Tap Into a $107 Billion Market: Create and Sell Your Own E-Courses

The online learning industry is booming! Market research firm Global Industry Analysts projects it will reach over $108 Billion in 2020. If you don’t sell your own e-courses online yet, now is the perfect time to start sharing your expertise.

Places like Udemy and Skillshare give experts the opportunity to create, launch and promote their own content via a relatively easy to use platform. What’s great about these places is that courses are on-demand. As an instructor, there’s no need to cancel classes if an emergency comes up or be chained to your computer answering live student questions. Your students can sign up and start learning when it’s most convenient for them.

This article will cover a few of the places you can sell your course online. All of them allow you to keep the rights to your content. This means you can create your own website to sell your courses or upload them to whichever site you wish.

Udemy

  • Over 6 million students and over 4 million monthly visitors
  • It’s entirely free to create a course
  • Has a 60% video lecture requirement (don’t worry, you can record your voice over a PowerPoint presentation if you hate being on camera)
  • Revenue depends on how the student is acquired. You gain 100% of revenue (minus a 3% payment processing fee) for students that come through a link you created. This includes new students who use one of your coupons. If the student comes from Udemy promotions, you get a 50% revenue share. Note that Udemy does offer an affiliate program where your share may be as low as 25%.
  • Udemy regularly promotes courses to its registered users. Some instructors complain that Udemy runs too many $10 and $19 sales on classes, resulting in low profits per sale. You do have the option to opt out of their promotions.

My Experience: I published my first online course with Udemy in February 2015 and have received sales both through my own efforts and through Udemy promotions. Though it’s not fun to see a $37 sale net a $5 profit because it came through an affiliate, but I don’t complain.  That’s $5 I would not have seen had I opted out of Udemy’s promotions, and I didn’t have to exert any extra effort to receive it.

My online course is called Work from Home: Find Legitimate Telecommuting Jobs that Pay. There’s a screenshot below. If you’d like to see how Udemy courses are structured, check it out.  If you’re looking to supplement your current income with a work from home job as an independent contractor or employee, want to spot and avoid scams during your job search and are ready to have a more flexible schedule, I’d love to have you as a student. 🙂

wfh-screenshot

Skillshare

  • About 850,000 students
  • It’s free to create a course on Skillshare
  • Classes on Skillshare are typically shorter, around 30 minutes to an hour of video content. Your course must contain a project for your students to complete as part of the class. While this works great for hands-on classes like computer programming, graphic design and photography, you could also create a class project for an entrepreneurship or writing course. It just has to be something students can follow and complete.
  • Skillshare offers a paid, monthly membership to its students. For you to make money, you need to hit at least 25 students. Then you’ll be eligible for royalties. Skillshare pays teachers 50% of their monthly membership revenue. What you get depends on the share of paid enrollments and projects created in your classes each month. You can also earn as an affiliate by bringing in new students.
  • Skillshare promotes classes in regular email blasts and social media posts.

While I have not uploaded my course to Skillshare, there are some instructors who report success. There is a 25 student requirement before you start receiving royalties, but the 50% commission is higher than what you might get from the other sites.

Tools Needed to Create Your Course

Though it’s free for you to upload your course to any of these sites, you will still need some special tools to create a professional, finished course:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint – If you don’t like being on camera, you can instead record a presentation with a voiceover. Some people even contract a graphic designer to create a presentation template complete with company colors and an animated logo that appears before each lecture.
  • Microphone – For my classes, I use a Logitech headset with an attached mic. Others use standalone microphones with filters to decrease the pops and S noises that naturally occur in our speech.
  • Video Camera – If you want to appear on camera, consider investing in something more than your laptop’s webcam for recording. Udemy, Skillfeed and Skillshare have hardware recommendations on their sites to help guide potential instructors.
  • Camtasia – This is a screen recording software program that I use to record my lectures in PowerPoint. It also allows you to add sound effects, transitions and call out buttons to your final video.
  • A Quiet Place to Record – I use my home office with the door closed when it’s time to record lectures for my course. Some instructors set up a whole home studio complete with a white backsplash, video camera and mics on tripods and even special lighting.

Good luck with creating your first course. If you have any questions about how I went about creating my course or what I’ve done since, leave a comment below. I’m happy to help!

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who teaches women entrepreneurs how to monetize their message so they can make more money from their expertise. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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