If you’re looking to jumpstart your online course business, you can sign up for Selz today for a 14-day free trial.