Archy Paid Courses

6 Reasons Why Your Online Course Isn’t Selling (and How to Avoid Them)

Neil Burmester

The online course market has been growing faster than ever over the past few years, with millions of potential students turning to the internet to learn new skills.

In fact, in terms of economics, the eLearning industry is projected to reach $376 billion by 2026!

This is great news for those who are looking to educate others through selling online courses.

You want to start creating an online course that will sell. You have the course idea, you have the content and a perfect plan in place, but nothing’s happening.

It can be frustrating when you’ve poured so much time into something only for it not to pay off. So what are some of the most common reasons why people don’t buy? And how can you avoid them?

1. Your course is too expensive

2. You don’t have a clear, concise message about what your course will do for the student

3. Your marketing is minimal or poor

4. The course content is too broad

5. There are no testimonials or reviews of your online courses

6. Not enough course content

This may seem a bit overwhelming but all 6 of these points can all be avoided with a little bit of planning, and the Archy Learning team will show you how!

1. Your course is too expensive

For the most part, people are looking for value when they are considering online courses.

Therefore when your course price is set very high, you’re giving off the impression that it’s not worth it and encouraging a potential customer to look elsewhere for educational services.

Try offering a satisfying free trial on your sales page, or lowering your premium price to something more approachable in order to make the course content more accessible to an audience who may want to purchase your content in the future.

Choosing the price for your sales page can be a daunting task, especially before you’ve even made your first sale. How do you price your services at the right level?

If you price too low, your course will fill a potential customer with doubt that it will reach their educational needs, if you price too high, it’ll be hard to justify to viewers why they should fork over so much money when there are other courses floating around the internet covering the same course topic.

To set the right price, make sure you are focused on building a credible brand around yourself. Course creators need to essentially sell themselves at the end of the day, so developing podcast episodes, writing blogs or a guest article, creating a Facebook group, whatever needs to be done to build a presence that is revered online is essential.

Course creators also need to do lots of market research around what their competitors are charging in course sales and find a price that fits comfortably in between their online brand value and what the sales pages of competitors reflect.

Something else that helps with pricing an online program, is to gather feedback from not only those who have purchased, but also those who have abandoned carts, and ask what caused them to not take the leap!

Implement the feedback accordingly. Once you begin creating more credibility, you can increase your course prices.

2. You don’t have a clear, concise message about what your course will do for the student

If you want to sell an online course, one of the most important things is to clearly communicate exactly what the course will do for your students.

For example, if your course idea is to teach people how to set up their own organic food delivery business then you need to validate your course to your audience, by showing them results from other students who have previously completed the course and have seen success as a result.

This way there’s no confusion about what a potential audience can expect when taking your online course topic.

If you don’t have clear messaging about what an online course does or doesn’t do, course sales will most likely remain stagnant because of a lack of clarity.

Your audience usually wants to know the difference between your course idea and other products from course creators in your field, so being specific with the course is key.

This is also why it’s important to implement the feedback given by your previous customers!

If people are saying that they’re confused about what you can provide them, then take note of this. Work with their feedback and create a clear message surrounding your online course.

You’ll find that once you have done so, conversions will increase and more students will be willing to put money down on a well-outlined course description.

3. Your marketing is minimal or poor

The importance of promoting your online course can never be overstated. Without a good marketing strategy in place, course creators will struggle to sell their content.

To put it frankly, without marketing, an online course will flounder in the shadows of all of the other courses that are seeing sales and success due to being marketed effectively.

To market a successful online program you need to be active on social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram where there is a large community with people who may be interested in your product.

These social sites are tools in which you can use your ad spend to push whatever promotional material you’ve created to start building awareness with your target audience.

Driving market traffic to your website or sales page is the number one way to create sales for your online course.

4. The course content is too broad

A mistake that many creators make is forgetting they need a target audience in mind before they sell their courses.

When creating an online course, it’s important to have a target market in mind. This way, you can create a course that is relevant and useful to that group of people. If you don’t have a target market, your course content will be too broad and won’t be as effective.

Building a course with a target market in mind also helps to make sure that your marketing is more effective.

You can create specific ads and promotional materials that target that group of people and avoid actively wasting money on demographics that are of no interest.

Having a target market also helps to make sure that your content is relevant and useful to students.

When the content is relevant, students are more likely to finish the course, which is another important step in creating a course that doesn’t just make initial sales but continues selling due to the social proof of former students completing the course.

5. There are no testimonials or reviews of your online courses

If you are struggling to sell an online course, have you considered collecting testimonials? A testimonial post is a great example for potential customers to understand if they’re likely to see the same results.

Your testimonials should come from previous students who have taken your course, not just friends or family members.

It’s typically best to showcase your testimonial at the top of your business website or sales page for maximum exposure.

You want the audience to be able to see what students are saying about you and your course. This gives a sense of what they’re in for without having to conduct thorough research across other pages.

You can also display testimonials on socials, in emails, or anywhere where people are able to view them.

Testimonial messages are a great way of selling your online course to the right audience without being too overt.

To get testimonials, have a feedback form at the end of your course or send one to your email list.

Once you find an example or two of students that talk about the course in a positive light, having those glowing reviews on your landing page will help dispel any doubt from interested students and give them an idea of what they can expect.

6. Not enough course content

This point is quite a simple one. If you have a lot of course content out there, people are going to be more inclined to buy your courses.

The more convincing the content, the better it is at attracting buyers. Having more course content makes it easier for students to evaluate whether or not they should commit to the course. Students don’t want to worry about paying full price for a class that isn’t what they’re looking for.

Since people want value for money with courses, having very little content is unappealing. It is highly unlikely that students would be willing to purchase a surface-level look at a topic.

If you’re light on content because your course is still a work in progress, be sure to notify viewers.

Alternatively, it may be in your best interest to spend more time developing your work before publishing and promoting it.


Your online course may not be selling as well as you want because of a few common mistakes.

In this blog post, we’ve outlined some of the reasons why courses sometimes struggle to sell. I hope that you can avoid them by implementing our tips into your next project.

We’re always happy to chat with potential clients about how Archy can help build an amazing online course from scratch! We love helping our customers succeed – so don’t hesitate to reach out anytime!

For more blogs like this one, you can see our articles here, and if you’re ready to begin creating your own online course, what’s stopping you? Start for free with Archy Learning today.

Neil Burmester

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