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Online courses or eCourses are hugely popular right now. We just talked about that recently in this post. It’s a fantastic way to create passive income in your business and help position yourself as an expert in your industry.

Long story short? You should probably create an online course.

However, it’s not all sunshine and daisies. In fact, creating an online course is hard work. I'm not going to sugar coat it for you.

But I do want you to understand that it is all worth it. The income possibilities from an online course far outweigh the negatives that come along with creating one.

If you do it correctly. In fact, there are 5 key mistakes that course creators all too often make that cause their courses to fail.

But we don’t want that to happen, right? We want to see our online courses succeed!

Gif of a boy holding thumbs up with fireworks because he can create awesome online courses

If you think about your online course with the right mindset and you put enough focus on each step, you can create a profitable online course. You can see success with your online course. You won’t have to worry about failing or going under or losing out on a massive customer base.


You’ll be able to see the success of your online course coming through in your bank account tenfold. And that’s always the goal here, right? To make enough passive income that you can run your business while still getting that quality time with friends and family?

Don’t answer that. I already know it’s a yes.

when you create online courses - avoid these mistakes like the plague!

Check out the episode below:

So basically, I just want to prime you on a few common mistakes course creators make, and how you can avoid those. Because you want your course to be successful, and I want your course to be successful!

1. They don’t think of their course as a project.

When course creators start to think about building their first online course, they don’t realize all of the pieces that have to go into the content creation puzzle.

It’s not just writing the content and you’re done with it.

Oh, no, my friend. Far from it.

You have to create your course outline. Flesh out the content. Create accompanying videos or slideshows. Determine where your course content is going to live. Build out the website you’re housing your content on. Promote your course. Sell your course. Update and improve your course as time goes on and industry information changes.

Building an online course is not a one-and-done type of deal.

It’s a project. It needs project management. It probably needs a team effort. You need your content creator. You need your tech guys to help set up your hosting, your landing pages, and import your course content. You need to make the time to record your videos or voiceovers.

Make sure you put the time and effort required into your online course, because it can make you a lot of money in the long run.

2. They don’t know how to teach.

You don’t need professional training in education in order to create a successful and informative online course.

However, you do need to know how to teach your topic to people who know little to nothing about it.

Even someone who is an absolute expert in their field can fail when it comes to teaching someone else. So what do you do?

1. Create a clear outline or curriculum for your course.

Knowing the perfect course of action for your students is number one. Lay out the foundation for learning all of the necessary skills to do what you do. Creating your course outline is the most important part of the entire course creation.

I mean, without an outline, your course could lose its direction and stop making sense to your students (similar to blog content creation). So it’s a no brainer that your online course outline is step number one for creating a successful online course.

2. Create actionable course content.

Don’t fill your online course with fluff. That’s not valuable for anyone, and it’s a waste of your time.

Instead, focus only on filling your online course with actionable content that your students can implement and learn from while they’re actually going through your course. You want to leave your students feeling like they’ve got something new to do each time they finish up a module or lesson.

Yes, it’s time consuming. But don’t forget, this is a project.

3. Be passionate about your topic.

If you start recording your videos and you don’t input the passion you have for your topic into your voice (or you don’t have passion for your topic), your students aren’t going to get it. They’re not going to feel like this is important, or like they really need to learn it.

If you’re not passionate in your marketing materials, your landing pages, and your lead magnets, people aren’t going to sign up to join your email list, and they’re certainly not going to buy your course.

So it works both ways. Be passionate about your topic before people buy your course and after.

Because no one likes a boring teacher.

Determine whether you’re a charismatic leader or more of an attractive character, and teach with certainty!

4. Let your students teach each other.

You don’t have to do all the work! Why not let your students mingle and start to teach each other as well?

Creating a community around your course is a great way to culminate an environment for people to discuss your course content. Start a Facebook Group or a Slack Community specifically for your students. Hop in to answer questions every now and then (consider hosting an Ask Me Anything or Facebook Live once a week or so), but allow your students to lead the conversation for the most part.

5. Rinse and repeat.

Just because your students have read your course material, listened to your videos, and engaged in your community, doesn’t necessarily mean that they have learned everything. Come up with fun and engaging ways to repeat what you’ve said.

Create quizzes throughout your course or provide worksheets for your students to work through each module themselves. Just reading and listening isn’t always enough for people. You need to ensure you’re repetitive throughout your course, especially about the core topics, to know that someone has really learned the material.

3. They put too much into one course.

We’ve talked about this before: your course needs to be narrowed down to teaching your students how to do one specific thing.

You absolutely do not want to cover too many topics in one single course. If you go information overload, you’re going to bombard your students and they’ll finish your course feeling overwhelmed rather than excited and informed.

And that is definitely not how you want your students to feel.

When you pinpoint your course topic, you need to ensure you’re only covering the information necessary to learning that specific topic. Leave the rest of the information in your brain for a blog post, an ebook, or a second course.

This, of course, goes back to creating a course outline or curriculum. You need to think beforehand about what should go into your course that is essential information.

If it’s not essential? It’s not included.

Take a look at this example of a course topic that goes from generic to hyper-specific:

GENERIC: Teaching People About Healthy Food
MORE SPECIFIC: Teaching Busy Mom’s How To Cook Simple Meals
BINGO: The Super Simple Cooking Course For Busy Vegetarian Moms 5 Ingredients or Less!

You want to cover one specific thing in your course so your students learn it fully.

4. They try to sell before they create.

One trend I see all of the time is course creators telling people to start selling their course before they’ve even begun the creation process.

And this can work sometimes, but for most people, it’s a bad idea.


Well, because the creation process is everchanging.

And this isn’t just for course content. It’s the creation process for everything.

Ask an artist if every single one of their paintings or sculptures has turned out exactly the way they planned it from the beginning. Chances are, their ideas changed or adapted throughout the creation process, and they very well could have ended up with something completely different.

When you start creating a new blog post, is the end product exactly what you’d envisioned before you even started researching? No, you likely had a lot more ideas come through as you did the research on your topic, and perhaps even switched up the main point of your blog post.

Although not everything is going to change completely, the creation process is, well, a process, and it tends to end with a final product that’s not a carbon copy of the initial idea.

And when you start selling your course before you’e even begun to create it, you’re selling something that doesn’t exist, and that may never exist.

Furthermore, you don’t want to overload your plate with tasks. As we’ve already covered, several times now, this course is a project. Your full attention should be on creating the content and ensuring it’s perfect and that it teaches your students step-by-step how to do something.

Only once you’ve perfected your outline and created your overall content should you consider moving onto the selling stage.

5. They don’t listen to their audience.

Determining who your audience is and what they want from you is a huge process to take in your business. Knowing exactly who will be interested in your product or service and how it can help make their lives easier helps you understand exactly who you’re marketing to. It shapes your business voice, your website and social copy, your marketing materials, and even your course content.

Because you only want to create course content that your audience is actually interested in and will actually buy from you.

If you spend 50+ hours creating an online course that your target audience isn’t even interested in, you have completely wasted hours of your time and thousands of dollars of your money. Don’t do that. Make sure you have a clear understanding of who your audience is and what they want from you before you begin your course creation.

And if you just have no idea what your audience wants from you, or you just want to stay on the safe side (because we all want your online course to be a success), try sending out a reader survey.

What is a reader survey, Master Kevin?

Well, my little grasshopper, it’s a really freaking fantastic way to get direct comments, insight, and feedback from your audience.

Create a reader survey with direct questions for your audience to get to know them a little better, and to get a better understanding of what specifically they’d like to learn about you. I dive deeper into creating a reader survey in this blog post here, and you can see a few of the example questions I recommend sending out to your audience.

Sending out a reader survey can be a great way to find your most profitable online course topic, but it can also be a great step to take to ensure the success of your online course. When you hear what your audience wants directly from the source, it helps you know you’re going in the right direction.

I mean, you’ve got people telling you that yes, they would buy an online course on this specific topic. That’s already a customer who’s ready to buy before you’ve even created your course. Keep a note of that so you can reach out to them individually when your course is ready to be marketed and sold.

If you’re not sure how to get started with a customer survey, Typeform is a great tool for creating gorgeous forms and surveys.

Creating a successful online course isn’t impossible and it doesn’t have to be hard. You simply need to understand that it’s a big undertaking, but with its income potential, it’s not something you want to take lightly. Teach yourself how to teach, let your students teach each other, and make sure you cover your topic entirely, but without fluff and overwhelm.

Don’t want to mess up? Hey, I completely understand. That’s why I’ve created this freebie to help ensure you do XYZ. Because I want to see you thrive in creating your own profitable and successful online course.



These are the EXACT same secrets I used to create my own business plan that filled me with purpose, profit + more freedom!

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!