Sharecropping has its risks. But it also has benefits. Be prepared for change.

​But first…

Did you watch Mitt Romney's attempt at disemboweling Donald Trump? What did you think?

Should be an interesting news cycle. And Twitter's founders are creaming their pants.

I know I don't post much in my emails about politics. But I'm really enjoying this race…more on the GOP side, but the Democrats are starting to eat themselves from the inside out, so we have that.

But I digress. You're not here for politics (though I may talk about the marketing lessons that I'm learning–and that you can learn, too, if you pay attention and don't let your emotions get in the way)…

You're here to learn more about marketing, sales, business, and earning some cashola.

teacher-651318_1280Here's your marketing lesson for the day:

If you're going to “sharecrop” using somebody else's land, be prepared when they change the rules or just kick you out.

“Bill, what are you talking about?”

Yesterday, Udemy turned their model upside down. Now, all courses have to be priced between $20 and $50.

And the biggest discount you can give (save for one exception) is 50%.

(The one exception is they still allow you to offer free courses. But those aren't “discounted” — they're just free.)

So you know that deal I wanted to give you on my upcoming Udemy course? I can't.

I'll still offer it at a discounted $20 price. But that means I have to list it at $40 and give you a 50% discount.

It's the same product, and for all intents and purposes, the majority of the sales would have been at the $20 price point.

So no real “loss” for you.

It's just that the whole “perceived value” of the course can't be “manipulated” at all. In short, I can't list it at $100 (even though I think it's worth that much) and give you an 80% discount.

Udemy is a “sharecropper's property.” You don't own it. They could change the rules at any time (and they just did).

Worse yet, if they want, they can simply “evict” you. Or they could shut down.

As a person who's running an online business (or any business–after all, sharecropping came from “the real world” where farmers would rent property to grow their crops on), you need to be aware of the implications this means.

CRUSH IT!It doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. After all, I know a few people who are “crushing it” (that term always makes me chuckle because I associate it with Gary Vaynerchuk, the wine guy, and you “crush” grapes to make wine…) on places like:

  • Facebook
  • Udemy
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

I'm still going to use Udemy to teach people how to do stuff on the internet. But I can't get mad when Udemy changes their rules.

It's their playground. Their rules. And they can take their ball home if they want to.

That's just the way it is.


Make sure you can withstand the hit. Try your damnedest to get your students' contact info (i.e., get them to subscribe to your list that is external to Udemy, like Aweber).

And don't put all your eggs in one basket unless you keep an eye on the basket.

That's it for today. Enjoy the rest of it and go make a difference.


sharecropping, Udemy

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