Overall Ranking: 75 out of 100 or 3.75/5 stars
Price: Free to join, course prices: free to an average price of $74
Owners: Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani, Oktay Caglar
Udemy, is a company based in California, that has a mission to teach anyone about anything and all this online. Udemy’s idea is that everyone with some knowledge can share and teach others. The name Udemy is derived from “academy of you”
They have created a platform that allows:
- instructors to produce how-to video courses for almost any subject
- students to follow these courses
In this review I will be looking at Udemy overall, but also more specifically at the courses relating to affiliate marketing, to judge if this is a good system to learn about this subject.
Eren Bali from Turkey, one of the co-founders of Udemy, built software for live virtual classrooms, this was in 2007. He could see there would be a demand if he could make the product free for everyone. So he moved to the US and started a company two years later. Udemy was launched by Bali, Oktay Caglar and Gagan Biyani in May 2010.
After a few months about 2,000 courses had been created and they had nearly 10,000 users. Today Udemy has more than 5 million students and in excess of 22,000 courses.
What is Udemy?
Udemy is an online learning marketplace with courses on a great number of subjects. The classes are available from anywhere and at any time of day. Their objective is to make education accessible and convenient.
They are part of the MOOC evolution (Massive Open Online Courses) Although Udemy sets itself apart from other suppliers of MOOCs by permiting anyone with knowledge and expertise to become a teacher. Other MOOCs often work with established universities.
Students can develop their passions or hobbies, learn job related skills to further their careers or simply learn about any subject they choose. They can do this as fast or as slowly as they like, when they like and on any device they like.
Who is this for?
Udemy is for anyone who wants to learn online. There is an extensive choice of courses. The only restriction is that you should be 18 years old, if you are younger you must have parental or legal guardian permission.
It can also be for anyone who wants to produce a course, you don’t need any qualifications to become an instructor.
How Udemy works
From the instructor’s point of view:
Anyone can attempt to create a video course about a subject in which they are an expert. The course is then offered to the students using Udemy.
You can make a course on any topic, for example: E-commerce, databases, business law, computer operating systems, personal finance, nutrition, dieting, search engine optimization, social media, sports, dance… basically anything that can be taught.
If you have created a course, Udemy pays instructors monthly with Paypal. There are two main percentage scenarios, where you get to keep:
- 100% of the course price when you bring someone directly to your course from your social media circles. To do this you need to create an instructor coupon and send that to the person you hope will join your course. There is a 3% charge for credit card processing, so in reality you get to keep 97% of the course price.
- 50% of the course price, when someone joins your course directly from the Udemy site
However to do well as an instructor it is advantageous to have a YouTube channel and Facebook page with a large number of followers. The average instructor earns $7,000 on Udemy.
For the students:
You just browse the courses available and if you find one you like that matches your budget you click on the take this course button. After paying you can start the course whenever you like, do it at your own pace and come back to revisit your course at all times. There are also about 1100 free courses, so you may be able to learn about your chosen topic for nothing!
The courses are nearly all video and in general the lessons only last a few minutes.
You have 30 days from the date you paid for the course to claim your money back if the course doesn’t match your expectations.
To get support in Udemy there is a knowledge base with sections for students, teachers and a general section or you can post a question in the student forum.
On the individual courses it is possible to ask the instructor questions directly or to post your questions or comments on the discussion board available in all courses. The discussion boards are seen by the students and the instructor. Anyone with the response can post online.
This could be good if there are many people taking the course at the same time and if the instructor is reactive. If not you could wait for a while before having a reply to your question.
Pros and Cons
- 30 day guarantee, you can effectively try the courses risk free
- many courses offer a preview of one, two or more lessons
- comprehensive range of courses
- possible to pose questions directly to the instructor
- discussion boards where students can post comments, questions or any problems related to the course. This is seen by fellow students and the instructor who can reply online.
- some free and low cost courses
- possible to work at your own pace
- unlimited access to courses
- coupons – get your course at a discounted price
- no academic credit
- can get expensive if buying several different courses
- expertise and experience of some instructors not always evident. Udemy relies on the market to decide what is good or bad
- different courses may have the same, similar or overlapping content
- quality of English or other languages can vary greatly with courses by non native speakers and can sometimes be difficult to understand
- keeping the interest of the students depends on the instructor, if he or she is not good the courses can quickly become boring
- a course may just be an introduction to a subject, not a complete course from A – Z
- there are many courses in certain subjects, finding one that meets all your requirements might take a long time
How much does it cost?
Udemy is free to join both for students and for instructors.
The price of courses varies from free to $5000 (the most expensive course I found). The average course price is $74. See the table with the average course prices in the different categories.
How to choose your course
Once you have selected the subject of the course, you will now have to choose one. You can start by filtering by language and price.
After that there is a number of other criteria you can verify:
- check out the instructors bio to establish their experience
- read the previous students’reviews
- number of reviews and students enrolled
- look at curriculum with all the subjects of the course and the time each lesson lasts
- most courses have a preview video and often also one of the early lessons is available for you to watch
The trouble when relying on ratings and reviews is to be certain that they are genuine. In the process of researching this article I found someone asking for good reviews/ratings exchange for his Udemy course.
Affiliate Marketing Training Courses
In the affiliate marketing section there are 18 courses in English with the average price about $90. The subjects: affiliate marketing, Clickbank, CPA marketing, social media marketing, Amazon affiliate store and even Black Hat marketing.
While some of the courses seem quite complete I think to have a really good idea of internet marketing it would be necessary to take several courses. It’s true Clickbank, Amazon, social media are all important subjects but after that, you have to build your site, do your SEO and learn to write.
Although these topics might be touched upon in some of the affiliate marketing courses, you will probably need a little more in-depth information. In buying another course there will be some information overlap and you might be taught another method for doing something. This could end up becoming a little confusing.
If you are new to affiliate marketing it would be very hard to know which course might be the best.
- Check out the curriculum to see what lessons are included
- Read the instructor bio
- Read the student reviews
- Most importantly watch the preview videos to see if the instructor’s style suits you
Nevertheless if you do find you have made a bad choice you still have the 30 day money back guarantee, but you will have wasted some of your valuable time.
Is it possible to learn affiliate marketing with Udemy?
You might be able to learn the basics, yet the courses I have seen don’t follow a logical step by step training. As a newbie you need to be “taken by the hand” and be shown what to do and when in a chronological order.
Here you are really getting random information and that will make it difficult to build your own business. Although some of the information is very good, without the step by step teaching you will struggle.
My final opinion
Not having any real knowledge of Udemy before writing this review I was quite impressed by the platform and the number of courses they have online. Online education is still just beginning and with 12000+ instructors and a wide variety of subjects explored Udemy is one of the leaders.
With many different styles of teaching, some courses are better than others. But with the system of student evaluations the better courses will be the most popular. Nevertheless the differing quality of the courses is probably the most problematic point, you are dependant on your instructor getting his message across in a way that is good for you.
The 30 day guarantee, working at your own pace and lifetime access to the courses are big advantages. However knowing what is a good course for you is a big problem. You might have to spend a considerable time searching through courses, watching the preview videos, reading bios and reviews to find the course that you need.
Taking the affiliate marketing example I would prefer a step by step course where everything is in one place and you carry out the the tasks after each lesson. After all there is a logical order to building an affiliate marketing business.
With Udemy you would have to take several courses to get all the information you need and then implement it afterwards. The question is would you know where to start or in what order to perform the tasks.
Udemy is a legitmate site and the courses offer some very good content. But with a platform where anyone can become an instructor the quality of courses can vary greatly.
An alternative affiliate marketing course
If you want to learn about affiliate marketing and build your own business I think the best way to learn is with step by step lessons. The platform where I learnt is Wealthy Affiliate. There you have everything in one place, you can even try for free and build two free websites. The lessons are really easy and enjoyable to follow and you can get support whenever you need.
If you have any experience with Udemy or any other online education courses I would love your feedback.
Udemy online education platform
Description: Udemy is a platform for learning online. With more than 22,000 courses they are the largest marketplace online for training and tutorials. They also offer the opportunity for anyone with an expertise in a certain subject to create a course which is then put online free or for a fee.
Price: Free to join, the courses range in price, starting with free courses to an average course price of $74.
My opinion: Udemy is a great learning platform with many free courses. To learn about a subject completely it might be necessary to take several courses.
I have an online tutorial that might be of interest to your readers. The course is FREE on Udemy. I don’t make a dime and UDEMY does not give me the emails or names of students. So far I have over 6,000 students.
I will be coming out with a paid version around March 1st to replace the unsuccessful one that is still listed (Only 5 students) The new version will be called “Home Made Money” named after a local TV show I had on Cablevision. I also published a home business newsletter for 20 years.
You can check details out on my promo website.
Thanks Dave! Best of luck with your new course.
Hi Peter, Happy to read your detailed review, does Udemy has affiliate program so that we can register and try spreading on our other platforms?
Thanks, Harsha. Yes, Udemy does have an affiliate program see this page. The program is run by LinkShare.
All the best,
Thank you for this outstanding look at Udemy. I had heard of them and briefly investigated them a while back, but then I moved on.
When I tracked down your take on them, I knew I would get an honest review and I appreciate it.
I love the rest of your site as well, thanks again for the great read, all my best,
Thanks Gary, glad you enjoyed the review and hope it was helpful.
All the best,
Really enjoyed reading your review of Udemy. I had heard of it before but now it’s much more clear how they function. I think it might be interesting to see how much the teachers make if they create a really popular course.
In general, I don’t think I would take affiliate marketing courses from Udemy, maybe a few that were targeted to specific internet marketing aspects, like the Clickbank course.
But I’m like you, I want a chronological step by step process to build an affiliate business. But for random courses that people are interested in, it could be a good solution.
I also have heard that the quality of professors at Udemy can be a bit sporadic, some good, some bad, some boring.
Thanks for another awesome review, I really appreciate it. Your site is a great resource for reviews.
I agree with you, Udemy can be good for taking specific courses although not in a subject as vast as internet or affiliate marketing. To get started in these subjects I would go to a specialized platform like my #1 recommendation.
The quality of professors can be a problem this is why it’s important to always watch the preview videos. If you do sign up for a course and you find the teacher isn’t to your liking, you can still take advantage of the 30 day guarantee.
With regards to the professors earnings – in 2012 Udemy did release some figures showing the top teacher earning $450,000 and several others earning more than $100,000. This can be quite lucrative!
Glad you enjoyed the review and thanks for your comment, Peter
What an excellent review. I have heard about Udemy but never really looked into it before. After reading your article, I feel I know exactly what they do and how they do it. I liked the pros and cons section, as I was able to make a quick assessment there and then.
Thanks Rob. Glad my review gave you a good idea of what Udemy is all about. I was quite impressed with the platform and will be going back to try some of their free courses. Although I don’t recommend it for learning affiliate marketing, it might be useful for learning about certain things for example: SEO, WordPress or Google Analytics.