Recently Nick Loper from The Side Hustle Show Podcast did an episode with Scott Britton.
Scott’s first two courses were on the topics of sleep hacking and Gmail productivity. He is not a PhD or expert on these topics, but he is fascinated by these topics. He went out and researched the topics and consolidated the information in one place for people who want to learn. He spoke about how he makes $3,500/month from these two courses and is able to live in Brazil off of the income.
Scott’s experience is great. I’ve been teaching online courses on Udemy for exactly one year with some success and I’d love to share my real, honest experience.
Scott and I both were classroom teachers. We are both passionate about helping our students. As classroom teachers, we realized that in-person teaching helps us reach about 15 students a class, 3 classes a day. We have the same forty-five students for three months. There is no time to reach more students face-to-face. As passionate teachers who want to help more people, we had to think bigger. So that desire to help more people brought us to teaching online.
Udemy is a platform that allows people to create content for classes and not have to worry about the technical or marketing side of the online course. Udemy takes a 50% cut from sales, but they also bring a lot of the sales for you without any effort. However, if you bring the student to purchase the full-price course, you keep 100% of the sale.
You make the course once and then hope that over time the course brings in revenue. To be completely honest, I’ve only made about $2,500 total on my two courses on Udemy in one year. I’m not complaining. And I haven’t done any promotion on my own. Reflecting on my own experience, my advice would be to take a close look at others who have created successful courses. Look at the topic and layout of the course, as well as their marketing strategies. I do believe it is possible to make my annual amount ($2,500) in just one month with the right course, right marketing, right plan and effort.
Before I posted my first course on Udemy, I had some misperceptions about teaching online. Here are three of them:
You have to have a PhD or be an expert in the topic you teach.
- You need to be willing to do the research and create a quality course, but you do not necessarily need to be an “expert” or a published author
It takes months of preparation to create a course.
- It takes about 20 hours of focused effort to produce about a 4-hour course
Teaching online will make me rich.
- You can have a good amount of passive income once you create the course, but it may not become your main stream of income
Now, after a year of experience, I can give three points of advice if you’re interested in making passive income by teaching on Udemy:
- Before you create your course, take at least a couple hours to think about your overall goals and branding. What is the student going to get out of the course?
- Test your equipment. Make sure the audio and visual aspects of your course are of good quality.
- Don’t be a perfectionist. Make sure your course is good enough, not perfect. It’s better to post a course now and learn from any mistakes than to wait, and wait, and perhaps never post the course because it’s never going to be perfect.
Photo Credit: Andrew Magill