How to Create an Online Education Marketplace Like Udemy

Education today has crossed the leaps and bounds of the physical world and has become an integral part of the digital space. As technology advances its reach into different sectors, eLearning has got a wider client base today. According to Forbes, the eLearning industry is expected to be a $325 billion industry by 2025. As more users are using the Internet, many universities are extending their support to reach out to a global audience through online courses. No wonder more and more educational marketplaces are rising and most of them have unique value propositions, features, and capabilities.

But a billion-dollar idea is not enough to build eLearning sites like Udemy. It is the right blend of unique business ideas with a stable platform that turns it into a brilliantly performing eLearning marketplace.

How does Udemy work?

So what is Udemy? Udemy is an online educational marketplace where both educators and students can sign up for several eCourses for different experts at a minimal cost. The platform host over thousands of courses for eLearners across different fields and domains.

Educators can create and sell millions of courses on Udemy to a global audience. Students can enroll in courses of their choice at their own pace and convenience. It is just like a massive open online course platform where anyone can create their courses and sell them on the platform. Learners who sign up for the courses can improve their skills and also obtain a technical certificate for the same. Enterprises also choose the platform for corporate training in an interactive way. Online marketplaces like Udemy have made online earning more accessible, eliminating the traditional method of the classroom to complete education.

 Udemy business model

Udemy primarily works on an online marketplace business model. An online marketplace is an eCommerce site that organizes the products and services of different sellers on the platform.  The marketplace acts as a third-party site and doesn’t own the products or services, but charges a commission as they are offering sellers with a platform to conduct their business.

Udemy also follows the same revenue model where the price of online courses is determined by the educators themselves while the platform charges a commission for offers educators with a platform and a wide global audience to sell and promote their services.

Udemy offers both free and paid eLearning courses to learners. As an educator, if you are relying on Udemy’s marketing schemes to promote your courses, you receive 50% of sales. Alternatively, if educators use their own reputation or marketing techniques to attract learners, they can earn 97% of revenues generated. If you want to set up affiliate programs in your online courses on the platform, you will receive 25% of the sales. The affiliate earns 50% and the remaining 50% is divided among you and Udemy platform.

 Features of the online learning marketplace

To make the online education marketplace functional you need to add features that perform their roles when the users interact with them. When choosing the features, make sure they comply with the audience of your eLearning platform and your business goals. Here are some of the basic to advanced features for different users. As discussed earlier, the online marketplace has mainly 2 users- Educators and students along with an admin.


A catalog calls for a precise and organized search function. As an eLearning marketplace will host a huge catalog of courses, you will have to allow your learners to search smoothly through the catalog and offer quick and convenient access. If you want to host thousands of courses, consider implementing a smart search that helps to fetch the close matches with user requirements quickly.


The eLearning marketplace must have relevant categories and subcategories depending on the type of eCourses. You must also integrate an algorithmic system to improve the organization of courses by grouping them into categories.


Integrating these features helps your users to discover relevant courses from your eLearning platform. You can ask the learners to input the type of topics they are interested in so that you can provide them with suggestions depending on their personal interests.

  Registration and user profiles

Registration and sign-in process are mandatory for the eLearning marketplace as it offers a secure and convenient method for users to use your platform. Once registered, users can customize their user profiles by inputting their personal information. A typical learner profile will include the following:

  • Personal information
  • Active courses and enrollments
  • History of transactions
  • Wish list and settings
  • Certificates earned

The platform also allows educators to create their teacher profiles and leverage publishing tools to create and sell their courses.

Course creation

Educators must be able to create courses in your eLearning marketplace. Your platform must integrate course creation tools that allow teachers to create courses, add illustrations, PDF tutorials, assignments, practice tests, and other learning resources.

 Course enrollment

Once the students register in your eLearning platform, your platform must facilitate access to courses and pay for it. The details of course enrollments must be visible in the user profile as well.


Educators must have access to their own dashboard to track and monitor the performance of their courses and student interactions. To make it more insightful, integrate features for market insights that give valuable data on topics preferred by educators for creating courses.

Secure payment integrations

Your platform must integrate secure payment methods that allow students to buy their favorite courses. You must integrate the most commonly used payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe to serve the purpose.

Push notifications

Your eLearning platform must support push notifications that inform learners about newly uploaded courses, reputed educators, recommendations, ongoing deals via the sites push notifications and emails.

Admin control

Admin is another important part of an eLearning platform that allows the platform to manage, add, or edit features and content on the site. It also allows you to assign roles, manage users, add monetization strategies, generate statics and reports, send emails, and push notifications.

 Creating an online education platform like Udemy

Now that you know the important features an eLearning platform has, let’s look into the steps of creating an online educational platform like Udemy.

Defining your niche

Once you have decided to create an eLearning marketplace, you need to think of the courses you will be presenting in your platform. Are you planning to include a couple of categories or a wide range of categories? Or do you want to launch an industry-specific online education platform that caters to a specific niche like technology, social science, writing, business and entrepreneurship, arts and crafts, health and science, etc.?

While Udemy allows individual educators to create their courses, there are some platforms like Coursera that only allow academic content from reputed universities and educational institutions. Likewise, you need to decide whom you are going to cater to and what type of content your platform is going to host.

Choosing a monetization strategy

As discussed in the previous section, eLearning platforms like Udemy generate revenue mainly from the commissions. Some of the other monetization techniques include paid certificates, monthly subscriptions, premium membership, affiliate partnerships, donations, etc.


Choosing the development approach

When you want to create an online education marketplace like Udemy, you must choose the right development approach that suits your requirements and budget.

The obvious option is to build your website from scratch, but it is not a viable solution as it is the most elaborate and costly approach. However, another alternative and the best approach is to use ready-made solutions that are easily available on the market to develop your eLearning platform.

Ready-made eLearning solutions or Udemy clone script will allow you to build an eLearning marketplace easily and cost-effectively. These open-source scripts already come with the best management features and plugins that come handy. It also allows you to customize the script if you want to add specific functionalities according to your unique requirements.


The online educational landscape is revolutionized by eLearning sites like Udemy that enables a modern and convenient solution for educators to sell courses and students to pursue education from the best universities and educational institutes.

Hope this blog gave you valuable insights on how to build an eLearning marketplace like Udemy. However, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, it is critical to craft innovative features with advanced technologies in your platform

Author Bio
(Kathy Alameda)

I’m working as a leading expert on building and implementing the learning strategies. I have led learning & performance improvement projects form last few years.Currently marketing consultant at