Sharing some frustrations and perhaps getting some advise.

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Sharing some frustrations and perhaps getting some advise.

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Hello fellow instructors.

 

I've never posted here before. I am new to Udemy and have only been published since late Feburary. I am creating this post to share some of my more frustrating experinces starting out, and perhaps get some feedback from those who are more experinced than I.

 

It is really not my intention to sound overly negative in this post. I hope it will not come across that way. I just need to get some issues I'm having off my chest.

 

In the last two months, I have enjoyed what I perceive to be a fairly good start. My class has been growing steadily since publication and has just recently passed 125 enrollments. With one exception, all of my reviews have been positive, and my engagement numbers have been pretty consistently good as far as I can tell. It felt like I was off to a really good start, but then things took a turn.

 

On April 18th, my landing page views plumetted from around 80-100 per day to around 0-5. Looking at the graphs, I am not able to determine why. When friends of mine search for my class by name, it seems to display far down on the second page of the search results. This has been my first frustration in that I do not understand this sudden and radical drop in traffic and visibility. Did I do something wrong? Did I fail to do something?

 

By far the biggest issue I've had has been student questions. I have done my very best to politely answer every student who has asked me a question or sent me a message, and I almost feel like this is working against me.

 

There has been a small number of students who have positively carpet bombed my class with questions and the more that I answer, the more they seem to ask. These students never give me a review or star my class, and some have even asked me for personal communication/instruction outside of the Udemy platform (which I have politely refused). There does not seem to be a limit to the number of questions that a student is allowed to ask per day, and this doesn't feel exactly fair to the instructor. I want very much for my class to be a success, earn good reviews, and please those who purchase it. It looks bad to leave any question unanswered, and is more likely to cause a student to leave a bad review, but I'm not sure what to do about these particular students. 

 

Then today, I got my first "bad" review. A student I have never interacted with gave my class a 3 star rating. 3 out of 5 doesn't sound bad, but because all of my good reviews are at least a month old, they seem to count for less than this most recent review, which is dragging my overall class rating down. So while the student may have intended that to be a fair "middle of the road" rating, it is having a fairly catastrophic effect on the overall rating that most people see when they look at my class. That overall rating is all that most people see, which means that any single student rating below a 4 is really more damaging than it probably should be. Certainly more damaging than the student is probably aware of when they star the class. He didn't write anything, either.

 

So in summary, I've been bending over backwards to please my students, and this does not seem to count in terms of class success. An intermediate review from a random student that never even asked a question can be effectively devastating, and I don't know what else I can really do. I am not able to promote the class myself in any meaningful way, and I can't really make answering questions my full time job. I'm not allowed to ask students for reviews, nor would I wish to take that path.

 

I was working on a second class, but at the moment my spirits are flagging. Advise would be welcome. Sorry if this ran a bit long.

 

 

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Re: Sharing some frustrations and perhaps getting some advise.

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I never found out, and I have to say, it is very frustrating. I reached out to Udemy for an answer but never heard back.

 

It seems pretty clear that they promote a class heavily once it is successful, but exactly what "successful" means is not very well defined. I've answered every question, have maintained good ratings, had good engagement and was getting steady enrollments until the sudden drop off. Now I'm lucky if I get one or two enrollments a week. The instant my class lost the "new" status it got buried, or that is how it seems.

 

The common response seems to be that in addition to being an instructor, you also need to be your own advertising agency. This is outside of my means and unrealistic given how little each enrollment actually nets me. I'd do pretty much anything else on my end to get Udemy to put me out there a bit more, but I don't know what else I can actually do.

 

I was in the process of creating another class but now I feel that I need to wait and see. I wish I could get ahold of someone at Udemy and find out exactly what their system wants/expects. If people can't even find my landing page when they search by name...

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Re: Sharing some frustrations and perhaps getting some advise.

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Some students just ask many questions. There are only 2 things you can really do:

 

1)

Answer their questions quickly and as good as possible as there's otherwise the risk that they leave bad reviews.

 

2)

If applicable, update your course to prevent similar quesions in the future.

 

Something to think about maybe to create a Facebook group (or something similar). This will not only allow you to communicate with existing students, but might also attract new ones.

 

Well, I guess we all had these moments when there was suddenly a bad review. That's life. The good news is that student ratings only influence the course rating for 3 months. Means you can recover from this. More info in: https://community.udemy.com/t5/Course-Management/Does-this-affect-my-rating/m-p/49399

 

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Re: Sharing some frustrations and perhaps getting some advise.

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Hello CarstenMuessing, thanks for your reply.

 

With regards to the first point, the questions these particular students tend to ask are highly personalized. It isn't exactly easy to explain what I mean by this and I feel like giving specific examples would be unprofessional. These questions are... very far from what most students viewing the material would ask, and often require a significant amount of effort on my part to approach an answer as I try to even figure out what they are really asking or how to address their unique issue.

 

With regards to Facebook, I feel that I need to limit my direct interactions with students to the Udemy platform. As I indicated, I can't make this one class my full time job. Thank you for the suggestion though, that may work well for others.

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Not exactly sure what you mean with "personalised".

 

If you mean personal questions, you can reply that you only deal with course-related questions.

 

If you mean that they are asking questions which are "somehow vaguely related" to your course, you could tell them this and ask for their understanding that you don't have time to deal with these kind of requests. It sounds somehow that they are looking for technical support.

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Hi

As a new instructor, I can understand your frustration. However, after some time (6 months -1 year or less), you will feel that none of the above things actually affect you anymore. I have been teaching on Udemy since Aug 2018 and now I check reviews only sometimes just to see if I need to improve anything. I have received 1 star reviews and I do receive them once in 2-3 months. However, the reviews with nothing written do not affect me at all. If your content is good, you will see that your overall rating of the course always levels at some point. So, do not worry about the bad rating. It's a part of teaching. You cannot make 100% of your students happy with your content, however good it is. 

Regarding your course location, Udemy will keep the courses on top that do good. It is done automatically. So, you need to promote your course by yourself so that it is ranked well. 


Engineer, Engineering Academy-Nepal
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Re: Sharing some frustrations and perhaps getting some advise.

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It is encouraging to hear that about the reviews. I suppose that it feels more impactful because I'm just starting out, as right now my class only has ten.

 

Can you explain the sudden drop in visits to the landing page though? Does UDEMY only promote a class for a brief window of time when it is first published? I really do not have any way to promote my own class. Between my work and the second class that I am in the process of creating, I just don't have the time or the ability to be my own advertising agency.

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@Joe_Sanchez  I am also new as Udemy instructor my course is not yet published but it's my personal opinion don't panic and don't get frustrated because as you said only two months before you uploaded course.

so, as per the policies of Udemy that course is available for a lifetime, so the stars will increase.

This is life Joe ups and downs always come in life we have to be strong for them to fight and be positive.

best wishes

Hope You will have great success ahead 

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Re: Sharing some frustrations and perhaps getting some advise.

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Thank you for the words of encouragement! They are appreciated. 

 

And good luck with your class!

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Thanks

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Re: Sharing some frustrations and perhaps getting some advise.

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Did you ever find a reason why searching for your course by name  would still have you on the second page of search results?

 

I published my course a month ago and in a field with 100 other courses (meditation), I could not even find my course on the search results pages when I did a random search for meditation courses (and I scrolled every one of the 20 pages of search results) and similarly came up on the third page of search results when searching my course by name under a multitude of courses by different namesUdemy never responded ot the direct support question either.

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I never found out, and I have to say, it is very frustrating. I reached out to Udemy for an answer but never heard back.

 

It seems pretty clear that they promote a class heavily once it is successful, but exactly what "successful" means is not very well defined. I've answered every question, have maintained good ratings, had good engagement and was getting steady enrollments until the sudden drop off. Now I'm lucky if I get one or two enrollments a week. The instant my class lost the "new" status it got buried, or that is how it seems.

 

The common response seems to be that in addition to being an instructor, you also need to be your own advertising agency. This is outside of my means and unrealistic given how little each enrollment actually nets me. I'd do pretty much anything else on my end to get Udemy to put me out there a bit more, but I don't know what else I can actually do.

 

I was in the process of creating another class but now I feel that I need to wait and see. I wish I could get ahold of someone at Udemy and find out exactly what their system wants/expects. If people can't even find my landing page when they search by name...

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Hi Joe

 

Yep. Its like they drop you!

 

I retired one out-of-date course and added a new course last month. My course sales plummeted with no explanation. I've gone from around 150 students a month to zero. There's a couple of possibilities I need to follow up on...

 

* A new course offering much better perceived value to students (a single 10 hr course compared to my four courses of ~2 + hrs each). I need to track that course's enrolments. But I'm not prepared to create another course to compete on a topic where the best performer only makes ~$700 a month anyhow.

 

* I recently changed my sales page SEO. I've done that before and my experience is that Udemy can take a little while to catch up with that. Having said that, in incognito mode, all my courses show up on the first page. 

 

For you, I would suggest doing some udemy SEO courses. Louse Croft and Scott Duffy both have excellent courses that focus on different aspects of SEO and course creation.

 

Yep. Its frustrating. And I don't know what to do either.

 

Hope my insites help

 

Ian

 

 

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