Dec 7, 2023

How to build a website like Skillshare

Skillshare is an online marketplace that offers thousands of classes and courses on various topics. Build your own marketplace similar to Skillshare with this helpful guide.

Introduction: Why build a website like Skillshare

The success of Skillshare as an online marketplace can be attributed to several key factors. Firstly, Skillshare offers a wide range of courses and classes taught by industry professionals, making it a valuable resource for individuals looking to learn new skills or enhance their existing ones. Additionally, the platform's user-friendly interface and affordable pricing structure make it accessible to a large audience. Skillshare also fosters a strong sense of community by encouraging collaboration and interaction among its users, creating a supportive learning environment. Lastly, the platform's emphasis on practical, hands-on learning and the ability to learn at one's own pace contribute to its success in meeting the needs and preferences of modern learners.

How does a website like Skillshare work?

For buyers, Skillshare is a dynamic marketplace that offers a vast array of online courses and workshops. They can explore various categories, such as art, technology, or business, and choose from a diverse range of expert instructors. Buyers can access high-quality educational content, interact with instructors, and learn at their own pace.

For sellers, a marketplace like Skillshare offers a platform to showcase their expertise and monetize their skills. They can create and upload courses on various subjects, reaching a global audience. Skillshare handles the marketing, payment processing, and customer support, allowing sellers to focus solely on creating valuable content and earning passive income.

What is Skillshare's business model?

Skillshare is an online marketplace that operates on a subscription-based business model. It offers a wide range of courses and tutorials on various subjects, taught by industry professionals and experts. Users pay a monthly or annual fee to access the platform and gain unlimited access to the courses available. Instructors are compensated based on the number of minutes watched by students, creating a revenue-sharing model. This business model allows Skillshare to provide a cost-effective and flexible learning platform for individuals seeking to acquire new skills or enhance their existing ones.

Skillshare makes money through a subscription-based model where users pay a monthly or annual fee to access their extensive library of online courses. They offer two types of memberships: a free membership that provides limited access to their content, and a premium membership that unlocks unlimited access to all courses. Additionally, Skillshare partners with brands and companies to offer sponsored classes, where instructors are paid to create content that aligns with the brand's objectives. This combination of subscription fees and sponsored content allows Skillshare to generate revenue and sustain its platform while providing a diverse range of educational opportunities to its users.

Key features of Skillshare

The most important functionality of a marketplace like Skillshare is the ability to connect learners with a wide range of educational content and instructors. This includes features such as:

  1. Course Catalog: A comprehensive catalog of courses across various topics and disciplines, allowing users to easily browse and discover courses that match their interests and learning goals.

  2. Instructor Profiles: Detailed profiles of instructors, including their expertise, qualifications, and teaching style. This helps learners make informed decisions about which courses to enroll in.

  3. Course Creation Tools: Tools and resources for instructors to create and publish their courses, including video recording and editing capabilities, course materials upload, and interactive elements.

  4. Learning Management System: A robust platform that enables learners to access and manage their enrolled courses, track their progress, and interact with instructors and fellow students through discussion boards or messaging systems.

  5. Reviews and Ratings: A system for learners to provide feedback and rate courses, instructors, and overall learning experiences. This helps maintain quality standards and assists other users in making course selections.

  6. Community and Collaboration: Features that foster a sense of community among learners, such as discussion forums, peer-to-peer feedback, and collaborative projects. This encourages engagement and knowledge sharing among users.

  7. Mobile Accessibility: A mobile-friendly platform or dedicated mobile app that allows learners to access courses and learning materials on-the-go, enhancing convenience and flexibility.

  8. Subscription or Payment System: A secure and user-friendly payment system that enables learners to enroll in courses, either through individual purchases or subscription plans, and facilitates financial transactions between learners and instructors.

  9. Recommendations and Personalization: Algorithms and recommendation systems that suggest relevant courses based on a learner's interests, previous course history, and user behavior. This helps users discover new courses and tailor their learning experience.

  10. Customer Support: Responsive customer support channels, such as email or live chat, to address any technical issues, inquiries, or concerns that learners or instructors may have.

Overall, the most important functionality of a marketplace like Skillshare is to provide a seamless and user-friendly platform that connects learners with high-quality educational content, facilitates learning interactions, and supports the growth and development of a vibrant learning community.

Building functionality like Skillshare from scratch would require significant investment in terms of time, resources, and expertise. The cost would depend on various factors such as the complexity of features, platform compatibility, user interface design, and backend infrastructure. It would involve expenses for software development, server hosting, database management, payment integration, content management, user authentication, and security measures. Additionally, ongoing costs for maintenance, updates, and customer support should be considered. While it is challenging to provide an exact figure, it is safe to assume that developing a comprehensive e-learning platform like Skillshare would require a substantial budget, potentially ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.

How to create a successful alternative to Skillshare

  • Identify a unique niche or target audience that is not fully served by Skillshare or other existing platforms.
  • Conduct thorough market research to understand the needs, preferences, and pain points of the target audience.
  • Develop a user-friendly and intuitive platform with a visually appealing design.
  • Offer a wide range of high-quality courses taught by industry experts and professionals in the chosen niche.
  • Implement a robust rating and review system to ensure course quality and credibility.
  • Provide a flexible pricing model, including subscription options, pay-per-course, or a combination of both.
  • Offer a free trial period or a limited selection of free courses to attract new users.
  • Foster a strong sense of community by incorporating discussion forums, live Q&A sessions, and networking opportunities.
  • Implement a personalized recommendation engine to suggest relevant courses based on user preferences and past activity.
  • Collaborate with companies or organizations to offer exclusive courses or certifications that add value to the platform.
  • Invest in marketing and advertising efforts to raise awareness and attract a substantial user base.
  • Continuously update and expand the course catalog to keep up with emerging trends and technologies.
  • Provide excellent customer support to address any issues or concerns promptly.
  • Leverage social media platforms and influencers to promote the platform and engage with the target audience.
  • Establish partnerships with educational institutions or companies to offer joint programs or professional development opportunities.
  • Regularly gather user feedback and make necessary improvements to enhance the user experience.
  • Stay up-to-date with industry advancements and incorporate innovative features or technologies to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Build a strong brand identity and reputation through consistent messaging and delivering on promises.
  • Foster a sense of trust and credibility by verifying the credentials and expertise of course instructors.
  • Offer additional resources such as downloadable materials, quizzes, or assignments to enhance the learning experience.
  • Explore potential collaborations with other complementary platforms or services to expand the platform's reach and offerings.

Successful Skillshare competitors

  1. Udemy: Udemy is a major competitor to Skillshare, offering a wide range of online courses across various subjects. While Skillshare focuses on creative and artistic courses, Udemy offers a more diverse selection, including technical and professional courses. Additionally, Udemy allows instructors to set their own prices, while Skillshare operates on a subscription-based model.

  2. Coursera: Coursera is another strong competitor to Skillshare, known for its partnerships with top universities and institutions. Unlike Skillshare, Coursera offers accredited courses and even degree programs, making it a popular choice for those seeking formal education. However, Skillshare stands out with its emphasis on project-based learning and its vibrant community of creators.

  3. LinkedIn Learning: Formerly known as, LinkedIn Learning is a platform that focuses on professional development and career advancement. While Skillshare offers a broader range of creative courses, LinkedIn Learning provides a vast library of business, technology, and software courses. Moreover, LinkedIn Learning integrates seamlessly with LinkedIn profiles, making it a convenient choice for professionals looking to enhance their skills.

  4. MasterClass: MasterClass differentiates itself from Skillshare by offering courses taught by renowned experts in their respective fields. While Skillshare relies on a community of creators, MasterClass features high-profile instructors such as Serena Williams and Martin Scorsese. However, Skillshare offers a more affordable subscription model and a wider variety of courses across different disciplines.

  5. Khan Academy: Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that provides free educational resources to learners of all ages. Unlike Skillshare, Khan Academy focuses on academic subjects and offers a structured learning experience. While Skillshare encourages creativity and hands-on learning, Khan Academy is more suitable for those seeking a traditional classroom-like approach to education.

Options to develop a website similar to Skillshare

Creating an online marketplace like Skillshare is a significant and costly endeavor. However, there are now various cost-effective methods to build a marketplace.

The choice depends on:

  • Desired marketplace features
  • Technical skills or team expertise
  • Budget
  • Time availability

Different approaches to building a marketplace include:

  • Utilizing WordPress and plugins
  • Building on open-source software
  • Combining no-code tools
  • Using a dedicated no-code marketplace SaaS tool
  • Developing on an API-based marketplace SaaS tool

Consider the speed of learning alongside skill and budget limitations. Launching your Skillshare-style platform quickly enables rapid audience understanding. These insights aid in creating a platform that users prefer over existing solutions.

Sharetribe's marketplace software is designed for this iterative learning process.

Initially, we assist in launching a Skillshare-like platform in one day without coding. Use the two-week long free trial of Sharetribe's Build plan to get your marketplace ready fast. When you're happy with your marketplace, you can subscribe to go live.

After launch, you can identify additional features and functionality required to serve your audience. This may involve redesigning workflows, integrating third-party services, or developing a mobile app. Sharetribe allows easy customization, either independently or with assistance from our Expert partners.

With over a decade of marketplace-building experience, Sharetribe offers content resources to support your platform development, regardless of your chosen approach.

Wishing you success with your Skillshare-style business!

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