If you don't want to spend as much time and money marketing your course, you can always try to sell your content on course marketplaces with existing audiences. Here are 10 you may want to consider.
The Courses That Sell Best on Udemy: July 2019
If you are doing some market research in trying to decide what kind of course to create and sell, you may wonder what sells best on popular platforms like Udemy. Fortunately, Udemy makes it fairly easy to find this out based on the student numbers they provide so I did some searching and here is what I found.
What courses sell best on Udemy? In mid-2019, the best-selling categories were programming languages, web development, software learning and tutorials, IT certification, game development and graphic design. The top 5 subcategories were the Python programming language, data science, web development, machine learning and Excel. The top 5 courses in those subcategories are Complete Python Bootcamp, Machine Learning A-Z: Hands-On Python & R in Data Science, The Web Developer Bootcamp, AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate 2019, and Java Programming Masterclass for Software Developers.
As you can see, the top selling courses are very technology focused. In the rest of this article, I will discuss how long these course typically were, how much they cost, and what courses seem to be selling well outside of the technology market.
Helpful Resource – 10 Places to Sell Your Course Online
Courses With Over 100,000 Students Enrolled
I decided to provide you all the data I collected and show you all the courses with over 100,000 students enrolled as of July 24, 2019 in the table below:
Udemy – Course With 100,000+ Students
|Course Name||Category||Instructor||Students Enrolled||Lectures||Course Length|
|Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero in Python 3||Programming Languages (Python)||Jose Portilla||627,589||186 lectures||24:10:28|
|The Web Developer Bootcamp||Web Development||Colt Steele||438,862||398 lectures||47:06:34|
|Machine Learning A-Z™: Hands-On Python & R In Data Science||Programming Languages (Python)||Kirill Eremenko||432,220||294 lectures||41:19:22|
|AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate 2019||IT Certification||Ryan Kroonenburg||431,460||97 lectures||12:52:31|
|Java Programming Masterclass for Software Developers||Programming Languages (Java)||Tim Buchalka||338,313||385 lectures||77:52:21|
|Complete C# Unity Developer 2D: Learn to Code Making Games||Game Development||Ben Tristam||306,491||220 lectures||35:08:27|
|The Ultimate Drawing Course – Beginner to Advanced||Graphic Design||Jayson Batchelor, Quinton Batchelor||287,669||63 lectures||11:08:33|
|The Complete Digital Marketing Course – 12 Courses in 1||Digital Marketing||Rob Percival||277,195||254 lectures||23:45:32|
|Angular 8 (formerly Angular 2) – The Complete Guide||Web Development||Maximillian Schwarzmuller||273,101||503 lectures||37:04:54|
|Microsoft Excel – Excel from Beginner to Advanced||Excel||Kyle Pew||220,221||195 lectures||15:58:27|
|Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch||Network & Security||Zaid Sabih||209,739||135 lectures||14:13:21|
|An Entire MBA in 1 Course:Award Winning Business School Prof||Business||Chris Haroun||204,483||83 lectures||48:56:19|
|Pianoforall – Incredible New Way To Learn Piano & Keyboard||Music||Robin Hall||186,034||362 lectures||30:10:58|
|Unreal Engine C++ Developer: Learn C++ and Make Video Games||Game Development||Ben Tristem||183,535||267 lectures||40:17:09|
|Deep Learning A-Z™: Hands-On Artificial Neural Networks||Data & Analytics (Deep Learning)||Kirill Eremenko||171,197||188 lectures||22:52:46|
|The Complete SQL Bootcamp||Data & Analytics (SQL)||Jose Portilla||160,921||88 lectures||08:37:00|
|AWS Certified Developer – Associate 2019||IT Certification||Ryan Kroonenburg||157,466||100 lectures||13:57:00|
|Modern React with Redux [2019 Update]||Web Development||Stephen Grider||154,539||486 lectures||47:35:53|
|React – The Complete Guide (incl Hooks, React Router, Redux)||Programming Languages (React)||Maximillian Schwarzmuller||138,077||502 lectures||40:47:04|
|The Complete Node.js Developer Course (3rd Edition)||Programming Languages (Node.js)||Andrew Mead, Rob Percival||135,018||177 lectures||34:31:32|
|Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3||Web Development||Jonas Schmedtmann||131,072||78 lectures||12:25:39|
|Scrum Certification Prep +Scrum Master+ Agile Scrum Training||Software Engineering (Agile)||Paul Ashun||123,587||65 lectures||03:09:39|
|The Complete Financial Analyst Course 2019||Business||365 Careers||122,110||311 lectures||17:32:38|
|Learning Python for Data Analysis and Visualization||Programming Languages (Python)||Jose Portilla||120,068||110 lectures||21:05:31|
|The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp: Go from SQL Beginner to Expert||Databases (MySQL)||Colt Steel, Ian Schoonover||119,349||326 lectures||20:51:38|
|Data Analysis with Pandas and Python||Programming Languages (Python)||Boris Paskhaver||116,377||174 lectures||18:47:30|
|Ultimate Google Ads / AdWords Course 2018 – Profit With PPC!||Digital Marketing||Isaac Rudansky||115,778||137 lectures||25:20:13|
|Complete Guitar System – Beginner to Advanced||Music||Eric Andreas||115,707||311 lectures||34:21:21|
|Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing MASTERY 2019 | Coursenvy ™||Marketing||Course Envy||112,884||99 lectures||08:27:04|
|iOS 11 & Swift 4 – The Complete iOS App Development Bootcamp||Mobile Apps||Angela Yu||110,831||473 lectures||49:25:00|
|The Complete Cyber Security Course : Hackers Exposed!||Network & Security||Nathan House||107,633||123 lectures||12:01:30|
|The Data Science Course 2019: Complete Data Science Bootcamp||Data & Analytics (Data Analysis)||365 Careers||102,315||469 lectures||27:45:01|
Observations About the Top Categories
If you sort the table by category, you will notice that web development and programming languages come up numerous times. This is not a surprise since they are topics of a highly technical nature that need specialized training and are well-matched to an Internet audience. Additionally, there is quite a bit of self-learning and ongoing learning needs in these disciplines.
Udemy also has partnerships with businesses for continuing education and skill development which may cause these categories to trend higher.
Like many of the major course marketplaces, Udemy is very tech heavy in its offering. However, this shouldn't discourage you if you are thinking of making courses designed for a non-tech audience. Learning happens in all facets of life and there are markets for it everywhere (see The Great Courses for ideas on the breadth of learning topics outside of tech).
Additionally, many savvy Internet entrepreneurs are finding very lucrative niches creating courses in areas you wouldn't expect (like growing succulents indoors).
Observations About the Top Courses
Let's look at the top selling courses in the top 5 subcategories.
#1 – Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero in Python 3
This course included 24 hours of video spread out over 186 lectures. That means each lecture was about 7.8 minutes long on average. 627,090 students were enrolled making it an incredibly hot selling course. The low price sale price ($11.99 on summer special at the time of this writing) combined with 24 hours of lecture and 4.5 star user review average, along with Python being a popular programming language right now, probably communicate very high value to most interested purchasers.
#2 – The Web Developer Bootcamp
#3 – Machine Learning A-Z: Hands-On Python and R in Data Science
Another Python course tops the charts at Udemy. This course contains 41 hours of video contained in 294 lectures for an average time of 8.4 minutes per lecture. Machine learning is incredibly popular right now with a lot of venture capital money pouring into the market. It is a hot job market so it is no wondered this subject has attracted a lot of interest.
#4 – AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate 2019
This course is designed to help students pass the AWS (Amazon Web Services) Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam. Due to the changing nature of the exam, the course requires frequent updating. Amazon Web Services is an increasingly popular cloud storage and computing service. It makes sense that businesses have an ongoing need for employee training in this area. The course is almost 13 hours long and 97 lectures and averages 8.04 minutes per lecture.
#5 – Java Programming Masterclass for Software Developers
Another programming class makes its place in the top 5, this time in the Java language. The class has 338,313 students enrolled and offers almost 78 hours of instruction over 385 lectures (12.1 minutes per lecture). The number of instruction hours offered here is one of the highest I have seen yet on Udemy.
How You Can Make Strategic Use of This Information
- Read student user reviews – find out why students loved these extremely popular courses. Write down what they say about the content, the course structure, the teacher, the topic, the price, the extra lessons, and so on. See what winning ideas you can adapt for your own course creation. Also read the negative reviews and learn what could be improved.
- Copy the course lecture length – most of the individual lectures average about 7-8 minutes which is a length Udemy recommends; most likely based on their data. This is a good, bite sized length to break up your individual topics into when developing your course. The 7-8 minutes can be fit into small time periods and students feel like they are making progress as they move quickly through the lectures.
- Take some courses from top instructors – Udemy courses are typically on sale for very cheap so there is nothing stopping you from spying (I mean “learning”) from successful course creators and instructors. I recommend picking out 5 highly rated instructors/courses from different and diverse subjects and observe what the instructor does well. What audio and visual techniques do they use? How do they structure their courses? It also may encourage you that you can do what they do and even improve on their successful formulas.
- Get ideas for course topics – Udemy is a massive marketplace and some courses are more “evergreen” in nature (like teaching musical instruments – the info doesn't need to be updated frequently) to courses that are on subjects that trendy. Also, by looking through the marketplace, you may be surprised at what course subjects people are interested in paying for.
More Course Creation Intel
What is the most strategic way to develop an online course with the most chance of succeeding? We suggest a market-driven approach.
Don't bore your students. Instead, leave them encouraged and exhilirated to put into practice what you've taught.
Going through the time and expense of creating a course that doesn't sell is a terrible feeling. Learn how to do smart market research before building your course for the best chance to succeed.