October 11, 2023

Gumroad vs Udemy vs Circle vs the Others


If you're a creator looking to monetize your content, you have more options than ever before. 

Platforms like Gumroad, Udemy, and Circle offer a range of features to help you sell digital products, courses, and memberships to your audience. 

But with so many options available, how do you choose the right one for your needs?

In this guide, we'll take a closer look at three popular platforms for creators: Gumroad, Udemy, and Circle. We'll compare their features, pricing, and ease of use so you can determine which one is the best fit for your business.

Whether you're a writer, artist, musician, or entrepreneur, there's a platform out there that can help you monetize your content and build a sustainable business. 

So, let's dive in and find the right platform for you!

An Introduction to Content Creator Platforms

As a content creator, you have plenty of options for publishing your work and monetizing your skills. However, not all platforms are created equal, and it's important to choose the right one for your needs.

So, which one?

Well, there's no hard and fast answer to that. Instead, it really depends on what you're looking for.

If you're creating a course, you'll want a platform to help you make the most money. If you're trying to build a community, you'll want a platform with community-building tools and features, like comments, noticeboards, and chat functions.

What's more, different platforms fund creators in different ways, so you need to do your research and pick the one that's best for you to create the experience you want your audience to have while also helping you make the most money.

This is actually quite important because where you sell your course can make or break how successful it is. 

So, how do you know which platform is right for you? 

Well, you need to consider a few things. 

Some are more user-friendly than others, some offer more features and customization options, and some have better customer support.

To help you decide, let's take a hypothetical scenario.

Imagine you're selling a $200 course. 

How much of that money will you take home? For one-off sales, it's a matter of the cut the platform takes. Some platforms take a larger percentage of the sale than others, so you must factor that into your decision.

For memberships, though, you take it all (minus Stripe or Paypal's fee) - but you have to pay to use the product. This means you'll need to weigh the cost of using the platform against the potential earnings from your course.

Overall, it's clear that the platform you choose will determine the success of your course, and you mustn't leave money on the table by selecting the wrong one.

Take the time to research and compare different platforms, and find the one that's best for you and your content.

And on that note, let's take a look at some of the platforms on offer today and how they compare.

Sell Your Course Online: Udemy & Skillshare

If you're a course creator looking to sell your content online, Udemy and Skillshare are two popular platforms worth considering. 

Both offer a way for creators to host and distribute their courses to millions of potential students worldwide. However, there are some key differences between these two platforms that you should know before making a decision.

Here's a breakdown of the main features and earnings potential of Udemy and Skillshare:

  • Large, established audiences: Udemy and Skillshare have millions of monthly visitors, providing a vast potential audience for your courses.

  • Easy-to-use interfaces: These platforms are user-friendly and straightforward to navigate, making uploading and managing your content easy.

  • Revenue-sharing models: Udemy and Skillshare offer revenue-sharing models, allowing creators to earn money from their courses.

  • Community support: Both platforms have robust communities that can provide support and feedback to creators, helping them improve their courses and attract more students.

  • Marketing and promotion: Udemy and Skillshare invest in marketing and promotion, which can help drive traffic to your courses and increase visibility.

  • Flexibility: As a creator, you have control over the pricing and content of your courses, giving you the flexibility to tailor your offerings to meet the needs of your target audience.

Overall, using Udemy or Skillshare to sell your courses online can effectively reach a broad audience and earn money from your content. 

With user-friendly interfaces, revenue-sharing models, and strong communities, these platforms offer numerous benefits to course creators.

A Note on Discoverability

There's no doubt that both Udemy and Skillshare invest in premium content with pro creators. This means that when a new viewer comes to the homepage looking for courses.

This content gets pushed to all those viewers, which unfortunately means that it can be harder for new creators to get discovered.

Overall, both Udemy and Skillshare have their pros and cons. Udemy may be a better choice if you want more control over pricing and earning potential, while Skillshare may be a better choice if you want to reach a larger audience and don't mind earning less per course. 

Ultimately, the right choice depends on your goals as a course creator and what you value most in a platform.

Here are two separate sections on average earnings per creator on Udemy and Skillshare:


According to various sources, including SellCoursesOnline.com, the average Udemy course creator earns around $3,306 annually. However, this number can vary widely depending on factors such as the number of courses produced, course quality, and marketing efforts. 

Some Udemy instructors have reported lifetime earnings of anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000,000

Median revenue for instructors in specific topics, such as C# programming, can be as high as $265 per month.


Unlike Udemy, Skillshare operates on a subscription-based model, where students pay a monthly fee to access unlimited courses. As a result, the average earnings per creator on Skillshare are somewhat different from those on Udemy. 

The average Skillshare instructor earns around $200 per year, with the upper bracket earning upwards of $3,000 monthly.

However, this number can vary widely depending on factors such as course popularity, teaching style, and niche topic. Some Skillshare instructors have reported earning upwards of $100,000 per year from teaching on the platform.

So, it's safe to say that there's undoubtedly money to be made, regardless of the platform you choose to use. 

Oh, and it should go without saying if you can build an audience on another platform, like YouTube, Instagram, and so on, then you can lead traffic to your courses to earn even more!

Sell Your Products Easily and Hassle-Free: Gumroad

Are you a maker or creative entrepreneur who wants to sell your products online?

Look no further than Gumroad, an e-commerce platform that makes it easy to set up shop and sell your shit to customers worldwide. With over 27,000 customers generating over $11 million in revenue, it's safe to say this platform is on the up.

Fees on Gumroad are pretty straightforward, as there are no monthly payments or hidden charges. When you make a sale, Gumroad charges a 10% fee, not including credit card processing or PayPal fees. 

It doesn't matter if you sell something for $0.10 or $1,000 - you'll be charged 10%.

Here's a breakdown of the fees for sellers using Gumroad:

The amount you can earn on Gumroad depends on various factors, such as the product's popularity, pricing, and niche. Popular categories at the moment include things like music, eBooks, Notion templates, and art.

However, since the platform allows you to set your own prices, you have an excellent level of control over your earnings. What's more, Gumroad runs an affiliate program that enables you to earn even more money by promoting other sellers' products, perhaps through your blog or social media pages.

While Gumroad doesn't offer direct support for learning products like courses, it's still an excellent platform for creators looking to sell their digital or physical products online. With easy-to-use features and customizable pricing, monetizing your creations's never been easier.

Other things you need to know include:

  • No coding experience necessary: Gumroad provides everything you need to sell your products, from a product page to checkout and payment handling. You just need to hook it up to your store or share your page with potential customers.

  • Suitable for selling anything: Whether you're selling physical or digital products, Gumroad can handle it all. You can even sell subscriptions or offer pre-orders for upcoming products.

  • Customizable pricing: You get to set your own prices for your products, giving you control over your profits.

  • Affiliate program: You can earn extra money by participating in Gumroad's affiliate program. If you promote other seller's products and someone purchases through your unique link, you'll earn a percentage of the retail price of the product.

  • No fee for free products

  • 10% fee for paid products

  • 1.5% additional fee for international transactions

  • 1% additional fee for PayPal transactions

  • 0.5% additional fee for subscription payments

So, if you're looking for a creator platform to sell your digital products and services that are a little more on the fringe side of the industry, Gumroad is undoubtedly a choice you'll want to check out.

Build Your Brand, Community and Courses: Kajabi and Circle.

Kajabi and Circle are two online platforms that offer a suite of tools for creators looking to monetize their courses and build a community around their brand. Here's what you need to know about these two platforms:


  • Kajabi: An all-in-one platform that provides course creation tools, sales funnels, landing pages, email marketing, and more. It also offers integrations with Zapier, PayPal, Stripe, and other third-party apps.

  • Circle: A community platform that allows creators to segment their customers into refined groups called circles. Circles can be set up as a feed or a chat to engage your community, and it also offers features like live streams, events, and memberships.

Pricing: Both Kajabi and Circle charge a monthly subscription fee to use their products. Here's a breakdown of the pricing for each platform:

  • Kajabi: Plans start at $149 per month and go up to $399 per month, depending on the features and number of contacts you need.

  • Circle: Plans start at $39 per month and go up to $399 per month, depending on the number of members you have and the features you need.

Once again, the amount you can earn on Kajabi and Circle depends on various factors, such as the popularity of your content, the pricing, and the niche. 

With both platforms, you can put your content behind paywalls or charge subscriptions to access your courses and other content. 

However, since these platforms charge a monthly subscription fee, building a community before monetizing your content is important. Otherwise, you'll actively lose money, and the platform won't be paying for itself.

While Kajabi and Circle offer a wide range of features to creators looking to monetize their courses and build a community, they do come at a cost. If you're willing to invest in these platforms, they can provide a powerful all-in-one solution for your business needs.

Oh, and if you're looking for the best text-based content platforms, you're going to want to check out our guide here.

Estimated Earnings Potential on Udemy, Skillshare, Gumroad, Kajabi, and Circle in 2024

Okay, let's combine everything and actively compare all the platforms to give you an idea of what you can earn and which platform is right for you.

Right off the bat, we want to preface this by saying that just because Site A may have better average earners than the others, that doesn't mean it's best for you. You need to take the time to look at your content and the kind of experience you're looking to offer your customers. 

Are you considering selling your courses online but wondering how much you can make? Let's take a look at the estimated earnings potential on some of the popular online platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Gumroad, Kajabi, and Circle.


Udemy is a black box platform that shares revenue with instructors based on an undisclosed percentage. 

However, they offer promotional agreements allowing instructors to keep 37% of the revenue generated from the course if the student enrolls through a specific link.


Skillshare is another black box platform that pays instructors based on the number of minutes watched. They pay $0.01 - $0.05 per minute watched, and instructors receive a pro-rated share of the monthly royalty pool. 

If we assume an average rate of $0.03 per minute and an average course length of 2 hours, you would earn approximately $3.60 per enrollment. Selling 100 courses at $200 each could earn you approximately $360.


Gumroad is a platform that allows creators to sell digital and physical products online. They charge a 10% fee for paid products, so selling a course at $200 would result in a $180 payout. 

Assuming 100-course sales, you could earn approximately $18,000.


Kajabi is an all-in-one platform that provides course creation tools, marketing automation, email campaigns, and more. Plans start at $149 per month and go up to $399 per month, depending on the features and number of contacts you need. 

Assuming 100-course sales at $200 each, you could earn approximately $20,000. 

However, you would also need to consider the monthly subscription fees associated with using Kajabi.


Circle is a community platform that allows creators to build their own communities around their brand. Plans start at $39 per month and go up to $399 per month, depending on the number of members you have and the features you need. 

Selling 100 courses at $200 each would result in earnings of approximately $20,000. But again, you would need to factor in the monthly subscription fees associated with using Circle.

As with any business venture, your actual earnings will depend on factors such as the popularity of your content, the pricing, and the niche. However, these estimates should give you an idea of the potential earnings on each platform.

Which Platform is Best for You?

Choosing the right platform to share your expertise and monetize your content can be overwhelming. With so many options available, it's hard to know where to begin. But fear not; we've got you covered.

First things first, assess your current situation. 

Do you have an existing audience, or are you starting from scratch? Once you've answered this question, you can narrow down the best platform for you.

If you're new to course creation, Udemy and Skillshare are great platforms to start with. Not only do they provide a platform to showcase your content, but they also take care of the sales process. This means you can focus on creating quality content while building your audience. Plus, the added bonus of earning some extra cash!

If you already have an audience but haven't monetized it yet, Gumroad and Lemon Squeezy offer a simple way to sell your course and put up a paywall. All you need to do is share the link with your audience, and they can easily access it.

However, if you're looking to take your monetization game to the next level, Circle and Kajabi are great options.

These platforms allow you to give your audience the most value possible. Yes, it can be more work, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. 

By offering memberships and subscriptions, you can create a recurring revenue stream that can really add up over time.

It's worth noting that Circle and Kajabi are ideal for those already monetizing their audience or building a paid community from scratch.

If you're just starting out, it may be best to try Udemy or Skillshare first before committing to a more complex platform.

In conclusion, the best platform for you depends on your current situation. Take the time to assess your needs and goals, then choose the platform that aligns with them.

With the right platform in hand, you'll be well on your way to building a successful online course and monetizing your expertise.


In conclusion, there are several platforms tailored to meet the needs of course creators. Whether you're a beginner or looking to take your monetization game to the next level, there's a platform out there for you.

Udemy and Skillshare offer an easy-to-use platform for those new to course creation. Gumroad and Lemon Squeezy provide a simple way for those with existing audiences to monetize their content.

Finally, Circle and Kajabi are ideal for creators who want to create a thriving paid community. Choose the platform that aligns with your needs, and start sharing your expertise today!

Tella — Screen recording for entrepreneurs

Tella — Screen recording for entrepreneurs