Creating an online course is a BIG undertaking. The journey to profitable course creation can be a bumpy one with lots of twists and turns along the way. And before you can start going the right direction, you have to first STOP going the wrong direction. Right? 

My goal is to make the journey as smooth as possible for you (how about that extended travel metaphor though), and that’s why I’m tackling the four biggest MISTAKES course creators make when they’re creating and launching online courses. 

Curious about these four big mistakes online course creators make? Wondering if you might be guilty of a few (or all)? Keep reading for the full scoop.

top 4 mistakes online course creators make

So, online courses are awesome! (But you probably know this.)

Sharing your skills, your strategies, and your systems with those who need them the most — that is always a good thing.

No longer swapping hours for dollars? YES! 

Having a limitless capacity to scale your income and impact? Absolutely!

But how do we create and launch an online course the right way? And IS there even a right way?

It all boils down to avoiding four big mistakes online course creators make. 

And if you want to see the video about these four mistakes online course creators make, here is the link! Enjoy!

(Want more episodes of The Courtney Show? Click here to check out our Youtube channel!)

The Top 4 Mistakes Online Course Creators Make


Mistake #1: Using the excuse that “someone has already created a course just like mine.”


I see this concern A LOT, but…spoiler alert: Of course they have! It’s totally possible — even likely — that someone else out there already has a course like yours. 

The good news? This proves there’s already a market for it. 

And I’ll take it a step further: Competition is confirmation.

Your course idea is validated. We can work with that. This is good.

But maybe you’re thinking “Why would someone buy my course when someone else out there already went before me and created a similar course?” 

Because, while the course topic might be the same or similar, the teacher is different. That means different perspectives, different teaching styles. Different people who might be teaching the same or similar things, but they’re coming at it from different backgrounds, experiences, and with different talents and skills. 

And of course, some students will resonate with you more than others and vice versa. So letting the fear that someone else has already created a course like yours – letting that be something to stop you from creating your course is, quite frankly, silly. And, it’s causing you to withhold something that the rest of the world needs — and that is you

You are the only you in all the world. So, don’t keep that course to yourself, no matter how saturated you think that your market is. Competition is confirmation.

Take my free class "The 6-Step System to a Profitable Online Course"

Mistake #2: Assuming you need an established audience to create and sell a course.


This is a huge misconception, and it causes a lot of people to sit on their brilliant course ideas and not get them out there to those who need them the most. So don’t do that. If you’re waiting until your audience is a certain size to create your course, you’re wasting your time. There is no magical number that is necessary for you to put your course out there and start selling it to people. 

In fact, with what I teach my students inside The Course Course, you don’t need an audience at all. Now of course, if you want to make money off of your course, you have to have customers. But you can actually grow your course waitlist by simultaneously promoting your course. 

And if that sounds mystical and mysterious, then you definitely need to check out my program, The Course Course. Because I teach you how to do all of the things from validating your course idea to creating your course to marketing it and selling it. 

But above all, you don’t necessarily need an audience of a certain size; you need a strategy. And you need to take action. 


Mistake #3: Getting stuck in analysis-paralysis.


What I mean is letting all of the decisions that you have to make to create and sell your course be the thing that deters you from actually creating and selling your course. 

And look, I get it. There are a lot of decisions that have to be made.

Decisions like… 

How to structure your lessons, whether you need to do video or slideshow what do you need to provide workbooks their words, whether you should do a self-hosted platform and make your own thing or use an external platform, whether you should open and close your cart or make your course always available, whether you should drip access or give instant access, and then don’t get me started on payment plans, pricing, pricing tiers, payment processors, blah blah blobbity blah likchdvwerfbhqbregrekegc. Whew.

And so on.

It’s a lot. I understand.

But the important thing to remember here is that no course-related decision is permanent.

You can always adjust or change something in the future, you can always update a course, you can always switch platforms, and so on. But you need to get unstuck and get out of analysis-paralysis. Because your students need you. 

So, I like to tell my students that they need to chill. And just choose. #ChillAndChoose

If I had it my way, I would want you to make all the logistical decisions about your course in just a day. Heck, even just an hour or two, then move on. 

You can change your mind in the future, but most importantly, you just need to get your course out there. Beta now; Better later.

Join the Course Creator Incubator Facebook group for course creators and business owners!

Mistake #4: Skipping steps in the course creation process by not first validating your course idea.


Just like when you do a complex math equation, there’s an order of operations. Such is the case when you go to create and sell a course. You need to do this before you do that and so on.

When I talk to struggling course creators — emphasis on the struggling part — what I often uncover is that they skipped a few steps, namely the validation step. 

When you skip steps and go out of order, that means wasted time, energy, and money.

(Speaking of, I actually have a proven, six-step system to create a successful, profitable online course — the same one I’ve used to generate over $1 million and counting in online course sales. If you want to check out all six steps of that system, you can head over to to watch my free workshop!)

But, before we wrap this up, I want to talk a bit more about one of the earlier steps: Validating your course idea.

Now, validating is so SO important because we don’t want to go through the trouble of creating a course… only to find out no one wants it or needs it. After all, creating a course is a big undertaking, and it requires time and energy (and sometimes even money). All things that we don’t want to waste. So, we validate.

You may feel that you have the finger on the pulse of your audience’s needs, you might be just so sure that people will want your course, but you could be wrong. And if you don’t first validate your course idea, you could end up wasting a lot of resources trying to figure it out.

Validating means actually going out there and asking people about and around the topic of your course. Getting into their needs and wants and desires. Not data-mining Facebook groups that aren’t yours or asking people yes or no questions. Boo to binary when you are validating a course idea! We ask open-ended questions. Always.

So, not “Would you be interested in a course of unicorn husbandry?” Because you’re only going to get a “yes” or “no” or a “maybe” out of that, and that’s not good enough. That’s data that isn’t truly helpful.

(Though my answer is YES. I am here for it. I would like to take that course, thank you very much.)

So, you want to have real conversations with real people where you can actually hear their answers and get their feedback. We can’t edit as easily when we are talking as when we are typing, and when you actually talk to someone and can hear the emotion in their voice, then you’ll get to the truth of whether or not your course is really needed. 

(And yes, introverts, I’m one of you. I get you. And you need to validate in this way, too! It won’t be the worst thing you ever do. Promise. It’s actually pretty great once you do it.)

The added bonus is that when you validate your course idea way, a lot of your copy is actually written for you. They’re giving you the words that you need to use in your emails and your social media posts and in your sales pages — their same words that speak to their pain points, their problems, their wants, and their needs.

So, we validate first, and for lots of good reasons.

Then, you outline your course, promote it, sell it, and finally, you create it. Yes, you create after you sell. This is better both for your business and for the student. And if that made you raise an eyebrow or you want the full scoop on the concept of selling before creating, then I need you at my next free class. You can go sign up right now at

Take my free class "The 6-Step System to a Profitable Online Course"

So, that’s it for today. Those are four of a few mistakes online course creators make. To re-cap:

Mistake #1: Using the excuse that “someone has already created a course just like mine.” Spoiler alert: They have. This is good news. There’s a market for it. And competition is confirmation.

Mistake #2: Assuming you need an established audience to create and sell a course. You don’t. Well, you do. But there’s no magic number. And, like I teach my students, you can always sell your course while simultaneously growing your audience. It can be done.

Mistake #3: Getting stuck in analysis-paralysis with all of the decisions regarding course creation and launching. If you’re all about that squirrel life then cut it out! 

Ok, but seriously, no course decisions is permanent. Just chill. And choose. Beta now. Better later.

And finally, Mistake #4: Going out of order, skipping steps, and not validating your idea.

Just like in math, there’s an order of operations with course creation, and it starts with validating your idea. Not through binary questions or polls or surveys, but through real, live conversations. After all, we don’t want you to create a course, only to find out no one wants or needs it. So we validate by talking to people to get to the truth.

So, now that you know what not to do, you can stop making those mistakes, and start taking action. If any of those mistakes were holding you back before, I hope you can put that aside and move forward.

If you’ve got a course idea, let’s get it out of your head and into the world — where it belongs. It’s needed. It matters. And it’s time to share that course with those who need it the most.

Pin it so you have it for later:

4 costly mistakes that online course creators make

Want help creating and launching your online course? Let me help! (It’s what I do!) You need to check out my free class, “The 6-Step System to a Profitable Online Course.” Save your seat HERE.


I’m here to help you build, grow, and scale your business.

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