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How long does it take to create a course?



I've been on Udemy for a few years now and currently have 4 courses live.


I create the courses with my wife. I do the technical instruction and planning, and she does the editing, graphics, and marketing.


We've kept track of the number of hours it takes my wife and I to create each course, and I want to share the results below...


Combined working hours for each course we created:


 1) 5h course: 193 hours

 2) 8h course: 577 hours

 3) 11h course: 702 hours

 4) 14h course: 603 hours


The time includes everything from planning, recording, editing and uploading. However it excludes time spent answering questions, which averages 5 hours a week.


I would be really interested to learn your experience, and if you having any data of your own to share?


Also, if you have any tips on things you did to speed up your course development process, that would be much appreciated!



My rule of thumb is 40 man-hours for 1 hour of completed content. You seem pretty close to that more or less. 


Takes me about 3 months to produce a 10-hour course that's worth it's salt. So you're in a reasonable ballpark for producing something that's comprehensive and high-quality.


Approximately 3 months to complete a 3-5 hour course (while working part-time on other content assets), or about 6 weeks if it's literally only the course and everything goes according to plan (that happens all the time now, doesn't it).


I don't teach anything technical so maybe overall a bit more low tech than others here.  10-15 hours of work for every 1 hour of completed content seems to be my average.  My next 15-hour course is not completely edited, but closer to a 12:1 ratio thus far.  My guess is it will land at 15:1 as we are adding more slides than previously.   It seems to take more time as I create or update courses over time as things become more polished, better edited, etc.


It takes me 2 to 3 months to research for, and prepare, the content for a new Course, then about 1.5 months to record and edit. Give or take a few weeks ...


For my long-format courses (between 20 to 30+ hours watch time), initially, I used to take 8 to 9 months.

The last similar course I am able to produce in 3 months time.


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It's fascinating to hear about your experience and insights into the time investment required for course creation on Udemy. It's evident that the process involves a substantial commitment of hours, covering various aspects from planning to editing. The range of 10-15 hours of work for every 1 hour of completed content seems to be a common thread among instructors, and your rule of thumb aligning with 40 man-hours for 1 hour of content provides a helpful benchmark.

The diversity in the nature of courses and teaching styles is reflected in the varied timelines shared, ranging from a few weeks for shorter courses to several months for more comprehensive ones. The evolution over time, with courses becoming more polished and better edited, resonates with the continuous improvement ethos.

Tips to streamline the course development process could include leveraging templates for content creation, optimizing workflows for efficiency, and batch recording to make the most out of recording sessions. Collaborative efforts, as seen in your partnership with your wife handling different aspects of course creation, also contribute to a more streamlined and balanced workload.


It does vary a lot but my first course took one hour ( including editing) and became a Best Seller for five years. But in fairness I did add to it every so often. I think the quickest course was about three hours with no additions. This is all pre ChatGPT - I would not be surprised to find it would be possible to create a course start to finish in 90 minutes but all the job satisfaction would go. I like to think and redraft and tweak and add questions etc and that takes time.