As many of our teachers know, January is a really exciting month on Skillshare. Every year, one of the top new year’s resolutions globally is to learn something new. For this reason, we have always gotten a ton of new Skillshare students each January.

We’re thrilled to announce that this year, our marketing team is launching a number of large-scale marketing campaigns to make January 2018 our biggest month yet. We are also planning to make a special offer across all of our marketing channels (including your referrals) — 3 months of Skillshare for 99 cents — to maximize excitement.

We wanted to be sure to review what this means for your teacher payments and how you (our teachers) can prepare to amplify your success in the new year.

So how is this going to affect your teacher payments?

To recap how payments work – Skillshare teachers earn revenue on a royalty system. Each month, between 30% and 50% of Skillshare’s Membership revenue goes into a royalty pool for teachers. The remaining revenue goes toward the day-to-day operations of our business and all of the marketing efforts that bring students to Skillshare – blog sponsorships, podcast promotions, social media advertisements and more. Teachers are then paid out of the royalty pool based on their share of minutes watched by students across the platform each month.

We are going to see an exciting spike in new Members joining in January thanks to all the marketing efforts we have queued up. As a result of the new signups and increased activity we expect from our existing members, there will be a significant increase in minutes watched across the platform.

These new Members won’t start contributing to the royalty pool until April when their 3 month for $0.99 trials end, and as such, the amount per minute watched will be slightly down for the first few teacher payments of 2018 because of the changing ratio between minutes and revenue.

What’s important to keep in mind is that this does not mean you are earning any less! While the amount per minute will be lower, your number of minutes watched will be up due to the increased engagement across the site, which balances out the lower amount per minute.

Let’s look at an example of how this could actually works. Imagine the following two scenarios with hypothetical amounts per minute:

  • Scenario 1: A teacher receives 1,000 minutes in her classes, and at $0.05/minute, she earns $50.

  • Scenario 2: A teacher receives 2,500 minutes in her classes, and at $0.025/minute, she earns $62.50.

  • Even though the amount per minute is lower in Scenario 2, the teacher actually earns more because of the increase in student engagement (minutes watched). With a royalty pool system, the amount per minute alone does not provide a complete picture of your success and earnings on the platform. (Again these are totally hypothetical amounts to demonstrate how this works).

Here’s the best part: When the new students we’ve added in January move into their first pay period in April, we’re anticipating a spike in revenue for the royalty pool, which would mean more minutes watched and a higher amount per minute.

What you can do to prepare:

We want to get as many of these new students into all of your classes as possible.

The best way to attract students to your classes is either to market your existing classes to your followers on and off Skillshare or to publish a new class between now and mid-January to take advantage of the increased traffic on the site. You can check out tons of marketing tips here in our Teacher Handbook. Other creative ways to increase engagement in your content are:

  • Use the class discussion feature to re-engage your students! Share student projects or your favorite segments of content.

  • Update your teacher profile with a short teaser video.

  • Run a contest to get students to watch all of your classes and post projects.

  • Encourage students to share their projects on social media and link to your class.

  • Add a link to your Skillshare profile to your email signature.

  • Share your intro video on Facebook or Instagram stories.

To track your progress beyond minutes, we recommend looking at your student and follower counts to get a sense of your engagement and marketing efforts!

We’re really excited for this month of tremendous growth, and we hope you are too. If you have any questions, our Teacher Support team is here to help you become as successful as possible on Skillshare. We’re always happy to brainstorm with you, share tips, address concerns, or just say hi! Feel free to email us at

Happy New Year!

Written by:

Claire Smilow