Category: Website

How I Made $5000 in Passive Income by Teaching Online

In this post, I will give you a quick background as to how I started teaching online, how it’s helping me make passive money monthly, and how you can start doing the same.

 

For the past 5 years or so, I’ve tried out a lot of different ways to make money online. I’ve tried online surveys, YouTube videos, creating apps, and even investing in bitcoin (HAHA). A lot of these “experiments” were great because I enjoyed trying them out. They were also very educational because I was given more perspective on what worked for me and more importantly, what didn’t work for me.

Yup. I made a Flappy Bird knockoff. One of the thousands :)
Yup. I made a Flappy Bird knockoff. One of the thousands 🙂
I actually made a few of them.... (I did actually spend hours learning to code original apps, but none of those were ever put on the app store and were really basic).
I actually made a few of them…. (I did spend hours learning to code original apps, but none of those were ever put on the App Store and were really basic).

MY BACKGROUND:

In the “real” world, I’m a teacher. About six years ago, I started substitute teaching after I graduated from college and couldn’t find a decent job in marketing. When I finally landed my first post-college desk job, I realized that I liked teaching better and went to grad school for education. Flash forward five years from then and I’ve been a teacher’s aide, student teacher, part-time music teacher, personal tutor, camp counselor and full-time Social Studies and Music teacher. In that time, I also worked for a company that taught after-school classes and summer camp courses in subjects like Lego robotics, comic book making and video game design. The company once asked me to write the curriculum for a music class and I did. At the time, I had way more experience using Logic Pro for my home recording, but saw Garageband as a great introduction to recording and wrote the course as a “Music Production with Garageband” course.

HOW I STARTED TEACHING ONLINE: 

One day last year, I discovered a blog post about a site called Udemy. According to the post, some guy made $60000 in a month by being the first to make an online course on what was (at the time) the latest iPhone development software. I was intrigued by Udemy and took note of it, but didn’t look into it much further for a few months. Then, in November of 2014 I started working on a Garageband course using the newest version of Garageband. I made an outline and began recording the lectures with my desktop. Recording the lectures took me very little time because I knew most of the stuff off the top of my head and had been teaching people how to use Garageband for quite some time. When I did mess something up when recording, I would just re-do that one lecture once or twice at the most before I thought it was ready to be published. I also made sure to read all of the rules and suggestions that Udemy had on their blog about course creation and joined the Udemy instructor group on Facebook.

RESULTS:

Since my course has been up, I’ve made three other courses on Udemy and also uploaded some of the courses on other sites like Skillfeed (which is actually shut down now). Besides some basic maintenance every now and then, I have not been doing much work on any of the courses. Yet, my online courses are going to net me about $5000 by the end of my first year. The numbers fluctuate from month to month, but over time, the sales have added up. To some people, $5000 in mostly passive income may not seem like much, but to a lot of people like me, it is very encouraging. To me, it opened the doors to new possibilities. When I made an app for the first time, I was hoping to make $30 a month or at least cover the cost of opening up an Apple developer account (I didn’t…LOL). Now, making $300 a month in passive income is not only possible, but it’s been happening on a fairly regular basis, and that’s just on Udemy.

 HOW TO TEACH ONLINE:

I know a lot of people who are interested in teaching online or are just interested in ways to make some side cash. I would definitely recommend starting with Udemy. In order to give you a head start, here are the steps that I took.

 

1) Join Udemy and apply to be an instructor.

 2) Once approved, join the Facebook group for Udemy instructors.

 3) Research the Udemy marketplace and start thinking of courses that you may want to teach. If there are already courses on there, check the reviews and see what type of material is being covered in the course outline. Just because there are other courses about the topic doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for you. If anything, it’s a good thing if those courses are selling because it proves that there is some demand for that subject.

 4) Read the Udemy blog about making a course.

 5) I definitely recommend Alun Hill’s course on creating a Udemy course. I took it and it gave me a lot of helpful pointers. I followed all of the advice that it gave me and I’m pretty sure that it helped my course out a ton. You can try to get it while it’s on sale during Black Friday. Definitely a good investment.

 6) Make an outline for your course and start recording it.

 

That was how I started. There is certainly more to do after that, and a lot of it is covered on the Udemy blog and the Alun Hill course. But, just getting started could be half the battle. Like many of my other online “experiments”, I went in thinking it would be a valuable learning experience with the potential for something more. I’ve never had better results than with teaching online, and I think that you may feel the same way with a little hard work upfront. Then, somewhere down the line, you could be sitting back and collecting passive money, too. 

…And that’s how I made $5000 in passive income by teaching online (with minimal effort). There’s nothing quite like the feeling of traveling, checking your phone, and getting an email from time to time that says “Congratulations. You have a new student!” $5000 certainly isn’t enough to live off of for a long time, but it’s definitely nice. Speaking of traveling, here’s some of the stuff I did this year:  

Got a chance to visit Google Headquarters, but got in trouble when I tried to ride one of the bikes.
Got a chance to visit Google Headquarters, but got in trouble when I tried to ride one of the bikes.
Visited the Bahamas with my gf
Visited the Bahamas with my gf
Made some new friends at Mount Royal in Montreal. Played a bunch of songs with them.
Made some new friends at Mount Royal in Montreal. Played a bunch of songs with them.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. My Udemy courses are available here.

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Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

3 Steps to Staying Organized and Motivated Every Day

Small Victories

One thing I’ve been trying to implement into my lifestyle is to celebrate the small victories. Over the past 6 weeks or so, I’ve started a new website and a few new Udemy online courses (one on Bass Guitar, eBay sales and Social Media Strategy). Even though I’m very happy with these results, I realize that not every day will be a home run. To date, my Udemy courses have made me about 247 USD, which is either awesome or nothing, depending on who you are and how you look at it. To me, it’s awesome because I’ve just started and because I’ve created tons of highly popular YouTube videos over the years that have made me 0 USD. I’ve also experimented with making apps last year which made me like 80 or 90 dollars technically… the only problem is that those dollars are spread out among three different ad networks in my 4 iPhone apps and none of the amounts clear the minimum payment threshold- which means that I haven’t seen 1 cent from those apps. Well, I wasn’t exactly in it for the money on both of those projects (my YouTube channel or my apps). Nonetheless, it’s exciting to be making some actual money from something I created online. Not every day is a home run but little by little, I can see some growth in my courses and am pushing to further develop and promote them. Like many people, I feel that I can get caught up in trying to rush things and trying to get results as quickly as possible. In order to control this and stay motivated, I try to celebrate the small victories. Every day, I try to do something (outside of my main job and life responsibilities) that demonstrates some sort of progress I’ve made. I feel that tiny victories- such as getting my 5000th Twitter follower or getting my first positive review for my Bass Guitar course- are important.

Here are the 3 Steps to Staying Organized and Motivated Every Day:

1) I set up Evernote on my iPhone and home computer so that I can have my notes wherever I go. It’s way better than my old system of having separate notes on different devices.

2) On Evernote, I have separate notes saved for categories like “Calendar”, “To-Do” and “Journal”

3) On my journal, I keep a quick log of things I got done or other achievements, big or small

It’s that simple.

Whenever I get something done, I put a little bullet point note about it on my “Journal” note in Evernote. When I have some new idea or task that I think should be completed, I type it up in one of my other notes like “Online Courses” or “Social Media”.

How does this help me?

1) It keeps me focused on getting stuff done

2) It keeps me motivated to see the progress I’ve made every day

3) It helps keep me organized and therefore less overwhelmed

Here’s an excerpt from some of the notes I took this past week:

02.26.15

-updated the practice vids for the bass course, and added the charts 

-signed up for tumblr and pinterest

-website featured on a site called theneeds.com 

02.25.15

-updated and shared the wordpress post on fb and twitter

-GB course got featured on a site called intercer

02.24.15

-got a genius badge from udemy for 3 published courses

-got my first positive review for bass class, made edits, added 15 lectures

02.23.15

-added images to products page and renamed “resources”

-added headline banner image

-added a sign in opt in box for the homepage

-got HostGator affiliate link working and placed into pages/posts

-the favicon somehow started working again…sometimes (weird)

-put my welcome twitter dm as instagram and website links, profile as website link

-5000 twitter followers, 1400 instagram, almost 600 fb page

02.22.15

-set up a popup email opt in, mailchimp plugin, api key

-cleaned up the 3 existing posts and categorized them

-implemented the email opt in, tested it and sent out test campaign

-got the mobile version of the opt in email to work

-created a products page and got a main menu to work

 

If you are looking for ways to stay more organized or focused then I’d definitely recommend checking out Evernote as a place to get started. 

 

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Why Build a Website?

Over time, I’ve become increasingly dedicated to consuming as much intelligent media as possible. I’ve played less video games even though I love them like most people. I’ve abstained from tons of trendy TV shows that everyone on my Facebook news feed can’t stop talking about. I’ve even been listening to very little mainstream radio, which might seem odd to people since my internet persona is “Matty G the Musician”. Instead, I’ve tried to become immersed with intelligent sources of information that I hoped would teach me things and benefit me in the long run. One of those changes came in the forms of podcasts, which have seemed to pick up steam in recent years. Once I discovered that there’s a podcast app for the iPhone, and that I can download podcasts onto my phone for free, and that they can play in my car without any connection issues, I was pretty much done with radio. My two favorite podcasts right now have been The Motley Fool and Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn. I was hooked on the Motley Fool for a couple of years but have been listening to SPI a lot these days. On SPI, Pat has a bunch of interviews with successful people who have built successful businesses that allow them to generate passive income. Long story short, the podcast inspired me to get back into websites and get started on a new adventure. So I signed up again with HostGator and got to work.

 

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Building a Website with WordPress as a Total Beginner

 Building a Website with WordPress as a Total Beginner

Today begins a new chapter in my life. A couple of years back, I had a website called “mattygthemusician.com” that ran for a year. I learned a lot about starting a website and it was a fun and positive learning experience. I used GoDaddy for the domain and used HostGator for the web hosting and was satisfied with the results. This one YouTube video I found saved me a ton a potential frustration in getting started and it deserves a special mention: you can see it hereBuilding a website with WordPress as a total beginner was made easier because of it.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 2.26.05 AM

Getting Off the Ground Floor

Without these two videos by this cool guy named Anthony of InternetRiot, I may not have gotten off the ground as quickly. The funny thing is that if you do a YouTube search for “How to make a website” or “How to make a website with WordPress”, these two videos are not even in the first two or three pages of search results. Yet, in 2015 I found myself looking for those two videos and those two videos only as I began the journey of rebooting my website from years ago. This time around, I followed the same process as last time, buying the domain name from GoDaddy and the hosting from HostGator because I was happy with the results in my past experiences. Unfortunately, in the past couple of days I’ve had to contact HostGator Support Chat 4 times, yes FOUR times just to get started.

“Hey Support Team, It’s Me Again…”

To say I’m a noob at website development is completely accurate. I don’t pretend to know what I’m doing. Yet, it’s been a while since I’ve been so consistently baffled with something that seemed to be simple, especially with the awesome video tutorial I was using from YouTube. First, I had issues because I needed to figure out how to change my primary domain name. Then, I had issues connecting to FileZilla. Then, I had issues uploading all of the WordPress contents to my website. Then, I found out that HostGator has a quick install feature for their customers so that they can easily install WordPress. I did that, but then my domain name still did nothing. On my FOURTH chat with HostGator Support, I found out that I was missing some important knowledge about setting some DNS servers up on my GoDaddy domain name. For some reason, I don’t recall having the same issues during my last website adventure back in 2012, or 2011 (whenever it was). But through it all, I persisted and with the help of Host Gator and their patient support team, I was able to get my feet off the ground.

What’s Next?

Building a website is one of the many projects I am working on. I am currently building online courses and hosting them on Udemy.com which you can find in the RESOURCES page. My goal is to continue to grow these projects into something successful and continue to build new high quality digital products, courses and web pages. I’m learning that there are a ton of ways out there to make successful online businesses, and I am currently learning and experimenting with several of them. I will continue to log some of my experiences and hope that it might inspire you to take on projects that you might have been thinking about. My philosophy is to just go for it and start right away. I find that it’s best to start a project quickly and just make adjustments along the way. Sometimes, we tend to over-plan and overthink which can lead to an inability to get off the ground floor with our projects. That’s why I’ve adopted the mentality of getting started NOW. I know I need to patient to get results, but I also know that sitting back and doing nothing won’t get me there.

QUESTION:

What projects are you working on or wishing that you can get started on this year?

 

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