Don't Make Your First course Free. New Free Courses Are Not Getting Students

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Don't Make Your First course Free. New Free Courses Are Not Getting Students

Hi there,

I am a new instructor on Udemy. But i am late! I am so much disapponted to see that new free courses on Udemy is not getting much students. I was researching and trying to find out other new instructor first free course and i got very bad result. Udemy must have changed the algorithm. Here is an instructor that you can see "" He published his first free course 1 week ago but got only 100 free students.

I am not going to make courses on Udemy anymore! Because what's the point? After working hard i will get very few students. Good Luck old instructor...

55 Replies

@sachinites If i create my courses by closing my eyes i shall create a better course than your CFD courses... 

Please be respectful of one another. This is my final warning.


If I see any more taunts or jabs from anyone in this thread, that person will receive a community violation. For reference, here are our community guidelines which all participants of the community must follow.

@JocelynH I was not doing anything, he @Sijal_Ahmed  started it again. Now i am stopped... 😄

@Mona364  you are replying to @sachinites and not me. Seconly @sachinites teaches Network, Linux etc. 





I am now in my second year in a very competitive field: finance. Here is my advice for you.


Your Java course must be the best Java course on Udemy. Because you are a new instructor. If your course is not as good as the best courses on Udemy why will students buy your course?


if you were a student would you buy the tenth rank course or the best course?


My first course was 2.5 hours. It sold about $20/month atleast better than 0. Then I updated it and now it is 10 hourse. It is doing better. And my course has content that other courses on Udemy and elsewhere dont have. And I make that very clear to students.


As a new instructor you have to be better than existing instructors to succeed. Dont put up an average course and expect it to sell above average. It will not work.

Wow, this thread turned into a heated discussion. I see several good points being made here. @Mona364 is correct that publishing one free course is not a great strategy, and Udemy is not going to take an active role in marketing free courses. So therefore, it is not reasonable to expect to become successful with one free course.


That said, I think having a free course can be part of a larger success strategy (I have one free course, out of 12), but that strategy must also include having multiple courses that are really well done and bring real value to students, youtube videos, FaceBook group, etc. 


And Lawrence Miller is definitely correct that success takes time to build. I've been teaching on Udemy for less than 2 years. I didn't start out successful. I'd say it took me around a year and maybe 8 or 9 courses to build up to what I'd consider "success" (this will mean different things to different people). It was a HUGE amount of work and all done next to my regular job. I've also completely re-made 3 of my already-published courses, because I was unhappy with the structure and because my original AV setup was crappy (poor sound quality, etc).


I believe that success on Udemy can be deceptive for new instructors. When you watch a great course, it's easy to get the impression that the instructor just sat down, recorded the whole thing start-to-finish, and then published and become a millionaire. What isn't apparent is the huge amount of time that goes into each lecture to make it good. A 20-hour course will easily take me months to create. I'd estimate that each 10 minute video is around 2 hours of work to produce (for me; others may have different experiences). 


So, should you forget about making courses on Udemy? It takes a lot of time, hard work, and patience. And there is no one but yourself to give you deadlines. To be honest, if you are so easily frustrated before even getting started, then perhaps you are better suited for other kinds of work. But if you think you can have a positive attitude, work towards long-term goals, and stay focused to create a really valuable learning experience for students, then it's definitely not "too late" to start making a successful career on Udemy.

Good morning from Singapore. 

I came here to start my journey as an instructor and read this... WHOA!


I've been learning from udemy on and off for a few months, and I've signed on to a few free programs. 


The free programs, in my opinion, are starters or introductions to trainers. If we look at it that, way perhaps we won't be as pressed to hurrily make thousands of dollars. 

I'm a teacher and I'm an educational company manager. My addition here is to switch focus from worrying of making money (I'm not saying money is not important) but focus on your content. Your product. And you.

Watch your language skills, grammar and vocab. 

Your attitude to your possible students. 

Produce materials to help others build themselves. Business will then come. 


I'll have to disagree with you. I put a class out there on Business Analytics a few weeks ago and on Saturday, I made it free for 2 hours to get initial students. It picked up 270 students within that time. 

Hi all,


I do not know if my opinion counts, I have signed up to loads of free courses and paid ones also. I am like a sponge and enjoy most topics. I strongly believe it just depends on what you are looking for and the price structure. I have noticed the same courses can differ significantly in price. I have also read that by offering free courses it can help boost students but more so when you have multiple courses, alittle like sign posting to your other courses. Also I have taken taster free courses and full free courses. Udemy is a platform and I am not sure it is about standing out as much is it about the student the looking for a course. 

Hi. I just published my first course and I put it up on Udemy for free at first despite warnings not to do so. My course is on English idioms and I didn't know what to expect. Didn't even research if it was in demand or not. I was amazed to get 1737 enrollees after three days! That led to some people actually buying because of the positive reviews. So I'm guessing you're in this situation of disappointment because:

1. You didn't offer enough FREE videos to get the student acquainted with you

2. You picked an already saturated topic that has loads of awesome videos taught by awesome instructors

3. Video quality is bad 

4. No ratings and no reviews


I have yet to make my first 1000 USD on Udemy but I continue to think about it as a school project. I feel like I'm making reports for school and getting paid for it. Not a bad deal. We are still so early on in our journey to expect so much. Goodluck though. Hang in there. 

That's the right attitude. No one knows "the formula" for doing well on Udemy, because there are so many different paths to success. As far as I can tell, being patient and persistent is the common denominator behind every successful instructor. Also, I think free courses are great 😉

I recently published a course for free and I'm a new instructor. Within 48 hrs, got 2565 students

Congratulations @JackieOwen288  on your new course! Free courses are always a great idea to get new students :)! Keep the great work. 

Manuel Su
Community Moderator. 

I disagree. I'm a new instructor and within my first 4 days of posting my first and free course I am up to 276 new students enrolled. And this is without any marketing. Success depends on the course content and who the possible target market is. WE are responsible for whatever success or not we experience with any course we've created. Good luck.

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