Over the last few months, we have been profiling the most influential and inspiring thought leaders in the online education space, including Tiago Forte, founder of Forte Academy, and David Perell, founder of Write of Passage. Adding to this series, meet Ali Abdaal, a UK-based physician, YouTuber, podcaster, and entrepreneur. A medical graduate of Cambridge University in 2018, Ali Abdaal makes videos about medicine, productivity, lifestyle design, and tech. He creates educational content that helps people lead happier, healthier, and more meaningful lives. He also writes a weekly email newsletter with over 100,000 readers called ‘Sunday Snippets,’ which features practical life advice and actionable productivity tips.
Ali Abdaal launched his YouTube Channel in 2017 during his final year in medical school and continued creating videos even after he graduated and accepted a full-time position. At the time, there weren’t many medical students who were vlogging in the UK. He hoped sharing his experience in medical school and life as a junior doctor would be a fun thing to do and flex his creative muscles. Eighteen months later, his channel had grown to 100,000 subscribers. His YouTube income also matched what he made as a full-time physician despite only dedicating nights and weekends to his work.
Learn more about how Ali grew his business to $3 million part-time here.
While Ali Abdaal is widely known as a prolific YouTuber, he also runs a series of courses. As co-founder of 6med, Ali has been helping aspiring medical students boost their entrance exams scores and ace medical school interviews since 2013. After taking a few preparatory classes run by large corporations, he and a group of friends figured they could provide a better service at a more affordable price based on their success getting into medical school. They hosted five sold-out courses the first year and later expanded their services to offer more classes and interview prep help. Today 6med offers affordable on-demand courses and has supported thousands of students on their medical school journeys.
Ali also runs a highly successful and profitable course called Part-time Youtuber Academy (PTYA). This six-week live cohort-based course breaks down how to grow a YouTube channel from 0 to 100,000 subscribers and create sustainable income without quitting your day job. This course includes live lectures held via Zoom, homework video assignments, office hours, small group support sessions, and social clubs. This course is ideal for bloggers and podcasters, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and beginner and intermediate YouTubers who want to kickstart their channels or build momentum.
Welcoming 400 students in the third cohort (summer 2021), half of the available spots were sold out within two hours of the cart opening. Past cohorts which served 600 students included Cohort 2, which launched March 2021, and Cohort 1 November 2020. Part-time YouTuber Academy Cohort 1 brought in $294,000 in revenue.
Alongside his brother Taimur, in 2019, Ali launched Not Overthinking, a weekly podcast about creativity, happiness, and the human condition. Popular episodes include ‘Why We Are Scared To Put Ourselves Out There’ and ‘Why Do We Struggle With Consistency.’
In August 2020, intending to travel the world, Ali took a break from full-time medicine. However, due to the global health crisis instead, he pivoted to running his business full-time. As of August 2021, Ali’s YouTube channel has over 2 million subscribers, his business employs 10+ full-time staff members, and generates $3 million in annual revenue.
Whether you’re pursuing course creation on the side or full-time, we hope you’ve found Ali’s story energizing and encouraging.
As a current customer of Virtually, we are thrilled that the PTYA team uses Virtually to manage their community and live events with Virtually Events Manager. Get started building your online learning program for free or schedule a demo with a team member to learn more.
Follow Ali Abdaal on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/aliabdaal
Danielle Desir is an author, freelance writer and the host of The Thought Card, an affordable-travel and personal finance podcast. (danielledesir.com) Follow on Twitter: @thethoughtcard