I Hit $5000 On Udemy - Here Are The 7 Lessons I've Learned
posted 07.01.2017 11:24
in E-Course Marketing

I just crossed $5000 on Udemy as an online instructor. I've learned a few things. It would be great if I knew what I know now when I got started but this wasn't the case. I'm writing this blog post for beginner online instructors, people who have started working on their first course OR who have just published their first course.

I Hit $5000 On Udemy - Here Are The 7 Lessons I've Learned

I will share with you 7 crucially important lessons that will get you closer to your desired financial goals at Udemy.



#1 Quality

If you produce low-quality online courses that will decrease your chance of success. I talk about quality in two aspects. The first one being the quality of the content and the second one - video production (technical).

Quality means money.

"Wait a second... "high-quality"... that's quite abstract, what exactly do you mean, Vladimir?"

I knew you were going to ask this! But, I'm prepared with an answer for you. Regardless of the platform you teach on, you should remember this definition of high-quality content, here it is:

High quality means......

Chances are you will be creating more than just one online course if you provide your students with high-quality content they will enroll in your other courses which means more money for you.

High-quality also means fewer refunds.

High-quality also means positive reviews which is ultimately social proof. That will facilitate the buying decision-making process and as a result, more students will enroll in your course which again means more money for you.

Don't create ugly "talking head" videos. If you don't have good video equipment and lighting, you better record your screen and show a high-quality picture of yourself so students can see your face. This is especially true with your sales video.

Sound will always be more important the video. You need to make sure, you've got a high-quality microphone. Plus, Udemy is raising their standards and they have unpublished a lot of low voice quality online courses. I don't want you to experience that! Don't use your laptop to record your scripts.

I've got two USB microphones, the first one is iRig Mic HD and the second one is Blue Yeti - both around $100 and both produce outstanding quality. The Less expensive option would be Snowball by Blue - $50.



#2 Udemy Promotional Announcements

You can send up to 2 promo announcements per month. You need to have a minimum of two courses to use this feature. I didn't use promo announcements actively in the first month after I launched my second and third course but I saw a dramatic improvement in revenue once I started using them!

My best promo announcement brought in $204 in 24 hours. A few days ago I made another promo and here are the results:

$128.48 - not bad at all. Please consider that this month isn't over yet!

However, you need to master the skill of copywriting

Want to learn how to write promos that make quick cash? Watch this video here: THE PROMO CRUSHER



#3 Quantity

You've heard of Vilfredo Pareto and his 80/20 rule, right? Well, it applies here as well, roughly 20% of your courses will bring 80% of the revenue! In this line of thinking, if your first course is not that successful, don't stop there! Create another one and another one and you will come to a point that your next course will be the HIT!

I currently have 11 courses but 3 of them are bringing most of the revenue.

Plus, the most successful instructors at Udemy have multiple courses, often, on a great variety of topics. In the past, you could see a successful online instructor generating high income from one course alone but the market conditions are changing and now you need multiple courses AND MULTIPLE PLATFORMS!



#4 Headlines, Thumbnail, Description, Introduction - Never Compromise With These

Again, copywriting is a must of people selling digital products - you and me. We sell online courses (digital products) and we need to communicate clearly the benefits and results students are going to get after they complete our courses. If we cannot do that well enough, students WILL NOT enroll.

So, you need to spend some time crafting an attention-grabbing headline and a killer description! Your introduction should be a sales video in disguise. Don't be salesy. Give information, give reasons and talk to the reptilian brain of your students.

Don't know anything about "Reptilian Brain"? Do a Google search.

Unless you are a designer, DO NOT create your thumbnail by yourself because you are running the risk of ending up with an ugly thumbnail that wouldn't attract attention!

I highly recommend you use the Udemy design team - they will create a thumbnail for you for FREE! Plus, it will be unique.



#5 Free Students Help You Get Paid Students

If you don't have an email list, if you don't have a social presence, you need to enroll a lot of free students to your courses and again that goes back to the concept of Social Proof. You need to actively engage with these students and ask them for reviews.

I usually launch all my courses for free and they get a lot of free students in the first few weeks. It depends on the topic but you can add 500 to 1000 free students in the first two weeks alone. By default, they will be more active than just freebie seekers.

I'm not a fan of Udemy coupon websites. There is a difference between FREE students coming from organic (Udemy) traffic and FREE students coming from bestblackhat.com. And the difference is called engagement.

Udemy has algorithms and knows how many students are watching your course, the number of reviews, discussions, questions etc. Btw, you've got access to this information, too. Guess what, Udemy will give priority to LIVE and ACTIVE courses.



#6 Care About Your Students And Their Success

Now listen, you are (or will be) successful because of your students. Every transaction means someone has expressed trust in YOU as an online instructor and YOUR work (online course).

You must cherish the relationship you have with your students. One way is to create high-quality courses but another way is to answer the questions your students have in a timely manner. Not doing this is a huge mistake beginners make. 

Take responsibility for your students' success because if you do that these students will enroll in your next course. That's the reason why I have students who have enrolled in 5 or 8 or even all of my courses.


#7 Udemy's New Pricing System - Succeed Anyway!

I disagree with Udemy and there pricing move. Now all courses are in the range from $20 to $50. I can write 5 articles (1000 words each) argumentation on this topic but I won't.

The good news is you can succeed anyway! If we look at the historical data, students are accustomed to paying $10-15 for an online course. Now you can create coupon codes with discounts up to 50%, for that reason $20 and $30 are a good price point. There isn't a universal rule when we talk about prices. Many factors are involved such as length of the course, quality of the course, the topic of the course, etc.

So my advice for you here is to TEST your prices as I did here.


As you can see, I made a total of $204.57 with $15 coupon codes.

On the other hand, here are the results with the $25 coupon codes, I made just $72.75.

I used one promotional announcement twice and each part of it (the offer) was completely the same except the price.

This is a good split-test.

As you can see I made $204 with $15 coupon codes and I made 130 with $25 coupon codes. This data lead me to believe I should stick to the $15 coupon codes for my future promo announcements.

Do the same with your course(s) to find out the sweet spot.

What is your experience with Udemy?

Would you like something to add?

Maybe you've got a question if you are just starting out. Go ahead and post it in the comments below and I will answer it for you!

To your success,

-Vladimir Raykov






from on
Hi Vladimir,
thank you for this amazing article!

I teach on Udemy, but recently I totally forget about the fact that I can use promotional announcements. This article reminded me of this feature!

Thank you.

from on
You better start using them, Jan!
Don't leave money on the table.
from on
Hii .. How do you promote your courses ?? Does most of your sales comes from this blog ??
from on
Hi Nikhil,

Most of my sales are organic Udemy traffic and through promotional announcements.
I don't run PPC or any other model of advertising for my Udemy courses, I do that for the courses I host myself.

from on
Thanks Vladimir .. Really appreciate your efforts
from on
Thanks Vladimir .. Really appreciate your efforts
from on
You are welcome, Nikhil!