Learn and Earn with these Tips to Sell Your Study Notes

You work hard, read a lot and take a huge amount of notes during your study. Why not sell your study notes and make some money on the side.

So can you sell your study notes? Yes, you can. There are many marketplaces that allow you to sell you study notes, practice exams, and other material. These websites work on a commission basis. You upload your notes, then they will be reviewed (not always) and when you sell something you receive between 50% and 85% of the sales price.

Selling your notes can be a nice side income if you do it right and avoid legal problems. Taking professional notes not only benefits your study success. Make sure you pick a marketplace with acceptable commissions for your hard work.

Is selling my study notes illegal?

No, your study notes are your creations. Of course like with any other material it is important that you do not use copyrighted material like copy extended passages from books or websites. Be aware that also most of the images and PDFs you find online are copyright protected. To avoid any conflicts the best advice is to create diagrams, tables, and images that illustrate the material by yourself from the knowledge you have gained. This enforces your memory and ensures you stay on the legal side. It goes without saying but do not upload any notes you got from other students, your teacher or professor. Not only will your account on the marketplace be closed but you might face other legal consequences. If you do this regularly and professionally make sure you pay your taxes!

What are the benefits of selling my notes?

Besides the obvious benefit of making a side income there are some other advantages on joining one of those note-selling websites:

  • Many students reported that their grades improved because they needed to revise their notes more often
  • If you reinvest the money in buying notes yourself you can speed up your study process and learn how other seller format and present their material
  • Some marketplaces require you to apply as a seller and send a sample. If you are accepted you get a nice boost to your self-esteem
  • Even though you charge money for your work you are able to help others getting better grades
  • If your notes are a little “untidy” you will certainly improve the way you take notes and structure them to receive a higher payout.
  • If you are already taking good notes there is no additional work required – just earn from the work you already do
  • Having been accepted by an Elite notetaker portal is certainly something you can put in your resume.
  • Because you are selling your own info product and need to take care of advertising, bookkeeping and taxes you will have to learn something about accounting and marketing. This is a skill that always come in handy.

Can I sell self-published study material?

This is always an option. The benefit here is that you get 100% of the income. My recommendation is to create a WordPress website (or hire someone like me to do it for you) and create a simple “Pay for download” shop. (I am selling exams on https://www.quizzerwiz.com – you can have a look at how that looks like). My advice to create your own website to sell an info product that you keep control of the presentation and marketing. A second option is to sell an App that contains the study material and helps students to pass exams as I do on QuizzerWiz. Since Apple, Google & Co leave you most of your earnings you can turn this into a real side income if your material is good. The third option is to create an eBook and sell it on Amazon. I tried that as well but if you do not do proper marketing and advertisement it will most likely never be found. The advantage here is if you have valuable material that is better or cannot be found anywhere else Amazon has the biggest customer base which could lead to huge aernings.

What is the best format for selling study notes?

The required format is different from marketplace to marketplace. Some even accept handwritten notes (if your handwriting is legible). In general, any kind of document can be uploaded. But not only written notes are welcome, illustrations, diagrams, mind maps,cheat sheets, exams, practice tests even whole courses. All the marketplaces usually have guidelines to follow and I highly recommend to read them (see the legal section above).

Where can I sell my exam notes?

Here is a list of marketplaces you should check out:

  1. Stuvia (http://www.stuvia.com) The site accepts all kind of notes and keeps a small fee. There is no application required. Just upload your documents, create an advertisement, enter your payment method and start selling.
  2. OxbridgeNotes (https://www.oxbridgenotes.com/sell_notes) requires you to upload a sample and apply as a seller. They also have limited countries they allow and their topic is mostly limited to law-related study material. Your commission is 72%.
  3. The Elite-Note-Taker OneClass (www.oneclass.com) leaves you with 75% of the sales price. You need to be enrolled as a student and be able to upload weekly. An application process is required.
  4. Omega notes (https://www.omeganotes.com) allow you to create a free account and you will receive 70% of the sales price. Once you have sold an item the money will be sent to your Paypal account. A small downside is that they charge you extra for documents that are: Too large, Too expensive or stay on there website for too long.
  5. StudySoup (https://studysoup.com) is another Elite Notetaker website. They promise high payout to top students. You do need to be enrolled in the course you want to upload material from. 

There are other websites available. My recommendation is to get started with a platform like Stuvia with no application process to try out if this is for you or not.

How much should I sell my notes for?

Many marketplaces let you choose the price. To find out an amount that works do some research of your competition and see how much they write and for how much they sell a similar topic. It is also always helpful to check the quality of your notes compared to others. Make sure they are well formatted, without typos and well written to be able to get a higher price. Make sure you are not selling too cheap! A 50-page document for $1.99 looks like it is of low quality (which is probably true). Recommended prices are between 2$ for a 1-day note up to hundreds of dollars depending on the size and topic. For a more detailed table, you can check out Omega Notes from above. They have a pricing recommendations page.

Related questions

Where can I find free study notes? There are also quite some free resources available like e.g. studocu.com. 80% of their content is free, you can unlock the premium content by contributing your own material.

Can I sell my exams online? Yes, you can. There are marketplaces for practice tests as well like for example Udemy. You do not need to create a full course there. You can just upload up to 6 practice tests (with each up to 250 questions) and Udemt takes care of the rest. Works very well for me and Udemy is a respected online study platform.

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