Work From Home

Make Money Writing & Selling Educational Courses on Udemy

If you have a knack for writing and you are exceptionally knowledgeable with a particular topic, program, or anything under the sun, one interesting work-from-home opportunity is to create an educational course and sell it on Udemy.

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Udemy launched in 2010 by Turkey-based, self-taught International Math Olympiad Erin Bali. It’s a marketplace where teachers sell courses that students from all over the world could purchase and learn from. There’s no teaching requirement needed, as long as you’re offering something educational, your course would likely be accepted.

Benefits of Using Udemy

Many critics of Udemy claim that you can earn more from selling a course on your own website. Many site owners have done it with free eBooks, so why can’t you?

Here’s why Udemy would be useful:

• You don’t have your own website.
• You want to sell courses as soon as you’ve finished writing them.
• Your name isn’t recognized in your field.
• You don’t have a following on social media.
• You’re not financially capable of marketing your course.
• Udemy’s Affiliate marketing program (via LinkShare) adds traffic to your course.

Udemy gained 250k users in its first 3 years since launching. Today, the Udemy site is home to 42,000+ courses and receives 500,000+ unique visitors every month. With this in mind, Udemy is worth a look if you’re not sure how to sell your course online. Plus, the course gets free traffic (without investing a cent for marketing), or building a reputation (and following) online.

How Much Can a Course Author Earn from Udemy?

Udemy doesn’t ask teachers a fee for creating a course. Selling the course, however, is a different matter.

Since April 2016, all Udemy courses are required to have a price tag of $20 to $50 each. However, don’t expect the entire $20 for your $20 course whenever a copy is sold. Udemy is known to run promotions for students that discount courses for up to 50% off. Plus, Udemy also takes a cut on the sale, depending on various scenarios wherein the course was sold.

As you can see from the chart above, depending on how a student found out about your course that led to him/her buying it from Udemy, revenues will vary from 25% to 97%.

It’s important to note that every course can be sold multiple times, so if you make a career into crafting and selling courses (that you know would sell like hotcakes), Udemy can really provide passive income.

However, if you’re planning to release just one course, Udemy may not be the best platform for you.

How to Take Advantage of Udemy’s System

If you’re a researcher, writer, teacher, internet marketer, or any similar professional who would want to earn up to a whopping $1.6 million a year like the 10 teachers described by Udemy’s VP of Marketing Dinesh Thirupuvanam, here’s how:

1. Market Research

What’s cool about Udemy is that as soon as you reach the website, you’ll get to check out the top-selling courses, and highest-rated instructors. Perform market research from the data provided there. What categories do students choose the most? Which topics are in-demand? List all of the highest-selling courses from Udemy and indicate which categories they’re under.

2. Competition Research

From the list you gathered, choose at least 5 courses you find interesting. If you can, purchase some of the courses and see why they’re so popular. Is the instructor a reputable name within his/her niche? Identify what makes the course special. Did it reveal a unique idea? Did it teach a highly-technical subject? Determine what parts of the course lack information, and how it could generally be improved.

3. Out-Teach Them With Your Course

Once you’ve identified the category you want to attack, find a sub-niche of the course you took inspiration from, and create an entirely different course with better information, a more interesting method of teaching (either through stories, visuals, or more), and out-teach the highest-selling course with your own version. Of course, your goal is to ultimately provide a better learning experience to students who will purchase your course.

4. Market Your Course

While Udemy already has a significant amount of organic traffic, you should rely on this alone. Spend time and effort in marketing your course via social media, word-of-mouth, e-mail campaigns, your own website/blog, or even paid ads.

5. Keep the Momentum Going

If your course lands the front page, and sales begin to dwindle, offer promotions or discounts to keep the momentum going.

The Bottom Line

Udemy’s revenue-sharing model can be frustrating some people, but if you’re planning to create two or more courses within in-demand niches, the effort might be worth the sale revenues you’ll receive.

Udemy can be a useful platform to people who want their courses published or sold. Even big-named celebrities like “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof are selling courses on Udemy. But what’s great about Udemy is that it lets even the small guys take a piece of the learning pie, share their knowledge to other people, and earn passive income in return.

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