February - Ask a Champion Thread!

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Bella
Community Manager
Community Manager

February - Ask a Champion Thread!

Hello Hello!

 

It’s time for our monthly “Ask a Champion” discussion thread, where you get to ask our Community Champions all of the questions you are too afraid to ask about building successful courses!

 

This month, our thread is hosted by @FrankKane & @JasonDion . Our Champions are ready, willing & able to answer any questions you might have about being a Udemy Instructor.

 

What questions do you have for Frank & Jason?

16 Replies
FrankKane
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Ask us anything! We both teach technology and have an audience of about half a million students apiece on Udemy.

@FrankKane I noticed you have a few courses with translated subtitles to other languages. If you don't mind sharing, how did you choose which courses and which languages are worth translating to?

And have you seen it bringing students who otherwise wouldn't have signed up for your courses?

Also if you don't mind sharing some recommendations on translation services that worked out well for you that would be highly appreciated. Especially given the technical nature of your courses.

Thank you!

FrankKane
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Michael,

 

I think you're seeing some of the new South Korean localized courses that are coming out of Udemy's announced partnership with Woongjin Thinkbig. I believe they are starting with the most popular courses and instructors and working their way down. There's not a lot to do or think about from the instructor's end other than saying "yes" if they contact you, and asking Udemy support to clone the course for them. They do all the translation work and are very good to work with. 

 

It does seem to be bringing in some incremental revenue in exchange for not much work on our end.

 

While I have paid to have my courses captioned, I haven't tried paying for translating those captions. For very long technical courses, the cost would be enough to make me wonder if it would be worth it. Instead I'm hoping AI-generated translation will become good enough that someday Udemy just starts offering translated subtitles automatically for everyone as part of the platform, if you provide good native-language subtitles for it to start with.

JasonDion
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Michael,

I know you address this to @FrankKane but I am going to give you my perspective, too, since I done quite a bit of translation with my courses and we are also doing technical courses (cybersecurity, IT service management, project management).

 

Recently, I have had my courses translated into Korean using Woongjin Thinkbig, as well.

 

Before that, I actually hired a team to translate my courses into Spanish (full time employees, since my company is located in Puerto Rico). We translated 5 of our courses, but we found there wasn't enough of an ROI for us to continue doing it. Luckily, the members are bilingual, so we were able to repurpose their skills into our english languages courses.

 

What I learned was that if there is another instruction who wants to translate things and take "the risk" and cost of doing it, and they are willing to give you a 50/50 split, why not try (not much effort, potential for good reward).

 

In my case, I was paying a lot of payroll to make those spanish courses, so it ended up not be worth the ROI, though.

 

Thanks!
Jason Dion

I appreciate your input on this one. Sorry I addressed only Frank, I just didn't notice your courses are also translated. I was considering captioning my courses to other languages but the price is pretty high and I wasn't sure about the ROI.

JasonDion
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

I think if you find someone who wants to do it on a 50/50 split, than it is low risk and possible reward. That is what I did with my Korean and Japanese translations, but my Spanish courses I hired staff and it didn't ROI for us. 

 

Thanks!
Jason Dion

JasonDion
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Ok, who has got some questions for us??

 

Jason Dion

Hi @JasonDion

Thank you so much for offering to share your knowledge.

I have 2 questions for you:

1) What tips can you share for reading naturally from a teleprompter? How can you avoid sounding monotonous, and how do you deal with situations when you mess up?

2) What are your top tips for productivity? I'd like to produce content a lot faster but I frequently find myself researching too much, spending too much time on building slides or looking for just the right way to phrase my thoughts.

Thank you!

JasonDion
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

@MichaelPog here is a video reply (about 9-10 minutes) with my thoughts:

https://www.loom.com/share/0f755216358f46d6b32d4c5cd83c24a7

The tool I mention to speed up editing is called Descript, its at descript.com...my new favorite tool!

Thanks!

Jason Dion

@JasonDion thank you so much for taking the time to make this video and sharing so many great tips.

 

The number of times I had to manually edit and sometimes rerecord audio because I messed up an important word and hadn't noticed it until after the fact is unbelievable. I knew about the tool but I had no idea it had this capability.

Thank you so much for sharing.

TameraDion
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Wow, slow on questions this month!


*Brains behind Jason Dion*

Hello @FrankKane and @JasonDion, thanks for taking questions. I have a question on using the 'Marketplace Insights' tool. Sometimes, the topic I am searching for course creation, e.g. "Molecular Biology" is not listed as an official Udemy topic. However, when I search on Udemy, I can see a lot of courses built on the topic. Is there a way to get more specific information from the Marketplace Insights tool? Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely,

Rupinder.

FrankKane
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

If you search for "Molecular Biology" as a student, you'll see a list of topics on the side that allow you to filter your search. This might turn up alternative topics that fit what you're planning to teach. Some that come up are microbiology, bioinformatics, and biochemistry. If you can find a topic that's close, Marketplace Insights can at least give you some guidance.

 

Even if your specific topic isn't listed, just searching for existing courses in that topic can still tell you a lot about the existing competition, and the number of reviews on those courses can still give you a rough idea of their popularity.

Hello @FrankKane, that sounds like a good way to gauge the market demand. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Rupinder.

JasonDion
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

@RupinderSayal, I am not Frank but I will jump in here and answer.

 

When looking at market demand, I like to first check out the Udemy Marketplace Insights tool. This will tell you historical data on how popular the current courses on a subject are and if you stand to make a good RoI for your time if you become one of the top 1 to 5 courses listed.

 

Sometimes, though, you won't find an exact match for your topic. For example, I am building a course for a new certification that just launched this year. So, there are no other courses and no other historical data for me to look at directly. But, there are analogolous courses to what I want to build, so I can look at those. For example, let's say there are no courses on learning Spanish but there are for learning French, I could use the French data as a way to gauge possible demand for a Spanish course. (That is a silly example, because there are plenty of both of those courses, but the concept is the same.)

 

Another way to judge demand is looking at Amazon and searching for books on your topic. How are they selling? This is another form of "analogolous" market research. 

 

Finally, I check out the demand ofr the topic YouTube. If there are videos with a few hundred views, it tells you that it isn't that popular. A few 100k or 1M views, you have a popular topic that you can probably make a course for.

 

Thanks!
Jason Dion

Hello @JasonDion, thank you so much for the insights! Your answer is right on the point, as I was struggling to get market data related to some courses. These are not listed as official Udemy subjects, so no data is available for them, although there are a few good courses already on the platform. Following your suggestion, I checked Amazon and found that these are indeed popular topics gauging from the book reviews.

 

Sincerely,

Rupinder.

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