How to make a million dollar Udemy course from someone who just did it
New Udemy milestone to report on. This will be my first individual class that has crossed the one million dollar revenue mark. I wanted to take some time to write a post to break down what it took to get that course to that mark.
1.) It took 221,268 students which makes it $4.5 dollar earnings per student on average
2.) 4.66 Rating with a peak rating of 4.7
3.) 641,040 landing page visitors in the last 12 months
4.) Only has a 5.54% conversion rate. Which tells me high landing page visitors and low conversion rate is still profitable.
5.) 53 million minutes taught since October 2020
6.) The course is 5 years old
Things I did:
1.) The original course was only 9 hours long. The course now rests at 30 hours, a 3x increase in course size over the last few years. All original content was updated over the course of 4 years as well. UPDATING your course yearly will help you maintain higher sales for much longer and perhaps half a decade and longer. Think about the longevity of your courses not just creating new ones. It took 5 years for this course to cross the one million mark. I plan on this course making at least a half million more before it is retired.
2.) The topic is an entry level course and a broad popular topic that is in demand. Niche courses and advanced courses are some of my lower selling (but still important) course offerings.
3.) Conversion rate always seemed to average around 5% which seems really low. That did not seem to matter when the landing page visitors were so high from organic and Paid marketing on the Udemy side. The course rated and sold well at the start of its life in which Udemy started to run more paid ads toward my course and kept a virtuous cycle of marketing going. This goes to the next thing…
4.) I had a really compelling intro video that can work well in paid/organic marketing. I felt like my intro (which I need to update yet again btw) did well at captivating the audience as other intros I watched for similar courses did not.
5.) My review numbers on average have always remained high. I have some one star reviews but the 5 star reviews won over time. Keeping my courses updated was one of the reasons I believe my reviews stayed high. The longer I would go between course updates is when I would notice a small drop in my course rating and a drift higher when I added new updates.
6.) I offer a community for my students. I have an active Facebook group which allows community and engagement with student projects and encourages students to leave reviews. Those reviews will most likely be higher because of their involvement in higher level community activities like student challenges. 62,000 students currently participate in the private student only Facebook group.
7.) Everything is custom made by me. I wrote all scripts and recorded and edited all videos to make sure the course experience was smooth and tailored to my average student. Downloadable resources are plenty, all created to support my video content and to allow the student to enjoy the course instead of having to take notes. Creating a “digital pdf book” to go along with your course is ideal. I have never hired anyone to assist in the creation or marketing of my courses.
Glad to share some tips and happy to share this milestone. I wanted to be as transparent as possible to share some stats and can share additional information.
Hello @LindsayMarsh Congratulations on this huge milestone and thank you for sharing your experience and a resumé or a break down of the steps this took. I am confident this will serve not only as inspiration but also as a step-by-step to be followed by all who would lie to also achieve this goal!
Udemy moderation team
Congratulations on a job well done. It's really inspiring for a beginner here on udemy like me.
I saw that your courses do not offer a discount, did you opt for the deal program or not? Is it a good things or not ?
Congratulations @LindsayMarsh! I love the detail of your posts and you make great points.
How critical is supporting materials. I am thinking about upping my game here. Do you have any concerns that people will just download the materials, particularly a comprehensive book or workbook, and not watch the videos which is important in a Udemy Business minutes watched world.
The materials support the video and the video supports the materials. They do best by watching the video and then having the notes to read afterwards. I also break them up so they get little bits at a time, maybe at most 10-15 pages. My end goal is education. So, if supplying helpful resources does reduce overall video minutes watched, yet they gain skills, that is still a win for me.
It's worth mentioning that Lindsay has put tremendous effort into building a community and traffic beyond Udemy. This work has paid off. I wish you continued success and hope that no one will steal your materials. The training is great, a person from our team did this course some time ago and it was a turning point. All rhe best!
Just wondering. Is your course on Udemy for Business? Also the intro video is amazing. Where did you get the music from (artlist, youtube, somewhere else) ? It looks very professional. Also what software are you using for the intro? Screenflow or some other software?
I definitely need to work on my intro videos. Your video is truly inspirational.
Finally how do you manage responding to students? I respond immediately to students and am active in the course Q&A, however my course only has 1400 students and very very few students are actively asking questions.
I imagine over 220000 students in a course where even a small percentage are active in the course and Q&A might be intense.
Over the years you've updated your course. Did you eventually completely redo the entire course or do you have any videos that remain from the very beginning (I suppose 5 years ago).
Congratulations for your great success!