Would you like to see the income I have earned teaching on Udemy, Teachable, Skillshare, YouTube, Audible, Stacksocial, Audible, Amazon Kindle, and CreateSpace? I hope this report and comparison will be useful for you in discovering and optimizing your creative monetization process online! To summarize, I believe making my own school with Thinkific available soon at https://jerrybanfield.com/freecourses/ because I believe it has the greatest earning potential of all give the three years of lifetime earning data you are about to see. If you sign up with my link for Thinkific to self-host your own video courses at https://www.thinkific.com/?sa=f2d3845c3c you and I will get a $50 account credit! For earnings, Udemy was the biggest single income source with $661,410 lifetime earnings as of June 2016 which was the last month I was an instructor because they banned me. This demonstrates the huge downside with third party platforms where the teacher maintains no real control over anything submitted although copyright technically is retained. Courses sold on my website at https://jerrybanfield.com/ with WooCommerce most of which were hosted on Teachable or Udemy with free coupons were my second biggest income source at $80,459. What shocks me about this number is it came with very little effort compared to Udemy and Skillshare. This data motivated me to finally launch my own school because I could see that it was likely I would have earned even more than Udemy overall if I had started with my own course hosting on Thinkific or Teachable instead of using Udemy which produced income faster but today produces nothing and gave me no lasting ability to communicate with students that paid to take my courses. Third for income surprisingly is StackCommerce which sells using Stackskills at $69,886.89. With Stackskills handling everything except uploading the courses, it makes a perfect website to offer any courses on my own website to make additional sales. Fourth in income YouTube at $15,851.29 which sounds great until I tell you that is on millions of views and over $35,000+ in ad spend to get those views! I average less than $2 per thousand views on YouTube which means about $2 per video with an occasional video making $100 or more. Fifth in income is Skillshare turning out $14,607 which is the winner for the most effort and the lowest result. Search on Skillshare and you will see I have over 80 classes which somehow have managed to earn an average of less than $200 each with one third of earnings coming from referrals to a Skillshare premium membership at https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/jerrybanfield. Audible using ACX finishes at fifth currently with about $6,000 to $7,000 in payments within the first year. While Audible itself would be profitable, to get an audio book on Audible requires first having a Kindle and/or paperback available on Amazon. The CreateSpace earnings for paperbacks sold on Amazon are $1,171.99 total to date along with $927.72 from Kindle. To explain the Audible, Kindle, and CreateSpace earnings accurately, I have spent about $15,000 to get my videos transcribed, designed, and edited into Kindle and paperback format in order to allow for the earnings with Amazon and Audible to happen. Finally, Amazon Prime Video available through Amazon Video Direct seems like the most exciting opportunity to reach hundreds of millions of Prime users until I saw the income. AVD pays about $0.002 per minute watched which is just under about 10 times what YouTube pays and is more than 20 times less per minute than Skillshare pays. Amazon has wide open opportunities to make video classes, tutorials, and entertainment but most content creators are unlikely to pay to get captions and spend all of the time uploading only to $40 per month as I am getting now.
In summary, self-hosted video classes seem to be the easiest way to earn great money creating online with Amazon Video Direct being the biggest disappointment and one of the lowest short term ROI activities in my business with Skillshare, Kindle, and CreateSpace all tied for second place. Strangely enough, most people I meet locally are impressed with me self-publishing a book and showing them a paperback more than any description of what I have done online. To be well-rounded, I still continue to produce Kindle books, paperbacks with CreateSpace, and audio books with ACX for Audible because all of these provide opportunities to reach new audiences and allow for the eventual upsell to my video courses. I still am trying to use Amazon Video Direct as well because like YouTube a lot of traffic is possible if a video does well.
Thank you for reading my income report for the lifetime earnings of the main ways I have made money online as a content creator, author, narrator, and video producer are useful for you in your business today!