Online courses have changed the landscape of almost every industry, from traditional academics to creative disciples like photography. These days, e-learning, like so many other industries is in the hands of everyday people, a result of the low barriers to entry and an increased appetite for real-world education.

For photographers, instructors used to create content for large companies like Lynda.com, Kelby One, and CreativeLive, opportunities reserved for well-known, established names in the industry. But now, any photographer with something to share can go directly to Youtube, Udemy, Skillshare, Patreon and other platforms to share a message and potentially make money.

While creating courses for online learning marketplaces like the ones mentioned above can be a great way to gain essential exposure and make some money, some content creators want more control. They want to build their own brand, drive web traffic to something that they own, and cultivate a community of their own.  This is where platforms like Kajabi, Thinkific, Teachable, and Podia come in.

In this article, I’ll be reviewing Kajabi, the platform we transitioned to roughly one year ago for slrloungeworkshops.com.

Pros of Kajabi | What You’ll Love

Design and Customization

Out of any of the platforms tested, Kajabi was by far the most customizable. Each product page can have its own look and feel. You can control everything you need to match the desired look and feel of your brand. The pre-built sections are easy-to-use and versatile. You can insert videos, images, text, accordions for FAQs, and even your own custom HTML. This was the primary reason we decided to use Kajabi for our workshops.

kajabi review customize
Sample Landing Page for Our Latest Lightroom Workshop

Versatile Pricing Structure

Kajabi offers a versatile set of payment and membership options, including the following: 1) one time payment, 2) multiple payments, 3) subscription payments, and 4) subscription payments with an initial setup fee. This is perfect for creators who have multiple product offerings and want the option to offer different products with different payment options.

kajabi review pricing
The Various Payment Options for Your Students in Kajabi

For example, at SLR Lounge, we have individual workshops for sale for a one time purchase. We also have our Premium Memberships, which is a bundle of all of our courses, for an annual subscription price.

Mobile App

The mobile app is a big differentiator for Kajabi. While it’s not a white label solution and your students have to download the an app called “Kajabi,” the app works well and is easy to connect to their account to access their purchased content.

6 slr lounge premium app
Watch your favorite SLR Lounge courses on your mobile device!

Marketing Tools

The marketing tools that Kajabi provides gives the content creator a powerful set of tools that they can use to grow their audience.

Email Marketing Templates – The email templates are some of the best looking designs that I’ve used. They are much better than Ontraport’s templates, the email marketing software that we also use for SLR Lounge, and they include more options than Mailchimp, the email marketing software we use for other companies.

email templates kajabi
Robust Email Templates Are Some of the Best in The Industry

Affiliate Program – An affiliate program can be an effective way to grow your audience. Kajabi’s built-in affiliate program comes with a dashboard for your affiliates and easy ways to export their information for payment.

Community Forum – Along with videos, written content and quizzes, Kajabi also offers the ability to create communities, which creators can charge a fee for access or grant access with the purchase of an offer. This gives creators the ability to interact with their students and cultivate a community without the noise that comes with other options like Facebook Groups.

Cons of Kajabi | What You’ll Hate

Lots of Repetitive Work

To offer such a robust and customizable solution comes at the cost of creating redundant work for the course creator. For example, every individual landing page has its own code and theme, so you can’t make changes to one page and have it apply universally to all of the others.

In another example, each of these page types use different themes and need separate customization: 1) the landing page, where you display the information and make the sale, 2) the offer page, where the user checks out, and 3) and the actual course page where the student views the content.

You will find yourself entering information in multiple places, a problem that resurfaces each time you need to make a change.

offer page kajabi
Creators must input all information on each checkout page.

Cannot add multiple courses to the cart

Kajabi does not have a cart checkout system, so users are unable to buy multiple items in one transaction. This is a problem for a site like SLR Lounge, as we offer dozens of courses. Students wishing to buy multiple courses at once need to go through the entire flow for each course.  This leads me to believe that Kajabi is designed more for creators with just a few high dollar training systems than for creators with a large library of mid to low priced courses.

SEO Issues

To be fair, none of Kajabi’s competitors do any better here.  The SEO features of Kajabi leaves much to be desired. First off, sitemaps do not include the landing pages. Secondly, all of the individual videos in the courses are inaccessible and behind the login wall.

Imagine how much more search traffic a site would receive if each page/video were indexed by Google, with the excerpt visible but the video behind the pay wall. A course creator could start to rank for very niche keywords and undoubtedly drive conversions via search discovery.

Conclusion for Kajabi Review

When working with Kajabi, you’ll likely develop a love/hate relationship. You’ll love how much you can customize each page, but you’ll hate that you need to customize each and every landing page, checkout page, and course page. You’ll love the email templates, the affiliate program, and the mobile app for your students, but you’ll hate the SEO limitations and up-sell limitations with no cart system.

In the end, we chose Kajabi because it fit our needs, and we felt like it would give us the best chance for success of all of the available platforms.

  • It could accommodate our multiple pricing structures, both individual purchases and subscriptions.
  • It could host our huge library of video content for a reasonable fee, using a reliable Wistia player.
  • We could customize the look and feel in order to match our brand.
  • We could use its marketing features like the email templates, lead pages, and the affiliate program to grow revenue.

The pros far outweighed the cons, and after a year, we’re pretty satisfied with their product and company.  If you’re in a similar situation and looking for a great solution, then take Kajabi on a trial run and see if it’s for you.