Udemy is sort of like the discount basket of online education and for them to be successful with very low prices they need tons of volume. And with over 50 million students on their platform, it is not too hard to break through and earn some decent passive income being an instructor on Udemy.
Udemy instructors’ earnings depend upon the sales channel in which it came through, keep in mind that Udemy controls at what price your course sells.
There are four different types of sales channels where instructors earn revenue from every course sale. These channels are:
- Udemy Organic traffic
- Udemy promotions
- Udemy Ad program
- Udemy Affiliate program
Udemy Organic sales
The Udemy organic sales channel basically means that anytime your course is purchased by a student who is casually just browsing Udemy, or maybe searches for your topic or a course title and then finds and enrolls in your course through the platform right organically.
These types of sales will give you the instructor a 50% revenue split. That’s right you keep half of the sale as udemy brings you the traffic and they get to keep half of the purchase.
You the instructor will receive nearly the entire sale or ninety-seven percent to be exact. For example, if the price is $9.99, you will get nine dollars and 69 cents from that.
In order to get this type of sale, you have to have a student purchase your course through your private instructor link that Udemy provides you inside your promotions tab, inside the individual course that you want to promote.
Benefits to use your personal course link
Utilizing your personal link is a great way to take your success on Udemy to the next level and really boost your revenue.
This requires some basic digital marketing knowledge but it’s not that hard to get on YouTube and make a blog and just do a couple of extra things like dropping your instructor link somewhere inside that content.
The good thing is once the content you make is out, the sales will come in passively from then on require no more work from you so, it is a snowball effect. The more content you put out the more sales you will have in the future.
Udemy Ad Program
This sales channel will net you only 25% of the total sale. It may seem like nothing but Udemy deserves to keep a seventy-five percent just because Udemy will take care of all the advertising and retargeting to potential students for you.
You don’t have to run Facebook ads or Instagram ads, Udemy will do that for you. So anytime somebody clicks on your course page, Udemy installs a tracking pixel onto that user and they will now automatically receive retargeting ads for your course when they’re browsing Facebook, Instagram, and other social media.
So since Udemy has to pay for these ads, they’re not free, it only makes sense that they keep most of the revenue for sales through this ad program channel.
Udemy Affiliate channel
This type of sale also will give you the instructor 25% of the revenue split and the reason you get 25% is that this is also an ad program that Udemy outsources to their advertising partners.
So again advertising money is spent to promote your course and that’s why the instructors only get to keep 25% of the course sale because somebody else is taking care of the course advertising.
Other factors affecting instructors earnings
Other factors that depend on how much you make from Udemy are taxes on courses, in-app course purchases, and commissions.
There are other factors that may come into play such as the VAT tax for students that buy your course who are living in Europe. Because they have a VAT tax over there, that will take away from a few of your revenues.
In-app course purchase
Also if somebody purchases your course using the Udemy app, on iOS, or an Android mobile device, unfortunately, that will take an extra 30% from both instructors and Udemy.
So both the instructor and the platform will get a smaller revenue split because again iOS and Android have to take their share as well.
Don’t be too stressed out because course sales from mobile devices don’t really happen that often.
Conclusion and personal advise
With all the splits, revenue shares, and fees it may not seem like making good money on Udemy is impossible but luckily that’s not the case at all.
You get to take advantage of Udemy’s built-in audience of over 50 million students and when you begin publishing your courses and using the platform you will feel the power of Udemy’s huge audience reach, it balances out.
The organic traffic and sales you will get from Udemy alone are amazing but what’s even better is taking advantage of your instructor link that will give you the 97 percent revenue split for every sale that comes from that link.
All of the top udemy instructors don’t rely on Udemy alone for traffic, they take some time from their day to make content outside of Udemy and promote their instructor links.
Think of it this way just referring only 10 people per month using your link will add an extra $100 in your pocket literally for doing almost zero extra work.
So if you want my advice just make amazing courses with awesome content. Don’t be afraid to utilize YouTube, Medium, and other external sources of traffic where you can easily bring in students using your instructor link.
Udemy is an amazing opportunity for online educators but in order to really break through and be in the upper half of earners, you have to implement the strategies that I mentioned in this post.