Is Teaching on Skillshare Worth It?

Skillshare has become a very popular option for teaching online in 2016. Well-known Udemy instructors are now also teaching on Skillshare, and most are successful on both platforms. Getting started on Skillshare is easy, and many newcomers hope to follow in the footsteps of experienced instructors. However, Skillshare revenue figures are hard to come by, and success factors on Skillshare are still a well-kept secret. Most newcomers hope to understand the platform and its potential better before getting started:

  • Which factors contribute to success on Skillshare?
  • How much time do you need to invest to create a Skillshare class?
  • How many classes do you need before you start making money?
  • Is Skillshare even worth this effort?
  • How much do Skillshare teachers make?

The Best Advice from 33 Skillshare Instructors

In an attempt to find evidence-based answers to these questions, I contacted over 100 of the most successful Skillshare instructors at the end of 2016. A third of them answered my request. They shared their best Skillshare advice, detailed revenue numbers and statistics. Although I offered to keep answers anonymous, 97% opted for full disclosure.

97% chose full disclosure

Most respondents subsequently disclosed the full details of their earnings on Skillshare as well as a ton of interesting data. (The few who didn’t had a more conservative understanding of ‘full disclosure’ 😉

The result is this massive, 7000 words roundup. Learn from these instructors’ experience and apply their strategies to your own Skillshare career!

My Super-Quick Skillshare Review

In case you’re not familiar with Skillshare yet, let’s give you a very quick introduction:

How Skillshare Works

Skillshare is about teaching skills in short classes. Classes are shorter than 50 minutes (many are 10-20 minutes long). Skillshare classes are meant to be project based, so that at the end of the class, you’ll have a project result. Applying new knowledge immediately helps retain knowledge and you get instant gratification built-in. It doesn’t work for every topic, but when it works, I think it works well. Most instructors who answered my survey tend to agree:

How happy are you with skillshare?

Skillshare lends itself to an uncomplicated way of sharing knowledge. The platform style, the course interface, the community, all of is just a tad less serious than e.g. Udemy. Most survey respondents agree that the platform interface is adequate, even though it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles:

Skillshare course interface

Getting Started on Skillshare

Getting started as a Skillshare instructor is super-simple. Sign up for an account (You can get the first three months for $1 by using this affiliate link), and with a couple of clicks, you can start uploading training videos. A “Teacher’s handbook” is available and there’s community support. Skillshare runs monthly challenges that will guide you through the class production process. You may receive bonus payments if you publish courses on popular topics.

Skillshare Payment Scheme

Instructors are paid based on how much the platform earned in a given month and how many students took your classes.

Note: Starting in 2017, how many minutes of your videos were actually watched will determine how much instructors get paid. This article still refers to the old payment scheme in 2016.

Skillshare Weaknesses

What I don’t like about Skillshare is the varying course quality. A lot of “classes” don’t deserve the name – they’re the kind of video you’ll find for free on Youtube. That being said, there are also a lot of great classes on Skillshare – it’s just that it’s getting harder to find high-quality classes in the clutter.

If you want to know more, just go to the platform and give it a try (affiliate link).

But now, let’s jump to the topic most of you been waiting for: What do Skillshare instructors earn?

Making Money on Skillshare

Making Money on Skillshare is possible, but it’s not a getting rich scheme for most people. Let’s have a look!

Skillshare Revenue Success Stories

The top earner among all respondents makes $2500 of monthly revenue. That’s not bad and qualifies as full-time income in many Western countries.

20% of all instructors reported average monthly revenue in excess of $1.000.

The top overall earnings reported were $55.000. These were earned over a period of 36 months, averaging about $18.300 per year. Since the instructor behind these numbers makes most of his income on other platforms, this is certainly a nice side-income.

Slightly over 15% of all respondents reported overall earnings higher than $10.000. One instructor managed to get to $15.000 in just five months, while it took another instructor 17 months to get to $11.000.

Average monthly earnings (across all answers) were about $680 per month. The median monthly revenue of $600 (half of the respondents make more, the other half less than $600) wasn’t far from that average.

Share these numbers!

How Happy are Instructors with their Skillshare Revenue?

An overwhelming majority (88%) of instructors say that teaching on Skillshare has paid off.

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Among the instructors who were happy with their earnings, some were making as little as $15/month, but most were making quite a bit more: The average monthly revenue for these instructors was $762, and 30% made more than $1.000 per month.

On the other hand, and this may come as a surprise, 31% of instructors who were happy with their results make (significantly) less than $500 per month.

How can we interpret these results?

  • Do instructors on Skillshare set their sights lower than on Udemy (where everyone seems to be aiming for an easy life on the beach while making 10k a month)? Do they have more realistic goals?
  • Is Skillshare a platform that is used as an additional storefront so any additional income is good? (I actually know instructors who use it that way).
  • Do Skillshare instructors live in countries with a low cost of living?

What do you think? Leave a comment below this article!

Long Hours Do Not Guarantee Success on Skillshare

The instructors who weren’t happy with their Skillshare results were all making $30 or less in a typical month. Although the number of respondents in this category is not sufficient for statistical relevance, they show that success or failure on Skillshare is not a simple question of putting in the effort: One instructor invests 10 hours into creating each course, and has published 11 courses already. At $50 total revenue, that’s 50 cents per hour of work invested. What are these guys doing wrong? Read on to find out!

You’re a numbers person? You just want a table with all the details? Download the full Skillshare Income report. The report includes:

  • Detailed numbers from 30 instructors
  • Earnings fully disclosed
  • Find out how followers, the number of published classes and revenue correlate
Free Download

Success Factors on Skillshare

So what do the top earners on Skillshare do differently?

  • They have lots of courses. The top 15% have published 50 classes on average.*
  • They attract huge numbers of students (900-7500 students were reported to be in the instructors’ most popular courses) and followers (2200-21500).
  • They often have an existing audience they can use to boost their course enrollments.
  • They have a strategy for course promotion and don’t leave it to chance.

* There are exceptions to this rule: One instructor managed to earn $12.000 with just 10 published classes over a period of 15 months, whereas another instructor had to publish 75 classes over a period of 17 months to make $11.000. This effect may be related to class quality. While the first instructor with 10 classes states that creating one class takes 100 hours, the instructor with 75 courses spends only 2 hours per class. Takeaway: Higher quality classes earn more – but more courses with lower quality may actually get you a higher hourly rate.

Additional Skillshare Stats

  • Time spent on student interaction was all over the place. Some instructors claim to spend hundreds of hours interacting with students, while others don’t interact with their audience at all. A majority spends a couple of hours interacting with students per month.
  • On average, instructors spend about 15 hours creating a class. The average stays roughly the same, whether you look at the top earners or those barely making anything on Skillshare.
  • The course category doesn’t seem to have a clear impact on revenue. Business and technology courses seem to have a higher chance of success than e.g. crafts, but there are many exceptions to this rule.

33 Skillshare Instructors Share Their Best Advice

A Word of Caution

A quick word of caution is in order: Many of the instructors below didn’t start from zero and they didn’t create Skillshare empires overnight. They already had found success on other platforms. Sometimes, creating ten new Skillshare classes only requires splitting up a multi-hour Udemy course into smaller pieces. This is a great strategy to learn from, but if you want to get into teaching online and start from zero, you need to understand that it (probably) won’t happen just as fast. On the other hand: If you’re going to start – why not start on Skillshare, where getting started is uncomplicated and the community is friendly?

So with that in mind, let’s look at what the most successful Skillshare instructors have to say:

Jules Tillman

Jules is an artist and creative coach who teaches others to be creative and make more money. She’s rather new to Skillshare, having started in October 2016 – but she’s already racked up more than 800 followers on Skillshare after having published 3 courses. Her most popular course is called “Creating a Beautifully Branded Instagram: Your Profile” which has over 400 students, but her abstract art course is gaining traction fast. Jules proves that earning decent amounts of money on Skillshare doesn’t have to take long: She’s already taking home $600 in monthly revenue after only 2 months on Skillshare! Creating a course takes her about 6 hours and another hour is spent on student interaction every month. That’s an hourly rate to make some lawyers envious!

Gerfried: “Jules, I’m sure you’ve got lots of stories to tell – but what’s been your best Skillshare experience so far?”

Jules: “I love the positive feedback I get from students! Teaching these courses, though fairly simple and short, can really make an impact on people, and that feel’s great! I also love it when students complete their projects! They are always so different, yet fun!

I even had one student write an in-depth blog post about her experience with my Abstract Painting class. It meant a lot to me that she would take so much time and thought to create something like that about my class.”

Gerfried: “Do you have any advice for instructors just starting out? How do you promote your courses?”

Jules: “I always start by sharing my new classes on Instagram. Then I send out an email to my newsletter list. I typically Tweet about them several times per week. And I always advertise the class on Pinterest for the first two weeks.

I also share the classes on my personal Facebook page. While I know my friends may not be my target market, you never know who might be interested!

So, with the exception of Pinterest ads (which I typically cap at just $1 per day), all of my marketing efforts are basically free with social media. ”

Gerfried: “Cool. Sound strategy. Anything else you want to tell newcomer Skillshare instructors?”

Jules: “I really love creating Skillshare classes, and, so far, the payoff has been worth it. I will say that I’m a little bit nervous about how they are restructuring the way they pay teachers in 2017. It’s hard to say yet, how it will affect my income from Skillshare. But that is one of the risks of creating courses on a platform other than your own website. It’s all out of your control.

But so far, working about 6 hours a month on my classes and getting about $600 in royalties and premium referral income has been worth it for me. It also gives me a chance to learn how to create courses! I had no idea how to use screencasting or video editing software before I started teaching on Skillshare. I think I used Powerpoint once in my life, back in college, before creating my classes, too. So that first month there was definitely a learning curve.

But I do feel it’s all been worth it: both from an income standpoint as well as the growth I’ve had from learning how to teach. ”

Gerfried: “Thanks Jules for taking the time for your detailed answers – I’m sure our readers will find this inspirational and very helpful – I know I do!”

Find out more about Jules at theunlimitedcreative.com!

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Vladimir Raykov

Vladimir is a Skillshare veteran who started teaching on the platform in August 2014. He now has over 15.000 followers and 45 classes in the areas: marketing, copywriting, productivity and Instagram. 4000 students in his most successful course don’t sound too shabby and this evidently pays off: Vladimir brings in a record-breaking $3000 every month. In case you’re wondering – Vladimir submitted his answers late when I had already calculated the survey stats – his numbers would have increased the averages a little 😉

Gerfried: „Vladimir, you’ve got so many students. How much time goes into managing them?“

Vladimir: „I’ve never left a question unanswered! However, engagement at Skillshare is very low so it didn’t take long to manage 15000+ students.”

Gerfried: “What do you like most about Skillshare?”

Vladimir: “I have received over 1700 positive reviews from Skillshare students and that makes me extremely happy. I care about my students and content quality has always been my priority, I think this has paid off.“

Gerfried: “How do you promote your courses?”

Vladimir: “Skillshare is changing very fast and online instructors have to learn to adapt quickly. What worked today might not work tomorrow.

I use primarily Twitter for promotion, however, I have over 65k followers there (no, I don’t buy followers). Honestly, my success is a result of my student base so that should be #1 priority for each and every online instructor on Skillshare who wants to be successful.”

Gerfried: “Makes sense (I’m envious!). Last question: What’s your top-secret advice for newcomers on Skillshare?”

Vladimir: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Go ahead and upload your courses on other platforms for education. Consider self-hosting as well. In other words, diversify your income!”

Connect with Vladimir at www.yourfirst1kstudents.com!

Helen Bradley

Helen started teaching on Skillshare in March 2015. With 12680 followers and 140 courses published, she’s an experienced instructor who managed to get over 1500 students to enroll in her most successful course. Helen teaches Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom. Creating a course takes her around 7 hours, and she spends about 10 hours interacting with students on Skillshare every month.

Gerfried: “So Helen, what was your best experience with Skillshare?”

Helen: “I have had a lot of students who have never used Photoshop and Illustrator who are now competent users – that’s a blast to know that my courses got them started.”

Gerfried: “What’s your course promo strategy?”

Helen: “I post to Facebook and Twitter and I also send links out in my email to my mailing list. “

Gerfried: “What else do our readers need to know?”

Helen: “Please don’t think that Skillshare or any online training site is a way to make money without working – it’s not a get rich quick scheme. It takes work, a lot of it, to be successful. You need to know your topic well and be a great teacher – remember you’re teaching others to be successful not showing them how good you are at what you do. If you take this approach, you are off to a good start.“

Find more about Helen at her website: helenbradley.com!

Luna Vega

Luna started teaching on Skillshare in November 2015 and has managed to gain 1800 followers in the meantime. Within 13 months, she’s published 5 classes about digital marketing for fashion retailers. With 800 students in her most popular course, there is certainly demand for this topic. Niching down is often a good idea in a crowded market. Luna now brings in $500 per month. She spends 20 hours on creating a class and 1-5 hours on student interaction every month.

Gerfried: “What do you like best about Skillshare?”

Luna: “Students are reaching out to me wanting additional help and signing up to my online course platform for fashion retailers www.ecommerceacademy.co”

Gerfried: “Luna, how do you promote your courses?”

Luna: “I post free links in various FB groups and throughout my social media to help with getting the first set of enrollments.”

Gerfried: “What’s your advice for new Skillshare instructors?”

Luna: “Skillshare is a great platform to build your community in. It has made all the difference in my business and in some ways been more effective than my efforts on YouTube. Being consistent and sticking to a schedule is key & will help grow your following.“

Gerfried: “Thanks, and good luck on Skillshare!”

Want to know more? Contact Luna at Lunavega.net!

Phil Ebiner

Who doesn’t know Phil Ebiner? The guy’s a course creation hero. If you decide not to go ahead with Skillshare – chances are you’ll come across Phil on a different platform as well. He’s been around forever in Skillshare terms – since 2014 and his 18000 followers attest to that. On Skillshare, Phil’s bringing in $1800 a month with 67 courses in the photography, video production, and business categories. His most successful course has been visited by over 7000 students – that’s 2nd place in this survey. Phil is obviously all about quality courses – creating a class takes him an entire work week – and 4 hours are spent on student interaction each month.

Gerfried: „Phil, what’s your opinion about Skillshare?“

Phil: “Students on Skillshare are very motivated. I held a photography workshop on Skillshare that had over 25 students participating, posting weekly exercises. It was great to see an online community of students working together.“

Gerfried: “Any advice for course promotion?”

Phil: I just post courses and let Skillshare do the rest. Sometimes I’ll share a few free coupons on my social media pages. Or I’ll link out to the courses via my website.

Learn more at https://www.videoschoolonline.com/!

 

Andrzej Pach

andrzej pach

Andrzej has been teaching on Skillshare for a while – since June 2015 to be exact. He’s gained almost 8000 followers and has published 37 courses about software, such as After Effects and PowerPoint. He brings in $1200 each month and has achieved an overall revenue of $17000. His most successful course has been taken by 2700 students, and creating a course takes Andrzej about 10 hours.

Gerfried: “Andrzej, when I compare your revenue on Skillshare with the average numbers of my survey, you’re doing quite well. I expect you believe in Skillshare?”

Andrzej: “Yeah plenty of people actually believe in small-step-learning. I’ve been able to lay out classes to follow in order and some students really took the time to improve and get better by taking and making the class project for most of them.

Gerfried: “I see. How do you get students to take your courses?”

Andrzej: “The organic growth is pretty good, but I’m always posting a new class to twitter, facebook groups, sometimes Linkedin or Reddit or websites I’m currently browsing through (if they are relevant to the topic)

Gerfried: “Any other advice we haven’t covered yet?”

Andrzej: “Skillshare is a pretty friendly community which rewards you in return depending on how much effort you put into it. It’s as straight as that, the more you work the more your work may be appreciated.”

Find out more at http://learnfromme.net!

Tom Appleton

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Tom is new to Skillshare, having started in November 2016. However, don’t let the newbie status deceive you: It takes others months or years to get 1000 followers – Tom has done it within a month. He’s also already published 6 courses in the design category. 470 students in his most successful course and $1000 in monthly revenue after only a month on Skillshare – that’s just crazy!

Gerfried: “Tom – you’ll be motivation for all those who want to get rich quickly on Skillshare 😉 But what is it that you like most about Skillshare?”

Tom: “Seeing what people are able to take away from my videos, and see the work they have created based on the video is amazing to me. I’ve had some great student projects created from designers such as Uziel Pineda.”

Gerfried: “What’s your promotion look like?”

Tom: “My main source of connectivity is through Instagram. Between the summer of 2015 and 2016, I created a typography number every single day. This allowed me to practice endless different techniques which I am now able to teach, but also build my Instagram account and connect with different people.“

Gerfried: “Good advice, thanks!”

Get in touch with Tom at tomappletondesign.com!

Share with your friends!

Mark Timberlake

Mark has been building online businesses for over a decade. He teaches on several platforms, and he added Skillshare to his course portfolio in January 2016. Now, a year later, he’s published 40 classes (photography, marketing, business building), averaging one course every nine days! His most successful course about photography has 644 students. He regularly publishes advice for course creators and has become an expert in reusing his course material efficiently on several platforms.

Gerfried: “Mark, how do you promote your online courses on Skillshare to your audience?”

Mark: “I just share some free links when I launch a course”

Gerfried: “How much time do you spend interacting with students?”

Mark: “Zero. There’s very little interaction on Skillshare, to be honest”

Gerfried: “Do you have any advice for Skillshare instructors just starting out?”

Mark: “Skillshare is a bit of a monster, you have to feed it and courses age fast and get buried on the platform.”

Find out more at: https://www.smeheroes.co.uk.

Greg Jeffries

Greg teaches courses about internet marketing, making money online and design. Over the course of two years, he’s built a following of over 15000 on Skillshare and he’s published 58 courses (with over 1500 students in his most popular course). $600 of monthly revenue makes Skillshare a nice income stream for Greg.

Gerfried: “So Greg, how much time do you invest in Skillshare?”

Greg: “About 1-2 hours interacting with students per month. Creating a new course takes me about 2 hours”

Gerfried: “What do you like most about Skillshare?”

Greg: “I like it because it’s just a great and simple platform that allows anyone with any level of experience to start from scratch and create a sustainable passive income online.”

Gerfried: “How do you pull people into your courses?”

Greg: “I post in related forums and Facebook groups”

Gerfried: “Would you recommend Skillshare for new instructors just starting out, or would you prefer a different platform like Udemy?”

Greg: “It’s a very simple platform and if you’re looking to make passive income online and are currently making less than $1000/month, I would recommend starting with Skillshare since the barrier to entry is so low.”

Find out more about Greg at http://imsource.org

Neil Shearing

 

As an experienced internet marketer, Neil did a lot of things right when he started teaching on Skillshare in January 2016. A year later, we’re looking at 40 published courses and 3100 followers. Neil’s course topics include Instagram, WordPress and Skillshare marketing. Neil now makes anywhere between $500 and $1000 per month

Gerfried: “Neil, what’s your take on Skillshare?”

Neil: “Skillshare is a very unique platform. It took us a long time to decipher how to succeed there. Some of our most popular classes explain aspects of Skillshare, such as the SEO algorithm or Trending algorithm. It’s been fun passing on that knowledge. :-)”

Gerfried: “How many hours do you spend on interacting with students every month?”

Neil: “Hundreds… on Facebook mainly”

Gerfried: “Wow, that’s more than most other instructors give to their students. How do you promote your courses?”

Neil: ”I run two Facebook groups, those are my main marketing strategy, plus new classes when I get the time.”

Gerfried: “What motivates you to continue building courses on Skillshare?”

Neil: “Best experience is getting great reviews from people my classes have helped. I also enjoy running two popular Skillshare-related Facebook groups which people seem to like too. :-)”

Find out more about Neil at http://www.neilshearing.com!

Lidija Miklavcic

Lidija is a fashion and industrial designer. She teaches sewing, painting, and surface pattern design. Lidija has only just started out on Skillshare (October 2016), but she’s met instant success: Almost 800 followers with only 8 courses already help her make at least $150 a month. Perhaps surprisingly for some, Lidija’s most successful course is about watercolors! Creating a new course takes Lidija 25 hours.

Gerfried: “What would you say has been your best experience on Skillshare so far?”

Lidija: “I love it when someone takes a class I made and they see the big potential in it. The feedback when they appreciate all the hard work you invested into a class makes your heart sing….it’s great to share your passion with people.”

Gerfried: “What’s your advertising strategy for your courses?”

Lidija: “I promote them on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, but I don’t have a lot of students…yet. I also promote courses on my blog.”

Gerfried: “Anything else you’d like to share?”

Lidija: “I would like to say ‘thank you’ to all my students. I really appreciate your time and energy to listen to my strange English.”

Connect with Lidija at http://www.bludor.com/magazine!

 

John Shea

John Shea

John has tried everything there is to make money online. He’s been on Skillshare since Mid-2015 and he’s now making $700 in monthly revenue. John creates a new class within 2 hours and spends 30 minutes interacting with students every month. His most successful course (about Marketing/SEO) has been taken by 1000 students and he has 7000 Skillshare followers.

Gerfried: “John – how did you get started on Skillshare?”

John: “I got into teaching on Skillshare as I was a teacher on Udemy and figured why not move some of my courses over. I’d likely invest most of my time into both Udemy and selling courses on my own platform. I have no idea if any of these platforms will be around 5 years from now, I just know that I can’t rely on marketplace platforms to bring in my course income.”

Gerfried: “What was the most amazing experience you had on Skillshare?”

John: “Just watching my girlfriend create a simple cooking class and earn over $300 with ease.“

Gerfried: “How do you promote your courses?”

John: “I currently share on some Facebook groups and forums and let Skillshare market the rest. I spend most of my time creating new classes but I may try other forms of advertising in the future.”

Gerfried: “Any advice for newcomers?”

John: “It’s the best ‘marketplace’ style teaching platform right now in my opinion. I wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, though. “

Learn more here: http://www.noshameincome.com!

David James Ault

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David started teaching on Skillshare in April 2016, but he was already an experienced instructor on other platforms before. His courses include a wide range of topics, such as writing, course creation, teaching online, productivity. Almost 4000 followers and 76 courses yield a monthly revenue of $1400. David spends around 24 hours on creating a course, and 5 hours are spent interacting with students on a monthly basis.

Gerfried: “David, is there anything that made you especially happy ever since you started on Skillshare?”

David: “My best experience was the response to my Skillshare Star class. Knowing that I am helping teachers, especially those new to the platform, to make a success of teaching on Skillshare.”

Gerfried: “What’s your strategy for promoting your online courses to your audience?”

David: “Posting a mixture of free and premium links to the subscribers of my mailing list, Facebook groups, and forums (see the Skillshare Star class for more details)”

Gerfried: “Do you have any advice for Skillshare instructors who’re not at your level yet?”

David: “I would just like to say that I really believe Skillshare is a great place for new teachers looking to create online classes.”

Find out more about David at https://www.skillshare.com/davidjamesault!

Cheryl Oed

Cheryl teaches courses in the Feng Shui and Wealth niche. A new class takes her 20 hours to create, and 1-2 hours are dedicated to student support each month. Having only just started on Skillshare (October 2016), Cheryl is already making $70 in monthly revenue with only 60 students in her most successful course. With 7 published classes and 300 followers, there’s plenty of room for improvement and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time for Cheryl to catch up with the top earners!

Gerfried: “Cheryl, what do you find makes Skillshare stand out?”

Cheryl: “Every time I felt stuck along the process of creating classes, I would receive an email just in time to continue. I love the community on Skillshare!”

Gerfried: “How do you promote your Skillshare classes?”

Cheryl: “I have a student following of my own from years of Feng Shui business contacts & teaching classes. I post my classes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & Youtube thanks to all the good classes here on Skillshare.”

Gerfried: “What do you like most about Skillshare?”

Cheryl: “Skillshare has opened up a whole new world teaching classes online. I love not only the support but the comradery!!”

Learn more at touchalchemy.com!

Brian Jackson

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Brian teaches classes about graphics tools and self-publishing and he’s now branching out with courses about guitar music and productivity tools. His most successful class (277 students) is about GIMP, a free graphics editor. In total, Brian has a whopping 124 courses published and is making about $250 a month. Publishing a new course takes Brian 4 hours.

Gerfried: “Brian – 124 classes on Skillshare, that’s quite a number. How did you get there?”

Brian: “I produced 24 SkillShare classes my first month on board and after a 2-month hiatus returned to port 100 classes from Udemy in one month all the time giving away everything to boost student enrollment. “

Gerfried: “Wow – any major obstacles along the way?”

Brian: “The process of porting 100 classes from Udemy to SkillShare in 28 days was pretty intense.”

Gerfried: “I can imagine! How do you promote all these courses?”

Brian: “My primary advertising strategy is to give classes away for free to boost student enrollment and reviews. I post free links to bestBlackHatForum and various FaceBook groups.”

Gerfried: “What do you think about the changed royalty payouts for Skillshare in 2017?”

Brian: “I now have great student enrollment in my classes but poor student engagement which is unfortunate given the change in emphasis at SkillShare.“

Find Brian’s courses here: https://www.skillshare.com/formlabsnyc

Dean Yeong

dean yong

Dean has been teaching performance improvements and productivity on Skillshare for about 2 months. It takes him 15 hours to produce a class, and with another 15 hours monthly for student interaction, he puts an unusually high emphasis on engaging his audience.

Gerfried: “Dean, what’s your opinion about Skillshare?”

Dean: “A great platform to share my expertise, at the same time, building my brand”

Gerfried: “How do you promote your courses?”

Dean: “Friends and family, and then I email my blog readers”

Gerfried: “Your overall verdict?”

Dean: “I think Skillshare is a great platform for brand building using bite-sized classes. However, if your purpose is to create a create a complete course with a professional launch, the platform has its limitations and the earnings might not worthwhile.”

Get in touch with Dean: deanyeong.com!

Jan Zavrel

Jan has half a year of Skillshare experience under his belt – enough for having gained 2200 followers on the platform and having published 63 courses. Most of these courses are about online business, iOS and web development. 900 students joined his course on online business, and his total monthly revenue on Skillshare is now at $2500! Jan uses his time efficiently – creating a new course takes but 5 hours.

Gerfried: “Jan, what drives your endeavors on Skillshare?”

Jan: “I’m happy I could help beginning teachers explaining how to get the most of this platform”

Gerfried: “What’s your strategy to help students find your courses?”

Jan: “I offer my handbook for free, thus collecting emails. I also post frequently on my blog, Medium, Quora and Skillshare Teachers Group on Facebook”

Gerfried: “What are your plans for the future? Any new classes coming?”

Jan: “I’m about to publish soon my book about my online teaching success. I will disclose everything step-by-step. It will be available on Amazon.” (Note: Jan’s book has been published in the meantime. Get it here (affiliate link) and take a look!)

Jan’s website lives at http://www.zavrel.net – take a look!

Rich Armstrong

rich armstrong

Rich is a jack-of-all-trades who teaches design, coding, and creativity on Skillshare. He’s been at it since September 2015 and is now making $800 off Skillshare every month. The cool thing about that? He does it with only 10 courses. His best-selling course (design) has been visited by 1800 students and he has 7000 followers on Skillshare. Rich is a quality-focused guy – creating a class takes him 100 hours. Five hours are spent interacting with students every month.

Gerfried: “Rich, what’s special about Skillshare?”

Rich: “I’ve helped people get jobs, learn new skills, and boost their creativity. I’ve connected with different kinds of people all around the world.”

Gerfried: “What’s your advertising strategy?”

Rich: “My ‘advertising strat’ needs work – I mainly just publish and share on social media – Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook”

Gerfried: “In what way have you been able to benefit from Skillshare?”

Rich: “Teaching on Skillshare has allowed me to learn, experiment, have fun, and help people. It’s the most fun thing I get to do!”

Rich’s website: https://www.skillshare.com/mrra!

Melissa Lee Shaw

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Melissa is an artist who teaches watercolor painting, digital art and illustration on Skillshare. She started out on Skillshare in December 2015 and has published 7 courses within a year. She’s now making $300 in monthly revenue and has gained over 2000 followers. Her most successful course (about watercolor painting) has been visited by 1057 students.

Gerfried: “What is it that you appreciate about Skillshare?”

Melissa: “People have told me that I’ve helped them find the confidence to continue making art, and that’s a really rewarding feeling. I also just love seeing my student’s class projects.“

Gerfried: “So how do you get students to enroll in your courses?”

Melissa: “I email family and friends, and post on Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. I also offer free enrollment links to the first 25 people who private message me on any of those platforms.”

Find Melissa’s website at http://missabeeart.tumblr.com!

Derek Franklin

shadow person

Derek started teaching on Skillshare in May 2016 and has since published 9 classes about personal development and marketing. His most successful course has been visited by 600 students.

Gerfried: “What keeps you going when you don’t want to get up to create yet another course?”

Derek: “This kind of review is fuel for my passion to teach: ‘One of the finest personal development courses I have ever attended. Simple yet awesome!!!’”

Gerfried: “I bet that’s a nice feeling. How do you drive traffic to your courses?”

Derek: “The main source of traffic for my classes is my email list, which I have been building for several years. When I publish a new class, I send out a notice to my list with 25 free enrollments – everyone else is encouraged to join Skillshare (through my affiliate link) if they want to join the class. Email marketing is the key to my online success.”

Meet Derek at: https://www.skillshare.com/derekfranklin!

Cielo de la Paz

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Cielo proves that you don’t need to do what everyone else is doing in order to be successful. With only 2 courses published, she’s making $500 every month. Her topics include smartphone videography and creating a class takes her around 20 hours.

Gerfried: “Cielo, most people require a lot more courses in order to be successful. Is student interaction your secret? How much time do you spend interacting with students?”

Cielo: “Not much. I wish students would participate more.”

Gerfried: “What is that you like about Skillshare?”

Cielo: “I love that I’ve given my students tools to use to improve their businesses and lives.”

Gerfried: “What’s your course promotion strategy?”

Cielo: “I don’t have one. I post my classes on Instagram and tweet it when it first comes out.”

Find Cielo’s courses at https://www.skillshare.com/cielodlp!

Ali Mirza

Ali Mirza

Ali Mirza is a social marketing guru and he’s been teaching on Skillshare since March 2016. He now has almost 5000 followers on Skillshare and 38 courses published. His Instagram marketing course is extremely popular (with well over 1000 students), and he’s already making between $1000 and $1500 per month. Creating a class takes Ali 6 hours and he spends 1-2 hours on student interaction per month.

Gerfried: “Ali, what has been your best experience on Skillshare so far?”

Ali: “A student told me he found a new FB Ads client after following the advice in my course.“

Gerfried: “Do you have any advice for course promotion?”

Ali: “Facebook free groups work best for me. “

Gerfried: “What’s the key to success on Skillshare?”

Ali: “Take action every day!”

Find out more about Ali at https://www.skillshare.com/alimirza!

Mamdouh Samy

Mamdouh Samy

Mamdouh has been teaching freelancing and technology on Skillshare since May 2016. He has now published 10 classes. 400 followers help him make $30 per month.

Gerfried: “Mamdouh, what has your Skillshare experience been like so far?”

Mamdouh: “I got some great reviews for my courses but not much interaction.”

Gerfried: “How do you promote your courses?”

Mamdouh: “Mainly Twitter and Instagram”

Gerfried: “Anything you don’t like about Skillshare?”

Mamdouh: “I need to keep creating courses all the time to be able to make good profits which is something I am not always capable of doing.”

Find Mamdouh’s courses at: https://www.skillshare.com/mamdouhezz

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Brooke Sellmann

Brooke Sellmann

Brooke has started teaching sewing and quilting on Skillshare in October 2016. She invests 4 hours into each class creation and has now attracted 59 followers. This already helps her make $50 a month.

Gerfried: “Brooke, why did you pick Skillshare?”

Brooke: “Teaching on skillshare has given me another platform to share my courses.”

Gerfried: “What about Skillshare did you like most so far?”

Brooke: “Several great reviews”

Gerfried: “Brooke, how do you promote your courses?”

Brooke: “On my website, Facebook, and twitter”

Find out more about Brooke at: sillymamaquilts.com!

Frank Albers

Frank Albers

Frank is an IT pro and online business coach. He’s new to Skillshare but he’s already expecting to make about $75 after his first month. He teaches various technical and marketing topics and has gained 142 followers in a short period of time. With 5 classes published already and a course creation time of 2 hours per course, success is probably lurking around the corner already!

Gerfried: “Frank, what do you think about Skillshare?”

Frank: “It’s good for Beginners. And I just got a positive review ”

Gerfried: “How do you promote your courses?”

Frank: “I post on Skillshare, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. In the future, I will create a separate Website for my English profile.”

Gerfried: “Anything else you’d like to share?”

Frank: “I don´t like the new payment model!”

Find Frank’s offer at: https://www.skillshare.com/frankalbers!

Gina Michele

Gina Michele

Gina isn’t only a DIY fanatic, she’s also started teaching crafts on Skillshare in November 2016. So far, she hasn’t started earning money on the platform.

Gerfried: “Gina, it’s only been two months, but how do you like Skillshare so far?”

Gina: “I’m very new to Skillshare and I plan to create courses. I think it seems like a promising platform. I also get a premium membership and I’ve enjoyed watching classes taught by others. I love how diverse the topics are and I’ve learned a lot!”

Gerfried: “Do you have a course promo strategy in place yet?”

Gina: “I link to the courses on my blog”

Find out more about Gina at gina-michele.com!

Further contributors

Every contributor was essential in making this articles statistics possible. Not every respondent provided in-depth advice. Here are some snippets from these instructors:

  • Alfonso (name changed for anonymity) is an engineering buff, but he hasn’t met success on Skillshare yet. He tried to advertise classes using Twitter and Facebook ads but calls this a failure. He’s also concerned that courses may get pirated.
  • Kasia Banasiak is currently making $180 monthly off 5 courses about photography. She likes it when students interact with her on Skillshare because that tells her that students have actually watched her lessons.
  • George Bokhua recommends being as generous as you can with the information you’re sharing.
  • Franki B. Kidd writes about Skillshare on her blog and she loves the platform.

Further respondents included Pete Maric, Paula Guilfoyle, and Muhammad Afzal Gill.

Thanks to all of you for making this article possible!

The Verdict

So, is teaching on Skillshare worth it? It can be.

Skillshare doesn’t mean instant success for everybody, but it does constitute an additional income stream for many. It doesn’t even have to take long to make a couple of hundred bucks every month. On the other hand, even long hours and lots of effort don’t guarantee automatic success. You need a sound strategy, the right course topics and a little bit of endurance. There’s no better way to get there than copying the pros in this article. Give it a try!

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