Skillshare FAQ For Teachers And Students

Skillshare FAQ For Teachers And Students

This post was most recently updated on November 28th, 2018

Welcome to the Unofficial Skillshare FAQ for Teachers and Students 🙂

I created this FAQ in 2016 because there was quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding some of Skillshare’s policies and how things worked at their website. I thought it’d be helpful for people to see the answers I got to questions I asked Skillshare. I’ve updated the FAQ over the years with extra questions and answers which people have submitted to our Skillshare Mastermind Facebook Group.

The FAQ is now 55 questions and answers! If you have a specific question, I suggest searching the page for a keyword or two. If you still have an unanswered question, join the Mastermind Group for free and let us know. Hopefully one of our members will know the answer, and I’ll include the question and answer in the FAQ for others to learn from. If you like this page, please share it on social media. Sharing buttons are at the bottom of the page. 🙂

Please note, this is an “unofficial FAQ”. I do my best to keep this Skillshare FAQ up-to-date and helpful, but errors may creep in. If you absolutely need a 100% accurate and up-to-date answer to a specific question, you’ll have to ask Skillshare directly. Please see Question 1 for a link to their support site. If you have any knowledge which contradicts any answers in the FAQ, please let me know via the contact page for this website. Thanks. 🙂


Links to Questions…

Question 1: How do I contact Skillshare support?
Question 2: How much does Skillshare cost?
Question 3: I’ve heard about “premium perks”, what are they?
Question 4: Can I teach on Skillshare?
Question 5: If a premium member watches seven of my premium classes, do I get paid seven times?
Question 6: If a premium member watches my class in June and again in July, would I get paid twice?
Question 7: If a premium member watches the introductory “lesson”, does it count as premium minutes?
Question 8: Do I get paid more for reviews, project or community participation?
Question 9: How many students do I need before a class gets a trending score?
Question 10: Do I get paid for a premium member who enrolls via a free access link?


Question 11: How can I create a free access link for my premium class?
Question 12: When do I get paid?
Question 13: Can I estimate my earnings?
Question 14: Where’s the “running total” for how much I’ve earned in a month?
Question 15: How should I promote a new class? Is the “post an announcement” link different to making a new “Community” post?
Question 16: How can I change the class cover image?
Question 17: If I were to change any of the video lessons in a class, would that compromise my earnings on that course?
Question 18: What does the +sign at the front of your class student number mean?
Question 19: Can I use the royalty free music from the YouTube Audio Library for Skillshare classes?
Question 20: Is there a way to add PDF files to a Skillshare class so free members can’t access them?


Question 21: Do I need to do a “talking head”, or is just a screen-cast and voice-over enough?
Question 22: It appears I can review my own class! Is that allowed?
Question 23: Is it worth publishing on Skillshare?
Question 24: How fast I should launch classes? What’s the optimum spacing between classes, to avoid saturating your audience?
Question 25: What’s the difference between students and followers?
Question 26: Why were my premium minutes adjusted downwards? I had X number of minutes yesterday, then it was adjusted to Y minutes. Why?
Question 27: What are the demographics of Skillshare’s audience?
Question 28: How can I earn money referring people to Skillshare?
Question 29: I have video uploading problems. What can I do?
Question 30: Am I allowed to put my Skillshare class on other teaching sites?


Question 31: Can I watch Skillshare classes in lower quality than HD?
Question 32: Does Skillshare usually run promos?
Question 33: I’m struggling as a new teacher. How can I get more students and premium minutes for my 2-hour course?
Question 34: I’m posting free coupons to Facebook Groups, but not seeing much benefit, why?
Question 35: I have two courses on a platform that are several hours each. Should I just put them on Skillshare, or split them into smaller segments?
Question 36: Can I really only upload one class per week to Skillshare?
Question 37: Are premium minutes generated when students download classes to watch later?
Question 38: Where can I get the Skillshare mobile app?
Question 39: I heard about a new review system at Skillshare. How does it work?
Question 40: I found a Skillshare page which says your Facebook and Twitter followers will automatically become followers on Skillshare if you link your social media profiles to your Skillshare profile. What’s the best way to link Skillshare to FB and get those followers automatically brought over?


Question 41: How can I increase my Skillshare premium minutes watched?
Question 42: Can I create my class videos with watermarks (with the free version of screen recording software like screencast-o-Matic)?
Question 43: Where do “free” minutes come from in my teacher’s stats area?
Question 44: What happened to the “groups” section of the Skillshare mobile app?
Question 45: Is it allowed to include affiliate links in a class? For example, recommending a product and putting my affiliate link?
Question 46: How do “Featured Classes” get chosen? Are featured classes chosen at random and promoted for a certain time or are there any qualifications in order to be featured?
Question 47: What are “Skillshare Teams” and can I use them to give my VA access to my account without sharing my personal account info such as payment details?
Question 48: What’s a “Staff Pick”?
Question 49: How can I make my class a “Staff Pick”?
Question 50: What are “Skillshare Originals”?


Question 51: Are there topics I can’t teach about on Skillshare?
Question 52: How do I email my students and followers?
Question 53: Do teachers get access to all premium classes?
Question 54: Can I earn $50 for referring a new Skillshare teacher?
Question 55: Do Skillshare accept PayPal?


Skillshare FAQ: How do I contact Skillshare support?

The best way is probably to open a support ticket. Note, Skillshare run a ticketing system where they reply to you via email without quoting your original reply, which makes it a bit confusing if you have multiple tickets open. There’s also no way to see your ticket comments and their replies online. I suggest keeping your own copy of what you type into their ticket form. You can open a ticket here.

 

Skillshare FAQ: How much does Skillshare cost?

At the time of writing this, a Skillshare Premium account costs $15 per month if paid monthly, or $8.25 per month if paid annually ($99/year). For that you get access to all the classes on the platform (over 21,000) and the ability to download classes to a tablet or phone to watch offline, as well as helping pay the teachers!

Note, there are over 1,000 completely free classes on Skillshare, which you only need a free account to watch. You can also get “free access links” for premium classes directly from the teachers and use those links with a free account. I’ve created a walkthrough page for how to get a 100% free Skillshare account.

I’ve also created a page explaining how to get Skillshare premium for free, if you’d like to do that.

Finally, if you use our referral link, you can get a month of premium for free when you start a premium trial. 🙂

 

Skillshare FAQ: I’ve heard about “premium perks”, what are they?

Premium perks are bonuses offered to people who become annual Skillshare premium members. In addition to a large discount on the monthly price of membership, annual members get “premium perks”. At the time of writing, the perks are…

  • 20% off any plan of $50+ value at Shutterstock
  • Save 10% on HD and 4K Video at POND5
  • 25% off annual subscription at Filestage
  • 13% off Adobe Acrobat Pro
  • 20% off Adobe Premier Pro CC
  • 15% off Adobe Creative Cloud
  • 10% Off Your First Purchase at Squarespace
  • $75 Credit at Breather
  • 50% Off Annual Subscriptions at Noun Project
  • 20% Off Your First Purchase at Creative Market
  • Free 6 month Professional license at Invision
  • 10% off Solo plan at Harvest
  • 40% off Freedom Annual Membership

 

Skillshare FAQ: Can I teach on Skillshare?

Yes! Anyone can teach on Skillshare. All you need to do is record yourself teaching something, either doing a “slides with voice-over” presentation or a “real-life” demonstration, depending on what you want to teach. For example, teaching “economics” would probably be suited to the “slides with voice-over”, but teaching watercolouring would be more suited to a real-life demonstration.

It’s free to teach on Skillshare, you don’t need to pay anything or even be a premium member. The only real “catch” is that you’ll need a PayPal account to get paid, because that’s the only way Skillshare pay their teachers.

You could just sign up at Skillshare for a free account and start teaching, or you could send me your name and email address which I’ll forward to Skillshare and they’ll help you create a class. When it’s published, you just need to do a bit of promotion to get 10 premium students and refer one member to Skillshare in the first 30 days, and you’ll get a $50 bonus with your first payment. (full disclosure: I’ll also get a bonus $50 from Skillshare when you get yours!) 🙂

 

Skillshare FAQ: If a premium member watches seven of my premium classes, do I get paid seven times?

You’ll 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: If a premium member watches the introductory “lesson”, does it count as premium minutes?

Ahh, great question! I don’t think Skillshare have explicitly said whether the intro lesson counts as premium or free minutes. It all depends how Skillshare is configured. It seems like they count all minutes watched by premium members. If that’s the case, the intro lesson would count as premium minutes. However, everyone can watch the initial video, and teachers can even put them on other websites such as YouTube because Skillshare doesn’t consider the intro lesson to be part of their premium catalogue, in which case you’d expect Skillshare to void any minutes watched of the intro videos.

Note: people have reported “free” minutes being generated without ever handing out free coupons. The only way I can explain that is if the intro video is counted as free, not premium.

 

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.

Update 2018: (detailed answer):

This has become an argument over semantics, which is a shame, because it creates confusion.

Skillshare used to say that classes needed 25 students to trend, and teachers agreed.

Several months ago, Skillshare started to say that classes appear on trending pages immediately after being published, which may be technically correct, but is confusing.

The confusion arises from the difference between category trending pages, which is what pretty much everyone outside of Skillshare support consider to be the trending pages, and other trending pages, such as trending pages for tags.

A class will immediately appear on tag trending pages, but not on category trending pages, but the category trending pages are the only ones teachers care about. 

When someone shows me a class with less than 25 students on a category trending page, I’ll stop saying that it takes 25 students for a class to trend.

Whew! 

PS, I’ve just seen a class on a category trending page which was over 2 years old, so perhaps the threshold for trending has been lowered… but I still couldn’t find a class with fewer than 25 students!

 

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. Here’s what Skillshare have paid for a premium minute since their introduction in January 2017…

Skillshare EPPM Graph Since Launch
Skillshare EPPM Graph Since Launch

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 roughly 5 cents. See the chart above for details. 🙂

 

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: Change class cover image
Skillshare FAQ: Change class cover image

 

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? 

Skillshare FAQ: Student numbers
Skillshare FAQ: Student numbers

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.

However, a lot of topics lend themselves to being taught as a “live demo”, such as painting, flower-arranging, cooking, drawing, and making items such as jewellery. In those cases, a “live demo” class is probably best if you have the room and equipment.

 

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. (update: you can no longer publish more than one class per week)

 

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: Why were my premium minutes adjusted downwards? I had X number of minutes yesterday, then it was adjusted to Y minutes. Why?
Skillshare publish the premium minutes generated for all your classes without a delay. You can know your premium minute total for Tuesday on Wednesday!

The fact that they don’t have any delay means that whenever they remove accounts for fraudulent activity or have technical problems resulting in something like duplicate minutes being counted on a specific platform or device, they remove those minutes to be fair to all teachers.

Unfortunately, it’s likely to mean your premium minutes are adjusted downwards, which isn’t nice to see, especially if someone used a fraudulent account to watch your classes and you didn’t do anything wrong! It’s simply a consequence of Skillshare publishing the premium minutes total without a delay.

The alternative is for Skillshare to build a delay into the system and report premium minutes only after removing any erroneous minutes.

Please note, sometimes the adjustments can be large. In the Mastermind Group, we’ve seen reports of significant reductions in minutes, such as a recent one where a teacher had a report of 4,715 daily premium minutes reduced to 2,200 a few hours later. I’m not sure what would cause such a sizeable reduction. Perhaps that teacher’s classes were randomly targeted by fraudulent accounts. It’s impossible to know because Skillshare, naturally, don’t disclose the precise details of these adjustments.

It’s important to be aware that the initial reporting of your daily stats should be taken with a large pinch of salt, or even ignored completely. I can imagine it’s not a nice feeling to have what looks to be an excellent day, only to see the minutes halved!

 

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! 🙂 )

You can also refer new teachers to Skillshare and earn $50 when they publish their first class and promote it successfully, getting 10 premium students and a referral within the first 30 days.

 

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?

Premium members can download classes using the mobile app, then watch them later, which may fix any streaming issues. 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?

People’s most valuable commodity is time. Even when you post free coupons and links, people have to take the time to redeem them, which means there’s a cost to them. You need to overcome that “cost hurdle” to get students.

Try to get people interested enough in your class topic to want to redeem your coupon. Make your post interesting, attractive, eye-catching, exciting. Try adding deadlines for the expiration of the coupon such as limited numbers or limited quantities, without using hyperbole.

Include tags and hashtags depending on where you’re promoting your coupons to give them a better chance of being found. Think about which words to use as tags… ones people are searching for, but without too much competition! 🙂

The more niche your class topic is, the less likely a member of a generic coupon-sharing group want to take it. For that reason, I’d suggest re-posting your coupons, at least until your class reaches 25 students. (our Skillshare promo group allows one post per class per day, and some people have VA’s to cycle through their classes posting coupons!)

You should also use other promotional methods if your class is niche, such as blogging about your subject, creating YouTube videos, posting tweets and Instagram messages with niche-specific hashtags and posting in any niche-specific forums online. If you have a generic class such as a “for beginners” introduction, it will probably do better on generic coupon sites and groups than a niche class.

 

Skillshare FAQ: I have two courses on a platform that are several hours each. Should I just put them on Skillshare, or split them into smaller segments?

Skillshare used to have a motto about “bite-sized learning”. They suggest that the “sweet spot” for a class is about 40 minutes in length. If you can make natural breaks in your longer courses so that they form standalone classes of 30-60 minutes each, then that’s probably the best choice because you can release a class each week and gain more exposure on the platform with multiple classes your audience can find, enjoy and recommend.

I’d recommend mentioning both the previous and next classes at the end of each class, as appropriate, so that students can easily find each class in the “series” and you’ll accrue premium minutes from them watching multiple classes. Skillshare teachers are paid for premium minutes their students generate, so it doesn’t make sense to split up a multi-hour course into separate parts if people only watch one part instead of the whole.

However, please note that each class on Skillshare must have a project for students to complete. So each class must independently teach a skill which the student can demonstrate in the project. If your current courses spends several hours leading up to a final event such as passing an exam or something similar, you may not be able to cleanly split them into separate, standalone classes and should then leave the course as it is.

 

Skillshare FAQ: Can I really only upload one class per week to Skillshare?

One Skillshare Class Per Week, Maximum
One Skillshare Class Per Week, Maximum

Yes, it appears so. This is a fairly new rule, which I’m not sure was even enforced until very recently. However, one teacher tried to upload 15 classes which I think he already had on Udemy, and reported getting an email from Skillshare support saying that one class was published and the other 14 were made “invisible” and would be published at one per week. So, it seems that Skillshare now do enforce the maximum of one class per week per teacher.

 

Skillshare FAQ: Are premium minutes generated when students download classes to watch later?

Yes, I believe that Skillshare said they could track classes which were watched after being downloaded via the Skillshare app by premium members, and teachers would be credited accordingly.

 

Skillshare FAQ: Where can I get the Skillshare mobile app?

From either the Apple app store, or Google play for Android devices.

 

Skillshare FAQ: I heard about a new review system at Skillshare. How does it work? 

Skillshare recently overhauled their review system. Instead of a simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”, there are now multiple sections to a review. I’ve done a blog post about the new Skillshare review system, here.

 

Skillshare FAQ: I found a Skillshare page which says your Facebook and Twitter followers will automatically become followers on Skillshare if you link your social media profiles to your Skillshare profile. What’s the best way to link Skillshare to FB and get those followers automatically brought over?

I’m not sure this works anymore. If you test it, please let me know! 🙂

Firstly, the link from the page you mentioned to, “connect your profile” gives a 404 error!

Secondly, Facebook has a specific meaning for “Followers”, and it isn’t your friends list! I doubt most people have “Followers” if we’re being precise. I have almost 4,000 friends but no followers because I haven’t turned the option on! 
https://www.facebook.com/about/follow )

Thirdly, I connected my Fb account and a Twitter account years ago but don’t remember seeing anyone follow me on Skillshare because of it.

Fourthly, if I followed someone on social media, then got email from them via Skillshare (because they’d connected their social media account to their Skillshare account, and I have a Skillshare account), I’d be a bit surprised!

 

Skillshare FAQ: How can I increase my Skillshare premium minutes watched?

Create more classes! Skillshare always need fresh classes because of their subscription model… look at how Netflix are pouring out quality content, and Spotify always has new songs because that’s what musicians do. Of course, your classes must be great to get people to watch them in this ultra-low-attention span age. Creating great classes has other benefits too… students will positive review them, Skillshare may help promote them, students will complete the projects, and they may also follow you and watch your other classes leading to more minutes.

 

Skillshare FAQ: Can I create my class videos with watermarks (with the free version of screen recording software like screencast-o-Matic)?

Good question! I don’t think it’s specifically ruled out. I have an unobtrusive watermark in my video lessons. I guess it depends on how large/distracting it is…

 

Skillshare FAQ: Where do “free” minutes come from in my teacher’s stats area?

Either you’ve given out free coupons which have been used, or it could be the “intro” lesson of your class which is available to everyone and so probably counts as free minutes.

 

Skillshare FAQ: What happened to the “groups” section of the Skillshare mobile app?

“Groups” was removed from the mobile app, re-worked, and added to the website.

 

Skillshare FAQ: Is it allowed to include affiliate links in a class? For example, recommending a product and putting my affiliate link?

Yes, it’s allowed, as long as the class teaches a skill which the student can demonstrate in the project. In other words, the affiliate link must be ancillary to the class, not the reason for it. For best practice you may want to disclose that the link is an affiliate link when posting it. I’ve seen classes where the class description contained a wall of affiliate links with no disclosure. I would suggest that eventually Skillshare will remove such classes, and if you don’t want yours caught in the sweep, be sure to use affiliate links sparingly, with disclosure and without them being the reason you created the class!

 

Skillshare FAQ: How do “Featured Classes” get chosen? Are featured classes chosen at random and promoted for a certain time or are there any qualifications in order to be featured?

Featured classes are chosen by Skillshare and are often classes Skillshare co-created with the teacher, however, sometimes you can win a featured spot as a prize in a Skillshare competition for teachers. See an example of the “featured classes” at the top of the “Fine Arts” category page…

skillshare-featured-classes-example

 

Skillshare FAQ: What are “Skillshare Teams” and can I use them to give my VA access to my account without sharing my personal account info such as payment details?

Skillshare Teams seem to be a way for businesses to provide all of their staff with premium accounts at Skillshare but with just one point of billing. So, if you ran CompanyX and wanted all 1,000 employees to have access to all the premium catalogue of Skillshare classes as a company expense, you’d contact the sales people at Skillshare and, presumably, negotiate a big discount on paying for 1,000 individual premium accounts. I don’t think “team” accounts are a way to manage VA access to an individual premium account, although that would be a great suggestion to send to Skillshare!

 

Skillshare FAQ: What’s a “Staff Pick”?

In June 2018, Skillshare are starting to award “Staff Pick” badges to only 60 classes initially, then they’re adding a few each week. They say, “The Staff Picks badge is a way for the Skillshare team to highlight exceptional teachers who go above and beyond to provide students with a valuable, engaging experience”. Interestingly, only classes created in 2018 are eligible.

The name “Staff Pick” probably came from Vimeo. Michael Karnjanaprakorn did an interview with Vimeo in 2017 where he said, “Internally, our video team turns to Vimeo Staff Picks for inspiration all the time. At least once a week, you’ll find our producers and videographers sharing links in Slack and calling out perfect transitions and scenes that can fuel their own work.”

 

Skillshare FAQ: How can I make my class a “Staff Pick”?

You can’t, at least not directly. Skillshare chooses the Staff Picks, but they gave pointers for how they make the selections in a blog post. They describe how they look for classes which are,

  • Demystifying: provides information that is insightful and accurate
  • Actionable: how to use their new skills in their daily life or work
  • Organized: presents ideas in a structured way
  • Personal: engaging and authentic
  • Clear Value Proposition: sets clear expectations and delivers on what it promises
  • Polished: the teacher has invested effort and is a trusted guide.
  • Relevant: covers a topic that is relevant to a wider industry or audience conversation.
  • Compelling: engaging and inspiring.

 

Skillshare FAQ: What are “Skillshare Originals”?

“Skillshare Originals” are classes filmed and edited by Skillshare, with the teacher providing expertise in their field. The new label will be applied to, “all classes produced by Skillshare’s in-house content team. In support of our mission to increase access to a variety of teachers and topics on Skillshare, we are proud to partner with world-renowned creators, influencers, and industry leaders, creating unique and innovative classes for the Skillshare community.”

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Skillshare FAQ: Are there topics I can’t teach about on Skillshare?

When I first started teaching on Skillshare, back at in January 2016, I don’t remember there being any rules about what you could or couldn’t teach. As long as a class was educational and contained a project for students to attempt, that was acceptable.

Of course, there was the usual website terms and conditions saying that you couldn’t publish anything hateful or obscene, but there weren’t any topics that were otherwise outright banned, to the best of my recollection.

Well, that changed a while ago, with the creation of a list of topics which Skillshare wouldn’t accept. Not only would future content on these topics be rejected, but classes already published were removed too.

Interestingly, the list has grown over time, so teachers should know that there’s a list of topics you can’t teach on, and teachers should also keep a close eye on the page where the list is published because topics can be added to it.

The current list includes…

  • Classes focused on passive income business strategies, or amassing fast followers are not permitted.
  • Classes about dating, romance, or relationships are not permitted.
  • Classes about teaching on other educational platforms are not permitted.
  • Classes that show students how to resell existing products or services (such as drop-shipping or multi-level marketing) are not permitted on Skillshare.

As a teacher, it would make sense to check the official page frequently for banned topics and also other changes that Skillshare make occasionally.

 

Skillshare FAQ: How do I email my students and followers?

This can be a bit confusing. 🙂 After you’ve read about the difference between followers and students, it’s important to understand that you contact them differently. Note, you can’t directly message anyone on Skillshare… not your students, not your followers, no-one… the system simply doesn’t exist. However, you can trigger notifications and emails.

To email students of a specific class you teach, you’d firstly go to the class page and click the “Community” tab, then click on, “Start A Conversation”. As you’re creating the new post, there’s an option to “Email all students”…

How To Email Students At Skillshare
How To Email Students At Skillshare

When your post is ready, and you’ve clicked the “Email all students” option, you can click, “Post”, which will create the new “conversation” and email the new content to that class’ students.

To contact your Followers, you simply log in with your teacher account, then select the “Post To All Followers” from the “Teach” drop-down menu in the top-right corner of the page…

How To Email Followers On Skillshare
How To Email Followers On Skillshare

Important: Please consider the volume of email students get. When you launch a new class it can be tempting to contact students of your previous class(es) and your followers.

Please be aware that Skillshare sends an auto-notification email to your followers when you publish a new class. If you then contact your students and followers using the methods above, some people will get multiple emails about your new class… the auto-notification, the followers email and one or more student updates! You could quickly find that person choosing not to follow you anymore!

My advice would be to send a tailored email to your followers on the day the class is published, explaining what’s in the class, why they’ll like it, and what they’ll learn.

I wouldn’t contact students of previous classes, unless the new class was a direct follow-up to a previous one… for example, the new class is, “Advanced Excel”, and you already have a popular, “Beginners Excel”. In that case, I’d send a new, tailored, email to the students of, “Beginners Excel”, a few days after the launch of “Advanced Excel”, letting them know what’s in the class. I’d also include a positive review or two, assuming the new class had some!

Skillshare FAQ: Do teachers get access to all premium classes?

Unfortunately, no, Skillshare teachers aren’t automatically premium members, so they don’t have access to all premium content on the website. However, if you create your first class as part of a Skillshare “Teach Challenge“, which they run each month, you can “win” a year of premium membership. In November there’s even a grand prize of a trip to New York! Please note, you have to meet deadlines during the challenge, and hit other targets, such as getting some premium students in your new class, before you can win a prize.

Skillshare FAQ: Can I earn $50 for referring a new Skillshare teacher?

Yes, you can! if you know of someone who’d like to teach on Skillshare, and would probably be good at it, you can refer that person to Skillshare and you’ll both earn $50!

However, there are some criteria which need to be met before you’ll earn your money. They are…

1: The teacher must publish their first class within 30 days.
2: You only get $50 in cash if you’re a teacher already… otherwise it’s a $50 “digital gift card”.
3: This promotion can’t be combined with others. One of the most popular other promotions is the “New Teacher Challenge”, which rewards the new teacher with an “earnings match” for their first month, up to $100. So the “refer a teacher” promotion isn’t actually more generous than the “Teacher Challenge”, it’s just that the money is split between the referrer and the new teacher, assuming the new teacher earns $100 or more in their first month.
4: The new teacher must get a minimum of “10 premium students” and “1 teacher referral” in their first month. This may actually be difficult for some teachers, for example if they teach a very niche class, or don’t have contacts to refer to Skillshare. I assume the “teacher referral” should be “premium referral” because that’s the same conditions as the “Teacher Challenge”.

Full details of this promotion are available here.

 

Skillshare FAQ: Do Skillshare accept PayPal?

Until very recently, Skillshare didn’t accept PayPal for their premium subscriptions, either monthly or annually. However, on Cyber Monday of 2018 they offered a deal where you could take a 3-month trial premium membership for 99c and pay using PayPal.

Whether or not that was a unique opportunity to use PayPal, or the ability to use PayPal is now permanent, I don’t know. However, it would be very strange to do a “test” acceptance of Paypal during one of the busiest sales days of the year! I suspect a deal has been done with PayPal, and it will be accepted as a payment source at Skillshare.

(update: I just checked… PayPal is now an on-going payment option, alongside a credit or debit card)

I remember having a message exchange with the then-CEO of Skillshare, Mike Karnjanaprakorn, asking why Skillshare didn’t accept Paypal, even though it was the only way their paid their teachers, and he replied with words to the effect that the integrations of the systems was complex. It seems that those complexities have been overcome. I think it’s great that Skillshare accept PayPal which is one of the largest payment providers online and in 2017 processed transactions worth 451 billion U.S. dollars!


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