Recording with Screencast-o-Matic

Despite my success on Udemy (more than 10,000 paying students), the screen recording software I choose to use is called Screencast-o-Matic. This might be surprising, because I pay only $15 per year for the pro version, and it does a pretty good job at screen or webcam recording.

The question was asked in the Studio, so here is my setup.

How I Record with Screencast-o-Matic (SOM), PowerPoint (PPT) and Windows

First, I use the desktop version of SOM. I know there’s a web version, but I’ve never used it. So download and install SOM on your computer.

Screenshot 2016-02-26 23.22.27

Second, I set my actual screen to the desired resolution. Either 1280×720 for 720p recording, or 1920×1080 for 1080p recording. Reference: How to Change Your Screen Resolution


Third, I make sure Powerpoint is set to 16:9 widescreen format, landscape mode. Reference: How to Change the Size of Your Slides

Screenshot 2016-02-26 23.23.08

Fourth, I start the recording in SOM.


Fifth, I choose “fullscreen” from the recording settings. Because our desktop is already at the desired settings, we want to record the entire desktop.


Sixth, I hit F5 in PowerPoint to start the slideshow view (or select it from the menu). Reference: How to View a Slide Show

Screenshot 2016-02-26 23.27.43

Then I hit record (the red dot) and we go.


Sally Hogshead and Fascination

I’ve always been fascinated with Sally Hogshead.

She hit the marketing world hard with her 2010 book, Fascinate. Inside is one of my favorite quotes, that I repeat often.

Different is better than better.

The core of Sally’s message is that humans are born with an innate ability to be fascinating.  Some of us have developed good sense of humor in order to make others laugh, while others know how to sweet talk their way into a party without an invitation. Being fascinating is not something you learn, according to Sally, but you need to unlearn being boring.

Fascination is a state of intense emotional focus.

According to Sally, there are seven fascination triggers that we can tap into:

  • Lust
  • Mystique
  • Alarm
  • Prestige
  • Power
  • Vice
  • Trust

So what does this have to do with online courses?

We’re all trying to attract students to our courses. We’re all trying to stand above the other courses and get people to buy. We’re all trying to get people to WATCH our courses after buying them, implement what we teach, and leave us a great review. (And buy our next course!) So we all want students and potential to be fascinated by us.

I’ve always said that your unique advantage over other instructors teaching the same subject is YOU. The other instructor is not you, and you are not them. Don’t try to be them. Be you.

In fact, shed those boring parts and be more like who you really are. If you like to tell a joke, try to be fun and funny inside your course (without being annoying with it). If you suck at reading from a script, be yourself and talk freely (as long as it’s on point to the topic). There is always the chance of going too far with it, but the bigger risk is not going far enough. Be yourself, and people will like you for you. You have the ability to fascinate.

It’s a good book. Recommend picking it up if you get a chance.

Here are some interesting videos of Sally Hogshead talking about fascination.



Udemy Instructors: One Big Course or Several Small Courses?

The strategy of creating several small inter-related courses has been around for a while. The low prices that Udemy charges for courses encourages instructors to break up excellent large content into smaller pieces hoping to extract more revenue from the students. I am not a big fan of doing things solely for the goal of “more revenue”. Ideally what you want is to do things that are in the best interests of students. Provide more and more value, and that value comes back to you as revenue. But I can see the argument for several small target courses. I do this myself, although the purpose is NOT to make more money for myself.

In this video, I discuss the pros and cons of each approach.

Udemy Sample Promotional Announcement

Have you ever considered getting deeper into Enterprise Architecture and actually becoming TOGAF 9.1 Certified?

If so, I’ve just finished adding a lot more content to my TOGAF 9.1 Part 1 course.

30 sample questions added. I just yesterday added, in the conclusion section (section 7), 3 new quizzes that contain 10 questions each. Go ahead and test your knowledge of the TOGAF spec. Hopefully you will find the questions challenging enough, and will help you discover areas that you need more study on.

80 lectures detailing all the steps of the ADM. Over June, July and August, I’ve completed hours of new videos going into each of the steps of the ADM in more detail. This is not yet part of the core course, but I’ve added it as a bonus to those who really want to get deeper into the steps and phases.

All class slides available for download. Added a single 400 page PDF to the class that you can download and use offline to study for the test.
General cleanup and redo. Over the summer I’ve re-done some of the core lessons and added some introductions when it makes sense.

And we just passed 3400 students in that class! So thrilled!

<course image here>

Right now I am having my special end of Summer promotion called <coupon code> that can get you this course for only $15. There is only a couple of days left before I turn off the codes for that.

Hope to see you inside the course!


<url to course>


DMCA for Udemy: Basic Techniques for Fighting Piracy, with Dennis J Smith

My friend Dennis Smith had me on his show “Late Night with You, Me, and Udemy” recently to talk about how Udemy instructors can get their courses taken down off pirate websites. The conversation also went into other topics relating to Udemy and online selling. I always love being on blabs with Dennis and others, and I think I should do more of them. Perhaps I should start my own show?

Perhaps not. But this is why I do video courses – to share what I know with a wide variety of people around the world. I do many of it for free on Youtube, and sell some too.

Check out this interesting chat.

Feel free to like it on Youtube, share the video on your social media, or leave a comment below and ask questions. Love to chat and interact with you!

Tips for Marketing Your Udemy Course

If you’re just starting out on Udemy, you might not know where to begin when it comes to marketing your course. I created a video on Youtube that outlines some basic ideas when you’re just starting out.

  1. Always (always) use a coupon when marketing your course. If you just send a link to your course without a coupon code, you are leaving money on the table. Udemy treats non-coupon sales as Organic sales, and you only get 50% of the revenue. If you drive the student, you can get up to 97%.
  2. Udemy is a discount marketplace. 95% of sales on Udemy are at a discount. So price your course higher than you expect to get. But don’t price your course for $300 (the maximum) because you want to get full price sales sometimes. But aim higher than you expect, without being unreasonable.
  3. Fish where the fish are. Don’t spend all your time fishing where there are no fish! So figure out where you students are most likely to hang out, and hang out there. Be helpful. Don’t sell, or be pitchy, or be spammy. Go be with your students, answering their questions for free, and allow people to learn that you actually teach a course on it.
  4. What terms are people using to search for your topic? You have to use words in your course title and subtitle that directly speak to their needs. It’s tempting to call your course “eJoe’s Ultimate Guide to Dominating Online Commerce”, but do people search those words in Google or Udemy? When someone is looking to increase sales of their product, they are more likely searching “how to increase sales” than “dominating online commerce”. Use words in your course title and description that speak to the way the customer talks. Make them feel like your product is the exact solution to their problem.
  5. Consider marketing on Youtube. I uploaded this video on Youtube, and have dozens of similar videos. I give away a lot of information for free (like this post), and then that leads them to your online course or other products. Youtube is a natural place to feature video course promos. Upload your promo video. Upload your free preview videos, and link all that back to your Udemy course using a coupon code.
  6. And check out my Udemy SEO course for more.udemy-seo-tile



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