Plan a Perfect Course: Udemy Vs Self Hosting Your Online Course

Thinking of using Udemy to make an online course?

Not sure if it’s the right option for you?

Maybe instead you should just host your own online course and forget Udemy?

Maybe you don’t even know what I’m talking about? Well, let’s do a quick review.

I’m blown away by how streamlined aspects of earning an income online are now. Creating an online course, ebooks and paid membership sites used to be a pretty technical thing, even just 5 years ago. Now, we have course marketplaces like Udemy that allow us to build and host our own online course.

You should totally create a Udemy course, even if you already have a strong following because it’s it’s a way to be in front of a new audience and a way to provide value. Of course, you should create your own course once you have a following.

My goal over the next year is to move away from client work.

Right now the bulk of my income is from creating explainer videos on Fiverr, doing UX consulting and web design, setting peoples website up and my salary from a university job I took over from a friend who moved to Spain.

I want to reach more people by creating something that is not bottled necked by my lack of time to build an infastructure around. Udemy seems like a great fit for me at this point.

So we can agree that launching an online course or an ebook or a product or an ecomerce store is a pretty obvious way to turn your digital presence into a profitable one.

Having something to sell or providing a service is what makes a business a business. Like I always say:

A website is not a business, a business is a business

I think the most common complaint of Udemy, that “you don’t own the platform”, is a pretty flawed argument.



Nobody thinks that about creating apps for the app store or for Android or for Facebook etc. You should never rely 100% on any one source online for anything. Money, traffic, attention.

Nothing prevents you from promoting your courses on your own website and through your own social channels. In reality, the majority of successful course creators on Udemy have done exactly that.

They leverage the Udemy platform as an early delivery option, but at the same time maintain their own marketing channels and brand. Udemy as such, is just icing on the proverbial marketing cake with people having their own courses on their own website and using Udemy.

Both, you can do both and should do both is what I suggest.

Which leads us to a limiting belief we all have. It’s either a or b. This or that. One or the other.

You trick yourself into thinking it’s one or the other and it’s not.

Should  I buy this or that, the red one or the blue one? How about both?

I’m weird I know.

During desert at the end of dinner some lament over which one to buy. If you have the resources, just buy both. It’s never one or the other unless you limit yourself into believing that.

From my research of successful Udemy instructors and my background in web design, do I think you should create Udemy courses?


Udemy superstar Rob Percival made millions on Udemy. He is an OUTLIER mind you. Every platform has these types. A small few who bring in massive amounts of revenue. It does show that there is potential however.

But could you make 5-10 small, 1-3 hour courses and make a passive income and create a traffic source for your online work? Sure!

The real decision is not IF you should use Udemy, but what should go on IT and what should be on your website, on your digital presence and personal brand.

How about Udemy?

Udemy suggests you charge $25 per hour of content.

I’m going  to get started on Udemy. This is my plan:

Plan out a group of 6-8 courses that can be released over the next 6 months.

2-3 of these courses would be given away for free as a way to attract a base group of students and for prospective buyers to evaluate my teaching process as well as my knowledge level. These free courses will be 1-2 hours max.

The remaining courses will be paid, but would be no more than 4 hours max and would be on a very specific topic.

I will evaluate the results after these course are released. If successful, I would continue planning out more courses.

Udemy is making changes to there pricing though, so you can only charge between 20-50$ dollars US. So keep this in mind in terms of the value and time you put in. Udemy WANTS shorter courses.


Udemy is just that icing on the cake, remember?

What about a big, massive online course? Something that like Podcasters Paradise that costs $1,000?

Podcasters Paradise and products like this don’t make sense for Udemy in their current form. They have an instructional element which does make sense for Udemy, but for such a premium price, people expect a supportive community, experts adding content and value every month and for the course to be constantly evolving month to month, week to week even.

In this sense, it’s more profitable and better for everyone involved to own the whole process.

The beauty however is that it’s your course. You can sell on Udemy AND your own website if you so choose. Just modify the course to fit the platform as such.

It’s not either or.

It’s both.

Final Words and What To Do Next

Build a flagship course for your website if it makes sense. But also create smaller courses for Udemy. You can always use both platforms, even for your flagship course. Like Podcasters Paradise, you could just add the instructional element to Udemy without all the other bells and whistles.

I would also start on Udemy first because they already have the infastructure in place for you to launch a successful course and it can become a nice source of revenue that can help you build out a more expensive, comprehensive course on your own website.

To manage your own course on your own website is not impossible, certainly not as challenging as it used to be. But the software and tools are expensive and if you’re not making any money it’s a risk to spend hundreds of dollars on software.

So used Udemy to get started and get organized. If you have success, you will not only have a new revenue stream you will also have customer reviews on Udemy to leverage on your own course as a way to show preeminence and thought leadership so people feel comfortable and confident purchasing from you.

Don’t piggyback your business on one platform obviously. Look at it as a way to build income streams by using different platforms.


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