Udemy is an online learning platform that helps you design and sell online courses of your own making
Expected pay: usually $2.50 (net) per sale
Commissions & fees: 3% – 63%
Where: Nationwide (remote)
Requirements: Something to teach and ability to produce decent audio and video
Do you have a special skill that you think you could teach people? Then you may want to take a close look at Udemy, an online teaching platform that has millions of customers.
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Classes at this site range from heavy topics like computer coding and finance to life coaching and organization. And they’re all created by people like you, who have a skill but may or may not have any experience with online teaching.
How it works
To get started, you’ll plug in your name, email address and a password. The site will then ask you a few questions about your experience in creating online courses. Don’t have any? No problem. Udemy is asking because it’s ready to provide you with advice that’s suited to your knowledge and skill level.
It will also ask whether you have a “following” — maybe Instagram subscribers or an email list. This, too, is to personalize the sort of tutorials that Udemy will present as you go through the process of course creation.
Best site for beginners
Once you’ve answered those initial questions, you’ll see why SideHusl.com rates this site as the best place to offer a course when you’re a complete beginner. Udemy assumes this. So, if you say you don’t have experience creating an online course, the site is going to provide you with simple, step-by-step instructions on how to do it — from outlining to filming.
It’s worth noting that other online teaching platforms also provide tutorials. But they’re level-up lessons that may be too sophisticated for a newbie.
Although you’re in charge of how to present and price your course, Udemy does have some requirements. If you want to charge, the site requires that you offer at least 30 minutes of instruction — and, ideally, closer to two hours.
It will require that the video and audio are clear; and that you provide at least five lectures. You must also have a clear and compelling course description that explains what you’re teaching and what your students will come away with at the end of the course.
The site also invites you to send your course to its test video service to get personalized feedback.
The hands-on approach makes designing and creating an online course accessible to nearly anyone.
High fees/low pay
But, where Udemy is our top pick for new course creators, it’s not the ideal platform for those with tons of experience creating online classes. That’s simply because Udemy’s commissions and pricing structure can be costly and constricting for people who don’t need any hand-holding.
Specifically, Udemy takes a commission ranging from 3% to 63% of your student revenue. The percentage depends on how the student came to you. If the student came in with a voucher to buy your course specifically, you get 97% of the net proceeds from that sale. However, if they came without a individualized offer from you, Udemy takes the higher percentage, leaving you with only 37% of the revenue from that sale.
It’s important to note, too, that the commissions are on net revenue. And, if your students buy through an app store, that store is going to impose a commission too. So, if your course sells for $10 and the Apple App store takes 30% of that, your net sale is $7. After Udemy takes it’s commission, you get $2.59.
Notably, we used the $10 figure because Udemy will encourage you to let it offer your course through it’s own promotions. Those promotions almost always discount the price of your course to $9.99.
The site also has a “business subscription” plan. And it will encourage you to allow your course to be sold here too. While we’d recommend letting the site sell your course through it’s promotion plan, we don’t recommend the Business Program. That’s partly because the royalty you get through the business program is highly speculative. And, yet, you give up some rights to sell your course elsewhere as long as it’s included here. We won’t go into all of the details. But, if you’re interested, you can learn more about Udemy business here.
What Udemy also offers that no one else can match is a gigantic user base that’s interested in discovering new courses. It’s a great place to market your class, if you don’t have a ready market and a well-conceived marketing plan. You, however, only get the Udemy marketing push when you agree to be bound by its promotions.
So the best way to make money here is to do that, and hope you sell a ton of classes, since you’ll need volume to make any significant money.
However, many seasoned course creators use Udemy in another way. They essentially offer introductory courses here as a way of marketing their more costly and time consuming courses that they sell elsewhere. This, too, can be a really smart strategy. You can sign up for Udemy here.
Want to offer a class on Udemy?
What their teachers say: (from Capterra)
Udemy is a great platform to sell courses online, it’s easy to use, simple to add courses and they do the marketing campaigns for their users base. The only thing that I thought a little awkward in the beginning was the price the courses are sold, and the money they pay you for each sale. But it’s part of their game