Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hi, 

I'm Phil Ebiner. I'm a long-time Udemy instructor - been here since 2012. And I'm excited to be a part of this community. Please feel free to ask me any questions!

 

Since 2012, I've made over $1.5 million from Udemy. And I don't say that to brag, but to show you what a normal guy like me can do... someone who started like many of you without an audience, experience teaching, experience selling, email list, website... nothing.

 

It has taken a lot of hard work and time to do this, but I believe you can achieve your goals if you have the right mindset and put in the right amount of effort!

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 10.41.53 AM.png

I love Udemy, and hope to help you out on this amazing platform!

Cheers,

Phil

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Woow. That is impressive Smiley Happy

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I teach creative skills like photography, photo editing, video editing, motion graphics. 

 

Great question about how long a course should be. I always say that they should be 'as long as it takes to teach the topic.' I wouldn't focus on just simply trying to reach a certain length of course... just focus on teaching a topic in an efficient and easy-to-digest manner. You don't want to drag on and on about a topic.  On the flip side, I've seen longer courses do better on Udemy. So adding additional topics/content, and making the course comprehensive enough to be 5+ hours is generally my rule of thumb.

 

In terms of finishing the course - do it! Just get the course done and launched!

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Wow. That's impressive. I have been procrastinating with my courses. They are written but I've not taken the first stepl to launch. What advice do you have as to making it grow once i launch the first course.

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Hey Phil, thanks for doing this. Big fan of your Online Course Masters podcast.

 

How many Q&A's do you get per day? How long do you spend managing that? How big is your TA team?

 

How many people work with you in course production (if it's more than just you)?

 

Jose

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Hey Phil! Congrats on your success on Udemy. Along with being an instructor, I'm also a student of some of your courses. I wanted to ask about your marketing. I noticed that a decent portion of your earnings come from self promotion (basing this on the screenshot you've posted).

 

What do you do to market your content? Which platforms do you use? Do you do Facebook advertising? I would love to know your strategies. Thank you for doing this AMA!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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That's all becasue of hard working and your consistency 

U Simjee

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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I definitely think free courses are a great way to build your brand and student base. Not only should you put that free course on Udemy, but also on YouTube and potentially on your own website so you can use it to build your email list that you will send the paid course to when it's done. 

You'll have to pay attention to the rules on Udemy though, because you can't send free coupons to students in a free course via an announcement. This would have to be done with your own email list or on a website/YouTube channel to your own audience.

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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At the end of the day, what ends up making more money is making more great courses. So while I truly believe building your brand (website, YouTube, social media) is super important for the long run, I also think if just starting out, you might want to just focus on creating as many good high quality courses as you can.

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Great question! What I've learned is that those ups and downs are just the normal trends across Udemy for all instructors. November, January, June, August... those are usually peaks. Other peaks will be when I launch a new course. 

 

As for when it's a new month, and it's going slow... I just want to ask what you are doing to improve it? Are you working on a new course? Are you building out a website? Are you growing an email list? Are you growing a YouTube channel? Are you testing out new ways to promote? 

 

What are you doing to grow?

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Thank you for being selfless and sharing with us. What do you have to say about the many sites that promote udemy free or discounted coupons? Is it worth a try? If it is, which sites are recommended?

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hi,

Do you think using Google Ad is uesful for marketing my courses?

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hi Phil,

You have done so well for yourself and for that I say congratulations to you.

Please am new on this platform and really don't know how to start up.

Is there a way you can help me?

 

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Hello Phil!

 

I am Pramod from India, a brand new instructor raring to go. Your story is amazing & inspiring.

 

I need your suggestions on - how to reach where you reached or better it. I give a few details about me and my class.

 

 

My class name: Stock sutra

 

What does it teach? Stock trading, currency trading, commodity trading.

 

Total class length - 3.45 Hrs

 

Total videos - 101

 

Design - Powerpoint slides and me talking in the background. The class is engaging with pictures and examples. The class is in such simple words that even a 15-year-old child in any part of the world can master stock trading and benefit from it.

 

Current status - Class is completed. Instructor verification on.

 

 

 

About me: I am from India. I have been trading stocks for the last 15 years. Also, I have many years of work experience in other fields too. I am now 60. This is my 1st class ever anywhere online. I am a passionate teacher and love teaching. I have worked for over a year on this class and invested all my money and loans from friends and family. I would like to return the loans as early as possible with handsome returns. I want to make my 2nd class on - Simple Yoga & Meditation.

 

Could you please give 5 tips to success that I should be looking to act upon.

 

Best wishes.

Pramod

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Great!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Thanks

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Twins! Congratulations!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Woow. That is impressive Smiley Happy

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Thank you!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hi Phil,

very inspiring, what kind of courses you are doing 

I just joined Udemy I am an Artist and art instructor for many years I want to start a cours but don’t know how .

can you guide me to start 

how many hours should a cours be is it like continued courses ,

should a cours or a project be finished in one course and continue doing another project ?

Thank you 

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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I teach creative skills like photography, photo editing, video editing, motion graphics. 

 

Great question about how long a course should be. I always say that they should be 'as long as it takes to teach the topic.' I wouldn't focus on just simply trying to reach a certain length of course... just focus on teaching a topic in an efficient and easy-to-digest manner. You don't want to drag on and on about a topic.  On the flip side, I've seen longer courses do better on Udemy. So adding additional topics/content, and making the course comprehensive enough to be 5+ hours is generally my rule of thumb.

 

In terms of finishing the course - do it! Just get the course done and launched!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Amazing ! 

I am a new instructor on Udemy and I am so excited about this experience.

Do you have some advices to be well-known on Udemy and most of all how to attract new clients ? 

Thank you very much for sharing your experience. 

It's really motivating !

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Thank you. You were an inspiration and great help for lunching my first Udemy course. 

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hi Phil, 

 

Congrats on your babies!! 

 

Just want to share it's my first day here on Udemy and I seeing your message is super inspirational, I look forward to sharing here on the platform and learning new ways of doing things! 

 

Much love and success!

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Wow. That's impressive. I have been procrastinating with my courses. They are written but I've not taken the first stepl to launch. What advice do you have as to making it grow once i launch the first course.

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Honestly, he best thing is To create multiple courses - some free and some paid on Udemy. 

 

At at the same time, you should be building your brand off of Udemy with weekly YouTube videos, blog posts, and building a social media presence.

 

but my biggest success is by creating more and more courses that grows my audience on Udemy, which helps when I promote my new courses.

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hey Phil, thanks for doing this. Big fan of your Online Course Masters podcast.

 

How many Q&A's do you get per day? How long do you spend managing that? How big is your TA team?

 

How many people work with you in course production (if it's more than just you)?

 

Jose

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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 Great job Phil. Thank you for being so open to answer any questions! 

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Great questions!

i now have one TA who answers questions, and two others who help with assignments.

i also have a 20-hour per week virtual assistant who helps with replying to reviews and other non-Udemy things.

 

for courses, it’s just me unless I co-instruct courses, which I do a lot.

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Thanks Phil! Appreciate the reply. Keep being awesome!
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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hello Phil,

 

Do you ever bought any advertisement for your course on other website or social media ?

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hey, I haven’t had any success with ads. I think since the price of courses is so low on Udemy, it’s hard to make a profit advertising your Udemy Course. If you spend money on ads, I’d suggest sending that traffic to your website or somewhere else you can try to ‘capture’ that lead. 

 

I focus on other free free ways to promote my brand - YouTube, website, social media

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Amazing trend Phil - congrats!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hey Phil! Congrats on your success on Udemy. Along with being an instructor, I'm also a student of some of your courses. I wanted to ask about your marketing. I noticed that a decent portion of your earnings come from self promotion (basing this on the screenshot you've posted).

 

What do you do to market your content? Which platforms do you use? Do you do Facebook advertising? I would love to know your strategies. Thank you for doing this AMA!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Most of my own promotions come from direct sales from YouTube or my website, and some email marketing - no Facebook ads or any type of ad.

cheers

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hey Phil,

Thanks for your time and all the answers you're providing. I'm not sure how to interpret you answer to the facebook ad thing. Did you seriously tried social media adds and concluded that they are not the best way to promote courses etc.? Or did you simply never really put time and effort in figuring out how to do social media ads?

Atm I see a lot of top level executives like Gary Vaynerchuck talk about how underpiced social media is and how we should put money in ads etc. Therefore I'm a bit confused. 

Friendly,
Dries 

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Phil,

 

Thank you for being open to help others in the course creation process. We all really appreaciate your contributions to this community. I wish you many more success-filled years ahead!

 

Have a geat day!

 

John

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Thank you!!!

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Hey Phil, thank you for sharing this graph with us too.  It took you quite a few years to find your stride, and i think that is a valuable lesson for a lot of us right?

 

Any thoughts on how to persist, how to keep improving, and what are the things you wish you knew back between 2012 - 2016?

 

Thanks!

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Community Champion JasonDion Community Champion
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@PhilEbiner , my only question is, when is Season 3 of the Online Course Masters podcast going to drop? I love listening to the show on my commute to my day job. It really inspired me during my first year, and can't wait to hear from more instructors on your podcast (and maybe even some "where are they now" updates)!

 

Episode 2 with Scott Duffy was a really great one that helped keep the perspective on why I should continue to focus on Udemy (at a time when my focus was shifting), and there have been countless others that I learned a lot from (Diego Davilla, Dave Espino, and too many others to name). Without an official Udemy podcast out there, I find OCM to be a great "unofficial" one since so many of your guests were Udemy instructors.

 

Jason Dion

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hi Jason, 

 

Thank you for mentioning Phil's OCM podcasts. Very helpful!

 

Sally

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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We're doing some major work for OCM, and plan on launching the new podcast in Q2 of the year! So hopefully in April!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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I was really on my game that day.

 

Not sure what happened since. Smiley Wink

 

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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What marketing tools do you use to get students ?

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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The ones that have been most successful for me are having a YouTube channel and building my website and consistently writing high-quality articles.

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hey Phil! 

 

I'm here because I watched your course about creating a course. You rock man, love for the kids. Stay blessed & keep pumpin stuff!!!

 

Naeem Malik.

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Thanks!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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You are helping and inspiring the community over the years, thanks a lot for that.

Wish you a lot more success.

 

I want to ask , Do you still generate revenue from your old courses that are 3,4 years old? 

for most of us, few of the courses generate most of the revenue, is it true for you as well?

 

Thanks Smiley Happy

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Yes! That's one of the most amazing things about Udemy... I still earn money from my very first course from 2012! Some topics are more evergreen than others, which helps. But, yes!

 

I would say 10 of my courses generate 50% of my revenue... the other 50+ make up the other half.

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Phil, huge congratulations on your success! I’ve got a couple of your courses and you deserve the success you have achieved.

ive only been on Udemy as an instructor since September 2017 and I certainly have the passion for it that you do.... I love it!

I hope your results are a true inspiration to others.... I know they are to me 

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hi Phil, 

I teach programming courses and my question is related to screen resolution while recording. 

My Macbook Pro default resolution is 1440 X 900. I use a third party software to get the resolution adjusted to 1280 X 800. I record all my courses on 1280 X 800. Is that going to be problem in the future? What do you suggest? 

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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I would suggest recording at the higher resolution. 1920x1080 is standard HD quality. One of my biggest gripes with Udemy has been their slow adoption of higher resolutions. YouTube is already on 4k and beyond! While I don't think 4K is necessary, I think for some courses 1920x1080 is... due to the type of monitor that a student may be using to watch, and the size of things on the screen.

 

The issue with only recording at 1280 x 800, is that it's already a lower quality of HD... and when in the future, 1920x1080 is the norm on Udemy, you'll wish you had recorded your courses at a higher resolution. 

 

So try to future-proof yourself and start recording at 1440x900. What Macbook Pro is it? Are you sure you can't record at an even higher resolution?

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Thanks for the all the great info.

 

You had mentioned "1920x1080 is the norm on Udemy, you'll wish you had recorded your courses at a higher resolution" and you also suggested to record in 1440x900. Confused Smiley Happy

 

Also, what resolution monitor should I be getting. Does 1440x900 or 1920x1080 monitor do?

 

Thanks!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Outstanding Performance Smiley Happy

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Community Champion Shigeru_M Community Champion
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Hi Phil, good see you here! When do you re-start your podcast series? I am dying to know!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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The plan is April!

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hi Phil

 

Thanks for sharing your story, and your advice, it's very inspiring. 

 

I am beginning to structure my course on special education and wondered if this is a good strategy:

Produce a 30 min course on the topic - Free course

Follow up with the paid content course. Also, offer free coupons to students who signed up for the free course?

 

Is this a good way to go or would you recommend a different approach?

 

Thanks so much!

 

 

LL
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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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I definitely think free courses are a great way to build your brand and student base. Not only should you put that free course on Udemy, but also on YouTube and potentially on your own website so you can use it to build your email list that you will send the paid course to when it's done. 

You'll have to pay attention to the rules on Udemy though, because you can't send free coupons to students in a free course via an announcement. This would have to be done with your own email list or on a website/YouTube channel to your own audience.

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Any advice on getting free courses to convert? I have one free course now, conversions have been poor. Lots of signups, few people moving to paid courses.

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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Hi Phil,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge!  I am just creating my first course for Udemy and my focus has been mostly on learning how to create videos, so far.  I'm excited to take the next step.  (I read several of your responses to questions.) Your info is very helpful and inspiring!

Best, 

Sally

 

 

 

 

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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I have observed you on various platforms such as Youtube, Facebook e.t.c. I understand the hard work that you have gone through. But, as an instructor who teaches concepts other than computer programming, I am very surprised that you have earned such a huge fortune with Udemy. And for that reason, I surely want to hear from you about the practices that made you successful. Apart from that I also want to know the time it took for you to earn 4 figure income on an average per month.

 Although my question may seem to be very focussed on the earnings, I know as an instructor I should focus on delivering good content and I am working on it and I am able to differentiate my previous courses with the new ones on the basis of quality. 

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Re: Ask Me Anything - Phil Ebiner, long-time instructor

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At the end of the day, what ends up making more money is making more great courses. So while I truly believe building your brand (website, YouTube, social media) is super important for the long run, I also think if just starting out, you might want to just focus on creating as many good high quality courses as you can.

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