In many ways, Udemy is revolutionizing education.
Instead of having to work directly for a school, anyone can design their own courses, upload them to the internet, and start collecting checks.
It’s certainly an interesting alternative to the traditional model.
But, teaching on Udemy isn’t necessarily as easy as it seems.
It requires time, effort, and organization.
After all, you have to do a lot more than just know the material if you want to be successful on this platform.
You need to set up your video equipment, record your talks, organize supplemental readings, and handle a wide range of other tasks.
Plus, you have to market your course if you actually want people to know about it.
Otherwise, you may have difficulty getting students to sign up.
If you’re able to get a good course together, you can make a few grand in passive income each month.
So, it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools that can make your job a bit easier.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of apps that every Udemy instructor should have.
Each of these tools will help you organize your content, perfect your lectures, and market your classes.
Check them out:
1. Google Drive
To be a good Udemy instructor, you have to produce a lot of content.
If you want to produce strong lectures, you’ll want to write those lectures out first.
Then, you have to record videos and audio.
You have to give your students readings.
And you may even want to show some Powerpoint presentations or screenshot demos depending on the topic.
Over time, all this content can get messy.
If you don’t organize it, you’ll have the digital equivalent of a pile of papers piled up on your desktop.
Google Drive is an application that makes it easy to store and organize all of your files in the cloud.
Photo via Wikipedia
All you have to do is drag and drop your files from your desktop into the Drive.
Then, you can organize them into folders for each lecture.
You can even create new documents and use the program as a content creation tool, too.
The cloud-based nature of Drive makes it safe and secure, too, so you don’t have to worry about losing files if your computer happens to crash.
It’s a perfect storage tool for online course instructors.
Google Drive is available for free with 15GB of storage space.
But, you can upgrade your plan to get more storage for a small fee.
It’s hard to teach a course if you don’t have your thoughts in order.
MindNode is an idea visualization program that allows you to map out your thoughts.
That way, you’ll be able to organize your lectures in the best possible manner.
It’s a helpful way to plot out lectures.
And, it’s a great way to build a roadmap for the overall course.
How are you going to move from the first lecture to the next?
What is the ultimate goal of the course?
These questions aren’t always easy to answer.
But with MindNode, you can lay down all of your thoughts and draw connections between them.
This program is super easy to use.
And it’s not too expensive, either.
The company offers a free 2-week trial, which should be plenty of time to map out your first course.
After that, you can upgrade to a paid version for $39.99 on your Mac desktop or for $14.99 on an iOS device.
Unfortunately, MindNode is only available on Mac devices.
But that doesn’t mean that Windows users are out of luck.
There are plenty of alternative mind-mapping programs for PC users who want to teach a Udemy course.
One alternative is FreeMind.
This open source idea visualization program has similar features to MindNode.
And it’s also free!
If you’re looking for a way to map out those ideas before you record your lectures, this could be a great tool for you.
4. Pro Metronome
One of the most challenging parts of teaching is public speaking.
Even if you’re recording a lecture on your computer, it’s intimidating to know that real, live people are going to watch the video later on.
Sadly, most of us aren’t that good at it, either.
Even if you’re comfortable speaking in public, it doesn’t mean that you can engage a group of people.
The key to good public speaking is pacing.
You have to understand how fast to speak, when to slow down, and when to pause entirely.
Pro Metronome is a tool that helps people to master the art of pacing.
It works just like a musical metronome, tracking the cadence of your voice.
Essentially, the app provides a “beat” that you can use as a template for your text.
So once you write out your lectures, you can read them along to the beat to learn how to speak at a reasonable pace.
By recording your voice and playing it back to yourself, you can start to get an idea of what you sound like from an outsider’s perspective.
No one likes to hear their own voice, we know.
But perfecting your public speaking skills will make you a much better Udemy instructor.
Ummo is another public speaking app.
This one helps users to eliminate “filler” words from their speech.
Let’s face it: we all use too many “um”s, “uh”s, and “like”s.
Those words get distracting when you use them too much.
If you upload a lecture that’s full of “like”s, don’t expect too many students to make it the whole way through.
The usefulness of this app is in its tracking capabilities.
Essentially, you record yourself talking and upload it to the app.
Then, the app analyzes your speech and lets you know precisely how many filler words you used.
It’s incredible how conscious you become of filler words once you start using an app like this.
Over time, it helps you to catch yourself and drop the “ums” before you even start saying them.
The Ummo app is only $1.99 in the iTunes App Store and the investment is worth it for Udemy instructors.
Your students will be happy when your lectures are clear, concise, and filler-free.
At some point in your lectures, you’ll probably want to show some screen captures.
Whether you’re demonstrating a piece of software, doing a Powerpoint presentation, or showing a series of images, it helps to have a program that captures your activity.
Currently, Udemy’s course-creation software prohibits you from taking recordings of your screen.
But, Screencast-O-Matic makes it super easy.
All you have to do is click “Record” and start capturing.
The company offers several different versions of the product.
Each offers different features for a different price.
They do have a Free version.
But, that version doesn’t have audio capabilities.
If you opt for this product, you won’t be able to record your voice or the sound on the screen over the video.
And, it stamps all videos with a watermark.
Loom is a great alternative if you don’t want to pay to remove these restrictions.
By upgrading to the Screencast-o-Matic Solo Deluxe version for $1.50 a month, you’ll grant yourself access to full audio capabilities and an editing suite.
Plus, you’ll get rid of the ugly watermark.
There’s also a Solo Premier version that costs $4.00 per month and has even more features.
It includes more bandwidth, secure storage, and other high-end components.
Whichever tier you choose, this company offers valuable products for those who want to incorporate audiovisual materials into their Udemy lectures.
Upwork is more of a platform than an app, but it can help you to boost your Udemy earnings.
And there’s an app that you can download to use it.
Upwork is a marketplace to hire freelancers.
If you want someone to edit your videos or proofread your course descriptions, you can hire an Upwork freelancer to do it.
There are thousands of talented people on the platform who do everything from copywriting and graphic design to app development.
Translation is a very popular service on Upwork.
There are hundreds of folks who can translate your lectures into any language you’d like them to.
And you can hire another person to edit the subtitles into your video.
By doing this, you’ll open your course up to students from all over the world.
Then, You’ll have a much broader base of potential customers and are likely to earn more revenue.
Upwork services do require an initial investment on your part.
But, this investment can help you to make more money from your course.
8: Google Ads
Google Ads is the app that’s used to create those sidebar advertisements you see whenever you do a Google search.
If you know how to use it properly, you can create ads for your own Udemy course and run them on Google to attract people to your class.
Now, we can’t lie:
That aspect of Google Ads is pretty complicated.
Unless you familiarize yourself with how online advertising works, you can waste a lot of time and money creating ads.
But, there’s one feature of Google Ads that’s very useful for Udemy instructors.
It’s called Keyword Planner.
Essentially, the Google Keyword Planner gives you the ability to see what your target audience is searching for.
What words are they typing into the search bar when they go to search for a Udemy course online?
If those words aren’t in your description, they’re never going to find you.
They’ll end up taking someone else’s class instead.
But if you can figure out which words they’re searching for, you can incorporate them into your own course description to get their attention.
Then, they’ll find your class and enroll in it!
Marketing is the key to success on Udemy.
Of course, you need to have good course content.
But if you want anyone to know about your class, you’ll need to tell people about it.
Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all great places to find new students.
Think about it:
There’s a Reddit board for nearly every subject you can imagine.
Somewhere on Reddit, there’s a person right now asking the board how they can learn the skill that you’re teaching.
Your job is to find that person and convince them that your class is worth taking.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should reach out and bother every person individually.
But, any time someone asks where they can learn about the topic, you can respond with a link to your class.
Plus, paying attention to people’s inquiries will give you ideas for future courses.
It’s free market research!
Optimizing Your Udemy Courses
The Udemy platform features many tools that help instructors create and market their courses.
But, the apps listed above will help you even more.
The most successful instructors on Udemy are the people who go above and beyond to create the best possible content and market it as best they can.
So, grab a good organization app, get your public speaking skills down, and hop on social media and you’ll have a much better chance at creating a great course.