In summer of 2017 I released my first online course. It was a course about how to start making money on Upwork.
I did not want to invest in LMS (learning management system), so I posted the course on Udemy for $97 and sold 50 courses in less then a month. After that, I recorded two more courses.
Therefore, in this post I want to tell you about my personal experience about selling courses on Udemy. All three courses were on three different languages, and in two different industries. So trust me, I have some interesting information for you below:).
Lesson 1: Record and sell your course in English.
If you sell the course in different language (other than English), it will be more challenging to get sales with smaller audience.
My first course was in Ukrainian. I am the founder of the Ukrainian online community for immigrants in the USA. So I have a decent-sized audience.
When I released the course, I sent few emails to my followers, and sold the first fifty courses in the first month. After some success (fifty courses in one month was my personal success), I took all money I made, and reinvested in translating this course from Ukrainian to Russian, since Russian language has a bigger population.
I invested $600 in translating the course and voice over it. I sold only two courses. I did zero marketing, since Udemy promotes it on your behalf. Also, I do not have Russian audience, which means I could not drive traffic to the course. Udemy is a popular platform in English, but based on my experience is not as popular in other languages.
Therefore, lesson learned – I should sell only courses in English next time.
Lesson 2: Udemy controls your course price.
The third course I recorded was in English, and with zero English audience I have 1-3 sales per day. Which is amazing for me. It is extremely cool to make money in your sleep.
However, how much do you make?
My English course is exclusive – there is zero competition on Udemy, or on the internet.
The course is about ecommerce email marketing software Klaviyo (it is not important what course it is).
What important is the price factor.
Since there are not many courses in that field, I posted it for $99 per course. However, all my sales are ranging from 10.99 to 12.99.
Udemy constantly does promotion. Even if you specify price of $1,000 per your course, Udemy has a right to sell it for $10.99. Yes, it is crazy but this is what you agreed to do. They focus on the quantity and not the course price.
There is an option to turn this option off. I mean you can control the price of your course 100%. But in this case, Udemy will not promote the course on your behalf. I tried it for few weeks, and got zero sales. So I turned it back on.
Thus, lesson learned – if you want Udemy to promote your courses, you should agree to sell it for 10.99 – 12.99.
Lesson 3: Revenue vs profit.
In the lesson 2, we covered that Udemy controls your price but they need to make money too, so 10,99 is not what you make. It is the total revenue. From this Udemy has to get a cut, they need to pay the promotional channel (if any), and the remainder is yours. In some sales, I get $2 per course. Yes, this is after those 100s of hours of experience and recording. Here is the snapshot of the last month revenue breakdown.
This is how you can be in control of your prices on Udemy
Step #1 – Click on your profile PAYOUT SETTINGS
Step #2 – Click on Manage Promotional Agreements
Step #3 – Un-check Percentage Promotions and Fixed-Price Promotions boxes below.
Step #4 – Scroll down and click save.
So, lesson learned, – if they promote it, you get close to nothing.
Lesson 4: Indirect marketing.
I have to give credit to Udemy for all their marketing efforts.
Few clients reached out to me because they found me via Google and Udemy. It resulted into a project with one client, which added $3,000 of revenue to my ecommerce email marketing agency.
Therefore, indirect marketing is a huge plus.
Lesson 5: The audience is not yours.
You are not allowed to market to your course students.
It means they are not your customers. They are Udemy customers. It might not be important for you when you start but it will be later in your business.
Here is an example for my company.
Those 100+ students in my course might be interested in personal consulting, or next course I have, or maybe want to get service from our email marketing agency, but we can not promote it because it is against the rules.
So what do I plan to do next after all those lessons are learned?
I turned off the option where Udemy controls the price. I have my standards. I rather sell one course for $100 then 50 courses for $2.
I build the course on my website by using LearnDash MLS platform.
In addition to the price controlling, I want to market to my students and see who purchased and who did not on my list, so I can re-market later.
I will not post any other courses on Udemy, unless I have some kind of service where I need indirect promotion.
For example, if you have SAAS, you can create course how to use it. Manychat (facebook chat bot) did it for their software. They created free course how to use their software.
What is your experience on selling courses on Udemy? Are there any other pros or cons which I missed?