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You may know Teachable is a great platform for hosting free or paid online courses. But what if you don't teach, and don't have any paid products?
If you've been struggling to find the best way to host a free resource library, or a free or paid monthly membership site without using a plugin, this list is sure to get some creative ideas flowing and get you wondering why you WOULDN'T use Teachable to host your digital freebies - AND your paid products!
DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this post are my referral or affiliate links, which means if you click on them and end up purchasing something, I *may* receive a small commission or credit to my own account. But rest assured, I only promote products I would or do happily use myself!
Before I get into it, I should note that ALL of these ideas (except the last one) also apply to Thinkific, which is another fantastic Online Course creation platform! Teachable and Thinkific have a lot of similar features, but also have some differences; Thinkific may actually be a better option for some, depending on what is most important to you! I definitely recommend checking out both :)
Now, on to those reasons:
1. You can Start Hosting Your Freebies for Free!
Yeeeeup! You heard that right. Teachable has a FREE plan, and it includes unlimited free course hosting, even if you use videos!
This means that as long as you're hosting "products" that you're giving away for free, you don't have to pay Teachable a dime either!
And if you DO host paid products, you only have to pay a 10% commission + transaction fees to Teachable -- and they handle the bulk of the customer service! (say whaaa??)
2. Perceived Value + Presentation
Setting up your Freebie as a "Course," even if it is only one tiny lesson, can instantly appear more luxurious and "Pro" than a simple PDF - if you do it well!
3. Technical Difficulty
Once you've found your way around the interface, it's actually EASIER to set up an informational freebie as a course in Teachable, than it is to design, format, and package PDF ebook! But, you can always create a PDF as well, and offer that as an option within the course.
4. Platform Indifference
It doesn't matter which web platform you use to host your blog or website, because your freebies will be hosted on Teachable. You can easily link between your sites to create a seamless flow, or if you like, you can actually use Teachable to host your entire site!
If you have a lot of media, hosting that media (i.e. videos) on Teachable can be beneficial whether or not you call another url your home online. Since Teachable includes fast video hosting -- even on the free plan -- you can save own site hosting plan some heavy lifting, so you don't have to worry about your files slowing down your site or upping your hosting fees.
5. User Experience + Convenience
When someone signs up for 1 of your freebies through Teachable, they are automatically able to add any of your freebies to their account without registering again! And if you add any new freebies to your library in the future, current subscribers can go access them at any time without registering a second time for your list.
6. No Need for Password Protected Pages
Hosting your freebies on Teachable eliminates the need for you to create a password protected page on your own site, and then wrangle a way to get that same password to everyone who signs up... who then can easily share it with all their friends (not so protected now, eh?)
Plus, back to the user's experience, it’s easier for subscribers to access the freebie later, along with any other freebies they've downloaded from you, because they can use their own username and password!
7. Easy Passive Cross-Promotion + Upselling
If and when you ever decide to create PAID courses or digital products, you can also host them in the same place as your freebies! Of course, you can create a separate "School" dedicated to your freebies only, and even brand it as such. But there is 1 huge benefit to having everything under one umbrella: visual cross-promotion!!
When your followers sign up for one course or freebie, you can set it up so that they also have easy viewing access of everything else you offer - free or paid.
This is a brilliant and effective way of getting the same pair of eyes on more of your stuff, while also giving them SUPER easy access to it! And as with additional freebies, a current member of your school doesn't have to re-enter their contact info into the system to get a paid product. They simply have to add their payment options to their profile, which of course can be saved, for easy access to other paid products!
8. Email List Segmentation
As we already established, when someone signs up for 1 of your freebies (or paid products) through Teachable, they are automatically able to add any of your other freebies or products to their account without registering again! However, behind the scenes, you can have each of your freebies connected to a different group or segment within your email list (NOTE: in order to integrate directly with Mailchimp or another Email Service Provider via Zapier, you need to have the Basic Plan or above. However, when just starting out, you don't even have to use a Third-Party Service, you can send emails to your Teachable Subscribers directly through Teachable! And you can always export your contacts via CSV when you're ready)!
This is way better than simply offering a bunch of unrelated freebies in 1 go in exchange for a general list sign up, where you'll never know anything about which ones they actually viewed or cared about. The user still only has to "register" once for as many freebies as they'd like, but YOU still have the ability to capture and categorize their interests much more specifically!
9. Private Community Built In
You can optionally create a “Community” feel right inside of Teachable, by utilizing the comments / discussion / quiz features! This can be extra useful for keeping questions about one "course" separate from the others, or to showcase them all together to aid in cross-promotion!
10. New MyTeachable Option
Teachable now has a sweet new option for Course Creators: you can set your school to have a universal "MyTeachable" login, instead of a log in only to your "school".
NOTE: "New schools (created after 12/5/2016) have it automatically enabled, but can disable it as long as they are on a paid plan and have under 100 students."
- Teachable Support
This means that if your school is set up as a MyTeachable school, anyone who has already registered for someone ELSE'S MyTeachable product, doesn't have to register for yours! All they have to do is sign into their existing account, and click "enroll"! Then, when they log into their MyTeachable account, they can see all of their MyTeachable courses in one place, and catch up on their progress on their phone if they want (yep, there's a snazzy iPhone App). Talk about an easy-peasy user experience!
The best part for you? Since their info is already in the Teachable system, their email IS still added to your list with one click!
There's actually a second potential benefit to registering your school as a MyTeachable School:
There's talk that Teachable has ideas in the works to make it easier in 2017 for potential customers to FIND your classes, via other classes within the network!
It's possible that this could go both ways, of course -- i.e. someone could sign up for your course, and then receive a recommendation for someone else's product, which could potentially draw some attention away from you.
BUT, even if they go and purchase someone else's product, when they go to look at that product later, they can also see YOUR product under their courses:) So, in reality, it might actually keep MORE attention on BOTH of you, and everybody wins.
I for one am super curious to see how MyTeachable plays out, but it looks like it will be a win-win deal for both Teachable teachers and students.
Have any other ideas for how to use Teachable for either your free or paid products? I'd love to know!
Or, has this post sparked any ideas you want to try? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. In case you're wondering, my own "Freebie Vault" is in the works for my subscribers! It's gonna be EPIC!