What is "Right" with Udemy?

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What is "Right" with Udemy?

When things aren't going well, we come to this community and complain.

But when things are right we mostly just go about our day.

 

Maybe it's just me, but I often see more negativity than positivity in this community, and the only positive post are usually about reaching a financial milestone.

 

So I decided to do something different today, and share what I think is "right" and what I noticed has been improving with Udemy.

 

Feel free to share your thoughts.

 

1. I started teaching around 2018. In the first 2-3 years I mostly saw no improvements from Udemy. Every 2-3 months there was a major outage or critical feature would break, and nothing seemed to be getting better.

But then something has shifted. I see better platform stability and lots of new features and initiatives that make me happy, optimistic and passionate about working with Udemy.

 

2.  The vibrant but disorganized community that existed on Facebook was forcefully moved to this community.

And then it was crickets, for a long time. I even gave up on visiting this community for many months. Until..

Something changed.

New and amazing Community Moderators joined. And they do way more than "moderation". 

There is a lot more knowledge sharing, a lot more engagement, and super awesome webinars and live events that I don't ever want to miss. Kudos to the Community Moderators!

 

3. When I joined Udemy, I was so eager to share my thoughts on how the platform could improve. I had so many feature requests that I thought would benefit everyone. Udemy. Students and us Instructors.

But every time I suggested anything to Udemy Support there was a very strict and cold "it is not on our roadmap", "get lost" kind of messaging.

That was demoralizing so I decided to stay silent and go about my business.

Until...

This year I actually see Udemy asking for feedback, taking note, caring and trying to improve.

I see genuine desire to help instructors be more productive and successful.

 

There are of course many things that can and should be improved.

But for now.

Thank you Udemy for doing all those things right.

Keep it up!

12 Replies
Salil Dhawan
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Great post @MichaelPog

There is a lot to be grateful for when it comes to Udemy.

We have a platform where we are able to start for free, without any set up or marketing cost and get access and the ability to reach such a large number of students. 

I am glad you shared this post!

Salil Dhawan

My Friend Pog @MichaelPog, I completely agree with you. Negativity hurts my mental health. Sometimes, it looks like things are worse than they really are. And in fact, this is the reaosn why I left the Portuguese commmunity. So much negativity, only complaints that demotivate us and make us think that we are on the verge of the apocalypse. In some cases, it can lead to anxiety (as with me) or depression. We should be realistic and be prepared for the worst, but I think an overdose of negativity can also be damaging and counter-productive. These two months were my best months ever in Udemy, and I just hope the trend continues.

 

I'm very thankful for Udemy for this opportunity. the revenue I get from courses are a great portion of my total income and a few years ago, I wouldn't imagine that this would be possible. I just hope the trend continues the same or at least that it doesn't plummet for me

Ok, some new things that Udemy made that I liked 🙂 


1. The New moderators are engaging and kind 


2. The purple color for the website: Ok, I don't understand anything about UX design or web design and etc, but I like this color

3. The new coupon system: I think they are an improved version over the last ones

Bella
Community Manager
Community Manager

This is so refreshing to read! Thank you for your feedback, @MichaelPog! Your post puts a big smile on the faces of our entire team! 😁

LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Great post and I totally agree with all of the above. There are two best things about Udemy from my perspective:

 

First, we can all publish our courses on our own website and price it any way we want and get 100% of the revenue (minus our costs which are often not mentioned). The problem is most instructors who try this are not able to market their courses and bring eyeballs to your site. It is very difficult. It is great to have a partner who you know is competent at marketing and not be out their alone in our marketing. We still need to help with marketing, but now we are on the shelf with many millions of buyers walking down the isle looking to buy courses. 

 

Second, unlike other platforms, Udemy does genuinely try their best to engage and listen to instructors. I have been on several committees that are formed to get feedback from instructors. That doesn't mean that every wish of instructors become incorporated into the system, but they are listening to us. They do treat us like we are genuine partners, which we are. 

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Author/Instructor

Thank you Michael for your post.

When I started back in 2015 I had no idea how to create a website or market a course. Like many of you, I just had information to share and wanted to help people and yes earn a little compensation. Udemy handled everything I could not do well so I could focus on course creation. If there was no Udemy, that barrier to entry from website development and marketing possibly could have stopped me cold. Instead I worked extremely hard and released my first course and made...wait for it...$22.50 USD my first month. Literally less than $1 per hour. First year was $4,500. However, with Udemy I could create more courses, find my niche and improve my online teaching skills. All at no website or marketing costs. While I was frustrated at times, alone in my basement with my camera, I believed in myself and I believed in Udemy. Now that means believing in lots of sales at very low prices and I think that is another thing that is right with Udemy. Of course anyone would like the average sale price to go up but deep down I feel good that as instructors we are helping lot's of people with affordable education. While I had a successful business career, Udemy helped me to quit my job and have my own little business. Like my father had a small business. That actually means a lot to me. Another thing that is right is Udemy's global reach. I live in the United States and my courses are in English and yet only 28% of my students are from the USA. I am not sure how I could get that global reach without Udemy. Another thing that is right with Udemy is that they are investing in themselves. From growing Udemy Business to experimenting with new solutions that if successful will benefit us as instructors. Personally, I feel my partnership with Udemy is stronger than ever and much of that is by design from Udemy such as webinars, this forum, Udemy events pre-pandemic and other individual opportunities I have been able to take advantage of and be a partner on. Ok. I am not naïve and there is always room for Udemy to improve, and for me to improve as well, but I think there is a lot more right than wrong. Also, it is very fair to say I am biased in favor of Udemy. Udemy has made a difference in my life not only in terms of money, currently I have 412,000 students, but in who I am. In terms of my profession, I have my own business and I help people by providing online training and I am not some cog in a monolithic organization.

-Steve B

Udemy currently is one of the best listening organizations in the world, and am proud that my courses has reached nations.

FrankKane
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

What's right about Udemy is the people behind it. I've met quite a few "Udemates" over the years at every level of the organization, and not one has been a jerk. They're all good people who genuinely want the best outcomes for instructors, learners, and Udemy as a company. Udemy's mission of spreading knowledge around the world at accessible prices attracts altruistic people. I hope they can retain that culture as they expand; so far it seems to be the case.

Those people listen to Udemy's customers, including us, and are open to feedback. It's in stark contrast to many of their competitors.

Ah Frank, that is  why you are a Community Champion, great insight

I agree with @FrankKane  . Udemy does come across as an altruistic organization . A great source of goodness for the world. 

Especially for developing countries, where they (Udemy)  have enabled access to very high quality education and skills which gives livelihood to people. 

Nobody else is at that same level. 
Love the fact they have never compromised on their core values of providing affordable access. They could have easily taken the more profitable route but they dint. 

My two cents as a relatively new instructor >> Udemy allowed me not only to expose my course to more people but also to get new consulting clients, which was a totally surprising (and unexpected!) outcome for me. I was sort of thinking that people would take my courses and then go about their life, but what happened instead is that many of them started reaching out to me via my website or Linkedin. Many of these conversations turned out into really interesting projects.

I started on Udemy when Covid hit and I found myself without a reliable and stable source of income. I confess I didn't quite expect too much in the beginning and so far this journey has been really positive for me.


Sounds great ThaMilan! I have just launched my course, so am looking forward to what comes down the track... I know that the real hard work of promotion is just about to begin!

 

Great insights by several instructors. Would add my personal thoughts:

- Currently, the fluidity of communication with students in my opinion. They can ask questions, comment on announcements, send DMs and much more. You really get the feeling that students can speak with you anywhere, anytime;

- How stable and intuitive the platform is are both important to me as well. I'm an instructor but also a student, and nothing irritates me more than platforms that break or have very counterintuitive UI. Udemy does both beautifully, and it's a pleasure to learn. To be honest, in some cases where an instructor may not be that good, but where you still have to watch the course, having a good platform to make up for it is very important in terms of motivation;

- More than anything else, I would say I love Udemy success is meritocratic by nature. When a new course is launched, if it's genuinely good, people will flock to it, and it will grow over time. If it's not, it will flop. As simple as that. This allows us instructors to quickly learn what is working, what isn't, and how to pivot to satisfy students more;

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