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Hi, I am fairly new

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I joined Udemy about six months ago and posted a single course at that time.  It was priced in the lowest tier but sat there with no subscriptions until I changed it to free.

Within days the subscription numbers skyrocketed.  That encouraged me to publish another free course and a paid one.  Again the latter in the lowest pricing tier.

Subscriptions for the free courses kept increasing to 1600 while nothing for the paid one.  Take it back, yesterday someone signed up for it then somehow withdrew.

I am probably coming to the conclusion that my material must be horrible and that I should give up.  I have been teaching for decades but I think I must not fit this medium and should forget about it.  Or, is it possible that this platform attracts people looking for free stuff and I might as well stick to youtube if that's the case?

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Hi Drewprof, I just looked at your courses and it's pretty clear, to me at least, why you're not getting any traction. I particularly looked at your 'Struct in C' course... if I remember correctly, I think it had 7 lectures and was a little over an hour long. Another had 5 lectures (2 were preview lectures so i'm paying for 3 lectures) and was 50 minutes long and you were asking me to pay 13.99 for it. Please don't take this the wrong way, but in my mind they are not courses, more like snippets from a course... something you would find on Youtube. IMO, I don't think you'll get people paying for that. I could be wrong, but I have bought courses in c# and c++ and they are fully blown... learn these languages courses, with 100s of lectures and solid projects to follow.

 

I think you need to take a step back, have a look at your format and research how others have presented thier courses. Your style is OK, I can follow you clearly enough, although I'm sure he's cute, but I'm not sure I want to know about your cat. This type of learning can easily be done on YouTube because you're only offering a tiny fraction.

I hope you don't mind me saying all of that, but IMO, I would certainly start looking there. Also, there a ton of coding course on Udemy, and you need to stand out.

 

Hope it helps...

Kevin...

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Hi @drewprof 

 

It's pretty normal.  There are lots of students across the globe waiting to grab free courses. You will get very few students for paid courses. When students pay money , they take many factors into considerations:  your instructor profile, past courses you may have launched, number of past enrollments, reviews and feedback, and your social proof. 

As an instructor, you deliver free courses to gain traction which you have already done. Now comes the real business, talk to you existing students, engage with them, improvise your currently published course, and learn from the feedback from the students. 

Once done, launch newer courses and market them effectively.

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Thank you Anup!

I will give it another push before I move on.

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All the best !

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Thanks for posting this.  I'm


@drewprof wrote:

I joined Udemy about six months ago and posted a single course at that time.  It was priced in the lowest tier but sat there with no subscriptions until I changed it to free.

Within days the subscription numbers skyrocketed.  That encouraged me to publish another free course and a paid one.  Again the latter in the lowest pricing tier.

Subscriptions for the free courses kept increasing to 1600 while nothing for the paid one.  Take it back, yesterday someone signed up for it then somehow withdrew.

I am probably coming to the conclusion that my material must be horrible and that I should give up.  I have been teaching for decades but I think I must not fit this medium and should forget about it.  Or, is it possible that this platform attracts people looking for free stuff and I might as well stick to youtube if that's the case?



very new to Udemy but I have experience of delivering courses on other platforms and face to face. I'm just about to put a course on Udemy but couldn't decide whether to put on a paid or free course.  Your post, and the answers, have helped me to decide.  The free version is going on first.

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@Carol / C wrote:

I'm just about to put a course on Udemy but couldn't decide whether to put on a paid or free course.  Your post, and the answers, have helped me to decide.  The free version is going on first.


Think twice - or at least do some more research - before jumping to conclusions.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” - Albert Einstein
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which other platforms you have experience of delivering lectures? Is it possible to share this info?

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I deliver my courses and services using the Thinkific platform.  I like it because I have complete control of my courses and the prices.  The downside is I have to find all my own students and I do this organically through Linkedin and Facebook groups.  The other downside is the cost of the platform but I think it's worth it.

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@Carol / C  I was so tempted to go the Thinkific, Teachable or SkillShare routes, but I wanted to give this platform a chance since I just started, and I don't have a solid marketing strategy to get students on my own.

It's been six months now and zero revenue.  I hoped by adding a few more courses that I will justify my existence in here.  However, even my free courses had a very poor retention in terms of completion.  This could be an indication that I need to revamp my product delivery and content.

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Update: I added two paid courses and a free one during this weekend.  One paid course got published after I was asked to submit a video of myself stating that my videos were mine.  The other one is still pending.  The free one got published and got students right away.  All my paid ones still show zero students.

Am I missing something, like doing my own promotions?  I thought that this platform does that for you and that's why they take half of your earning (if any) and change prices at fire sale rates.  My point now, should I even bother publishing a FULL course, something that's usually taught over a whole semester with exams and other resources?

Sorry for the rant but I am not feeling this....

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Success won't happen overnight. And publishing a course doesn't guarantee you get promoted. Udemy's algorithms need some valid data to rank you.
So yeah, promote your courses wherever you can and try to get the first paid students. Pro tip: create a decent promo video.
Good luck!


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” - Albert Einstein
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Must a promo video show my face?

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Yes, the student has to build a rapport with you and they do this by being able to see you delivering your course.  The more places you can put your face the better.  Then, they start to associate you with your subject specialism.  I put my face all over the place.  It takes me out of my comfort zone but I believe it has to be done.  I don't particularly like to see myself on video or hear my voice either.

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No, it's not mandatory to show yourself in any of the course videos, including the promo clip. But it's definitely better if you do. 


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” - Albert Einstein
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@drewprof wrote:

Must a promo video show my fi also want to know if i must show my face

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Hi Drewprof, I just looked at your courses and it's pretty clear, to me at least, why you're not getting any traction. I particularly looked at your 'Struct in C' course... if I remember correctly, I think it had 7 lectures and was a little over an hour long. Another had 5 lectures (2 were preview lectures so i'm paying for 3 lectures) and was 50 minutes long and you were asking me to pay 13.99 for it. Please don't take this the wrong way, but in my mind they are not courses, more like snippets from a course... something you would find on Youtube. IMO, I don't think you'll get people paying for that. I could be wrong, but I have bought courses in c# and c++ and they are fully blown... learn these languages courses, with 100s of lectures and solid projects to follow.

 

I think you need to take a step back, have a look at your format and research how others have presented thier courses. Your style is OK, I can follow you clearly enough, although I'm sure he's cute, but I'm not sure I want to know about your cat. This type of learning can easily be done on YouTube because you're only offering a tiny fraction.

I hope you don't mind me saying all of that, but IMO, I would certainly start looking there. Also, there a ton of coding course on Udemy, and you need to stand out.

 

Hope it helps...

Kevin...

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I think you're right on the money.  I did follow my youtube format of a chapter or topic at a time.  I was hoping by titling it accordingly that the expected delivery was clearly stated.

I have full blown courses with labs and projects but they are mapped for a typical college semester.  I am not sure I would retain anyone with that; and besides, it will end up selling for under $20 since I seem to notice that everywhere on here.

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Hey... what you describe there.... a fully blown course sounds right on the money, so to speak. I have 4 courses (one of them is over 40 hours long) and I can 'almost' live off the income I get from the four of them. You shouldn't under estimate Udemy, if your course is good, or even reasonably good and relevant, it will sell A LOT. Udemy is more about marketing and selling on mass, and they do it very well.

I'm just speaking from my experience, but it takes time to build a student base (I've been on here for around 3 years) and once it starts, you will start to see a snowball effect in terms of students and income. There are wiser instructors on here I'm sure, that coud give you more advice, but you got to think long term. There is no fast route to riches unfortunately. Good luck.

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@KevinOxland I am tempted to make everything that's already published free.  I will work on a paid full course to adapt it for this platform.  I am just not sure if my long videos would keep the audience engaged.  I tend to use hands-on examples rather than slides. Maybe I should switch to power point lectures and just code sparingly.

 

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Free lectures may have the unwanted side-effect of lowering your overall instructor rating. 

 

>> I am just not sure if my long videos would keep the audience engaged.
Keep your lectures short (3-5 minute length seems to be the sweet spot) and to the point. Nobody watches a 20-minute coding video unless you hold a gun against their head.

 

You should check out @LawrenceMMiller's excellent post                      How can I market my course?                 .


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” - Albert Einstein
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My courses are about coding.  I just need to find a different style that's more appealing for this medium.

There is no way I can deliver in 3 to 5 minutes concepts that take a lot more time to implements and comprehend in the context of the code they live in.

As to marketing, I am here because I don't have time for that until my wife gets up to speed on how it's done so she can help me build my own platform.  It looks like I might have to accelerate that process and move my toys there.

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@drewprof wrote:

My courses are about coding.  I just need to find a different style that's more appealing for this medium.

There is no way I can deliver in 3 to 5 minutes concepts that take a lot more time to implements and comprehend in the context of the code they live in.

Then change the context. I've created a dozen programming courses that are available on three major platforms. I found a way to dissect my content into digestible chunks of 3-5 minute videos, and explain abstract concepts such as protocol-oriented programming or machine learning.
Your topics - C structs, basic C++ syntax, etc. - do not require lengthy videos either.
All you need is to reconsider your approach. Online teaching isn't the same as in-class teaching (luckily). I just wish my college teachers were able to explain stuff as clearly as online instructors such as Simon Allardice or Barron Stone.
Just trying to help. In the end, it's your decision.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” - Albert Einstein
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@KarolyNyisztor I get your point, but what I am teaching is a process if you will.  Yes, it's lengthy because it starts from scratch using a step-by-step approach.  It's a different style than lectures as well.  I have attended many where instructors hide implementation and just talk about concepts.  It takes time to show the actual coding, that's what I am showing; that experience!

Maybe, I should have an introductory video that explains my aim and why the videos will be lengthy; because of the amounts of details to consider, and to experience the flow when coding.

Think of physics concept being derived rather than being applied with a given formula.  The process of deriving the formula makes it memorable. 

My videos are not meant to be simply watched.  They are guides to actually do the work.  Think of them as lab work rather lectures.

Yes, I will need to repackage them to make sure that's understood.

Do you think that could be a better compromise, or just scrap it and copy other people's proven styles?

 

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It's not about copying styles, but rather about doing what actually works.
Studies show that student engagement drops off abruptly after 6 minutes.
Quoting:
"...the median engagement time for videos less than six minutes long was close to 100%–that is, students tended to watch the whole video (although there are significant outliers; see the paper for more complete information). As videos lengthened, however, student engagement dropped off, such that the median engagement time with 9-12 minute videos was ~50% and the median engagement time with 12-40 minute videos was ~20%. In fact, the maximum median engagement time for a video of any length was six minutes. Making videos longer than 6-9 minutes is therefore likely to be wasted effort."
https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/effective-educational-videos/

 

Again, this isn't conventional education. We should keep in mind that most people take online courses in their spare time, for example during their lunch break. If the video is lengthy, they don't even start it.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” - Albert Einstein
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@drewprof I would strongly encourage you to study other hiighly successful courses on coding, app development, etc. Your promo video has to sell your courses and yourself, or it won't sell. It is that simple.

Your topic is anything but unique to this medium. In fact, Udemy has been built on tech courses. Please take a look at Angela Yu's intro videos and how she presents the value, organization, benefits, etc. of her course. https://www.udemy.com/course/ios-13-app-development-bootcamp/. This one course alone has 186,000 paying students. Do the math!

I looked at a couple of your courses and when I started watching what should be a promo video I felt like I had just walked into a class that was in the middle of a semester. That will not sell. Also, create one course that presents a lot of value, not courses that are just bits and pieces of something larger. Customers buy value. 

FWIW

 

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Management & Leadership Coach
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Hi, I think it depends on how engaging it is. Some of mine are twenty minutes long, and a few that are even longer. Becareful of too many slides... that can get boring. If you can make it hands-on, so they work on a larger goal / project, that's how I plan mine.

 

Look at the best one in your category and see what they did.

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Personally I despise PP Slides.  I like to delve into coding and hopefully get the students involved.  They can always follow along, pause, code and learn the concepts along.  But, I see some of the points in this discussion and they have merit.  I am now thinking that I should have small lectures in the first session, then take the hands-on projects to illustrate the concepts in context in the following sections.  I am just thinking out-loud...

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While I agree that such micro courses (less than 2 hours) will struggle to find buyers, I think 40 hour course is the other extreme and could be avoided as well.

Your average revenue per sale is going to be in the ballpark of $3 (could be as low as a few cents for some sales). On top of that instructors are usually expected to support Q&A as well. Therefore 40 hour courses do not make any business sense. I think 12 to 15 hours duration is the sweet spot and one should move the remaining portion of the course (typically advanced topics) to their own platform (teachable, thinkific etc.).

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Rasu84, 12-15 hours is a long course. I don't think we should compete by the length of a course. I believe it's all about the transformation you experience in a course. Which means: if you get the point across in 3 hours it's fine - I mean it's about what I want to learn. If I wanna learn X and I can do it in 3 hours I do. If I need more detail I most probably digg deeper. I usually check the course curriculum. If I feel it fits my needs I get the course - no matter how long it is. Still if it is just about under an hour I'd doubt that it would bring the point across...
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@Monja Wessel Totally agree that it should not be about the duration but the ability to impart a meaningful learning experience. Courses in my domain tend to get longer because it draws from a number of disciplines and I struggle to justify courses which are less than 10-12 hours in runtime. However, your point is fair.

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@rasu84 When I look at myself I'm a bit confused as well ;-) - when I purchase a course I like it to be longer but then as a learner I'm happy to learn as quickly as I can and have not spend tons of time getting through the course. Oh well, a bit of a dilemma! Thanks for considering my point as well :-)
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I couldn’t agree more

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Hi drewprof,

I agree with Kevin. 

Paying for 3 lectors and having a 50 minutes course is not acceptable. It might be that you covered it all in a much better way and you bring the point across much faster - but - when I come to your landing page I have no clue that you do that. The only thing I notice is that I should pay 13.99 for a few minutes. 

It sounds hard but it's not meant like that. I know how hard it is to start and believe me I'm dealing with similar problems.

But the good thing is that we can always improve! Add more lectures, give samples, program something with your students - there are plenty of options!

Good luck :-)

Monja

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I have now turned that particular course for free.  I am working on a larger course that will be over 5 hours.  My only problem will be that my lectures will be between 12 to 30 minutes.  It's just too much content that I want to explain.  My audience will not be typical, but I am okay with that as long as I have at least one paid subscription.  I will call that a victory!

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Once again I wouldn't care. As a teacher I need to make sure that my student learns what he/she should before he can move on. Sometimes that happens in an hour, sometimes in 10 minutes. Sure it's a bit different on video. So when you plan your lesson maybe you can merge a few things or move the example a bit quicker or so... I'd strive for about 10-15 minutes max because people don't have a large attention span these days or not that much time (me included) ;-)
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@drewprof wrote:

My only problem will be that my lectures will be between 12 to 30 minutes.  It's just too much content that I want to explain.

 

 


You keep saying that, but it doesn't make any sense. Even quantum physics can be explained in 5-minute chunks. You just need to organize your material better.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” - Albert Einstein
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@drewprofIt really doesn't matter about the length for now. I know you're getting a lot of different opinions on here, but I now a millionaire who has lectures that are 30+ minutes, it certainly works for him, so you just need to make it compelling. And just get on and do it. You can break it down so the 'topic' has a start, middle and end and they can be small topics. Or a portion of a topic. Just do what feels natrual for you, you'll learn what works.

 

Mine vary from 2 minutes to 25 minutes and I have NEVER had a complaint that it's been too long, ever, or too short for that matter. You just need to get it done and you'll see what works and what does not.

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Yes, the opinions on length are certainly interesting.  I am sure there will be a sweet spot for my kind of delivery, I just have to find it.  Thank you @KevinOxland 

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Update: It seems that my external ad is driving most of my enrollments.  I now have over 5700 student enrolled from one ad that ran for 5 days.  That ad generated 21K+ of activity.

The ones that signed up, they were for the free courses only.

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Really interesting! You can market your new course to them later😉 my question: how much did you spend on these ads?
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$10

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Is there a mass message within a course?  I seem to have found a one-to-one communication and even then, I am not sure if the message reaches the student within a free course.  In addition, am I allowed to make them aware of a paid course from within Udemy, specially when I come up with new material?

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Definitely! You can send promotional emails twice a month to all your students or just from specific courses so you did marketing wise a fantastic job although I don’t remember if you can still send messages to students from a free course, it worked but a lot changed so I don’t remember
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My conversion rate on my free courses has been between 90% to 68%.  I am confused!  If they seem to like the free stuff, why not try the paid stuff?  

 

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Because it is not free. 

Conversion rates on free courses mean absolutely nothing. If you stand on the street handing out your brilliant new book, 90% of the people passing by might take it. What does that tell you about how it will sell in a store? Absolutely nothing.

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Management & Leadership Coach
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>> My conversion rate on my free courses has been between 90% to 68%.
>> If they seem to like the free stuff

Wrong conclusion. Those numbers do not mean anything. What really counts is the completion rate.
What percentage of your free course have those students watched? If it's not close to 100%, they don't actually like it. They enrolled just because it was free.

We keep telling you that, but you're not listening.
Why do you expect a different result if you keep doing what you've been doing? Anyway, I'm done here.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” - Albert Einstein
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@KarolyNyisztor I am not arguing against your points.  I am merely expressing what I see from how I understand this platform, at this stage.  Actually, I must thank you for clarifying the facts and I appreciate them.  Stay tuned, I might pull something off and not look so useless or clueless, I just need time.  Again, forgive me for appearing abstruse...

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You do not have to feel that way, of course you can always improve your material. When I started a few months ago, I had similar experiences, for my first paid course, there was over 30% refunds. I felt my contents were terrible to. But that was the last time I had such experience. I improved on my next course to. 


@drewprof wrote:

I joined Udemy about six months ago and posted a single course at that time.  It was priced in the lowest tier but sat there with no subscriptions until I changed it to free.

Within days the subscription numbers skyrocketed.  That encouraged me to publish another free course and a paid one.  Again the latter in the lowest pricing tier.

Subscriptions for the free courses kept increasing to 1600 while nothing for the paid one.  Take it back, yesterday someone signed up for it then somehow withdrew.

I am probably coming to the conclusion that my material must be horrible and that I should give up.  I have been teaching for decades but I think I must not fit this medium and should forget about it.  Or, is it possible that this platform attracts people looking for free stuff and I might as well stick to youtube if that's the case?


 

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Re: Hi, I am fairly new

Its quite common for most of the instructor in Udemy facing challenges with free users versus paid users but just promote your course link using social media platform definitely your sales will start

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