make money from udemy

The amount of money you earn on Udemy depends on a few factors:

  1. The source of purchase – If the purchase comes from Instructor Promotion (my coupon or course referral link – I have a redirect from udemy.nabielec.com), I get 97% of the price. If it comes from Udemy organic traffic, I get 50% of the price. If it comes from a paid Udemy campaign, I get 25% in most cases. This is why my first payout is the biggest, while it didn’t have so many students – most of it was my traffic and I got most of the money from these purchases.
  2. The promotion – There are a few types of promotions and coupons that I create and Udemy makes their promotions as well. It usually drops the price by up to 50% in my case.
  3. The revenue share – I co-created the course with Bartek Rycharski from the Course Makers studio (in Poland). We decided I will not pay for his assistance during course creation nor the recordings in the studio (over 2 days) and editing, but we will split the Udemy earnings as 35%/15%. So to this day, Bart earned just over $1.000 already and I hope he will soon be rich! 😉
  4. Is it Udemy for Business – If people purchase the course by Udemy for Business, I receive no money. In these cases, my payout is dependent on how much students watch. So if they watch 50%, I get 50%. I was added to Udemy for Business on January 24th, so this is a fresh story at this point.

Marketing

Very quickly Udemy and its channels became the main source of people purchasing the course:

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Also with Udemy for Business the rate of purchases is 3x the previous one, however as described above, it does not translate to revenue directly until people really take their time to watch the course.

Effort

How much work was required to create this course? My rough estimate is 100-120 hours.

First, we had to have an agreement about the idea behind the course, the target audience, the transformation we would like people to go through and then the structure to achieve that. In our work, we used Course Makers Canvas from Bartek Rycharski. He and his team gave me invaluable feedback at this point.

Then I created two presentations and hosted two free webinars with the course content to get feedback from people. Roughly 500 people signed up for these webinars and 100 showed up live.

With the feedback, I was ready to write lesson scenarios. To keep individual lessons up to 5 minutes and packed with information, a single scenario was roughly 600-800 words. The document with all the scenarios for the course is 42 pages long, with 17.700 words and almost 100.000 characters. 

I do not have a precise time tracking for that, but I estimate it took 30 hours to polish the idea, 10 hours to prepare and host the webinars (I already made quite a lot of them in the past) and 40 hours to write scenarios.

At this point, we entered the studio and spent two full days there to record the whole thing. If you look for a professional studio with people knowing how to prepare good online courses, I highly recommend Course Makers (Poland). I would be happy to create another course with them. 

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The last piece of work was corrections, preparing materials, graphic design and putting it on Udemy.

Now, after publication, I spend roughly 1 hour weekly walking through statistics, answering questions and reviews, sometimes organizing promotions. At this point, it is almost 100% passive income.

Dropout

This is the interesting part. It turns out that 50% of people who purchased the course, did not even start it – the progress is below 10%. It is true for both regular purchases and Udemy for Business. Only 18% of people get to the last 10% of the material.

Let’s look at the total and also split separately for regular purchases and Udemy for Business.

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It’s shocking for someone that already has an online course, in Polish, that is actively led by me, with community, daily tasks, and reports – this course is 30 days long and 91% of people graduate it. Even more interesting fact is that if you miss two tasks and reports in a row, you are kicked out of the course – so you really have to be actively engaged from the beginning to an end. For the last edition, 111 people started the course and 103 got to the last, 30th day. Completely different results from Udemy.

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