Online Courses

#141: The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Launching Their First Course

Share Post

OMG I love creating courses and then spending all my time marketing them and watching them not sell!!” … said no one ever.

Courses sound SO great when you’re first starting out. 

Then you try to do one for yourself. And you realize why so many of them just don’t sell well.

Here’s the truth: most courses won’t sell well. But yours absolutely can. 

Join us today to learn the 5 biggest mistakes we see with people launching their first course — it’s a must-read if you’re launching (or re-launching!) a course this year.


Done right, courses are incredible. 

They’re a great way to share your expertise at scale, they can be, quite literally, life-changing, and they’re a wonderful way to diversify your income streams and make you some extremely sexy passive income.

Just one problem … almost no one knows how to do them right.

And when they’re done wrong, they’re done really, really wrong.

It’s no surprise that the online course industry has a bit of a shady rep, we’ve all enrolled in a course at one time or another and ended up with nothing to show for it but a half-finished slide deck and a “workbook” that’s just a Word doc with some clip art and fancy formatting.

The worst part of all of this is, so many of the mistakes we see with courses are really preventable!

That’s why I’m going through the 5 biggest mistakes I see people make with new courses. They won’t help you fix everything about your course — but knowing them will definitely keep you from making the worst and most costly of the course-related mistakes.

Oh and while we’re talking courses — you know that eCourse Empire can help you create and run courses without feeling like you’re pushing a thousand boulders up a thousand hills, right?

Applications for this cohort close THIS FRIDAY, so if you’re ready to learn how to do courses right, be sure to check it out here.

Now, onto the mistakes.

Mistake #1: Making a kitchen sink course.

Ah the good old kitchen sink course. You know, the one that has an online program, then throw basically everything into it.

There’s 17,000 video modules, 8 bonuses, a workbook for every quarter, a reading list, a membership group, your mom’s phone number for emergency support, and oh yes, an actual kitchen sink.

OK so it might not be that bad … but you know what I’m talking about.

Now, people make courses like this out of good intentions. They want to show that they’ve put a lot of work into it, and deliver value and go above and beyond.

But here’s the secret: the most successful and useful courses are actually very simple, and very streamlined.

That’s what people need. They don’t need (or want) to be firehosed with a whole bunch of info out the gate, they want to have the fewest and most important steps they need to get them from A – Z. (Or maybe only A – B if that’s where they’re at!)

Mistake #2: Teaching something you’re not an expert in … yet.

This one can hit people right in the feels, because you can be SO passionate about something and want to share it SO badly, and people want to learn it, so why shouldn’t you?

You shouldn’t.

If you’re still a learner yourself, then you’ve no business positioning yourself as an expert and teaching someone else how to master what you’re still mastering. Doing so just perpetuates all the bad stereotypes about the dark side of online courses.

Now, before the impostor syndrome really sets in…

This does NOT mean that you have to be the very best in the world, ever, before you’re able to teach anything. But you need to have put in the hours. You need to have done the reps. You need to be able to show where you’ve actually been able to help people get somewhere.

If you’re at the point where you’ve mastered steps 1 – 3, teach that. But don’t get good at 1 – 3 and then just assume you can teach 4 – 24. And, when you’re doing this, be transparent about it. Tell your cohort that you’re new at this, or that the bounds of your expertise run to this point but not that.

Mistake #3: Not having anyone to launch to.

AKA the “if you build it, they will come” mistake. 

This is not how online courses work. Trying to launch a course just because it’s the future, or it’s the way that you want to get to 6, 7, 8 figures in your business, is going to leave you with egg on your face.

So what can you do if you’re currently audience-less?

The old school way of doing things was that you needed to work for a couple of years and build up your list until you had a couple thousand people to launch to. But that takes  a long time and you don’t actually have to list-build and then launch in a strict order. 

What we recommend in eCourse Empire is what we call the Ignite method, where you build your list and launch at the same time so you can make sales way faster. You can target it for a larger or smaller audience, and kind of play with the dials between launching and building as you see what works for your business. (Wayyyyyy more on this in eCourse Empire!)

Now the two last ones are the biggest and baddest … so be sure to listen to the podcast, where I walk you right through them. (And tell you how to avoid letting these mistakes tank your course!)

Now if you’ve made any … or all … of these mistakes, don’t worry!

Just like everything else in business, courses are a learning curve, and now you know better.

And remember, we’re here to help! eCourse Empire is just about to start its next round — in fact, applications close this week — so make sure you check it out. 

Click here for more info and to apply

We would loooooooveeee to have you in the cohort and see you get that course out into the world right the first time 🙂

Wish there was a way you could basically guarantee you would make sales, the second you opened your cart?










hire a funnel pro