Udemy vs Self-hosting: Which Option for Your Online Courses in 2019?

Online Courses

If you are an online course creator you already have this confusion in your mind:
Should I sell my courses on Udemy or should I self host my courses?
If you have that confusion then in this video, I will clarify that confusion and provide you with a clear-cut answer to the question. 

Video Transcript

First of all, not all courses are created equal.
Depending upon the scope of coverage and the depth of coverage, courses can be broadly classified into two types.
One type is wide and shallow type of courses and the other side or the other type is this narrow and in-depth courses.

Introductory Courses

Wide and shallow courses are popularly called as introductory courses. They cover a wide range of topics. But at a superficial level because their main purpose is to make the students familiar with the topic.

For example, if there is an introductory course on PowerPoint, the topics covered could be something as basic as What is PowerPoint, Where is it used, What are the different types of tools and buttons available in PowerPoint, How to create a basic slide deck using PowerPoint etc.

I have one such course which is hosted on Udemy. It is called as Complete
PowerPoint 2016 Masterclass
.

It is a really comprehensive introductory course which has 175 lectures and more than thirteen and a half hours course duration. But it sells for a mere $10 per course.

Niche Courses

On the other hand, narrow and in-depth courses otherwise called as Niche courses cover a narrow topic but at a great depth.

For example, I have a niche course that is hosted on our site called as PowerPoint Animations Mastery which deals with the topic of PowerPoint custom animation. But it deals with it in a great depth the course duration may not be as much as 13 and a half hours but it is priced quite high.

So that is the basic difference between Introductory courses and Niche courses. 

Now let's dive a bit deeper to understand the dynamics behind these two
types of courses why they are priced differently and how to distribute these two types of courses to get the maximum value for our online course business.

Pricing & Marketing Introductory Courses

First off, introductory courses as the name suggests are aimed towards
beginners.

In any market for any subject the number of people at the beginner level is far more than the number of people at the advanced level. Do you agree?

At the same time there is very little barrier of entry for trainers to
create a beginners course. The kind of skills you require to put together a beginners course is not so much. 

Which means there are a whole bunch of courses available for beginners.

Take any subject you will see a flood of courses available for beginners which means there is no doubt there is a large demand for beginner type of courses but there is even higher supply of beginner type of courses.

When supply so far exceeds the demand naturally the prices are driven down in a competitive market.

When the revenue that you can earn from individual course sales is so low you don't really have a lot of margin to play with so that you can scale up the sales of your introductory course using advertisements.

So how do you sell these introductory courses?

A smart way is to find a marketplace which already has potential students who are willing to buy your introductory courses.

One such marketplace is Udemy. 

As of today, Udemy has more than 30 million students who are signed up which means when you put your introductory course on Udemy you already have a large group of hungry students who are willing to invest on your course. 

But then the point is the revenue that you earn from an individual courses really really low. For example, my PowerPoint 2016 Masterclass course gets as less as 2 to 3 dollars for a sale.

Now you might ask me why on earth would I need to spend so much time creating an introductory course and sell it for two to three dollars? It doesn't make any sense right?

But then the thing is I don't see Udemy as a source of revenue for me. 

I see Udemy as a beautiful source for me to get warm and qualified leads for my niche courses that are hosted on my site. Let me explain.

My Complete PowerPoint 2016 Masterclass already has more than 1000 students who are very satisfied with the course because it is one of the highest-rated courses in PowerPoint on Udemy. 

Students are very happy with my course. If they want to learn advanced topics on PowerPoint come to my site and join the niche courses which are priced much higher.

Now think about this if I were to use marketing to draw students to my courses on my site then I have to spend money from my pocket to acquire students whereas when I get students from Udemy I actually get paid for each lead.

The bonuses is these students are already happy and they know who I am and they have high level of trust and therefore they're readily buy my high priced courses. Can you see now where Udemy fits in the grand scheme of things? 

When you see Udemy as a source of revenue you will be terribly disappointed. But when you see Udemy as a beautiful resource that sends you warm and qualified leads for niche course sales and it pays you in the process you will see Udemy can be a beautiful resource.

Now the question is...

What if you don't want to use Udemy at all for Introductory Courses?

Then how do you distribute your introductory courses?

I firmly believe that pretty much every course business needs to have an introductory course and you use the introductory course as your front end product and you're trying to sell the front end product in such a way that you are able to achieve a break-even of your marketing costs using your front end product.

For example, if your introductory course is 49$ then you have 49 dollars
available in your kitty to use for advertisements to acquire one customer

So you acquire customers at zero cost because whatever money that you had spent on ads are now recovered by selling one course. So that is how the marketing funnel works.

Did you now understand the role that an introductory course plays and the role that Udemy plays in the grand scheme of things?

Then you can work your strategy around these various options to make sure that your business really succeeds.

By the way do you use Udemy to sell your courses or do you self host your courses? Please share your opinion in the comment section below. If you like this post please give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends.

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