When it comes to selling a course online, you’ll come across a number of solutions, including two industry-leading platforms, Kajabi and Udemy.
If you’re struggling to choose between these two course builders or are looking for Udemy alternatives, keep reading for our in-depth Kajabi vs. Udemy review.
Kajabi vs. Udemy: What to Know
On the surface, Kajabi and Udemy seem similar. Both give you a course builder for creating and publishing your courses. But that’s where the similarities end.
While Udemy functions primarily as a course platform, Kajabi is a business-building platform that equips you to monetize your knowledge not only with courses but with coaching and other digital products as well.
If your goal is to build a knowledge business, Udemy is limited. You can publish a course — and even get started for free — but you can’t build a website, email list, or sales funnels to promote your course.
Kajabi, on the other hand, makes it easy to turn your knowledge into a business. With one small investment, you’ll not only create a course, you’ll build a website, an audience, and marketing that helps you increase sales. And because Kajabi supports other digital products as well, you can easily scale your business to include coaching, ebooks, and other income streams.
Speaking of marketing... a big selling point for Udemy is its marketplace. The idea is that you only need to upload a course. Udemy does the marketing, and you bring home some extra money. But it doesn’t always work that way.
Udemy has a history of changing its revenue sharing model in ways that limit your earning potential. At one point, they limited the price you could put on your course to just $200. They’ve also changed the revenue share percentages, making it harder to earn as much as early Udemy instructors were able to earn.
We’ll talk more about costs in a minute. But essentially, you pay Udemy a large portion of your earnings to do your marketing for you. Trouble is, they’re not really focused on getting your course in front of your best clients, because they’re also promoting courses from 150,000 other instructors.
That’s why the most successful Udemy instructors build their own marketing channels. It’s the only way they can maintain their profits.
And that brings us to another hidden cost of choosing Udemy. Sure, it’s free to upload your course to Udemy, but if you want to market it, you’ll need to invest in marketing tools. And that can get expensive.
Kajabi vs. Udemy: Pricing
If you’re considering Udemy alternatives, Kajabi is the front-runner for many reasons. Kajabi’s basic package costs $149 per month — one small investment that gives you all the tools you need to build, market, and sell your courses. Here are just a few of the tools that are built into your Kajabi membership:
- Email marketing
- Membership tools
- Blogging tools
- E-commerce shopping cart
- Podcasting tools
Paying for each one of these separately could easily set you back several hundred dollars per month. Not to mention other costs, like paying a developer to integrate your tool stack and deal with faulty or conflicting plugins.
By building a suite of tools that work together, Kajabi saves you both time and money, freeing you to concentrate on building and marketing your course.
In terms of its pricing structure, Kajabi features three different plans:
- Basic at $149/month
- Growth at $199/month
- Pro at $399/month
Each plan gives you access to all of Kajabi’s features. So you never have to hunt for the right tools to grow your business. When you’re ready to launch a podcast or newsletter, you’ve already got the tools you need, and you can trust them to work with every other tool you’re using.
With Udemy, there are no fees. You can upload a course for free. But you’ll be subject to Udemy’s pricing rules, which, as we mentioned above, change periodically.
Currently, if you sell your course via the instructor’s coupon or referral link, you receive 97% of the revenue from your course sales. Otherwise, you take home just 37% of the revenue from your courses.
And keep in mind, the price you set for your courses is more like a suggested price. When Udemy runs a sale, a $500 course may be offered at $9.99. When that happens, your revenue share drops to just $3.70.
Kajabi vs. Udemy: Marketing Features
Udemy doesn’t offer marketing tools per se, but it does give instructors some options for promoting their own courses. Instructor’s coupons, for instance, allow you to promote your course at a reduced rate.
Udemy also offers a Marketing Boost program which allows you to promote your course across their network of affiliate partners. If you know how to create a landing page and email list, you can use those tools to promote your course on Udemy, but they’re not built into the system by default and you’ll need to pay separately for them.
When it comes to marketing your course, Kajabi has a clear edge. Your monthly fee includes just about everything you need to market and sell your course, and take care of your clients and students.
That being the case, let’s look at some of the features that make Kajabi stand out as an alternative to Udemy.
Kajabi’s intuitive website builder gives you a strong online presence and instant credibility. You no longer need to hire a web designer and a developer to get your site to look and flow the way you want.
Kajabi’s all-in-one website builder is intuitive and easy to pick up. Click and drag from a large library of elements to create web pages that look as if they were professionally designed. And you can change colors and other design elements to suit your brand.
The goal here is simplicity. Anyone, even someone with no tech background, can build a website, create landing pages, blog posts, product pages, and opt-in forms.
And because every tool in Kajabi integrates with every other tool, you can easily connect your landing pages to your email list and marketing pipelines (more on those below). With just a few clicks, you can successfully build advanced automations that sell more courses and drive more revenue.
Marketing pipelines are Kajabi’s term for sales funnels. Just as you can drag and drop to create outstanding mobile-friendly web pages, so too can you drag and drop different “conditions” in order to create marketing pipelines.
So if you want to trigger a marketing or engagement campaign, you can do it at the click of a button. A good example is an email that’s automatically sent to students who have enrolled in your course but haven’t finished it.
Kajabi also gives you a variety of pre-built pipelines, so you don’t have to start from scratch (unless you want to!). Using pre-built pipelines ensures you’re building a funnel that follows today’s best practices. It also means you can have a high-performing funnel in just a few clicks.
Email list building
Email list building is another central feature of Kajabi’s platform that sets it apart as a strong Udemy alternative. Rather than having to pay separately for an email marketing service, Kajabi includes the functionality of a top-shelf email marketing provider, but at no extra charge.
Plus you can send an unlimited number of marketing emails to your contacts on any Kajabi pricing plan, letting you communicate with students and enrollees as often as you wish. With its automations and advanced segmentation, you can send the right message to the right people at the right time.
Creating courses and engaging with students
Course creation is at the heart of both Kajabi and Udemy, so it’s understandable that this is where each respective company would put the greatest amount of focus.
Udemy’s course builder is user friendly and includes resources that you can use to create your course. But getting it approved is sometimes difficult. Udemy’s quality standards are difficult to achieve if you don’t have high-quality cameras and sound.
In fact, Udemy’s minimum requirements require that you:
- Cut out “umms” and “ahhs”
- Look and sound enthusiastic
- Pronounce your words clearly and emphasize important points.
And if your videos aren’t the right aspect ratio or resolution, they’ll be rejected, and you won’t be able to publish your course.
Udemy does allow you to engage with students through educational announcements, direct messaging, and Q&A. If you’ve made your own quizzes, you can add those into Udemy, but the platform itself does not offer this functionality.
Kajabi also makes it easy to build your course. Their course builder gives you intuitive, drag-and-drop functionality. But you don’t have to get your course approved before you can publish it. You get to set your quality standards, the types of media you use, your prices, and everything else related to your courses.
And with Kajabi, you can add engagement features to keep your students engaged. For instance, set up assessments or quizzes to ensure your students are learning the material. Or set up automations to encourage students who complete a difficult lesson.
And if your students seem to be struggling, Kajabi lets you add a coaching element to your courses. It’s already built in, so it’s only a matter of setting it up.
Integrations with third-party systems and platforms
Although Kajabi operates on the principle of not needing any third-party integrations, there are some times where course creators want to integrate their Kajabi course with outside systems or tools.
Kajabi offers nearly a dozen built-in integrations, including:
- Google Analytics
- and more
Kajabi also integrates with Zapier, which lets you create your own custom integrations from thousands of third-party apps, so if there’s something you love using that isn’t on their integrations list, chances are, there’s a “zap” for it.
Udemy doesn’t offer integrations to content creators, but they do offer them as part of their partnership services to businesses.
Kajabi vs. Udemy: Customer Support
Udemy offers a general knowledgebase for troubleshooting common problems. Instructors also get access to a training center that will get them up and running quickly, but little else in terms of support for when something goes wrong.
Kajabi is consistently rated high for its excellent customer service, including its 24/7 live chat option. Like Udemy, Kajabi also has a training library, known as Kajabi University that does much more than just get you started. It includes hands-on videos and other details that show you not just how to create courses, but how to turn your knowledge into a profitable business.
Which is better, Kajabi or Udemy?
When you consider that both Kajabi and Udemy have course creation in their DNA, you’d be forgiven for thinking that both companies would take a similar approach to equipping instructors. However, as you know, there’s more to course creation than just the course itself.
If you want to make a small side income and you’re not worried about turning your knowledge into a full-fledged business, Udemy could be a fast way to get up and running, especially if you just want to focus on the course itself and nothing else.
Keep in mind, however, that Udemy does take a 63% commission on every sale that results from their marketing (which could be most of your sales). It’s important to price your course accordingly.
If, on the other hand, you want to create a consistent stream of income and use your course to launch a business, Kajabi is the far superior choice.
Because Kajabi bundles its entire business-building toolset into every membership package, you actually save money on technology. One payment covers everything you need. As opposed to piecemealing your tech stack, and paying a separate fee for each tool you use.
And last but not least, Kajabi doesn’t take a penny of your profits as commission. Your earnings are yours, and yours alone.
In our Kajabi vs. Udemy review, Kajabi is the clear winner for course creation and sales. And when you’re ready to scale your business beyond courses, you’re already covered.
Join us for live Q&A webinars every day, Monday through Friday. Register today to learn everything you need to know to succeed as a knowledge entrepreneur, including selling products, Kajabi themes, pipelines, webinars, and the Kajabi Partner Program.