CASE STUDY: Why You Should Release A Course On Udemy Right Now
One of my main sources of income when it comes to internet marketing is my own products.
At the present time, I have one eBook course for sale. Previous to this, I had a video course (which is undergoing a redevelopment).
These two products have achieved over $50k worth of sales over the past 3 years.
And it is why I maintain that creating and selling your own product is one of the best ways to earn money online.
But just recently, and remaining true to my goal of ‘uncovering smart income streams’ on this blog, I uncovered Udemy. The following Udemy Case Study investigates Udemy as a teaching platform, discussing why you should consider using this platform as well as sharing my own experiences through releasing my first Udemy course.
WHAT IS UDEMY?
If you haven’t heard of it yet (and I hadn’t up until a few months ago), Udemy is a platform which delivers online learning. The twist in the tale comes in the fact that anybody can sign up and become an instructor, build a course and then offer it to any one of their reported 3 million students.
Thats right. 3 million students looking to take a course on anything from cupcake decoration to selling on eBay.
IS UDEMY ANY GOOD?
As a platform, Udemy is perfect for both the student and the instructor.
As a prospective student visiting the site for the first time you are met with a beautifully crafted landing page which oozes those delicious web 3.0 properties that we are becoming more and more accustomed to.
A simple search bar dominates above the fold, simply asking “What do you want to learn today?”
Once you type in a search term, you are then directed to a page which displays different courses. It’s less web 3.0 here, but still organized in a fashion that almost makes you want to take a course.
Visual arrangement does attract, and is an important cog in any marketing wheel (as I learned in Las Vegas) and it’s really no different here; an arrangement of courses presented uniformly across and down the page, headed by perfectly sized course graphics.
The emphasis here is purely on matching a suitable course to an interested student. At a glance, a student can see the vitals – the title of the course, price, star rating and the number of students already enrolled.
WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE NOTICE NOW?
Without doubt, Udemy is gaining more and more popularity by the day.
According to Google trends, interest started back in mid 2011, and has been growing steadily ever since.
And according to Alexa.com, popularity started growing exponentially 12 months ago (July 2013) and continues to see real growth.
With these two trusted sources in mind then, now really is the time to look closely at Udemy as a platform to deliver your own products.
WIth the 3 million reported students already there and waiting, and with the trend and popularity growing, it would be remiss of you not to give it some consideration.
WHY YOU SHOULD CREATE A COURSE ON UDEMY NOW
Did I mention they have a reported 3 million students on their books?
Yes, course I did.
If that isn’t a reason big enough, check out the other reasons I believe you should be looking at Udemy today:
- Udemy is a platform. Unlike a visitor stumbling across a website with an eBook for sale, this is a professional platform. This is on a whole different level to a visitor seeing an eBook on a (sometimes) spammy looking sales page.
- It’s free. No hosting or website required. You will need a good video tool (I use ScreenFlow for Mac) because at least 60% of your course must be made up of video. This is your only cost.
- The user interface is superb. Honestly, I could not imagine it any better. Udemy make it easy for you to create the course and upload it. Most importantly, the UI is also extremely pleasant for the student, with the ability to mark where they are in a course, and to type notes whenever they please.
- Affiliates drive traffic. After 2 days, I have $75 in income. I have not promoted it myself much, and all sales have come through affiliates. Awesome stuff.
SETTING A COURSE PRICE AND GETTING PAID?
The first thing you should understand about setting your course price is a little strange.
And that’s because you will never receive the full amount you set for your course. My course is currently set at $47. Yet, I will never ever receive $47 for my course.
And here’s why.
Udemy utilises a number of different ways to get paid.
There are three main ways.
1. Udemy drives traffic to your course. In return, Udemy take 50% of your course price as a commission.
2. You drive traffic to your course through a special link. You can create as many of these special links as you want, and they can vary. You can create links which entitle students to access it for any price you want (including full price, free, or at a discount). In return, Udemy will only take a 3% commission.
3. Affiliates can drive traffic to your course. Affiliates are paid 50% – and Udemy also takes 25%, leaving you with 25%.
This table helps explain things a little better:
Overall, there are multiple ways of promoting your course. As I have already said, just a few hours after my course going live, I had revenue coming in. Because I opted into the Udemy affiliate program, affiliates have already picked it up, and I can already see my course promoted on other people’s websites.
MY FIRST COURSE AS A UDEMY INSTRUCTOR
I decided to launch a test course on Udemy at the beginning of July. Fortunately for me, I already had a wealth of material to draw on, deciding that I would base the course on my already popular Instant Start Business eBook.
I have 20+ pages of testimonials and praise for it on a public forum – so that gave me the confidence that the same could happen on Udemy.
SO the decision was made – I would use some of my existing content and repurpose and present it in a different format for this new platform.
But before I decided to create my course – I decided to take a course instead.
I did this for 2 reasons.
First, I wanted to see how a course looked from the point of view as a student.
Second, I wanted to do some detective work – and see the sort of quality and expectations others were delivering.
Surprisingly, the course I took was actually not all that good. The audio quality contained echo, the slides on the presentation were hard to read, and the over the shoulder video was zoomed out so far I could hardly see what was going on.
At this point, I knew I had the ability to create a quality course.
So I set about creating my course.
Your Udemy course doesn’t have to be some huge, 30 hour epic. Keep things simple, take out any fluff, and give the student what they want.
My course consists of 3 elements:
- Keynote ’09 presentation slides that I created and then talked through. This consisted of the theory part of what I was teaching.
- Over the shoulder videos. This consisted of me taking the theory, and putting it into practice, showing my students exactly how my sourcing systems worked.
- PDF. This was created to compliment the above 2, and consisted of the theory as well as step by step instructions to put that theory in practice.
In total, and as it stands currently, there’s around 67 minutes of video content, and 37 pages worth of PDF content.
Obviously, the first step is to sign up to Udemy.
You can do that here if you wish: Udemy Free Sign Up
Next, you will need to apply for Premium Instructor status. If you are not a premium instructor, you can only create courses that are free. And that’s not what we want!
So application to become a Premium Instructor is a must.
The application is your personal details, as well as doing things like uploading a picture of yourself and writing a biography.
Be warned. They rejected my first application (which took 5 days) because they said my biography was too short and not descriptive enough. I resubmitted, and it took them a further 4 days to accept me as a premium instructor. The biography now is 4 paragraphs long, with 2-3 sentences in each paragraph.
I advise that you apply for this status as soon as possible. I didn’t. I had my course complete, but without being a premium instructor, I could not set a price for it and had to wait nearly 2 weeks; 9 days to become a premium instructor, and a further 5 days for them to review my course and make it visible in the marketplace.
The second step is common sense. You should download their course guideline PDF which you can get here, so you can follow their guidelines. I recommend you do this, and have a good read of what they require from your course, because they have some mandatory requirements that if you miss, can stop your course from being accepted.
Once again, the guidelines can be found here.
Once you have an account on Udemy, and have familiarised yourself with the course guidelines and requirements, it’s now time to start creating your course.
All of my content was created on my Mac. I use Screenflow for Mac for recording and editing the video content. I used Keynote 09 to create the slideshows (recording and narrating through them using ScreenFlow), and I used Pages to create the documents which I then converted to PDF.
Once all this was done, I uploaded to Udemy.
Uploading is a very simple process. Udemy gives you an easy interface to upload the type of content you have:
TOP TIP: When creating slides or when narrating your course, do not refer to the section number or lecture number. This is because you have the ability to move these sections and lectures about, or even add in more at a later date. Obviously, if you say ‘Welcome to Section 2, Lecture number 3’, you have limited scope if you want to change the order around later. Only reference the lectures by the title you give to them.
This was a lesson I learned early on. I introduced a lecture as ‘Welcome to lecture 3’, but then decided to move things about. Meaning that the particular video was now under the heading of lecture 4, but I had introduced it as lecture 3.
You will also need to upload a course graphic. You can create your own course graphic, but Udemy are pretty fussy over these graphics. If the reviewer of your course doesn’t like it, they can request a new one made by their in house graphics department (There’s no charge).
My original graphic was changed by Udemy a few days after my course went live. It now looks like what you see to your left.
I’m not too happy with this if I being totally honest, but I do believe that I can change it out again.
My original graphic was designed with a purpose. I used the blue deliberately (as this is a ‘trust’ colour), I used an image of myself (so students could see who was instructing the course and for personal branding purposes, and I used text to display the course title.
The new graphic Udemy have given me does none of this, so what I will do is see how well conversions stack up against my old course graphic.
Talking of conversions, Udemy also give you access to helpful statistics regarding your course – stats such as conversion and engagement analytics. You can also set up Google Analytics for your course (which I haven’t as yet).
GET MY FIRST COURSE AT AN EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT
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WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I really hope you found my Udemy Case Study interesting and informative.
But what do you think of Udemy? Have you heard of it before? Maybe you are already an instructor? Or maybe you are thinking this isn’t for you?
Whatever your thoughts and experiences, I am keen to hear them. Just drop me a comment below!
All the best,
1. How I Earned over $10k in Under 12 Months With My First eBook
2. How To Create an eBook To Sell
3. 5 Awesome Ways To Market & Sell Your eBook (#4 Will Blow You Away)
4. How To Create A Sales Page For Your eBook