Teaching at Udemy, Online Courses for Non-Fiction Authors

Udemy Online CoursesWhat can you teach? Udemy and other retailers of online courses should be on your radar if you’re an author who instructs… well, anything. Limiting yourself to just book sales could be missing a golden opportunity.

For educational purposes, the video medium is a natural progression from books and the classroom. It’s also a smart one. MOOCs (massive open online courses) are the future of learning, whether recorded or live. It just makes sense. More students at locations around the world can be reached by fewer teachers, delivering quality instruction at less cost. Plus most people absorb information better when it comes as a combination of video, audio and the written word. All it takes is an internet connection.

Why Udemy?

After testing several online retailers, Udemy for instructors is the closest comparison to KDP Amazon for writers. The user-friendly platform makes it simple for anyone to create and edit courses. They have more tools, training guides and even a Facebook Instructors group for assistance with any need. And they sell by far the most courses of anywhere I’ve tried. My courses exist at six other online retailers–Udemy outsells them all. There’s also no application process, which does mean a range of quality exists in the courses. It’s my belief, ala Amazon indie books, the best tend to rise over time.

Raw data at Udemy is exciting: nearly 5 million students from 190 countries. This was accumulated in just a few years and is growing fast. 10,000 instructors teaching in 53 languages is even more exciting because presently there are about 500 students per instructor.

How do the royalties work?

When you bring in students from your own methods (i.e. website, social media, emails) using instructor coupons, you keep 97% of the coupon price. That’s correct, 97%. Not sure if this deal will last forever, but it’s been going on for a while and feels too good to be true. If Udemy promotes your course and makes an in-house sale, you still earn 50%. Not too shabby. And there are affiliates who promote courses as well, also paying about 50% of sales price on average. Even if you don’t have a course to promote, anyone can make money selling as an affiliate.

Most courses are priced between $10 to $30 per hour on online content, but that’s up to you. The average Udemy instructor makes $7,000 per year while successful ones make over $100,000. Remember, once courses are in place there’s little that needs to be done, mostly communications from time to time.

Besides the paid courses, you can also price courses for free. Could be a smart way to build platform and up-sell other products.

What types of courses can you teach?

Anything that can be taught. Courses related to technology do well as does anything related to making money. Go figure. Traditional subjects are popular: reading, writing, arithmetic, languages. There are courses in Music, Health & Fitness, Photography, Lifestyles, Design, Marketing, Dog Training, pretty much everything.

What do you need to get started?

You need video. They recommend at least 60% of your course to be high quality video. It can be live action, as in footage from a camera or your webcam, or it can be screen-cast. Classes that teach an activity like yoga or cooking are suited for live footage. Screen-cast is my preference since they demonstrate how to do things online so students can follow in real time. (My self-publishing related courses are offered here at major savings.) You can also upload PowerPoint, PDFs, audio, zip files and even perform live with student interaction.

Udemy recommends mixing up the teaching materials because some students learn better by reading, some by doing, others by watching and listening. Adding quizzes and course completion requirements also help keep students engaged.

What do you think, is Udemy for you? Share a comment.


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One Response to “Teaching at Udemy, Online Courses for Non-Fiction Authors”

  1. Dan Alatorre AUTHOR Says:

    Great post, Jason! Thanks for sharing!


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