Where do first-time course creators go wrong?

Course creation is a pretty complex process – especially if you want to do it right. First-time course creators find themselves having to learn lots of new tech and skills. It’s a massive learning curve. And like learning anything new, you’re bound to make mistakes. I discussed my own lessons from my first course in this blog post. But I’d also like to share some common mistakes that I see again and again to help you avoid them when creating your first course.

Here are 8 ways new course creators go wrong with their first course:

Not having an audience

You’re not going to be able to sell your course if you have no audience to sell to. Where do you get that audience? By building an email list of people interested in the service you offer or the course you want to create. It’s not enough to create the course first and then promote it on social media or in groups. The best way to get people to pay attention to your course is to send it directly to them in their inbox.

Not testing your idea before building your course.

It’s essential that you find out if people will spend money on your course before you build it. This doesn’t mean selling your course before you build it. It just means talking to your ideal clients and asking them if it would be something they’d buy or not. If the kind of course you want to create already exists in the market, then you need to figure out what makes yours unique. Your unique selling point or USP. Once you know your USP, you can find out if this is what your ideal client is looking for. And again, the best way to find this out is to ask them.

Not knowing the skill/experience level of your audience

This one goes hand in hand with the previous two. If you have no audience to talk to, you’re not going to know if they’d be interested in your course AND you’ll not know anything about them. If you don’t understand where your attendees are on their journey, you may end up with a course that doesn’t resonate with anyone. For example, an audience of graphic designers won’t be interested in a course on Canva. But they might be interested in an Adobe Illustrator one.

Having poor-quality content

It doesn’t have to look perfect but nobody wants a course filled with fluff. Making content for the sake of making it will be a waste of your time to create and of no value to anyone. Your course needs to transform their lives in some way and the best way to do this is to create actionable content. Content that they can implement and learn from. Give them a quick way to master useful skills without the non-essential fluff and they’ll love you for it.

Adding too much into one course

You need to narrow your course down to teaching one specific thing. Covering too many topics in a single course will lead to information overload. Overload them and they’ll end up feeling overwhelmed rather than excited and informed. And that’s definitely not how you want them to feel. This all goes back to creating a course outline. You need to plan what is essential information and what’s not. Rather create a couple of short courses instead of one BIG one. Creating short courses means you get started faster and are able to sell them quicker. And once you’ve created them all you could offer them as a complete bundle.

They don’t test everything before launching

This one seems like a no-brainer but you’ll be surprised how many course creators launch a course without testing everything first. Erm … myself included. It’s easy to get excited at completing the course creation process and understandable that you would want to share it immediately. Just don’t. Get a couple of friends to test the whole process and work through the material before you launch. It’ll save you a lot of embarrassment.

Not playing to your strengths

It’s no secret that I’m not comfortable on camera, so for me to offer an entire course in video format would not only be torture for me but will probably be very uncomfortable for my course attendees to watch. But if you’re a natural on camera you can use that to full advantage. Video isn’t the only option for course content. You’re a great writer? Create written content. A tech whizz who can create animated explainer videos? Your course attendees would love that. Have a radio voice? Record screencast videos or podcasts. You see where I’m going with this, you can customise your course content to suit your strengths.

Getting the pricing wrong

This is a biggie. I recently invested in a $1000 course and another one that offered similar content for $197. Guess which one I worked through diligently and competed? Hint: It’s not the cheap one. I’m sure you’re thinking that if you have a great course at a low price, people will buy it, right? But it actually works the other way round. If a course is priced too low, people won’t believe it has much value. They’d rather invest in a higher-priced course which seems to offer them more, regardless of whether it does or not. This doesn’t mean that you have to offer something massive and complex to charge a premium price. This goes back to the quality of your content. A powerful streamlined course can justify a high price if it helps people get results.


Creating a successful online course doesn’t have to be hard. As long as you understand that it takes some preparation and hard work. Figure out what your audience wants and then make sure you cover your topic entirely, but without the fluff and overwhelm.