Tag: Udemy

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.

Black Friday $10 640x480

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.

The Worst Blog Post Ever: How Trolls Can Ruin You (If You Let Them)

This week, I’ve been getting a lot of negativity from different places in my life and it’s been challenging. If you get enough negativity at the same time, it can wear you down. I’m going to share one example for you because there’s a crucial lesson to be learned from it.

The Worst Blog Post Ever: How Trolls Can Ruin You (If You Let Them)

Well, first of all, I worked very hard on this Udemy course on Bass Guitar back in December and January. Hours and hours were spent outlining, filming, editing and recording voiceovers. I finally released it in February and sent out a few free coupons to promote the new course. About a week or two later, I received my first review. Here’s what the review said:

“THIS IS AS BAD AS IT GETS – BE WARNED

If you’ve already been playing more than 5 minutes, you already know more than what’s in this course. Even if you’re a complete beginner i would say don’t do this course unless you want to see a bunch of stuff played badly with virtually no explanation.

You will learn a few ultra basic bass lines with no understanding of what you’re doing. And as an added bonus you will learn really bad technique as well. If you get a coupon to see this for free, do it to see how NOT to play bass. If you don’t have a coupon, do not waste one cent on this course”

Upon reading this review, my mood was changed for the rest of the day. It caught me off guard and stressed me out. My first Udemy course on Garageband had received nothing but 5-star reviews from the get-go, and now this new course was already hit with this 1-star bomb. As soon as I got home from work, I got to work on adding about 15 new lectures to improve the course, which included videos, charts and all sorts of detailed explanations. At the time of the review, my course was basically brand new, and I was hoping that the first batch of students would be able to provide me some useful feedback on how to improve the course, but instead I received this bomb of a review which made me re-think the entire course. I started to panic and even considered deleting the entire course. I didn’t want a bunch of people to have the same reaction.

So time went by and I wound up having very satisfying sales growth in March and April. I noticed that people were signing up for the Bass Guitar course and leaving 5 star reviews. The Garageband course was far and away my biggest hit in those 2 months, but my Bass Guitar course was steadily growing as well. In May, I took a look back at my reviews and decided to reach out to the one bad review guy. I sent him a message that said:

“Hi [name not disclosed],

Thank you for the feedback on my course. I took a lot of what you wrote in your review and used it as motivation to improve. Since your review, I’ve made about 15 new lectures which patch up a lot of the information that may have been missing in the early version of the course- keep in mind that the course was about 3 weeks old when you wrote your review. Anyway, I’ve put a ton of time and work into creating and improving the course and would love if you could re-evaluate my course now that it’s been updated. Student feedback is huge.

Anyway, I hope that you are enjoying the course and that you continue to stay active on Udemy. Best wishes.

Sincerely,

Matt”

That was my attempt at being polite and professional. Within a day, I noticed that my the one bad review was updated:

“THIS IS AS BAD AS IT GETS – BE WARNED

If you’ve already been playing more than 5 minutes, you already know more than what’s in this course. Even if you’re a complete beginner i would say don’t do this course unless you want to see a bunch of stuff played badly with virtually no explanation.

You will learn a few ultra basic bass lines with no understanding of what you’re doing. And as an added bonus you will learn really bad technique as well. If you get a coupon to see this for free, do it to see how NOT to play bass. If you don’t have a coupon, do not waste one cent on this course

*****UPDATE******

Since my review he has added some new lectures so i thought i’d check some of them out. In lecture 10 he says to “play F on the 3rd fret of the E string”. WRONG, and typical of the standard of this guys “teaching”. In lecture 34, “pentatonic scale explained”, he doesn’t mention even once the vital fact that it’s a MINOR pentatonic scale as opposed to a major pentatonic scale. In fact he never clearly explains what a pentatonic scale actually is at all.

Please buy this course if you want to be “taught” (confused) by a guy who has awful technique and no ability to explain or teach anything with any accuracy or clarity.”

After I received this updated review, I started to realize that maybe my course really wasn’t that bad to begin with and that I might have just been dealing with a troll.

What’s a troll? Well, according to Google, it is “a mythical, cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very ugly appearance.”

In the modern sense of the word, it’s uglier than that. According to urbandictionary.com, a troll is “one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.”

Trolls can strike at any time. On my YouTube channel, I’d get hit with a troll-like comment every now and again, but the positive comments from people drowned out the trolls pretty quickly. Often, I’d find that my subscribers would come to my defense on certain issues that the trolls would start. It was an amazing feeling. From my experience on YouTube, I should’ve known that the best way to silence the trolls is to simply drown them out with quality content, which will inevitably lead to real humans leaving positive feedback.

The 3 reviews that I received after this one bad review have been gushing 5-star reviews.

REVIEW 2:

“More Than Your Average Lesson

This course is great! It teaches you more than just the basic steps of how to play bass, but it also teaches you how to play scales and popular bass lines. You can tell that he pushes rehearsal and self-taught techniques because he creates background tracks for you to rehearse with that match the new concepts he wants you to learn.”

REVIEW 3:

Great Course for Beginners!

This is a great course for beginners. Easy to understand, and very down to earth, and he breaks it down clearly. I was able to play some songs on the bass after taking this course. I learned alot of the basics quickly and easily!

REVIEW 4:

“Wow, I guess I can play the bass!

I am learning the bass out of necessity to join a friend’s band. I was told that i could just pick it up and figure it out, so I bought a bass and went to my first band practice… boy was my friend wrong! After feeling overwhelmed and discouraged for a while, i found this course and gave it a try. Within minutes i was getting a grasp of concepts my friend had tried (and failed) to show me, and at the next band practice I stunned the rest of the rest of the band with my progress. The course is fast paced, but the instructor is very clear and understandable, and you can always replay any section you had trouble with. The instructor seems generally concerned with the progress and success of his students and is quick to answer any questions. Learning an instrument is hard work, but with this course it is a manageable and rewarding process. Thanks!”

So far, almost 75% of my Udemy sales for this month (May 2015) have been from people signing up for the Bass Guitar course. To this day, the Bass Guitar course is my second best seller on Udemy and NO ONE has requested a refund.

To think that I almost deleted the course because of one startling review is crazy now. At the time, it wasn’t so crazy.

I’m telling you this story because I want to help remind you that you need to have thick skin when it comes to stuff like business or music. There are always going to be people trying to shoot you down when you put yourself out there. I almost gave in, but I’m so thankful that I didn’t because I’m now reaping the rewards of my hard work and tenacity.

If you’d like to check out the course, it’s here.

Do you have a story where you stayed strong even when someone tried to shoot you down?

3 Ways to Get Music for Your Udemy Course

3 Ways to Get Music for Your Udemy Course

garageband course

If you’re like me, then you are amazed by the growth of Udemy as an online education marketplace. It’s amazing to know that you can teach something you already know and make some real money collecting commissions from Udemy when students enroll in your class.

When creating your course, one of the many things to consider is the use of music and sound. If you’re a musician, you might have plenty of royalty-free music that you can use for your course and course promo. If you don’t have any royalty-free music and want to use music for your courses, then what do you do? The last thing you want to do is risk getting in trouble for using someone else’s intellectual property. For these reasons, here are 3 ways to get music for your Udemy course.

3) Royalty-free Music Sites: The first method is to go on Google and search for “royalty free music”. You may get lucky and find exactly what you are looking for. The downside of this approach is that you will probably have to pay a membership or fee to access the music and use it for your courses.

2) YouTube Audio Library: YouTube now has a feature where it provides users with royalty-free music to use on their projects. They probably included this feature to help lower the instances of copyright infringement within the videos on their site. A simple search for “YouTube royalty-free music” will get you a long list of music to preview and download at your leisure (but you need a YouTube channel to access it). This method is better than the previously mentioned method because there is no hassle with finding out what is free and what is not free: everything at the YouTube Audio Library is up for grabs.

1) Use GarageBand: If you have access to any Apple device, then you have the ability to get GarageBand. In my opinion, this is the best method for obtaining music for your courses. Unlike the other methods, you can easily customize your own music using Apple Loops and some simple editing tools. The possibilities are endless when you are able to take the loops and tweak them to your liking. Unlike the other options, you are not downloading a full composition that can only be edited so much before it becomes useless. With GarageBand, you have access to hundreds, maybe thousands of customizable loops that you can mix and match to your liking. I’ve used GarageBand in all of my Udemy courses to date. Here is an example of a promo I made using Garageband:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjMwpcTznns

In the promo, all of the music was made with GarageBand. Even though I know how to play different instruments, I did not need to use a single instrument to make the backing track for my promo. I also recorded the vocal portion of the promo with GarageBand.

If you have any interest in learning how to use GarageBand, then feel free to check out this GarageBand course on Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/appmusic

You will learn all of the tools needed to create an unlimited amount of royalty-free tracks for your Udemy courses for years to come. Best of luck.

If you have any questions of comments, feel free to reach me at http://mattygthemusician.com/