Teaching has always been a popular way to make money. If you have a certain knowledge base or a specific skill set, passing that knowledge onto others isn’t a bad career.
Typically, most teachers are employed by public or private schools. Some work at colleges and universities. Other teachers work for private organizations (i.e job trainers, etc).
But today, you can actually work as a freelance teacher. With Udemy, almost anyone can start online teaching and make some money sharing their expertise.
Does that sound interesting to you? Do you want to launch an online course of your own?
Read this guide to find out how you can start a class of your own.
Udemy is an online platform that connects teachers with students. Using this service, instructors can build an online course and start teaching without having to be employed by a public school or private organization.
Courses are similar to online courses that would be offered through a school. They consist of video lectures, slideshows, readings, and other resources created or compiled by the instructor.
Obviously, this is appealing to many students because it allows them to work and learn at their own pace. Although the program grants no degrees, it’s a great way for people to learn something new on their own time.
Students can access the service through their desktop or laptop computer. Or, they can access their course content via an Android or iOS device. The service is available for viewing through an Apple TV app, too.
Currently, there are more than 80,000 courses available through the platform. Courses are offered in a wide range of fields from business and finance to music, technology, art, and engineering.
At the moment, there are more than 24 million students on the platform, with over 150 million course enrollments.
Roughly 35,000 teachers offer courses. In total, the courses add up to over 17 million minutes of video lectures.
Ultimately, it’s a great tool for anyone who really wants to learn new skills or teach what they know.
When you become an instructor and set up an online course, the platform allows you to set your own course price.
Currently, you’re allowed to charge a minimum of $10 and a maximum of $200.
Courses must be priced in an increment of $5. In other words, you can charge $15, $25, or $135 per course, but not $17 per course.
Udemy has a pretty steep revenue share model. That means that every time someone signs up and downloads your course, Udemy takes a certain percentage of the student’s fee.
The exact amount they take depends on how the student came to the course.
For example, if someone found your course through an organic search without being prompted, the company takes 50% of the total revenue.
However, if the student finds your course through an advertisement or affiliate website, Udemy takes 75% of the revenue. They give the affiliate marketer 20% of their cut and they give you the remaining 25%.
The best way to make money with Udemy is to promote your own courses. When you create a course, the company gives you a promotional link to send out to your network.
If a customer clicks that link and enrolls in a course, the company allows you to keep 97% of your revenue.
This is great news, of course, because you’re probably doing this to make some money. But, there’s one catch: link the must grant customers a discount of at least $10.
So, if you’re offering a course for $55 and you advertise a $10 coupon on your Facebook page, you’ll receive $43.65 from every student who signs up for your class.
Ultimately, your income is determined by the number of courses you offer, the amount you charge for those courses, and the number of people who sign up.
Overall, some instructors manage to do very well. Rob Percival, for example, is one Udemy instructor who made an outstanding amount of income through the platform.
Related: learn how to maximize your earnings with Udemy for Business
According to the company, Percival’s programming and content development courses have earned him more than $2.8M since he began using the site. This doesn’t come without hard work, though.
Currently Percival offers nearly 20 classes which, all together, have been purchased by almost 120k students.
Of course, there are other folks who are disappointed in the platform and the amount of money they earned on it.
In a blog post entitled “Less Than 24 Hours on Udemy as an Instructor and I Am Close to Leaving”, teacher Nicki Janetkis complains that Udemy’s promotional offers (often mandatory discounts) prevented her from making very much money.
“Udemy runs $0 course deals pretty much every week and they last for days or more,” she writes, “If you don’t opt-into selling your course for $10 then it becomes nearly impossible for students to find your course.”
Ultimately, it seems that the exact amount you can expect to earn requires some slick, strategic thinking and a lot of effort put into course development. If you’re up for that, this could be a great way to make some cash.
There are two different ways to become a course instructor. You can either offer a free course or a premium course.
If you want to teach a free course, all you have to do is sign up, put your course together, and upload it. If you want to get paid for your service, though, you’ll have to apply to become a premium instructor.
In order to do that, you must start by signing up. You can sign on via the phone app or on your computer. The steps are very minimal, you’ll just need to provide some insights into your teaching experience (it’s ok if you have none), video experience, and your “following.”
Then, you should choose the “Build a Course” option from the menu. Select “Course Roadmap” to get started.
You’ll start by naming your ideal price. Once you submit your course, the company will decide whether or not your course is priced reasonably.
After you identify your price, the interface will take you to their Premium Instruction application. The app asks you for several pieces of information including your name and expertise.
You don’t have to submit a resume or anything like that. But, you have to fill out a 60-character headline that summarizes your experience and qualifications. Below that, there’s a text box where you can expand on your background and expertise.
You’ll also be required to upload a profile photo and to agree to the Udemy Terms of Service. Additionally, you’ll have to enter your PayPal or Payoneer information.
These are the only two platforms that Udemy uses to pay their contractors, so you’ll need to sign up for one of those services if you’re not already a user.
Once you submit your application, Udemy will review it and get back to you with two business days. If you’re approved, they’ll contact you via email and you’ll be eligible to submit courses.
In addition to becoming an approved Premium instructor, you’ll also have to submit each of your courses for review. The platform maintains strict quality standards in order to ensure that every piece of content they endorse is a top-notch educational resource.
There are a few requirements that all courses must meet in order to qualify for compensation.
For example, they must contain at least 30 minutes of HD (720p or 1080p) video content. The course must be separated into at least five separate lectures.
The video’s audio quality must be up to par, too. Udemy requires all videos to have two-channel audio. The audio must be of a decent quality, too. If it’s fuzzy or distorted in any way, the company will disqualify your course from publication. If you need help with audio, we suggest consulting a voice over expert, as they have extensive knowledge of audio quality.
Furthermore, all course material must meet the company’s criteria for being valuable educational content. When you submit your course, the Udemy team will review it to ensure that the material is delivered in a professional manner and that it has the potential to help students learn something valuable.
Any course material that attempts to pitch or sell anything to students is disqualified for Udemy.
Additionally, the course landing page must meet certain requirements. It must have a high quality image that’s sized at least 2048×1152 pixels. Udemy takes their image quality standards very seriously, so don’t mess this one up.
The landing page must also feature a strong course title that contains keywords to attract potential students. And, you must include a concise and informative course description, a brief outline of the target audience and a list of course goals and requirements.
Lastly, you’re required to include an honest, up-to-date bio and a picture of yourself, as well. That way, your future students will be able get an idea of who’s teaching their course!
Although it’s generally pretty easy to meet the minimum requirements for a paid Udemy course, you’ll attract more students and make more money when you go above and beyond.
After all, customers not only review the courses they’ve taken on the Udemy site itself but also review courses on Reddit and other social media platforms.
So, it’s beneficial for both you and your students to take extra measures to provide a quality course.
Here are a few tips that may help you to make more money:
Keep Your Lectures Brief
If you want to create an enjoyable and informative course, you should start by keeping your lectures short. One of the reasons why people gravitate toward Udemy instead of a traditional education is that they don’t have a ton of time.
According to the company’s Learning Trends Report, the largest percentage of customers take courses in fields like business and software development.
And most of them take their courses during the week after work. So, your students will enjoy your classes a lot more if you keep the content brief and concise.
You can do this by spending some time editing. Cut out any pauses if necessary.
Limit each video to one main concept and only include the most necessary and valuable information.
That way, students can watch each video and take a break to let it sink in before they move forward.
There are some great apps for Udemy teachers to help plan and execute your lectures.
Give Your Students a “Quick Win”
Udemy also recommends that you provide your students with a “quick win” early on in the course. In their words, a quick win is an “easy-to-do activity, or an aha-moment for students”. It can be an easy assignment, a thoughtful question, or something along those lines.
This helps students to realize that they’re learning something, that they’re capable of handling the course material, and that they’re on the right path.
It’s essentially a form of positive reinforcement that helps students to feel good about themselves and, ultimately, keeps them interested.
A quick win assignment should be challenging so that it doesn’t bore anybody.
But, it shouldn’t take longer than 5-10 minutes to complete. It should also be easy to access so upload it directly to platform.
That way, your students won’t have to spend time crawling all over the internet to complete it.
Don’t Overload Your Students
After you provide your students with a quick win, keep the rest of the assignments almost as brief.
In other words, don’t overload your students with long quizzes and tests. These courses aren’t going on their permanent record. They’re just coming to you for useful information that they can apply to their careers.
All assignments should give your students to opportunity to test and apply their new knowledge in a direct way.
It shouldn’t overwhelm them or make them feel like they have to study for weeks in order to pass.
Remember, students have the opportunity to stop taking the course at any time without ramifications.
So, it benefits you if they complete the course (through referrals, reviews, etc).
Therefore, you should always strive to keep students inspired and engaged.
This is a fantastic resource for both instructors and students.
If you have some kind of expertise in your field, Udemy is happy to hire you as an instructor.
From there, however, it’s up to you to create informative and engaging content.
So, you’ll probably want to spend a good amount of time creating a great class for your students. If you’re able to do that, you can make a decent amount of money as a self-employed teacher, teaching really any topic from English online to becoming a tutor.
What a great opportunity!