How to Create a Successful Udemy Course

I started this blog ultimately to promote my Udemy course that I created — showing you how to start a business from scratch with very little cash to invest.

Over the past couple of days, that course has reached a milestone — it has broken the 1,000 student enrollment mark.

That’s amazing!

Since September 2016, I can say that I have actively helped 1,029 people learn to either start, or grow, their business.

Wow!

Seeing the positive feedback from the people enrolled on my course reinforces the point that real people around the World (the UK, US, Europe, Asia, Russia and more) are watching my course videos and learning from my experiences as an entrepreneur.

That’s one of the best feelings — because that’s what I set out to do, to help people, and to show them that it is possible to start your own business, no matter how little start-up capital you have available.

I’m so pleased the course is helping people, and it’s such a great feeling that, guess what?

I’m launching another course!

This one will be centered around a problem many entrepreneurs face, and how to overcome this problem (no spoilers just yet!).

Plus, I have an exciting collaboration course getting underway soon that will see me partner with an old friend of mine with years and years of experience in computer programming and coding — allowing us to launch courses in other computer-related topics too, a category that is exceptionally popular with students on Udemy.

So, why the blog post?

Well, kind of like I did with my niche site project, I wanted to actually document the process of me developing, building, launching, and promoting my new Udemy course, so that anyone else wanting to teach others about something they’re an expert in, and actually create a revenue stream from doing so, can learn how to create a successful Udemy course.

As it’s a pretty lengthy process to build a course, I’m going to break this down across several posts in the coming weeks (and maybe months) so you get an in-depth view into building a course, in a step-by-step format.

It will follow a path something like:

  • How to develop a successful/in-demand course topic and concept
  • How to build your course content and produce quality videos on a budget
  • How to promote/market your course successfully

In this post, I want to cover the very first steps of starting your own Udemy course — the first bullet point in my list, understanding what topic your course is going to cover, who your audience will be, and ensuring there is sufficient demand in this particular area, and that it isn’t saturated with competition on Udemy.

So, first things first, to understand your course topic, you have to first understand what you know, that others would find value in learning about.

You can’t build a course teaching others how to do something, when you haven’t mastered the course subject yourself. You just cannot ‘wing it’ — if you try, you’ll be lucky if your course even gets approved, and if it does, the reviews will soon display your inexperience, and your course will flop.

Once you understand the broad course subject you’ll follow, based on your knowledge and experience, then you need to understand how you’ll position your course amongst the many other Udemy courses that probably exist in the same niche, and how you ensure you will still have a sizable audience for your course.

Here’s the steps I follow:

Research Your Subject and find a common problem people have within your subject

People who complete Udemy courses don’t receive an official qualification like a diploma, a degree, or even an NVQ — all they receive is a course completion certificate.

Therefore, people rarely use Udemy courses to impress employers or to apply for a job role that requires a specific academic qualification (sorry, you’ll have to go to a proper University to become a brain surgeon).

So, what do they enroll in Udemy courses for?

Usually, self-development or to overcome a problem they have.

So, you need to understand where your course will sit within these two student categories.

Will students for your course be self-motivated, self-developers looking to self-teach themselves a subject and then go out and apply it in the real World?

Or will they be frustrated people, looking for solutions to a particular problem they face?

Once you understand this, you can shape your course topic, title, and modules accordingly to suit.

I have found from experience, unless you’re building a course in a computer/coding related subject, finding a common problem and a way to overcome that problem is the best way to build a course that has strong revenue-generation potential.

Why?

Because these potential students are motivated. They are frustrated, and want to understand how to overcome something. And to do so, they’re often willing to pay.

Visit forums, read reviews of other courses in your field, and get to know what common problems people face in your topic area. Make sure it’s a common issue.

Research the competition

Once you’ve found a common problem in your field of expertise, you need to research the other courses in this area.

If it’s a truly common problem you’ve discovered, it will probably already be covered on Udemy in some shape or form. Your job now is to find how you can still fit your course into the competitive landscape and offer a USP (Unique Selling Point).

Is there a specific or unique angle you can take with your course to differentiate it from the others on Udemy?

Think of things that will really resonate with your target audience. So, if you find that the problem you are focusing on is commonly experienced by a particular sort of person, then gear the course specifically for that target profile — ensure you make this USP clear in your course title too.

Research other courses to ensure you are hitting on a subject area that has sufficient demand to suit your own goals with the course, regarding enrollments or revenue.

Check similar course enrollment rates and ratings — are there some big numbers? If not, it may be back to the drawing board — there can be such a thing as being too niche, and your course will just never be picked-up in search results (even by the specific people you’re targeting) because you’ll not have the enrollment numbers and reviews to rank higher according to Udemy’s search and browse ranking algorithms.

And that pretty much wraps-up my first part of this blog post series — at this point you should have a solid idea of your Udemy course subject and title.

The next steps will follow in future posts — stay posted for these, as I guide you through the entire process of creating your own successful Udemy course.

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Originally published at gavinedley.com on March 12, 2017.