Udemy vs Pluralsight – Which One Should You Choose?

As an online course creator, it can be beneficial to host your first course on an online course platform rather than your own website. 

This is because the latter requires a lot more effort and extra work that most new course creators don’t want to deal with. 

In this post, we’ll compare Udemy and Pluralsight to determine which of the two online learning platforms is better for new course creators. 

Potential Income4 stars4 stars
Time Commitment4 stars3 stars
Ease of Use4 and a half stars4 stars
Marketing Efforts2 stars3 stars
Risk of FailureHighMedium

Udemy Review – Free and Easy to Use

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If you’ve ever looked up online courses before, you will most likely have heard Udemy’s name. 

It’s an extremely popular online course platform that has over 32,000 courses available alongside a student base of over 35 million. 

With that many students, it’s almost a guarantee that no matter what your niche is, you will most likely find an audience that wants to learn whatever you’re teaching. 

Two reasons why Udemy is so popular is because:

  • It does not cost you anything to join and publish online courses on Udemy 
  • There are no eligibility criteria to publish courses on Udemy

This makes Udemy the perfect option if you’re an online course creator who’s new and wants to get their feet wet. 

Most courses on Udemy are priced below $100 so if you want to create a beginner to mid-level course, then Udemy can be the ideal platform for it. 

Pros Cons
Ability to generate coupons and discount codes for your courses

Wide community support

Extensive control over course content

Access to a large number of students

Tons of niches and categories available
A lot of competition 

High risk of failure

Benefits of Udemy

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When we discuss benefits, let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first: Udemy is free to join and you can post as many courses as you want on the platform for free too. 

Additionally, anyone can publish Udemy courses

You don’t need to be an authoritative figure in your field, you don’t need a university degree or need to have achievements in your field for your courses to be accepted onto the platform. 

Thus, if you don’t have any professional or educational experience in your field but derive your knowledge of it from being a hobbyist, then Udemy may be a worthwhile option. 

Since Udemy has access to over 30 million students, you really do gain a great opportunity to provide online learning to a ton of people who may want to learn exactly what you have to offer. 

If you make an online course about a super-specific niche, chances are you’ll be able to categorize it easily on Udemy thanks to their vast library of courses.

You can choose to have either free or paid courses on the platform. 

This can be a great opportunity for you since you can first provide value with short, free courses and then, create a bigger, paid course related to the same topic but more in-depth. 
Students who will have taken your free course(s) will know that you have value to offer and thus, will be much more likely to buy your paid courses. 

While Udemy’s team does not actively help you to market your online courses, the platform does have some tools that can help your efforts to do so. 

For example, you have the ability to generate coupons and discount codes. 

You can use these discount codes and coupons within email marketing and social media marketing campaigns to gather traffic towards your online course(s). 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Udemy

Potential Income

The first thing to consider is how much you’ll make if you become successful on Udemy. 

While it’s great that Udemy doesn’t charge you anything to join or to publish courses, you have to take into account that Udemy keeps 50% of all course sales you make. 

Thus, if your business becomes highly popular, please keep in mind that you’ll only see 50% of the revenue as the rest will go to Udemy. 

Marketing Efforts

As mentioned earlier, marketing is something that you’ll have to handle on your own if you choose to have high-quality courses on Udemy. 

Udemy does provide you with some tools such as coupons and discount codes but in the end, you’re the one who’ll have to develop marketing campaigns for your product. 

Marketing is an extremely crucial part of online course selling and if you don’t do it properly, it can jeopardize your whole business. 

If you choose Udemy, be sure to be prepared to market your Udemy courses properly. 

Time Commitment 

Publishing courses on Udemy is definitely a substantial time commitment. However, the thing to note is that it’s a temporary time commitment. 

This means that yes, you’ll have to spend weeks or even months creating and marketing your online course in order to build a sizable community around it. 

However, once that community is built, you won’t have to put in more work. 

After a certain number of students have gone through your course, it will have racked up favorable ratings, testimonials, and reviews. 

Once that happens, these positive accolades on your online course will help you continue finding new audiences. 

It will become a source of passive income. 

Risk of Failure

Since Udemy is one of the most popular online course platforms out there, the risk of failure is extremely high. 

This is mainly because there’s a ton of competition. 

No matter what your niche is, there’s a high chance there may already be established creators who are already teaching what you were about to teach. 

It can be devastating to spend several months publishing and marketing your online course only to find out no one wants to buy it because an already-established creator is already providing the same value. 

Hence, do your research to provide value that no one on the platform is already providing within your respective field. Otherwise, there’s a high chance that no one will buy your course(s). 

What Do the Customers Think?

Creators love Udemy’s ease of use and how the dashboard makes it super easy to upload and manage every asset of your online course. 

You can easily pick it up on the first day and get full use out of it without any confusion about its different functions. 

Furthermore, people love how it does not have any eligibility criteria and is free to use. This gives a lot of opportunities to hobbyists to share their teachings through online courses. 

Here are some reviews we found online: 

pluralsight vs udemy other online learning platforms learning process successful career multiple courses programming skills learning material courses remains
pluralsight vs udemy quality varies learning platform most udemy courses find courses content quality lifetime access pluralsight course single course business professionals

Best Free Online Learning Platform

The best free online learning platform is Udemy because it’s free to join and you can publish as many courses as you want on it for free too. It’s very easy to use and provides you with all the tools you need to effectively upload and organize different assets of your online course.

Pluralsight Review – Reliable and Robust

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Pluralsight is fairly more curated than Udemy and focuses more on technology-related courses rather than a wide variety of them. 

Within tech, you can have highly in-depth courses on Pluralsight with topics such as: 

  • Cybersecurity 
  • Networking
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Science
  • Python
  • Java
  • Web development

And much more. 

Pluralsight offers “Skills plans” to students and teams so they can take several relevant courses to develop a certain skill (for example, coding in Python). 

Hence, this gives you the opportunity to create relevant courses that could become part of a certain “Skills plan” on Pluralsight. 
It can be a good idea to have several courses in a single plan as people are much more likely to buy more courses when they’re focusing on developing a single skill. 

Unlike Udemy, Pluralsight does have vetting and reviewing process. You’re not 100% guaranteed to have your course published on the platform as there are certain criteria that you’ll have to meet. 

Pros Cons
More focused, tech-oriented community

Responsive customer support

Fairly reliable income once you find a community

Easy-to-use interface

Free to publish courses
Harder to qualify 

Pays on a quarterly basis

Benefits of Pluralsight

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The most obvious benefit of Pluralsight is the fact that it’s free for instructors.

You don’t have to pay any type of subscription plan in order to be a member and be able to publish courses on the platform. 

Secondly, it features a neat and self-explanatory interface that is perfect for you to upload your online course immediately. 

Not only does it have clear instructions on how to upload assets of your online course but it also features easy tools to help you organize and manage them too. 

The site even has tools to build interactive courses and add engaging aspects such as quizzes, assignments, coding activities, etc. 

Unlike Udemy, where your revenue depends on course sales, Pluralsight pays you on a quarterly basis based on the viewing hours you have on your courses. 

So, the more viewing time you amass, the more you’ll be paid. 

According to a press release by Pluralsight, one of their instructors became a millionaire, earning $1.8 million between 2008 and 2013. 

Their top five instructors averaged around $400,000 per year while the average instructor on the platform makes around $40,000 per year. 

$40,000 per year on average is pretty great. 
Compare that Udemy where the average instructor makes around $1500 to $3000 per month which corresponds to $18,000 to $36,000 per year. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Pluralsight

Potential Income

The potential income on Pluralsight is much more reliable than Udemy’s. 

As long as you’re accepted, you can expect to make at least some money off of the platform. It’s not like Udemy where there’s a high chance no one may ever buy your courses at all. 

On average, you can stand to make about $40,000 per year assuming that you’re able to work yourself up to become an established instructor on Pluralsight. 

This is fairly higher than what the average Udemy instructor earns. 

Marketing Efforts

While Pluralsight does make some effort to promote different courses when they come out, the truth of the matter is that you will have to handle the majority of it. 

Remember that your revenue still depends on the viewing hours you accumulate so, it will be important to reach as wide of an audience as possible. 

For that, you may have to employ a number of different tacts to gather traffic such as: 

  • Developing email marketing campaigns 
  • Developing social media marketing campaigns 
  • Writing blogs 
  • Conducting webinars 
  • Starting a podcast
  • Collaborating with other course creators 

The marketing of online courses is highly important and is oftentimes the reason why many new course creators fail to get their business off the ground. 

If you don’t have the time to do all this or just feel that you won’t do as good of a job, then opting for Pluralsight would probably be a bad idea. 
Instead, you should opt for online learning sites that provide instructors with marketing services as part of their package. An example of such a platform is Udacity. 

Time Commitment 

Similar to Udemy, Pluralsight is a fairly large time commitment but at the same time, it’s also temporary. 

You’ll have to work on your online course for a few months at least. 

This will include you:

  • Uploading and organizing all of the content of your course on the platform
  • Developing quizzes, assignments, and any other interactive elements you need
  • Marketing and promoting your online course 

Once you have successfully done this and built an online community around your course, you can take a breather. 

This is because once a significant number of students have graduated from your course, you will have amassed ratings, reviews, and testimonials. 

If you developed a compelling course, then you’ll get high ratings which will then take over the role of marketing for your online course. 

Now, all you have to do is sit back, watch the profits roll in and perhaps, start work on your next online course. 

Risk of Failure

There’s a fairly low risk of failure if you get accepted onto Pluralsight. 

However, getting accepted into Pluralsight isn’t as simple as Udemy. 

Not everyone can post courses on Pluralsight and you’ll have to work for your place on the platform. 

Before you can upload your course content onto the platform (or start to create your course directly on the platform), you’ll have to create a video audition. 

You’ll be able to make use of Pluralsight’s audition kit to create your video audition. 

This video audition will be used by Pluralsight to judge whether or not your speaking and communication style is suitable for their platform or not. 

You’ll also be assigned an acquisition editor at the start of this process as well. 

Your acquisition editor helps you with the audition video creation process as well as with the course creation process (assuming you get accepted). 

So, if you want to audition to become a course instructor on Pluralsight, check out courses from other course instructors on Pluralsight. 

It can be a good idea to study how they’ve structured their courses so that you have a better idea of what Pluralsight wants.

What Do the Customers Think?

Pluralsight courses are very easy to get into and are built to cater to more career-focused students who have a planned path ahead of them. 

As far as instructors go, they love Pluralsight’s ease of use as well as the acquisition editor who helps them throughout the entire process as well. 

Here are some reviews we came across online: 

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udemy vs pluralsight

Best Reliable Online Courses Platform

The best reliable online courses platform is Pluralsight thanks to its quarterly payment structure. The lower number of courses ensures that you’re able to find an audience and the platform is super easy to use too. 

Udemy vs Pluralsight – Buyers’ Guide

udemy vs pluralsight

New online course creators can get very confused when they choose an appropriate online course platform for themselves. 

This is because many online course platforms have extremely different pricing models as well as how they work. 

Many of them are fairly vague about how much course instructors can make and some of them are unclear about how course instructors get paid at all. 

In this section, we’ve compiled some factors you can think about when you choose your online course platform. 

By understanding what you want, you’ll be able to make a much better and more informed decision about which online course platform is best for you. 

The factors you should think about when you choose an online course platform as a course instructor are: 

Potential Income

First things first: the amount of revenue you expect to make. 

It’s important to understand how much money you need to make in order for your efforts to be worthwhile. 

Online course creation and selling are not cheap. You have to spend a ton of time as well as money on tools and equipment in order to create a worthwhile course that people actually want to buy. 

Thus, you need to be aware of how much profit you need to make in order for the online course to actually be, well, profitable. 

Do your research into every platform you’re considering to determine how much course instructors make on the platform on average.
Is the average income enough for you to support yourself? Is it worthwhile? 
These are some questions you need to ask yourself. 

Another thing to think about is the platform’s pricing structure. 

  • Does the platform charge a flat, monthly fee for you to publish and sell courses on their platform? 
  • Does the platform take some percentage from your course sales or do you keep 100% of the revenue? 

Platforms that let you keep 100% of the revenue but charge a static, monthly fee are by far, the best option. This is because no matter how much your course sales rise, you’ll still pay a static fee to the platform. 

Marketing Efforts

As we’ve mentioned time and time again, marketing is extremely important for the success of your online course business. 

It does not matter at all that you’ve made a compelling course if you don’t market it to help it reach the people that want to buy it.

Some platforms perform marketing for you whereas others require you to do it yourself. 

Before you choose an online course platform, think about whether or not you want to handle the marketing. 

This is highly important because if you’re not prepared for marketing, your online course journey will fail before it even starts. 

Time Commitment 

Many people get into the online course business in order to develop a source of passive income. 

However, it won’t really be “passive income” if the platform you choose requires you to actively participate for as long as the course is available on it. 

For example, Udacity requires you to spend a minimum of 7 to 10 hours every week on your online course; Removing outdated material, helping students with queries, etc. 

Be sure to do your research to ensure you’re not required to spend time on the platform (similar to Udacity) if you intend to set it up as a passive stream of income. 

Risk of Failure

Course platforms like Udemy that have a high number of online courses tend to be hard to be successful on. 

This is because no matter what course you make, chances are there’s already an established course creator that’s doing it better than you. 

Thus, be sure to do your research to ensure you have a chance of selling courses effectively on the platform you intend to choose.

You can do this by analyzing whether or not you can provide value on it that nobody else already is. 

Want to know about getting into the online course business? CLICK HERE

Udemy vs Pluralsight – Final Verdict

In the end, we have to choose Udemy as our winner for new online course creators. 

It’s much easier to get into and also, very simple to use. 

Just be sure to spend a hefty amount of time and effort on your marketing and promotion, and you should be good to go. 

Which platform do you think is better? Let us know in the comments below.