$250,000 and counting...

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$250,000 and counting...

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Happy to share that I have crossed a personal milestone of $250,000 on Udemy this month. This has been an absolutely delightful journey as a course creator. I want to begin by sharing my humble thanks to Udemy for providing an outstanding platform for instructors like us. Here's a glimpse of my journey:

 

Why I joined Udemy?

 

I joined Udemy in August 2016. The primary reason to join was to manage work-life balance and achieve financial freedom. Two mortgages and other loans amounted to over INR 80 lakhs (>$114K) of my personal debt. Although I was earning exceptionally well in my full-time job, I realized (much later) that most of my earnings were paid as interest to banks and taxes to the government. So, something had to be done. These huge loans were to be eliminated. Hence, in 2014, I had started taking cohort based trainings and the initiative was successful. My new side-hustle had a great start. However, with the full-time job, I had to manage marketing, execution, conversion, training, admin, and everything else for this side hustle (my new company). Plus, my weekends were packed with 12 hours of training each day. So, the initial success was at the cost of non-stop work for 3 consecutive years (2014 to 2016).

 

How I found Udemy?

 

During this period of extreme hustle, I realized my core strength was content creation. So I needed someone who could do the rest (marketing, sales, administration, etc). That's when I stumbled upon Udemy. I saw @SandeepKumar's Six Sigma courses on Udemy. That was my niche. I saw the number of enrollments and like everyone else, I thought the price per course was $200 (Lol 😂). I was blown by calculating the numbers of the high price per course and the number of enrollments. I later realized that the price point is not very high, however, a sustained effort can bring outstanding success on this platform. I joined the platform instantly in August 2016.

 

The Initial 2.5 Years on Udemy (2016 - 2018):

 

During this period, I dabbled with my full-time job, cohort based trainings, and creation of new courses. Below is my income of the first three months:

 

  1. Aug 2016 - $15.70
  2. Sep 2016 - $10.00
  3. Oct 2016 - $11.25

I continued the path of earning a three figure income until September 2017. I was still fairly new on the platform and realized the importance of in-demand topics much later.

 

By mid-2018, I had heard much about @PhilEbiner and @ScottDuffy's success on Udemy. So I enrolled in their courses. I was also inspired by revenue posts from @FrankKane. I also regularly tuned in to Phil's Podcasts where he would interview successful Udemy instructors.

 

This became a perfect foundation for a sound and thriving business that was ready to be built on Udemy.

 

The Year that picked pace - 2019

 

My mantra was to create quality courses on in-demand topics and release new courses frequently. I followed this path and it helped me hit my first 4 figure mark in 2018:

 

  1. Oct 2018 - $1,024.54
  2. Nov 2018 - $2,384.91
  3. Dec 2018 - $1,461.21
  4. Jan 2019 - $1,664.59

As I continued this journey, I hit my first $5,000 mark per month ($5,196.01) in Dec 2019.

 

As my income increased and showed promising signs of success, I stopped efforts on my cohort based, reduced the frequency of my visiting faculty sessions, and focused only on my full-time job and Udemy. My non-stop work schedule was getting relaxed and work-life was getting in control.

 

The Year of My Corporate Life Retirement - 2020

 

I had never imagined I would ever retire the corporate life. And that too when I am in my mid-30's. But by 2020, early retirement was on my mind. I was earning twice as much as my full-time job salary. At a few occasions, my earnings surpassed the monthly salary of the CEO of BNY Mellon, India (my employer). And to top it all, I had cleared my mortgage and all other loans of >80 lakhs INR (> $114K). So, I was saving every penny earned. As I consistently started earning more than $7K per month, I decided to quit my full-time job. This was in October 2020. In the next month (November 2020), I hit my first 5 figure mark ($10,260.18). This assured that my decision to quit full-time job was right.

 

2021

 

This was my first year as a full-time Udemy instructor. With more time at hand, I dabbled with a number of other activities such as eBooks, Audiobooks, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. But it was Udemy that continued to increase income significantly. No other source was even close to Udemy earnings. The return on time and effort investment in making Udemy courses was way higher than any other sources. November 2021 turned out to be my best month on Udemy with a monthly income that crossed $15K. And in December 2021, I crossed $250K in life-time earnings.

 

That has been my journey so far. I achieved financial freedom. The standard of living increased significantly. I control my own schedule. I never have to leave my house. After clearing the debt, I purchased two villas - all cash. And the best part, I can see my daughter grow each day - all the time.

 

This post is definitely not to brag about achievements. These are several other instructors who have been on this path. I have just followed their path. Milestone posts (like these) from seasoned instructors used to inspire me. 

 

To be successful, all you need to do is stick to the path with utmost dedication and passion. I am open for any questions. Feel free to drop them on this post.

132 Replies

Congratulations for all your efforts and display about knowledge acquired through series of endeavor. Iam Jesmion, iam not here to make money, because iam a free online Educator on Morality and Moral complexity. How would i be rated on aspect of non money conscious?

Hi @Jesmion,

 

Thank you. It is great to see that you are looking to publish free courses for topics such as morality and its complexity. The topics are unique. And there are hardly a few instructors who have all of their courses free.

 

You have asked a fantastic Q: how would you be rated on aspect of non money conscious? I will share my humble opinion and I would like to say that these are my views only.

 

Udemy Course Pricing:

 

Courses on Udemy are priced at $9.99 or slightly higher. So, you never really charge an exorbitant amount of fee that is even triple digit. Plus, Udemy policies maintain that you do not appear salesy. So, you content is always considered value-driven by the student community.

 

Citing these reasons, as a Udemy instructor, you are always considered to have a non-money conscious.

 

Free vs. Paid Content:

 

If you search any topic on YouTube, you will find a bunch of videos (in every niche) whose content is outstanding and provides complete end-to-end information for FREE. So, even if we have excellent videos on such a huge platform (such as YouTube), why is it that students come to Udemy and pay for the same information?

 

In my opinion, it is only when the student invests his/her money in buying a course, he/she becomes committed to completing it. It is a general mentality of every human: FREE stuff is great, but they will value if they are able to invest their money that will help them stay committed.

 

Conclusion:

 

I personally think that a paid course makes a huge difference to the individual who takes it as compared to a free course. When a student invests money, he/she is invested in the course.

 

These are just my thoughts. I am in no way, shape, or form wanting to influence your decision of keeping your courses free or paid. Whether it is a free or paid course, all that matters is you are adding value to your audience. And that's the best thing!

 

🙂

Thank you for your thought about my fantastic question; i thank you for your thought, i like it

Congratulations @Rahul Iyer !

Thank you @Anonymous.. Nice to meet you 🙂

@Rahul Iyer  Nice to meet you! I really appreciate you shared your experiences here

Bravo! Next year will be better!

Thank you @AstonEdwards2020... I am sure it will be for all of us. Nice to meet you 🙂

Congratulations Rahul, You are my best friend now 🙂

I am at 177k, behind you.

your initial revenues were very much similar to of mine.

keep it up, I wish to see 1M Dollars post from you. Good luck 

very happy for you 

Hey @AshishR... Nice to meet you... $177K is awesome. I fully understand your dedication and focus to achieve this feat! Brilliant!!

 

Agree, we must all post our achievements in this closed forum. It inspires and motivates everyone. I wish the same $1M post from you too, very soon 🙂 Stay in touch!

@Rahul Iyer you did well by sharing this inspiring post. Thank you. Imagine how super little the beginning was...

  1. Aug 2016 - $15.70
  2. Sep 2016 - $10.00
  3. Oct 2016 - $11.25

Thanks once again for sharing.

🛍💝🤝

Congratulations!

(MDN)
Oracle DBA, APEX Developer & Intructor/Freelancer.

Thank you @Michael_D_Nwaogu... Appreciate the note. Nice to meet you 🙂

Congratulations @Rahul Iyer . Your story is truly inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you @SandeepKumarMathur Nice to meet you 🙂

Remarkable Journey Sir,

Very Motivational..

Thank you @RiturajDixit nice to meet you 🙂

Congratulations, this is very big. It’s amazing what Udemy helps us to achieve 

Thank you @Joy D Moyo Nice to meet you 🙂

Congrate Rahul..I am really inspired....

Thank you @NwabuezeAfam007... appreciate the note... nice meeting you 🙂

What an amazing and inspiring journey!
May I ask how you accomplish accreditation on your Udemy courses please? Is this something that is done via the relevant accreditation body for that specific industry? 

 

Hi @HofmeyrdeVo128,

 

Thank you for the comment and this is a great question. I think it is important for me to share my accreditation journey while answering this question. In a nutshell, I learned that accreditation is not a necessary requirement for us to be successful on Udemy.

 

Below are the details:

 

I sell my courses on Udemy and my own teachable site. I also do several instructor based online and classroom trainings. This accreditation was a requirement of one of my major clients.

 

Provider Selection and Investment of Cost, Time and Effort:

 

Since the client requirement was specific, it was easy for me to select the accreditation provider. The provider has a thorough and detailed review process. It took about 6-8 months of rigorous review of each course. They also have vast documentation requirement and a recurring annual investment of multiple thousand pounds to keep the accreditation active. They also have the ability to reject our application if they do not find our courses suitable. Since I have a long-term contract with this client and the costs were getting covered, it made sense to invest time, energy, and effort to get the accreditation.

 

Whether this accreditation positively affects our sales on Udemy?

 

I felt that accreditation would significantly and positively affect our sales on Udemy. But considering the investment of time, cost, and effort, the return on investment for the accreditation is negligible. My sales are the same as they were before accreditation. I am making the most of this accreditation on my website. To be successful on Udemy, you need good reviews, top page ranking, good title, and subtitle, promo video, and overall a good quality course. My recent experience have taught me that accreditation is not a necessary requirement for us to be successful on Udemy.

 

Conclusion: In my humble opinion, if you have a strong business case to seek accreditation, then it would make sense to go for it. Their price tag is high, have a recurring annual cost, efforts are significant, documentation requirement is enormous, and they have the ability to reject our application if they do not find our programs meet their desired benchmarks.

I do not intend to discourage. Just sharing all that I had been through to seek this accreditation. If I was not selling my courses on my website and only on Udemy, I would not make this investment. I would have used the time to focus on creating more courses and maintaining the existing lot.

 

I hope this helps. Please do let me know if you have additional questions.

 

🙂

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question so comprehensivly @Rahul Iyer !!

 

 

Most welcome @HofmeyrdeVo128  🙂

@Rahul Iyer Thanks!  This is very helpful.

Most welcome @StanVangild204  🙂

Congratulations Rahul,

 

I'm going through the same journey but some way behind yourself. I just quit my job to do this full time so roughly where you were this time last year.

 

Would you mind outlining some of the points you learned or picked up along the way that really helped boost your sales and income? Is it just a case of continually producing new courses or are there some things you changed that really made a difference?

 

I look forward to seeing your $1,000,000 post soon.

 

 

Hi,

I appreciate your keenness to become successful at Udemy. So instead of leaving the job, you should have done it on a part-time basis. Because it looks like making money on Udemy is possible but slow.

Vathani

 

Hello @ariyam66,

 

Thank you for the note and nice to meet you here 🙂. In my humble opinion, the definition of slow depends upon the individual and his/her effort investment to grow on Udemy. There are several factors that determine whether you go slow or grow rapidly on this platform. These factors are:

 

  1. The niche that you operate in
  2. The quality of your courses
  3. Your monthly earnings

I focused on creating good quality and in-demand courses in my niche. And I focused on a particular niche that I was strong at. This helped me grow at a moderate pace on the platform. Before leaving my full-time job, my Udemy earnings were 2x of my job salary. In fact, I was earning more than the India CEO of our bank. So, leaving the job and focusing only on Udemy was a no-brainer. Yes, but to reach this stage, I definitely toiled hard for six consecutive years possibly taking no holiday. After being a full-time Udemy instructor, my earnings have been 4x of my then job salary.

 

So, my experience of becoming a full-time Udemy instructor has been positive. There was no looking back.

 

🙂

Hi @MikeFreeman,

 

Thanks for the note. It is great to see that you are so dedicated in making your business successful on Udemy. It definitely helps to focus on one big ticket item. When you put your skin in the game, you are bound to succeed 🙂 In my opinion, you will do extremely well, Mike.

 

During my journey, I did not do anything exceptional. I mostly did what every other long standing instructor would do. I will summarize the key points that helped me in the long-run:

 

1. Learning to be successful on Udemy

A few months ago, I read a post of an instructor who was successful on Skillshare but was struggling on Udemy. After reviewing his courses on Udemy, I realized that being successful on Udemy requires a deeper understanding of the platform. I have taken many official and unofficial Udemy courses to help learn what are the do's and don't s of this platform. I must have also read every single policy on Udemy Support page to understand what works and what we must not do.

 

2. Respond to students and show up in the Q&A Discussion frequently

Initially, I did not respond to students on the Q&A Discussion forum of my courses. But later realized the importance of this. So, I frequently respond to them and ensure their queries are answered. Students love when their instructors respond to their queries.

 

3. Respond to private messages within 24 to 48 hours

When a student reaches you using a private message, they are seriously looking for help or an answer (in most cases). I make a point to respond to them as early as possible. 

 

4. Create courses regularly

As you rightly mentioned, creating courses is important on Udemy. Tools such as Marketplace Insights have been very helpful in identifying the right topics. Student feedback is another great source.

 

5. Update your courses regularly - especially the thumbnails, description, promo video, and content

After the pandemic, we have observed a rise in the number of instructors and courses on Udemy. To ensure we remain at the top, it is important to regularly update all that is needed.

 

6. Start showing up on Social Media

Students want to know more about their instructor (as an individual). I started showing up on my social media sites frequently, and this has definitely helped in getting the right recognition for my brand.

 

These are the main key points that have helped me in my journey. I continue to focus on these even today. I am sure they will help you too.

 

Feel free to let me know for any additional questions.

 

🙂

Many thanks for your detailed reply. It's always good to hear from those further down the road and helps keep the momentum going. 

 

Congratulations again and look forward to reading that $1,000,000 post from you. 😁

Greetings of the day,

Love your work and congratulations and keep it up..

I will also see your courses...God Bless you..

 

This is Noble let me share my journey as Global Future Skills, Computer Science and Pure Consciousness Expert.

Got a Doctorate in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and I am a Pure Consciousness Expert for 6 years.

Achievement:

Served 6000+ Students and 500+ Teachers in 140 Countries Globally.

I have done Global Future Skills Implementation and Research for the last 15 Years.

Achieved 300+ Award for last 15 years:

I am a Lifelong Lerner of Future Skills, Future Technologies, and Art Creativity and Value Innovation.

I am Self Taught Computer – Artificial Intelligence Scientist, Super Pure Consciousness Expert, and Design Thinker.

Worked with Multinational Companies like GE and Wipro Technologies other below Organisation.

Entrepreneur:

Started two Successful Startups from Family Business to National and International levels.

Acquired skills:

1. Real Life Digital Skills.

2. Real Future Skills.

3. Real Pure Consciousness Skills.

4. Real Technologies Skills.

5. Soft Skills.

6. Real Life Project Management Skills.

7. Real Life Lean and Six Sigma.

8. Real Life Entrepreneurship Skills and I have done 500+ global digital and future skills training.

I have done 100+ Projects with these Skills with over 15 years:

1. GE.

2. Wipro Technologies.

3. Himalayan Institute of Alternatives Ladakh.

4. Teach for India.

5. Harvard Medical School.

6. Toastmasters International.

 

Attention:

Kindly follow me on Udemy and Youtube Channel to help me to reach 1000000 Students.

Vision: Teach real-life and problem-solving skills to One++ Billion people over the years Globally and serve humanity with true values of Devine Consciousness.

I make everyday new classes on Future Skills, Life Skills, Art, Crafts Social Media, Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, Design Thinking, Design Digital Classes, How to find Niches for different markets, Niche Research, 360 Mindfulness, Consciousness, Creativity, Business Strategies, Sales Strategies, Project Management, and other 300 Skills which I have learned over the years.

Gratitude till infinity,

Noble

Hey @Noble570.. Thank you for sharing your background. You've got a vast experience. Nice to meet you 🙂

My Gratitude to you and your family and all beings of the universe till infinity 🙏

Thank for chosen Udemy as a career choice

Great! I thank you for making . Udemy your full times!

I soldomly have querries; because, your full times works in Udemy gives me joy

I rarely have querries; because, your full times with Udemy gave joy!

Hi @Jesmion,

Nice to meet you. Go ahead and ask your query. Happy to answer.

🙂

 I am impressed by your journey and I look forward to celebrating hitting the 250k mark in even less time. I hope I can learn how from you and the others you have mentioned in the post. Congratulations and well done!

 

Sure. I wish you all the success in your journey. Nice to meet you @ManyAhas 🙂

Congratulations Rahul Iyer.

Happy to read your inspirational journey.

Thank you @HanifLambe794. Nice to meet you 🙂

Thanks for your encouragement towards being steadfast and courageous

Thanks and congratulations! We need to be morally brave towards what's right!

Big congrats! I just released my first Udemy course on Machine Learning for Product / Non-Technical People. I used to do workshops on this course, so decided to put it online, my background is in elearning originally and ed-tech:

https://www.udemy.com/course/product-focused-ai/

Just launched it today lol, no users. The name, "Machine Learning Simple for Product Managers / UX Designers", doesn't come up easily in searching. Even, "Machine Learning Simple" or "Machine Learning for Product Managers", comes up more with the technical courses. Not sure how to fix the keywords accordingly. Am starting to send coupons to all my friends, family, tech colleagues to get more reviews, etc.. Then will post in reddits, etc. Still working on my free vs. coupon vs. paid strategy.

Have a long journey, but excited it's up to experiment with. I spent 2 years developing this course to make A.I. simple and product relevant. Love any advice if anybody has any? Thanks 🙂

Congratulations! Your steadfast to achieving the correct aims is admired

Hi @SatV7,

 

Thank you for your kind words. Nice to meet you.

 

I took a few moments to go through your course promo video. Below are my observations:

  1. Video quality and sound quality is good.
  2. You are keeping the audience engaged by having different visuals.
  3. And you have explained your background and what's in the course well.

If this is the format you have used throughout the course, I am sure it will do well.

 

What do we need next?

All we need now is more reviews, regular presence in the Q&A Discussion, and if possible marketing course coupons on various social media platforms and coupon websites.

 

What to expect?

You may possibly be in a highly competitive niche. But spending two years to make the course indicates that you have taken enough care to have the right content in it. As time passes the course should do well. I would not recommend to keep extremely high hopes of huge revenue initially. As it takes time and effort to build your audience from scratch. On the contrary, if you already have a huge following on any social media site, you are bound to do well. If not, no worries. You will do well eventually. Just stay put. And congratulations to have launched your first course. It is in itself an amazing milestone.

 

Wish you good luck and all the success 🙂

Hi Rahul!

 

Thanks so much for looking at my course and all the great advice 🙂 So nice of you to take all that time. I guess we do like to teach each other on this platform 😉 

My course doesn't have a lot of competition. There's only like 2 other courses that even try to teach A.I. in simple terms and nothing is product management or UX oriented intersecting ML (course on these topics in isolation yes, but not the intersection) on Udemy. Also, I work in these fields or have, and with these professionals, and have presented the course as a workshop. I found high demand from product people (UX, Product Managers, Researchers, Business Execs, Sales Engineers) to learn ML concepts and they loved my course.

So I already know the demand is there and has been validated (I work in tech). It is a little difficult though that Udemy buries my course under all the technical A.I. courses though, bc it's a course for non-technical people. It doesn't really show up under the correct search terms easily, even though I tried to optimize it for the right words, "Machine Learning, Product Management, UX Designer."

If I look at my analytics, students don't see the course, it's not like they see it and they don't want it, they don't find the page, they don't know it exists and never even visited it! Nobody can find my course, is my main problem to solve now.

I thought Udemy would take care of my marketing for me, but I see it doesn't quite work that way. I think I'll have to post it to lots of sites and make a website and advertise that on Facebook / Google to try to drive traffic myself. Then maybe once I get more users (Free and Paid with reviews), it will show up more in the search and Udemy will "kick-in" and get me more users? Is that basically how it works out?

Thanks again for your advice, I'm looking for all the tips I can get 🙂

My hearty congratulations to you Rahul!

This is exactly the kind of motivational write-up that I need to not despair with my current low monthly income since August 2021 that I have been on Udemy. I was already having the feeling that I probably joined Udemy rather late in the day when there are a plethora of courses available on the platform covering practically every topic one can think of.

I am seriously hoping that I have a similar success journey like yours within the next few months or so.

 

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