The question we’re asking today is: can you still make money on Udemy in 2019?
Many people claim to have made 6 or 7 figures from selling courses on Udemy.
And in this guide, I’ll be answering all your questions.
If you are interested in selling your course on Udemy, you’ll need to read this.
Let’s get started!
Here’s What We’re Covering
How Does Udemy Work?
Before diving into how you can make money on Udemy in 2019, let me give you some information on Udemy itself.
What is Udemy?
Udemy is an online teaching platform where you can find courses on anything, learn new skills and get ahead of the competition.
According to Udemy, there are more than 42,000 instructors who teach 130,000 courses in over 50 languages.
Udemy was founded in 2009 (or in 2010 according to other sources) by founders Gagan Biyani, Eren Bali and Oktay Caglar.
Here is how Udemy used to look back in 2010:
Today, Udemy has millions of monthly visitors who visit the site to learn new skills and improve their existing ones.
Note: These numbers are estimations and may vary from real numbers.
Moreover, interest in Udemy has been rising year after year:
According to a 2019 article, Udemy now has over 30 million students visiting the website to improve their knowledge.
Is this enough to say that Udemy is an opportunity for anyone who wants to make money by creating an informational product?
You see, with more than 130,000 courses offered on the platform, selling your own isn’t easy.
In addition, finding topics that aren’t yet covered by another instructor can be extremely difficult.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t make a successful online course.
How does Udemy work for instructors?
Creating and selling an online course on Udemy is actually quite easy.
First, you need to click on the button “Teach on Udemy” on the website’s home page:
Next, you need to click on “Become an Instructor:”
And sign up for an instructor account:
As you can imagine, signing up for an instructor account is just one small part of the process.
Next, you need to build and start promoting your course.
This is where things get more difficult.
According to Udemy, this process includes three stages:
- Plan your course
- Record your video
- Build your community
I want to be clear about something: if you’re looking for a quick way to make money on Udemy, then this platform might not be the best solution for you.
Online training and teaching requires a lot of time and hard work.
I know that firsthand, since I’ve managed to build a successful Amazon course for people who want to start selling on Amazon FBA.
Thus, if you want to discover a get-rich-quick solution, selling online courses may not be for you.
However, if you want to create something really valuable and generate passive income from it in the long-term, then Udemy may help you achieve that.
Requirements for Udemy Course Creators
You don’t just want to create a course and move on. To maximize your reach and enroll as many students as possible then you want to treat your course like a business.
- Update the content regularly
- Keep your students engaged with the content
- Provide support and answer any question your students may have
- Promote your course and build an active online community around it
Furthermore, and this is very important, selling on Udemy means that you need to be ready to get critique on your work.
You may have put in hours upon hours of work to build something and then see reviews like this one on your course page:
This is something you need to be prepared for.
Last but not least, when a new user signs up for a Udemy account, they usually get a message like this:
This is a simple way of prompting users to sign up and buy the course they’re interested in right away.
If you’re not okay with the idea that your course will be sold for $12.99, then you might want to reconsider Udemy as the platform on which to sell it.
You now know how to become an instructor on Udemy as well as some of the things you need to know before choosing Udemy as your go-to platform.
Let’s move on to the best practices when it comes to creating your own online course on Udemy.
6 Steps to Make Money on Udemy
We’ve covered the basics of what Udemy is.
Now let’s dive a bit deeper into how you can make money on Udemy.
How to create a Udemy course
To create a Udemy course, you need to possess specific knowledge around a certain topic that many people have to deal with or have as a problem in their lives.
The most successful information products online are usually those that solve common problems.
The better your product at providing actionable solutions to these problems, the more likely it is to succeed.
To achieve this, you need to follow certain steps.
Let’s take a look at each of these steps.
Step #1: Go deep with your competitive research
I can’t stress enough the importance of doing competitive research for your upcoming course.
Let’s assume you want to launch a course on coding for beginners.
The first thing to do is visit Udemy and search for something relevant:
You can see that there are many courses on Udemy covering this particular need.
You need to visit as many courses as possible in order to identify:
- Problems that people have
- Content gaps and sub-topics not covered
- How people describe their problems and what they’re looking for in a course
I recommend making a list of checkpoints—things you need to pay attention to and start checking them one by one.
Author’s Tip: don’t visit only best-selling courses. You can learn just as much from unsuccessful courses as you can from successful ones.
Let’s move on to the next step.
Step #2: Validate your online course idea before spending time on creating it
I’ve mentioned in a previous article the importance of validating an information product before investing your time and resources to actually building it.
The question is: how can you validate your product?
Let’s say you want to create a course on how to make money with Amazon FBA.
You can first visit relevant Facebook groups…
… And connect with people who:
- Would be interested in buying your course
- Have bought a similar course in the past
You can then question these people directly and try to understand:
- Whether or not they would be interested in buying your course
- How much they would be willing to spend on buying it
- What their needs and top priorities are
This will give you an idea of whether or not there’s interest in what you want to create.
Remember: you need to have a strong idea that’s connected to a problem many people already have.
This is the only way the validation process has a chance of success.
Step #3: Build and launch your course
The good thing about Udemy is that it makes the creation process easy.
This doesn’t mean you won’t have to spend hours creating something really valuable.
It just means that Udemy makes the process of creating your course even easier.
Some things to consider here:
- Offer templates, sheets and everything relevant to your course
- Don’t over promise to get someone to buy your course
- Set the right expectations—no more, no less
- People like facts, data and case studies
- People like stories they can relate to
- Make it actionable and practical
A good practice here is to visit successful courses and see what add-ons (i.e. templates) they offer.
You can create similar add-ons and resources to increase your chances of getting someone to buy your own course.
Step #4: Build a community around your course
This is the last step of the process.
Most people think that creating a course ends when you hit the “publish” button.
Users will then discover your course and you’ll start making money.
Sounds like a solid plan, right?
If only that was true…
You see, creating a course is only a small part of making money on Udemy.
You then need to find ways to engage your customers (more on that later) and support them on a constant basis.
It’s not easy, and this is why most people never get there.
However, if you think of the benefits of creating a community around your product, you’ll understand that it’s something you must do if you want to succeed.
Here are some of the benefits I’m referring to:
- There’s a chance to talk 1-on-1 with people
- You can up-sell/cross-sell them different info products
- Ability to provide firsthand support and answer any questions they have
- You’ll identify what people like/don’t like about your course
- You can distribute content and inform them about course updates
Thus, building a community around your course has much more benefits than you can possibly imagine.
Above all: it allows you to get closer to the people who invest in your course.
Make sure not to skip this step.
What to Pay Attention to
Now that you know how to create your own course on Udemy, let me give you some tips on things you need to pay attention to.
Tip #1: Give first, then ask
Here’s what most people think about launching a new course on Udemy:
- Create course
- Launch course
- Generate passive income
However, people need to get value first until they decide to invest in your product.
If you actually want to make a difference and create something that will stand out, you therefore need to focus on providing value.
The question is, how can you do something like that?
I will answer this question based on my own experience in building and growing successful products online.
If you take a look at my blog, you’ll find plenty of free articles on…
- Amazon FBA
- Starting an online business
- Entrepreneurship, AND
You will also notice that I give away for free resources like eBooks, templates and workbooks:
I also regularly host free webinars:
Obviously, creating these resources requires an investment.
Why do I invest in these things?
Because I know that adding value to people’s lives is the only way to grow a successful business online.
Sure, I could have an opt-in for some of our most extensive guides or turn our free webinars into paying ones, but this isn’t the right way to do things online.
In the same vein, when you decide to create your own course and try to make money on Udemy, you have to be prepared to add value beforehand.
If you take a look at some of the most successful instructors, you’ll notice a pattern:
Most of them have several ways of adding value to their audience both inside and outside the platform.
This is what you need to do as well.
How to add value to your online audience:
- Organizing meetups
- Posting YouTube videos
- Hosting online webinars with thought leaders
- Creating templates, tools and resources for your audience
- Creating an online community in the form of a Facebook group
- Launch a (smaller) free version of your course to get people interested in it
- Writing blog posts on topics that you know your audience will be interested in
My advice here is this: use the formats that make you feel comfortable.
If you feel comfortable in front of the camera, go for it.
If writing is your thing, grab a pen and start writing.
Whatever you do, remember that it must be something that makes you feel comfortable.
However, keep this point in mind: to make money on Udemy and build a successful online course, you need to add value to your audience before asking them to invest in your course.
Tip #2: Contact successful instructors and ask for advice
One of the best things to do before you create your own course on Udemy is contact successful Udemy instructors and and ask for their advice.
Why is this important?
Because these people were once exactly where you are now, and asking their opinion on things is one of the best things to do before getting started.
The question is, how can you do that?
Let me show you by using a quick example.
First, insert a relevant search term into the Udemy search bar:
Take a look at some of the most popular courses on the category that interests you…
… And visit the pages of some of the instructors of these courses.
For example, you can visit Patric Dang’s instructor page:
You can then find links to the instructor’s website, Facebook page or LinkedIn page.
All you have to do is reach out and ask for a couple of tips on how to make a successful course on Udemy.
Be respectful and polite.
Moreover, make it easy for them to answer once you’re connected.
Be very specific with your questions, and limit them to 1-2 so that you have a better chance of getting a response.
Tip #3: Pay attention to your copy and messaging
Your copy and messaging is very important.
It’s one of the things people pay attention to before landing on your course page.
Some best practices here are:
1) Learn from successful courses
One of the first things to do is visit successful courses and see what kind of copy and messaging they use for their course.
For example, if you were to launch a course around sales, you could visit courses like the following:
From such courses, learn how to structure your:
- “What you’ll learn” box
To be clear, you don’t want to copy these people.
You just want to learn from them and adjust your messaging so that it resonates with your own audience.
2) Try to identify the main problems people have who buy that course
This one is huge.
Why should someone buy your course? What will they learn? What problem are you going to help them overcome?
These are the questions you should be able to answer with your copy.
Take as an example the following “What you’ll learn” box:
By taking a look at the copy, you can easily identify some problems that the target audience has, such as:
- Doesn’t feel confident before a sales meeting
- Can’t close deals with confidence
- Doesn’t enjoy selling because it’s difficult
- Can’t use body language to build relationships
Now that you know the problems your target audience is facing, use them to get visitors interested in your course.
3) Use comments as a way to enhance your messaging
Needless to say, comments are extremely important when it comes to selling online.
Why is this?
Because comments are feedback from people who bought the product (AKA the course).
For example, take a look at the following comments from a sales course on Udemy:
If you read the second comment, you’ll see that the student essentially asks for:
Identifying what’s missing from other courses is essential because:
- You can provide that to your students
- You can adjust your messaging accordingly
In this example, you can include 1-2 bullet points that mention something like:
“With templates, exclusive spreadsheets and tools that will take your sales skills to the next level.”
Not so hard, right?
Make sure to use this tip in your own course.
Now Over to You
As I hope is evident by now, making money on Udemy is not easy.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t sell online courses and actually make a profit.
Online course platforms like Udemy are extremely popular right now—and by learning the rules of the platform, you could build an amazing informational product.
Everything that comes after that is correlated with the quality of your course.
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Have you ever tried selling a course on an online teaching platform such as Udemy? If so, what were the results?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Additional resources you might be interested in: