What I have learnt so far about free coupons on Udemy courses

Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash

Since I have decided to go wide, learn on my own and do my own thing, i.e., online business, things have been nice and also challenging. One thing I have learnt: you hear a lot of bullshits on YouTube videos! Test any assertion you hear on YouTube. Not say it is a bad place to learn, saying you should not take anything as granted. Here goes one assertion going around on YouTube, and here it goes my experience. My conclusion is: the truth is partial, like most of the time!


Problem setting

Assertion: give your course for free and get nice reviews!

Idea world: people get happy when receiving something for free

Real world: people that loves to criticize loves free courses, no need to pay to play the boss.

Note. Udemy warns us that free courses in general has lower rates, do not remember about free coupons, if they said something on their site; but they have changed the rules for free coupons for better fitting students that do want to learn. Totally agree with their change, I prefer to focus on paid students, I have YouTube to release free courses!


First experience with course for free

First course, first coupons for free: I was frightened, I was afraid of people would take the coupons and leave bad reviews. It did not happen, on the opposite. They left five stars, I made friends, and nice comments were sent both publicly and privately.

Second experience with course for free

Course number 6, I was more confident, surer about my skills as instructor: I have gotten good reviews so far; see that I am defender of the online review system. But still frightened since I was creating a course that was a challenge to me, not regarding the content, but regarding the amount of info in a single course. I was trying to put together something I felt was missing: whenever I do something, it has to be a challenge to me, I do not like to do things I know 100%, I need to climb mondains to be happy.

Reached 1.000 students like a Ferrari velocity measurer.

Photo by William Chiesurin on Unsplash

I was happy, I was proud. Wait for it, wait for it….

Result: just bad reviews

For the very first time, no five stars on the onset, no five stars at all! Where are my five stars? Where did you go?

Why one worked and the other did not

What I can say for now: in the first case the coupons distribution was concentrated on the public, I did not have 100% of control of the audience, but the list was focused in some levels. The list I used was just people related to the topic, somehow. Further, I knew better the audience. In the second case I have made available on the generic site, which according to my research, made availabe in others….

From one site, it quickly spread, my measurer of student went from 0 to 800 students in a matter of minutes, faster than the Udemy system could update me on real time.

Even though I do know computer programming, the audience I am serving is new to me: web dev, as I wrote recently, most of them are coming for non-programming area, and I may need to learn new teaching skills; imagine you want to teach a poor neighborhood, it would be wiser to ask someone from inside to teach. A good course should at the best take most of the students from a point to other with minimum of cognitive stress, and that is the challenge: know your audience, know your content, know your course! And that is the challenge I am facing now specifically with this audience from web dev.




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Jorge Guerra Pires, PhD

Jorge Guerra Pires, PhD

Independent Researcher and writer at Amazon. Visit my profile on Amazon: amazon.com/author/jorgeguerrapiresphd | “I want thinkers, not followers!”