Are you ready to start teaching online today?
You might wonder why would I want to start teaching online. Teaching online is the number one way I’ve been able to earn money online in eight years and it’s the number one suggestion I have if you want to make money online. Build an audience, have passive income for life, start teaching online today.
If you will enjoy reading and contributing to the discussion for this post, will you please join on the YouTube video above and leave a comment there because I read and respond to most comments on YouTube?
What I intend to do for you here is to give you everything that you need to be able to start teaching online. I will walk you through the equipment, the software, the services and things you might need, future videos to watch. To make this even easier for you I’ve got all this linked for you and I will walk you through it one step at a time.
I teach full-time on YouTube now and I invite you to subscribe to my channel if you find this helpful and turn notifications on if you want to make sure to see the newest videos with updates.
First as an instructor it’s very important, this is a huge tip if you want to have successful courses, to qualify yourself as an instructor, you have to ask yourself what experience do you have relevant to whatever you want to teach.
I’m Jerry Banfield and I’ve made over $1000000 teaching online till now. You can see on my income report the the top places I’ve earned money and what years I was on those platforms.
The number one from me with over $600,000 was on Udemy. However the best opportunity for growth I see is to build your own platform and put your courses on all the other platforms, stick to promoting yourself and your own platform and take whatever sales all the other platforms give you.
I’ve got the income here listed to show you where you might be able to make some money yourself and to give you my experience related to what I’m teaching. I have been teaching online since 2013. I started on YouTube and I highly recommend to start on YouTube. YouTube is the easiest place to just put a video up, get some feedback and if you really care about what you’re teaching YouTube is the easiest way to just get it out there. If you want to make money then selling online courses to your existing YouTube audience can help with that and that’s the main strategy I’ve done to promote my courses – I put videos up on YouTube. I put a very good information tutorials up on YouTube a year before I made even $1,000 a month in sales. Therefore if you want to start today, start out on YouTube.
I’ll show you exactly how to quickly go through an escalate your progress. You can do it the hard way like me and take years to get a decent teaching setup or you can watch the rest of this video and I will show you exactly how to setup your entire teaching studio up, what websites to use, etc.
The first critical thing you need to do is set your studio up so that you can have higher quality videos, videos that are good enough to get approved on places like Udemy, videos that give people a good impression right away as soon as they start watching, videos that allow you to stand out from the majority that don’t take the time to buy good microphone, to have screen capture tutorial software, that aren’t on all the different teaching platforms.
This will give you the ability immediately to stand next to establish instructors like me that have been teaching online for years. If you want to help me earn by buying any of these this you can buy using these links directly and I will get a percentage of the sales for which I’m extremely grateful given I do YouTube now full time.
You might ask why with all this stuff I know about teaching I do YouTube full time. I do YouTube because to me the highest level business system is to be able to release every single thing you do for free and not even need to directly charge for the content itself. Teaching online is a good middle step to be able to work into the spot I am now. Now I just put everything out for free and I monetize with a partner program at jerry.tips/partner where you can get help as an online instructor building your business.
This allows me to put all my content for free now and then I charge people in my partner program at a much higher rate than selling individual video courses. This gives me the biggest possible audience with a higher level monetization step and this is the strategy you can do. If you prefer not to get to work on all these teaching platforms you can do something like my partner program as well. If you really want to build your teaching business my partner program has several case studies and people who started out trying to just pay the rent and have worked into best-selling instructors online that earns 10+ thousand a month every month with exactly what I’ll show you here. I’m able to help out because I know who to refer you too to get you some extra deals that aren’t available to the public and I’m on top of the newest trends myself.
Let’s take a look at the equipment to begin. The number one thing you need to do to start teaching online is to get a decent studio setup. You can get an outstanding studio setup for $500 or less, depending on where you’re at in the world. Getting a good microphone, getting a green screen behind you and getting screen capture video tutorial software will allow you to make a whole lot of sales if you happen to make a course on the right topic and which you can almost be certain to do by just teaching everything you know and intentionally learning new topics that you can teach. I’ll show you the landing pages of each of the equipment I will show you and I’ll walk you through why this equipment is what I’m recommending.
The first thing I recommend is this microphone Shure SM58-S. This is a microphone that’s stood the test of time. You’ve probably seen lots of performers use this microphone on stage I recommended it as a function of a recommendation by my friend Thomas George who in my partner program. He is a music producer and he absolutely recommends this microphone because it gives you the best voice quality for the lowest price in a studio environment that is not ideal.
That’s a key point to mention for you because when you start your studio out as I did you may not be in an ideal recording environment, there may be traffic or airplane and so on. I was next to the airport when I started teaching online and I used to cut planes out flying over, I would be in the middle of a tutorial and a plane would buzz over and I had to cut the plane out. What I didn’t realize that if I had this microphone instead of the Blue Yeti USB one I had this would have done a better job at not capturing those planes flying overhead. Therefore I recommend the microphone first as a key piece of equipment because low quality audio is one of the easiest ways to get your courses rejected on every platform, to turn people off of your YouTube videos which I’m an expert in. I don’t mean expert in how to turn people off YoutTube videos 🙂
The next step you need a preamp (short for preamplifier) for this microphone. I recommend the Focusrite Scarlett Solo because it’ll connect to both Mac and Windows. You connect this via a USB and via a microphone. On the microphone you have volume control and then you can connect it to the computer. The idea with your audio is to have your audio recorded properly when it’s going into your computer. The main mistake I see new instructors making in terms of workflow is using a low quality microphone in a studio that’s not very good. For example audio has lots of noise and echo (this is totally me when I started out) and then taking a bunch of time to edit it after the fact. If you notice my audio sounds pretty good today. I don’t edit my audio, in fact I don’t even edit my videos today because I’ve practiced so much that I can usually rip a hour-long tutorial out straight and not totally butcher it that bad, unless you read some of the comments you might disagree. The key thing is if you record your audio right the first time then you don’t need the hundreds of hours new instructors spend trying to use post effects processing, noise reduction and all these effects into after-the-fact audio. It’s much easier to record your audio right the first time and then you don’t have to mess with it. Therefore I’ve given you the best microphone that I know of at a low budget and the best USB interface to get the audio into your computer right.
Alternatively if you want to use the Blue Yeti USB microphone, this is actually the cheaper solution and this is what I started with. However one big caveat – if you use the Blue Yeti USB microphone in the studio that has any ambient noise at all, anything from echo to airplanes to traffic to people talking, you will pick this up and it will very easily reduce the quality of your video courses as it did for mine. It will require you doing things like editing plane sounds out of the background, I can testify to the amount of time and energy and frustration that takes is well worth $100 especially if you’re hoping to make a few thousand or maybe even $100,000 online. Spend $100 up front to make it easier.
Once you’ve got your microphone I recommend to get a better webcam instead of just using your built-in webcam with a $40 curtain like I did when I made thousands of videos on Udemy. This Logitech is the lowest-cost highest quality webcam I found – Logitech c930e. It’s a full 1080p webcam under $100 and you can download a color settings profile for Mac, it comes with one on Windows and you can adjust the color. If you got a green screen you can get it looking really good on this webcam. You can connect it to a Mac or a Windows computer if you got one. I used this webcam for years until I stepped up to this one.
I’m currently using the Canon XA11 Professional Camcorder because it’s beautiful and it’s got modes I can switch back and forth from things like Cinema mode. I’ve finally got my green screen and my face and everything looking really good and even this can glitch like the other day it left me looking super tan. This is the camera I recommend if you want the highest quality and the best picture, if you want the flexibility to go film on location, etc. This is the camera I’m currently using.
The next key piece you want is a green screen. A green screen allows you to take out whatever background is there. There is nothing that makes you look less professional than having a nice white panel door in your bedroom behind you when you’re filming. Elgato Collapsible Green Screen makes it real easy if you’re filming in your parents’ bedroom, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Just buy this Elgato Green Screen, pull it up behind you and all of a sudden it looks like you’re in a $10,000 custom built shed in your backyard like me but really you’re in your parents’ bedroom. Get this pull up green screen because that you don’t need to do like I do, I’ve actually painted a wall behind me. The whole office is painted with the green screen but you can just literally pull it up out of the floor, hold it up and you got a professional-looking background behind you.
I also recommend a standing desk. It’s standing up and do your video that makes it a lot easier to be energetic. Again I’ve learned this the hard way, I used to sit in the chair and go like… we’ll go click on this and we’ll go and click on that…
It is much easier and more natural for most of us to talk while we’re standing up, therefore I recommend getting a standing desk to get yourself up, to keep yourself moving around, make it easier for you to get your full voice out there. Your voice may not go as full as it can and when you are standing up you can get your voice at maximum. We went over the equipment right now, I’ve covered the microphones, the cameras and the green screen.
I recommend the next key thing you need is a screen capture video production software or to put it in a little more plain language you need something to actually create the videos that you’re going to make. What I recommend is to get a monitor that’s 1920 x 1080 resolution exactly and then used one of these three programs to capture what you’re doing on your monitor. Stick your face on it and that’s all you need to do to produce the video courses. I’ll show you the two I recommend.
Number one is Camtasia 2019, you can get a link to try Camtasia for free and help me earn if you use my exact affiliate link right here. You can get a free trial and downloaded on Windows or Mac. The Mac version on my Mac Pro 2016 for some reason really stinks for Camtasia 2019. However though I’ve used the Windows version for years filming Camtasia, I filmed thousands of videos, I imagine the windows version is really good. If you got a Mac I recommend you download instead ScreenFlow by Telestream. You can get your free trial and you’ll also be able to help me earn if you decide to actually purchase. ScreenFlow and Camtasia are two paid options you can use to record high-quality tutorial videos. Both of these have editing and customization options where you can record yourself, you can record the screen, you can record mouse clicks, you can make some very high-quality video tutorials that are much better looking than mine directly using Camtasia or ScreenFlow. If you are on a Mac I recommend you use ScreenFlow because the Camtasia 2019 has not been working good on Mac.
As an alternative you can use OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) to actually record for free and not even need to edit at all or render. The big downside of using Camtasia 2019 and ScreenFlow is that both of these require you to capture every single source independently which means you are recording the desktop, whether your monitor or your screen, recording that and recording the webcam and recording the audio. When you are recording all of these independently then you have to put them together and render the files. If you are pushing the limit on your computer you will see that it may take you a really long time to render a video and that your video rendering time may actually be the slowest part of your workflow. My video rendering time up until 2016 was the slowest part of my workflow and I used two computers to speed things up. I would film and start rendering on one computer then I’d hop over to the other computer and start getting everything I needed ready for the next one and then as soon as the video finish rendering on the other computer I just go click through everything from the first computer real quick to bring up all the slides or whatever I needed to teach on and that way I could just keep working constantly.
If you’ve only got one computer or if you don’t want to buy a Camtasia or ScreenFlow or if you want an alternative that gives you a lot of powerful options like this then OBS is what I actually use to record my videos because if the fastest workflow. I use OBS to record my videos because I can literally hit record, talk that blah blah blah forever, then I hit record again and I’m done. I’ve finished recording my video and I’m ready to upload it immediately.
OBS is set up as live streaming software which helps me to have a video file immediately done. The downside of OBS is if it screws up for some reason and it messes up the file you lose everything which can be a big risk when you doing something like an hour-long tutorial but hey I just take the risk and it works out most of the time. I might actually do a better job on the video if I lost the file and had to do it again. What’s also really cool about OBS is as I’m able to do things like I can pull up a scene in automatically with the Elgato Stream Deck, I can for example highlight the YouTube subscriber button, I’ve got the Facebook follow button, I can move my face around in different ways, just clear your face off Jerry, that be so nice, clear face off 🙂
OBS is really good if you don’t need to edit your videos that much, just go from start to finish and go really fast. I can film a 30 minute video course in an hour of real time now using OBS. This is the link for OBS Studio, it works on Windows, Mac and Linux, it’s totally free, it is constantly being updated and it has very powerful features.
I have a full tutorial on how to get started on Camtasia and OBS already. The key thing you need if you’re using OBS is something like Final Cut Pro X to do the video editing if you want to do any video editing. Let’s finish up with the software section, now we’re getting into websites for teaching. Again if you want to download or use anything I’ve got links for you.
Now we are getting next to where do you actually teach online. I recommend you film your video course platform-neutral. As you can see on the income before I went all in on Udemy for the first two years that I did any teaching online full time and for the long term that was a big mistake from my business. It has probably cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost earning because I filmed a bunch of course specifically for Udemy and then putting those courses on other platforms is either difficult or not possible and then when Udemy decided to arbitrarily ban my account as the top 10 instructor just because they felt like it, they chose some policy things that weren’t completely invalid and that can happen on any platform that you’re using that’s not your own.
Therefore as you can see while I earned a lot on Udemy it is very easy to have a problem to get banned, especially if you do well on Udemy you draw more attention, more criticism and you may just trigger egos of people at Udemy. Therefore I recommend do not film for anyone one platform specifically, make your courses platform neutral and that means you can put your course on Udemy, you can then upload the same course on Skillshare, you can then upload the same course at StackCommerce, you can then upload the same course on my platform Utena, you can then upload the same course on your own hosting and that will give you 5 platforms that you can put your courses on.
Then you can focus all of your promotional efforts specifically on your own platform and if you want to make your own platform I use thinkific to host you Uthena.com. We have 300+ courses on Uthena.com, we make sales everyday and therefore I recommend to use thinkific to host your own platform. If you’d like to use thinkific I trust you’ll go to this link here to sell-host on thinkific, click that because your help me earn 20% of whatever you pay when you sign up and you also get a 1-month free trial of the Pro Plan which has everything you need to make a strong start. In the thinkific bundle you also get several video courses that will show you much more about building your online course, especially on your own self hosting.
What is the Progress on Uthena Until Now?
We’ve got 421 courses. We’ve got bundles of courses which are just collections of courses and we’ve got services.
For example, you can hire me hourly. We’ve got graphic design services. I’ve got a sponsored video. We’ve got Kickstarter and online course design services. I’ve got a new option to advertise and do guest posts.
if you want to make a guest post or do a banner ad on my website, for example, I’ve got a banner ad at the bottom. I’ve got a sidebar spot also on my website. You can have your ad over here. I’ve got these up on Uthena.
I’m imagining eventually having a development team build a version of Uthena that has even more features. I’m not sure when exactly that’ll manifest. It seems that by doing a great job with what I’ve already got, that’ll get make the best transition into what will come.
Who built your website?
I did my own website. I have a graphic designer at Uthena. You can hire her. She has done the graphics for my website.
If you go to services on Uthena and go to this custom PDF and graphic design services. Now, it’s a thousand dollar. You can start with $250. It’s based on design credit. I work with a graphic designer, Auret. She’s an outstanding designer.
She has done the graphic design on my website. She did this PDF. For example, you could get a PDF like this for your design services with her.
So, if you go to Uthena, click on services and my graphic designer is available. She’s very good and very consistent. I’ve spent over $15,000 with her this year on graphic design.
The basic strategy I recommend if you want to earn the income that I’ve got and do even better yourself, I recommend to use this basic strategy: film courses for your own self hosting, post free previews of them up on YouTube, promote your own self hosting, charge much more for your courses at $27 at a minimum, maybe even 50 or $100, charge more for your courses and promote them directly. Then you can just put your courses on all the other platforms and take whatever money they give you and that’s what I’ll walk you through doing right now.
Udemy.com has a deep selection of online courses which gives you the best chance to make sales without having to do anything on Udemy. You can literally make sales without doing anything and that’s the best way to profit. Where you tend to start losing real return on your investment with Udemy, once you hit the become an instructor button you tend to lose that return on investment when you start trying to compete and you start trying to promote your course. You can get some friends and family to take your courses on Udemy and to try and give you some initial reviews on them and get a little bit of a foundation however I wouldn’t do anything more than that and giving away free coupons to promote your course on Udemy.
Udemy has outstanding opportunities to earn in these two specific strategies: number one – if you can make the very best course on a popular topic on Udemy you can learn a lot. That might sound easy or it might sound hard. If you’re me I thought “Yeah, I can make the best course on my topic, of course I can” and I went and did that on several topics. However the competition since I got the best course in several topics is 10 to 100 times as much on Udemy as it was when I did that. You are up against people who have massive business systems that I’ve taught them to build on Udemy. You’re up against people that have big YouTube channels that are funneling hundreds of sales a day in their courses from YouTube. You’re up against people using paid ads for hundreds of dollars a day to promote their courses. The top popular courses are so lucrative on Udemy that there are massive business systems and publishers setting up to take those spots. That said if you have one topic you’re an absolute expert and it might be ideal to just try and aim for one of those top spots but you risk what happened to me on Udemy.
You see the Udemy earnings for me have been stuck for 3 years at $661000. Imagine how much I would have made if I had directed all my promotion to my own self hosting and sold the entire time instead of directing so much to Udemy.
It can be a big risk to try and go for the top spot on Udemy but you can also make a top reward. Always use Udemy as marketplace tool to check how much money you can make on the top of your niche. On some courses there will be a hundred thousand a month you can make with the top course and the competition will likely be insane for that. On others there will be only maybe two or three hundred a month that you can make with the top course in that subject and that might be something you could take on easily but there also might be heavy competition for a $200 or $300 a month. You can look all this up in your Udemy instruct dashboard using the marketplace insight tool. The best strategy is just to put your courses on Udemy and don’t worry about it.
The way that you can make good money on Udemy without competing is the second strategy – to make a course that there is nothing else on Udemy on that exact topic. That’s what I recommend if you want to try and intentionally make some money from Udemy. Go up in the search bar and find a subject were there is no course at all on that particular topic. That’s a really good opportunity because then you have no competition and you’ve got Udemy full business system that can help you if there is interest in that topic.
What you can do with this is simply make a short course on the topic, you can make a detailed course on it but to start the basic strategy is to make a short course, see if anyone buys it and gives you a good review. Then when someone actually buys your course and gives you a good review what you do is make it better.
The reason it’s so hard to compete with the top courses on Udemy is that most instructors that are on these top courses focus their energy on maintaining that top spot. That means the instructor is constantly updating the video and constantly adding new material and there’s almost no way you can compete. That’s the basic strategy that I used to take the top spots on Facebook, on YouTube, on teaching on Udemy, on ethical hacking, on wirecast, on Linux, etc.
I had a best selling course on a bunch of different topic and that was my strategy. To just put a course out that are pretty good and if it started getting good reviews then aim for the top spot, make it by far the best course on that subject and then promote it.
What you can do is find topics on Udemy that no one’s made a course on, just try and make as many of those as you can and then just make it better and better courses as people actually take them. All of this effort you can then duplicate on every other platform.
Udemy’s business system, if you’re new to Udemy, is people pay up usually $10 to buy a course on Udemy. Udemy completely control pricing and just recently changed their pricing system where you can’t even offer instructor discount for your course for more than 10%.
I imagine a bunch of instructors will leave over this as they’ve left with previous pricing changes Udemy made. You can set the initial price in your course but you can’t discount it more than Udemy allows you to discount it. A lot of the sales on Udemy are where people are conditioned to $10 courses and simply won’t pay much more for other courses. That’s the basic business model on Udemy
Skillshare’s business model is pay one cost, which you can see if you can click premium, it is $15 a month monthly or $8.25 month annually which is $99 a year and you get access on Skillshare to over 30,000 classes. You can find out the exact amount when you use my link to join Skillshare. Skillshare is another great opportunity to teach online. I recommend to, if you want to teach on Skillshare, become a premium instructor and watch some courses on Skillshare to understand the student experience. Skillshare is much easier than Udemy to get your course up, you can literally sign up and put your course up really fast on Skillshare where in Udemy you need to verify your identity, you need to go through all their various course review instructions and guidelines. On Skillshare you can just put any course up and you also can immediately make $10 referring people to join Skillshare.
I imagine as Skillshare grows this is hurting Udemy a bit as people realize there are 20000 or 25000 courses that are on Udemy that are also on Skillshare. Why by $10 course on Udemy when you can just sign up for Skillshare? It’s similar to Netflix or Hulu for Education, you just pay the flat fee and you get access to all the classes. This is good in terms of being able to get students.
On Skillshare as an instructor you don’t have to sell anybody on your course which is really good. On Udemy you have to sell your course, if somebody doesn’t buy your course you get nothing. On Skillshare you don’t have to sell your course because it’s available to subscribers and anyone that searches for a class can enroll in your course on Skillshare without paying anything which is really good, except you only get paid by minutes watched on Skillshare.
It’s about $0.05 a minute or so right now which means if no one actually watches your course regardless of whether they would buy it or not you get nothing.
As you can see, this can be frustrating on Skillshare because on Udemy you might be able to do a great job selling your course to people who mostly won’t actually watch it, that’s the secret of Udemy. People buy so many courses they don’t actually use them and when I tell them about Skillshare they don’t buy that many courses on Udemy anymore.
On the Skillshare if you don’t actually get people watching your class and keep watching your classes you make nothing and it can be very easy to have courses that earn nothing. I’ve got like 80 course up on Skillshare and I don’t even earn $1,000 a month on Skillshare because a lot of my classes aren’t getting watched and I stopped promoting it.
The opportunity on Skillshare is, since there’s not as many classes, you might be able to find a topic that there’s no class at all on Skillshare and as soon as you put the class up on Skillshare you can get immediate students watching your courses without marketing it at all. That’s what makes Skillshare great.
There’s a massive downside to Skillshare though. Skillshare is the easiest platform to get banned on as an instructor out of all the platforms. Skillshare took my profile down over a mistaken DMCA request by a football team in Argentina and took them a month to put my course back up. Skillshare has automated systems in place to ban instructors without warning and that can happen in several different ways. I’ve talked to several instructors who got banned from Skillshare and they weren’t trying to blatantly break the rules or the policies. Skillshare has some really arbitrary policies about what courses you can put up so make sure you read the instructor terms on Skillshare before you put a course up because I know of one instructor who got immediately banned because his topic wasn’t allowed on Skillshare even though the topic was on Udemy, on StackCommerce, on Uthena and all over the place but not on Skillshare.
Skillshare doesn’t allow you to put courses up that don’t teach a specific skill. Skillshare doesn’t allowed things like dating courses, you can’t put just a general self-help course up that doesn’t teach a skill, thus Skillshare to me is definitely not something you want to do your business on, it is the least reliable out of all of these platforms I’m showing you.
The problem is that the more consistently you create on Skillshare the more nearly certain it is you will just arbitrarily or accidentally run into either an automatic ban or you will run into some kind of policy violation. For example, for me they changed the policy and I uploaded a course that was fine originally but then they changed the policy and I got a strike on my account.
At Skillshare you actually have to narrate the course which means, unlike Udemy where you don’t even have to narrate the course, you can pay someone to make the course and put it up on Udemy, on Skillshare if you’re not actually narrating it you’ll get a strike. For example as I’ve done for uploading a course on Skillshare that I did not narrate, even though it says on the terms and conditions you can have company accounts on Skillshare and therefore many instructors I still got a strike despite what it says in terms and conditions.
Skillshare can be a great place to just throw your course up there and see if anything happens. However, just like Udemy, I don’t recommend building your whole business on Skillshare. Just take the money they give you and be happy for it. That’s what I do, I don’t even check my Skillshare stats, I don’t even put new courses up there, I just take whatever money they give me and I’m grateful for it.
The next place that’s an outstanding opportunity to teach online combines really well with all these other platforms. The goal of sharing all this with you is to allow you to make an entire business. That’s why I go into detail on each of these specific platforms here for you. I think that when you put your courses up on every single one of these platforms and promote them as I’m showing you you’ve got a great way to do a full-time business.
The next one I’m recommending here is StackCommerce. StackCommerce has the ability to sell your course on top websites like entrepreneur.com which they will even write a complete sales pitch for you. I’ve got a video showing exactly how entrepreneur.com pitched my courses for me and made thousands of dollars in sales for me. StackCommerce has an outstanding set up with publishers and StackCommerce is the totally hands-off business system. You literally just put your courses up on StackCommerce and forget about them and take the money. When you’re doing the same thing on Udemy and Skillshare you get all these paychecks that just come in even if you haven’t film a course in a while, it’s really nice.
You need to actually apply to be a vendor on StackCommerce and I recommend to get your course up on Udemy first and then you can use your Udemy URL, you can put online course then. If you got your own self hosted website that’s ideal and you probably want to wait until you got that done.
On StackCommerce you can see the business system, they’ve got a lot of top publishers that will get your course out to a niche audience. The downside of StackCommerce is it takes months to get things rolling sometimes. For example, I put a course up that on other platforms started selling almost right away including on my own platform on Uthena and by the time the course started selling on StackCommerce I’d already made thousands of sales or something like that on my own platform by the time StackCommerce even made it available for sale.
The upside of StackCommerce is if you get the course in a bundle it can sell for years sometimes, even after the course itself is way outdated. StackCommerce as you saw on my income report earlier StackCommerce is actually the second highest income place that I’ve earned on and in terms of time and effort vs. earnings StackCommerce is number one in terms of least amount of time and energy for the biggest return. Therefore you definitely want to take time to apply to get on StackCommerce, to get your courses up there and upload them there.
One last platform you can apply on is my platform Uthena. We’ve got a business system that combines the best of Udemy and Skillshare and StackCommerce together. We have course bundles and that is where StackCommerce shines, selling course bundles. On Uthena we’ve got a subscription service similar to Skillshare, we’ve got course bundles like on StackCommerce and like Udemy you can purchase courses individually and we are also the only platform that will help you put out a video on YouTube that will sell your course by sending people directly to Uthena.That’s the main way we make sales on Uthena with these free video previews.
On Uthena you can also earn money by referring other instructors and you can even, when you are a partner with me in my partner program, get your services listed on Uthena which is a really powerful business model. I am currently looking for investors for this. For example on Uthena you’ve got bundles, you’ve got courses, you can even sell private label right for your courses on Uthena which is awesome because you can sell your course and you can sell private label rights. Private label rights means that you give it to somebody else to use it as their own course, for example on their own self hosted platform.
Then you’ve also got services on Uthena, for example I’ve got an option to sponsor a video on my YouTube channel and this is ideal because sometimes people come to you thinking “I’m looking for courses” and then in the process of browsing find things like these services and that gives us the ability to make sales that other platforms don’t have possible.
We are seeking investor funding currently to build Uthena up to something that is the best place to make money online and is completely set up to allow anyone to immediately publish courses and to have full control over everything from the pricing to putting out free previews etcetera. We currently on Uthena have just a minimum viable platform here and you need to apply currently to get accepted to teach on Uthena by using your Udemy course.
Now I’ve shown you the four platforms I recommend to make sure you get your courses on. I put my courses on some other platforms and this has mostly been a waste of time. Most of these other platforms have made me almost no money, they’ve taken a bunch of time and energy and they just don’t have the amo unt of users. What is really worthwhile is to make sure you build your own platform for your courses.
The one time I don’t recommend building your own platform, for example Uthena that is my platform for courses that I’ve built and you can build something like Uthena yourself on thinkific, the one time I recommend not using your own course hosting if you only plan to make one, two, three, maybe four or five courses. If you’re just planning to make one or two courses and you’re not planning to promote them at all then you might not want to bother with all the learning curve of self hosting. If you are hoping to go full-time online someday with your business I highly recommend to do your own self hosting with thinkific because just like we do on Uthena you can put your courses, you can make bundles out of them, you can offer services, you can have that full control over your platform.
Then the basic formula to make sales is you put free preview videos out on YouTube which you can also advertise with Google ads as I do to get lost more views on the videos, that helps them ranked higher and get organic traffic. The key thing you need to start out with this is you need hosting. I use thinkific to host Uthena. When you go and use the link I’ve got for you here for self hosting on thinkific you will help me earn 20% of whatever you pay and you’ll get a month free trial of the Pro Plan and you’ll get several more online courses that are specific to thinkific that will show you how to get everything set up in your own self hosted school. I’ve got a course to teach full-time on thinkinfic as well, showing how I made my first $10,000 within a month or so of setting up my own self hosting on thinkific.
I used teachable in the past as well, you can see the icon for Teachable right there. I use Teachable to make about $80,000 self-hosting on Teachable and I got really frustrated and tired of using the Teachable interface. I see lots of others using that which is why I recommend thinkific. I have used both of them and I much prefer thinkific, that’s why Uthena is hosted on. StackCommerce is actually hosted with Teachable to deliver the courses and it’s got a lot of limitations that thinkific does a better job at. Thinkific is real nice for a beautiful presentation which is why we use it.
Once you’ve got your own self hosting you are ready to have a full-time teaching business online. You can offer services, courses, bundles, all in one spot to promote and build your business and then have passive income coming in from all the other platforms, you are ready to have the kind of numbers I’ve got and teaching online.
Final thing you’ll need to do is have some of the support services to really take things to the next level. I will finish this with some of the services and support you might need to make it to that full-time level.
The number one thing I’ll start with is a mentoring program. If I got my whole business wiped out the number one thing I would start with is a mentoring program. I mean my own business by my skills and knowledge and experience and my presence online.
The reason a mentoring program like my partner program is so effective is that you figure out some of the things you don’t know that you don’t know. From there you learn exactly what you need to instead of being clueless. What I’ve seen in working with partners is the ones who consistently show up to the weekly group coaching calls, the ones that do the consistent one-on-one calls with me every month, these are also the ones who are taking their business from a few hundred a month to start with to thousands a month to tens of thousands a month over a period of as little as a year. Sometimes it takes two or three years depending on what you’ve got to teach. We also have a private Facebook group and what you get especially out of a mentoring program like this is the relationships. I know I’ve got more things that I’ve shared in this post. I have connections, people that I can email directly at StackCommerce for example, people at other e-learning publishing platforms I can connect with, understandably lots of the top instructors at least that have been top for a while maybe not some of the new ones on Udemy and I can set up co-instructor relationships, I can help you figure out opportunities that you would be very unlikely to walk into and even imagined before by yourself and that’s why the partner program is so helpful. That’s the number one service I recommend if you want to be successful. As far as I can see this is one of the best mentoring and coaching programs anywhere online if you want to build an online teaching business. I trust you you sign up for the partner program if you read this and think it sounds good.
Next thing I recommend it is to install TubeBuddy. TubeBuddy will help you research topics on YouTube and I’ve got an affiliate link to TubeBuddy here where you can help me earn 50% if you use that. I’ll show you TubeBuddy here, I can’t believe I didn’t use this earlier.
One of the main things TubeBuddy is good for, let me first show you the pricing, I think I’ve got the Star of the Legend, it’s very affordable. What it helps you do is research potential traffic or the amount of people searching on specific keywords on YouTube and that’s really helpful thing to know in terms of what do you want to create. If you want to create for example a YouTube video on a specific topic I’ve got a tutorial showing how to use TubeBuddy to research the exact keywords to then laser focus and aim at that phrase and then build organic traffic. The best way to make sales on your courses is to have people searching on YouTube, find a free preview of your course on YouTube where you then sell the full course on your own self hosting and that gives you the ability to make sales just on autopilot. That can also be boosted by YouTube, if you haven’t done much on YouTube you can just advertise the videos to get some initial ranking.
TubeBuddy is extremely helpful to manage an entire channel, to search and find which topics are worthwhile. TubeBuddy can help you even figure out what courses to make because you can search for specific topics and you can see “Oh, there’s nobody that’s teaching this right now and there’s a lot of people searching for it therefore it’s a good opportunity.” Learning how to research your topics beforehand can help you make courses that get more students and make more sales.
One of the consistent mistakes I’ve made in teaching online is not looking and researching a potential course I was going to make beforehand in terms of researching the keywords and the exact topics I teach and I didn’t research whether there was an audience or demand for it. Demand in terms of how many people were already teaching courses on the exact same subject – why try and compete with someone who maybe already did a really good job making a course on a certain subject when you could just find the subject nobody’s teaching and the people want to learn about and teach that yourself. TubeBuddy is really good for that.
The next thing I recommend is get your email marketing set up. I use Active Campaign for my email marketing. I recommend Active Campaign because it integrates very well with thinkific. Thinkific is what I recommended to host your courses online and I recommend using Active Campaign for email marketing. There’s a synced direct integration in thinkific for Active Campaign that, as soon as someone joins or even signs up at all on your self hosting, you’ve got them on your email list. Then you can do things like build sales funnels, you can sell your courses on autopilot with automations for example and as someone signs up you can immediately, as we send them an email with the master big course bundle on Uthena. Based on what students are learning or signing up for with free previews we are able to send out “Hey, I see you enrolled in this course. You can buy the full course at this link.”
When you’ve got your email marketing set up with Active Campaign you have scalability to start with and the pricing is as it is. Yes, it doesn’t have a free plan likes other email marketing providers. For what I’ve learned the hard way is that using these other email marketing providers that can’t take your business all the way that you will very quickly start to, as soon as you get a bigger list, trying to do some fancy things with your email marketing what you end up doing is switching and having to start over on a different email marketing software which is exactly what I did. I got really tired of using my cheap email marketing software before and I had to move over to Active Campaign, I had to relearn how to do everything there. If I had to start over again I would just sign up for the Light plan on ActiveCampaign and get started there. Maybe once I got 10 courses up on my self hosting and was ready to promote it then upgrade to the Plus plan and get everything set up perfectly for my email marketing on the Plus plan, especially once I got a little bit of an initial list as well.
If you want to have an unbannable business that you can consistently promote the new courses you make having your self hosting connected with your email marketing is one of the best ways to do this. I’m grateful today I finally have a good email list with tens of thousands of people that get my emails every week and this makes a big difference for selling courses, for bringing people to everything else: my YouTube, my podcast, my Facebook, my coaching, my free calls. The email list I have is a very valuable tool to here, you hear about it so much in digital marketing to build an email list and I recommended you to do that with Active Campaign. When you use my Active Campaign link you’ll help me earn a 20% recurring commission on whatever you pay.
The final service I recommend is graphic design. If you’re not graphic design nor talented then get a graphic designer to make your presentations, to make your thumbnails look nicer. I’m so grateful after years of doing my own poor quality graphic design out of laziness and difficulty finding a consistent freelancer and out of just not wanting to delegate it and doing it all on my own, I finally have a graphic designer I love, she does an outstanding job.
For example, you can see this thumbnail was done by a professional graphic designer. This was not done by me, it wouldn’t have looked beautiful like this if I had done it. If you want to work directly with my designer we’ve got her listed on Uthena. What you do is you just pick an amount of work you want, let’s say a $250 or $500 or a $1000 and then you set up a workflow on Airtable where you just literally put whatever you want graphic design and she just cranked it out. This is how I’m able to have her do all my thumbnails for YouTube, all my course images and anything else from t-shirts to Facebook image covers. This has made a massive difference.
I’ve spent about $15,000 with Auret who’s service is linked directly on Uthena. She’s got case studies of her work, she has testimonial here, you can see exactly why graphic design is so helpful.
If you might not see why graphic design so helpful let me explain. On YouTube, especially when you’ve got a professional-looking thumbnail, like when you got something like this, the click-through rate on the thumbnail tends to be a lot higher and when you get a higher click-through rate on the thumbnail more people start watching your video. The more people watch your video the more you get minutes watch, subscribers, comments, likes… The more you get of these YouTube thinks “Hey, this must be a great video, let’s rank this thing higher”, the better it does in ranking the more people will find it and the more you work that positive reinforcement the bigger and bigger you get on YouTube, the more course sales you make.
I have worked that angle on a bunch of videos that I even deleted on my channel because YouTube said instructional hacking videos are now a prohibited topic. The thumbnail is critical to get the ball rolling on YouTube. Once I took a course that was completely terrible on Udemy, it only had one thing good in it and it emphasized the importance of having a well done thumbnail. With a higher click rate on a thumbnail helps everything else get rolling from there and now I am applying this myself. The basic formula for a great thumbnail on YouTube is this – you have a graphic design with a little space on it for your face, record the video, have your face in the space, just the first screenshot or one of the designs for the thumbnail you’ve got, just take one of the frames out and use that as your thumbnail. That is what I do on my videos.
I went through everything for you here, thank you for reading all the way to the end. I have a lot more for you to read or watch that will help you build your business up successfully for teaching online. For example, I go into more detail about all the money I earned teaching online, how I came in, stories related to that. I definitely recommend reading that one because it gives you some insight into what’s it like to have your courses on all these different market places.
You want to learn how to build up a following on YouTube, you can read the comments form the haters who say I have no followers on YouTube or you can watch this video to show you how I built a following from zero to hundreds of thousands of subscribers on YouTube and regardless of those comments my videos are viewed by tens of thousands of people. Every single video I make, three videos a day, go out to tens of thousands of people for free on YouTube. This is something you can boost with paid ads.
Income Report from Teaching on Udemy, StackCommerce, Teachable, Thinkific and Skillshare 2014-2019
YOUTUBE! How to Start Building a Following from Zero with Video Tutorials
Masterin Fear of Public Speaking for YouTubers and Online Teachers
100% Productive, Confident and Creatinve! My Diet, Exercise and Sleep System
If you’re struggling and yet you made it somehow the end of this and you think I can’t speak and do all these videos like you I’ve got a new video about mastering public speaking, I’ve got a video if you think “How do you have so much energy, you just talked for almost an hour straight on how to do all this with very few total boxes and interruption” I’ve got a new video that’s “100% Productive, Confident and Creative! My Diet, Exercise and Sleep System.”
This whole system has allowed me to run at full speed all day everyday, to feel great, to look great, to do great and everything I do in my diet, exercise and sleep makes a huge difference in that.
Where to Start on YouTube or Facebook for Filmig Videos, Making Money and Building a Following?
ActiveCampaign Tutorial 2019! basic Automation, Tagging and Sales Funnel
Best Quick Facebook Marketing Tips Tutorial for 2019
Content Marketing Tips 2019! What to Create for Organic Traffic
If you’re looking for more discussion and you are really new and somehow you read all this, take a look at where to start out if you just haven’t even done anything yet there is a post about that. If you are curious about Active Campaign you can watch a full tutorial about Active Campaign. If you want to get your videos out and share more on Facebook I’ve got a Facebook tip. Do you want to learn more about how to create specific content I’ve got a new video on that.
Airtable Tutorial for Project Management with Online Spreadsheets in 2019
TubeBuddy Tutorial 2019! Maximize YouTube Views by Researching Video Topics
If you want to collaborate and work with others online then Airtable is a really good resource for that. I mentioned TyubeBuddy tutorial, check that out.
Thank you for making it all the way to the end. If you have not already smashed that subscribe button, join the Jerry Banfield family and turn those notifications on to make sure you don’t miss new videos. You can then see the videos in your subscribed feed on YouTube.
If you prefer you can also watch on Facebook by hitting that following button on my page. Make sure to hit See First and/or turn notifications on Facebook if you actually want to see the videos otherwise you won’t see them.
Finally make sure to join that partner program if you really want the best chance to succeed with teaching online. This partner program has a very high success rate of those who want to teach online and build income. Join, stay, keep showing up, keep teaching, we have all very consistent success among those that join the partner program. Stick with it and keep teaching and making new videos. We also have a lot of success with those that are already teaching to just stick with it and they keep earning the same income and/or to grow and build a business online.
Thank you very much, I’m so honored you made it all the way to the end. I love to see your feedback, please leave a comment, tell me how amazing this was or how horrible it was and why you torture yourself reading all the way to the end of it just because … I don’t even know where I am right now 🙂
Thank you for learning how to teach online with me. I hope this is helpful for you and I trust you will like it and share it if this has made a big difference in your life today.
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