One long course or few short ones

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One long course or few short ones

My area of teaching has around 10 topics.

When I look at book authors in my field, I see that they usually have ALL of the beginner aspects of each topic under ONE book but adavanced aspects for each topic will be in a separate book.


If I am to create a beginner course, it will be around 50 hours  ... each topic by itself is around 3-5 hours.

So how do you think I should manage this:

1- Start with one beginner topic and add to it?

2- Create different beginner courses and then combine them at the end? would the students who bought more than one smaller courses be happy about that?

3- Just create shorter ones

4- Wait till I create the whole 50 hours and publish it as one course (this might take 6 months)


The other problem is that not all topics will be of the same interest to the students. 3 or 4 will be of high demand, 3 or 4 with medium to low demand and a couple will be tough to sell because they just "good to know"


Any tips? Thanks in advance

12 Replies

I really think it comes down to what the competition is doing in your field. If there is lots of competition with big courses (quality is also very important), then you probably should do the same otherwise, students can get more value with another course. 

If you are in a competitive field, I would create a 50 hours course. I don't think students want several beginners course. If anything, do a beginner, an intermediate, and an advanced if that's a possibility with your content. Again, I think it depends on your competition. 


Personally, I have had luck with a 5-part course (5 different courses covering one large topic). It added up to 35 hours of content. I decided to do 5 parts because it contains a lot of different sub-chapters that I could easily group into 5 distinct courses. It has worked really well. I should also add that the competition is almost non-existent on that topic. 

My most popular course is only one course although it could be split into two. But all my competition is doing it in 1 course so I decided to create one very big course that contains more than 5 times the content of my competitors and it became best seller and highest rated soon after release. 

Best of luck to you. 

Greg Reverdiau - Airplane and Drone Training

Makes sense .... competition is a factor for sure ...

I am the first in the field in udemy ... so no competition actually ...

so I will go with smaller courses then

Thanks Greg

Best of luck. Being first and creating a solid course will give you a solid foundation for the future. 

Greg Reverdiau - Airplane and Drone Training

I'm in the process of creating a new course in personal development. I thought I'd create one long course (approx 8 hours) but then realized that the course can be divided into pretty distinct subtopics of around 2 hours each. I'm now trying to decide whether to produce the long version or four shorter versions. I don't see a pattern of longer vs. shorter selling better as I do a little research. the longer "certification" courses sell well but so do many of the shorter courses. It is appealing to do the four shorter to find more students, do more cross-promoting and have more streams of income.   


I read a related question about short vs. long. The difference is that his course was sequential and cumulative whereas my topics can be presented independently. So, any experience and/or thoughts about the best way to proceed? 

I moved this conversation to another topic that is related so that you can contribute here and make it easier for future users to find the information. I think you'll find good info here and hopefully others can chime. Best of luck with your course. 

Greg Reverdiau - Airplane and Drone Training



I hope my question does not get lost. I know it is related to the question in which you embedded it but I think that it is also someone distinct given personal development. I notice that you are the only person who responded to Maged-Koshty and I was hoping to hear form more instructors who have grappled with this.

The reason I merged is so that this entire thread can come back to the discussion and get some visibility. Hopefully, you get some recommendations from others that way. My recommendation to Maged still applies to your course, I think it all depends on your competition. In your case, I would go for 8 hours, which is not a "huge" course but will more than likely sell better than several 2-hour courses. I have a 12-hour course where my competition is skimming through the topic with 2-hour courses. I outsold them very quickly and became best seller and best rated. 

I also have a 5-part course series with 35 hours of content total and about 7-10 hours for each individual course, which outsold the competition quickly as well. 

Greg Reverdiau - Airplane and Drone Training

Thanks Greg.

My courses are in this area, I have courses on hypnosis, meditation, depression, PTSD, CBT, etc. My bestselling courses are my longer courses (7+hours), but I have shorter courses which sell okay and are good to cross promote to those in the longer courses. I just make courses as long as it takes to teach what I want to cover for the course, I also think about what people may be searching for and wanting to learn. There maybe an audience for people who want to learn advanced hypnotic language patterns for example which wouldn't likely be a long course, but there are far more people likely to want to learn how to do rapid hypnotic inductions which also isn't a long course.

So I think it depends what people would like to achieve by the end of the course, as you mention, some things can be taught independently. I can teach all of my courses independently and cross promote them, there is no need for students to have taken any of my other courses before the course they start with. For me it comes down to whether the course feels like a complete package and contains everything they need to know.

So for example, if someone wants to learn CBT then what would they expect if that is what they have said they want to learn? For me, what I would expect would take longer than a couple of hours to teach. If someone wants to learn how to do rapid inductions what would they expect? For me, I would expect to understand how rapid inductions work and how to do a number of inductions, which I wouldn't expect to take more than a few hours to be taught. I could just create a 'hypnotherapy' course for example which is 150+ hours long with what I would teach on a hypnotherapy diploma which would includes various therapeutic approaches, hypnotic approaches, safeguarding, etc, there are people who would love this, but that misses the people who just want to know one thing, who have a passing interest in hypnosis and just want to give this hypnosis thing a go on their friends, and that one thing may be in the course, but there are so many hours of content they may never find that one thing they are really after, for example, rapid inductions maybe 15 hours in, and all they really want to do is know how to click their fingers and have the person become hypnotised. So I think it is a balance.

I approached it when I joined Udemy in 2014 as; what are the modules I teach on my diploma, how can I adapt these to make them self-contained, what modules can be broken down further because people may well just be interested in one 90-240 minute part of the whole course - like rapid inductions or treating depression or CBT etc, these end up as different levels of training but are self-contained courses which anyone could take. A course on depression for example can be taught in a way that is educational and helpful to the person looking for personal knowledge, while also being educational about how to treat depression for counsellors, psychotherapists, hypnotherapists etc who are looking for continued professional development.

I know this has ended up a longer answer, but I just wanted to try to share my thinking about this behind the course and lengths of courses I have created and whether I have broken courses up or not.

All the best



Hi Dan,


I appreciate your thoughtful response to my question. Youv'e given me some input that I'm taking time to digest with respect to my content. I recognize an important place to start is to look at demand and competition for my course topics and consider what his going to be differentiate me. Thanks. Roger

It is a tough one to answer. It really depends upon your audience, your competition and how much time you have available to promote one or mulitple courses. However, I do think that you touched on a very interesting point. And that was, not all potential students will be interested in all sections. So, this would suggest (at least to me) that multiple courses would be the best route. Then you can focus on making all the information available, but only really pushing the 'interesting' ones in your marketing efforts. Then 'cross-sell' the other courses, to just those interested. I hope that helps? Regards, Rob.

It does help, Rob. I appreciate you weighing in on this. 

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