Let’s make cake: How to analyze your Instructor Payment Reports


It’s time to promote your Udemy course. It’s not exactly a piece of cake, right? Well, I have news for you. The recipe to becoming a better selling Udemy instructor is in your Payment Report.

I’ll show you how to analyze your Payment Reports to determine exactly where you should invest your resources to help you bake a bigger cake this month.

FIRST: It’s important to know the difference between The Cake and The Icing.




The Cake is your base income. These are instructor-driven sales that you control. This is your predictable monthly income.

The Icing is your variable income. These are Udemy-driven sales that you have little control over and little predictability. It’s exactly why these sales are “The Icing on the Cake.”

Below is an actual instructor’s Cake. I’ll show you how to do a quick analysis to see what yours looks like.

Let’s start on your Cake Analysis.


  1. From your Payment Report screen, export all of your monthly payment reports (this will email your reports to you).
  2. Open your Payment Reports in a workbook (e.g. Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel), and paste all of them into one sheet.
  3. Delete all unnecessary headers. Your clean sheet should look like this.
  4. Create a new column called “Sales Channel.” Sort your data by coupon code, and indicate which sales channel each transaction came from (either: Udemy Promo, Udemy Organic Sale, Affiliate, or Instructor Coupon).
  5. You’ll notice the Template Sheet has two tabs. Create a second tab on your workbook that looks like the “Earnings Summary” tab where you group all sales by Sales Channel. See the “Earnings Summary” tab on the sample sheet here, and feel free to copy and paste it.


Which one of your channels drove the most sales (e.g. Udemy Promo, Udemy Organic Sales, Affiliates, Instructor-driven Sales)?

Which campaigns were most successful? (Hint: Find the coupon codes that drove the most sales and ask yourself what campaign these codes promoted.)


What to do next?

  • Understand the following: Which channel yields the most sales for you? Which instructor coupon code drives the most sales for you? Which type of campaign or sales channel do you think has the most potential for you to grow (e.g. YouTube, email list, etc.)
  • Use this info to plan your promotion strategy for this month and then for months ahead
  • For instance, if your coupon code “HOLIDAY2013” yielded the most instructor-driven sales, then consider running a similar promotion this month

Now that you’ve done your payment report analysis, you know exactly what it takes to bake your cake. A dash of Udemy Deals, Cup of Good Old Fashioned email promotion, splash of Twitter, and some Youtube sprinkled on top. Let’s toss it in the oven, and see how big your cake comes out this month.