Learn from top Udemy Instructors’ Success

Did you know that just in this past week there were over 1.1 million new student enrollments on Udemy and over 475 new Udemy courses launched?  With such large numbers, how can you know which Udemy courses are the most popular and why?

This week, we are highlighting the most popular Udemy’s courses right now, as calculated by our TeachinGuide app.  Knowing what the most popular Udemy courses are and examining why they are popular can provide valuable information that you as an instructor can use to promote and improve your own course standings.  This informatio is also useful for Udemy affiliates who are promoting the “most popular Udemy courses” to their readers.

Following is a list of the 10 most popular Udemy courses (paid)  as measured by new enrollments this past week (as of April 10), with a bit of information about what might be driving their success.

10 Most Popular Udemy Courses

1.  The Complete Front-End Web Development Course!

Instructor Joseph Delgadillo has a whopping THREE courses in the top 10 this week. With a 4.3 rating and over 108,000 students enrolled, it’s no wonder this course ranks high.  Speaking of ranking, the URL for this course which includes the search term “front end web development” is likely one reason this course ranks high – keywords.  This instructor uses all the right landing page strategies as well – action-oriented wording on the landing page, very clearly described outcomes, and a nice introductory video.

Finally, two other factors are making this one of the most popular Udemy courses – a recent promotion, and placement in the #2 most popular subcategory and #7 most popular topic on Udemy – Web Development.

2.The Complete Python 3 Course: Beginner to Advanced!

Another popular Udemy course by Joseph Delgadillo has an average rating of 4.1 and over 170,000 students enrolled as well as 18 hours of video. It thus checks off all the items on the course engagement “to-do list”.  Once again, clever use of the #1 topic on Udemy “Python” in the course URL “python-complete” surely helps its ranking.

3. Practical Web Design & Development: 7 Courses in 1

This course has a solid 4.0 rating with over 45,000 enrollments. It seems this course has been recently updated and promoted, which may be driving its recent popularity. We can see from the TeachinGuide app data that this course has ranked #5 for the keyword search “web design”. And like Joseph Delgadillo’s web development course it is in a top subcategory.

4. The Everything Photoshop Masterclass

With a rating of 4.3 and some 50,000 enrollments, this course proves that Photoshop continues to be a hot topic.  Some great features making this a popular Udemy course include 15 downloadable resources – wow.  It also has a very catchy introduction video that promotes the instructor’s talent and authority on the subject.

5. Japanese Course for Absolute Beginners (Letters, Alphabet)

About half of the 30,000+ enrollments in this course were acquired in the past week! The course was launched in January, so this is a great example of how a solid promotion that enlists a lot of students can propel a course to the top.  It now ranks #6 for the keyword “Japanese Language”.  This course in particular, has a very pleasant introductory video that draws you in and makes the viewer feel as if they could learn Japanese.

6. Linux for Absolute Beginners!

This is Joseph Delgadillo’s third course in the top 10 most popular Udemy courses this week.   With “just” 27,000 students enrolled, it’s popularity is dwarfed by his other 2 Udemy courses – but this probably has to do with the topic itself being less popular.  That said, this course ranks #2 for its primary keyword “linux servers” and also ranks pretty high on several other keywords related to Linux. 

It should be noted that all of Joseph Delgadillo’s courses have backlinks from his personal website and are bundled. Another great course selling and promotional strategy!

7. Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero in Python 3

Instructor Jose Portilla has been very successful on Udemy.  Just the fact that this course has over 142,000 ratings and manages a 4.5 rating with so many ratings speaks volumes about the quality. It ranks #1 in the “Python” topic course list, Python being the most popular topic on Udemy as of this week.

It also ranks #1 for the keywords “Python”, “Python bootcamp” and “Python 3 bootcamp”. Wow. This is probably because the course URL captures the keywords “complete-python-bootcamp”.

Speaking of quality, this course has a whopping 24 hours (an entire day without sleep!) of video and 19 downloads.  It’s also translated into 9 languages making it globally accessible. It has been recently updated. And even with some 550,000 students, we can see that Jose is still actively promoting his course.

What can we say? It’s probably one of the best examples of how to create one of the most popular courses on Udemy.

8. The Complete Java Developer Course: Beginner To Expert

This course is a surprise because it has not been updated since 2017 and does not boast a particularly large number of reviews (687).  However, this course must have been promoted heavily in recent times as it has gained about 1/3 of its 35,000+ enrollments this past week and moved up 11 spots in ranking for the keyword “Java”. 

Just goes to show you that even if you haven’t been on the ball promoting your course, it’s never too late to make an effort!

9. Python Programming Bible | Networking, GUI, Email, XML, CGI

The first standout for this course is its URL which contains the keyword “pythonv3” – targetting the latest version of Python.  What is surprising is that with a fairly average rating of 3.8 and not being updated since 8/2018, this course shot up the ranks this week.

Why? You guessed it – a promotion.  It also helps that this course ranks high for several niche keywords that are directly related to its content: “Python bible”, “network programming with python”, and “python for networking” to name a few. This is a great example of how you can use more long-tailed keywords and “niche” keywords within a broader topic to appear higher in search results. 

This course also has a whopping 57 backlinks, mostly to Udemy deal websites, which no doubt helpsed its ranking!

10. Photoshop 2019 : Creating awesome designs and manipulations

Rounding out our top 10 most popular courses on Udemy this week is another new Photoshop course.  Just the title itself is enticing for photographers. An important thing to note about this course is that it launched this month, but in the 10 days or so of this month has garnered over 18,000 students and 120 reviews with a 4.01 rating. 

Why? We can see that starting in mid-March the instructor was sending out 100% discount coupons.  We talked about this pre-launch promotional strategy in part 3 of our Beginners Guide.

This course is another example of using very targeted keywords. It ranks #1 for “photo manipulation in photoshop” and #2 for an additional 5 different keyword phrases related to Photoshop. Not bad for such a competitive category!

What Can We Learn from these Top 10 Most Popular Udemy Courses?

Seeing any trends here besides the obvious fact that Technology courses, specifically software-related ones, are the most popular Udemy course topics?  You’ll see that the key factors to Udemy course popularity include:

  • Promotion to get thousands of students enrolled quickly
  • Keyword ranking and usage/strategy
  • Enticing landing pages with clear language, keywords, and reviews
  • Keyword-based URLs
  • High ratings
  • Quality content and lots of it

All of these can combine to propel a course’s popularity on Udemy in any given week – that includes yours!  It will be interesting to see in a month’s time where these courses are, and if they still rank in the top 10 most popular Udemy courses. We’ll be sure to update you.

In future articles, we’ll also be bringing you other insightful data that you can access through the TeachinGuide app, including top keywords to include in your course titles, the hottest topics, and subcategories. We’ll also be sure to feature some “non-tech” course categories and topics and see which courses in different categories are the most popular on Udemy.  Watch this space!

Want to Learn More?

Did you enjoy reading and learning about other instructor’s course success on Udemy?  Why not do some more research on popular Udemy courses and competitors?  You can try for yourself with a free trial of TeachinGuide’s app, just sign up here for a free trial!

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