Exploring the Pros and Cons of Selling Your Course on Udemy and Skillshare

Udemy and Skillshare have emerged as prominent players in the online education landscape, offering a diverse range of courses across various subjects. These platforms provide a space for instructors to create and share their expertise with a global audience. Students can enroll in courses to learn new skills, pursue personal interests, or enhance their professional development.

Before taking the plunge into selling your course on Udemy or Skillshare, it’s vital to assess the advantages and disadvantages involved. While these platforms offer immense opportunities for instructors to reach a large and diverse audience, they also come with certain limitations that need careful consideration.

Understanding the pros and cons is crucial for making informed decisions and aligning your goals with the platform that best suits your needs. Let’s get started!

What Is Udemy and Skillshare?


Udemy is an online learning platform that offers a vast library of courses on a wide range of subjects. It serves as a marketplace where instructors can create and sell their courses to students worldwide. Udemy provides a user-friendly interface for course creation, management tools, and built-in marketing to help instructors reach a broad audience. Students can enroll in courses and learn at their own pace through video lessons, quizzes, and supplementary materials.


Skillshare is an online learning community that focuses on creative and practical skills. It offers a subscription-based model, where members pay a monthly or annual fee for unlimited access to a wide variety of courses.

Skillshare’s courses are centered around topics such as art, design, photography, writing, entrepreneurship, and more. Instructors on Skillshare are typically professionals or industry experts who share their knowledge through video lessons and projects. The platform emphasizes a hands-on, interactive learning experience with a strong emphasis on community engagement and feedback.

Pros of Selling Your Course on Udemy

Wide Reach And Large Student Base

One of the significant advantages of selling your course on Udemy is the platform’s wide reach and expansive student base. Udemy boasts millions of users actively seeking courses across a diverse range of subjects. This vast audience provides you with the opportunity to tap into a global market and reach students from all corners of the world. With Udemy’s reach, you can significantly expand your potential audience and increase the visibility of your course.

Built-In Marketing And Promotion

Udemy offers built-in marketing and promotional features that can help increase the visibility of your course. The platform invests in various marketing channels, including targeted email campaigns, social media promotion, and search engine optimization, to attract students to its marketplace. By listing your course on Udemy, you benefit from the platform’s marketing efforts, which can boost your course’s discoverability and attract potential students who may not have found your course otherwise.

Easy Course Creation And Management Tools

Udemy provides user-friendly course creation and management tools that simplify the process for instructors. With their intuitive course creation interface, you can easily organize and structure your content, upload videos, create quizzes, and add supplementary materials. Udemy’s platform also offers features like course announcements, discussion boards, and student messaging, allowing you to engage with your students and provide support throughout their learning journey.

Potential For Passive Income Through Course Sales

Selling your course on Udemy can generate a passive income stream. Once you create and publish your course, it becomes available for purchase to Udemy’s student community. With Udemy’s established marketplace and continuous influx of students, your course has the potential to generate ongoing revenue over time. This passive income model allows you to earn money from your course even when you’re not actively promoting or updating it.

Cons of Selling Your Course on Udemy

High Competition And Pricing Pressure

One of the primary drawbacks of selling your course on Udemy is the high level of competition within the platform. With a vast number of instructors and courses available, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, the competitive nature of the marketplace often leads to pricing pressure. Udemy frequently runs promotions and discounts, which can impact the perceived value of your course and potentially lower your revenue.

Limited Control Over Pricing And Discounts

When selling your course on Udemy, you have limited control over the pricing and discounts applied to your course. Udemy frequently offers discounts and promotions to attract students, and as an instructor, you must adhere to their pricing structure. This lack of control can impact your ability to set the perceived value of your course and may affect your expected revenue.

Revenue Sharing With The Platform

Udemy operates on a revenue-sharing model, where instructors receive a percentage of the course sales. While the exact revenue split varies depending on factors like how students find your course (organic or through Udemy’s marketing efforts), Udemy retains a portion of the revenue generated. This revenue-sharing arrangement means that you may not receive the full amount for each course sale, which can impact your earning potential.

Less Direct Connection With Students

Selling your course on Udemy may result in a reduced level of direct connection with your students. As an instructor, you might have limited access to student contact information, making it challenging to establish a direct relationship or communicate outside of the Udemy platform. This limited connection can hinder personalized interactions, feedback exchange, and ongoing engagement with your students.

Pros of Selling Your Course on Skillshare

Access To A Dedicated Community Of Learners

Selling your course on Skillshare brings the immense advantage of connecting with a devoted community of passionate learners. Skillshare has cultivated a vibrant ecosystem of creative and knowledge-seeking individuals. By listing your course on this platform, you gain direct access to this community of like-minded students who are actively pursuing new skills and seeking knowledge. As a result, you can expect an enthusiastic and engaged audience, eagerly delving into your course content and offering valuable feedback to help you refine and enhance your teaching.

Royalty Payments Based On Student Enrollment

Skillshare operates on a royalty payment model, where instructors earn revenue based on student enrollments in their courses. As students enroll and engage with your content, you receive a royalty payment. This payment structure incentivizes instructors to create high-quality courses that attract and retain students, as the more enrollments you receive, the more income you generate. This direct relationship between student enrollments and instructor revenue can be a motivating factor for creating and maintaining engaging content.

Opportunities For Networking And Collaboration

Skillshare fosters a collaborative environment, providing opportunities for networking and collaboration among instructors. You can connect with fellow instructors, exchange ideas, and even collaborate on projects or courses. This collaborative atmosphere not only expands your professional network but also opens doors for potential partnerships and cross-promotion, enabling you to reach new audiences and enhance your course’s visibility.

Potential For Recurring Revenue Through Skillshare’s Subscription Model

Skillshare operates on a subscription-based model, offering students access to the entire Skillshare library for a monthly or annual fee. This unique approach enables you, as an instructor, to earn recurring revenue from student enrollments in your course. The beauty of this system lies in the potential for ongoing earnings as long as students maintain their Skillshare membership. This steady stream of income provides a sense of predictability and stability, offering you greater financial security and the freedom to focus on creating valuable course content.

Cons Of Selling Your Course On Skillshare

Lower Revenue Potential Per Student

While Skillshare presents enticing opportunities for instructors, it does come with a drawback – the lower revenue potential per student compared to other platforms. Skillshare follows a royalty payment system, where instructors receive a portion of the revenue generated from student enrollments.

While this offers a consistent income stream, the subscription model and revenue sharing with Skillshare result in a relatively lower revenue per student. However, with strategic planning and a focus on creating compelling and high-value courses, instructors can still thrive on Skillshare and leverage its vibrant community to reach a wide audience and unlock opportunities for collaboration and growth.

Limited Control Over Pricing And Course Availability

When it comes to selling your course on Skillshare, it’s important to note that you’ll encounter some limitations regarding pricing and course availability. Skillshare takes charge of determining the pricing structure and subscription fees for students, leaving you with less control in this regard.

Also, every course undergoes Skillshare’s careful curation and approval process, meaning that not all courses submitted by instructors make the cut or become available on the platform. This lack of control over pricing and course availability can potentially hinder your ability to set your desired price points or reach a broader audience.

Course Curation And Approval Process

Skillshare’s meticulous course curation and approval process upholds their commitment to quality and student satisfaction. While it adds complexity and potential delays to the course creation and publishing timeline, it ensures top-notch content. Embrace this backstage experience as an opportunity to refine your course and deliver an exceptional performance for Skillshare’s vibrant community.

Less Emphasis On Instructor Branding And Individual Marketing

Skillshare places less emphasis on instructor branding and individual marketing compared to other platforms. The focus is primarily on the Skillshare brand and the broader library of courses rather than individual instructor recognition. This may limit your ability to build a distinct personal brand and establish a direct connection with your students. It also places less responsibility on individual instructors to drive their course’s marketing and promotion.

Overcoming Challenges and Maximizing Success

Selling your course on Udemy and Skillshare comes with its own set of challenges, but with the right strategies, you can overcome these hurdles and achieve success on both platforms. Here are some strategies you can use to overcome potential downfalls:

  1. Stand out from the competition:
    • Niche down and specialize to differentiate yourself.
    • Emphasize the unique value and benefits your course offers.
    • Focus on delivering high-quality content and an exceptional student experience.
  1. Leverage promotional opportunities:
    • Strategically utilize platform promotions to attract students.
    • Offer limited-time discounts to create a sense of urgency and drive enrollments.
    • Leverage external marketing channels to complement the platform’s promotion efforts.
  1. Diversify your income streams:
    • Consider offering supplementary materials or advanced courses outside of the platform.
    • Explore additional revenue sources such as coaching, consulting, or merchandise related to your course topic.
  1. Engage with the community:
    • Actively participate in discussion boards, Q&A sessions, and announcements.
    • Foster connections with fellow instructors for networking and collaboration opportunities.
    • Utilize social media and email marketing to establish a direct connection with your audience.
  1. Focus on student satisfaction and feedback:
    • Encourage students to provide reviews and ratings for your course.
    • Actively engage with student questions and comments to enhance their learning experience.
    • Continuously improve your course based on feedback to maintain high student satisfaction

Factors to Consider in Choosing the Right Platform

When deciding which online learning platform is the best fit for selling your course, consider these factors that align with your goals and preferences. Be sure to consider the following factors:

Course Content And Target Audience

Evaluate whether your course content aligns with the platform’s focus and fits the preferences of the target audience. Different platforms may cater to specific subject areas or have varying demographics of learners.

Revenue Goals And Pricing Strategies

Determine your revenue goals and assess how each platform’s pricing structure aligns with your desired earnings. Some platforms may offer higher revenue potential per student, while others may have a subscription-based or royalty-based model.

Level Of Control And Branding Desired

Consider the level of control you desire over pricing, course availability, and branding. Some platforms offer more flexibility in setting prices and maintaining control over course content and branding, while others have stricter guidelines and a standardized platform layout.

Marketing And Promotion Preferences

Evaluate the marketing and promotion support provided by the platform. Assess whether the platform offers built-in marketing channels, promotional features, or a dedicated audience base. Consider whether you prefer a platform that emphasizes instructor-driven marketing or one that relies more on platform-wide promotion efforts.

Final Thoughts

The decision to sell your courses on platforms like Udemy and Skillshare comes with a range of pros and cons. Udemy offers a wide reach, built-in marketing, easy course creation tools, and potential for passive income. Skillshare provides access to a dedicated community, royalty payments, collaboration opportunities, and recurring revenue through its subscription model.

So, whether you choose Udemy, Skillshare, or explore other platforms, the key is to consider your goals, preferences, and the needs of your target audience. With careful consideration and a thoughtful approach, you can embark on a rewarding journey of sharing knowledge, engaging learners, and achieving your goals as a successful online course instructor.