When you think of creating an online class do you automatically picture a project that takes you weeks or months to complete?
Once upon a time, I thought the same thing too! But then I tapped into the niche of high-demand, short online classes and now it’s one of my favorite ways of sharing what I know and earning money online!
If you want to make money teaching online, becoming a teacher on Skillshare is a great side hustle to start!
I started teaching classes on Skillshare about five years ago. Not only was it fun, but becoming a Skillshare teacher gave me the confidence to keep going with my side hustle and create more classes.
What I love most about Skillshare is that anyone can teach on the platform. Here’s on overview of how to get started with Skillshare.
Get started with a Skillshare account. Skillshare offers a free trial (no credit card required) so that you can test out their premium membership. It’s a great way to try out some classes for free, however, you DO NOT need a paid membership plan to become a teacher on Skillshare.
Now, you need to choose a topic for your first class. My suggestion is to first choose a topic that you know very well and that you like talking about. Then go and validate your class idea to make sure it’s a class topic that is in demand and will sell.
You absolutely should create an outline for your online class. Outlining your class idea will help you to get organized and make the recording of your class a much smoother process.
Once you have an outline for your class, it’s time to get started with recording! I use a few simple and affordable tools to create online classes. You don’t need expensive equipment to get started!
Plan to create a class that is 20-60 minutes long and made up of short 3-5 minute lessons. These lessons can be you on camera speaking or the lessons can be you voicing over slides or a screencast of something related to your class topic.
You will also need to offer a class project. The class project is just an easy way of encouraging students of your class to take what they learn from the lessons and implement it.
Finally, it’s time to publish your class! After you hit that publish button, your work is not yet done! You need to promote your class.
Send your class link to your friends and family. Share your class link on your social media accounts, your blog, your YouTube channel, etc. Promoting your class immediately will help you to earn money more quickly!
It’s important to understand how you get paid as a Skillshare teacher. First, you need to understand that Skillshare operates on a monthly membership model. Students pay either a monthly or an annual fee to access all of the classes on the platform.
Each month, 30% of the membership revenue is put into a royalty pool to pay teachers. According to Skillshare, on average, a teacher can earn around $200 in their first month with one class. Top teachers on the platform earn $3,000+ per month.
The more classes you teach and the more you grow your following on the platform, the higher your income potential.
As a teacher, you earn money based on the number of premium students watching your class. A premium student is one who pays for a membership. The premium minutes watched by each premium student count towards your royalty payment.
Note: Free classes do not count towards royalty payments.
Additionally, Skillshare also provides teachers with affiliate links to promote the platform and classes taught by other teachers. You get paid a $10 referral fee for anyone who signs up using your affiliate link.
Free Class: How to Teach a Class on Skillshare
A few years ago, I joined a new challenge for teachers who had already published a class on Skillshare. I needed motivation to create more classes and the challenge definitely helped!
Around this time, Skillshare had just started sharing information that showed the students on their platform actually preferred shorter, bite-sized classes that were 25 minutes in length over longer classes.
This meant that as an instructor I could now create valuable content a whole heck of a lot faster by creating a nugget-sized class to meet the demand of the students on Skillshare.
Now, this bite-sized content doesn’t apply for every online course marketplace. But it just so happened that on Skillshare this is what students preferred. AND SO I ROLLED WITH IT!
I released a bite-sized video class on Skillshare that was only 24 minutes long. Here’s a snapshot of the class page:
I wasn’t sure how it would play out, but I trusted that Skillshare knew its students better than I did. It’s a good thing I took advantage of their expertise and suggestions because my results were better than I could have ever expected!
I made $528.80 in one month from my Skillshare class!
I actually had more students to enroll in one week of this course than I did in an entire year of one of my other courses. SAY WHAT?!?!
I was completely blind-sided by how well this short class did in terms of enrollment and income.
No, it was not the THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of dollars that you can possibly earn when you sell online courses on your own website, but who wouldn’t love an EXTRA $500 in their pockets right after the holidays???
Why did this little class do so well?
I have a few thoughts that may help you if you are considering creating your first Skillshare class for the new year (or any time of year)!
#1 – Clearly keeping the class under 25 minutes was a great plan. If the students want shorter classes, give them shorter classes. Just remember to add value to their lives. Don’t post junk! Not only does it hurt your reputation, but it will get you bad reviews on the platform
#2 – Because it was the beginning of the year, I believe people were more open to soul-searching, goal-setting, and new year “resolutioning”. My course was more of an inspirational business course so part of it was just good timing.
#3 – The beginning of the year is prime-time for Skillshare in terms of student enrollment. Skillshare does a big push in terms of advertising and challenges to get more people enrolled by year end. Thus, you benefit as an instructor because there are even more students browsing for classes to take.
Still trying to decide if you should teach a class on Skillshare?
For those looking for a way to teach what you know and make some side income from it, Skillshare is a win win! They provide you with helpful resources to help you get started and you can use what you learn to sell classes from other platforms, including your own website or blog.
I highly encourage you to take a few classes on Skillshare. Then, challenge yourself by signing up for the Skillshare Teach Challenge which will give you even more helpful tips on how to make money on Skillshare.
Like I said before, it’s a great way to get your feet wet with online courses if you’ve never created one before. It’s a way to add another revenue stream to your business. It’s even a great way to make friends with other teachers and continue to build a relationship for future partnerships.
***UPDATE June 2020*** Earlier this year, Skillshare announced an update on teacher payments. In June, they shared the below chart to show expected revenue growth for teachers. You can learn more here.
8 Reasons You Need To Teach a Class on Skillshare
Where Should You Teach Online Classes? Skillshare, Udemy, Teachable or Thinkific
How to Make Money with Online Courses