Questions for experienced instructors on Udemy

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Questions for experienced instructors on Udemy

Go to solution

Hello Everyone,

 

I am not new to the Udemy platform or being signed up as an instructor, but I am new to actually making a course, publishing it, and then selling/maintaining it.

 

There is a plethora of information out there on "selling courses online" and people offering get rich quick schemes or selling their online course "program" for $2000 USD so they help sell and market your course.

 

I am also aware of other popular services that people tout as being good, but require a monthly/yearly fee to use.

 

I want to make a course and have it be successful.

 

(Well, that was a dumb thing to type. We ALL want that here.)

I want to learn the rules for courses on Udemy as well as learn pitfalls that other people who have created courses on Udemy have encountered.

I am trying more to be realistic about my expectations while understanding the best options for a new person in this particular realm.  

I emphasize "this" because I am an instructional designer and teacher who has been doing both for over fifteen years. I have created many courses over the years; however, there were designed to make my company money and not me.

So, what are your overall experiences and impressions of selling your course on Udemy? Do you use other services too? If so, what are they?

Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated, please. 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION
LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Go to solution

1. Eric, it is explained here, debated here, whined about here: https://community.udemy.com/t5/Community-News/Learn-more-about-Personal-Plan/ba-p/78849. Forget about this. It is done. You will notice that the more successful instructors are not worried about this. This is a growing entrepreneurial company that conducts experiments and makes changes as the market expands. We have been through a lot of them over the past seven years that I have been here. Always there are those who don't understand it and freak out. And, it always works out fine. Focus on what you need to do.

 

2. Again, don't waste your time on this. The sales channels are complex because Udemy is selling all over the world, has arrangements with affiliates and other third parties. You have no control over these. Forget it. Develop your course to be a great course. That is what is important now and that is what you control. Make sure you DO OPT IN to the marketing deals/sales, etc. If you don't you will not make any money here and you are wasting your time.

 

3. If you have students or an email list, which many of us have, or a blog, you create a coupon code and you send them that coupon code. When they sign up using that code you receive 97% of the revenue.

 

4. As of next week students who come through organic searches on Udemy or from their ads will give you 37% of the revenue. It is now much simpler. You raised the issue of trust. This is important. When you work with a business partner, and that is what udemy is, you have to trust them. I have watched this develop for seven years. I have never seen or heard of them lying or deceiving anyone. Udemy must have the trust of instructors or it can't function. They know that and they are very open and honest with us. I have spoken to the current and the former CEO personally and spent time with them and other key executives. They are NOT stupic people. They are very smart and they know that to build this business they have to be honest with their instructors. Again, if you spend time on this kind of stuff you are wasting your time.

 

5. Seven years. You can click on my name and see my instructor profile, as you can with any instructor. I have sixteen courses, all on management and leadership. My overall experience with Udemy is very good. I make a very nice living here. Every week I get an invitation to put my course on another site. I ignore all of them. Udemy is the Amazon, Wal-Mart, the Facebook, whatever analogy you want to use of online learning. All of the others are getting crushed by Udemy and some have already gone out of business. 

For what its worth, this graphic is my course enrollments by month and by course. The actual numbers are not important, but the trend over the past four years shown here is what is important. I drew a two year trend line because this past year has been a "black swan" event due to the pandemic. We are no experiencing a regression to the mean growth rate.

 

But... you have to produce high quality courses on good subjects. So, get to work!
Course Enrollments.JPG

Lawrence M. Miller
Author & Lean Leadership Coach

View solution in original post

10 Replies

Go to solution

سلام

شما میتوانید از این قسمت استفاد کنید هم برای  مربی و دانشجو مفید هست میتوانید بهترین نتیجه را بگیرید https://support.udemy.com/hc/en-us

Go to solution

Thanks, but not really what I was seeking. I know there is information in there and I have read it.

LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Go to solution

@EricRS976 I think you may not be getting much of a response because of assumptions about being a "mentor." It sounds like a responsibility and work. I will be happy to answer any specific questions you may have that may help guide you. I'll be helpful, but not necessarily an actual mentor in the full sense of that term.

 

Most of us are here with the intention of making money. I think we understand that pretty well. As an instructional designer yourself it seems to me that you have a head start on many who begin their journey here. I think the important thing for you now is to find a topic that has the potential to sell. And, then, of course, do it well. 

 

Let me know if I can be helpful. 

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Author & Lean Leadership Coach

Go to solution

Hi @LawrenceMMiller Thank you for your, reply. Yes, now that you bring it to my attention it does sound as if I am signing someone up to do work without offering anything in return. Perhaps I could have worded that better or more carefully. 

Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Maybe I will try and edit the post if I can . . .

 

As far as answering specific questions, thank you. I will ask more as they come up. For your convenience, I will try and number my questions here.

 

I know new pay structures are coming on May 3rd, I believe. While I read the press release, I was unable to synthesize the corporate jargon to discover the reasons for these changes and (maybe more importantly) fully understand what those changes are.

1.  So what is this 37% change that is effective soon? Do you know, because I am not seeing exactly where that breakdown is posted to at all. Udemy does a good job burying links and information within pages, which is a great way to get users to become more confused rather than more informed. 


Can't say I am a fan of the language in the terms of allowing them the ability to "exploit" my content.  They use that under the guise of accessibility, but I don't think they know a lot of 508 information or their entire website would be set up differently.  I would prefer to add in my own accessibility, thank you. I don't need Udemy to grant themselves the rights to use me, my likeness, or my content.  So, I am not sure I understand fully Udemy's #2 under the "Terms." 

 

2. Can one even opt out of these "deal sites" and "third party" sellers they use? What if I don't want that?

If you know more about that, then please help me to understand.

 

I am guessing that the highest price one can charge on Udemy for a course is 199.99 USD or a corresponding equivalence according to the price matrix?

3. I don't see anywhere listed specifically where I can't tell my prospective students to use my coupons or links rather than just signing up through Udemy's search. Is there language in the TOS that covers this?


4. Do you find it difficult to market and get your own students through instructor referral links or are a lot of your students entering the course through some Udemy or other coupon where they a very low price for content and Udemy takes as of today 75% of that money and I get 25%, if I understand that correctly. Then if a sale is "organic" via their search functions I assume, then we split it 50/50. 

And we should all be honest here, unless Udemy is sharing their search algorithm code with us as well as relevant search data, then I don't trust anything on the site is organic. Can we ask them to furnish this information or do they just tell instructors to go "shove it?"

 

5. How long have you had courses on Udemy? If so, how many courses do you have and what are the general subjects? What is your overall experience and impression of Udemy?

I know that may seem like a lot, so I apologize if it it is, but Udemy is not in the question responding mood when you reach out to them. Were they better at answering these items, I would ask the source of all my questions but number 5.

LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Go to solution

1. Eric, it is explained here, debated here, whined about here: https://community.udemy.com/t5/Community-News/Learn-more-about-Personal-Plan/ba-p/78849. Forget about this. It is done. You will notice that the more successful instructors are not worried about this. This is a growing entrepreneurial company that conducts experiments and makes changes as the market expands. We have been through a lot of them over the past seven years that I have been here. Always there are those who don't understand it and freak out. And, it always works out fine. Focus on what you need to do.

 

2. Again, don't waste your time on this. The sales channels are complex because Udemy is selling all over the world, has arrangements with affiliates and other third parties. You have no control over these. Forget it. Develop your course to be a great course. That is what is important now and that is what you control. Make sure you DO OPT IN to the marketing deals/sales, etc. If you don't you will not make any money here and you are wasting your time.

 

3. If you have students or an email list, which many of us have, or a blog, you create a coupon code and you send them that coupon code. When they sign up using that code you receive 97% of the revenue.

 

4. As of next week students who come through organic searches on Udemy or from their ads will give you 37% of the revenue. It is now much simpler. You raised the issue of trust. This is important. When you work with a business partner, and that is what udemy is, you have to trust them. I have watched this develop for seven years. I have never seen or heard of them lying or deceiving anyone. Udemy must have the trust of instructors or it can't function. They know that and they are very open and honest with us. I have spoken to the current and the former CEO personally and spent time with them and other key executives. They are NOT stupic people. They are very smart and they know that to build this business they have to be honest with their instructors. Again, if you spend time on this kind of stuff you are wasting your time.

 

5. Seven years. You can click on my name and see my instructor profile, as you can with any instructor. I have sixteen courses, all on management and leadership. My overall experience with Udemy is very good. I make a very nice living here. Every week I get an invitation to put my course on another site. I ignore all of them. Udemy is the Amazon, Wal-Mart, the Facebook, whatever analogy you want to use of online learning. All of the others are getting crushed by Udemy and some have already gone out of business. 

For what its worth, this graphic is my course enrollments by month and by course. The actual numbers are not important, but the trend over the past four years shown here is what is important. I drew a two year trend line because this past year has been a "black swan" event due to the pandemic. We are no experiencing a regression to the mean growth rate.

 

But... you have to produce high quality courses on good subjects. So, get to work!
Course Enrollments.JPG

Lawrence M. Miller
Author & Lean Leadership Coach

View solution in original post

Go to solution

@LawrenceMMiller Thank you for the detailed response! I appreciate it very much. Allow me to try to explain my questions further.

 

1) No, I literally didn't know what the pay structure or changes were. I searched the site and googled it and came up with rudimentary information. The link you shared clears it up for me, and it now makes a lot more sense.   You are right. People will complain about all the changes over the years and a business is going to move forward and do what is best for its growth. I am not blaming any business for it. We have seen YouTube make many changes over the years too. Do I agree with the changes? No, not all of them. But it's not my website. If I want a YouTube with my rules, I need to make one.

Having said that, I am still not a fan of when I publish courses it gives them permission to "alter" said course to some small degree. But that is the price I pay for accepting the terms. If I don't like it, I can take my business and courses elsewhere.

2) Yeah, I haven't wasted any more thought about it than when I wrote the question to you. I have heard differing reports on it and many of them were not positive. So, I am glad you said something about it and explained it would be beneficial. I asked because I honestly wasn't sure how good those affiliate programs/deals are. In other forums or when the "so-called" experts contact me personally, they will insult that part of Udemy and Udemy itself. And by so called experts, I mean people who promise easy, passive income making six figures (or sometimes they say millions) if you sign up for their program on how to create courses. Now, not all of those people are shady or full of crap, but many are. In fact, I have talked to some very forthright and open people who were trying to get me to buy into their "program."  But I have also been doing this thing for well over a decade. Telling people to design a course in 28-90 days is not a good idea if it's their first course OR if they have no background at all in teaching. But I digress there.


3) Yeah, I don't have any leads or a list I can use to market to - I would have to build that up as I go.  I think there I meant more in the actual course video itself. You can create free portions of a course. Can you say "I prefer if you subscribe/pay via my personal invitation, but you are welcome to sign up any way you choose?"

 

4) Well, if stands to reason if you have talked to the CEO and others personally, then you would have a different perspective on the site for sure.  I am not suggesting they are being deceptive or anything. They aren't.  And to Udemy's credit, a general search on different browsers when I am signed into one and signed out of another gives me the same search results.  However, there is a hierarchical structure to what they show first and suggest. I am not saying I blame them for it. Obviously, it is best to put the high rated courses first. But I don't know if I personally would refer to that as "organic." 

The marketplace insights are nice, but not quite detailed enough. I'd prefer more information when I search for something. I'd like to know how long some courses have been on the market, not when last updated.  Those are just small quibbles I have with the data they offer given my background.

And if you do have more of a direct line to Udemy's CEO or people in charge, then I would love to talk to get to talk to them some day. I have ideas. I know many people have ideas, but mine come from a certain industry.

5) That is great you have been here so long and found success. I am glad to hear it!  I see a lot more people trying to market other sites for a variety of reasons and it never quite the best sense to me - but then again, these people want to create a Udemy course and charge $1500-2500 USD for it. I don't think I even need to get into what those issues are.

Thank you for sharing that data. I will look at your instructor profile and the other relevant information. I appreciate your time, energy, and positivity in your response to me. If my post came off overly negative in tone, it wasn't intended to be that bleak or whiny.

LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Go to solution

Eric,

 

Just a couple things. About having a personal connection to Udemy management: prior to Covid19 we had an annual "Udemy Live", the last one was in Berlin, but the previous ones were in San Francisco. These were two or three day affairs and you got to meet and talk to all the senior people. They also had presentations on subjects like marketing, course development, etc., presented by other instructors. This was great because it gave you those connections. I've met and had coffee or a meal with Scott Duffy, Jason Dion, Frank Kane, Kain Ramsey and a bunch of other very successul instructors. You learn that they are regular people, like you and me, and they have just worked hard at building their competence and developing their courses. I hope that can be revived as we get beyond this virus. 

 

You asked "Can you say "I prefer if you subscribe/pay via my personal invitation, but you are welcome to sign up any way you choose?" Yes you can. But honestly it isn't necessary. In the past week I finished a complete revision of my Facilitaton Skills course and I send a promotional announcement to my students on Udemy with the coupon code link. They just automatically click on the link you send them without thinking about who is getting what percent of the revenue. I got a bunch of new enrollments in the past few days from that. 

 

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Author & Lean Leadership Coach
FrankKane
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Go to solution

As usual Lawrence said it all, and said it well. I'd just summarize my own answers as:

 

- Focus on what you can control, and don't worry about what you can't. What you control is the topics you choose to teach and how much effort you put into creating a quality course in that topic. Often the former is more important, as there's a lot of existing courses you're up against in most topics. Topic selection is key; niche down if you must to find a green field.

 

- Don't worry too much about your own marketing, because you can't match the power of Udemy's own marketing. If you do nothing more than use promotional announcements to push your own coupon codes, and establish a YouTube presence, you'll have picked all the low hanging fruit for promoting your own course on Udemy.

 

Really the key is to create one of the first good courses in an emerging topic that is growing in popularity. If you can do that, the students will come. The reason we give Udemy a cut of our revenue is for all the marketing they do on our behalf, so let them worry about that while you worry about making great courses in the right topics.

Go to solution

@FrankKane Thanks for the feedback.


To your last point, I think that is part of the problem with a lot of courses online. People are chasing the popularity rather than focusing on their expertise.

 

There aren't any emerging topics I am aware of that I am interested in, let alone I am an expert enough in the content to be able to create a course on my own. I create courses with experts all time time. If I am the expert, then I have to stick to what I actually know.

 

It's certainly frustrating looking at the insights and seeing what is popular/trending vs the topics I know enough in order to create a course. I am just going to have to deal with that fact I suppose as there is nothing I can do about it.

Unless you have a magic key I am not aware of that lets me create a course and find the emerging topics and content so I can feign being an expert and create a course.

FrankKane
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Go to solution

I would add that you're probably an expert in more specific topics than you think. It's often possible to "niche down" into a specific tool, technology, or technique within your area of expertise that isn't already saturated with courses. Sometimes that lets you select a topic that is a good balance of popularity and lower competition.

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
First-time Course Creation
Decided to take the plunge and create your own Udemy course? Check out some incredible Udemy success stories, and get inspired by your fellow instructors!
Top Liked Authors