12 min 1 sec

Excel Spreadsheet Guru Earns $3,500/Month

An IBM employee in India creates a series of Microsoft Excel tutorials, earning hundreds of dollars per sale.
Blog International Online Courses Passive Income

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What It's About

An Excel guru uses his spreadsheet skills to help employees maximize their efficiency.

Business Model
Skills Required
Writing & Excel Knowledge
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Sumit recommends creating useful and comprehensive content on just one specific topic, since SEO is moving towards topical relevance. For example, if you're a tech blogger, he recommends focusing on just one technology and try and create content for that. This will help in building topical relevancy of your blog for that topic.

Fun Fact

A few years after Sumit started his blog, some of his readers asked him to change the name because they thought it sounded political. He even had a few people offer to buy the site soon after the U.S. elections...but now things are back to normal.

Notes from Chris

Episode 387
Today’s story comes from Sumit Bansal in New Delhi, India. By day, he worked as a marketing manager at IBM, doing data analysis, storyboarding and client presentations. His work required him to use a lot of Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint.

That’s how his side hustle became Trump Excel, a blog sharing tips and shortcuts on spreadsheets that he used at work.

Sumit started this hustle—which is now his full-time job—in May 2013 because he wanted to share what a lot of his colleagues were asking him questions. When he got a positive response from his colleagues and friends, it gave him more confidence that his blog was useful.

It wasn’t until a year and a half after starting the blog that he found a real way to make money: by creating online courses. He launched his first online course in October 2014, and within an hour of sending the email, he got five sales. This was pretty basic: he called “Excel course.”

Those first few sales affirmed his faith in the blog he’d worked on all this time. He celebrated with a few close friends, taking them to dinner, he bought himself a few books, and then he got back to work.

That was three years ago.

Now Sumit has three courses: that basic Excel course (that goes for $127), an Excel dashboard course ($297), and a VBA (Visual Basics for Application) course, also $297. The Excel Dashboard course is the most popular. They don’t all sell every day, but more often than not, at some point during the day he’ll get a notification that either $127 or $297 has arrived in his bank account.

Not only that, he often gets positive feedback on how the courses are helping people do better work at the office. He recently got an email from one of his students who mentioned how he used the techniques shown in the course to create a dashboard. That employee received a standing ovation. Another student emailed him to tell him how the course helped her move from contract employment to a full-time job.

Right now, Sumit makes about $3,500 in net income from his tutorials. He has $700 in monthly expenses, including rent at his co-working space, some important subscriptions, and his email marketing tool.


  • Trump Excel: Don't let spreadsheets get you down—learn more about how you can fight back on Sumit's website

  • Blogger: The first platform that Sumit used to host his blog
  • Wordpress: Sumit switched Trump Excel over to Wordpress, and here you can learn how to install your own Wordpress site in 5 minutes
  • Google Adsense: Sumit decided to try and monetize his blog using click through ads through Google Adsense
  • ConvertKit: An email carrier that would allow you to have drip campaigns, and right now, you can get your first month free!
  • Keyword.io, AnswerThePublic.com, Keywords Everywhere: The various platforms and programs that Sumit used to do keyword searches

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"The best part of this project has definitely been receiving feedback and fan mail from clients telling me how my blog is making such a difference in their lives. I feel blessed to be in a position where I can work with freedom, passion, and commitment while helping others at the same time."
—Sumit Bansal #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau