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Udemy Instructor Knowledge Base

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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.   Author: @ScottDuffy 
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We often discuss whether sales are going up or down and we discuss a lot of factors over which we have no control, such as Udemy’s advertising, the pandemic, etc. But we do not often discuss how our own work product determines the rate of sales. So, I thought it would be worth making a list of instructor’s “controllable” factors that will determine the rate of sales of a course.   Let’s do a survey. Assume you are launching a new course, so it has no current students and no ratings to begin with. Let’s not discuss inclusion in UFB because that will come later. What will impact its initial sales?   Please reply by stating the numbers of those you think are most impactful in order of important… #1, 2, etc. Pick your top five factors in order. Or, add to the list if you like. If you suggest an additional factor, I will add it to the list in this message so others can rate it.   Topic title (with key words) Subtitle Written course description. Category in which the course falls Quality of the promo video – video technical quality Quality of promo – explanation of content and benefits Quality of the promo – personality/style of the instructor Quality of other sample videos Instructor’s bio/resume/CV Instructor’s prior ratings and courses List price of the course Length of the course (longer) Length of the course (shorter) Number of competing courses Rating of competing courses Instructor’s marketing efforts – YouTube Instructor’s marketing efforts – mail list Instructor’s marketing efforts – website Instructor’s paid ads (Facebook, etc.)   Author: @LawrenceMMiller    @Mufaddal: Here is my top 5 in descending order of their impact to sales Irrespective of Udemy or self hosted site    1, Category and level of interest in market  for the course or topics 2. Level of awareness about the instructor and courses - Reach - Mailing list, youtube, Linkedin etc  3. Instructor bio- Trust is huge factor. Once students trust to be an authority or someone worth listening to and learn they will keep on buying. 4. Ratings and Reviews  5. Competition    @Marious: Here is my list: 11, 1, 12, 9, 4 For me it is all about advertising the course and targeting it.   If targeted by Udemy, I will get a lot of sales... Udemy is really good at targeting people with ads. It is much harder for individual instructors... It is enough to look at Black Friday (not a year ago, but 3-4 years ago...) - crazy results! I do not want to panic (yet), I want to wait till the next big promotion from Udemy but my current results show huge drops despite my efforts in publishing new courses. I want to wait till the next big sale by Udemy to see if this trend keeps going    So from things I can control it is all about the price and showing that students own this course forever and can rely on me (I think it would be a good option to be added - active support from an instructor). So in a way it is about advertising Udemy as a great platform, showing the benefits, and saying there is a cool course that I actively support.   From marketing tools, Facebook worked for me a few years ago but no crazy results...   I think owning is a key factor here - I have heard a lot of comments from students from Udemy and outside of Udemy saying that they like to own a course, it feels better than 'renting' it for 2 months - they feel some kind of a connection. I get that and like it. On the other hand a lot of people enjoy UfB, I used to make a lot of money of it (not the case anymore and I have no control over it, unfortunately - 50% drop for me).   Also, try a number of things and see what works for you. Try new titles, new projects, and new ideas.    Thanks Lawrence for an interesting topic!   @Rahul Iyer: Hi @LawrenceMMiller ,    This is an excellent list. In my opinion, all the factors you've listed are important. Not one  can be singled out. The best part is if we control these factors (which are rightly in our total control), Udemy does it's part very well. Some may not agree to my statement. But if it is an in-demand topic and all these factors are taken care off, we are making it easier for Udemy to market our courses. Thanks again!    Regards,  Rahul  
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    When I created and published my first course 2 years ago on Udemy, I expected my market to be fairly limited and sales to be lukewarm. If someone told me that in a couple of years I would be sitting at $100k earnings (much higher number in terms of sales) I would have referred that person to a psychiatrist. Thanks Udemy for providing this excellent platform and helping instructors like me build their brands and a viable income stream.   My sales started slow (first few months) but they scaled really nicely post the Black Friday and Year End sales in 2019. The UFB was a welcome addition but the pandemic really hit the ball out of the park. The sales have slowed since then but they are still at acceptable level and I trust the think tank at Udemy to take the right decisions. I have a demanding full time job (which I plan on keeping) and therefore I rely completely on Udemy for marketing and promotions and so far they have done a darn good job at it.    Note to new instructors. 1) Creating and supporting courses is a lot of hard work and it should not be thought of as a passive income stream. 2) Take the reviews and feedbacks positively. It will help you become a better instructor. Always remember that your average student has likely purchased the course from the Rockstar instructors as well and you can't blame them for comparing your courses with theirs. 3) Actively supporting the course (answering questions, incorporating suggestions) wins you a lot of goodwill and helps with your brand. Very important for new instructors. 4) Keep upgrading your older courses. I cringe at some of my earlier videos as my inexperience comes across quite clearly. Also the obsolescence rate keeps increasing and I need to update lectures which may have used tools/packages which are not supported anymore.  
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Hi    I am happy to share I have completed, my first month as Udemy Instructor and have reached 5000 paid student milestone as well with enrolments from 59 countries.   Really thankful to Udemy for creating this wonderful platform & changing lives of millions of students, and thousands of instructors.  The insights and analytics dashboards are great, and shows how students are progressing in a course. Here are few things that helped me to reach milestone without spending on paid advts. - Build a active community of people on LinkedIn - Keep sharing valuable learning content - Host free LIVE Sessions/ Workshops on youtube - and Yes, bring your A Game in making a course  Once again Thank you Udemy & Instructor Community!
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Question 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?   Answers 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.  
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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  
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    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! 🙂   -Robert (@Robert_Marzullo) 
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Thought I would share a milestone that is exciting for me. I just passed 300,000 lifetime students on Udemy! It's truly incredible. When I published my first course from my small desk next to my bed in my apartment, I never imagined even approaching such a number.   I took a several year hiatus from producing new content, but this milestone coincides with work I'm doing currently to finish my first new course in 6 years! I'm so excited to release something new.   Here's a few lessons I've learned:   Don't worry so much about how many others are teaching the topic you want to teach. That just shows that a topic is popular. What matters is the quality of your content. Make the course that you wish you would have had on that topic. There's likely others out there like you. Don't fret so much about pricing on Udemy. Focus on building an audience, as that's where the real success lies. Don't be afraid to share a portion of your content for free on YouTube or elsewhere. Be confident in your content, and use it to convince potential students to buy the full course. While you should file takedown requests, don't lose your mind worrying about pirating. Most people who download pirated content wouldn't have paid for it anyway. And some people just might appreciate your content enough that they decide to pay for it afterwards and now you've gained audience (that's happened to me many times). Don't worry about how much each individual student is paying for a course. Think of each new student as audience growth for your next course. Teach what you know and love: it will come out in the course, and you'll have greater enjoyment in the long-term support of the course, such as answering student questions.   Happy course production! My new sound tent for recording my new courses. A far cry from where I started!    
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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.     @JasonDion wrote: 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!  
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I've gotten this comment many times myself, so you may be wondering, what should I do?   First, you have to decide if the delivery was really a problem or if it is just this student. I have had students tell me that I talk too fast, and others say I talk too slow. Obviously, I can’t make both of these groups of students happy, so I decided to simply talk at the speed that is comfortable for me. In the case of delivery speed, it is an easy fix since the video player allows students to playback the video at 0.75x or 1.5x, too. I also mention this in my introduction video, and the complaints about delivery speed have decreased. If you get complaints about your dialect or accent, you do have to remember that you are serving an international audience. I am an American and I had a British student complain because my slides used the word “color” instead of “colour”. Again, you can’t please everyone, so pick a format and go with it. I’ve also had complaints that my “accent” is hard to understand because I speak “American-ese”. If you have a thick accent, it can be beneficial to take some vocal courses that help you minimize your accent, since this will make you easier to understand regardless of where your student is in the world. Often, international students seek out “American” or “British” accents because they are more common and easy to understand in the global marketplace. If you get complaints that your delivery is “monotone” or “boring”, you should take that criticism and work to improve your delivery. Students want to be engaged and entertained. Try to use different peaks and valleys to your voice and tell stories as you teach. This will go a long way in creating engaging delivery.   Hopefully this helps a bit for some of you who are new to the platform and building your first courses. Remember, you can't please everyone, but do take the time to stop and think if they have a valid point! Jason   @Hypnodan: I occasionally get told I talk too slow, but for others that is what they say they like about my presentation. A couple of years ago I decided to make a YouTube video where I tried to talk as fast as I see other YouTubers talk. It was only a five minute video and it felt like it was going to kill me trying to keep up that speed for five minutes. I have never done that again and wouldn't do it for a course, but it was interesting that no-one seemed to notice I was talking fast (for me) and that I was struggling throughout the video.   I saw a post somewhere in this community a few weeks ago mentioning about mentioning that you can adjust video speed. I have obviously always known this, but for some reason never thought of it as a solution to suggest but think it is a great idea and will likely do this.   All the best Dan Author: @JasonDion 
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My husband and I built a local music school that has been running for over 10 years now, and we've been spending every hour and dollar into growing it. As I'm sure you can imagine, we've been hit really hard with multiple lockdowns and have had to close. Though this gave me the time to really work on my dream of publishing a course, and a book. Prototypes and creating my layout Creating resources and doing voice-overs Shooting the Course I spent lockdown creating my Udemy course, and now with the time to set up and shoot videos, I was able to get it done the way I wanted. My Music Course has just launched a few days ago, and I'm really happy with how it looks on Udemy.   Although it has been hard to see the school doors close in a physical sense, we are moving everything online, and Udemy will be a big part in that.   It's been a while, but I feel optimistic about the future, and growing my student base, not just in my local area, but across the globe. Maybe lockdown has been an opportunity for other Udemy members too?
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Today we bought our dream house, and it might be one of the greatest moments in my life. Some people will think: "What? Did you buy a house with money from online courses? You must be joking!"   But that's exactly what we did. And it's all thanks to our students and, of course, Udemy.   Udemy has been an excellent platform for me to share my knowledge with others and make an income at the same time. It's allowed me to reach people from all over the world and help them learn new skills and improve their lives.   I want to say a big thank you to Udemy. Your platform has allowed me to achieve my goals and dreams, and I'm really grateful for that.   So thanks, Udemy, for creating such a great opportunity for my family and me. We're looking forward to using our new home as a base to continue making an impact in the world.  Best, Karoly  
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