Udemy Reviews for Students and Instructors

Are you a prospective Udemy student or instructor? Want to learn more about us before enrolling in or creating your first course? You’ve come to the right place!

Below you’ll find reviews and quotes to give you more insight into Udemy.

Students can also read reviews for specific courses on the course pages. See the right column of Learn Python the Hard Way or The Art of Black and White Photography for examples.

Instructors can click here to jump down to the section of reviews focused on them.

For Students

The beauty of Udemy is that anyone, anywhere with an internet connection can learn from the world’s experts. Most courses are taught on demand, meaning you can take them at your own pace, and every course includes a discussion board where you can interact with the instructor and your fellow students. The best part is that most courses are free(!)… and even the paid courses cost far less than what you’d pay at a local college or university.”
Udemy Reviews, edshelf

“[T]he underlying idea driving Udemy is simple: the site makes it easy to both take and offer courses (free and paid). The most basic courses consist only of video lectures. The more advanced courses mix video lectures with workbooks, samples, and sometimes audio that can be downloaded to your iPod. All the courses I sampled provide lifetime access (once you buy the course, the material is yours forever) and a 30-day guarantee (a sign of confidence given that 30 days is enough to watch all the material for most courses). The platform is cleverly setup so that you can access your courses from any Internet-connected device, and the user interface is crisp and intuitive.”
Hacking Education with Udemy, Study Hacks

“I wanted to point out a cool advantage you get with Udemy courses. When you subscribe to any course – you get the unique (and optional) benefit of sharing feedback to the platform. This enables you to post comments, questions, or problems directly where the author can see and respond to them… [T]his really is the closest you can get to having him mentor you in person!”
Learn Pyton the Hard Way — Udemy Review, Nerd Business

For Instructors

“[Udemy] released the salaries of the top 10 instructors on the 2-year-old platform. In total, the group earned $1.65 million in the last year, with all of them bringing in more than $50,000 on their own and the top individual making more than $200,000.”
A New Way to Make Six Figures on the Web: Teaching, GigaOm

“[A] supremely talented and criminally underpaid college teacher doesn’t need to rely on a large, exploitative organization in order to reach students. All she needs is a company like Udemy, which provides course-building tools, free, along with an online marketplace where courses can be sold (or given away) to students. The teachers can charge whatever they like, and they keep 70 percent of revenues along with 100 percent of intellectual-property rights to the course.”
Revenge of the Underpaid Professors, The Chronicle of Higher Education

For more information on the benefits for instructors, check out this video interview our VP of Marketing, Dinesh Thirupuvanam, did with Think Traffic.

How to Find Beta Testers for Your Startup

Whether you want to test an app you hacked together over the weekend or are about to launch a VC-backed startup, you first need a few brave souls willing to try your buggy, unfinished product.

Turning over your baby to the unwashed masses can be frightening. However, it’s a crucial first step to finding and learning about your future customers. You’ll learn more from the first five strangers who use your product than from months of internal testing. The most honest (and useful) feedback you can get is from people you don’t know.

Here’s how to find them.

1. Paid Advertising

AdWords

At 11+ years old, AdWords is the grizzled veteran of internet marketing. While not as cheap as it once was, Google’s search advertising platform remains one of the best sources of targeted, trackable traffic.

Use Google’s Keyword Tool to find relevant, specific keywords to target. Don’t worry about low search volumes, just focus on relevance. During your beta, finding the right users is more important than finding lots of users. Plus, long-tail keywords are typically cheaper.

Make sure to link your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts, tag your ads’ URLs, and set up conversion tracking so that you can measure which ads performed best and which keywords led to signups.

Products that perform best on AdWords already have existing search traffic. If your product is creating a new category, which doesn’t have any demand yet, find users searching for solutions to the problem you can solve.

Facebook Ads

If your product is best suited to a particular demographic or psychographic group, Facebook ads may work well.

You can target users by location, demographics, and interests to reach as specific of a group as necessary. Facebook is great for reaching customer segments like college students who love knitting or middle aged women who surf.

Just like with AdWords, be specific in your targeting, even if it narrows your potential reach. A small, but highly targeted, audience will lead to higher-quality leads for less money.

The ads themselves should use eye-catching images or pictures of faces, particularly faces resembling your target audience. The text of the ad should draw the user in further but still leave him wanting to know more. Make sure to tag your links so that you can measure which audiences and images work best.

StumbleUpon Paid Discovery

Hypetree's StumbleUpon Paid Discovery stats

You probably wouldn’t expect StumbleUpon ads to be very effective at signing up users since most Stumblers are looking for eye-catching photos, funny videos, or interesting articles. I used to think the same thing.

Then I read a case study detailing how hypetree, a music discovery tool, used StumbleUpon ads to attract 6,000 signups for $0.03 each in one week. Three cents!

Clearly, the right product can go viral on StumbleUpon. You may want to test this channel if your startup targets 18-34 year olds (the bulk of the StumbleUpon audience) and is entertaining.

Hypetree did well partially because a music app is fun and sharable. Startups outside of the entertainment industry could have stumbling potential if they have entertaining content, like a demo video or infographic, that users would want to share.

Reddit Ads

Duck Duck Go's Reddit ad

Our last advertising suggestion is the often-overlooked Reddit ad platform. Reddit ads work well when targeting a tech-savvy audience that’s willing to try new stuff.

The most important tip for advertising on Reddit is to not treat it like a direct response ad. Redditors do not like to be sold to. Instead, show them what you’ve made and invite their feedback. Redditors are more than happy to share feedback, however snarky it may be.

Ads on Reddit function just like regular posts, except that they have a more prominent placement on the page. Since ads are just like posts, Redditors can leave comments and have discussions. Your ad’s comment thread is a great way to get feedback and engage with users. If you don’t have a thick skin for pseudonymous internet comments, Reddit ads may not be for you.

Gabriel Weinberg wrote a great analysis of his success with Reddit ads for Duck Duck Go, a privacy-first search engine.

2. Forums

Forum postings can be a great way to get your product in front of large groups of people with similar interests. For example, if you’re targeting internet marketers, share your new tool on the Product Reviews section of WarriorForum. If your startup can help moms save money, post it in the Frugal Mom Forums.

Remember that forum users will be much more receptive to your post if you’re already an active member of their community. If you joined just to post something self-promotional (even if it could benefit the community), you won’t get a very warm reception. However, if you’ve contributed to previous threads, users will be more receptive to your message.

You can find high-traffic forums for any audience or niche. Reddit, while not strictly a forum, does have subreddits (categories) for thousands of topics. Hacker News, run by startup incubator Y Combinator, is a great place for any tech company to share their latest innovation.

Hacker News

The best option for feedback from the tech community is Hacker News. A popular “Show HN” thread can send your site a flood of traffic and garner dozens of comments. Showing your latest project to Hacker News is a great way to get feedback from some of the smartest and most influential members of the tech community.

For an example of a great Show HN post, see “My 4-hour project, already profitable” where Loren Burton outlines how he built a website selling “I Survived Snowpocalypse” t-shirts that was profitable four minutes after launching.

His post was extremely popular: 313 points and 141 comments. What can we learn from its success?

First, great headlines attract clicks. His headline drew users in by demonstrating that he was making money off of minimal effort. The thread wouldn’t have been nearly as popular with a generic title like “New t-shirt website.”

Second, the initial post includes details on where the idea came from, how he built the site, and where he found his customers. Hacker News readers love to learn, and being transparent with real data is the best way to teach them by example.

Third, Loren was active in the thread. He left plenty of additional comments (18 on the first page alone), which provided more information and answered people’s questions.

When writing a Show HN post, make sure to craft an eye-catching (but not over the top) headline, to provide numbers about the project or startup, and to respond to comments in the thread.

Selling "I Survived Snowpocalypse" shirt

Reddit

If you don’t have the money for the Reddit ads outlined above, simply posting to Reddit can be an alternate solution. Keep in mind that a post is different from an ad and should be even less self-promotional, unless you want flamed by Redditors. As with any forum, being an active member with lots of karma will buy you more leeway when asking for something.

Post your project to r/startups or share it in the most relevant subreddit when looking for testers and feedback. Redditors like to try out new stuff but will provide blunt feedback, especially if they think you’re trying to advertise.

3. Beta Directories and Services

inspiredBeta screenshot

Beta directories are a great place to share your startup and to recruit eager early-adopters.

Free marketplaces connecting startups and beta participants may seem ideal, but there’s a reason that they were not our first suggestion. These sites can only connect you to one type of user: curious techies.

This audience is great for products that thrive in the Silicon Valley echo chamber (Foursquare, Path) but not the right target for companies that can find better footing elsewhere (Pinterest).

Because these users are signing up for a variety of betas, they are not very loyal, so you aren’t likely to reach the most engaged users.

Depending on your target audience, you may benefit from listing your startup in a beta directory. In addition to testers, you’ll also get some SEO benefit from the links these directories provide.

Beta Directories

Beta Services

In addition to directory submissions, you can also use more formal beta management services like the recently launched BetaBait, which takes a more active role in facilitating the marketplace between companies and testers.

If you need more advanced, end-to-end management with detailed feedback, you can use a full-service provider like Prefinery, uTest, or Centercode. These systems are more advanced than most early stage startups will need.

4. Startup Directories

Go2web20 screenshot

Once you’ve officially launched, you can add your company to startup directories that regularly publish information about and reviews of the newest startups. These sites are followed by the early adopters on the cutting edge of technology who want to know what the new new thing is.

Start with these sites:

5. Coming Soon Pages

LaunchRock screenshot

Now you have a laundry list of ways to find beta testers. Is your product ready?

If not, you can still amass an army of potential users in preparation for a big launch or, in true lean startup fashion, gauge interest in an idea before building it.

A great coming soon page can help you easily sign up future beta testers. Don’t worry, these aren’t the blinking construction sign gifs of yore. The new generation of launch pages collect email addresses, incentive social sharing, and provide detailed analytics.

The most popular tool for creating a coming soon page is LaunchRock, which you can use to generate a custom page on your own domain in minutes.

You can also use similar tools like KickoffLabs or, if you’re launching a product through a blog, Launch Effect, a WordPress theme that functions like a launch page.

Next Steps

Now you know where to find beta testers, how to recruit them, and, if you’re not ready for the spotlight yet, how to collect their info with a coming soon page.

All that’s left is to squash a few more bugs and move your product out of alpha. You do have a product already, right? Good. If not, time to start building.

Startup Ecosystem: Predators vs. Prey [Infographic]

The startup waters are murky and full of hidden dangers. Below the surface, the ecosystem rests in a delicate balance between predators and prey.

To help you navigate these stormy seas, we’ve created the infographic below. Read on to find out where you stand in the startup food chain.

Interested in startups? Learn how to create successful companies from the world’s leading startup founders and experts, including Steve Blank, Scott Cook, Ash Maurya, Todd Park with this FREE online course.

(Click to enlarge.)

Startup Ecosystem: Predator vs. Prey Infographic

Looks like you survived! Hope the next time you’re out there raising capital or navigating the rocky waters of startups, startup hiring, or the startup ecosystem, you’ll know who’s a predator (and who’s your prey!).