(Last updated: April 2018)
Skillshare FAQ: If a premium member watches seven of my premium classes, do I get paid seven times?
You’d get paid for the amount of premium minutes the premium member watched in those seven classes.
Skillshare FAQ: If a premium member watches my class in June and again in July, would I get paid twice?
I believe that’s the case. You’d effectively get paid twice if a premium member re-watches a premium class of yours.
Skillshare FAQ: Do I get paid more for reviews, project or community participation?
Nope. None of those things currently play a part in your earnings, only the premium minutes generated by premium members watching premium classes.
Skillshare FAQ: How many students do I need before a class gets a trending score?
You need 25 students, free or Premium for a class to trend on the category pages at Skillshare.
Skillshare FAQ: Do I get paid for a premium member who enrolls via a free access link?
Nope, sorry. This was confirmed by Skillshare in a reply to a question posted during an “Ask Me Anything” session. (update, I don’t think this is the case. I think Premium members generate premium minutes, no matter how they arrive at a class. I haven’t had confirmation of this though)
Skillshare FAQ: How can I create a free access link for my premium class?
We’ve got a step-by-step walkthrough with images showing you how to create a free access link, here.
Skillshare FAQ: When do I get paid?
On the 16th of each month, for the Premium minutes generated in the previous month. To be precise, it’s usually morning-time in the USA, which is early afternoon in Europe. The minimum requirement for payment is 30 premium minutes, in total, across all your classes, in the previous month, which is about $1.50 in earnings. Skillshare only pay via PayPal, but have been very reliable.
Skillshare FAQ: Can I estimate my earnings?
Yes, if you take your headline “premium minutes” total for the month and multiply it by $0.05, you’ll have a rough idea of how much you’ll have earned in that month.
Skillshare FAQ: Where’s the “running total” for how much I’ve earned in a month?
There isn’t a “running total” for money, but there is for “premium minutes”. Skillshare pay out a percentage of their income to teachers each month, depending on how many premium minutes a teacher had, so they don’t know how much to pay out until they’ve done the calculations after the end of a month. The value of a premium minute changes each month.
Since they were introduced, the value of a premium minute has been…
Skillshare FAQ: How should I promote a new class? Is the “post an announcement” link different to making a new “Community” post?
When I launch a new class, I usually do a “post to all followers”, which sends an email to all of my followers.
However, if a class was specifically a follow-up to an existing class, say an “advanced” class for people who had taken the “basic” class, I’d announce it to only students of the basic class. I think making a post on the community tab is the same thing as clicking the “post an announcement” link. Both methods make a community post, and both allow you to also email the existing class students by ticking the “Email all students” box.
Skillshare FAQ: How can I change the class cover image?
You can change the class cover image used throughout Skillshare by uploading a new image for the first lesson…
Skillshare FAQ: If I were to change any of the video lessons in a class, would that compromise my earnings on that course?
I don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t think so. I’ve never heard of anyone mentioning any monetary discrepancies from changing video lessons.
Skillshare FAQ: What does the +sign at the front of your class student number mean?
I think it means you know those people in the class somehow. Perhaps you’ve taken one of their classes, or they’ve taken one of yours, or you’ve both taken another class by the same teacher. I think it’s meant to highlight classes you are more likely to find interesting because you’ve got something in common with people who’ve taken it. The number is just the number of students in that class.
Skillshare FAQ: Can I use the royalty free music from the YouTube Audio Library for Skillshare classes?
Some of the YouTube library tracks don’t require attribution. I think you can select those tracks and use them however you wish (but I’m not a lawyer, so that isn’t advice).
Skillshare FAQ: Is there a way to add PDF files to a Skillshare class so free members can’t access them?
If you put it as an attachment in the class project only premium users will be able to download it.
Skillshare FAQ: Do I need to do a “talking head”, or is just a screen-cast and voice-over enough?
Personally, I don’t think you need a “talking head”. If your screencast + voiceover teaches the concepts well, the class will do well.
In my view, a “talking head” is more about connecting with the audience than it is an aid to teaching. That’s why I use the same “piece to camera” in the intro of our classes, to connect with the audience, but I don’t include a talking head in class content itself.
Skillshare FAQ: It appears I can review my own class! Is that allowed?
Yes, you can give your own class a “thumbs up”, and from what I remember (don’t accept it as the current Skillshare position!), at the time, Skillshare didn’t have a problem with it. Personally, I don’t see a problem with the teacher giving themselves a “thumbs up” if the system lets them… why wouldn’t they?
Skillshare FAQ: Is it worth publishing on Skillshare?
Skillshare is an easy platform to publish to. I’d suggest testing your class by posting it on Skillshare initially and getting some feedback. There’s nothing stopping you also posting it to Udemy, and selling it from your own website too. As you take your online business more seriously, you should start to view other platforms as sources of exposure and traffic to your own website (and email list), rather than sources of income.
Skillshare FAQ: How fast I should launch classes? What’s the optimum spacing between classes, to avoid saturating your audience?
There are a lot of variables involved in answering this question. How long are your classes? How hard are the projects to complete? My general answer would be that one class per week would be the “sweet spot” between keeping your audience engaged without overwhelming them.
Skillshare FAQ: What’s the difference between students and followers?
Students are specific to classes, followers are specific to teachers. You can have 200 students in a class, but only 100 followers if only 50% of your students have clicked to “follow” you. If you want to contact people, you can either email all your followers at once, or email specific class students by doing a class announcement.
Skillshare FAQ: What are the demographics of Skillshare’s audience?
Skillshare haven’t ever said much about their audience demographics, as far as I’m aware. However, Mike Karnjanaprakorn, Skillshare co-founder, has said that, “millennials make up the vast majority of our users, with younger millennials between 18-24 making up our fastest growing demographic.” (forbes website article). Apart from that, we can only go from our experience of teaching and running the largest Skillshare-dedicated Facebook discussion and promotion groups, that Skillshare’s audience is generally young (confirmed), generally female, generally into arts / crafts / design, generally trendy, generally USA-based and probably relatively affluent.
Skillshare FAQ: How can I earn money referring people to Skillshare?
There are two ways to earn $10 referring new premium trial members to Skillshare.
As a non-teacher, you can use the ImpactRadius affiliate program and a free Skillshare account. As a teacher, you have to use your own teacher-specific referral links. We teach on Skillshare, so can’t use the ImpactRadius program, hence we can’t explain that any further. We’ve created a class about how to use the three different types of referral links that teachers can use, and you can watch that class here. (It’s a premium class. If you’re not a premium member, you can start a trial to watch the class immediately. Yes, that’s an example of a referral link! 🙂 )
Skillshare FAQ: I have video uploading problems. What can I do?
Sometimes the file uploader can be a bit tricky. Simple solutions to uploading problems are… 1: upload one file at a time, not multiple simultaneous uploads. 2: Use something like Handbrake to reduce the file size. If the problem persists, wait a few hours and it may magically fix itself!
Skillshare FAQ: Am I allowed to put my Skillshare class on other teaching sites?
Anything you put on Skillshare as “premium” content can’t be shared freely elsewhere, but can be sold elsewhere. Note, the introductory video of a class isn’t regarded as premium, so that one introductory video can be put on other sites to promote the class.
Skillshare FAQ: Can I watch Skillshare classes in lower quality than HD?
I think you can download classes using the mobile app, then watch them later. I don’t think you can change the quality though…
Skillshare FAQ: Does Skillshare usually run promos?
Yes, Skillshare often run promos. There was a January promo (3 months for free), the current promo (two months for 99c), and there was a 24-hour Valentine’s promo a few days back (25% off an annual membership).
I’d suggest signing up for a free account, then you’ll be able to take the 1,500 free classes at Skillshare and any classes you can find “free access links” for. You’ll also get email from Skillshare with notifications of promos.
Some people get confused over how to create a free account without taking a trial of Premium. I made this quick video showing how to get a free Skillshare account, and another showing you how to watch premium classes for free.
Skillshare FAQ: I’m struggling as a new teacher. How can I get more students and premium minutes for my 2-hour course?
Skillshare has a unique student demographic online. If you want maximum leverage from the platform’s audience, it’s important to play to its strengths, which are the topics of arts, crafts, design and photography.
If you don’t have classes which are favoured by students, you’ll have to initially bring in an external audience from your own website, email lists, social media presence etc.
It’s very important for a class to get to 25 students, because at that point it appears on the category trending pages and is exposed to the full Skillshare audience.
Skillshare needs frequent content because they bill monthly, so they’re “geared up” to reward teachers who produce classes regularly. For example, some of your students will become followers whom you can email about your new classes, so reaching 25 students with each new class should become easier.
I’d suggest trying to create a few short classes (10-15 minutes) on different aspects of your class topic and mention your main class at the end of each short class.
Skillshare FAQ: I’m posting free coupons to Facebook Groups, but not seeing much benefit, why?
Posting free coupons isn’t something you post once and forget about. You need people to be interested enough in your class topic to want to redeem a coupon. The more niche your class topic is, the less likely someone is to see it and want to take it. For that reason, I’d suggest re-posting your coupons, at least until your class reaches 25 students.
For many more Skillshare “Frequently Asked Questions”, see the “Unofficial Skillshare Success Blueprint“.