Udemy vs Pluralsight — Which Is Better For Instructors?

Do you have special skills and knowledge that you can share with the world? You can get paid for doing so on sites such as Udemy and Pluralsight. 

Both Udemy and Pluralsight are educational platforms where people can sign up for courses on a variety of topics. If you are someone with special knowledge or skills, you can make money by creating courses. 

However, Udemy and Pluralsight are very different. In this article, we will be exploring these two platforms and helping you decide which one is best for you as an instructor. 

What Are They And Who Are They For? 

Let’s go over the basics: What is each platform about?

Udemy

Udemy is a platform where you can find courses on literally any topic under the sun. 


Want to learn Spanish? How to dance Salsa? How to protect yourself with martial arts? How to play the guitar? 

Perhaps you want to learn how to cook exotic recipes, understand the basics of motorcycle mechanics, or buy a dating course. 

You can learn basic and advanced SEO and digital marketing, educate yourself on how to trade stocks and forex, discover how to invest in Bitcoin, or sign up for self-improvement classes to increase your motivation and quality of life. 

Udemy is not restricted to any particular topic, niche, or subject. 

Learners can create free Udemy accounts, but this doesn’t automatically give them access to courses. 

While there are many courses that are free, most courses must be purchased individually. For example, you might pay $49 for an SEO course and $19 for a beginner’s Spanish course. 

Udemy is for everyone: Businessmen, entrepreneurs, and just ordinary people who want to learn new skills in any area of life. 

Udemy - #1 Marketplace For Learners & Instructors

Udemy connects millions of students to the best of instructors around the world. With more than 1,55,000 video courses on varied subjects, Udemy is the number one platform for online learning & teaching.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pluralsight

Pluralsight also has courses from different instructors on different topics, but unlike Udemy, it focuses on one specific niche: Technology. 

It’s not basic stuff, either. There are courses on IT, cybersecurity, Python, Java, mobile development, and other advanced business-related technology topics. 

Pluralsight isn’t just for individuals, however. While individuals can sign up to improve their skills, Pluralsight also has plans for teams. 

Managers and team leaders can create team accounts to get an idea of the team’s overall skill level in the area they are working in. Pluralsight has assessments for both individuals and teams.

Once you understand where you are lacking, you can take courses to help bring your skills to a higher level. 

Unlike Udemy, Pluralsight has subscription-based plans. There are Skills plans for both individuals and teams to help people assess and improve their skills with access to over 7,500 courses, and there are Flow plans that focus on helping teams improve their productivity and work better together. 

Pluralsight isn’t for everyone. It’s for people who are interested in improving their technical skills in specific areas (such as coding or cybersecurity), either for personal, business, or entrepreneurial reasons. It’s also for teams looking to improve their productivity and gain more knowledge. 

Useful Resources:

What Can You Teach? 

What kinds of topics can you teach on either platform? Can anyone become an instructor? 

Udemy

Anyone can teach on Udemy. There are probably some skills that you have that other people don’t have.

Any knowledge you possess can be turned into an Udemy course. 

You can create a course on how to save money and stick to a budget if that is something that you practice and care about deeply yourself. If you are into yoga, you can make a course on the best yoga positions. 

If you are a blogger, you can teach other people how to start a blog. If you know how to cook, you can create a cooking course. 

Any life skill or passion can be turned into a course. 

There are always going to be beginners in any area of life. For example, if you are a gym rat and have good knowledge of how to work out to build muscle, you can create a beginner’s lifting course that shows people how to do beginner exercises and how to develop a routine in the gym. 

Don’t let the term “course” fool you! 

Even if it’s just a simple skill that can be covered in a short amount of time, you can make money by teaching it to other people on Udemy. Courses on Udemy only need to have 30 minutes of video time at the minimum.

These 30 minutes must be divided into at least five lectures. 

Of course, if you want to make more money, longer courses with additional video content and with resources such as downloadable PDF checklists can be sold for more money. 

All courses on Udemy must go through a Quality Review process before they get listed on the site. You can see the full course quality checklist here.

Basic things you need to pay attention to include having high-quality audio and video with no interruptions or distracting background noise and delivering your course content in a clear and concise manner. 

You should also have a landing page with a good image and a description of what your course is about and who it is for.  

In a nutshell: Anyone can start making money online with Udemy, as long as they have a skill or knowledge in a certain area or are willing to study something so they can start teaching it. 

Pluralsight

Pluralsight, on the other hand, is not for anyone and everyone who wants to make money online. 

Since it focuses on technological skills and is geared towards teams, coders, software developers, and the like, you will need to have knowledge in those subjects to be able to create a course. 

Pluralsight has a review process as well, and it’s not as easy as Udemy’s. They are more selective at what they deem to be eligible for their library, and they will review your proposed course topics and content a bit more than Udemy would. 

How Do You Make Money? 

The question on your mind probably is: “How do I make money?” Instructors on Udemy and Pluralsight earn money in very different ways. 

Udemy

We mentioned that all courses on Udemy are priced individually. What this means is that you can either make your course free, or you can charge a set fee for it.

However, learners can not sign up for a monthly subscription to get access to all courses. 

The good part is that you can decide for yourself how much you want to charge for your course. If it is a short beginner’s course with only 30 minutes of basic, introductory information, you might sell it for just $19.99. 

If it is a full-length course with 6-10 hours of video content, you can and should charge more. In fact, many courses on Udemy sell for $199 or higher. 

This doesn’t mean that you will earn that amount for every sale you make. Instead, Udemy will take half of it. 

If you sell your course for $200, you will make $100 per sale. That’s not bad!

If you can get just five new students a week, you can earn an extra $500/week. 

Since you already created the course, most of that income will be passive income. However, it is worth interacting with your students by answering questions and comments and perhaps even creating a Facebook group where they can ask questions and join in on discussions. 

This is important to do because reviews play a large role in how much money you will make. If your course has low ratings, people won’t buy it — after all, they want to get the most out of their money. 

To get higher ratings on Udemy, make sure that your course has high-quality information and is actually worth the price you are selling it for. If you are selling a course for $199, people will be expecting to learn something from it that they can’t get from just doing a Google search and reading the first few blog posts that come up. 

However, you won’t always earn 50 percent of each sale. That only applies to Udemy sales that are made organically. 

Udemy - #1 Marketplace For Learners & Instructors

Udemy connects millions of students to the best of instructors around the world. With more than 1,55,000 video courses on varied subjects, Udemy is the number one platform for online learning & teaching.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

However, if a customer purchases your course because they saw one of Udemy’s ads and clicked on it, you will usually only earn 25 percent of the sale. If your course costs $200, you will earn $50. 

That’s still not bad, as you can only gain from having Udemy run advertising campaigns promoting your courses. 

The same applies if your course was purchased through an affiliate link. If the purchase was made on the app, Google and Apple take 30 percent of the sale as well.

There are also regular promotions and discounts that Udemy runs. As a seller, you can opt into the deals program.

Udemy regularly lowers the price on many of its courses to just $19.99 (and sometimes, $9.99). New students also get discounts sometimes. 

There are both pros and cons of opting into the deals program. On the one hand, if you opt into the program, you might suddenly see your revenue slashed; it can go from $100 a sale to $10 a sale. 

At the same time, you may end up making more money during these flash sales, as many Udemy fans wait for these sales to stock up on courses that they can suddenly buy for a fraction of the regular price. 

A lot will depend on how many sales you make regularly and how popular your course is.

If you are already happy with how many sales you are making every day or week and the revenue you are earning from them, you may decide to opt-out of the deals program. If you aren’t getting a lot of sales and would like to get more reviews to boost your rankings and visibility, opting into the program might be a better idea. 

Pluralsight

On the other hand, Since Pluralsight is a subscription-based membership site, you don’t get paid per sale. Instead, you earn royalties, which are calculated based on how much viewing time your courses amassed. 

The more hours of viewing time your courses get, the more money you will earn. 

How Often Do You Get Paid? 

If you’re looking to make money online, you probably are looking for a way to make consistent income. 

Udemy

Udemy pays every month via Paypal or Payoneer. However, this doesn’t mean that you will start earning money in your first month. 

You will have to wait for the third month to get paid because Udemy has money-back guarantees and students can get refunds. However, you can track your expected payments so you have something to look forward to. 

Pluralsight

According to Pluralsight, they pay on a quarterly basis. 

How Much Do Instructors Earn?

How much do instructors actually earn on each platform? How much does the average instructor make, and how much do the top instructors make? 

Udemy

It’s hard to know how much the top Udemy instructors make because Udemy doesn’t disclose this information. 

However, John Purcell, a top Udemy instructor with over 1.2 million subscribers, put it this way in response to a Quora question on the topic: “Some none, very many a bit, many quite a lot, and some are positively getting rich.”

According to John, he makes around $7,500 a month from his existing courses without doing too much additional work. That’s pretty good money. 

Another Udemy instructor, who taught over 25,000 students on Udemy, said she makes between $1,500 and $3,000 a month. 

Obviously, not all Udemy instructors make that kind of money.

Your earnings depend on many factors, including your price and earnings per sale. They also depend on how popular the subject of your course is, whether you get lots of good reviews, whether you can drive traffic to the course yourself from your own blog and email list, and the quality of the course itself. 

Udemy - #1 Marketplace For Learners & Instructors

Udemy connects millions of students to the best of instructors around the world. With more than 1,55,000 video courses on varied subjects, Udemy is the number one platform for online learning & teaching.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

You may make no more than some extra pocket cash, or you may earn a full-time income. Regardless, since you can keep earning money once you have created and listed your course, it’s a great way to build some passive income. 

Pluralsight

Pluralsight, on the other hand, has released information about how much money their instructors earn. 

According to a press release, one of Pluralsight’s instructors became “Online Education’s First Millionaire Teacher” by earning $1.8 million on royalty earnings between 2008 and 2013. This instructor was expected to earn $1M in 2013 alone. 

The press release further claimed that the top five instructors on Pluralsight average around $400,000 in royalty earnings per year. 

As for the average instructor? According to the press release, the average yearly income for instructors on Pluralsight was around $40,000. 

That’s a lot of money for just “average!” 

However, creating a course on Pluralsight is more difficult than it is on Udemy, and the review process is much longer. According to the above press release, instructors usually work around 10-20 hours to produce just one hour of course content. 

How To Get Started

In this section, we will go over how to get started with either platform and start teaching. 

Udemy

Getting started with Udemy is not that difficult. Go to the instructor signup page and create your instructor account. 

You’ll need to spend time planning and creating your course. You will also have to write out a course description and create a landing page for it. 

Ideally, you want to add additional modules to your course in addition to video content. This can be a PDF checklist or something of that nature. 

Your course will undergo a quality review check and once it passes, it will be listed on the site and you can start earning money. 

Before you create your course, or when you move to a new filming location, submit a 1-3 minute test video to get personalized feedback on your production quality. 

Pluralsight

As mentioned, Pluralsight sets the bar much higher than Udemy does. You will work with an “acquisition editor” from the very beginning. 

Before you even create your course, you will use Pluralsight’s audition kit to create a video audition. This is necessary to become accepted as an instructor on the site. 

The video audition will help Pluralsight determine whether your style of communicating and your overall energy is a good fit for them. Your acquisition editor will help guide you through creating this audition. 

Your acquisition editor will then guide you through the course creation process. They will help set expectations; the actual time it will take to create your course will depend on how much time you are willing to put into it per week. 

We mentioned that Pluralsight customers (both individuals and teams) can take assessments to measure their skills and knowledge in any particular area. As an instructor, you can create not only standard video and written content but also assessments. 

Creating these assessments as an instructor is a process that takes up to three months. It takes up to two weeks to map out a blueprint of the assessment, four to six weeks to write out questions for the assessment, and one to two weeks for the quality review. 

Pricing

How much does each platform cost for instructors? Do you have to pay money to be able to teach? 

Udemy

Udemy is free for instructors. You don’t have to pay any kind of fee to teach on Udemy.

While Udemy is likely to remain free for instructors, it’s always best to check their instructor signup page for updated information. 

Learners can create a Udemy account for free as well, but each course will have its own price and require a unique purchase. Some courses are free. 

Udemy - #1 Marketplace For Learners & Instructors

Udemy connects millions of students to the best of instructors around the world. With more than 1,55,000 video courses on varied subjects, Udemy is the number one platform for online learning & teaching.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pluralsight

Pluralsight is also free for instructors. Again, it is recommended to check their instructor signup page for updated information. 

Customer Support

What support resources do you have access to as an instructor on each platform? 

Udemy

Udemy has a support center for both students and instructors. The support center has articles on every step of the course creation process. 

In addition, there is a teaching center, where you can get community updates and the latest resources for instructors. 

Pluralsight

All instructors on Pluralsight work with an acquisition editor who helps guide them through the course creation process. 

Similarities And Differences

If you want to get a quick overview of the similarities and differences between Udemy and Pluralsight, the following chart can help:

Udemy vs Pluralsight — So Which Is Better For Instructors?

For most intents and purposes, Udemy is a better choice if you are interested in making money online. It’s simply much more accessible to the average person looking to earn an additional income. 

First of all, getting started is an easy and simple process. Just create an account; you won’t have to deal with acquisition editors through every step of the way. 

You can also teach any topic you are knowledgeable about. Most people don’t have in-depth technical knowledge of software, cybersecurity, and IT, but plenty of people know how to do other things well and can turn their hobbies and interests into income. 

Although there are quality guidelines to be followed, overall the bar is set much higher for Pluralsight courses. Udemy courses can be as short as half an hour; this means that you can start selling courses on Udemy within a few days. 

In addition, you can set your own price on Udemy. This allows you to control your profits and set learning goals. 

Finally, with Udemy, you get paid monthly, which is important if you are looking to cover your monthly bills. 

Although it does seem that instructors on Pluralsight earn more money on average, this is hard to say for sure, as their press release is from 2013 and may be outdated. 

In conclusion, Udemy is a great place to start selling online courses. If you have an interest or are good at something, head over to Udemy and start teaching. 

Author: Benjamin LevinBenjamin Levin is a digital marketing professional with 4+ years of experience with inbound and outbound marketing. He helps small businesses reach their content creation, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising goals. His hobbies include reading and traveling.

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