There’s never been a better time to become an online instructor. Udemy is the online learning platform.
If you are any sort of blogger, online teacher or YouTuber, you should consider Udemy. Udemy (Academy of You, geddit?) is a great way to publicise your personal brand – and you can also make money there. The average Udemy instructor will earn around $7,000 – but that takes a bit of work. Read on find out how.
Develop an online “brand” as a person of expertise
Your blog/site should also be used for lead generation as you should offer a free ebook/video course as an incentive to join an email list. This list and following can then be offered your courses at a discount.
Having an online presence is a “must” in today’s new business environment. But it will also help you with marketing your Udemy courses.
I have to admit I didn’t do much of this. I already had video material on my YouTube channel that I had some pretty much ready-made courses to give away for free.
You can search the Udemy marketplace to see what’s on offer. What’s selling well? Where are the gaps? Try to niche it down. Don’t create courses that are too general.
Create free courses
For me, the best way to start with Udemy is by creating free courses. I had lots of video content and blog posts I could repurpose into comprehensive courses. Here are my free courses:
- Creating a Business Website. One hour video course showing website creation with the Genesis theme framework.
- Real World Graphic Design: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Various Photoshop and Illustrator techniques.
- Email Marketing: How To Build an Email List of Customers. Tutorials about how to set up an email marketing list with a lead magnet with Aweber and MailChimp and how to send successful campaigns.
This meant I got a fair amount of students instantly and I could gauge their needs from their questions and feedback.
Here is a Udemy course checklist you may find useful for creating your first Udemy course.
Create paid courses
There’s not much difference between a paid course and a free course on Udemy although you have to apply to become a premium instructor.
Here are my paid courses.
- Creating a Business Website with a Responsive Design. Over four hours of WordPress and Genesis tutorials showing design, PSD to WP, and proper setting up of a real business site with JS sliders, blog, featured images, the lot.
- Blogging, SEO, Social & Relationships: Total Web Marketing. This course follows on from the previous one and shows how to attract clients through blogging, on-site SEO, social media and relationship with other bloggers.
- Running A Web Design Business. How to make money running a web design business from home. Included: hardware and software, getting clients, handling clients and projects, how to get paid, what to charge, contracts, proposals, branching out, passive income, the future.
Oh, and make sure your paid courses are even better than your awesome free courses.
Market your courses
Udemy won’t do much to sell your course for you, so don’t underestimate the importance of marketing when becoming a Udemy instructor.
As I said in the introduction, I can’t overstate the importance of creating your own personal brand and a mailing list so that you can present unique offers to your existing fans.
If you have created an excellent free course it shouldn’t be too hard to get students. You can promote your paid courses to your free course subscribers via Udemy’s announcement system. Further enticement can be made with discount coupons. This process is shown in the above video. Free courses are very popular and the students/subscribers on these courses can be successfully recruited to paid courses with the use of discount coupons.
Another thing you can do is form relationships with other Udemy instructors and promote their courses to your students in return for their promotion of your courses to their students. This can also be done through the use of discounts and/or Udemy’s affiliate scheme.
Here are some other ideas for course promotion:
- Post deals or freebies on Twitter with the follow hashtags: #deals #discount #bargain #free
- Set up anonymous accounts at the following and promote your discounts: OzBargain, DealNews, SlickDeals, FatWallet
- Udemy and their students love courses with lots of students and good reviews. To encourage good reviews on new paid courses, offer the course for free in return for an honest review. The best place to do this is at one of Udemy’s thriving Facebook groups.
How to create courses
Put yourself in the position of the potential student. Explain to them how to do something rather than how a piece of software works.
The only investments I’ve made for Udemy course creation have been the following:
Put effort into the look of your courses
The really successful instructors all have coherent and consistent branding in their main course images. You can also add further color coding to denote subject areas.
This high quality and consistent branding should be seen in all areas of your course from the video intros to the downloadable materials.
Here you can see all my main course images, although I’m sure I can make them more consistent and better – it’s on my do-to list!
You can do it
You can teach courses online and help thousands of people improve their knowledge, know-how and lives. Sign up here to Udemy and be guided through the course creation tools.
Remember Udemy is only a platform for you. Platforms can come and go and they can get rid of you at the drop of a hat. So remember to keep copies of all your course materials. And, you can always sell your courses independently. Udemy has no exclusivity on your material.
So far, I’m loving the Udemy platform. Their staff are approachable and helpful both through Facebook groups and email communication. There’s a wonderful supportive community of instructors and tangible excitement of working within a growing entity.