Before trying to make money on Udemy, author Jessica Brody had taught writing courses at libraries and conferences for years. Although she enjoyed teaching, it started to get exhausting. She had to travel to each location, and she often taught the same material over and over again. Brody started looking for an alternative.
“My husband was researching online teaching platforms, and we decided to create a short writing class as a test course for Udemy to see if it’d work,” she said. “We earned $1,000 in the first week after releasing it.”
If you’re like Brody and looking for a source of extra income — perhaps to pay off that pesky student loan debt — you could teach classes through Udemy, too. Find out how the platform works, plus Brody’s tips for getting started.
For people looking to earn extra income for student debt or other purposes, Udemy can be a great tool. If you’re an expert in your field or have expertise in a specific niche, you can create a course and sell it online. You’ll earn money for every student who enrolls.
Anyone can teach a class on Udemy, even with no prior teaching experience. When you sign up to become an instructor, Udemy will ask about your experience, your comfort level with video and whether you have an established audience interested in your materials. Udemy offers robust resources to help you get started based on your answers.
Brody currently offers seven courses on different aspects of writing. Her courses are popular; more than 25,000 people have taken her classes on Udemy. Her earnings from teaching online are substantial.
“I make between $1,500 and $3,000 per month with Udemy,” Brody said in 2018. “I use that extra money for things like travel or big purchases.”
With Udemy, your earning potential is unlimited. You decide how much to charge for your course. Some courses are free or cost as little as $1, while others cost hundreds. How much you make depends on the price you set and the demand for your course.
One of the best features of selling classes on Udemy is the fact that it can become an excellent source of passive income. Once you create and post a course, it can earn you money for a long time without additional work.
There are courses on almost every subject imaginable, including dog grooming, making gift baskets, computer programming and, yes, repaying student loans. Although some of the best-selling courses focus on graphic design and programming, you can earn money teaching any subject. It just might take more work to market your course to potential students.
Although Udemy can be a good source of extra income, it takes more than just throwing together a course to be successful. Brody offered the following five tips to help you get started.
1. Use Udemy resources
Udemy publishes many free resources for instructors, both beginners and seasoned teachers. It offers guides on how to create a course, build an audience and use video. You can even submit a test video and get feedback on your performance from Udemy experts. There’s also a community where instructors can learn about and share best practices.
Brody stressed how useful these resources are and encouraged new instructors to take advantage of them.
“Udemy does a lot to help you,” she said. “If you can sell your course and prove there is demand, they’ll also help you market your course.”
2. Focus on your most in-demand skills
When you’re thinking about what to teach, Brody recommended focusing on your most in-demand skills. Doing so will help you find an audience for your courses.
“I tell people to think about what their friends ask them about,” she said.
For example, Brody said people often asked her about how she managed to write several books a year. Those questions prompted her to create a course on productivity hacks for writers. Now, more than 6,400 students have taken that class.
If repaying student loan debt has made you expert in spreadsheets, mathematics or another related topic, you might already have a course worth teaching.
3. Invest in good equipment
Although you don’t need professional-grade equipment, Brody recommended investing your earnings in some upgrades.
“When I started, I just had PowerPoint slides and audio,” she said. “Then, I used that money to invest in more equipment, like a higher-quality camera and teleprompter.”
You may be fine with only slides and audio; some courses follow that format and are quite successful. However, Brody said you should consider investing in a good microphone, which can cost less than $100. She also recommended using an excellent screen-capturing program. She uses Camtasia because it’s easy and even allows her to edit video.
If you’re short on cash, consider taking out a low-interest personal loan to purchase the essentials and create quality courses. Going into debt isn’t ideal, but a small investment now can help you earn more money later.
4. Script your course
Some Udemy instructors use a casual format and teach courses off the top of their head instead of following a script. According to Brody, that’s a mistake.
“It’s important to remember that this isn’t YouTube,” she said. “People are handing over their money and expect a polished and professional course.”
Instead, Brody recommended coming up with a script ahead of time. Writing a script and sticking to it can prevent you from rambling or going off on tangents, making your course more engaging and focused.
5. Give away your knowledge
Brody said one of the biggest mistakes she sees is instructors who are afraid to give away too much information.
“Some instructors hold back,” she said. “They’re afraid if they give away all of their secrets, they’ll create their own competition.”
Brody stated how important it is to share your secrets for success to make your courses valuable and useful. Otherwise, the courses won’t be effective, and you won’t get as many students.
Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|2.49% – 11.72%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.30%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|4.13% – 7.39%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.99%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.99%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.24% – 8.24%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.48% – 7.98%||Undergrad |
|1.74% – 7.99%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.69% – 9.92%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 6, 2022.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $9 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 09/09/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 4.13% APR – 7.39% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.99% APR – 9.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
4 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 3.99% – 8.74% APR (3.74% – 8.49% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 2.74% APR to 8.24% APR (2.49% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.
5 Important Disclosures for Navient.
6 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates range from 3.99% APR to 8.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 3.24% APR to 8.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
7 Important Disclosures for Purefy.
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Rate and Terms Disclosure: Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranges and examples are based on information provided to Purefy by lenders participating in Purefy’s rate comparison platform. For student loan refinancing, the participating lenders offer fixed rates ranging from 2.73% – 7.99% APR, and variable rates ranging from 1.74% – 7.99% APR. The maximum variable rate is 25.00%. Your interest rate will be based on the lender’s requirements. In most cases, lenders determine the interest rates based on your credit score, degree type and other credit and financial criteria. Only borrowers with excellent credit and meeting other lender criteria will qualify for the lowest rate available. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens.
Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69%-9.92% (3.69%-9.92% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49%-10.11% (4.49%-10.11% APR).
Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 6.39%- 9.60% (6.39% – 9.60% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.58% – 9.79% (6.58% – 9.79% APR).
Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69% – 9.16% (3.69% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.35% (4.49% – 9.35% APR).
Education Refinance Loan for Parents Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69%- 9.09% (3.69%- 9.09% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.28% (4.49% – 9.28% APR).
Medical Residency Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69% – 9.16% (3.69% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.35% (4.49% – 9.35% APR).