There are lots of ways to make money online. One popular method - being paid for producing your instructional (or entertainment) content - has generated the creator economy.
Kajabi and a number of other services in the same space provide a platform where you can monetize your expertise. These platforms host and sell knowledge products like online courses, membership communities, eBooks, and coaching.
Some of these platforms provide just course hosting. Others provide that and varying sales and marketing tools. Kajabi provides everything you need in one place to manage and grow your passion economy business.
While we naturally think Kajabi is the best option, we wanted to break down why. Here is a list of 10 Kajabi alternatives. That way, you can understand what you might get or miss out on when choosing a platform for your business.
Teachable is a learning management platform. Both Kajabi and Teachable are good tools for building and delivering online courses. But, if you’re looking to run a whole online business from one platform, Kajabi can better suit your needs.
Teachable offers graded quizzes to assess students at the Pro level and above, but has limitations on the assessment capabilities. Teachable offers training on how to design a course, but does not offer course templates or blueprints like Kajabi does.
As you dig deeper into your business and your needs, you’ll see that Teachable’s marketing and sales capabilities just aren’t as robust. So, to effectively market and sell your online courses, you’ll likely need to invest in other marketing software, then take the time to integrate it.
Check out our full comparison of Kajabi vs. Teachable for more.
Thinkific is another learning management system that bills itself as an all-in-one tool. Thinkific is easy to use and integrates with plenty of other tech tools.
The biggest difference between Kajabi and Thinkific is in their marketing capabilities. Thinkific is a good tool for creating online courses. But if you're looking for more tools to build a successful business, you may find some gaps.
For example, Thinkific comes with a website creator, but there are just four templates and customization options are very limited. And, Thinkific does not offer blogging, email marketing, or sales funnels.
Read the full Kajabi vs. Thinkific blog post for more information.
Podia is another all-in-one platform for an online creator economy business. In addition to course hosting, Podia includes email marketing, website builders, and page builders.
Podia has a simple, easy-to-use course creation tool. Their platform allows you to upload any type of file, deliver your content all at once or drip it, and even prelaunch e-courses.
But, Podia has limited functionality when assessing students - they only offer multiple choice quizzes. The Podia website builder comes with just a few themes, so it likely will be challenging to match your branding. And, the Podia email marketing template is very simple, so it may not support your ideas for emails.
Get more details in the Kajabi vs. Podia head-to-head comparison.
ClickFunnels describes themself as a “A website and sales funnel builder for entrepreneurs.” They are highly focused around sales funnels with marketing automation to generate and convert leads. They are not specifically focused on the knowledge commerce industry.
Clickfunnels offers free and for-sale templates for funnels. Or, it has an interactive experience to guide you through the process for the goals of collecting emails, selling a product, or hosting a webinar. Clickfunnels easily allows for split testing.
The pre-made designs for some of the Clickfunnels templates are a bit generic and dated. They can be customized but you may spend time making them look more current.
ClickFunnels does not offer a traditional website builder. You’ll need to use their funnel builders and connect those to compile a website. This is a challenging experience for the user and can lead to a website that is hard for visitors to navigate.
Kajabi does integrate with Clickfunnels so if you already use Clickfunnels, you don’t have to give it up to take advantage of Kajabi.
See how Clickfunnels compares in the Kajabi vs. Clickfunnels review.
Wordpress is one of the biggest names in websites, with a huge percentage of all websites being built with or hosted by Wordpress. Because of its ubiquity, there are tons of Wordpress plugins and themes available for use, both free and for sale. Wordpress plugins can be a security concern since you’re relying on another developer for updates.
Wordpress is a good choice if you have a set of marketing and sales tools you absolutely love and don’t mind glueing them all together. Because it’s not an all in one, you can choose from services that meet your specific needs.
But, Wordpress does not tailor to the knowledge commerce industry. That means you would need to use a learning management platform for any online courses. This comes with an added expense and time to integrate.
If you want the convenience of an all-in-one solution, you will not find it with Wordpress.
Check out the full Kajabi vs. Wordpress breakdown.
Ontraport markets themselves as a sales and marketing platform for growing businesses. It is mostly focused on web analytics, sales enablement, and creating landing pages. They do offer a membership community which brings them into the knowledge commerce space.
Ontraport’s sales tools are designed to support multiple sales representatives who are working to convert prospects via outbound methods like phone calls. These can be really helpful features but are more relevant for a different type of business model than knowledge commerce.
Ontraport is designed to improve your existing website. They provide some landing page templates and a membership site generator, but not overall website templates. You would need to connect those pages to another domain.
Ontraport offers email marketing as well and has some interesting, but complicated, email campaign setup features.
We have a Kajabi vs. Ontraport full review as well.
Patreon is a platform that reflects the traditional patronage of art, but in the digital age. One of the most common use cases is for entertainment or art related YouTube or music creators to collect payment from their fans.
Patrons pledge a recurring monthly payment for the perks that the creator offers. Patreon allows Creators to offer multiple tiers. Creators who use Patreon often offer these perks:
- Patron-only videos and writings
- Early access to videos
- Swag or merchandise
- Name included at the end of a video
- Access to a membership community, like a Facebook group or Discord server
- Access to virtual events, like a Zoom call
Patreon could certainly work for an online creator that is looking to monetize their fanbase but don’t necessarily plan to run an online business.
Patreon is free to set up, and takes a cut of your earnings. Patreon charges the creator:
- 5%, 8%, or 12% platform fee depending on level
- 2.9% + $0.30 or 5% + $0.10 payment processing fee
- a payout fee that changes based on the payout method, ranging from $0.25 - $20.00 for US creators
- 2.5% currency conversion fee if the patron pays in a currency other than what the creator prefers.
Patreon does not come with lots of marketing features, like a website or email marketing functionality. Users can post and share updates within their page on Patreon.
Patreon works well for creators just starting out in the knowledge economy or for those who treat knowledge commerce as a side hustle rather than their main income source. But, for anyone who could make a true living off of knowledge commerce, the cost of Kajabi is likely less than what would get taken by Patreon’s platform fee.
Udemy is a course marketplace that brings together students and instructors.
There are over 155,000 courses on Udemy now. Their top course categories are design, software and web development, marketing, IT and software, personal development, business, photography, and music.
You may have a hard time standing out if your expertise falls within one of their top categories. Some of their top courses have between 30,000 to 364,000 reviews.
Udemy allows course creators to upload and sell courses with no fee. For every sale that an instructor makes through their referral link, the instructor receives 97% of the Net Amount of revenue. If Udemy makes the sale, the instructor gets 37% of the Net Amount.
If you’re looking for a passive income stream, or if you don’t want to make a financial investment into hosting your courses, Udemy could work for you.
Memberful is another substantial knowledge commerce platform, but is not an all-in-one solution. Memberful allows its users to offer membership communities, gated content, newsletters, private podcasts, and online courses.
It does not offer a website or email marketing services. It positions itself as allowing users to sell memberships without a website.
Of course, it integrates with other providers like Wordpress and Mailchimp, but you’ll need to pay for those as well. If you run a membership community with Memberful, they note that integrating with Squarespace and Wix can be a challenge because those do not offer Single Sign On. So, if you have an existing website with those platforms, you may not be able to host your Memberful membership community there.
As their focus is about monetizing content, their checkout process is smooth. Memberful offers its users’ customers some flexibility and a smooth transaction experience. This includes a “pay what you can” option that operates like a digital tip jar.
Memberful has three pricing tiers. It offers a limited free plan that takes a 10% transaction fee, then two paid plans that also take a 4.9% transaction fee.
Like Patreon, Memberful could work well for someone trying to monetize their social media following, or who does not want to make an upfront financial investment. But the way their pricing works makes Kajabi more cost-effective at a certain threshold. That threshold is lower than you might expect.
Gumroad is another service provider that facilitates the sale of digital products and membership communities, but also rentals and physical products.
Gumroad provides a landing page storefront, subscription forms, video hosting, and analytics. They make it easy to offer multiple versions of a product, such as file formats. So, for someone looking to sell eBooks or films for educational or entertainment purposes, this could be a good fit.
Gumroad has a free plan to get started that takes a 8.5% + $0.30 (USD) fee per sale. Then, they have tiers that range from $10 - $250 a month with a 3.5% + $0.30 USD fee per sale. If a creator wants to offer PayPal as a payment option, that costs an additional 6% fee from Gumroad.
The pricing is determined by the number of unique annual customers a Gumroad creator has per year. Gumroad also has a section called Discover where they promote different creators but take a 10% fee for those referrals.
Gumroad has been around since 2011, and they report that their 88,000 members have earned over $458,000,000 as of June 2021. That works out to an average user making about $5,400 total.
So, for low volume sellers or those who are not monetizing content as their primary income stream, Gumroad could be a way to get started. But, like other platforms, it’s become less cost effective for those with a large customer base
Why you should choose Kajabi
After reviewing the competition, it’s clear that with many of the knowledge commerce platforms, you can get up and running selling digital products easily. The real differentiators are the number of tools available and the cost of the service.
Kajabi offers a comprehensive suite of tools. Kajabi provides:
- a robust course hosting and membership community
- website with well-designed and customizable templates
- email marketing
- payment processing
- and coupons.
You can run your knowledge commerce business from just one login.
And, Kajabi’s pricing makes it incredibly cost effective. Kajabi is less than the cost of sometimes just one email marketing service for the same number of contacts, and often less than combining two or more tech tools to run your online business. Plus, Kajabi never takes a cut of your earnings, so your profit margins could be even higher.
Get started with Kajabi
If you’re serious about monetizing your knowledge, you need the platform that enables you to run a successful business - Kajabi. Read more about why small business owners need an all-in-one platform.
Ready to get started building your knowledge commerce business? Start your free 14-day trial of Kajabi now.
While you’re building, don’t forget to check out Kajabi University. We provide hours of video training courses on not just how to use the platform, but other common business topics.