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How to launch an online course on Udemy and make money

Learning has changed a lot over the past decade. There was a time when we all would seek help from classes offered on the campus or outside to learn a skill, a language or anything in general. These classes and tutors were our go to option every time we needed help in learning. With the expansion of the internet and its applications, online businesses are blooming and thus this traditional approach to learning has seen drastic changes.

We now Google stuff that we wish to learn; whether it be a skill or a professional course, the internet’s got it all. This approach has presented the learners with a number of online resources to choose from and has also boosted the urge among people to learn newer things as learning seems easy and the resources accessible and affordable.


Udemy – The ideal platform for learners and teachers

What is Udemy?

Udemy is a great way of bringing teachers and students together on one platform. What makes it so effective in terms of delivering the best content is the support it provides to the instructors for building a course ad monetizing it. As teachers, you’ll be offered tips and guidelines to improve your teaching style, skills, and the overall course. It is designed and structured to make every teacher deliver the best course content. This assures your success on Udemy as a teacher.

So, now let’s see how to start a course on Udemy. Before we jump into it, here’s a quick look at a few statistics –

  • Udemy is a host to more than 13 million students across 190 countries.
  • 100 – The number of languages the courses are offered in.
  • $17 million – the amount earned by the top 10 instructors at Udemy.
  • 40,000 – Number of courses offered.

Isn’t this inspiring enough for you to create a course on a subject that you command knowledge in and teach millions of students and earn money at the same time?


How to launch a course on Udemy?

  • Signup

First thing’s first. Signup for a free account here. Once that you’ve signed up you gain access to the free and paid courses available here. With this free subscription, you can choose to either learn a course or teach one. Not only is this process simple but Udemy as a platform is quite easy to use.

  • Creating your course

After logging in, click on Become an Instructor. Make sure before this step you have chosen topic or subject that you are going to teach. Then you’ll land on a page that looks like this –

Enter the course name in the box on the right of the page as you can see in the above snapshot. Click Create Course and your journey to being an instructor begins.


Course Map

Now that you made it clear what you’ll be teaching and also decided the contents of your course, take a look around (maybe you don’t need to) because the thousands of topics similar to that of the course you are offering will just appear right in your face and will pose you a question – How different is your course ?

It is very important that your course and its contents stand out and are different from other instructors offering similar courses on Udemy.

You are going to need a strategy to do this. The distinctiveness of this strategy will decide how unique and different your course turns out to be. Be specific on who your target audience is as that will guide your strategy in the right direction.

Since this is the first article where I am talking about Udemy, I guess it’s better if we stick with the basics. In the next article, you’ll see me discussing in depth about making your course profitable on Udemy.


Udemy revenue model

Here’s a brief overview of the revenue model of Udemy to give you a clear idea of how you can earn being an instructor on Udemy.

Let me clear this one thing right at the outset – there is no fee charged to create a course on Udemy.

This is something many of us ask before taking an initiative and many times refrain us from making the most of the resources due to this unanswered question.

Well, now that I’ve made it clear let’s move ahead with the revenue model.

Based on how the course is sold, i.e. whether the lead is through an instructor, ad campaign, affiliate marketing or Udemy’s organic traffic Udemy has different revenue models. Let’s consider these scenarios:

  • Organic Source Sales

In this scenario, a student comes across your course in Udemy’s marketplace. Then the purchase is made entirely from there without using any coupon code.

Here, the revenue share of the instructor and Udemy is equal – 50%.

  • Instructor Coupon Code Sales

Here, a student uses an Instructor Coupon Code to purchase the course from the promotional announcements that you make to your Udemy students or other promotions like an email list, Facebook, Youtube subscribers (your own audience).

Here Instructor gets 97% of the revenue share.

  • Affiliate Sales (<7-day window)

This scenario is something we all can easily understand and relate to as we all know how crucial affiliate marketing is to our blogging revenue.

If you wish to know more about affiliate marketing, read related articles on this blog.

So, coming back to this scenario, it’s quite simple. A student who is acquired by an affiliate makes a purchase within the 7-day window. And this purchase could be made with or without using the Instructor Coupon code.

So in this scenario, the distribution of revenue is like this –

50% to the Affiliate

25% to the Instructor and

25% to Udemy.

The reason behind including this revenue model in this article is to give you a valuable insight into the way the system works. So that you could plan your strategy in the right way to make monetize your course in the most profitable way possible.

  • Affiliate Sales (>7-day window)

Similar to the above scenario except for the student here purchases the course outside the 7-day window with an Instructor Coupon code.

Notice that there is not just one major difference between these two affiliate sales scenarios. Other than the purchase being made within and outside the 7-day window, other major difference is that here the student uses the Instructor Coupon code to make the purchase. While in the previous scenario the revenue share would be the same with or without using an Instructor Coupon code. Here (>7 day window), the revenue share for Instructor is different in both cases i.e. with or without Instructor Coupon code.

Instructor gets 97% of the revenue share.


  • Affiliate Sales(>7-day window)

This is the second case in the above scenario. Here, the student makes a purchase outside the 7-day window without an Instructor Coupon code. Now that the student hasn’t used the Instructor Coupon code, you can figure out the revenue share quite easily.

The revenue share is analogous to that of Affiliate Sales (<7-day window).

The affiliate makes the most of the revenue – 50% and 25% is earned by the Instructor and Udemy each.

  • Ad Program Sales (with Instructor Coupon code)

In this scenario, a student (acquired by Udemy) purchases a course via the ads displayed. These are paid ads and the students make this purchase using an Instructor Coupon code.

The instructor makes the most of the revenue in this scenario – 97%.

  • Ad Program Sales (without Instructor Coupon code)

There is one single difference between the previous scenario and this one. Here, a student makes a purchase of a course without Instructor Coupon code.

Since the paid ads were mainly responsible for bringing out this purchase, a heavy share of the revenue goes to Udemy.

They handle the advertising part of the course. And when the ad accomplishes its goal which is conversion, they are entitled to a good share of the revenue generated by the said conversion.

Revenue share in this scenario is like this –

25% to the Instructor and 75% to Udemy.

  • External Partner Program

Here the purchase is made through an external partner. This can be with or without an Instructor Coupon code. So here, there are multiple divisions of the revenue. That means the revenue will be shared between Udemy, Instructor and the Partner.

The revenue share is like this –

Partner takes the larger share – 50% and the rest 50% is shared between the Instructor and Udemy each earning a 25% share.

Udemy has many resources for you to be a successful Instructor. It will help you at every step of your journey providing you with free resources.

I suggest you also use the free resources offered by Udemy to make your course more profitable. This article establishing the grounds for you to build your Udemy Instructor career on. Now that you know how things work on here, you are ready to be an Instructor. Decide a topic and signup for free!

Let us know about your Udemy experience and if you have any questions ask them in the comments. Do suggest the article to your friends who can make the most of the Udemy.

About Nikhil S

He is one of the co-founders of TBT. He loves to write about WordPress & SEO tutorials also he is a Computer Science Engineering Graduate.

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