Here’s How They Did It… No. 3 – How instructors earn $200, $500, $1,000/month through self-promotion

Hereshowtheydidit

We asked key instructors how they consistently drive $200, $500, $1,000+ per month to their Udemy courses through their own promotions.

See how instructors are using Udemy as their storefront and enrolling new students into their courses.

Below is Part Three of this series. Keep scrolling down to read all three instructor stories—one earning $200/month, one earning $500/month, and one earning $1,000+/month. Every story has a “Here’s How You Can Do It, Too…” section where we summarize action steps you can take today. We’ll continue publishing new parts to this series as we hear from more instructors sharing their methods!

Instructor driving an average of $300/month

MARC-ANDRE SEGUIN

Who is buying your Udemy course(s) through your instructor coupon codes?

The buyers using coupon codes are mostly the ones subscribed to the JazzGuitarLessons.net email list. It now has close to 10,000 subscribers. I like to make a special sale about every other month (the last coupon was named SPRING2014) and it works great. It generates sales for a few weeks after I send the newsletter. If I impose a deadline, I like to send 2-3 emails to notify subscribers that the sale is drawing to an end. Classic strategy. There’s also, of course, Youtube subscribers. All links to Udemy courses coming from Youtube are, in fact, using a coupon code. I’d be a fool NOT to do it! :-) And lastly: this is the secret. My biggest secret so far in the online business world. I installed an ad on JazzGuitarLessons.net in the top-right navbar. It sells several of my Udemy courses using a coupon code. I use the course’s promotional image with a very bright-colored border. What’s more fun is that is automatically changes whenever the page is refreshed. The image changes, and the border color too! It prevents ad blindness.

How exactly are you getting students to enroll into your Udemy courses consistently, month over month?

The strategy I described with ads on JazzGuitarLessons.net “for me” (ie, promoting my own Udemy courses) is really the way sales are somewhat consistent. Visitors always have this ad in their face, on each page … so it’s natural that they get curious. Also, I find that the courses for sale on Udemy are a natural extension to the free content that is offered throughout the JazzGuitarLessons.net website. Another natural one is the coupon used on Youtube … it brings consistency too.

What do you need to learn/do to continue growing your monthly earnings on Udemy?

The next step is to create new courses. Sad but true! [Laughs] None of the Udemy courses related to JazzGuitarLessons.net cover jazz improvisation … it can be quite a challenge to learn how to create decent jazz guitar *solos*. A future Udemy course is in the works on this topic.

Here’s How You Can Do It, Too… 

STEP 1 – Run promotions to your audience on a regular basis. Often times, personal brands and smaller companies think they’re promoting to their audiences too frequently—when, in reality, they’re not doing it often enough! Marc (above) promotes his course to his email list every other month. Decide what schedule is right for you, and run a limited time or space available campaign to create a sense of urgency.

STEP 2 –  Create an attention-grabbing ad on your website that leads people to enroll directly into your course. offers an incentive/reward for people to join your course(s). On your website, we recommend you only include “ads” for your own products. When you include Google ads or other ads leading to other people’s websites, that’s driving potential leads and sales away from your products. Include a vibrant ad advertising your Udemy course, above the fold if possible. Enable the ad to change colors and/or show a new design whenever visitors go to a new page on your site or refresh the page to diminish ad fatigue.

 

Instructor driving an average of $800/month

JOSE SANTIAGO – CASANOVA 

Who is buying your Udemy course(s) through your instructor coupon codes?

I previously ran a trading/stock market blog that had a pretty decent following. I had gotten the email list to about 1k people before I shut it down. The week before I shut it down I had put up the course on Udemy. What I did from then was:

  • I gave FREE coupon codes to a select number of people on a email list.
  • Placed coupon codes on YouTube, Retailmenot, reddit and trader forums.
  • I also emailed every customer that had previously shown interest with a coupon code and told them it will only be active for the next 24 hours.
  • Sent an email blast to the mailing list of the site it was originally on saying that the sites shutting down and they can get the course at a discount.. but they must act quick.
  • Added the PPT on slideshare with a coupon code
  • Added some of the written material on scribed with a coupon code
  • Comment on forums related to the course (blackhat, trading sites, etc) with a coupon codes and related blogs
  • Add coupon codes to the book description of my trading book on Amazon

How exactly are you getting students to enroll into your Udemy courses consistently, month over month? 

Most of the newer students have been leads from Twitter, YouTube, Scribd, and the coupons code I placed around the web. I have noticed that lots of people do not like to pay full price for something, but would rather wait until there is a discount (coupon code) in order to purchase. So in order to get those customers, I release a few coupon codes on certain sites  so that they will convert.

What do you need to learn/do to continue growing your monthly earnings on Udemy?

I need to leverage the existing channels that are performing well and optimize them even more, e.g. Put out more YouTube videos.

 

Here’s How You Can Do It, Too… 

STEP 1 –  Go to where your potential students are and invite them with coupon codes to incentivize fast action. Jose got involved with related trader forums and blogs. Become an active part of forums you care about, engage in discussions, offer solutions, and provide value such as access to your course when you can. Be a good citizen. If appropriate, post comments that include links to preview your course and include a coupon code as an incentive for new students to join. Learning: People who are familiar with your brand are more likely to pay full price for your course. If you’re promoting your course to a new audience, you probably need a discount to give them a sense of urgency to join.

STEP 2 –  If you have an existing audience, do NOT give them free coupons to join your course. Your existing audience consists of your most faithful followers. These are the people who are most likely to pay full price for your course because they’ve already subscribed to your email list or YouTube channel.

 

Instructor driving an average of $1,500+/month

ATI 

Who is buying your Udemy course(s) through your instructor coupon codes?

We have an email list which we contact regularly; we also have a very strong following on our facebook page. We also have an average of about 250 visitors hitting our website on a daily basis.

How exactly are you getting students to enroll into your Udemy courses consistently, month over month?

We use the following channels: Facebook, Mailing list, Coupon code sites, discussion forums and blogs to drive traffic to our website.  We love Olark and we have their chat engine set up on our website, therefore we convert a lot of the traffic on the site immediately with live support. Analytics is our core expertise and traffic inflow/outflow/activity/purchases on the site is very closely monitored and analysed using Google Analytics. We have analysed the Facebook data of our page fans who have bought our courses and have identified key factors that differentiates a potential student from the rest. Our Facebook advertising is targeted towards these segments. Similarly, all purchases done via our channels are analysed and the insights help us better target our Google adwords. Olark, too, gives a lot of data about those visitors to the site who engage with us via live chat. This data, too, is analysed and helps us in optimizing the live chat. Free coupons although they drive traffic and number of students, we have found that almost all them do not engage with us on the platform and most of them never start their course.

What do you need to learn/do to continue growing your monthly earnings on Udemy?

We’ve started with YouTube as a channel of traffic generation. We are in a test and learn mode at the moment. All-in-all, we’ve been having a superb experience with Udemy so far; your support system is simply super duper! We are also building out an analytics based career portal, with careers being the most logical progression after education we believe that Udemy will be able to add tremendous value to all their students by offering the best career options open to an individual. We hope to be able to show you what we do sometime in June! We look forward to uploading more courses, richer content and continuing our engagement and growing with Udemy!

Here’s How You Can Do It, Too… 

STEP 1 –  Create a presence by using ad placements on social media platforms. Most social media platforms will allow you to create and present ads to announce new courses and upcoming promotions to directly reach your target audience. STEP 2 –  Provide live support for your growing audience. Live support on your website will allow you to immediately address any concerns, questions or feedback that your current and potential students may have. An immediate response may return an immediate conversion. STEP 3 – Monitor the interactions made on your website, social media and Udemy site.  The insights provided by platforms such as Google Analytics will help provide you with information to better target your content and Google Adwords.   This is Part Three of an ongoing series; check out Part One and Two and stay tuned for future tips!