Everywhere you turn, people are talking about side hustles and part time gigs that help them bring in extra cash. Whether it is a part time job, a blog, or taking surveys, they brag about how they paid off debt, took a lavish vacation, or saved for retirement.

I am always on the hunt for new ideas for how I can make some side income doing what I love. Since teaching is a big passion of mine, I was eager to try out online teaching. After spending several months applying for online teaching jobs to no avail, I ran across the platform Udemy. Here is my honest, 100% raw account of my experience with using Udemy as a teaching platform to make passive income on the side. Have a look!

What is Udemy?

Let’s start off with the basic question – what exactly IS Udemy?

Udemy is an online platform that allows individuals such as you and I to teach something we have knowledge in. You create videos, handouts, and quizzes and post them on the site in the form of a class.

Once Udemy reviews your course and accepts it, then it goes live and you can make money from other people taking your course.

You can promote your class as much as you want, and you get to keep most of the money from those sales! Udemy will also promote your class if you give them permission to. You get a lot smaller percentage, but you don’t have to do anything to get that. Talk about passive income!

How much can I make?

There are 2 different aspects to this question. The first has to do with how you price the course. You can choose a price in increments of $5, starting at $20 and going to a max of $200. You can also list your course for free.

The price of the course depends on the topic (and the demand for courses in the area), the length of the course, and how well the course is laid out. Udemy support staff can help you determine an appropriate price for your course – or you can do a little recon on your own and see what like courses are selling for.

The second part of the question has to do with what percent of the money you receive and what percent Udemy keeps.

If the customers come from your marketing and advertising, then you keep 100% of the revenue, minus a payment processing fee of 3%. If the customers come from Udemy advertising, then you keep 50% of the revenue.

So your goal is to find as many clients as you can yourself and then the ones that come from Udemy are a bonus!

When and how do I get paid?

Now that we know how the payments work, it’s time to discover how you are paid!

The great thing about Udemy is that they will pay you through Paypal. Link your account and you can start receiving monthly income from them. Super easy and secure! What you choose to do with the money when it hits your Paypal account is completely up to you.

The only downfall with payment is that you are paid out 1 time a month, 60 days later. The reason for the delay is that Udemy offers a 30 day return policy for their students. Great for the student, not as much fun for you. Since the material is 100% available to them right away, some students simply take the course and then return it for a full refund because they don’t want to pay for it. While those students are few and far between, it does happen.

The additional 30 days are for their processing times.

When you are first getting started, it is a pain to wait 60 days for your first check. After you are selling course for a while, then the payments start rolling in every month so it is not as big of a deal.

How easy is the platform and website to use?

I found the website and teaching platform to be very user friendly. There is a lot of help and guidance offered along the way, and they reach out to you and help you make your course even better. They will even design a picture for your course!

The platform is designed to be mainly video, with the majority of that video being you talking and not screen sharing. This can be intimidating at first, but once you get used to the camera, it can be a lot of fun!

Don’t go out and buy a video camera for it though. If you have a newer cell phone, you can get great quality video on your phone! I was using a Samsung Galaxy and it passed their quality tests. I have since gotten a new phone with even better quality, but my old phone worked just fine!

There is a minimum video quality that your videos have to pass. They check each of your videos first before publishing them, so it can take up to 24 hours for your video to process. And then there is always the option that it is rejected and you need to record a new one. This can be frusterating at time, but it is done by Udemy to ensure a good student experience.

Once your course is ready and you submit it for review, they are usually pretty fast with getting it reviewed and published. I have always had mine done in 24 hours. If there are any changes they need you to make before publishing, they very clearly spell them out. They won’t publish it until you make those changes though, and they will review it again before publishing it. For this reason, it is essential to double check things before you hit submit.

They also offer suggestions for you to make your course even better. Follow these optional suggestions! I treat them as requirements so that I am not inclined to ignore them because I am anxious to publish my class. Remember, they want you to be successful too, because they only make money if you do!


I have enjoyed using Udemy so far. I currently have 3 courses created with them (I have listed them below for you to check out!). They say the average instructor makes $8,000 per year, so my goal is to surpass that and kick average to the curb! I am well on my way with my three classes:

Pinterest for Entreprenuers

How to Purchase Your First Rental Property

Personal Financial Management


Do you want to sell on Udemy and make an extra $8,000 (or more)? Take a look around the site and see what you think. It might be your newest side hustle/passive income stream!

Let us know about YOUR experience with Udemy. Leave a comment below!