cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Udemy Instructor Knowledge Base

Top Contributors
Sort by:
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 
View full article
Check out responses from instructors in a variety of topic areas!
View full article
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
View full article
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.  
View full article
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!  
View full article
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™ 
View full article
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!  
View full article
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.   
View full article
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 
View full article
  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 
View full article
As a graphic designer for 14 years, I have created 1,000’s of images for my clients. Course images need to be both dynamic and also effectively communicate your course subject matter.   You also need to produce a clean image that communicates a sense of professionalism. Using more than three images may overwhelm the viewer especially when course thumbnails are viewed no larger than 200x100 pixels at times. I like to create a course image and then zoom out, so I can see how effective it is as a small thumbnail. Can I see any course icons, logos? Is the background graphic or photo effective or not too busy? Are there any elements that seem unnecessary?    Text is not allowed on cover images, so make sure you use icons, logos or symbols effectively, but using only the ones that are absolutely necessary to tell the story of your course subject matter. How about the color of the course cover image? That does matter. I once created a bright yellow cover photo for a design theory class because I could not find one other yellow dominated couse image in my topic. I believe using that unique cover photo has helped that class stand out among heavy competition . Looking at what others do in your category, what do the top three ranking courses do with their cover photos? Why do you think they are effective? Lastly, should you have a theme with all of your classes, some sort of unifying design element across all of your course images? Yes, that can be helpful if the classes are connected (in a series) or you want to establish brand recognition. For example, placing your headshot on each cover photo so when people view your course cover photo, they already know who the instructor will be (but that may not be for everyone, including myself).  You can also have a design: banner, slash, swoosh, circle, geometric shape, color that also unifies your courses in some way without making them all look line clones of each other.  I have done something similar to this with a two-part series, creating those bright vivid yellow cover photos so those two courses seem linked in some way visually. If I were to make all of my course cover photos the same color, it may be harder to establish two courses in a linked series or to highlight particular course types.   Just a few tips to think about as you start to create those course cover photos! Also remember to think about the course tags (best seller, new, hot and new) when creating your course images, everyone gets a tag at some point (new tag) so do not put anything that cannot afford to be covered up in that upper left area.  Please feel free to post tips of your own that has helped your course stand out from the crowd visually.  
View full article
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 
View full article
If there's one thing that's important for a first-time course creator, I think it's in choosing the right topic to teach. So, here's a dump of my own thoughts on how to approach this. The biggest decision you can make when launching a new course is what topic you’re going to teach. If you choose the wrong topic, it doesn’t matter how good your course is. Teaching a topic that’s not in demand, or teaching that topic poorly, will ultimately be a waste of your time. This is the one thing that is absolutely essential to figure out.   Ideally, you want to find a topic that you love and have a real interest in. That will help keep you motivated through the long process of creating a quality course in it, and make it easier to maintain your energy and enthusiasm while you’re recording the course. When you’re teaching something that excites you, that excitement becomes contagious to your students. And that alone can set your course apart, and increase the impact it has on the people who watch it.   Think about the great teachers you had in your life – they’re the ones who inspired passion in you for a given topic, and I bet they did that by demonstrating their own passion for it. If there’s one guy who changed my life, it was my math teacher in high school, Mr. Foresta. He somehow made calculus fun, because he had fun with it himself while teaching it. Be like Mr. Foresta. Be a teacher who inspires, by teaching something you love.   Passion alone isn’t enough, however. You have to know what you’re talking about, and your potential students need to trust that you are an expert in what’s being taught. Udemy does not vet its instructors in any way, nor are our courses accredited in any way.   The onus is on the student to decide whether or not you’re going to teach them accurate and complete information, and not just making stuff up. You have to be able to establish yourself as an authority in your topic before students will trust you enough to teach them on it. Perhaps you can convey that authority through your professional experience, through higher degrees you’ve attained from college, or by running a successful business related to the topic you’re teaching. But you can’t just go read a book and declare yourself an expert on something, and expect students to hand you money to learn from you.   You need to have some sort of real experience in the field you are teaching. Not only does it give students confidence when enrolling in your course, that experience also gives you confidence while you’re teaching.   Students will sense your uncertainty if you’re teaching something you don’t really know about, and that only leads to fewer sales and poor reviews.   The most important circle in this Venn diagram is “what students need.” You already know what topics interest you, and what you’re an authority on. But Udemy’s students couldn’t care less about your personal interests. They are looking for specific skills that they need, often to improve their career, make more money, or solve some real pressing problem they are facing. Too many instructors focus on the intersection of “what you love” and “what you’re an authority on” and produce a course in that, in the name of “following their passion.” But if your passion is underwater basket-weaving, well, good for you – but you’re not going to find anyone willing to pay even $10 on Udemy to learn underwater basket-weaving. They can learn things like that for free on YouTube, and since learning to weave baskets underwater isn’t going to make money for them or further their careers, they’re not going to come to Udemy actively searching for courses on that topic to spend their money on.   If you’re looking for financial success on Udemy or to have any significant reach, you need to teach things that solve a real pain point for students on the Udemy platform. Things that are so painful that they are going to actively search for that topic on Udemy, and spend their money to learn about it. For example, I teach topics related to machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence. There are a lot of people who know their technical careers can’t move forward without understanding these emerging fields, and they’re fearful for their livelihood if they don’t learn them. What I’m selling is some confidence in emerging technology topics that will enable people to keep pushing their own technical careers forward. It is an absolute no-brainer to spend $10 for that. Will the value of what you are teaching result in such a massive return for the student that they’ll be willing to part with their money to learn it? If not, then you’re not teaching the right topic.   “Need” also implies that there aren’t already a bunch of awesome courses in your topic that fulfill that need. Demand for a topic is only half of the equation; you also need to make sure you can produce a course that’s substantially better than the courses that already exist for that topic, if there are any. If your competing courses already fulfill the needs these students have, what can you offer that’s better? Fortunately, you don’t have to guess what pain points Udemy students are struggling to solve – Udemy provides the Marketplace Insights tool so you can gather real data on the demand and competition for a topic you are considering. But that's a topic for another post.   Author: @FrankKane      Frank, Great advice, as always! I agree with your venn diagram above. If you aren't an expert in something, don't teach it (no matter how much demand there is for that course).    Also, check the demand before jumping in. If you create the 513th Python course, you aren't going to be successful. You need to carve out your niche, and then dominate it.   The days where someone could make a HTML5, JavaScript, Python, Swift, or Java course and hit publish to start making money are long gone. Those topics are saturated and have too much competition. Unless you bring something new and unique to those topics (or have a large audience already off Udemy), you are going to struggle there.    Find the intersection Frank is talking about. Don't make the "Beginner's guide to X" course. Target the intermediate or advanced level students where there is less competition. These are the things you can do to give yourself a better chance of success.   Jason Dion  
View full article
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. 
View full article
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 
View full article
  Our approach is much different than most on here-- Our business on Udemy has diminished over the last few years, but, we're still very grateful for the partnership.   My company, Framework Television, has evolved from a Udemy seller to independent publisher to fledgling educational digital television network.     Not the normal Udemy path.   I started on Udemy because of cancer.   Strange but true.  I had been flying around the world as a technical trainer, teaching the first generation of mobile developers and multi-media web developers.  I had a great client base-- Lockheed, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Boeing and even the US House of Representatives were all my training clients.  I was making buckets of money and having a great time.  It was the life.  First class seats on planes, great hotels, and great people.   Then one day nine years ago, I was about to start a course for the FAA.  I was about to begin teaching and realized my muscles were so fatigued; I couldn't get out of the chair.   They brought me to the ER, and the eventual diagnosis was colon cancer.   I was 35 years old.   What they don't tell you about fighting cancer is that (for me at least) it was not so debilitating that you can't do anything, but, I wasn't able to travel and continue working.  So there was a lot of Price is Right and a lot of web surfing.   One day in my web surfing, I discovered Udemy.  And I thought to myself, "I can do this better than these people!  Maybe this is a chance to make some extra coin."   All in the same week I finished my chemotherapy regime, completed my first Udemy course and traveled to my first post-cancer training client in Minneapolis.  I finished posting the last lessons of Javascript for Beginners on Udemy from the Embassy Suites.   To my surprise, the course made money.   Suddenly it was making lots of money.  I was lucky.   So I made another course.  Then another.  Soon I had to hire an assistant.  Then he had to work full time.     So years later (and two paradigm shifts later) here I am.  I've had a #1 computer book on Amazon.  I've authored dozens of courses myself and published dozens of courses authored by others.  Now I'm on the adventure of my life starting a streaming video network teaching people coding, digital design, and game development.  It all started with Udemy.  And we're still there.     So a few recommendations for those just starting out:   1) Focus on quality.  You're not going to do well trying to find the shortest path between you and making a buck.  We've continually improved quality over the years in an attempt to better engage, better explain and create a better degree of success.   It's amazing that when you provide actual quality, you don't worry about the review system much.     2)  Video lectures are not enough.  Students learn better if you provide a multi-modal education.  Add worksheets, labs, even a written version of the lectures.  We now include the equivalent of an entire book with our courses as well as exercises, additional practice, etc.   3) Learn production.  Sorry, if I have to watch another Powerpoint presentation masquerading as a course I'm going to scream.  Differentiate yourself and create something worth watching.  We know why you use PowerPoint-- It's easy.  I can read the PowerPoint slides, thank you.  Reading them to me does not make a course.  (Argue all you want.  PowerPoint makes bad courses and makes you lazy).   Here's a screenshot from one of our courses: We're shooting against a green screen.  Everything else -- lower thirds, animated backgrounds, etc, we learned in Udemy courses.  You'd be surprised what you can learn here.   It matters.   Production matters because your audience isn't comparing your work to other online courses... They're comparing it to other media.  Video games, movies, TV Shows, are all your competition for eyeballs.  Can you engage as they can?  Do everything you can to engage your audience.   If they're not watching your snooze-fest, it's your fault.  Not theirs.   4) Work as you've never worked before.  I love every minute of the work we do.  I cannot be more excited to take the 30-minute train ride to our studio each day.  I work 12-14 hours on many days.  I've created a team of folks that I love.     This is my passion.   5) Be an expert.  I cringe whenever I hear the word niche.  When someone is seeking a niche, they're looking for a way to make money-- not teaching what they are passionate about.  We don't need another Facebook ads instructor who wants to do it because it's lucrative.  Of those of us who've made it to the million dollar mark I guarantee most of us are experts teaching what we're passionate about.     The opportunities always lose in the end, because there is a shiner quarter somewhere.   6) If you don't like it, quit.  Today.  There is no imperative to make a course.  It's even worse to make a lousy course and hate the process.  If you don't like it, quit.  Life is short and, in the end, you should spend time doing what you're passionate about.   That's all for now.  Ask me anything.   -Mark   Question Congrats Mark, what a great achievement!   It's an AMA, so here I go with the tough questions: 1) How long did it take you to get there? 2) You have over a quarter million students, are they all paid? It seems that ~$4 per student is a low number, that would mean most of them aren't repeat buyers? Any free coupons? 3) I see you have almost 7,000 reviews. How do you explain the low review to student count ratio? Do you think that has any impact on your sales? 4) You said your Udemy review has been dwindling. What do you attribute this to, what and when was your peak revenue and your monthly revenue now?   Thanks for the inspiration Stephane Answer Thanks.  I don't mind tough questions.  Not sure how some of these are helpful to you or help you sell more courses, but, here goes...   1) About 8 years. 2) I actually have over 375,000 students across different accounts.  I have other accounts generating revenue as well.  This was just the first one to reach a major milestone like this.  For a period a few years back when I worked closely with Udemy they systematically gave away one of my courses as a way to entice people into buying.  They don't do that anymore as their strategy has changed. I have no idea how many are repeat buyers.  It seems like we have a significant number based on names I notice again and again, but, since Udemy doesn't provide a convenient way to track that, we have more constructive metrics to focus on. 3) We've never focused on trying to get students to review courses.  Before the algorithm changes in 2016(15?)  the number of reviews wasn't a huge factor.  Now Udemy has made the number of reviews a major factor in search.  (The unintended consequence was wide-spread cheating).  We had plenty of reviews for social proof. Our current strategy focuses more on reviews and class participation. 4) We used to do over $25k a month up to $45K a month.  Now we do under $5K some months.  Our courses used to be featured by Udemy and supported with advertising.  The competition used to be a lot less.  Now that support goes to others.  (Yes, I'm a bit bitter about the way in which we were unceremoniously dropped, but, life goes on).  We are still participating and still trying to grow on the platform.  In fact, last month, with the help of friends we had a pretty good launch in a healthy category... We'll see what happens.   View the full thread: 1 Million. Ask me anything. (And I'm NOT one of Udemy's Favorites) 
View full article
Before you start creating your course content, it is important to dedicate some time to think about who your intended learners are.   A few simple questions can help you do this: Who are they? Where are they? What do they need? What are their goals or challenges? Why do they need it?   Having a good definition of your target audience will help you improve your marketing strategies, such as: Developing a language and identity that is in line with your audience; Creating your learning objectives Defining your communication channels; Producing relevant content for your target audience; Knowing how and when to offer promotions;   Learners are more engaged and motivated when courses are tailored to their specific interests. Keeping your audience in mind when creating your course will be essential to its success on Udemy.   For more guidance, learn more about how to define your audience in this article and How to gain potential students before you publish! 
View full article
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.
View full article
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 
View full article
So, it finally happened. It is really strange seeing that 7th digit pop up on my Udemy revenue report. It just feels so surreal. I cannot believe this happened with just one company and without any paid ads that I had to run on my own and almost zero expenses, minus my own human capital. I am grateful to be in the right place at the right time in my industry and I think there is still great opportunities out there for those just starting out.   It took me 4 years and 20 full length courses to get to this point. 2 years had been creating courses full time and the first two it was just a side hustle thing. I would have a system each week where Monday’s I wrote content, tue was filming, Wednesdays were editing, Thursday’s was launching and Friday’s was social media. I would do this every week for 4 years. When I had client work, I did it in the evenings, which was hard and I do not think I could have gotten to this point if I did not take the risk of letting my clients go halfway through this journey.     This will be my last revenue sharing post as I reached the last goal I was wishing to share.   Not going to go on and on with this one, just thankful to be given the chance to accomplish this, thank you for letting me share with you.  
View full article