How to Sell Courses on Udemy – Getting Your First Customers


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Do Market Research

With your area of expertise in mind, what kind of gaps can you see in the market that you could fill with your experience and knowledge on the subject?

Udemy, as a course platform, covers a variety of topics and industries such as development, business, finance & accounting, OT & software, etc. What skills or experiences do you have in your life that can be transformed into a course?

Based on the market you are entering, the amount of income potential can be 100x compared to some other market. Image credits.
Both example courses are Bestsellers. The only difference is the market they are in. One is high in demand, and the other is in a narrow niche. Image credits.

Ways to do market research:

The biggest benefit of platforms like Udemy and Skillshare is that you can create a course on any imaginable topic (while considering the platform’s topic restrictions), however, your earning potential is limited to the market size of your topic.

You can make a lot of money when your course topic and chosen market are related to acquiring a skill that benefits the student financially or career-wise.

Research Competitors Courses

The best way to research your competitor’s courses is to buy them on Udemy, go through the learning material, and see what you could improve and which way.

Things to note from your competitor’s courses:

  • When was the course created?
  • How many students the course has had?
  • What can you learn from student reviews?
  • What kind of assignments and resources does the course offer?
  • What kind of title and subtitle does the course have?
  • How many sections, lectures, and assignments does the course have?
  • What is written in the course description?
  • What kind of course image and promotional video does the course have?
  • What is primarily taught in the course?
  • Who is the course for? Beginners, intermediate, expert, or all levels? Why?
  • Do you notice any content gaps (check the course curriculum)?

Create the Course Content

When creating courses for Udemy, first, you need to get familiar with all the guidelines for Udemy courses. Udemy limits self-promotion quite heavily, so keep affiliate links away from your course content.

Documentation and guidelines you need to read before creating your course on Udemy:

Create the course curriculum

Image showing the course editor in Udemy.

Course editing and creating the course curriculum is a straightforward process in Udemy. The course curriculum consists of Sections (you need a minimum of three sections for Udemy to approve your course), Lectures, and Assignments.

Every Udemy course has to have assignments. Luckily, the assignment can be a simple question of “Did you do XYZ?” etc.

Udemy courses need to have at least 30 minutes of content and 5 separate lectures for the course to be accepted. The video quality should be as high as possible for a quality learning experience, and the aspect ratio should be 16:9. Udemy’s course quality checklist lists all the requirements.

Filming and producing the course content

To create a professional-looking and sounding Udemy course, you need professional gear for producing the course content. I used the below gear to produce my course content:

Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera:...
  • 20.1MP stacked back illuminated 1" Exmor...
  • Enhanced subject capture: wide 425...
  • Fast and accurate: Up to 11Fps...
  • Multiple movie functions: Make time...
  • Tiltable LCD screen: customizable for...
Blue Yeti X Professional Condenser USB...
  • Customizable LED lighting –...
  • Multi-function smart knob – easily...
  • Four-capsule array – capture legendary...
  • Blue Voice broadcast vocal effects –...

Upload the Course Material to Udemy

Udemy allows mass uploading (Bulk Uploader) to the course platform, but in my specific case, it sometimes worked and others didn’t. So, you might need to upload the material a few times to the platform to get it working.

Selecting the videos for different lectures wasn’t a straightforward process initially, but it gets easier when you understand how it works.

Pricing Your Udemy Course

Pricing your Udemy course happens from the course editor’s Pricing tab.

In Udemy, you can select one pricing tier from 29 different tiers. Udemy also offers a ‘Deals Program,’ which can optimize your list price for the course.

Compare the pricing tiers your competitors have selected. Analyze whether your course is more valuable than what is already in the market in terms of topical coverage, resources provided and whether your course content has filled gaps that are visible in your competitor’s courses.

Promote Your Udemy Course

There are a few effective ways to promote your Udemy course, such as Udemy’s Deals Program, social media, your website, LinkedIn, etc. Running paid ads is not seen as a profitable way to promote your course and make sales.

Udemy’s Deals Program

The Deals Program enables Udemy to leverage its marketing data to optimize the listing price of your course and provide discounts on your courses in various global markets.

Please remember that getting your course in Udemy’s promotions is not guaranteed. Including courses in promotions depends on multiple factors, including the course’s topic, enrollment numbers, conversion rates, ratings, reviews, and student engagement metrics like wishlisting, among others. This means that not all courses will be featured in every Udemy promotion.

If your course is accepted to the deals program, you can expect Udemy to discount your course for new users.

Social media

Insert your Udemy’s referral link (found on Course management->Promotions) to your social media bio and anywhere else you can so fans of your content can further explore your offering. Even if you don’t have an audience yet, you can still slowly but steadily build one on social media.

Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube are some of the best platforms for promoting your Udemy courses.

Remember that creating content consistently is key to building an audience and a following on any platform.

Check out: How to sell digital products on Pinterest

Create discount coupons

You can create 3 coupons per month on Udemy.

You can create four different types of coupons on Udemy:

  • Current best price: $9.99 / Unlimited redemptions / Expires in 5 days.
  • Custom price: between $12.99 and $19.99 / Unlimited redemptions / Expires in 31 days.
  • Free: Open: 1,000 redemptions / Expires in 5 days.
  • Free: Targeted: 100 redemptions / Expires in 31 days.

Website and content creation

If you have a website with steady organic search traffic, don’t hesitate to put some banners on your website to promote your Udemy course. To increase sales and the effectiveness of your course promotion, the website content should be aligned with the course you are selling.

Sell the same course on other marketplaces

Udemy does not restrict the course content to be sold only on Udemy (and neither does any of the below-mentioned marketplaces). This means you can sell and promote the same course on other marketplaces like Udemy, Artstation, Gumroad, Creative Market, Creative Fabrica, etc.

By creating the course using other course marketplace guidelines (like Skillshare) as well as Udemy’s guidelines, you are better equipped to sell your course on multiple platforms and marketplaces.

Check out: How to sell courses on Skillshare

Ways to Increase Udemy Sales

There are a few ways you can increase Udemy sales, and one is by increasing your course’s overall value and offering. Increase the amount of topics and nuances covered in the course, and by doing this, increase the pricing tier to the appropriate level as well.

Another way to increase sales is to sell it on a course platform like Podia. While it’s not per se increasing sales on Udemy, we have to realize that Udemy does take a hefty cut from all sales, and they also often have discounts, which further cuts the profit margin.

John D. Saunders is only one of many examples who make more money off Udemy than on Udemy. Making $100,000 vs. making $1,000 is a huge difference.

Pro tip! Use the initial capital you get on Udemy to launch the course on a course platform like Podia, and on top of that launch an ad campaign on Facebook or Instagram to promote your course, using the reviews, student count, and star ratings you got on Udemy as your social proof.

Feature image credits.



Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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