One of the hard parts about running a home business is learning how to do all the things you need to know how to do. Some things are better outsourced, but other times it’s the most effective to learn to do it yourself. When you don’t need a formal degree or certification, it can make a lot of sense to pick up new home business skills through Udemy.

Many kinds of courses are offered through Udemy. There are courses that cover many aspects of running a business, such as marketing, social media, finance, office software and tools, branding, analytics and more.

These are not courses that will get you college credit or make you certified by an accredited agency for things. A well chosen course can help you learn to run your home business better. They’re good for when knowing how to do something is more important than where you learned it.

I’m taking some courses there myself. One is on social media marketing, and one on podcasting. They’re areas I would like to be better at or just plain get started.

My oldest daughter uses Udemy too. She’s trying an app development course because, like most kids her age, she dreams of making a really popular app. She’s also taking a course on 3D animation, because she wants to be an animator someday. I bought her an Intuos tablet to help her with that goal, and the course to give her some guidance once she learns the basics included with her tablet. Now she just has to get around to it, a challenge many people face.

Some courses do offer a certificate, but they only mean so much. It’s not like you’re attending an accredited school or anything. Still, there are times when showing that you’ve finished any course is enough, especially if potential clients can take a look and see what was involved in completing that course.

If you sign up for a course, make a plan so that you’ll actually finish it at some point. Commit to doing a certain amount of it each day, even if it’s just one item a day. One of the courses I’m taking has 82 items, so that’s about three months or more if I don’t do anything on weekends. It’s all too easy to sign up for a course and then do nothing with it, so have a plan for when you’ll actually do the work before you pay your money to sign up. Otherwise it’s money down the drain.

One of the great parts is that you can repeat each item or course as necessary. You get lifetime access. Keep an eye out for discounts on courses you really want to take. Udemy has some pretty good sales every here and there.

How Do You Pick The Right Course?

If you’re going to spend money on a course, or even take time on a free one, you want to know that it will be worth your while.

Take a good look at reviews for any courses you’re considering. Not all courses will be worth your while. Course levels range from beginner to expert in most areas, so you can find the courses that best suit your needs.

Courses offer a preview video so you can get an idea what is offered. There’s also a “What Will I Learn ?” section that gives an overview of the topics covered.

Also take a look at the requirements for the course. It will cover the equipment and prior knowledge that you will need to be successful with the course. There’s not much point in signing up for something you aren’t prepared to learn.

And of course there are student reviews. Don’t give too much weight to any reviews that are along the lines of “best course ever.” Pay more attention to reviews that really get into what was good or bad about the course. Negative reviews can be particularly informative. There also may be reviews of the course on other websites.

If the course doesn’t have a lot of reviews, see if the author has other courses which have been reviewed. This will give you an idea as to how good they are. You can also look them up online and see if they have a website where you can learn about them.

Udemy has a 30 day guarantee. If you’ve tried the course and it’s just not what you need or not good enough, ask for your refund. They might get difficult if you do this too much, especially if you always complete the course before requesting a refund.

Do not assume you will get a lot of interaction with the course creator or fellow students. Some will interact with you, but others pretty much leave you on your own. Considering that people can sign up at any time and be at any point in the course, I’m not surprised by this at all.

If you want to get the most from the courses you take, treat it as you would any other class and be ready to take notes. If the course is at all worth the time, there will be things you will want to write down to remember better and refer back to easily. Most of us don’t memorize things based on one hearing, after all.

Udemy even offers programs for businesses, so they can get their employees trained in different areas online. There’s exam prep for various certificates.

You don’t have to stick to learning about business. There are also music, fitness and personal development courses.

And don’t forget that you can also teach the skills you know on Udemy. You can use Udemy’s tools to create and sell an online course of your own. If you’re good at something you can teach online, Udemy could become another income stream for you. You retain all control and rights to your content.