The Udemy Experiment – Can We Make Money?

Part 1: The Udemy Experiment – Flipping Websites

site-flipping-udemy-sm

I've been experimenting with creating products on Udemy.

Originally, I was going to make my course on publishing be my first course. However, I've decided that I'm going to put a lot of time and energy in to that post. I don't want to release that course just for the sake of getting a course released. I want to release the most stellar, in-depth course on publishing possible.

This means that I cannot rush the creation of this course. I need to take my time and really dive into everything I can possibly teach on the topic of publishing.

With that being said, I still want to move forward on experimenting with Udemy as quick as possible. I'm going to be releasing my publishing course through this platform, I need to make sure that the platform serves all my needs when it comes to putting a course out there.

So I teamed up with a business partner of mine, Joe Fier, and together we created a course on how to flip websites.

Just to give you a little bit of history… Joe and I have been flipping sites for over 4 years now. It's a way that we make some extra capital when we want to launch a new project or we just need some more funds to accomplish something.

Joe already created a large portion of this course and we have already launched it on a very small scale. I think we sold it to something like 30 people total. We never really pushed it or did a big promotion for it.

We saw this opportunity with Udemy to repurpose and breathe new life into an amazing course that's already made. We added about an hour worth of new content and got the course online.

So far, I'm loving Udemy. It takes care of some many things all in one place.

When I've created courses in the past, I've had to purchase a domain, purchase hosting, upload videos to Amazon S3, create an account with Clickbank to handle checkout, create sales pages, add payment buttons, sync my autoresponder, handle customer support, manage affiliates, deal with refunds, and the list goes on…

Udemy handles ALL of that for me… Literally, everything I just mentioned is handled by Udemy. My number one focus becomes about creating killer content. I don't need to stress about all of the technical stuff. I can literally put 100% of my attention into making sure that I make the best possible content. Udemy handles the rest.

Of course Udemy takes 30% from all the sales. It's worth it in my opinion, however. They take so much off my plate.

Anyway… Our site flipping course is now live on Udemy. It's inexpensive, it's great content, and we're very proud of it.

Oh… And it's free to the first 15 people who click this link and go sign up.

We're making it free to get initial impressions. So please leave us some good feedback if you do sign up. 🙂

What are your thoughts on Udemy and this course?

Part 2: The Udemy Experiment Update

I've mentioned before that I'm experimenting with Udemy.com on this blog.

Well the course has been live for a a couple weeks now and I thought I'd give a quick update about it.

So far it hasn't made any money because we've still been giving away free coupons for the course. Udemy explains that when you first publish a course is might be necessary to give your first several students free access in order to gain some momentum and some reviews. After all, no one wants to purchase a course that says “0 Students / 0 Reviews”. You need to get that social proof started somehow.

One thing that I'm finding absolutely shocking is that we're having such a hard time GIVING AWAY this course. We, at one time, sold this course for $37 and received rave reviews on it.

Now we're selling it for $17 and giving away coupons to grab it for free and we've only had 28 people take us up on them. We literally posted the coupon codes in Facebook for all to see after we had a TON of people say they were interested. However, saying you're interested and actually taking action are two different things. People would love to know how to easily flip sites for money, but no one is willing to take the time to actually study the process.

This leaves me with the question… Are we not getting people to register because they are not interested in flipping sites or are we not getting registrations because people just don't take action or want to follow through?

I think I have my answer by looking inside Udemy itself.

Udemy actually allows teachers to see the stats of who's completed the course and how far each person is with the course…

Make Money on Udemy

I think it's pretty clear from the stats that, even the people that did take the time to register, people just aren't interested in following through and taking action on the information. They are obviously interested in the concept of site flipping because they took the time to register with Udemy, enter the coupon code, and join the course. However, once inside, they don't seem to want to take the time to actually watch the training.

Would this be different if they had paid something for the course? Would we have been better off giving a 80% off coupon code instead of a free coupon code? I'm thinking the result would have probably been better and I'm thinking that's going to be our next little test. People only seem to consume a concept if they have skin in the game. They need to have a little money invested in it to feel like it's important enough to actually watch.

Other than this insight, I'm absolutely loving the Udemy system. It's so easy to add new videos in, add resources, message the users, and do anything else I could want to do with it.

Here's a look at what it looks like from a teacher perspective.

Udemy Course

And here's the dashboard to edit a course…

Edit Udemy Course

I can literally drag and drop courses around however I want them and it automatically renumbers everything.

It's a pretty great system.

If you're interested in the site flipping course. Let me know in the comments. I'll give you a coupon for it. However, I better see a 100% completion at some point after giving it to you! It's only about 2 hours worth of training total and you'll have a new skill in your back pocket!

Part 3: Joe Fier Interviews Miguel Hernandez (An experienced Udemy Pro)

Download-udemy

Interested in receiving actionable strategies delivered to your doorstep each and every month? Be sure to enroll in our monthly strategy letter here!

35 Comments

  • Hey Matt – I would love to take your course and provide you with a review of how I get on with it. I know what site flipping is but have never tried it nor do I understand how to approach it so I would say I´m a good candidate.

    Also, my thoughts on why you may have had a low response. For me, when something is offered for free, it usually means free up to a point, or with some kind of catch.

    Only too often we receive news and offers of a free training, a free video course or a free guide on how to learn something (especially in this industry) and it is simply a hook to build someones marketing list so that they can push products, mentoring and other highly priced items. The problem I have experienced is that the free product often doesn´t provide a level of value that meets the expectation of the reader.

    Now I know full well that yourself and a number of other bloggers do provide awesome value every single day and help thousands of people to learn new skills and succeed online – however perhaps the word “free” gets you thrown into the same bucket of all the other online bloggers who are out to make a quick buck.

    The ironic thing about this is that there are so many people willing to pop along to Warrior Forum and pick up a WSO for $19 (obviously reduced from $997 for a short time only haha) because they perceive the value to be higher than a course that teaches a real skill that can be applied for a legitimate business.

    If you have any codes left, let me know – if not, for 17 bucks I will go ahead and take the course!

    • Hey Carl,

      Thanks for the awesome and well thought-out comment!

      I created a coupon code “mattblog” for the program. It will get you (or anyone who reads this) in to the course for free. However, the coupon is set to expire on Aug. 31st.

      I agree with you on the free aspect. In the marketing world, we’ve began to equate free with junk or with PLR… I’d say in many cases, people do give away junk for free to get you on a list and sell you more stuff.

      On the other end, there’s also quite a few people who pride themselves on only putting their name on quality (free or paid). Who knows how much some people are missing out on because they ignore free…

      I totally agree though! And heck… With Udemy, I’m not even getting the list. 🙂

      • Matt – Thanks for the reply but unfortunately I have been away this weekend and only just saw your post… I appreciate the offer for the free course but as you mentioned – It´s now expired.

        I´ll stay true to my word and purchase it though 🙂

  • Hey Matt, no need to assume anything bro, I’ve seen this myself too many times, you give away something for free that is highly valuable and there’s no action taken on the training whatsoever.

    Funny thing is, you would actually think that if people pay for the training you might get a better reaction right? Don’t really think so.

    I’ve seen people pay up to $1,997 for high end marketing training and log only ONCE to the system. No refund, no activity, just no action taken at all.

    The problem with Udemy (it’s not actually a “problem” but probably a good reason to explain the lack of action in their students) is that once you are already part of Udemy, it only takes you ONE CLICK to sign up to a free training including the scenario when you sign up to paid training and use a coupon code or a discounted link.

    So it’s pretty easy to fall in the category for the “I want as many trainings as I can get so if I can find even more free stuff I’ll sign up, even if I don’t need them right now”.

    Heck, I’ve done it myself a couple of times now inside Udemy, I paid for two different trainings that I only logged a few times before just to see if they were good but the reality is that I haven’t had the time to go through them.

    Also, I don’t want to say this is just a Udemy’s issue, it’s on the student’s side since I’m also part of “Learnable” (a similar platform to Udemy only ran by SitePoint).

    I’ve been a huge fan of SitePoint since I learned a huge deal on programming, databases and servers just by reading their books and it really kind of hurts to see Learnable just hasn’t been able to take off.

    People just don’t take action at all anymore and look at the next example…

    They published a FB update on August 22th:

    “Ok, I’m going to give a Learnable t-shirt to the person with the most completed courses on their dashboard. Tell me how many you have…”

    Do you know how many people jumped on this? ZERO.

    This really sums it up for me but hey, don’t get me wrong I STILL want to see the results of your test on charging people for your training!

    Sergio

    • Thanks for the awesome comment! You’re right… I’m sure there’s many people who have paid $200 or who have even been paying monthly in Learn To Blog that have still never consumed the training. In my mind, that’s crazy!

      I crave content! Free or paid. I consume it all and pull what nuggets I can from it. I couldn’t imagine paying $100 for a course (let along $2k for a course) and not devouring the information as quickly as possible.

      Some people just have more money than time I guess…

      By the way… How do you feel about Learnable? I’ve never played with the site. How does it compare to Udemy? Pros/Cons?

      Thanks man!

  • Matt,

    With me and Udemy, I’ve signed up for a few courses that I got coupons for and haven’t done them yet because I’m planning on going through them on my upcoming week off. Or at least attempting to do that. I want to go through the courses, I just have to fit them into the schedule. I agree with Sergio, some of those courses I signed up for because I wanted to go through them at a later date. I plan to, but not yet.

    • Yea. I hear you. I think a lot of people plan on getting to it later and then forget (and many do get to it later)… Do you think it would be any different if someone paid for the course? Would they dive in sooner you think?

      I think many people would be more compelled to dive in sooner if money left their pocket. Not sure though.

  • I am LOVING Udemy and have bought quite a few courses on the platform, but so far have only had time actually to complete 2 or 3 of them. I also like the fact that I can drop into a particular lesson in a course and just learn the part I need for the moment in the project I am working on. So far all of the courses have been an excellent quality and I would love a coupon code to yours as well….and I would work through it rather quickly (and review it for you) as any new skills I can get to help me earn money quickly is a bonus. 🙂
    Thanks!

  • Matt,

    First off, I love your podcast and book (WP Revealed). I think I first encountered your stuff from Pat Flynn last year…Anyway, I digress…

    I started a Udemy course a few months ago after hearing Corbet Barr interview the founder…I was making a free course anyway and just decided to try this new platform. It’s going fairly well, 33 reviews and 567 students, earning anywhere from $300-$1500 per month. But I am stalled. I would be open to compare notes and best practices… here’s my course: https://www.udemy.com/online-marketing-crash-course/

    Cheers,

    Aaron

    • Hey Aaron,

      Thanks for commenting and thanks so much for the kind words!

      I’d say your result with Udemy is amazing! You know they say that 80% of the people that create courses on Udemy make money with them! How awesome is that stat!

      $300 – $1,500 / month is awesome! Maybe you and I can have a call about it, compare ideas, and record the call for people to listen to?

      Would be cool to share the ideas with everyone!

    • Hey Cassandra! Thanks SO Much!

      Much of this course is taught by one of my partners, Joe Fier. However, it’s great training and Joe and I recap all of the concepts together at the end of the course.

      You can use this coupon by Aug. 31st to get it free. “mattblog”

  • Hi Matt,

    I’ve never heard of you till about half an hour ago and am still here on your site (low bounce rate eh?) reading things I’ve been heard of before. Like low bounce rate, for example. I realise this is about 2 months too late, but hey, fresh post! Do let me know if you will be giving out codes again please.

    Thank you.

    p.s. I am amazed at most of what I’ve read here in your site, including the comments you’ve received. Literal jaw-dropping moments.

  • I am a frequent purchaser of courses on Udemy. I am a collector, too. Even if I am paying for a course, it doesn’t mean I am going to get around to it anytime soon. I will snatch up courses on sale, or free, and put it in my learning “queue” for later. I think it is great that you get to see where people are in the course. If a lot of people seem to be dropping off at a certain spot, that is a great indicator that you might need to add in some spice, at that point.

    I just started the process to become an instructor. I am looking forward to learning a great deal. Thanks for your information.

  • It’s the same for me. It seems that engagement on Udemy is very low on free courses. 80% of my students actually do nothing. I am moving to all paid courses now.

    • Hey Cherhan – We’re over 10,000 now. MOST of them were free coupons and highly discounted promotions through Udemy.

  • Hi Matt, I would love to know how the Udemy experiment is going. And did you add your big super course to it as well? Great blog. thanks

    • I’m not sure I’m going to build a ton of courses on Udemy for the future. My big courses will probably be off Udemy and then mirrored over on Udemy to introduce them to a new audience.

    • Site Flipping = Quickly building and turning around a website for profits… (Similar to house flipping)

  • Hey MAtt. Thanks for the article. I Will take you up on the offer for a coupon code and promise to complete the whole course. Justin

    • Hey Justin – Thanks for the interest. I’m currently all out of coupon codes for the moment but will possibly open up more in the future.

  • Hey Matt – long time follower and user of your WP classroom stuff – YEAH, I’d use a coupon dude ? Y / N

    • Hey Juan – Thanks for the interest. I’m currently all out of coupon codes for the moment but will possibly open up more in the future.

  • Hello Matt, I’m definitely interested in the course and would love to learn more about it and get the coupon you offer. Thanks

  • Hello Matt, Thanks for lovely Post, Can i advertise my udemy course in facebook? People who are interested will definitely head over it. right?

  • Hi Matt
    Great posts by the way
    I’m a teacher so just wanted to give u another viewpoint ..
    You know all about websites and focus on the flipping aspect, which is high level and requires students to have extensive IT skills
    How about creating a websites basics course as well, stripping it right back so someone with no IT skills at all could follow it?
    Then u might have 10,000+ followers to build up website skills bit by bit?
    Just a thought
    Hope all goes well for u