How To Take Control Of Your Course, Students and Business by Hosting Your Online Course with Fedora | With Ryan Bonhardt

As I've always said, Udemy is only one option when it comes to teaching online. But while Udemy can definitely boast the lions share when it comes to traffic and students, it certainly has its flaws.

Ryan started teaching online with Udemy around mid-2014 and found it great to grow his student base getting to 40,000 plus students in early 2015.

Ryan has a $100 course so for the outsider looking in it would appear that Ryan has generated a substantial income from his online course sales.

The catch 22 is that if you want your course promoted by Udemy you have to opt-in to their promotional programs which ultimately leads to your courses being offered a highly discounted rates. All of a sudden you find your $100 or $500 course being promoted for $10 or sometimes even less.

If your course is sold for the discounted price through an affiliate link you end up making 25% of the sales price. All of a sudden you're making $2.50 for a $100 course.

It could be argued that Udemy's frequent and aggressive discounting approach is training customers to wait for deals. They know that Udemy has a strategy to promote and discount the top courses and if they just wait they'll never have to pay full price for a course.

On top of this there are a number of restrictions that Udemy places on instructors when it comes to promotion and generally communicating with their students.

Udemy owns the email list, so the only way an instructor can communicate with a student, (even if the instructor introduced the student to the platform via their own promotional activities, paid or otherwise), is through the Udemy messaging system, which Udemy places limits on.

With Udemy you are limited in the number of times you can contact a student each month and you are also restricted in the content of your messages. There are certain links you cannot include in your messages.

Many instructors feel that this is trade off that they can accept because they get access to Udemy's ever growing student base. But just because Udemy has 6 million or more students doesn't guarantee that your course will be promoted to them.

The difference between having your course on Udemy or your own site can be compared to having a Facebook page versus your own site.

With your own site you own your student contact information. You can communicate to your students how and whenever you like.

The other thing to consider when publishing to Udemy is that you are on their platform and must follow their rules, which they can change at any time and you have no control over.

Now to clarify, I'm not smashing Udemy. Udemy is huge and has thousands of instructors some of whom may try to abuse the system. In these cases rules and restrictions have to be put in place to protect students against spamming.

Ryan, like many other instructors, started looking for alternatives. At first Ryan looked at creating his own site from the ground up using WordPress or other tools. To get ideas for his own site Ryan investigated other online platforms and came across Fedora in the process.

Fedora gave Ryan the most flexibility and included all the functionality he was looking for.

The flexibility of putting a site together using WordPress plugins is great, but it's high maintenance.

With all the different pieces you have to fit together it can be troublesome to track a problem between the security settings on your hosting service, WordPress and bugs or incompatibilities in the WordPress plugins.

While you can get it to work you do need some technical abilities and knowledge to build and maintain your own eLearning site.

Fedora is simply aimed at giving the student the best experience and the teacher the most flexibility, the best features they can offer so they can provide the best experience to the students with eCommerce features as well.

Another benefit of using Fedora is that you can host your Fedora course on your own site and brand it however you want.

For example has made over $2 million in the last year using Fedora to host their phone app development courses on their home page.

Fedora does offer a free plan and a number of paid options. All of Fedora's plans, including the free option, allow for unlimited students and content.

With Fedora's free plan there is a 10% plus $1 fee per course sale. So if you have a $100 you would make $89.

Fedora also has many automation options. Based on your students' progress and or activity you can have pre-set messages ready to go out automatically. Automation does take time to set up but once its done things mostly run on autopilot.

Another important thing to consider is discount versus premium pricing. In the discount model you have to get thousands or tens of thousands of students to make a reasonable residual income.

If we change our strategy to stick with a premium pricing structure you soon find that you only need a fraction of the students to generate the same income and your students are of a higher caliber because they have invested into your course.

Using a premium pricing structure your interaction with your students is a lot more enjoyable. They understand the value you are offering and don't complain as much.

Fedora offers a lot of information at their blog and also hosts a webinar called “7 Simple Steps to Creating and Selling Your First Profitable Online Course in the Next 30 Days or Less

You can check out the Webinar here!

(When it comes to creating online courses) It is completely doable and it's not as hard as you think.

To find out more information about Fedora go to -

You can find out more about Ryan at

or email him directly at

Other sites mentioned in this episode

Ideas That Sell: How To Find a Profitable Topic - New Course Pre-launch site

If you have a question about any aspect of online course delivery, from concept to market, please feel free to send me an email at I'd love to hear from you and your question would very well feature in a future podcast.

I want to deliver relevant material so keep those emails rolling in.

If you enjoyed this episode please leave me a rating and review over at iTunes. Please also like, share and comment below.

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