Lets talk about...Udemy

Udemy is an online course platform which I first joined in the August of 2015.

Almost one year to the day, I think now is a good time to detail my 12-month story of course creation, production and marketing and where it’s got me.

So, firstly, I bought all the kit I needed. I purchased a snowball microphone, a HP all in one PC, a Logitech digital webcam, a green screen, a USB extension lead and a Wacom Bamboo tablet. Total cost; around £1500. A sizeable investment. I did benefit from a business start up grant at the time from St Helens Chamber of commerce which supported this. The purchases tied in with other elements of my project, including online tutoring.

I then started to think about what I wanted to create. It centred on my two great passions; History and Teaching. So, with that in mind, I focused on creating academic courses for learners on the one hand and CPD courses for teachers on the other.

The results are here on my website homepage (scroll down). I have also recently created a page for teachers although this needs updating with my two most recent course releases. My Udemy profile showcases all my courses to date.

Time investment was immense. I didn’t write full scripts, but I did produce detailed notes for each video. It usually took me a number of takes to successfully record, although being a teacher helped here. Video editing using Camtasia was also time heavy. However, I realised that I couldn't afford to be a complete perfectionist or I would never release anything. I focused on simple edits and tidy production rather than anything too snazzy. This worked well. I did invest in a green screen (well, the cloth version!) which I pinned up against the wall of my flat! it created some amusing moments with guests over the last 6 months. It allowed me to use the colour removal feature on Camtasia to produce videos like this:

By April 2016, I was starting to release more courses.

My revenue as of 15/08/16 is $801.

This is selling courses at an average price of between £7 and £13. So, I have sold a lot of courses since March/April. I have just released a free course too, which collected 500 students in its first weekend. I’m really pleased with this.

The majority of my sales have come through my own promotional efforts, whether that be via twitter, my email list or via Udemys own promotional email option. Around 20% of my sales have come either through people buying directly from the Udemy marketplace or from Udemys own promotional campaigns. I’m am relatively pleased with this, although I would like to think, that ratio will improve in the next year, perhaps up towards 30-40%, especially given Udemys price change which will come into affect as of 22nd of August.

One of my most effective marketing avenues has been Facebook buy and sell groups. Knowing that teachers have their own groups, especially in the US, provided a very easy outlet for posting coupon codes. Facebook have also just introduced a feature which allows you to post into multiple groups with one post - very handy. I have been very disciplined with this, every week or so I "bump" my FB posts by simply writing a comment underneath. This forces them to the top of the pile.

Course reviews have generally been very good, but I have struggled to get an average of 4.5/5*. Most of my courses tend to sit on 4* which is good but not where I would like them to be. I haven’t made many alterations/edits to my courses since launch though so this is something I want to do over the next 6 months. Some of my courses need more practical activities too, which is now part of Udemys review process.

Anyway, all in all, my experience of course creation has been brilliant and exciting. Its something I recommend to anyone. I also wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Udemy as a platform to share your courses. Their customer service is good and they do promote your courses to their networks.

Follow me on twitter @rogershistory for more info on my courses and current activities.

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