Earning

Mom making $4,000 a month teaching online baking classes on Udemy: Here's my best advice

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Greenway baking in her kitchen.
Courtesy Teresa Greenway
Key Points
  • Teresa Greenway, who had been baking sourdough bread for years, realized she could teach others how to do it by creating a course for Udemy.
  • Her 13 courses on the site gross an average of $4,000 per month.
  • Her advice to others looking for similar success: Use the resources at your disposal, learn the fees of your platform, and build your community.

Teresa Greenway, 63, began baking sourdough bread in 2004 after her daughter told her, "Nobody can make real sourdough bread, Mom, not even you." Within months of trying, she proved her daughter wrong, and continued developing the hobby as well as sharing her experience on a personal blog and a YouTube channel.

Greenway got divorced in 2010 and was looking for work in 2014 to support her two kids. "I had been a wife and a mother for 30 years," she says. "I had no work background, no work history and no training." But she could bake sourdough.

So when Greenway eventually took an online course about entrepreneurship with business coach Sherold Barr, Barr asked her, "Why don't you do something with that?"

Greenway decided to create a course on online learning platform Udemy teaching people how to bake sourdough bread. It was a hit. "The very first month of my course I made $1,000," she says, "which was amazing because at that point, I was only making about $300 a month."

She's since added 12 more courses to her Udemy page, including how to bake bagels and how to bake panettone. They bring in an average of $4,000 per month. She's now also expanded her business into a membership site called The Baking Network, on which she regularly shares baking tips from herself and other bakers, some of her teachings, and recipes.

Here's Greenway's advice for any other aspiring online instructors or entrepreneurs.

'Just keep investing in yourself'

Greenway didn't have many resources to begin with. "I almost didn't publish my first course on Udemy because we were living in a kind of garage and the surroundings were not very pretty," she says, adding that she thought, "I can't videotape in this. It would look terrible."

She didn't have great equipment with which to record, either, just an old Cannon camera. Ultimately, she dove in anyway, and her Udemy career took off.

That success helped her to buy a home a few years later. "I have a much nicer kitchen with better lighting" now, she says. She can record her classes in there. She's also since invested in better recording equipment.

The idea is to just start creating. "As time goes by, you can just keep investing in yourself," she says.

'Learning to be able to sell is really important'

Greenway recommends anyone considering creating some online courses to keep in mind how pricing and fees work on the site of their choice.

"The big component on Udemy is sales," she says.

Greenway's baguettes.
Courtesy Teresa Greenway

The site provides instructors with a referral link through which people can buy their course. "If Udemy sells your course, you get, I think, 37% of the proceeds. If you sell your own course [through that link], you get 97%."

"That's a huge difference," she says, "and so learning to be able to sell is really important."

'Gather your tribe'

Greenway also recommends leaning into social media to start building a community of people around you who love products like the one you're selling. Figure out what platforms are relevant to what you're teaching ― Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and so on ― create a page for your product, and start posting relevant content.

This will help you "gather your tribe so that you have people interested in the same thing you're interested in," she says.

Greenway's soft bread.
Courtesy Teresa Greenway

Greenway started various Facebook groups, like the Perfect Sourdough group, in which she's able to put links to sell her courses and generate interest: "There's several of the people that follow me that have purchased all of my courses and are asking me to please make new ones."

There might be something in the art of baking that's pulling people into her classes, too. "I think sourdough bakers tend to be pretty passionate about the sourdough craft," she says. "So that's real helpful."

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