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LEGIT Make Money Producing Online Courses: My Experience Using Udemy

Holden

Well-known member
Messages
52
#1
Udemy Make Money Producing Online Courses.jpg



Given the amount of funny cat videos, pictures of lunch, and selfies crowding the internet, it’s easy to forget about the internet’s potential as a learning venue. But as an art teacher, I’m amazed by how the internet makes learning more accessible to students. And I won’t lie: online teaching has also given us teachers the opportunity to earn money by sharing our knowledge on our areas of expertise.

I wanted to try teaching (and earning) via the internet, so I tried out Udemy a year ago. It was the perfect time; the school year was over and I had a couple of months to get my content up on Udemy.

My experience was pretty awesome, and I made a good amount of money. I strongly suggest you give this a go. And don’t worry if you’re not a teacher. You don’t need to have a teaching degree to do this: a lot of instructors on the site don’t come from academia. But it is important that you have great communication skills and, of course, deep knowledge in your field.

I’m writing my review and experiences to help you make a more informed decision about becoming an instructor on Udemy. Read on, if you’ve ever considered teaching online and earning in process.

What is Udemy?

Udemy is an on-demand learning platform. On-demand means lessons are usually provided through pre-recorded video and presentations. The instructor doesn’t have to give the lesson in person.

What this means is you only have to record a lesson (or a series of lessons) once. Students can then purchase your video anytime and anywhere. This business model is actually a really good source of passive income. Udemy, in turn, gets a cut from your earnings.

To make this a profitable venture, you’ve got to have really good presentation skills. Unlike a classroom setup, students are not required to take your lesson. So you really need to win them over. I’ll be providing some tips on how to gather paid views later on.

Possible subjects for you to explore include Business, IT and software, personal development, marketing, design, photography, lifestyle, music, academics, language, test preparation, health and fitness, and many more!

How to Much Can I Earn?

When you register in Udemy, you have the choice of uploading free or paid courses. For the latter, you will have to fill out a Premium Instructor application.

To determine the price of your course, you first have to consult a price tier matrix. Prices range from $19.00 for Tier 1, up to $199.99 for Tier 37. These tiers are determined by the complexity of your courses. If you upload a relatively simple lesson, it would be best if you price it along the lower tiers.

Udemy gets a 30% royalty for every lesson view you get. But if you refer a student directly to your course, that amount becomes 15%.

Your net earnings will depend on the number of views you get, of course. This makes it all the more important to make your presentation as attractive and informative as possible.

Tools and Resources

Udemy wants you to succeed. To that end, the site provides some utilities to help you create and promote truly awesome courses. These include:

  • A free all-in-one training platform
  • Course design and development support
  • 24/7 tech support and payment processing
  • Worldwide availability of your courses
  • Course management tools
  • Course tracking
  • How to Make a Great Presentation

A Few Tips

Here are some tips on how to make your courses more enticing to students. This is just the tip of the iceberg. In time, you'll be able to fine-tune your own process.

Make yourself presentable

Not being physically present during these courses is no excuse to look unkempt. You’ll want to look professional, competent, but also approachable. I recommend a nice, semi-casual attire. Even if you never appear on-camera during your courses, getting dressed will put you in the zone to create a great course!

Make your space presentable

If you appear on-camera, your space also has to look professional. You don’t have to make it fancy (although I know a few instructors who’ve invested in making their space as photogenic as possible); just cleaning up and getting ample lighting will go a long way to making your room look better on video.

I would also recommend you use a bookshelf as a backdrop. It appears “scholarly” and looks great on camera. And best of all, we probably have a full stacked bookshelf already.

Be gregarious!

Remember, on Udemy students aren’t required to pick your course. Nobody will want to sit through a long video where an instructor rambles incoherently. It pays to have a more outgoing personality on Udemy.

I’m not saying you should be like a game-show host. Just try to be as pleasant and well-spoken as possible in your courses.

Get a decent camera

I started out using my iPhone’s video camera. It was great for a while, but when I started earning, I upgraded to a DSLR with video capabilities. The jump in quality was so great I even went back and re-recorded my old courses.

Get a decent microphone

The built-in microphone of your phone and camera will not be enough to make a decent-quality video. At the start, I tried using the mic of my iPhone, but it made me sound like I was giving lessons in the other room. So I immediately went out and got an entry-level lapel mic. These days, even entry-level exceeds my needs. To this day, I still use that label mic.

Invest in great design and graphics

This is pretty next-level and requires some financial investment (unless you’re a design instructor and can do your own design). Simply standing in front of your camera and talking is okay at the start. But great visual elements will really make your courses come to life.

It’s up to you how far you want to take this. You can go all-out and make a completely animated presentation (like those whiteboard videos) or you can limit graphics to title cards and some transitions. Either way, adding a visual element to your courses will help make you stand out.

The Verdict

Udemy is a legit way for teachers and instructors to earn money online! I love the fact that this is passive income: upload the courses once, and watch the money come in.

Udemy Screenshots

Click to Zoom
Udemy 1.jpg Udemy 2.jpg Udemy 3.jpg Udemy 4.jpg Udemy 5.jpg

Your Turn

This review is based on my own experience uploading lessons on Udemy. Now it’s your turn to share! Have you tried Udemy? What courses did you teach?

Let’s hear your stories!

 
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Naomi

Well-known member
Messages
48
#2
Udemy is my go-to source for learning... just about anything, really. I can't emphasize enough how valuable Udemy is. They've got soooo many different lessons, all done by super-competent individuals! If there's something you wanna know about, give Udemy a try.
 
Messages
18
#3
Sweet Udemy review, Holden. Big ups for writing it. Here’s my own quick Udemy review. I think we all know now that Udemy is legit, thanks to all the Udemy reviews out there. So I’ll just be giving you all a quick pros-and-cons list:

Pros

1.

Udemy’s portfolio of courses covers over 40,000 courses lessons. That isn’t just a lot - it’s a LOT. The benefit of such a deep portfolio of courses is pretty obvious for potential students. But for us teachers, that means we’ll have lots of opportunities to find subjects to teach. I mean, Udemy even has personal development courses! Even if you’re not an academic like Holden, you’ll probably find a course to teach.

2.

You can build a network of students, and when that happens, you can teach them outside the Udemy structure. Udemy gets a cut off your lessons. When you build a sufficient following and maintain a good reputation among students, you can become your own boss, so to speak.

Cons

1.

It’s super-competitive. You’ll really have to work hard to make yourself noticed among those 40,000 courses. Unfortunately, that sometimes means things become a popularity contest. So aside from working on your lessons, you really need to make sure you’re presentation is on-point as well.
 

Naomi

Well-known member
Messages
48
#4
About the “popularity contest” aspect of Udemy… I’m not really sure I agree with that. Yes, there are top-performing teachers and lessons, and chances are they’re the ones you see right away. And yeah, they tend to know how to market themselves… but is that such a bad thing?

Marketing and branding always matter. And as long as the teachers have the skills and quality to back it up, I don’t see a problem. I don’t think you’ll succeed on Udemy without being able to provide good lessons.

You might get noticed because of a great social media presence, but trust me, you won’t last very long if your lessons are crap.

I will admit, you can have the best lessons, but unless you know how to market yourself, you might not get noticed. But is that a bad thing, necessarily? Marketing is a requirement these days. It’s how you communicate your unique selling proposition and make yourself noticed amidst all the noise. So don’t know it.

<Deep breath>

Whew. Sorry if I went on a bit of a rant there.

I just don’t like it when people imply that success is based on a popularity contest - especially on a site like Udemy. Sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, sure. But Udemy has a lot of substance to it, and I’d like to think the people who pay good money for lessons know how to differentiate the bad from the good.
 
Messages
18
#5
<Deep breath>

Whew. Sorry if I went on a bit of a rant there.

I just don’t like it when people imply that success is based on a popularity contest - especially on a site like Udemy. Sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, sure. But Udemy has a lot of substance to it, and I’d like to think the people who pay good money for lessons know how to differentiate the bad from the good.
Wow salty much? It's hard for us regular people to build a following because of that popularity contest. I mean, I'm a good teacher, I think. But why do I need to do the social media song and dance?
 

Naomi

Well-known member
Messages
48
#6
Salty? But you were the one complaining about having to compete with other Udemy instructors, lol. :ROFLMAO:

Listen, in an ideal world, none of us would have to be too concerned about promoting our services. In fact, if you worked for a company or school, you would not have to think about that. But the fact is, we are freelancers. And being a freelancer means we need to be more proactive with the different aspects of our work. Freelancers need to wear multiple hats.

Promoting yourself is important. You can’t just put your work out there an expect someone to notice. And I wouldn’t call it a “song and dance”; it’s an integral part of your job. It is what it is. And when you do it well and with tact, it will only result in better business for you.

Yes, word of mouth is important. In fact, referrals is the best way to generate new business leads. But how do you get people talking in the first place? That’s right - promotion.

If you really feel like you shouldn’t have to play the social media game, that’s up to you. But don’t hate on people who do. I happen to know a few instructors who are, for the lack of a better term, popular. They’ve got thousands of followers on Instagram and Twitter, and they’ve built a strong personal brand around their services. But guess what? They’re still let teachers who know their stuff. And I’d definitely pick their lessons over anyone else’s.
 

Holden

Well-known member
Messages
52
#7
Listen, in an ideal world, none of us would have to be too concerned about promoting our services. In fact, if you worked for a company or school, you would not have to think about that. But the fact is, we are freelancers. And being a freelancer means we need to be more proactive with the different aspects of our work. Freelancers need to wear multiple hats.
I teach at a community college, and I still need to promote myself. :) I need to make sure students pick my classes. I do that by engaging with students on social media and being available for consultations. But I agree that freelancers have to wear multiple hats!
 

Amos

Well-known member
Messages
92
#8
yeah sorry I'm with Naomi on this one - sorry hobitt-bro, sometimes you just gotta hustle y'know? Gotta succeed by any means necessary.
 

Holden

Well-known member
Messages
52
#9
Okay, can we move on from the drama now? Let’s everyone get along before this topic gets derailed (of course, I’m feeling protective of this thread because it’s my topic. :D)

But okay, let’s talk about how to promote yourself if your an online instructor. Think of this as a sort of supplemental review to my Udemy review. I’ll be writing it for the benefit of people who don’t know how to promote their practice properly:

1. Use social media


Yeah, there’s no getting away from this. Social media is the best and most efficient way for you to reach your target audience. There’s simply no other way alternative to this, short of calling people individually on the phone.

2. Spread meaningful content

Using social media doesn’t mean being vapid or posting selfies (which, I think, is what Ben the Hobbit had in mind). You can use your page to share tips or useful information. You can share content from other pages, but I highly recommend you make your own content.

3. Interact with your audience


By interact I don’t mean commenting on photos of people’s lunches (although there’s nothing stopping you from doing that). But it’s better if you offer words of encouragement or answer questions that are relevant to your subject. That way, you build yourself up as a “thought leader” that could help your Udemy presence.

-

See? That wasn’t so hard, now was it?