Happy to share that I have crossed a personal milestone of $250,000 on Udemy this month. This has been an absolutely delightful journey as a course creator. I want to begin by sharing my humble thanks to Udemy for providing an outstanding platform for instructors like us. Here's a glimpse of my journey:
Why I joined Udemy?
I joined Udemy in August 2016. The primary reason to join was to manage work-life balance and achieve financial freedom. Two mortgages and other loans amounted to over INR 80 lakhs (>$114K) of my personal debt. Although I was earning exceptionally well in my full-time job, I realized (much later) that most of my earnings were paid as interest to banks and taxes to the government. So, something had to be done. These huge loans were to be eliminated. Hence, in 2014, I had started taking cohort based trainings and the initiative was successful. My new side-hustle had a great start. However, with the full-time job, I had to manage marketing, execution, conversion, training, admin, and everything else for this side hustle (my new company). Plus, my weekends were packed with 12 hours of training each day. So, the initial success was at the cost of non-stop work for 3 consecutive years (2014 to 2016).
How I found Udemy?
During this period of extreme hustle, I realized my core strength was content creation. So I needed someone who could do the rest (marketing, sales, administration, etc). That's when I stumbled upon Udemy. I saw @SandeepKumar's Six Sigma courses on Udemy. That was my niche. I saw the number of enrollments and like everyone else, I thought the price per course was $200 (Lol 😂). I was blown by calculating the numbers of the high price per course and the number of enrollments. I later realized that the price point is not very high, however, a sustained effort can bring outstanding success on this platform. I joined the platform instantly in August 2016.
The Initial 2.5 Years on Udemy (2016 - 2018):
During this period, I dabbled with my full-time job, cohort based trainings, and creation of new courses. Below is my income of the first three months:
Aug 2016 - $15.70
Sep 2016 - $10.00
Oct 2016 - $11.25
I continued the path of earning a three figure income until September 2017. I was still fairly new on the platform and realized the importance of in-demand topics much later.
By mid-2018, I had heard much about @PhilEbiner and @ScottDuffy's success on Udemy. So I enrolled in their courses. I was also inspired by revenue posts from @FrankKane. I also regularly tuned in to Phil's Podcasts where he would interview successful Udemy instructors.
This became a perfect foundation for a sound and thriving business that was ready to be built on Udemy.
The Year that picked pace - 2019
My mantra was to create quality courses on in-demand topics and release new courses frequently. I followed this path and it helped me hit my first 4 figure mark in 2018:
Oct 2018 - $1,024.54
Nov 2018 - $2,384.91
Dec 2018 - $1,461.21
Jan 2019 - $1,664.59
As I continued this journey, I hit my first $5,000 mark per month ($5,196.01) in Dec 2019.
As my income increased and showed promising signs of success, I stopped efforts on my cohort based, reduced the frequency of my visiting faculty sessions, and focused only on my full-time job and Udemy. My non-stop work schedule was getting relaxed and work-life was getting in control.
The Year of My Corporate Life Retirement - 2020
I had never imagined I would ever retire the corporate life. And that too when I am in my mid-30's. But by 2020, early retirement was on my mind. I was earning twice as much as my full-time job salary. At a few occasions, my earnings surpassed the monthly salary of the CEO of BNY Mellon, India (my employer). And to top it all, I had cleared my mortgage and all other loans of >80 lakhs INR (> $114K). So, I was saving every penny earned. As I consistently started earning more than $7K per month, I decided to quit my full-time job. This was in October 2020. In the next month (November 2020), I hit my first 5 figure mark ($10,260.18). This assured that my decision to quit full-time job was right.
This was my first year as a full-time Udemy instructor. With more time at hand, I dabbled with a number of other activities such as eBooks, Audiobooks, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. But it was Udemy that continued to increase income significantly. No other source was even close to Udemy earnings. The return on time and effort investment in making Udemy courses was way higher than any other sources. November 2021 turned out to be my best month on Udemy with a monthly income that crossed $15K. And in December 2021, I crossed $250K in life-time earnings.
That has been my journey so far. I achieved financial freedom. The standard of living increased significantly. I control my own schedule. I never have to leave my house. After clearing the debt, I purchased two villas - all cash. And the best part, I can see my daughter grow each day - all the time.
This post is definitely not to brag about achievements. These are several other instructors who have been on this path. I have just followed their path. Milestone posts (like these) from seasoned instructors used to inspire me.
To be successful, all you need to do is stick to the path with utmost dedication and passion. I am open for any questions. Feel free to drop them on this post.
I wanted to post this screenshot to give inspiration to you guys teaching on Udemy. I started here in April 2016, and it was slow going at first… achieving $50 in my first month and only $700 overall after 4 months. But I had an overwhelming passion to make Udemy my full-time job and be the best I can be at it.
After year 1, I had made just over $20k. I was happy but felt I could achieve more and help more people. Eventually it was when I posted the first Cryptocurrency course on Udemy that things changed!
I am 1m% grateful to Udemy for the support, guidance and motivation, in addition to the brilliant resources, to make courses. I have been exclusive with Udemy, no starting my own website, no posting on multiple e-learning websites… because I didn’t need or want to. Everything I have is here and I hope this achievement can show you that all you need is Udemy and great courses!
I thought I was late to the party starting in 2016 when Udemy had been going for years already. But it shows you if you make a knowledge rich, long course on Udemy in a trending area and you have worked hard building your student numbers and are genuinely helpful as a teacher, you can achieve your goals no matter when you join.
Hope this helped inspire you today…
Let me know if you have any questions.
I achieved an amazing milestone on Udemy this week.
I launched my first course on Udemy in January 2016. That month I did about $750 in sales.
Since then I've launched 16 additional courses. A lot of nights, weekends, and holidays have gone into course creation. Today, I'll see single days greater than my first month.
It's been a journey. The quality of my first course was awful. I recorded dreey lectures against a grey backdrop. And used a Blue Yeti that picked up EVERYTHING. You could hear planes flying overhead, my dog crying... Yeah, it was that awful! LOL
But I've learned a lot along the way. The organization and quality of my recent courses has significantly improved. Each course I created, I reflected on what I could do to improve. Some came from student feedback. Some came from learning from other successful instructors. The important part is to always be learning and improving.
I know when I was starting out, this level of success seemed unattainable. I hope newer instructors find inspiration from this post. There is no easy button. It takes work and time. Every lecture you create, grows your content. Every day that passes, more students will find you. Until someday, you look back and say wow! To steal a slogan from the folks at ConvertKit - "Create Everyday!"
The purpose of this post is not to show the money I make on Udemy (in fact there are no numbers in the screenshot I uploaded), but to share my journey as an instructor, in the hope of inspiring others who are perhaps just starting theirs, or who are frustrated because things are not turning out as they expected, and can't spot what is going wrong.
I have divided my journey into 4 stages. In all of them there is a single common denominator (mistake-learning process) and a single result when adding up all the parts (growth).
Stage A represents what we could call "magical thinking": I'm going to publish a course and I'm going to get rich right away. Who hasn't fallen into that wonderful fantasy? I have. And in the worst way. When that didn't happen I got frustrated, I blamed Udemy, I blamed the students, I blamed the review system, and I blamed my competitors. I blamed everyone except the person I was supposed to blame: myself.
The obvious result of this mentality was to stop trying. Why would I do that? I had created what I thought was the most magnificent course possible and no one was smart enough to give it the sacred value it had! As a result I lost 2 valuable years.
Stage B begins when I said to myself: "let's try it one more time, but this time let's look at what the winners do, and let's start from there". In this stage I dedicated myself to do two things: to be inspired by the right people (thanks Phil) and to produce non-stop, without focusing on the numbers. The only thing I was looking at was what I could do better in my next course.
Something very important at this stage was that I understood that nobody is an expert in everything (specially me), and therefore I needed to learn a lot, and for that I had to associate with others, exchange experiences, link up with my colleagues.
I took advantage of every opportunity that Udemy offered to network. These actions were reflected in my charts, and reinforced that conviction. The big step (fruit of this mentality) and that gave way to the next stage, was the decision to participate in the global event Udemy Live Berlin 2019. It was not easy, I live in Argentina, and my income still did not allow me to travel so comfortably, but I knew that this was the right step.
Stage C (immediate growth and subsequent fall) was a direct consequence of 2 aspects: the Berlin meeting on the one hand (which gave me contacts, successful partnerships, support groups, great friends, and mostly a lot of learning) and on the other hand the explosion of the Covid pandemic in March 2020.
At first my sales exploded, the quality of my products improved, I started to develop a team (why did I resist so much?) and everything seemed to go up. But there were still lessons to be learned.
Sales dropped sharply in the following months, and then just kept growing slightly. But this time I was ready to blame the right person: me.
I was guilty of taken for granted that success was guaranteed. I was being kidnapped by the dumb idea that my students will love my next course, just because they loved my previous one. At the same time the world was changing and I couldn't see where it was going, and I was letting my courses be a constant reproduction of themselves. I was giving my students more of the same, in an ever-improving package. Something needed to change, and fast.
That's how stage D began, where the chart shows the biggest growth lines I've had in my entire career. What are they due to? Because I reacted to what I learned during Stage C. I decided to stop thinking about making courses that make money, and focused on making courses that improve the life of my students. When it used to take me 1 month to do a course, now it takes me 6 months. I plan my next courses as if it were a Netflix show (I'm not saying I'll make it, I'm saying I use that concept as a goal).
The paradox is that I learned that when you produce with total love, the student falls in love with you, and you achieve in an indirect way the objective you were looking for directly before.
My success on Udemy does not mean that I have surpassed anyone, it only shows that I have surpassed myself. That I have learned from my mistakes and that I must have a humble attitude if I want to keep growing. That's why I shared this graph without numbers, because what's important are those lines that go up and down, moving to the rhythm of my own wisdom and my own stupidity.
If you ever feel stuck in your career as a course creator, run to the nearest mirror, there you will find all the answers.
What a great Black Friday / Cyber Monday. I hit two milestones: $100,000 Total and $10,000 / month in less than 2 years. Thank you Udemy, for this great platform and all your efforts!
I started my first course just for fun and I didn´t expect anything because I
teach extremely competitive topics (Python, Data Science, Finance)
teach in English and I am not a native Speaker
had no following
never made courses / taught anything before (in fact, presentations had never been my favorite activity)
hadn´t worked in B2C before (only B2B)
don´t do any marketing
In my view, it´s still possible to start a successful (side-) Business on Udemy
If you are an Expert in your Topics and provide additional benefits/insight/niches
If you have some talent in structuring and explaining complex topics in a way that 98% of your students really understand and digest what you are saying. I have always been a good and passionate learner. I guess this really helps to create and optimize content for students.
If you have patience and realistic expectations. Even if your first course is (in your opinion) the best and most comprehensive course in its category you probably won´t make thousands in the first couple of months. Algorithms prefer/promote those Instructors/Courses with an existing track record, which is OK.
Some insights and tips:
Udemy is not passive Income -> It´s hard work to create (& update) 10h, 50h, or even 100h of video content. If you are new, it´s even more important to answer student questions and help your students as good as you can (can be very time consuming and nerve-racking)
Udemy is not a getting rich quick scheme. It´s a bet on continuous growth: I crossed the $1,000 Milestone after 4 months, the next $99,000 took 19 months. But the truth is that I am still months/year(s) away from break-even (income if I had invested the time spent on Udemy into the next best opportunity). -> Udemy is more than just money, it´s a lifestyle. If you are an expert in something and earn good money, Udemy is probably not the best alternative if money is your first priority.
Don´t start with your “flagship” course. Start with 2 or 3 short/free courses, improve your course making skills, understand how the platform works, and build a first audience/following.
After almost full 5 years of Udemy experience, I reached USD 250K today! I owe this success to inspiring instructors who always go before us and show us what are possible. Special thanks to @LindsayMarsh and @PhilEbiner who showed me basic strategy to be successful in Udemy. That is just keep making courses. I learned to be good contributor to Udemy community from @ScottDuffy. Helping others and serving community themselves are rewarding. @LawrenceMMiller always gives wisdom and insight.
For those who have just started Udemy journey, I want to share one secret to be successful in Udemy. That is, there is no such secret. All you need to know is shared in this Udemy community. BY learning Udemy courses by yourselves, you can learn how successful Udemy instructors teach and how they structure their courses. Stop chasing "best way", "short cut" nor "Only_successful instructors_know_things". Because there are no such things.
I am merely a high school graduate and no degree in higher education. I was raised by single mom. Most of Japanese companies denied my resume because of my academic background. I am a husband and a father of 3 daughters. I still work for 9 to 5 job. Meaning I am just a normal guy.
But one thing I did was I kept making courses. After 59 months of Udemy career, I have published 48 courses and still continue.
Those who feel that your revenue grow very slow, I know how you feel. But, once you get momentum, things go really quickly. I calculate how much months I needed to earn every USD 50K;
1st 50K 38 months
2nd 50K another 7 months
3rd 50K another 6 months
4th 50K another 4 months
5th 50K another 4 months.
As you see, to earn first 50K, it took me 3 years. But another 50K was easy, just 7 month. 5 times faster than 1st 50K. It is because during the 3 years, you cumulate skills and you cumulate courses, students and reviews. Another 50K , you can use these. I know by observing come-and-go in communities (it used to be Facebook, and now this official community) for 5 years, that not many are patient. So stick to it and just keep moving on, you are already special here!
Shigeru Masukawa from Tokyo, Japan
Our approach is much different than most on here-- Our business on Udemy has diminished over the last few years, but, we're still very grateful for the partnership.
My company, Framework Television, has evolved from a Udemy seller to independent publisher to fledgling educational digital television network.
Not the normal Udemy path.
I started on Udemy because of cancer.
Strange but true. I had been flying around the world as a technical trainer, teaching the first generation of mobile developers and multi-media web developers. I had a great client base-- Lockheed, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Boeing and even the US House of Representatives were all my training clients. I was making buckets of money and having a great time. It was the life. First class seats on planes, great hotels, and great people.
Then one day nine years ago, I was about to start a course for the FAA. I was about to begin teaching and realized my muscles were so fatigued; I couldn't get out of the chair.
They brought me to the ER, and the eventual diagnosis was colon cancer.
I was 35 years old.
What they don't tell you about fighting cancer is that (for me at least) it was not so debilitating that you can't do anything, but, I wasn't able to travel and continue working. So there was a lot of Price is Right and a lot of web surfing.
One day in my web surfing, I discovered Udemy. And I thought to myself, "I can do this better than these people! Maybe this is a chance to make some extra coin."
To my surprise, the course made money.
Suddenly it was making lots of money. I was lucky.
So I made another course. Then another. Soon I had to hire an assistant. Then he had to work full time.
So years later (and two paradigm shifts later) here I am. I've had a #1 computer book on Amazon. I've authored dozens of courses myself and published dozens of courses authored by others. Now I'm on the adventure of my life starting a streaming video network teaching people coding, digital design, and game development. It all started with Udemy. And we're still there.
So a few recommendations for those just starting out:
1) Focus on quality. You're not going to do well trying to find the shortest path between you and making a buck. We've continually improved quality over the years in an attempt to better engage, better explain and create a better degree of success.
It's amazing that when you provide actual quality, you don't worry about the review system much.
2) Video lectures are not enough. Students learn better if you provide a multi-modal education. Add worksheets, labs, even a written version of the lectures. We now include the equivalent of an entire book with our courses as well as exercises, additional practice, etc.
3) Learn production. Sorry, if I have to watch another Powerpoint presentation masquerading as a course I'm going to scream. Differentiate yourself and create something worth watching. We know why you use PowerPoint-- It's easy. I can read the PowerPoint slides, thank you. Reading them to me does not make a course. (Argue all you want. PowerPoint makes bad courses and makes you lazy).
Here's a screenshot from one of our courses:
We're shooting against a green screen. Everything else -- lower thirds, animated backgrounds, etc, we learned in Udemy courses. You'd be surprised what you can learn here.
Production matters because your audience isn't comparing your work to other online courses... They're comparing it to other media. Video games, movies, TV Shows, are all your competition for eyeballs. Can you engage as they can? Do everything you can to engage your audience.
If they're not watching your snooze-fest, it's your fault. Not theirs.
4) Work as you've never worked before. I love every minute of the work we do. I cannot be more excited to take the 30-minute train ride to our studio each day. I work 12-14 hours on many days. I've created a team of folks that I love.
This is my passion.
5) Be an expert. I cringe whenever I hear the word niche. When someone is seeking a niche, they're looking for a way to make money-- not teaching what they are passionate about. We don't need another Facebook ads instructor who wants to do it because it's lucrative. Of those of us who've made it to the million dollar mark I guarantee most of us are experts teaching what we're passionate about.
The opportunities always lose in the end, because there is a shiner quarter somewhere.
6) If you don't like it, quit. Today. There is no imperative to make a course. It's even worse to make a lousy course and hate the process. If you don't like it, quit. Life is short and, in the end, you should spend time doing what you're passionate about.
That's all for now. Ask me anything.
Congrats Mark, what a great achievement!
It's an AMA, so here I go with the tough questions:
1) How long did it take you to get there?
2) You have over a quarter million students, are they all paid? It seems that ~$4 per student is a low number, that would mean most of them aren't repeat buyers? Any free coupons?
3) I see you have almost 7,000 reviews. How do you explain the low review to student count ratio? Do you think that has any impact on your sales?
4) You said your Udemy review has been dwindling. What do you attribute this to, what and when was your peak revenue and your monthly revenue now?
Thanks for the inspiration Stephane
Thanks. I don't mind tough questions. Not sure how some of these are helpful to you or help you sell more courses, but, here goes...
1) About 8 years.
2) I actually have over 375,000 students across different accounts. I have other accounts generating revenue as well. This was just the first one to reach a major milestone like this. For a period a few years back when I worked closely with Udemy they systematically gave away one of my courses as a way to entice people into buying. They don't do that anymore as their strategy has changed. I have no idea how many are repeat buyers. It seems like we have a significant number based on names I notice again and again, but, since Udemy doesn't provide a convenient way to track that, we have more constructive metrics to focus on. 3) We've never focused on trying to get students to review courses. Before the algorithm changes in 2016(15?) the number of reviews wasn't a huge factor. Now Udemy has made the number of reviews a major factor in search. (The unintended consequence was wide-spread cheating). We had plenty of reviews for social proof. Our current strategy focuses more on reviews and class participation. 4) We used to do over $25k a month up to $45K a month. Now we do under $5K some months. Our courses used to be featured by Udemy and supported with advertising. The competition used to be a lot less. Now that support goes to others. (Yes, I'm a bit bitter about the way in which we were unceremoniously dropped, but, life goes on). We are still participating and still trying to grow on the platform. In fact, last month, with the help of friends we had a pretty good launch in a healthy category... We'll see what happens.
View the full thread: 1 Million. Ask me anything. (And I'm NOT one of Udemy's Favorites)
I'm Phil Ebiner. I'm a long-time Udemy instructor - been here since 2012. And I'm excited to be a part of this community. Please feel free to ask me any questions!
Since 2012, I've made over $1.5 million from Udemy. And I don't say that to brag, but to show you what a normal guy like me can do... someone who started like many of you without an audience, experience teaching, experience selling, email list, website... nothing.
It has taken a lot of hard work and time to do this, but I believe you can achieve your goals if you have the right mindset and put in the right amount of effort!
I love Udemy, and hope to help you out on this amazing platform!
very inspiring, what kind of courses you are doing
I just joined Udemy I am an Artist and art instructor for many years I want to start a cours but don’t know how .
can you guide me to start
how many hours should a cours be is it like continued courses ,
should a cours or a project be finished in one course and continue doing another project ?
I teach creative skills like photography, photo editing, video editing, motion graphics.
Great question about how long a course should be. I always say that they should be 'as long as it takes to teach the topic.' I wouldn't focus on just simply trying to reach a certain length of course... just focus on teaching a topic in an efficient and easy-to-digest manner. You don't want to drag on and on about a topic. On the flip side, I've seen longer courses do better on Udemy. So adding additional topics/content, and making the course comprehensive enough to be 5+ hours is generally my rule of thumb.
In terms of finishing the course - do it! Just get the course done and launched!
View the full thread: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor - Udemy Instructor Community
Sometimes it's a bit intimidating to start a whole new Post just to ask a question.
So go ahead and ask your question as a comment in this thread, and I'll do my best to answer. No stress, no worries. No dumb questions. Ask away.
Who am I? I'm a fellow instructor, and I've been on Udemy for about 7 years. Udemy's my full-time income these days and they've been very good to me over the years. I've seen a lot. And I'm here to help. So how can I help you? What do you need to succeed? LMK below.
Thank you for offering your help on here.
My course was recently flagged for not generating enough enrollments. The email from Udemy said that I need to update my course with a fresh video at least every 6 months. What else can I add to it?
Also, do you have any tips to attract new students? I've been marketing it through my Instagram page.
Hi there, thanks for asking.
I notice your course is called "Structural Analysis of Statically Determinate Trusses".
I can't say that this is a topic that I am familiar with.
For this particular course, you need to identify who your ideal student is. I think you did a pretty good job describing them in the course landing page. It appears to be Engineering students who are stuck on this particular element of learning structural engineering, who also speak English. Do you have an idea of how many people in the world that may be? Maybe 10,000 total? I don't know.
Next, you have to get this course in front of them. I am not sure if enough of those 10,000 are on Instagram and searching the right hashtags for your posts to get in front of them.
You might try Facebook ads, to catch people in the right age group, college and university engineering students, etc. But it's hard to see how you can make money advertising to a small group of people at this price point.
Your course has 4 students and 0 reviews. I always say that you need to push that thing to at least 10 reviews. So you might have to give your course away for free to "a few" people and ask them nicely to review it (honestly). 0 reviews is not a great place to be.
To be honest, I'd think about your next course. That's your highest expected value move. Something that might have some mainstream appeal.
Think about the Discovery Channel, the Science Channel, and mass entertainment youtube channels and tv shows - and what kind of programs they air related to your expertise in Engineering.
Find the most-watched engineering videos on YouTube. Find the most popular TV shows in your field. What are they teaching?
"The Science of Suspension Bridges - How They Stay Up"
"The Science of Burj Khalifa and Other Mega Skyscrapers"
"How to Build in Earthquake Zones"
Things like that. What would a million people potentially be interested in when they are bored on a Saturday afternoon related to engineering?
I think your success on Udemy will be in that space.
If you want to remain on the academic side of engineering, you might have to do more marketing. Write a newsletter, build a mailing list, start a community, start a YouTube channel on the topic.... find a way to bring free information to people that can hook them into your paid course.
Have a look at Arjit Raj on Udemy, you might have some things in common: https://www.udemy.com/user/arjit/
Hi @ScottDuffy I am completely new to this field and also english is not my native language but i am trying very hard to improve english and delivery so that i can reach to wider audience’s. In June i have launched my two course. Conversation rate for first is 3.4 % and for second is 5.2% I able to earned in June :- $341.11 and July:- $412 Actually can you suggest me how can i improve my courses. Is it possible for me to earn $1500/month from udemy? maybe dumb question. Thanks in advance
There are no dumb questions, first of all.
"Is it possible for me to earn $1500/month from Udemy?" Don't let me or anyone else tell you what you can achieve. General life advice, OK? I know it's possible to make much more than that on Udemy. Maybe not easy for everyone. But it's possible. I know hundreds of people that do.
"Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford.
For future courses, you'll have to improve the sound quality. There is quite a lot of echo. It sounds like you are recording in an empty room. I can understand you OK, but as a future improvement, you need to figure out how to record without so much echo.
In fact, if you get bad reviews saying the student can't understand you, some of that will be because of the echo. I think this is probably the most important thing you need to work on.
The course I previewed is called "Full stack project with spring boot java and react - TDD".
It's a minor thing, but you should learn about "Title Case" because book titles, course titles, blog post titles, etc should have every word start with a capital.
In my search, you are #4 for "spring boot react" on Udemy. But I see that you expect students to have beginner-level skills in Spring and React already. So you're not "teaching" spring, you're just using it?
So what are you teaching? Test-Driven Development? You should use the word "Test Driven Development (TDD)" in your course title. TDD alone is not enough.
"Master Test-Driven Development (TDD) with Spring Boot & React"
I don't know if that title fits, but I would try that as a title and see if it improves things.
Those are my suggestions for now. It's a competitive category. Good luck!
View the full thread here
Hi There, I'm Denise and I have been on Udemy for a few years. I have 10 courses. I thought I'd share some of my thoughts about NOT being the most successful of Udemy instructors. I think when you first come to Udemy it can be easy to give up before you have even got going with creating your course. Or you create your course and it isn't successful at all and you feel deflated. It's comparisonitis!!! Comparing yourself to other people. Some course creators just nail their course and their niche and are immensely successful from the word go. I want you all to know that there is room for everyone to get some success and over time you can be more successful. It just takes more time and perseverance for some / many people. Don't give up. Learn. For me I overcome my technical shortcomings just by learning bit by bit. It was an enormous mountain to climb.I am still learning. I have become more successful and Udemy does reap rewards as long as you keep at it Sometimes it is important to keep in your mind that there are course creators who earn nothing but also there are course creators who earn a fortune. However there are a lot more who earn somewhere inbetween and that is ok and can pay your bills or help you earn extra money if you have lost your job, you need more money, you need to work flexibly because of family commitments, you have been ill or you are retired.
Just keep the end in mind and your reason, your why for create online learning
This post might come off sounding a bit self-centered and egotistical. Apologies in advance if it comes off that way. My intention tonight was to reflect on my 7+ years as a Udemy instructor. I thought I would share them.
As always, if any of these spark questions or interest, feel free to ask about them in the comments below.
1. I don’t read my reviews. Stranger’s opinions about me are not important. I do, however, have someone to read them and respond.
I once heard Seth Godin say something similar at Udemy Live. I care about the opinions of people I trust and respect, not Internet strangers.
2. If one person says something bad about me or my course, I don’t believe them. They’re having a bad day. I forget about what they said. Everyone has a right to their opinion. But I also have the right to ignore it.
You have to have thick skin to survive in an Internet Marketplace. Or a Facebook Group. I really don't let what people say to me affect me. That's on them.
3. If multiple people say something bad about me or my course, ok maybe there’s something that can be improved. So I improve it. And then I forget about what they said. My lack of memory for inconsequential things is my greatest strength.
At some point, there's a quorum. If a few people say something needs to be improved, OK, I improve it. But I still don't let their harsh judgements affect me. It's fixed! Moving on!
4. I don’t read emails, private messages, social media messages, or answer phone calls unless I want to hear from that person. I currently have 26.999 unread emails and I’m perfectly fine with it.
I view being hard to reach as a strength.
5. I am not perfect. I can always be better.
6. I am not a perfectionist. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a perfectionist actually. There are just people making excuses for why something isn’t done.
7. Great is the enemy of good.
A book I have not read. But it makes sense. If you spend too much time trying to be perfect or trying to reach greatness, your competition will have passed you 6 times.
8. Practice makes you better. Create one video, and it’s at-best “ok”. Create 100 videos, and you get better. Create 1000 and you get better. Do it again, and again, and again.
Practice, practice, practice. What we do is a skill. You can't beat me with your first course. I've been doing this for years. Work harder. Practice harder.
9. Not every course I have made has been a success.
You don't see the failures. Shhh....
10. I watch my own courses frequently enough. I’ll just sit and watch 1-2 hours of each of my courses every few months. And that spurs ideas for making them better.
How many instructors watch their own courses one or two times per year? I bet it's less than 1%.
11. I don’t give away all my best secrets to public Internet forums.
Someone asked me the other day why I spend so much time in the Udemy community, reading posts, sharing information, and interacting with fellow instructors.
Well, it is simple...I find value in it.
Easy as that. Now, what kind of value? How about people who understand what you are going through? When you start doing online teaching and it starts going well, and you decide to spend A LOT of time doing it, people in your normal circle of friends might think you are a little weird. After all, while they are out on a Saturday night at the bar, I am home recording courses!
But, my fellow Udemy instructors get it. They understand the hard work, the time it takes, and the weird life that it creates for us (in a good way).
Other people in my life don't understand this online business or teaching thing, but the friends I have made through the Udemy community do, and we chat about it all the time. I have met a really great group of folks that I talk to numerous times a day, and it was all thanks to the Udemy community group.
In addition to that, I find inspiration in the big winners (Frank Kane and Phil Ebnir posting their $1 million miletsones) and other stories like theirs. It makes me think, if they can, so can I!
Well, I am not to their level yet, but I am catching up. (To be fair, they had a headstart on me.) But, stories of inspiration and community are two of the biggest reasons I personally come back here time and time again.
Jason Dion (@JasonDion)
I agree. I love coming back because I love the value I get from listening to the more experience guys or even seeing questions from newcomers that I never thought of before. So much value and it has helped me take my courses to the next level and be almost full time doing this in less than a year.
Yes - I am totally inspired by how I can discover how to evolve through the hlep of others. Daily we are all challanged to produce the highest quality courses that we can. I learn so much not only being apart of these groups but also by taking other peoples courses; this often gifts me a different perspective on how to create and propel my own courses forward. I am in the five zero's club; however have some distance to close before I reach Frank Kane and Phil Ebiners level. Lots of dedicated devoted work planned and lined up in front of me.
When you start doing online teaching and it starts going well, and you decide to spend A LOT of time doing it, people in your normal circle of friends might think you are a little weird. After all, while they are out on a Saturday night at the bar, I am home recording courses!
Totally agree with you about this Jason! I also juggle my full-time work and Udemy hustle so I relate with what you said. I work early in the morning; I work while on the train to and from work; I work when I have free time in the office and I still work before hitting the sack. It's truly hard work but whenever I see the positive feedback from my students (and the $$$ on my revenue report) -- it's all worth the effort!
There were even some weekends when we host a "karaoke party" in our flat and I'm working on my course while waiting for my turn to sing. That's a little weird in the eyes of my friends but to my fellow Udemy instructors, they understand the hard work that this business entails.
I still have a long way to go towards my goal but I know I'll achieve it along with the like-minded folks here in the Udemy community. And perhaps, once everything is done, I can sing all day long without having to worry about anything at all!
Same here: I also enjoy hanging around here instead of going to a bar. 🙂 I enjoy programming - but I hate being told what to do, where to sit, when to have lunch, etc. Love learning new stuff - but definitely don't miss the corporate bullshit, meaningless meetings, and soul-sucking, never-ending projects. Thus, online teaching and publishing was the biggest blessing for me; it allowed me to quit the rat race and work on projects I love.
I've tried many things, but this one finally clicked! I'm so glad to be able to put my content in front of people from all over the world!
I recently reached/passed 1 million students on Udemy. A huge THANK YOU to Udemy and all those at Udemy that have supported me, provided feedback, given direction and opened doors that allowed me to reach this milestone.
To give you a little context, I've been on Udemy since Nov. 2015. Before deciding if I wanted to put in the time to create a course, I did a quick search to see if the topic I wanted was relevant and how many courses has already been published. Nearly 6 years ago there was roughly 900 courses on the topic I planned on. At the time, I thought why even bother. How could I compete against 900+ courses, let a lone the 10's of thousands of other courses on the platform. In the end, I decided to create a couple of small courses to test the waters, both my own ability to create an online course and using Udemy as the platform. A few months went by as I maintained the little bit of content I had on the platform. The initial courses weren't paying the bills, but I became addicted to posting content, answering questions in the QA section of the courses and communicating with my students.
Student Location Map
I never dreamed or expected to reach a milestone like this. I was looking for a "side gig". This "side gig" has turned into my full-time gig and allowed me to hire a team to assist with maintaining the courses and keeping up with the QA.
It definitely didn't happen over night. But, with patience and giving more then the student expects, I've made more then just a "side gig". Thank you Udemy!
Lifetime Student Monthly Enrollment
I'm not one to typically toot a horn, but I feel this is something that I not only accomplished but something that Udemy has accomplished as well each instructor on the platform. In reality, a platform is only as good as the content on the platform and that content comes from all the instructors.
Super excited to have finally reached this one. 100,000 in sales on Udemy and here is some of what I learned on the way. ( Thos took 3 years by the way! )
1. Consistent output is key. Either updating existing courses or making new courses. ( I have 12 courses now. )
2. Appreciate bad reviews. What!? Yep, I said it. Those are the ones that will lead you to better course creation if you listen! ( of course I mean the constructive ones. )
3. Learn to promote your content. Don’t wait for Udemy to do all the work. You can notice that over time I got better at selling my own courses. I started to get less organic sales so I began to share more videos on YouTube, engage with my audience on social media, and create more blog posts. I now bring in 30% of my own sales.
4. Build your audience off Udemy! The real power is in your following and they love interacting with their favorite instructor so give them ways to do that. For me it is pretty easy since I teach art. I comment on their art and give any insights I can. Create helpful free content for your target student as well as a clear line of sight to your course content.
5. Help as many people succeed as you can. Do this and you will find success along the way!
6. Don’t wait for perfection! It isn’t even a real thing in my world. I am an imperfect being and I share that in my content. Besides, I would never get anything done if I thought otherwise.
I hope this helps and I am here if you have any questions! 🙂
MILESTONE! 🏆 I know it is not much to some of you big instructors out there, but I achieved a 5-figure number this month! Last Nov I came within a few dollars or reaching 5-figures but it feels good to reach it on an "off summer month" and not on a high sale month. This on top of the nice chunk of change I get from other sources/platforms monthly, teaching online is surpassing any prior expectations I had for income. A few tips of how I got here: ✔️The first 12 months was spent getting my income to $1,000 a month with only 12 months after that spent getting it to $10,000. You will notice how it speeds up quite a bit once you get past that $1,000 monthly marker. Same goes for building your net worth. That first $100,000 is a beast, with future subsequent $100,000 milestones being easier and quicker to reach.
✔️You will notice that this month comprised of 20 percent instructor promotions. It can be higher, but it rarely has gotten that high and I think that helps a great deal in boosting you further past your prior numbers. I sent two promo e-mails this month along with a new course launch.
✔️Speaking of course launches I *try* to do one each month. That means most of the month I am focused on course production and editing with one hour a day for student engagement. ✔️This was built on zero prior audience. It took that first 12 months to build a small audience to then build a bigger one in the next 12 months afterwards to achieve this type of income. 2 and a half years in total to get here, not really an overnight success but one where it was worth the years of effort. ✔️I do not have a huge youtube following, instagram following or anything else for that matter. This has largely been built using the Udemy platform and a student facebook groups and a page. I have spent too much time with little return on social networks like youtube/instagram. If it ain't working after several months of posting GREAT content then focus your efforts on building new courses instead. ✔️I have focused more on producing new courses and less on boosting and editing older ones. BUT Every 4 courses I take a month off and focus on upgrading prior courses with new content/lessons.
✔️I have had a larger focus lately on creating additional "bonus content" or "downloadable resources" for my classes to add a more rich experience. Students love being able to study things "offline" and some have a hard time streaming in their countries and really prefer this mode of learning, coupled with videos. My first few classes did not include many downloadable extra learning items. It is a student preference I had to learn over time. ✔️I have been focusing a lot on student support. One hour of each day is spend helping students with feedback. I have slowly (and it has taken over a year) to build a 5,000-member facebook group that contains just paying students. Paying students convert very well when you send them new course coupons. It is also a place where you can earn your 5 star reviews without asking by being helpful. ✔️Reviews are a HUGE deal in ranking. Any negative review (3 stars or under) with a comment is addressed immediately, not matter how crazy that review sounds. I never write a review off as "ridiculous" or "unfair" unless they use bad language. There is some truth in all reviews, no matter how unfair it sounds. I address all items, it if is a problem with sound, it gets addressed THAT DAY. ✔️I have a Black Friday plan in place. I am producing a course I think would have the greatest student demand (based on a poll on my student facebook group). I plan to launch in early October to get ranked high enough for Nov sales. ✔️Speaking of black friday I am boosting my biggest money making class. I have one super large course that is selling over $3,000-$4,000 per month. You bet I pay very close attention to that course. I recently upgraded the audio on 5 lessons and totally replaced 4 of them. I am adding new downloadable worksheets to lessons and I hope to remove lessons I think are unnecessary. All this will keep my rating boosted (in theory!). There is a point when upgrading a successful class is more profitable than creating a new one. Make sure you know when that point is. Usually, when a current course is still outselling your new additional courses.
Anyways, just felt like sharing this milestone but also sharing a few tips as well! I hope you found some of this useful in your own teaching journeys!
@LawrenceMMiller: Congratulations! You have done a great job of building a business on Udemy and it is obvious that you have worked very hard at it. You also did a great job explaining how you got there, which I am sure will be helpful to many.
So, it finally happened. It is really strange seeing that 7th digit pop up on my Udemy revenue report. It just feels so surreal. I cannot believe this happened with just one company and without any paid ads that I had to run on my own and almost zero expenses, minus my own human capital.
I am grateful to be in the right place at the right time in my industry and I think there is still great opportunities out there for those just starting out.
It took me 4 years and 20 full length courses to get to this point. 2 years had been creating courses full time and the first two it was just a side hustle thing.
I would have a system each week where Monday’s I wrote content, tue was filming, Wednesdays were editing, Thursday’s was launching and Friday’s was social media. I would do this every week for 4 years. When I had client work, I did it in the evenings, which was hard and I do not think I could have gotten to this point if I did not take the risk of letting my clients go halfway through this journey.
This will be my last revenue sharing post as I reached the last goal I was wishing to share.
Not going to go on and on with this one, just thankful to be given the chance to accomplish this, thank you for letting me share with you.
New milestone unlocked. I did a $20,000 monthly milstone post a few months ago and decided to do one for each notch from here.
My first $30,000+ month on Udemy. The January sale seemed more effective than the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.
Other than this, there is not one thing I did that magically make my numbers steadily increase each month.
I am still on track to release one new 10+ hour course every 6-8 weeks.
Continuing to grow my Facebook student groups (only paid students can join, this keeps the content and post quality up) and have 10,000+ in three groups.
Youtube and Instagram are growing, but very slowly and do NOT contribute a ton to my revenue share.
I have totally overhauled my flagship money making course to be updated to the newest software. This and many other updates have helped this course have higher ratings and sales.
The Udemy Promotional algorithm that chooses which course gets paid ads by udemy, selects "best sellers" tagged courses. I have noticed a big increase in ad revenue sales in that course. It took 2 years for my flagship course to get the best seller tag. Not something that came overnight.
Building Facebook communities have been a huge help in having bigger course launches
I have stopped doing shorter courses on Udemy and now try to have at least 8 hours or more of content for each new course
I have not offered any free courses for over a year
I have created several intermediate courses to compliment my flagship best selling course to naturally make more cross sells.
I do one big promo each month and offer my students all my courses for $9.99
I do a live stream and review students work in a live video (sometimes over 50 student projects in total), I ask for reviews right after this video so they are at peak satisfaction with the course and bonus content I provide. I can also quickly review 50 students work instead of having to get back to them one at a time.
I have improved my course intros dramatically. I have made them longer (4-5 min instead of 2-3 min) to make sure the right students enrolls in the course.
I have added new downloadable resources to ensure they have something other than just videos to engage with. This has been HUGE!
I would rather come out with one 12 hour masterclass than try to do 3, 4 hour mini classes. Longer more broad topic classes just tend to make more.
My total breakdown of earnings this month JAN 2020 (last 4 days of the month are projected average daily earnings and added to the total)
I do everything myself, so no need to pay any contractors or employees I get to keep it all. I do not do any paid advertising myself.
Just giving people a breakdown because I know when I first started I LOVED to see some of the top earners break down and give lots of details of their earnings. It is like getting to peer behind the curtain.
Not doing this to FLEX, doing it to give you a raw breakdown of some things I do to slowly increase my earnings AND showing you do not HAVE to have your own platform, do tons of paid ads, have a great social media following.
You can to still do well as an online instructor. Just make tons of high-quality content and be consistent with putting out that content and engaging with your students in positive ways.
Content is king, if you work on anything this year, continue to up the bar on your video/audio/editing/content quality.
Hey guys! Filip Kordanovski here. I'm very much enjoying this new community and what a better way to start than with some valuable tips I've learned through my relatively short, but amazing, Udemy career. 1. Be consistent with communicating with your students. Send out promotional announcements whenever you have something new to sell or upcoming course release. Send out educational announcements with related course content, at least once per month and provide even more value to your existing students. 2. Gather your exsisting students within a community group.
I prefer Facebook Groups, Discord chatrooms or anything other, really. Let this be a hub for your existing students and connect with them. Students like when they are receiving attention from their instructor and 1-on-1 communication with them may be crucial for that student to enroll in your new course! 3. Respond to private messages, reviews, Q&A questions and assignments.
Student engagement is by far the most important thing you can achieve as an instructor. Engaged students are likely going to enjoy your upcoming courses based on how you treated them in your previous ones! 4. Research what your existing students are interested in, besides your course topic. This is important because you get to know what your audience would like to learn next and what a better way to surprise them than with creating a course they are simply dying to watch! Udemy provides in-depth statistics of this matter. 5. Quality over quantity Always focus on delivering high quality content, catchy visuals, crystal clear audio and always improve on your delivery. Don't rush to create course that is not perfectly made or even not finished completely. If you want any specific tips about the things I mentioned in this tip, feel free to ask away! 6. Quality courses equals high selling price
Don't set your courses at 20$! A carefuly crafted course is worth way more than that. Always aim for the 100$+ price mark, so when Udemy has a sale, the student will be excited to see that the course they want to purcahse is 90% off! 7. Learn from the big guys
Always research your competition before creating a course on a particular topic. I'd say, research about 10 competitor courses in your niche, and start listing out things that their courses are missing and make sure to include them into your courses! This is the best tip I can give you to win on Udemy. 8. Free coupons is a risky move! Most students who enroll in your premium course for free are not interested in your topic as a person who would pay for your course. Be cautious with this, since this may lead to low review ratings, overflooding your course with inactive students and thus resulting in incorrect statistics like engagement, analytics and more. I'd say just give 10-15 free coupons to close friends and let them criticize your course!
9. Bite sized lectures are the way to go! Don't make your lectures long videos that the student may feel overwhelmed by watching! Let them grasp a concept in a short video and make them feel like they've learned at least something throughout that short lecture! They are also more likely to watch a shorter lecture, thus, increasing your engagement! 10. Never stop learning
I've been an instructor for 2.5 years but I'm still learning new things daily. Always research delivery techniques, learn from more successful instructors than you, visit this community hub at least 1 hour per day and learn and contribute! It will return ten times higher in your journey to become the best instructor you can be. Don't forget that you're changing lives of students daily throughout your courses. You help them land their dream job, get an internship or simply learn a new skill! Feel free to talk and share your ideas on how to improve on any field! Let's make this thread the ultimate go-to for any newcomer and seasoned instructor! You're awesome, keep rocking! Filip Kordanovski
Today was the day when I paid off our mortgage. We're now completely debt-free! I left the 9-to-5 back in 2016 to dedicate myself completely to what used to be my side-gigs: writing books, developing software, and creating courses. It turned out that it was one of my best decisions ever that has changed my life in so many ways! Thank you all who've inspired and motivated me over the years. May the force be with you! 😉
We all know Udemy can change lives financially and there is a lot of focus on a number of students and income. What isn't discussed often is how Udemy provides is a platform to get a "name" in the world and become better known in your field. Adding "best selling instructor" or "taught 50,000 students worldwide" can open up some doors outside of Udemy.
I have been on a handful of podcasts, have done speaking engagements, and even have a book deal from a publisher who found me on Udemy, her first e-mail called me an "expert" in my field. I have been asked to create specific courses for a large mental health organization, write for websites with five million+ monthly visitors, and many more that keep me motivated to keep creating courses and engaging with students.
What opportunities has Udemy given you?
I received an inquiry if I offer live training to one of the biggest auditor firm in Japan. (I do Udemy as side hustle and in Japan, side hustling is becoming popular, but this is not something you openly want to brag) I don't do live, so I turned it down. Even so, I felt good to receive such an offer.
Other than providing me an opportunity for a second career, and helping me discover that I immensely enjoy creating online Courses ... none at all 😁
Frankly, not many people here have heard of Udemy ... and my Corporate Career earned me a lot more fame and fortune ! But those are not big priorities for me in my second career. I earn OK, definitely not as much as what I made during my Corporate Career, but I enjoy the flexibility, and the opportunity to learn and do totally new things at 50 !
A university student came to my LinkedIn profile asking me if I could provide promotional coupons of my courses for students of Chemical Engineering
The opportunity to be with my children during the summer holidays.
I can’t think of a better opportunity.