Every online course doesn’t succeed. It’s a hard truth and definitely not one you probably want to hear when you’re thinking about creating your own.

However, many online courses fail simply because of a few mistakes the creators make along the way. Luckily, you get to learn what not to do before you ever get started.

While these reasons might surprise you, avoid them and your course will get an A+. Otherwise, you might just get a big red F stamped on your online course.

1. No One’s Interested

Validate. It’s a simple word, but one that far too many online course creators ignore. No matter what type of business venture you’re embarking on, you have to validate the idea first. Sadly, some course creators who already teach offline students, think course validation doesn’t matter. It always matters.

Do you really want to spend months creating a course only to find out that no one’s interested in taking it? No. It could be the best course ever, but without any interest, it’s not going to work. Just think if a budding musician only released music on cassette. It wouldn’t go over too well since the target audience prefers digital, CD and even vinyl.

2. Skipping Marketing

Surprisingly, many online courses fail because there’s zero marketing. Believe it or not, there are actually online course creators making over a million dollars a year. Why? Well, they validated the heck out of their ideas, but they marketed it too. Yep, you’re not just creating a course. To be most successful, you’ll  also want to create a marketing campaign. 

Don’t worry. It’s not that scary. If you’re serious about earning from your online courses, consider taking a few courses on online marketing. It’s a worthwhile investment to ensure your own courses don’t get a big F.

3. Pricing Way Too High (Or Low)

You’d think it’d be the course material that would make or break a course, right? Well, that definitely has an impact, but the price could actually be the downfall of a great course. Online courses fail when they’re not priced just right. Think about poor little Goldilocks. She needed everything “just right.” Then again, maybe she was just incredibly picky.

Still, pricing too high or too low drives students away. If it’s too high, it’s not accessible. If it’s too low, students think the content might not be worth their time.

eLearning Industry provides a few great tips to help you with pricing, including:

  • Scope out the competition
  • Consider the course content (more in-depth content and longer courses equal higher pricing)
  • Cheap is better than free (unless you’re providing a free preview, such as Lesson 1 for free)

It’s a balancing act, but it could be the difference between that coveted A and an F.

4. Not Proofing The Material

You’d be surprised at how many online courses fail simply because no one proofed the material. For instance, a quiz might be impossible because the answers don’t make sense. Plus, a course filled with grammatical errors isn’t going to inspire confidence in students. Instead of being happy with the course, students might ask for refunds or leave negative feedback. Either way, it gives you a bad reputation. 

A few boo-boos are understandable, but numerous ones are unforgivable. Take the extra time to proof your course. It’s well worth it to avoid failing. 

5. It’s Already Been Done To Death

It’s a common saying that everything’s already on the Internet. To an extent, that’s true. Odds are, your online course idea probably already exists in some form. However, you don’t have to do the exact same thing. For instance, you could probably throw a virtual rock and hit 1000 “how to write a novel” courses. So why would someone take yours?

When so many identical courses exist, students tend to take the more established ones with the most feedback. Avoid the big F by doing something different. For instance, try “how to write a novel about vampires without any glitter involved.” When you focus your course on something specific, it becomes unique and much more competitive. 

Bonus: Not Listening To Feedback

Finally, it’s important to remember that feedback is everything. Even if you’ve got 100 students to sign up, this doesn’t mean you’re successful. Online courses fail even after they seem successful. If the feedback is negative from those 100 students, pay attention. In fact, pay attention to any negative feedback or constructive criticism. This is your chance to improve the course. 

Even when your course is online, you’re still able to work on it. In your marketing, you could even say you’ve improved the material, just so new students know you’ve addressed previous feedback.

Ready to create an online course that gets an A? Start out by working with me today. I’ll answer your questions and guide you to becoming the successful online educator you’ve always wanted to be.

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