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Udemy Instructor Knowledge Base

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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.   2021   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.   Author: @Rahul Iyer 
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Lots of instructors wonder whether it's viable to spend money running ads for their courses.   So, I got my wallet out and spent $4,631.86 on Google Ads, so you don’t have to.   Before we get into the context of this post, let me give everyone some background on what I do for a living.   I run a dedicated SEO Agency in London, however, for our large clients that spend over a specific threshold with us, we offer a boutique Google Ads service as well.   At the time of writing, we manage Google Ads for 12 clients with a total monthly ad spend of $36,000/ m   I don’t say any of this to brag. This is simply to give this post more context and to reassure you that I’m not new to marketing by any means.    In other words, this was not $4.6k spent by someone who has no idea what they’re doing and hoping for the best.   Goal The ultimate goal was to try and generate as many sales as I can, whilst trying to stay as profitable as possible.   I opted to allocate the spend on one of my courses that was marked as the “Highest rated” in hope that if I could generate enough traffic, I would be able to:   Convert a lot of that traffic into sales (the badge should boost conversions)   Potentially generate enough sales to the point where my course became the “best seller” in that topic. In total, I spent $4,631.86 (£3,484.12) over the course of 3 months (no pun intended).   As I’m UK-based, I’ll use the GBP figure from here onwards.   The Campaign Details Below is a spreadsheet I used to track all the sales that came from the ad campaign.   I used the instructor promo referral link as the destination URL for all ads. This allowed me to quite easily track the number of sales, whilst also ensuring I kept 97% of the revenue.     High-Level Numbers In total, I generated 160 sales from 5,839 clicks (£3,484.12 total ad spend) That’s a Conversion Rate of 2.7%.   From these 160 sales, I generated £1,254.28 in revenue. This provides me with a 36% ROAS (return on ad spend), meaning for every £1 spent, I received 36p from Udemy).    Location Targeting I decided not to restrict the ads to one specific country as I was intrigued to see how the avg CPC varied per country.    Below is a breakdown of that data:     As you can see, the USA had the highest CPC (cost per click) with every click costing me an avg £3.06. Whereas the cheapest CPC was coming from showing my ads in India and Indonesia.   Despite India and Indonesia having the cheapest CPCs, those clicks resulted in some of the lowest conversion rates, and as a result, produced the lowest ROAS.   Keyword targeting I initially had one campaign targeting your standard course related keywords e.g “online yoga course”, however, we noticed a lot of people were using the word “Udemy” in their searches e.g “Udemy online yoga course”.   So, I set up another campaign and targeted the same keywords but added the word "Udemy" in front of them. This boosted my Google Ads quality score and also produced some significant improvements.   Overall the Click Through Rate (CTR) was 8.52%, whereas for keywords mentioning ‘Udemy’ it was 26.5%.   That's a 3x improvement.   I also saw a similar trend comparing the conversion rate for these two campaigns too: The overall Conversion Rate was 2.7%, whereas for keywords mentioning ‘Udemy’ it was 5.3%   That’s almost a 2x improvement.    Side note: Although I had a ROAS of just 2.7%, what these numbers do not take into consideration is the lifetime value of a student. So in reality, the ROAS is most likely a lot higher.   Problems I ran into 1 - The biggest problem I ran into by far is the lack of conversion data. Udemy does not provide an option for instructors to add conversion tracking data on their course landing pages, this makes it impossible for instructors to be able to determine what clicks and keywords have generated the sale. Meaning, I had to literally guess what keywords were performing the best and generating my sales, not an ideal strategy when you have your money on the line.   2 - Udemy is always changing the price of courses, this makes it notoriously tricky to be able to determine what amount to bid on a keyword. One day bidding £2/ click may work out profitable, however, the next, that same £2/ click could put me at a massive loss.   3 - Udemy does not provide data on what country a sale came from, they only provide you with the currency of the transaction. I targeted the whole of Europe and had lots of sales in the currency “EUR”.  As a result, I wasn’t able to determine what specific country within Europe those sales were coming from, again making a lot of the optimization guesswork.    4 - Lastly, the coupon codes are only valid for 31 days so I had to keep on going into the course every month to generate another coupon code, this also meant I had one less coupon to use for my monthly promo emails that I send out, not ideal.   Thinking about running ads? Here’s my advice:   - Don’t just focus on CPC when determining what country to target, export all the sales data and work out how well the traffic from that specific country is converting.    - As Udemy does not provide conversion tracking, it's pretty much impossible for you to figure out what keyword that you bidded on attributed to a sale. You can try to counter this by having unique coupons for each ad group you run, but again, it's far from ideal and is something you should be aware of from the start.   - Focus the majority of your ad spend on keywords and ads that mention Udemy. These keywords have an extremely high buyer intent as users have already expressed they’re looking for a course on Udemy.   Cool fact: The course I ran ads to actually ended up receiving the best seller badge, although I can't be certain it was due to this ad campaign as in reality the sales generated with quite low. So, there you have it.   Author: @Joshua George    View the original post here
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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.   Author: @Suppoman™ 
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I have received good advice on this forum before regarding starting a Facebook Group or website to support students.  I would prefer a small / serious group versus lots of uninterested / uncommitted people.  My thought is not only to have a "closed" group, but to limit it to people who COMPLETED the course.  (For  example, The automatic message sent at course completion would have a password to get into the website.)  Any thoughts on this?   Author: @RichardDeut752    Hey @RichardDeut752    I have an FB Group that any of my students can request entry to whether they have completed the course or not. I think the stats say that only around 10% of people actually complete courses so you are limiting your reach if you go that way, in my humble opinion.   What you have to remember about a website is that you are not allowed to send students to a link / page that requires email address, password etc. From that perspective a Facebook group works better. I hope that helps   Hi @RichardDeut752 I think you need to have a clear view of what you are trying to achieve with your small serious closed group. Is it just for chatting or will you want to use the group to promote. What's the long term plan for the group? I have a small, non serious, non promotional facebook group and also a website. Generally with most groups the problem is "how to get people to interact?". 10% of my students have joined the Facebook group I have and it was open to any student joining the course. The people in the group won't have your sense of purpose for the group so you will either need a superfan or 2 to create interaction.    I would not limit it to just students who complete the course as many end up not completing the course. I use my exclusive student Facebook group for students only, but their only requirement is to purchase a course and answer three questions.  This gives them a safe and open community to post student projects, but also personal ones. We also discuss things like freelancing. I kept it small, but it is now over 2,500 but still manageable, and they are paying students, or have bought a course in the past.  I also post when new resources or lessons are added to the class and also run a monthly live stream where I review student work and give design challenges to them (graphic design is what I teach mostly)  I have seen in several of my reviews where my student Facebook group comes up as a big benefit to the class. I see it as an extension of my class.  I would make it a closed group and have 3 questions they have to answer to get in.  There are people who lie and say they are a student, and you do not want to have to double check enrollment of reach student either. So, I ask them which class they are a part of (I have 14) and what are they most interested in getting out of the group, and a third one that is more detailed of a question. These questions naturally turn away anyone who is not serious about being active in the group or someone who is lying about being a student.  It takes extra effort to run the group, and some moderation time required (I also required approval from for for each post) but it is well worth the effort.    I did open group with I assume some uncommited students, that being said it still drive a good deal of paying students who are interested in my topics, but has no clue about Udemy.   I use the group to support current students, get new students, and give free content to anyone who is interested in the topic.   Not all members has to be students, they may do it on their own, but down the line recommend me to others who will be come students.   I also have a website with a lot of resources, my own udemy course links, and my own course hosting.   
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Some version of this question is one of the most common by instructors so I thought I would write this, which is a summary of advice from many experienced instructors.   I have compiled a list of things you can or should do to market your course. None of these are short term or an instant path to riches. But, they are things that work if you are serious about building an online business on Udemy. Think strategically, not short term. It often takes a few years of effort to begin to make a significant return on your efforts.    First and most important BE an expert in your field of knowledge. Read, study, and demonstrate state of the art knowledge in your field. If you aren’t this… nothing else is likely to work. Be sure that your course landing page communicates your expertise… “Why should I listen to you?” And, be sure that your course landing page communicates the “benefits” of your course, not merely the “features” of your course. Benefits are how this course will personally benefit me. Customers buy benefits, not features!  Remember that most of your future students will be on Udemy searching for something. That “something” are key words that they will put into the search bar. Think carefully about the key words your future students may be searching for and be sure they are in your title and/or your subtitle. This is how students will find you. Your promo video is what catches students after they land on your page. Spend ten times the amount of time perfecting your promo video as you do on any other lecture. State the benefits of your course, your qualifications, and invite them to join you. These are more important than outlining all the topics (features) of your course. Also, remember that buying decisions are not simply “rational” decisions; they are emotional decisions, and that is about how you make them feel! Personality sells. Do I want to spend hours with this person? Do I like them? I know it isn't "rational" but we buy from people we like. Be your own “brand manager” and build your brand. Brands are built over time by building trust in your marketplace. Brand value is created by being trustworthy, creating consistent value for your customers, over time. The most successful instructors are focused on “marketing”, not just “selling.” Know the difference. Identify Facebook and LinkedIn groups related to your subject matter. Join them. Participate in discussion. Demonstrate expertise by publishing a blog/website with your biography, articles you have written, a page for your courses, and regular blog posts that are educational, value-adding posts. You can see mine at ManagementMeditations.com. It is only one possible model, but I am sure there are better ones. Google the names of some of the more successful instructors and you will find their personal websites. Then, share these blog posts or articles with all relevant groups on LinkedIn or FB. Your LinkedIn page should have articles by you, on your area of expertise. Prove that you are a “thought leader” in your field. Build your own email list be capturing visitors to your website. I use Sumo, but there are other WordPress plugins to do this… oh, use WordPress for your blog. You don’t have to be a web development expert to create a WordPress website. Your Udemy students are your own mail list in that you can send both educational and promo announcements. As you build the number of students there is a multiplying effect when you share what you write. Develop additional courses in your area of expertise. The more courses you have the easier it is to launch a new course by marketing to your current students. Obviously, do a great job of developing your on-camera presence and your courses. Engage in continuous improvement. Alexa Fischer’s Confidence on Camera course is excellent for improving your on-camera presentation skills. Develop a YouTube channel where you can upload the introductory lecture(s) to your courses and include a link, with a discount coupon, to your Udemy course. Develop a Facebook discussion page for your students and to publish articles (the same ones as on your blog page and LinkedIn page. Watch Scott Duffy’s course on Udemy SEO Marketing. It is a consensus of experienced instructors that paid Facebook ads do not work. Do not give away of free courses or thousands of free coupons. Those who take these coupons are not likely to go through the course and are likely to leave poor reviews. Give away a few free coupons to those on your personal FB page, those who know you, and may go through the course and may give a good review. This is something to do only at the first launch of a course. Do not even think about purchasing reviews!!! They are now spotted and removed by Udemy’s Trust and Safety group. Have patience… you are building a business and like starting any business, it is not a get rich quick thing. It takes patience and persistence. Udemy is not a path to quick riches and it is not “passive income.” The above is only my advice, but informed by the experience of many other successful instructors, Larry Miller   Author: @LawrenceMMiller      @MassimilianoAlf: This is a great list with a lot of value... every new instructor should take the time to study it, thanks for posting it!  
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Course creation takes a lot of time and sometimes being productive is hard. I would really like to know from all the instructors how do you stay focused and productive? What kind of schedule do you follow to complete courses? Your guidance would really be helpful. Thanks.   @GregReverdiau: Hi @ShubhiSaxena  Making a realistic schedule and sticking to it is important. There are many steps to producing a course and what has worked for me in the past is to mix and match all the different steps so I'm not always doing the same thing for an extended period of time.  For example, you could record 7-10 hours of content over 2 days, then edit it over a couple of days, then upload everything to Udemy the next day, then publish your course. Personally, I like to record 2-3 hours at max, then spend the afternoon editing (during my lunch break, the computer creates my proxy files so I don't have to waste time waiting for that to happen). In the evening my computer exports all the videos while I sleep, directly to a Dropbox folder, which uploads by itself while I sleep. Then in the morning, I load those videos in Udemy using the bulk uploader and while the videos are getting converted by Udemy, I record my next 2-3 hours of video.  Getting more proficient at editing will also save you a ton of time. I used to spend 4-5 hours to edit 1 hour of content. Now that my process is more streamlined, I spend about 2 hours to edit 1 hour of content. Big time saver!  What are your main issues or bigger time wasters at this point in the process?    Here, check this article out. Look at the discussion about quadrants, this may help you. If you don’t have the book, it’s a good buy, cheap on Amazon.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2012/07/24/the-only-thing-you-need-to-remember-about-the-seven-habits-of-highly-effective-people/#4c43a6c167f7   Make sure you have a filming 'studio' set up so that you can walk in and start filming whenever you are ready...   Great question! I don't really have a set schedule, but I try to do at least something for my new courses every day, even when I'm on vacation. That might be some programming for a lecture, making slides, taking notes or writing scripts, or filming or editing. I notice that if I take a few days off, it get progressively harder to get back into it. That helps keep me in the right frame of mind.   I'm very new to this whole formal teaching thing but I think I am finally getting a groove. I have taught before online but nothing formal or paid so I wasn't as concerned about all the small details. I digress..   I would love to do the batch processing thing except I tend to do some research, then talk. Then research, then talk. So, because of this, I only batch record a few videos at a time. Actually, let me step back.    My newest method I just started and love so far is this: I have a written script of what I am going to say ahead of time prepared. Maybe just 8-15 paragraphs worth. I record myself talking through the script without the camera, errors and all (I can edit those out). The key is to talk a bit slow and create natural breaks. Then, I start diagraming or creating slides for my script if I already didn't have them in the script. I'm actually editing the content now.  Finally, I will green screen myself talking about what I talked about behind the scenes. So, as I edit, I learn more or realized I needed to add something else. This is where I would switch to "me" on camera and just talk it. Then I splice it in.  So far, I really think this method is going to be my winner.   One slow down for me is that I switch between a Mac and a PC alot. I love the Mac but certain things I am just faster at with Windows on a PC.   Like I said, I am very new but enjoying the ride so far. Good luck.    I do nearly the same as @GregReverdiau regarding a schedule; although mine looks different as I have an FT job as well:   Film 3-5 hours at a time, I have done 8 the latter is a bad idea if you want quality.  3-5 hours of "tape" 2-4 hours of useful material for me. Next week or a few days later I edit it all of it, my editing is basic (maybe too basic tbh) so that's 1:2, one hour for every 2 filmed so 6-10 hours later all done I upload as I go in these bulk sets so that's usually a large chunk of my course overnight and hope my wifi doesn't fail me.  It usually does so I then upload the last of it in the morning or hit up a co-working space by the day- well worth the $20 for free coffee (& beer!) and fiber speeds! During the week I engage in social media, type landing page info, etc. Repeat this 3-4xs over a month or two and viola a new 4-6 hour course! Watch entire course before going live, I often submit and keep private for a week to tweak and have select students in "early" to give feedback and build some hype It total does help to have a home studio, saves me 1-2 hours to not have to set up now.     What motivates me? Let me be real, I can't stand editing, seeing my face and hearing my voice for HOURS is painful and I mean in a cringe, why did I do that, why is my hair a mess, etc, so I am quick to film, edit and have a live course up to generate revenue.  Yes, money and enrollment motivate me to complete a quality course quickly and on schedule.  I also update my social media accounts and students with a launch date early on.  It makes me stick to a schedule.  Right now I have 10 days to complete my next course; 10 hours unedited, 5 more to film and I can see the sweet sweet finish line!!!   this is a great question. My favourite motto is "Eat the elephant one bite at a time". For me that means instead of being overwhelmed by all you have to do, just concentrate on one thing - do that until it's done! This has helped me alot especially when I am not feeling motivated.   Hi Shubhi,  It a great question. Staying on track is important. When off track,  better to come back quickly.  Since you need to be creative whileaking content a break also serves as a breather.   This is how I stay focussed : Categorize and break your course creation task. Mine are : 1) Outline,  research, Script writing 2) video shoots,  screen recordings, audio files.  3) editing  4) prepare downloads in PDF.    I take up things in batch.  I complete point 1 and point 4 simultaneously.  I complete the scripting first. Mark the lecture numbers also. So redo is avoided  while recording.  Mostly first I  make my own outline.  This keeps my content original. Then do the research and improve it.  Keep adding parts to the main outline.    Only once this step is complete I start recording. I record everything in a batch again,  mark and save my files to edit in batch for next week.      Right now, for me it takes time. I follow a tight scripting schedule.  For e. g.  lecture 1  to be finished by (date) This has to be done to stay productive.  Since we are our own boss.  By following this it's easier for me to be productive. I can easily script for two to three lectures ( 10 minutes each)   in a weeks time. So in two months 8-12 lectures can be scripted.  You could just do one in a week and see it will start becoming easier. Sometimes it's just the load of work that needs to be done bogs us down. So little steps are also good to be productive.  After scripting I take 3 days for recording and a week's time for editing. I rerun everything again before producing.  So another 3 days.  Udemy has a template for video editing.  It's quite a help.  On the days I do not feel creative,  I simply research and find myself writing in an hour or so.... 🙂   Hope it helps.  Ekta 🙂       @GregReverdiau I love this! I did my first course recently (published on Friday, so I'm about to embark on a week of promoting it through various means - wish me luck!) and I was chewing over a solid workflow for my next one. I was thinking something similar, but a little different: -Pre-Produce all my lectures and sort out my talking points (I've never liked presenting with a finished script. Bullet points FTW), outlining what next steps I'll be finishing each lecture with. -Film everything over a single day (2 if needed). -Offload footage, backing up and transcoding overnight. -Then aim to edit a bunch of V1 drafts, ready for my business partner to have a read of (benefit of having another set of eyes) each day - batch exporting these (To google drive - love your Dropbox idea Greg!) with Media Encoder. -Start each edit day with any changes to existing edits, then queue up to Google Drive, ready for Bulk uploading and also getting Rev.com ready to go for captioning. I'll be processing these as soon as each edit is signed off. -Eventually all of my lectures should kind of be there within a couple of days to a week (depending on what other stuff I've got in my calendar that week.) Any thoughts as to how I can improve this anyone? I'm hoping to save myself a tonne of processing time in not shooting the whole thing in 4k (Yeah, that was a bit silly last time) but any feedback from more experienced minds would be super welcome!  
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Make sure to include a welcome message and congratulations message on each course you create! If you ignore this, you may be missing out on wonderful student engagement opportunities!  In your welcome message, you can include a guide on how to get started with your course, how to move throughout the course and even where resources are located. I also let students know about community areas where they can post student projects or get in touch with me.  Also, congrats messages are great ways to talk about next steps in their learning journeys but also letting students know if they would like to review your course, they have that opportunity. You can encourage students to also complete any student projects. Just a quick thought on how important this little area is in your course creation process is! I ignored it for a long time but just finished up having a personal message for each course. I think it goes a long way in establishing trust between teacher and student.    Author: @LindsayMarsh 
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  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.   Author: @FedeGaray 
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This is a question many instructors or soon-to-be instructors ask themselves at some point, and the answer might not be very obvious.   As many experienced instructors would probably tell you, a course might never be complete.  If you want your course to stay relevant, you will need to keep improving it over time, but I will focus mostly on the second part of the question here.   The decision of when to publish can have big consequences:  If you publish too soon, when the course and/or you are not really “ready”, you might risk wasting the opportunity that having a just-published course represents.   The first 90 days of your course are very important.   If your course is well received by the market and you do your part to promote it correctly, it will start getting students and reviews, and eventually earning some badges that would make it more appealing to potential students.  Also, the Udemy system will probably give your course a boost in searches and would make it more discoverable, which would, in turn, bring you more students, starting a virtuous cycle that could put your course on the path to success.   If, on the other hand, you publish a course of poor quality, with noticeable errors or missing content, it might get some students, but also some bad reviews, and that could be the beginning of the end for a new course from a new instructor, not because it is not possible to bring it back to life, but because most people will probably feel frustrated and will lose interest in devoting more time to something that appears to be a total failure.   But publishing too late is also dangerous.   If you keep repeating or re-doing things because you find very small mistakes or are never satisfied with what you have created, you might end up never actually publishing your course.  Also, if you delay it too much, someone else might get ahead of you, publishing a course that covers the same topic, in a very similar manner, thus, taking advantage of an opportunity that could have been yours.   So, in light of this, here are some ideas of the things I would make sure to have covered before hitting the publish button (in no specific order).  Nothing more, and nothing less.   Your course content already covers all the main topics a student would need to learn to feel that they received value and that the course allows them to feel proficient on the topic, even if you still have some additional non-crucial content you would like to add. You have a promo video, which was specifically created for that purpose, so that the system doesn’t need to set your first lecture as the promo. You have a good course image ready (unless you plan to ask Udemy to create it for you). You have carefully selected the lessons you will allow for free preview. You have your bonus lesson ready. You have uploaded all of the videos to the Udemy platform and have previewed (watched completely) all of them as a student, to make sure that everything works fine in all of the lessons, including the availability of resources and similar things. You have reviewed and optimized your course landing page, to make sure it is appealing to potential students (but doesn’t mention anything that is not currently covered), and it includes the necessary keywords for it to be correctly searchable. If you plan to enable captions from the beginning, you already have them ready, or at least have set some time apart to review and correct the ones the system will automatically generate. You have the text for your automated messages ready, if you plan to use that feature. You have at least a basic plan for your marketing. You have completed the Instructor Identity Verification Process (only needed when publishing your first course). Is there something else you would add?  Or maybe, there is something you would remove from this list?   Author:  @CarlosDeLeon    See the full discussion here.
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Many of us including myself create English courses even though English is not our first language.   Even though I lived in Canada for 10 years and no one complained about my accent, I was surprised to see the negative feedback from my udemy students that my accent is really bad. Turns out that I had a hard accent and Canada is really such a nice country.   To overcome the bad reviews regarding my accent, I had to take few actions:   1- Add subtitles/captions to my courses ... this really helped a big deal.           --- If you have a script that you read while recording you courses, creating captions would be easy...use youtube or a tool called "Subtitle Edit" to create the subtitles for you.           -- if you don't have a script, then take a look at what udemy has created for you already under the "Captions" tab of your course .... please please, review what has been created there and don't leave it as is ... for some reason, the auto generated captions are usually +18 :D, so your students won't like it as is. 2- In my welcome message of my courses, I ask my students to make sure they watch the Preview videos for my course...I even stated very clearly that I have an accent and I want to make sure they can get along with my accent 3- I took a udemy course to enhance my accent ... well, it's my career and I have to develop myself ... and to my surprise, I noticed my flaws and gradually they are getting better. 4- There's a difference between an accent and bad English. Accents are acceptable, bad English grammar is not. Make sure you English is good ... use spell checker, grammar checker whatever it take to make sure your English is good.   Well, that was my action plan to enhance my courses, If you have any other tips, please share them with the rest of us.   Thanks   Author: @Maged-Koshty      @GregReverdiau: Non-native English speaker here too. I think Point 4 in your list should be point 1. Bad English vs strong accent are two different things. Like you said, bad English is not acceptable!  Getting rid of an accent is difficult but it is possible. Take online courses to improve your accent, record yourself and listen to what you say and how it should be said then say it again correctly out loud several times. If you have a friend or significant other that is around you a lot, ask them to correct you. It sucks at first but if they do it with good intentions, you will learn quickly. After 16 years in the US, I still find myself saying words out loud several times when they don't "sound" right.    @Robin_Slee: Great Points! One thing that I have noticed over the last few months is that several new instructors are very shy when it comes to presenting on camera. They feel very concious about their voice and tend to get very quiet. This is something that I struggled with when I created my first course. To overcome this, I set aside about ten minutes a day for two months. I simply opened audacity and practiced talking into the computer. I tried different speaking voices (soft, firm, loud etc) I also tried to clarify certain words that I found difficult. I even tried rehearsing lyrics! Even with a strong accent, a little practise really helps. You can rehearse as often as you want, you only have to record it correctly once! 🙂   Good luck and keep us posted 😉   @PadmaRallap477: This is Padma Rallapalli, from Visakhapatnam. What you said is absolutely correct, sir.I was a lecturer in English in Reputed schools and colleges. But now stopped working.  I would like to work from home. Udemy gave me a chance to fulfil my desire. But the problem is my uploaded videos are not reaching them to get feedback. My approach is making videos with message giving stories and teaching English. I place images and give my background voice. If I put camera in front and give lecture  I am conscious of it. Please watch my  Videos and give your feedback. I'm YouTuber. Please check my videos with the name Padma Rallapalli. Thank you     @DeniseFletcher: These are fantastic tips @Maged-Koshty. I love the approach you've taken in that you've taken positive action to get round the accent. I personally like an accent as long as I understand what the person is saying. But yes if the the written English is poor then I find that more annoying. Having said that I had a complaint because I provided handouts in English (UK) and not English (US) spelling. Sometimes you just can't please everyone. 
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I have been trying to take my green screen game to the next level for a while and last night I found the ultimate guide so I thought I would share it. If you are having issues getting good effects with your green screen, take a look at this video (it is not mine). If you think your green screen is really good, I'm sure there's a tip for you in here too! This is the best video I have seen on this subject and I have looked at a lot of them! https://youtu.be/OH8TWTt51W8   Here are some takeaways:  Most green screen issues are because of lighting, namely "hot spots" (too much light in one location. Think about green screen lighting separately from the subject (you) lighting. Light up your green screen with bank lights (tall vertical lights) and not spotlights. Here's a video from the same author showing you how to make bank lights for cheap. I will be making those in the next few days and report: https://youtu.be/BpOakYp-gJ4 Use an app (iPad, $10) to determine if your screen is evenly lit. Naked eye doesn't cut it.  Stay away from the screen so you don't cast a shadow (6-9 feet).  Smooth out your green screen (by stretching it or steaming it) Use a backlight (hair light) to pull your subject from the screen (so it doesn't look "flat").  Light your subject a little brighter than your screen (see video for details).  Don't wear green clothes or clothes with green in it.  Blur your background (low f/stop on your camera if you can control that, around f/5.6).  Remove motion blur (slightly higher shutter speed, see video for details).  Frame your shot correctly so the green screen covers all your movements.  Be careful if you have a monitor in front of you connected to your camera as it will reflect green light on you. The trick is to change your saturation to zero to make the screen black and white (love this tip!).  Get good lighting for your subject (after lighting your green screen).  Later this week I will be shuffling my studio to apply some of those tips and will keep you posted on the results. I hope this helps someone! Share your green screen tips if you have any that are not on the list.      @LawrenceMMiller: Greg,   A couple suggestions on this. I worked a lot on this issue and watched a number of good YouTube videos (just search "green screen").    It is usually recommend that you stand eight to ten feet in front of your green screen, rather than two or three feet in order to reduce the chance of shadows.    About the f.stop on your lens: I would not try to blur the background, that background being the green screen. If you are using a green screen then you can insert a photo as background, that is blured. I recommend that your f.stop be at least 5.6 otherwise your depth of field may cause you to be out of focus with just leaning forward or back. If you are down to around f.2.0 your nose and your ear will be out of focus if one is in focus. The more depth of field (higher f.stop) the less chance of being out of focus. Of course, the more light you have, the higher you can move the f.stop.     *** I wanted to give an update on this topic because it took me a long time to get what I think is the proper setup. I'm sharing this in hope that someone else can find it useful and not have to experiment as I did. *** I'll start with what I did for my very first Udemy course. I went to Joan's fabric to get the greenest and most neon looking big piece of fabric I could find. Then I hung it behind my desk. Then I put a lot of lights on my desk lighting up my face and lighting up my green screen (both from the same location... mistake). The lights were those Home Depot $8 metallic light bulb holders that you can clamp on things. Cheap! I got some 60W and 100W light bulbs, not sure what color temperature they were but here's what I got: something that was hard to white balance and to key! I look at this and I cringe now, the green screen is yellow, has tons of shadows, wrinkles. My face has weird nose shadows, a bad hue, etc... I made it work though, this is the course that still brings me the most money each month, is best seller and best rated (at 4.6). I am in the process of reshooting this course as explained in this thread. Students never complained about the quality of the course production, not once!    Then I thought I'd study green screens a little... I started making money on Udemy and taking this more seriously. I had a big course to record (35 hours of content) so I took over our guest bedroom, stretched a green screen on the wall, put the camera on a tripod, put some lights on me, some lights on the green screen, it was looking a little better. Here's a picture of the mess. I had to shoot in a corner because the distance was too short from the camera to me (the camera is hidden in the very right corner, behind a home made teleprompter)...  The screen was the same as earlier, the lights were the same too. I was able to better light my face and remove some shadows and I started using a grey card for white balance. I also started using a better camera (Panasonic GH5 vs DJI Osmo). Here's what I got out of it.  The screen is unevenly lit, which results in difficulties with keying but with the limited space, that's really all I could do. The lights are in the frame so they had to be cropped out and masked, which works since I don't do large arm movements. This was a big improvement from before, easier to white balance since I used a card and a custom white balance on my camera but I knew the green screen lighting could improve.    So I did more research, found the cool tutorials I shared above and decided to start with my studio (guest bedroom) from scratch. I got a new green screen. The main difference is that it's much larger than the old one. It's also much darker green and less neon. That helps with keying. I got some studio lights (came with the green screen). I also built 2 box lights out of fluorescent lights. Those are for lighting my screen. I bought T8 lights that are 5000K in color temperature for the green screen. The problem is that the studio lights came with 2500K lights. So while my green screen was lit correctly, the difference in temperature created issues (notice how teal the green is). When I did my white balance correctly using the card near my face (based on 2500K lights), some of the 5000K lights from the background reflected on my shoulders and head, creating a purple hue. This is what the result looked like (those are noise canceling headphones on my head):    I couldn't really white balance my face properly without having weird purple colors on my shoulders. So I went back to home depot and bought 9 LED lights that were 5000K (much cheaper than buying 8 T8 fluorescent lights in 2500K). The idea was to have the same exact light temperature everywhere. This really solved the issue! I set up my white balance at 5000K in the camera and here are the results:  Now my entire body is lit correctly with the same color temperature. No more purple shoulders. I also used a 3-point lighting setup with a key light (brightest part of my face, left side), a fill light (softer than key, create a light shadow on my right side) and a back light (light shine on my hair and shoulders, giving depth), which looks more inviting. For reference:  My key light is 4x 60W LED bulbs, with a white diffuser in front of it, located about 45 degrees from my face, a little higher than eye level My fill light is 1x 60W LED bulb, with a white diffuser in front of it, located about 45 degrees from my face, a little higher than eye level My hair light is 1x60W LED bulb with a diffuser, on top and slightly behind my head, with a dimmer on it (dimmed about 50%) My green screen is lit with 2 homemade box lights, each has 4x T8 fluorescent lights, with a little reflector (high tech piece of cardboard) so their light doesn't hit me. I also have another light at the bottom to remote hot spots. I used the Green Screener iPad app ($9.99 on iOS) to make sure I didn't have any hot/dark spots on my screen, which are mostly invisible to the naked eye. The result is an amazing keying that doesn't need any tweaking.  My camera is set at ISO 400 (native ISO for the GH5), 1/60 shutter (shooting in 4K/30fps), f/5.6 aperture, with a custom white balance of 5000K.  Here's a quick video walk around of my setup so you can see it in action (yes this is a guest bedroom so the bed is sideways on its side). Note that I am missing a rug in there to absorb some of the echoes. I hope this helps someone save some time if they need help with green screening!    And finally, this is me right before I said: "Look, I'm Harry Potter. "   Author: @GregReverdiau 
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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) ✔️Udemy: $33,500   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.  
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Editing takes the biggest bulk of most instructor’s time. Some instructors are lucky to have video editors who can work with them/for them, but not all of us are so lucky! I do one hundred percent of my own editing and finding ways to streamline that process can save me the most time. First of all, I create a theme or template video for my course I am working on. This theme will have a standard look for a lower third, banners or an intro screen. These graphics look consistent or have a branded theme. I start each lesson with this template, so I already have the first few seconds set up in my editing software, same for the outro, music and fonts. This saves me a ton of time as I do not have to set it up each time, I start a new lesson as there can sometimes be 60+ lectures. I also film in one day. I can film up to four hours of screen recording content in one afternoon. This way I can record it all and save the editing for one session. This also helps to cut down on editing time and streamline my process, so I am not going from filming to editing too often and shifting gears too frequently. I also plan ahead. I open up a google doc with my course outline and I write out the title of each lesson. If I need to write a script ahead of time, I will do all this at once. There is a theme here of sitting down to do one task before moving onto another. As instructors we can get excited about teaching that sometimes we rush to film before we really planned out the outline to our course, and “play it by ear”. I found that to be more time consuming in the end as I had to go back and refilm things I have said because I decided to change up the course after filming the first few lessons.   What are some things that you've done to create a course in less time?   Author: @LindsayMarsh      @Artemakis: I also find it more efficient to first record all lectures/screencasts, and then start the editing process.   In my first course, after recording each lecture, I would edit it and only then I would proceed with the next one. It was a nightmare! 🙂    Then I switched to record all-first, and then edit them, which works much better for me.    @GregReverdiau: Personally, I too like to record one chapter in one day. I try to keep the editing to later in the day, the morning is my prime time to record while I'm fresh. Plus, editing in the afternoon means I can export the videos while I sleep, and since I export directly to a Dropbox folder, they are also synched by the morning, which means I only have to add them with the bulk uploader.  A few tips that have saved me a ton of time:  - I use FCPX and there is a way to save some of the edits and apply them later. For example, color correction, where my body is located on the final video, the size of the screen that I'm showing, my fake background, my keyer, etc... is all saved for each of the angles I have. It makes it super easy to do the entire setup before I start editing. I'm sure other software have the ability to do the same. It also helps with keeping everything consistent.  - In FCPX, there is a Multicam option available. This allows me to set up an unlimited number of "angles" that I can easily switch between when editing. I simply click on 1,2,3 or 4 on my keyboard when I want to switch to one of the angles. They are all synched in and all I have to do once it's setup is to play my course and cut between all the angles.  - I play my course at 2x the speed when I edit. I can still hear everything I say and catch the bloopers, and it really saves down on the time!  I hope this helps someone!      @SatyaAnandaDhar: I do basically the same. I've also switched from more expensive and complex video editors to camtasia 9 to speed up the editing process. What wears the most is the time lost waiting for rendering! Breakes the work flow! I always record the course and then I'll edit at the end. Sometimes I add one class or another when I see the material ready, for polishing What works for me is to create a video file with the introduction ando other for the "background"  parts like text, images, quots etc.   @LindsayMarsh,   I just wanted to add that I do screencast and PowerPoint based presentation courses and I've found that a lot of my time can be sucked up producing PowerPoint slides -- especially if I go for high production value with lots of animation.   Want to speed up your video production to the max?  Do pure screencast software demonstrations.  I can record as much as 1 hour per day using this method.   If I start messing around with PowerPoint slides, or of late talking head and green screen, the minutes start spinning like Clark Griswald's electricity meter when he had all the lights on in "Christmas Vactation".  You get my point -- at least you do if you're a John Hughes fan ;-).   ---Brian   @Anonymous Great tip! This is exactly what I do. I do not even mess with PowerPoint and do all of my text and instruction right in screenflow (the mac video editing software I use). It is great because there is just one program I am juggling. I record my screencasts there but also edit video there as well, streamlining the process. It also adds a much more professional touch to my courses as my text is almost always, animated and structured.    If you are using Camtasia, you can render all of your Camatasia projects in bulk.  What I'll typically do is record all my lessons, mistakes and all. I'll then edit them all. Once edited, I'll open Camtasia, select all of my lesson projects, and bulk process them - sometimes letting it run after I go to bed.  When I wake up (or get back from food shopping, or return from the gym, etc), all of my lessons are ready for upload.   @kalimaAcademy: Hello, I use a " debut "program from a company " nch "  that is easy to use and the payment is $ 49 for one time. For montage, I use Filmora. Around my house there is noise, so I only shoot early in the morning for two hours, and then I do the montage and for noise removal I use the Audacity program, which is free. It is better to record several videos at once, because you will shorten the time to set the device and lighting, and then devote yourself to editing. The other command was prepared using PowerPoint, a simple introduction and I use it as an introduction before the videos and arranged all the things in one folder, and so I find everything I want in one time.  
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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!" Author: @JohnThompson 
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In this hour-long webinar Chen answers the following questions: What are the Udemy SEO considerations that I should be looking at before the course launches? How can I check that my course titles & instructor page are optimized for SEO? Is it possible to rank a new course on 1st page of search results if all other courses on 1st page already have 100’s - 1,000’s of reviews? What can Udemy instructors do to promote their own courses? How has marketing for Udemy instructors changed in the past two years
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Hi Everyone This is the story of my journey on Udemy to earning my first $1000. This post is almost long overdue. I wanted to write this post at the start of Aug, but I got very busy with my next course. I am going to start at the beginning.   I graduated from university majoring in Mechanical Engineering in 2015. I had no idea where my life would take me five years later. Having found no job in Afghanistan and desperate to work, I found myself teaching 4th, all the way to 10th graders at school. I started teaching basic computer skills and the English language. In a matter of five months, I wrote six books on office and some necessary software. There were no books in the school curriculum of Afghanistan for computer so I had to come up with some to teach.   Right after the school year ended, I found myself diving more and more into computer science and software engineering. I learned HTML, CSS and JavaScript in just a month and started teaching them by the end of 2015. I think I binge studied them. These technologies were like nothing I had encountered before. I mean I had learned 2D and 3D modelling in AutoCAD, SolidWorks and Pro-E along with 2D and 3D analysis of Structures in AnSYS when I was in university. But, HTML/CSS/JavaScript had very different tones to them. After a year of studying and teaching at schools and universities, I became a full stack web developer. It was such an honor and an incredibly challenging task in Afghanistan at the same time.   It was the start of 2017, where I thought of getting a scholarship and take my skills to the next level. So, I decided to take the TOEFL test and I did. It was almost the same time when I started having chronic lower back pain. I was studying more and more everyday and the sitting was killing my lower back. I was sort of an athlete when I was in university. I ran a lot and did bodybuilding as well. But sitting made me familiar with the physical pain. It has been 3.5 years and I still get the pain but it is not chronic anymore. It comes and goes. Last year I went to Kabul and visited a doctor among other doctors over the years. He was the first one to tell me that I have a spinal abnormality. I have an extra lumbar vertebra, a sixth one like there were not enough already. And that guy is causing the pain. He told me if I am not careful, I might end up with a spinal surgery. It is very difficult to be careful about your health and program at the same time and live in Afghanistan with no resources at all.   Anyway, I did not let the pain stop me and self-studied TOEFL, which was nothing new at that time (the self-studying part) and scored 98. I could not get any scholarship and one year passed. It was start of 2018 when I found a scholarship to study in Japan. I studied IELTS and scored 7.5 and I still did not get the scholarship. I realized, if there is anyone or anything that is going to change my life, it has to be me, no scholarship, no nothing. So, I started studying Data Science and Machine Learning which was really interesting for me and still is. But what I got from the Japan scholarship was the light of my life, I met my wife who is the best scholarship I can get and got married after 5 months. In the march on 2019, I hurt my knee badly. Multiple injuries. Torn meniscus, torn ligament, displaced kneecap and a few minor ones. I could not afford knee surgery so I let it heal itself. It did heal to some extent, but in the process, I hurt the left knee. Subsequently, I suffer from pain in both of the knees and the back every day.   It was towards the end of 2019 when I stumbled upon Udemy and the idea of teaching on Udemy. It took a month to create a compartment to record. It was in the preparation for teaching on Udemy that I understood the true meaning of difficult. I searched for days on in my city and other cities and I could not find any good microphones to record. Finally, I found used (second hand) headphones just to realize my laptop does not record well. I must have changed the OS tens of times along with the drivers but nothing changed. I had saved almost $1.5k and I had already spent $600 on the compartment and bought the laptop for almost $950 (borrowed 50 bucks). The laptop is quite fast. Intel core i7+ (12 CPUs), 16BG Intel Optane Memory (IRST), 8GB physical RAM and 1TB HDD and 2GB dedicated GTX graphics. The laptop can handle mountains but not recording apparently. So, I decided to record the audio on my smartphone and synchronize it with the video. This is when I brought my brother into the equation. He is very good with the Adobe Realm and is also working on his Udemy courses. So, that’s how it all started.   Here is me sitting in my 1.5m by 2m studio built with the technology of 21st century in Afghanistan.   Nonetheless, the most challenging problem was yet to come. It was the month of Feb of 2020 when I was hit the hardest in my entire new life (development). The Udemy website was blocked in Afghanistan. The reason that this was the strongest punch thrown at me, was the very fact that I could not do anything about. I checked all the ISPs in Afghanistan and nothing could open Udemy. I could log in through some kind of VPN service, but I was not about to do that because I thought doing that is unethical and I might get banned from the platform. So, naturally, I got depressed. I did not eat for days and stopped working and studying altogether. I drowned into the horrors of not being able to change myself, my life and the life of people around me for the better. I tasted the bitterness of this world. I sank into the notion that I am good for nothing and no matter what I do, life in Afghanistan will always prevail over me. It was the worst weeks of my life. My wife helped a lot and never gave up on me, encouraged me as always, but I was drowning deeper that even I had realized.   After almost a month, one day my wife told me that Udemy is working again and I could log into my account once more. I remember the moment clearly. It was like someone blew life into my lungs again and I was able to breathe again. I was hit the hardest because when I saw Udemy and the potential of having a wonderful life, I was mesmerized. I knew at that moment that teaching on Udemy is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I had a clear picture of my life’s purpose and why I was born.   The first course was published on Apr 6th and after two days I earned $20 with no prior online presence including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. I removed my Facebook account in 2018. It was basically a waste of my time. My course grew more and more. I got more and more students. On the 31st of July, I released my second course and earned almost $95 in half a day. The courses are growing rapidly and so is my excitement. I teach 57 countries and 312 students in just 4 months.   Here is a screenshot of my earnings so far. I hope I can inspire at least one person in the world. If I can do it in Afghanistan, so can you.   At the end I want to thank dear Abbie and dear ElianaC for being there for me and answering my questions. I also would like to thank the Udemy policy and instructor support teams and all of Udemy deeply for inspiring people around the world and providing opportunities to learn and grow. I also would like to extend my gratitude to all of my fellow instructors and thank you for your posts and guidance. You have helped me a ton, literally.   Love from Afghanistan
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In 2014 - my first Black Friday - I had never heard of it before - caught me by a pleasant surprise. For some bizarre reason, my courses just started selling. Then I didn't know NOW I do.   It isn't just Black Friday - it is much bigger than that.   This is big so take advantage of these sales, you’ll be creating and distributing promotional material for more than Thanksgiving.  Your campaign work spans approximately three months. My thoughts: Pre-Holiday Campaign: Starting in September get your new course tuned up and ready to release. I like to release in October BEFORE the Black Friday madness of nearly every instructor waiting for their courses to be approved to go in November. October, you’ll start running campaigns to push your new course hard - lots of written reviews. Posting to all your usual social media outlets to get the course moving.  Leading up to Black Friday. Start playing around with promotional styles. Refine the look and messages you want to push. Pre- Black Friday – During this period in November, you might like to send out your own promo - well clear of BF.  Think about your course images/ landing pages and how you can maximise sales to everyone who will drop by and spend a few seconds looking at what you have to offer.   Black Friday – Udemy basically to all the promotional work revealing your courses to the world. What can you do to maximise this?  Maybe add some extra downloads. Students love free material. Think about using scarcity, use your Course Landing Page to suggest the free material is ONLY available during the BF  & CM Sale.  From my website and social media I direct people to my Udemy profile page and or individual courses - I use a mix to distribute all over social media. There is no point competing with Udemy during these big sales - work with them! Cyber Monday – On Cyber Monday, use different images to push your courses. Focus  - even though it was originally a tech kinda day I have always done well on CM.  Post-Black Friday Campaign – Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, you’ll want to make sure you are on top of your educational announcements - make the most of the new influx of students to let them know who you are and how best to begin their courses with you - any tips, info that is relevant. I am no marketing expert. I follow the threads of all the great marketers here on Udemy. Thus I need to prepare in advance so I am not caught dithering!  ps, I am dithering now avoiding creating my new course... bye for now... hope this helps all the new instructors...   Author: @SharonRamel 
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Question Is it more effective to create a promo video on youtube and create an AdWords campaign, or are facebook boosts a better bang for the buck?   Answers I personally get a few sales from putting a link to a coupon in my description on YouTube and it keeps a slow stream coming in each month.  If you have a free course, nothing faster than facebook although it's not the most effective student list.  Either way, I think facebook works out more expensive than YouTube if you're paying for advertisement, as they also own Instagram and on adwords you could just have ads running on youtube rather than the entire network.  Which makes the target audience more relevant.  Every category is different though and if would largly depend on promo videos etc so for each case I'd suggest, running a small ad campaign and keeping an eye on the results.   Youtube works as it is based on videos... Facebook doesn't work at all... don't waste your money there... better to spend money to push a video on Youtube... once it has some views it keeps getting new views... so your money for the initial push keep giving you results in time...   Hi Luke. In my experience, and from reading about the experiences of other instructors over the years, is that paid ads that sell Udemy courses are a waste of money. The cost of making a sale through paid ads will be more than the $10-$15 that you make on a Udemy sale.   Instead, use coupon codes in the description of a YouTube video, or use paid ads to drive traffic to your own site, so you can collect emails in return for some kind of freebie, then market your Udemy courses to people on your email list.   As a marketer, here’s the best answer: Test both. The ultimate marketing is when you bring the right message to the right people at the right time. You can’t know that for your specific topic until you test. Everyone else will have wildly differing opinions and experiences because their topic, right people, right message, right time may be different from yours. So test both and see what happens for your own situation. Having said that, it’s also important to know that running paid ads to a Udemy course is often not profitable because of how little you receive per enrollee. The basic math of it is that you should be receiving more than your ads cost. Well, it can be really difficult (if not impossible) to run ads at effectively less than $2.50 - $5.00 per enrollment. It is actually more likely that it will cost you $10 - $20 in ads / clicks to get one enrollment and that’s if you’re good. The reason is that you’re dealing with “cold traffic” or people who don’t yet know you, don’t know if they trust you and don’t know if they like you yet. (“Know, like and trust” must be there before people do business with you) So, if you’re going to be doing any kind of paid advertising, I’d recommend a strategy that doesn’t immediately go for the enrollment but instead puts them into a follow up sequence (email or chat bot) to build up the trust first.   Based on my own experience on udemy, I would suggest upload 20% of your course on your own YouTube channel and optimize it for organic reach to your potential students.   This will be much better strategy to drive paid enrolments to your udemy courses.   I second Youtube promo vids. Personally I've not seen much action from FB ads, although GoogleAds can be excellent if you're diligent with very specific keyword targeting for your niche.  But overall, we've had great success with sales from weekly youtube videos which for our company are half educational and half marketing as a means of bringing even more value to my users.    I am embarassed to say that I have spent thousands of dollars buying ads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google AdWords over the past 3 years and it has been an awful investment. I realized that the power of selling courses on Udemy is that they are our sales distribution channel...they are a marketing machine and I am grateful to be a part of this community. Please don't spend money buying ads as I promise that you will lose a lot of money doing so, like I have. If you figure it out, please let me know as I would love to learn from your all.   My long term customer acquisition strategy is YouTube; I create a video every day on YouTube and I am starting to slowly see students buying courses on YouTube. The great thing about YouTube is that it's the only gold rush in history that costs you next to nothing to create the product and you have access to bilions of consumers.    Thanks : )   I’ve had mixed experiences on FB. Loss, break even, and double my money. Fine tuning demographics, easy to access purchase/landing page, and cool vid or image helps tons. Sadly, if I put boobs in the image, it’s guaranteed to double the views/reach.    Making the promo video in a way that you cover what is this video about & Instresting things about your course in first 5 seconds and then start explaining so that your ad is not skipped and interested people may click on the ad video and Join I prefer YouTube ads as well as will also do Facebook ads, both have it's own benefits   I have tested Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads. I will get into details below but in conclusion, if you are capable of creating some free content in Youtube, go down that route rather than paid advertisement. Produce free content in Youtube and direct your viewers to your course. Details below;   First of all, online education platforms will be able to beat your bidding in all platforms in terms of cost. So, you will have to pay almost the twice as these big platforms do. Just to explain what I mean online education platforms, Udemy is also one of them but of course we love Udemy 🙂 The main reason is because they have re-marketing capability (with the help of scale) and they buy traffic in bulk which reduces the price.    Even if I will not use paid adverts at all, Google AdWords was the best among these. Facebook Ads didn't create much traffic, almost none. My personal Facebook post created more traffic 🙂    LinkedIn Ads are way too expensive for a course that you will earn £10 from. If you can sell your course for £100, then Linked Ads will work the best among these, but if not, you can forget it. The click cost of LinkedIn was 4 times more than Google AdWords.    I haven't tried Youtube Video Ads which might perform better.  
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Recording your desktop can be achieved using any number of software programs designed to do just that. These programs are called 'screen capture software'. Many applications will capture not only what is onyour screen but also what is seen through your webcam and heard through your microphone.   You may have heard of Camtasia? Whilst this is a screen capture tool it is also a video editor and boasts a number of features targeted at the online education sector. Its down side is that it is not cheap.   You may also have heard of ScreenCast-O-Matic. This is also a screen recording software. And it does come with a very rudimentary editor (paid version). I like its simplicity and is ideal for quick short videos and screencasts.   You might even have heard of OBS (Open Broadcast Software)? Primarily aimed at gamers to stream gaming sessions. It can also save those streams locally as video files. This makes it a very good application for creating screencasts. Oh, and did I mention its free? 😉   So, whichever application you are using, remember that you may also need a seperate video editor? You might need a certain feature? Or, you might be starting on a budget? What ever your situation - there is something available for you to get started right now.   I hope you find this useful? If you do, give it a like and let others find this post. Warm regards, Robin.   @Anonymous: I use ScreenFlow and find it really good for what I do. First I start with iShowUHD but for some reason, I left it behind. Still, have it but just collecting dust. ScreenFlow is a good solution for people who just starting and need all in one solution. The software offer editing, transactions, effects, sound adjustments, just to name a few.    Most of the time I edit everything in Adobe Premiere Pro but as I mention if you starting and you don't have a subscription for Adobe then ScreenFlow is good as a one-off buy.   Of course, all of the above mentioned are good solutions but I never try them and can't say much about them.   @AmrinGrewal: Camtasia is great for price!   @Chris_Haroun: I use Wirecast as I stream a lot online...and I am not smart enough to understand OBS - no joke : )    Prior to this, I used the following 2 products:   On my Mac: Quicktime   On my Windows PC: PowerPoint (on the Windows version you can do an "Insert Screen Record")   @ZbigniewMisiak: I use Loom (https://www.loom.com/)   Best regards,   Zbigniew   @MarcoAdda75: @Robin_Slee for Mac users, I work with Screenflow, free and easy to use, it's a great one.    @JeffSharman592: I would like to add my experiences in course creation right from the beginning. My first course was trial and error. I made some talking heads video using a Canon camera on a tripod. The sound quality was terrible. I then did the same thing using a Samsung Smart phone on a tripod. Much better than the camera. I use a Dell laptop with built-in webcam and Mic. Originally on quite an old laptop. It was OK but the sound quality needed improvement. I purchased a separate Mic which improved it a lot.  It is always necessary to have some good audio and video editing software. There are some free ones around, but I opted for NCH Videopad, Wavepad and Debut Video Capture. All excellent and not that expensive. Very user friendly and effective.  I now have a new Dell laptop and I still use the built in Mic and Webcam. Excellent quality and after editing, noise is virtually non-existent. I don't use a separate Mic anymore or Webcam for my recordings. I have made a recording booth to cut down echo and outside ambient noise. Cheap and easy. A plastic box covered in a thick multi-layered blanket. Works beautifully.  It is nice to know that you don't have to spend a fortune to obtain good results.   I use zoom for my Virtual Classroom learning. It does record during the class so it should work.   Author: @Robin_Slee 
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