Selling Online Courses

8 Common Mistakes Creators Make When Selling Online Courses

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With the increasing popularity of online learning, it's no surprise that many people are launching firms that provide digital courses. The allure of sharing one's expertise, transforming a hobby into a viable venture, and connecting with a global audience is undeniable.

However, many creators are discovering that achieving significant sales for their online courses can be unexpectedly challenging.

The road to success is far from simple, despite the tremendous growth of e-learning and the availability of several platforms.

In this blog post, we will explore the complexities of designing online courses and examine eight common reasons why creators often face obstacles when trying to market their knowledge.

From marketing issues to content creation challenges, we will identify the common roadblocks that creators face on their way to selling their courses successfully.

Let's delve right in!

8 Reasons Why Creators Fail To Sell Online Courses

Creating and selling online courses can be a lucrative business, but it is not without its difficulties. Many course creators fail to sell courses online for a variety of reasons. The following are eight common causes of this failure:

1. Lack of Market research

Many creators struggle to sell their online courses because they often skip doing proper market research. It's like setting sail without a map or compass!

Creators can end up creating courses that don't quite strike the mark if they don't have a clear knowledge of who their potential students are and what those students need.

This can lead to low enrollment and disappointing sales. Doing your homework - that is, market research - in the realm of online learning, where there is a lot of competition, is like navigating a dense forest.

It allows you to understand where the opportunities are, personalize your courses to what people are seeking, and increase your chances of success when selling your online courses.


To address the issue of a lack of market research hindering online course sales, especially the first online course, creators should prioritize thorough market research as a fundamental step in their course creation process.

This means taking the time to identify their target audience, understand their specific needs and preferences, and assess the competitive landscape. By conducting surveys, and interviews, and utilizing online analytics tools, creators can gain valuable insights into their potential students' pain points and preferences.

Additionally, studying competitors' offerings can help creators identify gaps in the market where their courses can stand out. With this knowledge, creators can tweak their courses to meet the unique demands of their audience, develop engaging course materials, and establish fair prices.

Ultimately, investing time and effort into market research will significantly increase the likelihood of course success, higher enrollments, and improved sales. It's like having a well-drawn map to navigate the challenging terrain of the online learning market.

2. Not Validating Course Idea

Without proper validation, creators may invest time and resources into developing courses that lack market demand. This oversight can result in a lack of interest from potential students and subsequently lead to disappointing sales figures.

Validation involves researching and identifying a target audience, assessing their needs, and understanding their willingness to pay for the content offered in the course.

By not validating their course idea, creators risk creating content that doesn't resonate with their audience, ultimately hindering their chances of success in the competitive online course market.


To mitigate the risk of investing in course ideas without proper validation, creators should take several key steps.

Firstly, it's essential to conduct thorough market research to identify trends and gaps in the online education industry. This can involve studying competitors, analyzing keywords and search volumes, and monitoring social media discussions and forums related to the course topic.

Secondly, creators should engage directly with their potential audience. This can be done through website surveys, online communities, or focus groups to understand their specific needs, pain points, and preferences.

Thirdly, utilizing Freshlearn’s AI Course Validator can streamline your validation process. Freshlearn offers tools and resources that enable creators to generate a personalized landing page, customize their course page, and get automatic course titles, outlines and many more in less than 60 seconds.

Validate Your Course Idea

Lastly, pricing experiments can help gauge the willingness of the target audience to pay for the course.

Offering a pilot version of the course at a discounted rate or creating a pre-launch landing page to capture potential student interest and sign-ups can provide valuable insights into price sensitivity and demand.

3. Poor Choice of Platform

A critical reason for the failure of creators in selling online courses often boils down to a poor choice of platform. Selecting the right online course platform is akin to choosing the right storefront in the physical world; it directly impacts visibility, accessibility, and trustworthiness.

When creators opt for online course platforms that lack user-friendly interfaces, robust marketing tools, or adequate payment gateways, they jeopardize their chances of reaching their target audience effectively.

Moreover, inadequate customer support and limited customization options can inhibit creators from delivering a personalized and seamless learning experience. Additionally, poorly chosen platforms might not invest in proper security measures, putting both creators and students at risk of data breaches.

All these factors combined can deter potential buyers, leading to the failure of the online course despite its quality and relevance.


To address this problem, creators should prioritize careful platform selection. It's essential to research and consider platforms that offer user-friendly interfaces, robust marketing tools, and secure payment gateways.

Create and sell online courses

Ensuring the platform provides excellent customer support and customization options is equally crucial to creating a personalized and seamless learning environment for students. Additionally, prioritizing platforms with strong security measures is vital to protect both creators and students from data breaches.

By making an informed choice in platform selection, creators can enhance their chances of success and effectively deliver high-quality, relevant online courses to their target audience.

4. Setting Prices Too High or Too Low

Determining the price for your online course is a pivotal decision because it profoundly influences your course's success. If the course price is too high, prospective students might deem it unaffordable and opt for competing programs, leading to low enrollment.

Conversely, if the price is set too low, individuals may perceive it as lacking quality or depth, potentially damaging your course's reputation and income.

This process is like walking on a narrow rope. You have to carefully balance various factors, such as the value your course provides, the type of people you want to attract, and what other similar courses are charging.

Your ability to succeed in the competitive marketplace of profitable online courses might be significantly impacted by a pricing error. To make sure that your course is both appealing to students and profitable for you, it's crucial to locate that "sweet spot" in pricing.


Finding the right pricing balance for your online course is indeed a crucial task. To tackle this challenge effectively, consider adopting a multi-tiered pricing strategy. By offering different pricing options, you can cater to a broader range of potential students.

For instance, provide a basic package at a lower price point, which offers essential course materials and access. Then, offer premium packages with added benefits, like one-on-one coaching, certificates, or exclusive content, at higher price points.

This approach not only accommodates students with varying budgets but also allows you to capture those willing to pay more for an enhanced learning experience. Additionally, conduct market research to understand the pricing landscape of similar courses and the expectations of your target audience.

FreshLearn Pricing

Regularly assess your pricing strategy and make adjustments based on feedback and market trends. This flexible and data-driven approach will help you strike the right balance between affordability and quality, ultimately leading to a successful and profitable online course.

5. Neglecting Customer Support

Customer support plays a pivotal role in building trust and credibility among students. When creators overlook this aspect, they risk leaving their customers feeling unsupported and undervalued. In the competitive landscape of online education, satisfied customers are more likely to recommend courses and become loyal advocates.

Additionally, prompt and effective customer support addresses issues, resolves queries, and provides essential guidance, enhancing the overall learning experience. Ignoring this vital component not only alienates potential buyers but also tarnishes the creator's reputation.


Firstly, establish a dedicated support team with expertise in the subject matter and excellent communication skills. This team should be responsive to customer inquiries and issues, providing timely assistance.

Second, use a variety of customer service methods to accommodate different student demands, including email, live chat, and phone support. Thirdly, create a comprehensive knowledge base or FAQ section to address common queries and issues, enabling students to find solutions independently.

FreshLearn Customer Support

Additionally, creators should actively seek and act upon feedback from customers to continuously improve their courses and support services.

By adopting these solutions, creators can build trust, satisfaction, and loyalty among their students, ultimately enhancing their reputation and success in the competitive online education landscape.

6. Weak Marketing Strategy

A weak marketing strategy stands as a significant stumbling block in the path of creators looking to sell their most successful online courses.

The failure to effectively market their educational content can often result in talented instructors and subject matter experts struggling to find their audience.

Without a well-thought-out marketing plan, creators may be left with exceptional courses but no means to showcase their value to the intended audience.

Successful online course sales depend on reaching the right people and conveying the course's unique benefits, which necessitates a comprehensive marketing strategy encompassing SEO, social media, membership sites, email marketing, and potentially paid advertising.

Without these critical components in place, even the most valuable content can go unnoticed and underappreciated in the vast landscape of online education.


Overcoming the challenges of a weak marketing strategy for online course creators requires a comprehensive approach. Begin by conducting in-depth market research to gain insights into your target audience's needs and preferences.

Develop a compelling value proposition for your courses, and implement a content marketing strategy that consistently produces blog posts, videos, and relevant content to highlight your expertise and engage potential students. Optimize your course's visibility in search results through effective search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.

Harness the power of social media platforms to engage with your audience and share valuable content. Cultivate leads and convert them into paying customers by building and utilizing an email list for targeted email marketing campaigns.

For broader reach, consider allocating a budget for paid advertising on platforms such as Google Ads or social media ads.

This multifaceted approach ensures that your outstanding courses are not overlooked and effectively convey their value in the competitive online education landscape.

7. Not Building A Community

In the digital landscape, establishing a sense of belonging and fostering genuine connections among learners is essential. A community provides the necessary support, encouragement, and camaraderie that enhances the learning experience.

When creators neglect this aspect and solely focus on the course content without fostering a community around it, they miss out on the invaluable dynamics of shared knowledge and collective growth.

Communities not only provide a forum for learners to communicate, ask questions, and share insights, but they also help creators better understand their audience.

Without this engagement, online courses can feel isolated and lack the engagement necessary to keep learners motivated and committed, leading to a decline in sales and overall course success.

Building a community around online courses is no longer a choice; it is a strategic need in the digital education ecosystem.


First, Creators can include discussion boards, live webinars, networking opportunities for peers, and social media groups that are especially relevant to the course subject. These platforms ought to encourage learners to actively participate by asking questions, sharing their experiences, and offering ideas.

Creators can also schedule frequent Q&A sessions, guest lecturers, and group projects that encourage cooperation and collaborative problem-solving. Creators can build a thriving community around their courses by establishing connections among learners and fostering a sense of belonging.

Build Community

Additionally, creators should actively participate in these communities, addressing queries, providing feedback, and acknowledging the achievements of learners.

Getting involved in the community doesn't just make learning better; it also builds trust and keeps students committed, ensuring the course continues to thrive and the community grows.

8. Not Being Consistent

Not being consistent is a prevalent reason why creators often struggle to sell online courses. In the competitive landscape of e-learning, maintaining a steady and reliable presence is crucial for building trust and engaging an audience.

When creators fail to consistently deliver new content, updates, or support to their students, it can lead to a lack of confidence among potential buyers. Inconsistency in course quality, communication, or availability can deter prospective learners and undermine the perceived value of the offering.

Successful online course creators understand that consistent effort and dedication are vital for long-term success, helping to foster a loyal following and attract new students.


First and foremost, the establishment and unwavering adherence to a well-structured content calendar is paramount. Setting clear deadlines for both the development and updates of course materials is vital to maintaining a consistent delivery pace.

Moreover, fostering a sense of trust and community among students is crucial. This can be achieved by engaging with students regularly through various means such as online forums, webinars, or email communication. Building this rapport ensures that students feel acknowledged and respected.

Providing reliable support through dedicated customer service and conducting Q&A sessions is another essential component. Students should have easy access to assistance, which further solidifies their trust in the course and the creator.

Lastly, investing in continuous professional development is imperative to uphold course quality and stay abreast of market trends.


In the digital age, the opportunity to share knowledge and expertise has never been more accessible. However, despite the immense potential, many creators struggle to sell their online courses successfully.

Our exploration into the reasons behind these struggles has shed light on eight common pitfalls. From inadequate marketing strategies to a lack of engaging content, these challenges can indeed be daunting. However, amidst these obstacles lies the promise of innovation and resilience.

FreshLearn, a trusted platform with a proven track record, has successfully enabled over 13,000 creators worldwide to turn their knowledge into lucrative courses, cohorts, live workshops, and digital downloads.

With over $20 million in earnings collectively, these creators have harnessed the potential of online education to not only share their wisdom but also to reap the rewards of their hard work.

FreshLearn guarantees that creators can concentrate on what they do best—sharing their expertise—while the platform takes care of the technical challenges by offering a flawless experience.

With FreshLearn, creators are doing more than just marketing courses; they are also fostering communities, motivating students, and influencing the direction of online learning.

Join FreshLearn today and begin your journey towards turning your knowledge into a profitable online business.

Start creating, start earning, and start changing lives. Your success story is just a click away!!

Selling Online Courses FAQ

1. How can I sell my course online?
  • Do a proper market research
  • Validate your course idea
  • Select the best online course platform
  • Set appropriate course prices
  • Invest in Customer support
  • Be consistent
2. Where can I sell online courses for free?

You can effortlessly create and market your courses for free on Freshlearn. They offer essential features including 25 free enrollments and 1 administrator account at no charge.

3. Is selling online courses profitable?

Selling online courses can be a highly profitable venture, capable of boosting your passive income significantly.

4. How much can you earn by selling Online courses?

On Freshlearn, more than 13,000 content creators from around the world have collectively earned over $20 million through sales of courses, cohorts, workshops, and digital downloads on their own websites.

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Rahul Mehta

Rahul Mehta

Empowering creators worldwide to create,market and sell "anything they know" :)