Udemy Review 2022: Is It Right for Your Online Course?
- Matthew Turner
Updated by Tara Malone
Launched in 2010, Udemy has grown to become one of the biggest online course platforms around.
It houses a vast library of over 150,000 courses and boasts more than 57,000 instructors.
And if you’re thinking of creating an online course, it might turn out to be the right platform for you.
But how can you know this for sure?
You’re in luck, because written this article to help you decide whether Udemy is the best platform for your online course.
In this Udemy review, we’ll explore the core features, pricing options, pros and cons, and much more!
So if you’re currently considering Udemy to create, publish, and sell your online course, this article gives you all the information you need. After reading this, you’ll know whether it’s the right platform for you.
Let’s get started!
What is Udemy?
Udemy is one of the largest online course platforms, providing instant access to millions of students.
The platform also shares a big promise with their instructors and students alike:
By connecting students all over the world to the best instructors, Udemy is helping individuals reach their goals and pursue their dreams.
Udemy doesn’t care to simply share content and information.
Instead, their mission is to connect learners with teacher so those teaching can earn extra income teaching a subject they love. And so those learning can learn the skills they need to build the career they desire.
It’s also an affordable platform for your students.
Technically, you can price your course for as much as $199 (based on Udemy’s Price Matrix and standards). Yet the reality is that most courses are under $100 (with many sold at under $50).
This is one of the main reasons why Udemy’s become the most popular online course platform in the world. It provides students with a great choice at an affordable price.
But what’s good for your students isn’t always good for you. Because although it’s free to create, sell, and promote your course on Udemy, your ability to generate passive income can be limited.
Here’s a breakdown of how you get paid:
- 50% to you when a student buys a course organically through Udemy.
- 97% to you if a student buys through your coupon code or self-promoted link.
- 25% to you if a purchase is made through an affiliate link.
- 25% to you if a sale is made through Udemy’s ad program.
NOTE: if you publish a Free Course, you get no commission.
If you generate your own traffic, you get to keep most of the revenue (97%).
Yet as soon as you rely on Udemy to drive sales, your commission gets slashed in half.
And because Udemy has the freedom to discount your course for promotions and partnership, your $199 could get reduced to $19.99. So although having access to Udemy’s 30+ million people is a positive, your ability to earn is limited.
An Example of What You Could Earn in a Month:
Imagine you sell a course on Udemy for $199. This is what a month’s commission could look like:
- You sell 30 courses via your private link (97% commission): $199 x 30 = $5,791
- You sell 10 courses through Udemy’s Marketplace (50% commission): 199 x 10 = $995
- Or you sell 50 courses via an Udemy Promotion where they discount your course to $30 (25% commission): $375
In total, you earn $7,161 for the month. However, the majority of this comes from YOU driving traffic to your course. Even though Udemy drives 60 sales, it only accounts for $1,370.
It’s important to take this into account when you create, sell, and promote a course on Udemy.
If you drive your own sales, you can make a good passive income.
If you rely on Udemy to drive these sales, it’s harder to generate this.
How to Create a Course on Udemy
It’s a relatively simple process to create your first course on Udemy.
If you decide to publish your course on Udemy, you can get started in just 1 to 2 hours.
To begin with, you will first need to create a new Udemy account.
Step 1: Once signed in, create either a new course or a practice test.
Step 2: Create a title for your new online course.
Step 3: Choose a category for your new online course.
Step 4: State how much time you can spend creating your course each week.
Step 5: Fill in details about who your target student is, and any requirements you have of them.
In addition to this, Udemy shares several resources on how to plan and structure your course. Some of these core resources include:
- Outline Your Course
- Plan your Practice Activities
- How To Set Up Your Filming Studio
- How To Check Your Video and Audio Quality
Step 6: Once you’ve planned your course, upload each individual lesson.
You can choose different content types for each lecture: video, video and slide mashup, and article.
You can also add a description to each lecture, and upload additional resources like PDFs, graphics, and external links.
You can add as many lectures per section as you like, and create different sections within your course to split up your content. Once you’ve uploaded your content, you can preview what your course looks like both from an instructor’s and student’s point of view.
Step 7: Once complete, publish your new online course, starting with your landing page.
Step 8: Next, it’s time to price your online course.
You can choose from several different currencies and various pricing options (starting at Free and going as high as $199.99).
Step 9: Finally, you can create a welcome and congratulations message for your students, before submitting your course for review.
Creating your first course on Udemy is a simple and quick process. In just 1 to 2 hours you can publish your course and promote it to millions of students. This user-friendly process is one of the main benefits of choosing Udemy.
It isn’t the only benefit, though, as we’ll now discover.
Udemy Core Features and Benefits
The biggest benefit Udemy offers its instructors is its huge marketplace. With access to 30+ million students, you have a great opportunity to reach those you need to and build a loyal following.
But the reality is, creating a course is only part of the process.
You can build the most comprehensive course there is, but it means little unless people find it.
Udemy helps people find your course. They also help you find your perfect avatar.
With 100+ categories and sub-categories, there is literally something for everyone.
In the same way Amazon helps authors and online sellers reach the masses, Udemy provides the same for course creators.
It’s by far Udemy’s biggest benefit and is what sets them apart from their competitors. Of course, it’s not the only benefit of using a platform like Udemy. Here are some other core features and benefits:
- Udemy heavily promotes, advertises, and markets your courses.
- The ability to create both free and paid courses.
- The chance to create Online Quizzes to better engage students.
- Coupons and discounts are available on courses, driving new traffic to you.
- Udemy creates external partnerships with companies, helping to reach new audiences.
- Action-based email campaigns help create greater engagement with students.
- A wide selection of categories catering to almost any course creator.
- Dozens of categories to classify your course and make it easier for students to find.
- Tools for sending direct messages back and forth between students.
- Bookmarks for your students to save your courses for later.
- Support for promotional videos.
- An area to show instructor announcements.
- Supplemental resources such as class exercises and worksheets.
- Options to give out certificates of completion.
- A built-in customer review section.
- Question and answer tools.
- Downloadable lectures.
- A mobile interface.
Without ever getting complex, Udemy provides you with a vast array of tools to build the course you need. Way beyond its marketplace, Udemy offers a great platform for any course creator.
Udemy Pros and Cons
Despite all its positives, Udemy isn’t perfect.
Remember, there’s no such thing as the perfect online course platform, only the online course platform that’s right for you.
You must compare the good against the bad and decide whether it ticks your boxes. To help you achieve this, here are some of Udemy’s pros and cons.
Pro: Solid Community
When you join Udemy, you enter an established community of instructors and students. You’re not alone.
There’s help for you and for those you teach.
Everything’s built-in and ready for you to use.
You don’t have to create it all yourself (like you would when using a platform like Kajabi).
This makes your life easier, removing a lot of the pressure. It also allows you to connect with your students (and encourage them to connect with one another).
If you value community engagement, Udemy may be the platform for you.
Pro: Easy To Upload + Publish Your Course
The whole course creation process is easy.
When using a platform like Thinkific, the layers can soon add up. This isn’t the case on Udemy. Everything remains easy for you and your students. It’s a tried and tested process they’ve perfected over time.
It gives you all the tools you need. Nothing else.
Within a few hours, you’ll have your first course uploaded and published.
Pro: Marketing + Passive Income
Everything falls on your shoulders.
As we’ve already covered, if you want to make good money on Udemy, you’ll have to drive some of the sales. Yet unlike many other course platfirms, you do get help with marketing. Your income comes from two places:
It’s in their interest to actively promote your course and set up new affiliate partnerships. They want their students to buy more courses, so if you’ve created a great one, they’ll share yours far and wide.
Con: Lots of Competition
The biggest downside to using Udemy is the sheer volume of courses you compete with.
You go up against 150,000+ of them!
And Udemy actively promotes the most popular.
This can hurt you in the early days. You have to prove that your course is worth promoting. Not easy to achieve when there’s so much competition.
What makes this worse is that you don’t get access to your student’s data!
No email address or phone number. No option to retarget them with future courses…
Udemy holds most of the leverage. In fact, it may begin to feel like you work for Udemy as an instructor. This makes it harder to build a presence on Udemy.
Con: Customer Service is Hit or Miss
As with most large platforms, customer service and communication isn’t great.
If you or your student comes across an issue, you may not get immediate help.
This isn’t to say Udemy’s customer service is bad. Considering their size, it’s actually rather good.
But it isn’t always great. You need to take this into account before you create your first course with them.
Con: Low-Cost Perception
The most expensive courses on Udemy are $199.99. Compared to a lot of online courses, this is low.
Worse, most of those on Udemy come in under $100.
This creates a perception of a low-cost product. Even if you create the greatest online course in the world, people may perceive it to be low-quality because of the low price. This may not be an issue if you like to create quick and accessible courses.
But if you want to go deep into a topic, this may cause you issues.
What We Like Most and Least About Udemy
While Udemy offers many benefits, it also has certain limitations, as you’ve seen.
Here are some of the things that we like the most and the least about Udemy.
What We Like the Most About Udemy
- THE MARKETPLACE: Having access to 30+ million students is a big win. It allows you to test and validate your course, knowing there are people ready to consume your content at all times. No matter what topic you focus on, there’s an established customer base awaiting you on Udemy.
- HOW USER-FRIENDLY IT IS: Udemy is very simple for you to use, from creating your course to maintaining it. And it’s easy for your students to use as well.
- MULTIPLE INCOME STREAMS: You are not the only one driving your sales. You can sit back, knowing Udemy will send you new students. This happens organically, as students find you while searching the site. But it also happens when Udemy creates a new promotion, affiliate partnership, or special deal with a third-party.
- REMOVES THE PRESSURE FROM YOU: If your students come across an issue, Udemy’s vast support team is there to help. If you personally come across a problem, they are there to help you, too. All this gives you more time to work on other projects, including your next course.
What We Like the Least About Udemy
- THE COMPETITION: As amazing as the marketplace is, it’s size does cause problems. This is especially true when you first join Udemy. You go up against the heavy-hitters who have VERY popular courses. Standing out is tough and does take time.
- HOW THEY SLASH PRICES WITHOUT NOTICE: You may price your course at $100, but Udemy WILL slash this price from time to time (and without notice). They often run student-friendly promotions where “all courses are $11.99 over the next 24 hours.” This makes it difficult to predict your monthly income. It can also hurt when you see the course you spent so much time creating sold for under $20!
- NO ACCESS TO YOUR STUDENT DATA: This is a big one. When a student purchases your course, they do not become your customer. They remain Udemy’s. You know their name, but that’s about it. Udemy keeps their email, location, and everything else. This makes it difficult to promote future courses, and almost impossible to continue a relationship with your students away from Udemy.
- BRANDING: Again…this is about Udemy; not you. The Udemy brand appears everywhere. It’s about their branding and presence, not yours. This is an issue for many course creators, as most people who join Udemy are at the beginning of their journey. At this stage, you’re building a personal brand, audience, and identity. Udemy stifles this growth for you.
Alternatives to Udemy
Here at Mirasee, we’ve written a lot of online course platform comparison reviews.
Here are some of our favorites that we’d like to share with you now.
Because if Udemy isn’t the platform you need…one of these may be.
Skillshare vs. Udemy
If you decide that a marketplace is what you need, this article compares two of the most popular: Skillshare vs. Udemy. If you have doubts over Udemy, Skillshare may be the alternative you’re looking for.
Open The Article in a New Tab Here.
Kajabi vs. Teachable
Kajabi offers one of the most comprehensive course creation solutions in the marketplace. Where Teachable provides a user-friendly approach, Kajabi allows you to go DEEP with your students.
Open The Article in a New Tab Here.
Thinkific vs. Teachable
Both Thinkific and Teachable are popular options among course creators. This comparison guide shows you why, detailing all the major features, benefits and more.
Open The Article in a New Tab Here.
Kajabi vs. Thinkific
Kajabi and Thinkific are possibly the two most “complete” solutions there are. If you have a big vision for your course(s), one of these platforms is likely what you’re looking for.
Open The Article in a New Tab Here.
The Verdict: Is Udemy the Platform For You?
Udemy is a fantastic online course platform for both course creators and students. Yet it does have its limitations. Your job now is to decide whether these limitations will impact you.
Only you can decide that.
But don’t worry…we’re here to help.
We’ve worked with thousands of course creators over the years. Some have found success in marketplaces like Udemy. Others have used all-in-one solutions like Ruzuku or Thinkific.
Success doesn’t come down to the online course platform you choose! It would be great if it was that easy, but it isn’t. Success starts long before that.
That’s why we run our free Course Builders Bootcamp.
In less than a week, we show you how to create, sell and profit from your online course the right way.
Why not join us for our next FREE Course Builders Bootcamp? We’ll not only help you decide whether Udemy is the platform for you, but help ensure you find success on any platform you use.
FREE Course Builder's Bootcamp!
In just 6 days, learn all the essentials to create a successful online course!