How Much Do Udemy Instructors Make?



    So, you’re thinking about becoming an Udemy instructor, and you want to know how much money they make, correct? While that question sounds simple, there’s a complicated answer. Some Udemy instructors earn quite a bit of money teaching some of the highest-rated online classes. Because a handful of Udemy instructors make a lot of money, some people use them to argue that everybody should teach on Udemy. However, those instructors are the exceptions, not the rule.


    How much do Udemy instructors make? How much money an Udemy instructor earns depends on several factors. Those factors include:

    • Udemy Instructor’s Revenue Sharing

    • The price of your course

    • How hard you work promoting your course with coupons

    • The keyword rankings of your Udemy course

    • Your competition

    • How the demand is for your course subject

    • Your course’s content and ratings


    Since there isn’t much information available on the Internet today regarding how much money a Udemy instructor can make, we created this guide to help you out. Below we’ll discuss Udemy’s instructor revenue share program, other issues that affect an Udemy instructor’s income, a few Udemy instructor earnings estimates, the average Udemy instructor’s earnings, and five reasons why you should consider selling courses on Udemy.


    Udemy Instructor Earnings

    If you are looking to earn some side money, then Udemy can be an excellent prospect for you. If you’re an expert in a specific subject or you know a lot about a particular niche, you can develop a course and sell it online using Udemy. Every time a student enrolls, you’ll earn extra income.


    Also, the qualifications for teaching a class on Udemy are minimal, meaning anybody can develop and offer a course on Udemy. That’s true even if you have never taught a course before in your lifetime. When you sign-up for your instructor account, Udemy will survey you about your experience, your comfort level, whether you established an audience yet, and much more. There are plenty of resources on Udemy that can help you out with everything you need.


    To help you understand a few things about Udemy’s instructor earnings, we’ll cover that concept in more detail below.


    Udemy’s Instructor Revenue Share Program

    Probably the most vital thing you’ll need to understand about the way Udemy instructors are paid is the Udemy instructor revenue sharing program. By comprehending how the revenue share program works, you’ll be able to understand the earning potential better you’ll have as a Udemy instructor.


    A critical part of your potential earnings is Udemy’s opt-in options for instructors. When you first sign-up as an instructor, you’ll be given a choice to opt-into Udemy’s organic commission, Udemy deals, Udemy affiliates, and coupons. We will summarize how this feature works below.


    Udemy’s Organic Commission

    When you first sign-up to become an Udemy instructor, the website will ask you if you want to opt-into Udemy’s organic commission. If you decide not to opt-in to the marketing and promotions that Udemy uses, then you have to rely on Udemy’s organic traffic to get your sales. If you do this, you’ll earn 50% of all the transactions you make on a website.


    Udemy’s Deals

    The second thing you’ll be asked about when you sign-up for Udemy as an instructor is whether you want to opt into the Udemy deals program. If you do decide to opt into the Udemy deals program, you will permit Udemy to offer as much as 75% off your course, making it cost as little as $10 per student. Then, you’d still get your 50% of that sale.


    If you’re wondering whether or not you should opt into the Udemy deals program, we recommend that you consider agreeing to it. Honestly, the vast majority of successful instructors do. By allowing for Udemy’s promotions, you’ll actively encourage more people to sign-up for your course and get the word out there about what you’re offering. In the end, that can help you boost sales and attract more and more students overall.


    Udemy’s Affiliates

    You’ll also be asked if you want to opt into the Udemy affiliate program when you first sign-up as an instructor. Using the affiliate program allows you to create links and promote your courses on your websites or elsewhere. If you successfully sell a class using the Udemy affiliate program, you’ll get 25% of the sale.


    Opting in to the Udemy affiliate program is another action that we’d recommend. That’s because if you do own a website or plan to create an advertising campaign across other websites, you’ll need to opt into the Udemy affiliate program. If you are the type of person that’s planning to market your course, and we hope that you are because you’ll make more money that way, you should opt into the Udemy affiliate program.


    Udemy’s Coupons

    When you sign up as an Udemy instructor, the last thing you’ll be asked to opt into is the Udemy coupon program. If you choose into coupons, and a student buys your course using a coupon you Emailed, you’ll earn 97% of the sale. However, you will be offering your course to students at a reduced rate once you do this. Still, bringing down the price is never a bad idea when you first start on Udemy and also whenever you are trying to attract new students.


    For those two reasons, we highly recommend that you opt in to the Udemy coupon program. That way, you can earn a higher commission rate and entice students you already know to return and take another course with you. By opting into the Udemy coupon program, you’ll be able to increase your chances of successfully promoting your course.


    So, those are the four items you’ll need to opt into or not opt into depending on your feelings when you first sign-up as a Udemy instructor. How you respond to these opt-ins will determine how your course is promoted on Udemy, how you’ll boost your class, and your overall earning potential.


    However, Udemy’s instructor revenue sharing program isn’t the only factor affecting an Udemy instructor’s income. There are additional factors that can affect an Udemy instructor’s income, which we’ll cover in more detail below.


    Other Factors Affecting an Udemy Instructor’s Earnings

    While the instructor revenue sharing program is the leading factor that will influence your income as a Udemy instructor, there are a few other factors that will affect how much you earn as a Udemy instructor. Those factors include:

    • How much your Udemy course costs.

    • How you approach your promotional efforts, which also includes offering coupons.

    • Your course’s overall keyword rankings.

    • Your course’s competition.

    • How in-demand your course’s subject matter is.

    • Your overall course content and ratings.

    When it comes to getting serious about your earning potential on Udemy, most of the course creators feel that both email and Internet marketing are vital to promoting the success of your course. If you search around Quora and other forums discussing Udemy, you’ll see many disillusioned Udemy instructors who thought that putting a class up on Udemy alone was enough to make some money.


    However, just creating a course on Udemy isn’t enough, and most successful and moderately successful Udemy instructors will tell you that marketing and promotion on your own are vital to your success. In a recent instructor survey, learning how to market and promote an Udemy class can be the most challenging part of creating success on Udemy.


    Now that you understand the variety of factors that can impact your income as an instructor on Udemy, we’ll cover some Udemy instructor income estimates based on some research and data.


    Udemy Instructor Income Estimates

    To try and present a concept of what some of the highest-earning Udemy instructors make, we did a bit of research. Remember, as we already discussed, there is a bevy of variables that can affect an Udemy instructor’s earnings. When we searched around for the “highest earning” Udemy instructors, we defined them as such:

    • These Udemy instructors have 80% of their enrollments paid, which means 20% of their registrations were free.

    • Further, these same instructors had 90% of their enrollments sell at $10, which is 10% at full price and sometimes closer to $200 for the most popular courses).

    • Also, 75% of these instructor’s enrollments happened because of Udemy’s organic sales, and the other 25% came from affiliate promotions.

    The top ten Udemy instructors by earnings for a single course (remember, most of these instructors also have other courses on Udemy, too, so this might not be a full earnings demonstration) is demonstrated in our chart below.


    Class

    Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero in Python 3


    Instructor

    Jose Portilla


    Students

    470,750


    High Payment Estimate

    $4.7m


    Low Payment Estimate

    $942,000

    Class

    AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate 2020


    Instructor

    Ryan Kroonen-burg


    Students

    371,678


    High Payment Estimate

    $3.7m


    Low Payment Estimate

    $744,000

    Class

    The Web Developer Bootcamp


    Instructor

    Colt Steele


    Students

    371,455


    High Payment Estimate

    $3.7m


    Low Payment Estimate

    $743,000

    Class

    Machine Learning A-Z™: Hands-On Python & R In Data Science


    Instructor

    Kirill Eremenko


    Students

    356,226


    High Payment Estimate

    $3.6m


    Low Payment Estimate

    $713,000

    Class

    Java Programming Masterclass for Software Developers


    Instructor

    Tim Buchalka


    Students

    284,024


    High Payment Estimate

    $2.8m


    Low Payment Estimate

    $568,000

    Class

    Complete C# Unity Developer 2D: Learn to Code Making Games


    Instructor

    Ben Tristem


    Students

    278,031


    High Payment Estimate

    $2.7m


    Low Payment Estimate

    $556,000

    Class

    The Complete Ethical Hacking Course: Beginner to Advanced!


    Instructor

    Ermin Kreponic


    Students

    253,234


    High Payment Estimate

    $2.5m


    Low Payment Estimate

    $506,000

    Class

    The Ultimate Drawing Course – Beginner to Advanced


    Instructor

    Jaysen Batchelor


    Students

    252,913


    High Payment Estimate

    $2.1m


    Low Payment Estimate

    $506,000

    Class

    Angular 7 – The Complete Guide


    Instructor

    Maximilian Schwarzmüller


    Students

    224,299


    High Payment Estimate

    $2.2m


    Low Payment Estimate

    $449,000

    Class

    The Complete Digital Marketing Course – 12 Courses in 1


    Instructor

    Rob Percival


    Students

    220,370


    High Payment Estimate

    $2.2m


    Low Payment Estimate

    $441,000


    By examining our chart above, you can see that even in the case of the low payment estimates, these high-earning Udemy instructors are still doing very well. So, these statistics help emphasize that if you can become a top instructor on Udemy, you can still earn quite a bit of money even on the low-income estimate end of things.


    However, to make these statistics a bit more realistic, next, we are going to discuss the standard Udemy instructor’s earnings so that you can make a comparison.


    Standard Udemy Instructor Income Estimates

    While seeing the statistics, we just covered might motivate you to start setting up your Udemy course right away, remember that the income estimates we just included are for top-earning instructors only. While there’s still the possibility that you can become one of those people, most Udemy instructors do not start this way.


    And still many more of them never reach their full income potential for one reason or another. In most cases, Udemy instructors give up when they don’t understand how to promote their courses, so that’s likely where you’ll need to do some research for yourself, too.


    However, Udemy is still a great way to make some side money and create a passive income stream on the side as long as you put a little bit of effort into it. So, after taking a look at Udemy earning and the total number of students out of about 50,000 Udemy English language classes, here is what we came up with for the average instructor’s earning potential.

    Student Range

    < 100


    # of Courses

    16,754


    Percent of all Udemy Courses

    32%


    Income at $10 per Student, Organic

    0 – $500

    Student Range

    101 – 1,000


    # of Courses

    14,805


    Percent of all Udemy Courses

    28%


    Income at $10 per Student, Organic

    $505 – $5,000

    Student Range

    1,001 – 5,000


    # of Courses

    13,352


    Percent of all Udemy Courses

    25%


    Income at $10 per Student, Organic

    $5,005 – $25,000

    Student Range

    5001 – 10,000


    # of Courses

    4,516


    Percent of all Udemy Courses

    8.5%


    Income at $10 per Student, Organic

    $25,002 – $50,000

    Student Range

    10,001 – 50,000


    # of Courses

    3,601


    Percent of all Udemy Courses

    6.8%


    Income at $10 per Student, Organic

    $50,005 – $250,000

    Student Range

    50,001 – 99,999


    # of Courses

    67


    Percent of all Udemy Courses

    .13%


    Income at $10 per Student, Organic

    $250,005 – $499,995

    Student Range

    100,000 +


    # of Courses

    42


    Percent of all Udemy Courses

    .079%


    Income at $10 per Student, Organic

    $500,000 +


    Unfortunately, we realize that this above chart presents you with a bit of a reality check. However, if you want to “get rich quick” on Udemy, you likely won’t achieve that. It is not extremely likely for anybody to achieve the rank of a top instructor on Udemy, but it is possible. However, even with that in mind, you can still earn a pretty nice side income if you use Udemy and use that to your benefit. So, if you are willing to focus on Udemy as more of a side income job, you’ll have the right mindset.


    The Bottom Line for Udemy Instructor Income

    One well-known Udemy instructor, John Purcell, who has made over a million dollars on Udemy, said it best when somebody asked on Quora, “How much does a Udemy Instructor make?” When he initially responded, Purcell said, “Some none, very many a bit, many quite a lot, and some are positively getting rich.” We feel he provided an extremely accurate answer when it comes to Udemy.


    However, if you still feel like you aren’t likely to do well on Udemy, remember that you’ll never know unless you try. Also, you should consider the additional advice John Purcell gave on the same message board below:


    “If you’re thinking of making a course, my opinion is, do it. That’s because Udemy changed my life. Admittedly though, that’s a bit like someone in a great marriage telling people to get married. Udemy greatly facilitates selling courses, but you’re still ultimately getting into business if you make a course, and there are no guarantees in business, no more than getting married guarantees happiness.


    If it goes well enough and you’re not easily deterred if things don’t immediately go your way, you can make an excellent living via Udemy. Udemy doesn’t have a magic ability to sell courses that no-one wants, but they are extremely good at selling reasonably well-made courses on things that people wish to courses on.”


    If you need some help trying to figure out how you can make good money using Udemy as a side job, you should try Teachinguide’s “Sales Estimator.” Their estimator can help you gauge the average monthly sales for specific Udemy courses and subjects, and even for particular keywords. Check it out and play around with it if you think it’s something that could help you with your Udemy motivation.


    Now that you understand how much money you can make as an Udemy instructor, we’ll move onto discuss a few reasons why you should consider selling courses on Udemy.


    Reasons Why Instructors Should Sell Courses on Udemy

    There are a few reasons why Udemy is the best place to go on the Internet when it comes to getting started with selling courses online.


    Reason #1: Make Money and Learn

    If you want to do great online business, you need to learn how to do several things. Typically, there is a huge learning curve when it comes to that. However, with Udemy, once you learn how to use their platform, you’ll wind up getting paid as you learn new skills. Udemy’s platform is filled with fantastic resources and guidance for instructors. If you’re willing to take some time to read that and understand their platform, you’ll accomplish quite a bit.


    By using Udemy, you’ll be able to create concepts and courses that people will give you money to experience. You’ll learn how to make and edit videos, write promotional emails, and attract your target market. Udemy has done a lot of the hard work for you, and as long as you are willing to take the time to read the information they provide and apply it, you should be able to earn a decent passive income stream, even if you cannot quit your full-time job.


    Reason #2: You’ll Make Revenue Faster

    Another big plus when it comes to becoming an Udemy instructor is that you’ll start making money depending on the effort you put into your course during the first month, your class goes live. That means in a short time, and you’ll be able to start making a decent passive income stream. For example, one new instructor to Udemy reported earning $10.50 in the first month. However, after putting in that learning time and effort, by his sixth month, he made over $3,800.


    One thing you’ll need to remember when you start developing your Udemy course is that it does take time, effort, and consistency to grow your passive income stream around your class. When you first begin on Udemy, it can take up to twelve months or more of following Udemy’s advice before you start making a reliable, consistent income stream.


    By comparison, we’ve met several people that own their own online “businesses” and have had them for more than a year. However, those people are still not making much money. By looking at that and considering Udemy, you can see that there is a decent amount of potential here for you to design Udemy courses and start developing an income stream.


    Reason #3: You’ll Make a Consistent Passive Income

    One of the biggest reasons many people become attracted to Udemy is because of the potential for a passive income stream. Earning a passive income stream is extremely seductive to most people. It’s nice to be able to get paid while you sleep or to work anywhere you want to, even in the comfort of your own home. There’s a lot that appeals to many people when you consider becoming a Udemy instructor.


    While generating a consistent, passive income is handsome, it’s a complicated process to achieve. That’s certainly true when you are just starting. For example, if you were to start your own business to earn a passive income stream, you’ll discover there is a lot of work you’ll need to do initially for no money, and you’ll have a huge learning curve.


    If you want to start your business website and try to earn a passive income stream, you’ll need to know how to make webpages, write sequences of code, promote and advertise, make great content, analyze your website, structure your offers correctly, work with freelancers, and make a product that people will buy. It’s complicated to do all of these things if you’ve never owned a website business before.


    Comparing to Udemy

    However, if we compare that to Udemy, you’ll see that it’s much more comfortable with Udemy to create that passive income stream and to make it consistent. One instructor mentioned earning $57,027.94 after ten months on Udemy from their passive income stream and their course sales. That means an average of about $5,702.79 each month.


    And, keeping the earnings estimates for this instructor on the average end over the next three months, that instructor should make another $23,000 additionally. That means over $80,000 in passive income in a little over one year. Also, since the income stream is passive, you’ll still have plenty of time to do other things you enjoy doing.


    Reason #4: You Can Use Udemy’s Huge Student Base

    Another awesome thing about Udemy is that they already have a vast database of paying student users. That’s one of the reasons why some instructors can generate successful passive incomes. By promoting your courses via Email, social media, and through Udemy’s extensive list of existing users, you can draw a lot of attention to the courses you develop and publish on Udemy quite quickly.


    The fact that Udemy already has so many paying customers readily available to you once you become an instructor is crucial to generating success. If you think about it, you’ll notice there’s a massive difference between people who only want to look at free content and other people that will pay for better content. Once you become an instructor for Udemy, you’ll become part of the most massive marketplace for online video classes across the globe.


    Since Udemy is already a vast marketplace, you’ll be launched into a massive group of potential buyers that have already purchased other courses in your niche. So, that means you’ll obtain access to people that are already spending money on similar programs and subjects like your course. You won’t have to spend months trying to create an audience out of nowhere. Instead, you can use Udemy’s marketplace to start promoting once you’ve launched your class.


    Once you start selling your classes, you’ll learn that once a person has bought something from you once, they are ten times more likely to come back and buy something from you again if the experience is positive.


    Udemy allows you to build an audience in a few different ways, including:

    • The ability to capture email addresses when you do your final lecture.

    • You can include a slide at the start of your course’s promo video, your intro video, and on every video of your class with your URL.

    • You’ll be allowed to send announcements to your students directly through Udemy, directing them to your courses and also offer coupons to attract more students.


    Reason #5: Udemy Gives You Great Market Data

    Also, with Udemy, you’ll wind up getting access to market data, which essentially helps you attain your passive income stream. If you own your own online business, by comparison, you’d need to pay for this type of advice. That’s because market data is the most effective way to understand and get to know your target audience. Typically, it isn’t easy to figure that part out.

    Whenever entrepreneurs start a new online business, they are usually told to go to Facebook groups and online forums to figure out how to get market data by interacting with your audience and seeing what their questions are. However, that’s a very time consuming and dull way to assess market data. If you are an impatient person, then the whole process becomes complicated.


    However, by comparison, when you enroll students in your Udemy course, you’ll be able to interact with them directly in the discussion area and cut out all the other comments for other people that you’d need to filter through using ordinary message boards. You can imagine how much time and effort that’s going to save you.


    Final Thoughts

    Now that we’ve discussed how much money Udemy instructors make and the factors that can influence that as well as reasons why you should sell your courses on Udemy, you should have a pretty good idea of how you can get started with Udemy. Remember, you’ll need to put some consistent time and effort into your courses, but once you’ve done that for a few months, you should be able to develop a decent passive income stream.