A Top Instructor’s Worst Nightmare – Udemy Bad Reviews (Part 1)

The purpose of this post is to look at reviews on Udemy. I hope this will inspire your success in creating courses on Udemy. I am going to read the bad reviews people have posted on my Udemy courses for the entire world to see. I will discuss how dealing with these reviews is an integral part of doing well on Udemy. This is part 1 of a three-part deep dive into the negative reviews I receive on Udemy. 

The purpose of this post is to look at reviews on Udemy which I now am no longer teaching on!  After being an instructor on 72 online courses, they banned me and now I am teaching on Skillshare where you can take all of my courses for free at jerrybanfield.com/freecourses/. I hope this will inspire your success in creating courses on Skillshare, Udemy, or any other website. I am going to read the bad reviews people have posted on my Udemy courses for the entire world to see. I will discuss how dealing with these reviews is an integral part of doing well on Udemy.

This is my was Udemy profile:

Jerry Banfield Udemy Profile

I had 148k students on Udemy, 56 courses, 4700 reviews. I’m grateful that Udemy is paying me a ridiculous amount of money for my work teaching online. This is a business. I spent hundreds of thousands to earn this money in Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and independent contractors.

I’m grateful to have the chance to share this with you. I hate sharing it because I know how judgments come in. I share it because another instructor showing what they were doing on Udemy was helpful for me. I was able to see that there’s a real opportunity in making a real business on Udemy. That’s what I’m working with in terms of what Udemy’s getting me.

This is what people like to focus on. Jerry, you’re getting a lot of money and you have a lot of students, things are great! There’s ups and downs to everything in life. The reviews are the single most difficult, painful, frustrating element to working on Udemy.

You might  be surprised to learn reviews are one of the most concrete reasons that people do not do much on Udemy. They don’t even make that first course. You’ll see why as I read some of these reviews. To preface this, I have 4700 reviews right now on my courses so the average review is good.

How does this relate to teaching on Udemy?

You end up doing things in life out of fear. These negative reviews are concrete manifestations of the fears that my mind produces. If there’s hesitation to make a course on Udemy, the idea of people tearing the course apart is the fear behind it. In other words, one of the biggest reasons to try to make a course perfect is to minimize these reviews.

I try to make the best content possible because I see that people like the majority of what I’m doing. I know that every time I make a video, even in making this video, someone is going to hate it. There will be something no matter what I do, someone will hate this video. They could think I’m a jerk for showing my income. I know that no matter what I do that 10% of people will hate on me.

What’s surprising is that often stopped me from doing things in the past. I didn’t put videos up and I didn’t make courses. I’ll show  these reviews so you can see what people say about my courses and how it hurts my feelings. I put a lot of love and energy into these courses. I’ve uploaded thousands of videos and someone shreds everything in a review. It hurts but I’m still here.

I hope this is useful for you in seeing where there are fears that slow you down and block your progress. If you’re writing a script instead of free styling, it’s probably because of those reviews. Can a scripted course be higher quality? Sometimes.

I like courses that are straight and honest from the heart. I like people that talk with me. That leads to more mistakes and more judgment from those mistakes. It allows you to do 10 – 20 times more good as trying to do a few things perfectly.

These reviews are posted on the course landing page so these are public reviews. I’m  sharing this under fair use when it comes to copyright for educational purposes. These reviews are shared so we can all learn together about what bad reviews look like.

I hope you can gain courage to go fourth and keep making courses knowing that we’re going to have bad reviews. I hope you can make courses faster. You don’t have to make them perfect, but make them genuine and from the heart and accept that bad reviews come in.

I’m only showing you courses where I do the bulk of the instructing. I’m grateful to have so many positive reviews and to remember them when I’m reading a negative review.

For example, here’s a nice review on my freelancing course:

Udemy positive review

Here’s a 2-star review for the same course:

udemy negative review 1

That review is pretty much a worse nightmare review. When I’m making a course, that’s the review I’m having nightmares about. That’s a review that says other instructors do a better job and people should take their courses. I appreciate the honest feedback. If I’m reading this review alone, it’s likely to trigger shame feelings.

Jerry look what a bad person you are.
Look what a disaster you are.
You’re not good enough.

When I share this with you it’s kind of funny. You can see that I tried to make a good course. It didn’t work out well for this particular person. You can see that everyone’s opinion here is just as valid. Just as I have the right to make a course, anyone has a right to say what they thought about it.

The beautiful thing about it is there’s a lot of helpful suggestions in negative reviews. There’s a lot of things I can learn from this. These reviews read in private are the exact reason that I had a hard time getting started on Udemy. That’s all the reviews that are public on this course right now. All the rest are 5 stars.

Let’s go look at my productivity course. I have lots of passion about this course and I love this subject. I want people to be able to be the most productive as possible.

Let’s look at the reviews:

Udemy negative review 2

In this course, I tried to give practical tips and tools. I tried to do exactly what this review said I didn’t do. This right here again is a worst nightmare because it’s the exact reason I made the course. The exact purpose I had for designing it was not achieved.

I hope I’m sharing that I have a high tolerance for failure. I understand that getting these reviews where people love the course I am required to get reviews where people hate it. You don’t get to have the good without the bad.  Would you like to continue reading in part 2 at jerrybanfield.com/udemy-bad-reviews-2/?