udemy subtitles

Udemy 2016 Student and Sales 80/20 Hack with Subtitles

​If you want to get more students​ on Udemy and make more sales on your Udemy courses, I hope what I show you below will be helpful with the pictures telling the story! They are search results for popular terms and include the sorting features Udemy offers.

udemy subtitles

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What can we learn from the images above? How many of the 4 points I make below did you find on your own first?

  1. What you can see on the five images above are the total amount of courses on popular search terms and then features students care about such as closed captions and whether the course is free or not. If you are just getting started on Udemy, you should be able to see the huge opportunity to make great free courses. One of the top instructors on Udemy in terms of students has 400,000+ free students that then seem to be buying a lot of his paid courses.  Even with 42 courses already, the next several courses I plan to release will be free courses that are introductory versions of my existing courses because this has proven to be a successful model so far for me and others. Whether you have 0 courses, 1 course, or 42 courses, free courses as you can see from the data are an easy way to get people started learning with you on Udemy. Especially if you have no courses, free courses can help you get the feedback that will allow you to make high quality courses that then can be sold to your students in free courses using a bonus lecture.
  2. If you are trying to make more sales on your paid course(s), making organic sales on any of the terms above or any of popular categories without doing any of your own promotions can be extremely difficult because there are already hundreds of courses in every category and 1 to 10 very good courses in each. If you are not in the 1 to 10 top courses, it is very difficult to get more than an occasional sale unless you find a way to word around it such as …  If you add subtitles to your paid course in the form of .vtt files, you automatically eliminate the majority of your competition when any student checks the subtitle box! Every search term above brings up at least 150 courses and on none of them are there more than 4 courses with closed captions! That is a minimum of a 95% reduction in competition and as high as 99% when any student clicks “closed captions” to help them decide which course is right.  I started doing closed captions after seeing how many people in South Korea on the train were watching videos with subtitles and getting a good understanding myself of how important it is to have subtitles available when the language in the video is not your first language. I receive a request every week to do more subtitles or add additional languages. Captions are IN DEMAND and almost no one has them! The most amazing part is that many of the best selling courses still do not have them! If you act quickly to get your subtitles done, you can have a chance to get students without having to compete with many of the bestselling courses.  You can see below that one freelancer on Fiverr is already on top of the .vtt files if you provide a transcript. This is probably the cheapest option if you want to do most of the work on your own but do not want to learn to make the .vtt file yourself.  You can see what I am doing to get all of my subtitles done now below. My coinstructor Joseph Delgadillo uploads all of the subtitles and has hired more than 20 people on Upwork to get these subtitles done on all of the courses I was teaching alone. We started with English on every course and now are also doing the four languages you see below on the bestselling courses.  Note that in order for your course to show that it has subtitles, EVERY LECTURE must have vtt subtitles files uploaded in order to get your course into the captions box. Once you get your course to show it has captions, you can add new lectures in without subtitles and it will not remove it from showing it has captions. fiverr vtt files   upwork vtt files
  3. What you also might have noticed above is that the courses are sorted in English. However, if you can make courses in another language, you have a huge opportunity to get people looking for courses in your language with almost no competition from the English world!
  4. If you saw the one check box for coding exercises in WordPress and are teaching a course where you can add coding exercises, I would guess you might want to jump on this as fast as possible! Learn how at https://support.udemy.com/customer/portal/articles/2115626-coding-exercises?b_id=3056

Thank you for reading this!  Get more of these as a student in my teach full time on Udemy course at https://www.udemy.com/instructor/?couponCode=BLOG9

Udemy instructor October 2015 teaching 40 courses Jerry Banfield

Udemy Instructor Updates October 2015 for Course Sales

​What have I learned recently on Udemy that might be useful for you?  Here is a list of my recent Udemy updates on what works best for making a great course and making sales! Take any of my Udemy courses for $9 at https://jerrybanfield.com/thankyou9/.

  1. Encouraging people to post a discussion right away in the introduction is very effective at making a great experience for students in the course.  I will be going back and editing every one of my courses to focus the very first lectures on encouraging students to introduce themselves immediately in the course because of how well this has worked in the courses I have done it in.  In my Facebook course, I just updated the entire first section after getting several one star reviews saying the course organization was bad.  With a 21 hour course that requires updates every month, the best I can do is ask people to tell me what they want out of the course and let me tell them where to look.  The benefit of this is that many are also saying how they found the course, why they enrolled, and what they hope to use it for. This information is exactly what I need to continue to make the course better.  What happens when you give students an awesome experience in your course? They give Udemy private feedback that is very positive and encourages Udemy to place the course higher in organic sales. They give great reviews that encourage more sales.  They spend more minutes watching lectures and even start answering other people’s questions!  It all starts with using the introduction to motivate a student to actually do something in the course.
  2. The best contest to run in a course is for the best discussions posted.  In my Facebook course I am now offering two students every week $100 each for posting the best discussions in the course including new discussions and replies.  This has worked so well the last two weeks that people posting new discussions in the course are often receiving much better answers than I would have given and they are getting them much faster too!  This combines extremely well with the first point of encouraging new students to post and has left some students with the impression I have a team of people working in the course.  I am planning on trying this on a monthly basis in several more courses starting in November including this one.
  3. Jerry Banfield “Teaches 40 Courses on Udemy.” The struggle to find a tagline has been a long and challenging one for me on my profile.  I think I finally have found an answer that will last and am honored to see that several of you have already changed yours to match!  I put this tagline because I want people to look at more than one of my courses. When people browsing on Udemy see I teach so many courses, I want that to be a draw by itself.  It also stands out from the “CEO” or the “Expert” titles that most people automatically ignore and also makes it clear what I do AND reads well AND does not have to have the … on it to extend.  Now all I have to do is edit the number of courses!
  4. Reporting the negative reviews that violate the terms of service has removed several of the worst reviews I have received.  Other times it has been a total waste of time.  While there is not much you can do about a negative review, there is one thing you can do that works if the reviewer violated any of these terms:  Violates Udemy’s Terms of Use in any way, contains language that is rude, hateful, or aggressive, is fake, fraudulent, offensive, spammy, or misleading, and/or is unrelated to the course or course material.  These are copied from Udemy’s policies course which I try to visit on a regular basis so that I have the help I need to be the best instructor I can be each day.  If the review posted has any of those four conditions in them, you can report it and hope they remove it.  For reporting the reviews, I try to remember that a real human being is reading the report as well as the review.  This means I say something like “thank you for reading this” to begin and “I appreciate you reviewing this” at the end of the report along with a clear explanation of how the review might violate the Udemy terms for leaving a review.  So far I think they have removed 3 out of 4 of the reports I have made with the most recent one not removed on a very short one star review.  All of the nastiest and most hateful reviews they removed.  Basically if they say anything that is not about the course like comments about your appearance, religious beliefs, personal life, or try to pitch something they are selling, you can get the review removed within usually a few days to a week or two.  If the review is not worth removing, you can at least feel good that the universe is genuinely trying to give you the information you need to make a better course.  Apparently I need a lot of it!
  5. Making a good course great is worth much more than making another good course.  My two “great” courses according to Udemy bring in more than 50% of my sales each month and my other 38 struggle to work together to bring in the other 50%.  My top 6 courses usually bring in about 80% of the sales while the other 30 paid courses struggle for that last 20%.  In the beginning, it is better to build more courses usually while you wait to see what you are teaching that people like. As you grow, it seems more worthwhile to make the good courses you are teaching great because the difference between being the #1 course on a subject and the #2 course on a subject is 2 to 10 times the sales.  The #1 course on Udemy probably makes around twice as much as the number two course.  My best course makes more than twice as much as my next best course which makes more than twice as much as the next best.  The bulk of the work on Udemy is making a good course great.  My “how to Udemy” courses are on my list of good courses to make great and I think every educational announcement can be a productive part of that.
  6. Your own promotions are critical to your success on Udemy because of the positive reinforcement loop that happens between your sales and the Udemy organic sales.  It seems a significant percentage of my organic sales are actually Udemy selling additional courses to students I originally made the first sale on.  Using YouTube, Google AdWords, and Facebook has been the foundation of my course sales on Udemy because each time I sell a course, then Udemy works to sell it again and sell that person another course.  It is this positive feedback loop that makes Udemy so much better than any other option out there.  There is no way I would be here now with you if I had not been selling my courses with my own instructor promotions from the very beginning.  The majority of my growth this year can be directly traced to an increased effectiveness in selling with my own instructor promotions especially on YouTube and also through Google AdWords and Facebook.
  7. Setup conversion tracking with Google AdWords and try to sell your course.  Most of my courses do not sell with Google AdWords.  The ones that do have brought in over 700 sales for a little over $12,000 in ad spend during this year at an average cost of around $15 for each sale.  Considering the positive reinforcement loop I just mentioned, that is a HUGE long term return and I spend as much as the keywords will let me each day on the campaigns that work.  The most amazing part is how many sales happen in countries all around the world.  Google AdWords has brought in sales from Estonia, Croatia, Brazil, Belize, Russia, Mexico, Jordan, Tanzania, Egypt, Vietnam, and many more!  The staff at Google actually built 20+ of my campaigns for me after I built a few to start and was up to $100/day in ad spend.
  8. Do a live training integrated with a sales pitch for your Udemy course, upload it to YouTube/Facebook, and advertise it globally with Google AdWords or Facebook ads to rank high on your search terms on YouTube or to get the video seen on Facebook by your target audience.  Doing a live training works even better than using any lectures from your course as a free preview because then you do not have to worry about putting too much of your course up for free or having students angry that they paid to see part of the same course over again.  I did two live Facebook trainings this month and they are already ranking towards the top of the keyword searches for them which likely means they are bringing in sales already.  This works best when done repeatedly in the same area and is how I originally wound up teaching on Udemy.

Thank you for reading these 1,500+ words I have shared here with you and I hope this is useful for you in your ongoing efforts teaching on Udemy!

udemy course ranking wireshark hacking

2 Udemy Course Ranking Tips Learned Teaching 32 Courses

​How many times have you checked your course rankings on Udemy? Have you searched for your course keywords and then obsessed over what position it was in? Have you used the new browse page to see where your course is featured among other courses?

You get good news right here in this quick post on Udemy course ranking tips.  Your organic ranking and course placement on Udemy mean very little and you can save yourself a lot of time, energy, and stress by ignoring your course ranking.  I now ignore mine because I cannot control the rankings (so why should I care about them?) and the rankings are not reflective of how good your course is.  See conclusive proof below of how two of my courses compete and the one that is clearly not as good ranks higher!

What motivated me to share this?

Honestly it was motivated by me checking my course rankings, searching my course keywords, obsessing over what position my courses were in, and using the course browsing feature.  I had not done this in at least a month because I realized how pointless it was then and it took me about 20 minutes before I remembered what a waste of time it was tonight.  I did at least got some valuable data to share with you here when I saw how two of my courses were competing against each other and when comparing my organic rankings against my sales.

Two useful points here.

1.    ​Organic ranking on search terms and browse positions relates very little to your actual sales which is good because the current ranking system on Udemy is not very functional.  See the story below where two of my courses compete.

2.    You cannot control your organic ranking and therefore, focusing time and energy on it is a waste.  You can control engaging your students, adding to your courses, and promoting your courses.

What story is there behind this message?

Normally, you measure yourself up against courses made by other instructors.  While you can see their reviews and students, you cannot see their sales, student satisfaction, or much else.  Fortunately for me, I have two courses competing directly against each other for top paid course in one category.  See for yourself!


Udemy course rankings of mine competing for top paid sales in a category.udemy course ranking wireshark hacking

  1. ​The Complete Wireshark Course: Go from Beginner to Advanced created Feb 2015. 5,263 students (~600 this month), ~$50,000 in TOTAL sales, 27 reviews averaging 4.33, one new discussion posted every two days average 1 reply, 39 average minutes watched, 211 votes doing great, 54 votes needs work.
  2. The Complete Hacking Course: Go from Beginner to Advanced created March 2015.  9,188 students (~2,500 this month), ~$100,000 in TOTAL sales, 130 reviews averaging 4.66.  One new discussion posted ~20 minutes average of ~4 replies, 49 average minutes watched, 801 votes doing great, 132 votes needs work.

First I am grateful for these sales numbers and to have the chance to present such conclusive data to you. Second, how is it possible for the Wireshark course to rank higher than the hacking course?  There is not one good explanation.  Every single data point is better on course H than on course W.  All of them from the students to the sales, reviews, discussions, minutes watched, and private student feedback shows that the hacking course is better than the Wireshark course according to Udemy’s own data. Despite this data, the Wireshark course ranks higher than the hacking course on the browse page for top paid courses in the category.  See for yourself at https://www.udemy.com/courses/IT-and-Software/Network-and-Security/.

The point of this is to show what a waste of time and energy it is to look at Udemy course rankings because you cannot control them and you are not likely to make very many sales based on your organic ranking alone. Any use of your time and energy is better than looking at where your courses rank on Udemy.

Thank you for reading this and I hope this is helpful in saving you some wasted time and energy obsessing over your Udemy course rankings!  As one of my loyal blog readers that read this entire post, you can get access to all of my Udemy courses for $9 at https://jerrybanfield.com/thankyou9/.

udemy courses fast

A Complete System for Publishing Udemy Courses Fast

If you want higher sales on Udemy, nothing beats having a lot of courses published. The top instructor account on Udemy is a company with over 250 courses published. The top individual instructor has 8 courses published and nearly everyone below him has at least 10 courses if not 20 or 30. At least half of my sales come from students that enrolled in one of my courses buying another one (thank you!). Many of the Udemy organic sales I get and other instructors get come from Udemy’s email marketing efforts directed at students with one instructor to by another of that same instructor’s courses.

If you want more courses published, the key seems to be having a system where you can publish courses rapidly with minimal frustration. Once the course is published, you can then see based on student feedback and sales whether you should put more effort into making it a potential bestseller.

To get a complete system for publishing more courses fast, you can join hundreds of your fellow students in Create a Udemy Course in 5 Hours at https://www.udemy.com/5hourcourse/?couponCode=BLOG9.

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You can see the reviews received since the last promotional announcement below. I am honored Robin, Joseph, Josh, and Keith took this course and took the time to share these reviews.

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Here are a few questions you might still have about the course.

Are the lectures all newly filmed for this course?

  • Yes. You get brand 2.5 hours of new HD video lectures not included anywhere else.


Should you take the Udemy 5 hour course if I still have not started your how I teach full time on Udemy course at https://www.udemy.com/instructor/?couponCode=BLOG9.

  • If you have not started the how I teach full time on Udemy course yet, you might find it easier to get started with this new course first because it is shorter and more focused. I find it is usually easier to get started with something I just bought than with something that has sat on the shelf for a while 😉


Can you find all the same information in How I Teach Full Time on Udemy and Created 20+ Udemy Courses?

  • How I teach full time on Udemy has 10+ hours of video covering *nearly* everything I know about Udemy. Anything that is not covered will be added to the course as soon as I can add it. This means that yes all of the ideas and systems covered in the 5 hour Udemy course are not new if you already are taking the teach full time on Udemy course. The benefit of taking the 5 hour Udemy course is a focused approach that takes you step by step through the entire process and that leads by example without anything else included. The 5 hour course only took me 5 hours to make whereas the course you are in now has taken hundreds of hours for me to produce and maintain. Often in life a short focused approach can be as or more effective than having everything.


Will you add new lectures to the 5 hour course also?

  • Yes I will add bonus lectures to the course that will help more with the very best about what I know for marketing on Udemy.


You can get lifetime access to the Udemy 5 hour course at https://www.udemy.com/5hourcourse/?couponCode=BLOG9.


How i promote my Udemy courses

How I Promote Udemy Courses Successfully in April 2015.

How do I promote Udemy courses I create?

Get answers to my Udemy promotion strategies and much more based on these answers I gave to questions asked in the Udemy studio about how I make sales on Udemy!  This is a free preview of my Udemy instructor success course at https://www.udemy.com/instructor/?couponCode=USFA2015

How am I driving people to my courses outside of Udemy asked by Andrew McNaughton?

  • Mostly through YouTube on my channel where I have a lot of organic search traffic especially in Facebook ads. I then send people to my website here where then I send to Udemy. I am not able to send people straight from YouTube to Udemy using annotations which seems to be where I get many sales. What I have been doing is I put around an hour of the 10 hour course on YouTube for free and then in the video tell the viewer they can get the rest on Udemy on my website.

How can you get started with your first earnings on Udemy asked by Tushar Grover?

  • My very first sale was to a potential client in exchange for a discount on a future service that they never ordered. My first organic sale came in close proximity to this. I started getting more sales after I let thousands of students take my first course for free. A few of these students enjoyed the course, completed it, and left reviews. If I had to start again, I would approach people individually, give them my course for free, and keep in contact with them throughout their use of it. I would ask them to give me feedback about the course and to leave a review if they liked it so I could make it better. Most of the work creating a course comes not in the initial creation but in making it better. At the same time, most new instructors spend so much effort creating a course that after it gets no sales or very few sales, there is no motivation to try to make the course better. I am not sure why I kept going even with no motivation to make the course better!
    Why does it take courses so many months before they get traction asked by Huzefa Kapadia? I would guess that it takes courses a while to start reaching their potential because like nearly everything in life, the seed must be planted and have time to grow to harvest. When a new course comes out, it usually is only appealing to early adopters. This is perhaps 10% of the total. When a course has lots of good reviews, a lot of material, a lot of existing students, and an established good ranking, then the masses become aware of the course. My SEO course I created last year is finally now getting some excellent sales around 5 to 6 months after I made it. My Facebook course took around 8 months to start making hundreds in sales every month. The crazy thing I am wondering is what will happen when all of the courses I have now are 8 months to a year old? Udemy seems to be a long term strategy game where most instructors have to work hard a long time before getting any good results. The nice thing is that you have a lot of instructors now that show you the effort is worth it!

Is my warrior forum offer putting together good results asked by Ana Filipa Pereira?

  • In the last two days, I have received $240 from the warrior forum collection offer they made and around 60 new enrollments in my Facebook course. Including my first WSO for my Facebook course, almost 500 warriors have taken my Facebook course for free and the warrior forum has paid me in total around $1,200 between this and the other offer. They have made around $5,000 on it. The opportunity to be included now in three different emails to all warrior forum members is one that I would not have believed possible 2 years ago when I signed up and started posting on the warrior forum. One of their marketing team members approached me about doing a WSO and I now do whatever they ask me to do including a warrior ask me anything later this month and several more WSOs coming up for my courses. The point of sharing this is that when I tried to get these kinds of opportunities, I never got them. When I started to focus on creating as much value for as many people as possible, this opportunity find me through no effort of my own. I try to focus on giving as much as possible and the ridiculous thing is now I get more than I ever did trying to be a go getter.

What is my tip for people just getting started on Udemy asked by Marcos Gabriel D. Dos Reis?

  • First, decide if you like making lectures for your courses enough to do it for free because to begin you probably will be doing it for free. If you like it that much, commit to making a few lectures every day and track it with a spreadsheet. This way you can look and see how much your work has added up to. Then, take other people’s courses especially in areas you want to teach. See what they are doing right that you can do and what you think you could do better. Finally, accept that getting started is supposed to be challenging and comes with lots of failures. It might take making 5 courses before you get one that sells well. It might take ordering three microphones before you find one that works well. You might have to buy a new computer or change from windows to mac to make lectures at a good speed. Your course probably will come with 8 required fixes after you submit it and then not make any money once it gets approved. You might have to give your course away to 10,000 people before you get an organic sale. Getting started is much more challenging for most instructors than anyone would like to admit. If you love creating and giving to your students, you will get through the challenges.

Udemy studio changing from free coupons to income sharing.

  • I did love the free coupons in this group too. When I first saw Alun Hill sharing his income here, I was disgusted. I thought he was trying to show off and make everyone else feel small. I said if I ever made that much I sure would not do that to other people. When I started to get my personal life together, then Alun’s posts started to look more like an opportunity than an ego showing off. I figured if he could make that much, I probably could make a full time living at least. Now that I have been blessed with many sales, I feel it is my duty to pay it forward. I realized that sharing income here took courage because many people might react the way I initially did. What I know is the better we all do, the better everything is for each of us individually! I bring thousands of students new to Udemy here that not only buy my courses but who also buy other instructor’s courses. If we all keep doing that, all of our sales grow!


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Udemy is the Big Thing Already Here for Instructors Online!

Udemy is the big thing that is already here for instructors online, teachers, educators, internet marketers, and information products! These numbers shown in the picture above from https://www.udemy.com/about/ explain why. ~400 students for every 1 instructor. ~600 enrollments per course. Less than 3 hours of video per course. Now is the time to invest in making excellent Udemy courses while the rate of students continues to grow rapidly and the threshold for having an excellent course is still low. You can literally make an excellent course in about 10 hours screen capturing what you are doing, share free coupon codes in here, get it approved on the marketplace, and have it rank on the first page of organic search results within two months. That opportunity will not last forever. In fact, I estimate we only need around 50 to 100 more influential instructors before the competition goes WAY up on Udemy. This should probably happen within a year or two and anyone in here even if you do not have a course published has a chance to be a part of this. I sat in the Udemy studio for a year and did next to nothing. In the last few months, Udemy has given me enough positive reinforcement that I now start every day off by making at least two Udemy lectures. I consistently looked for the next big thing in my business at the expense of the big thing I already had. Not any more! 80% of my business now is focused on making more Udemy courses and sharing those courses on my website and social media.
If you want to start earning on Udemy, get Camtasia, a good mic, figure out what you already know about, and start making a course today! I try to finish one course at a time so that I actually get them done instead of just freestyling 8 courses at a time that I never finish like I did before. I can now make a new course from start to finish in 2 to 3 weeks. My first course took months. There are now excellent courses showing you how to do them fast. You are welcome to use my free coupon code to enroll in my course to see how to speed up your course creation pace at https://www.udemy.com/instructor/?couponCode=HIGHFIVE. I am also enrolled in https://www.udemy.com/4000-dollars-a-week-from-udemy/ and https://www.udemy.com/increase-udemy-sales/. Both of these helped inspire me to do better. Several instructors here also proved very helpful in both inspiring me and sharing positive reinforcement. I just got a comment in my course that I inspired someone to not give up on Udemy. It took several people to inspire me not to give up because getting started is hard! The learning curve is STEEP and has an ego killing step called the review process that is comparable to what an academic journal requires to get a research article published!
Thank you Udemy studio at https://www.facebook.com/groups/UdemyStudio/ and you reading this on my website for all for your inspiration!  Watch my videos about Udemy below to learn more!


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