7 Shocking Reasons Why Your Course is Not Selling

Creating an online course is really a great way to make passive income. The online course market is a multi-billion dollar market that’s exponentially growing as more and more people are turning to the digital space to learn new skills and expand their knowledge.

However, as profitable as the industry is, there are creators who still struggle to sell their courses.

It can be disheartening to spend several hours, weeks, or even months to create a course, and when you launch it… no one buys it!

This is due to certain steps you may have overlooked in the course of creating or marketing your course. Here are some reasons your course is not selling and how to fix it.

1. Not validating your course idea

Validating your course idea is a very critical step when it comes to course creation. This simply means running a mini-test to ensure your audience is interested in your course. It could be by running an online poll, asking your audience what they want to learn from you, or simply pre-launching your course.

Creating a course based on the assumption that your audience will want to learn about that topic is not healthy enough for the sale of your course. It’s an easy way to create what no one is interested in.

How do you validate your course idea?

Start by pre-launching your course before creating it. This means selling your course online when it’s still in the preparation stage to build anticipation for it. Also, it’s a great way to generate cash flow while your course is still in the works.

Other ways to validate your course idea are:

  • Search for primary keywords people will be interested in.
  • Ask questions on discussion forums and social media platforms.
  • Check your competition pages
  • Ask your past students and clients questions.

Read this post on our blog to learn more on how to pre-launch your course.

2. Attracting the wrong audience

Great product + Good marketing + Target audience = Sales.

Missing out any of these factors will result in little or low sales. Your audience is at the forefront of your marketing.

When you have difficulty in selling it’s either one of three things, you have a bad product, you’re not marketing as you should, or you’re selling to the wrong people.

Also, when people don’t buy, it’s either because your course is too expensive or too cheap for them so they don’t see the need to pay money in exchange for the course.

Yes! The idea might be what they are interested in but the course content and topic is not for them.

For instance, you might think that a course on “Managing Social Media pages” might be right for social media managers, but social media managers think they already know how to manage pages, a better audience would be people who are just about to start their career in social media management, someone that’s just interested in starting any career in the digital space, or small business owners who do not have the luxury of hiring a social media manager.

How do you attract the right audience for your course?

  • Analyze your target market right from the start.
  • Understand the content of your course and know who exactly the course would add more value to.
  • Clearly state the tangible results people will get from your course.

Most course creators make the mistake of just talking about the features of their course, and not how it translates into benefit for the customer.

People don’t buy features, they buy a transformation. People want to know who they will become after going through your course. They don’t want to know if the course has 1000 modules, 100 videos, or worksheets, what they want to know is if the course will take them from level 0 to level 1.

While promoting your course, sell the transformation your course will give them and clearly state where they would be after taking your course.

LEARN: How to Identify Your Target Audience as a Digital Creator

3. Having a complicated payment method

We all know how hard it is to make money, so spending should not be hard too. Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned money in a stressful way.

When creating your course, ensure you use a payment platform that makes it easy for people to pay for the course through a click of a button.

Also, ensure your payment platform is safe and secure. This makes Selar a better option as you can host your courses and get paid securely without losses. As an African creator, you can receive payments from customers abroad without waiting for long.

The easier it is to pay, the more your customer is willing to make payment.

4. Not pricing your course right

There’s no one secret formula to the price tag you can place on your course. It all differs from individual to individual. Determining the price of your course is dependent on several factors.

If you price your course too low, your audience might feel it’s not worth it and if you price it too high, it might scare people off from buying your course especially if you are a newbie in the digital marketing space.

Hence there are a few things to consider before setting your course price.

  • Competitors research: Check out your competitors, and do some research to know the prices they are selling their courses and how people are buying them. 
  • Current audience research: Ask your audience questions by creating a survey to know the price your audience would be willing to pay for your course.
  • Course value quantification: Quantify the value of your course. Know the value your students will be getting from going through the course. If the value is very high then the price should be in accordance. For instance, if you know your course is going to help people seal a 6 figure contract deal, then it’s easy to sell that course at a premium price because the value is high.
  • Market credibility/authority: A market leader can sell a premium-priced course without struggling, but a newbie won’t find it easy to sell a premium-priced course. You need to know where you stand in the market, this will help you to know the particular price to place on your products.

5. Not having an “Irresistible Offer”

People don’t buy products, they buy offers. Nobody is buying your course because you are not creating an offer. 

When marketing your course to your audience, you don’t market your course only, put together a “package” or several bonuses, that would make your course irresistible for people.

For instance, let’s assume you are selling a weight loss course titled “How to lose 15kg in 30 days”. That is the course.

Now, your bonuses can now be:

  • 30-day daily workout worksheet
  • 15-minute free consultation with a weight loss coach
  • 30% discount on weight loss kit
  • Free admission into the weight loss community.

Can you see the difference? 

The addition of these bonuses to your course is what is termed as having an “irresistible offer”.

6. Not employing urgency and scarcity

When there is no deadline, procrastination is bound to happen. 

When you don’t give your audience a reason to “buy now”, they will keep on postponing their purchase till they never return to buy and this is one of the reasons why your course is not selling.

So how do you fix this?

This can be fixed by putting an authentic urgency in your sales funnel. This can be achieved by;

  • Telling your audience the price will go up on said date or,
  • The course won’t be available for purchase for a particular period of time or,
  • The course is only open to a particular number of students.

This will prompt your audience to take action fast because who wants the deadline gate to close upon them by the way?!

7. Not having an audience before launching your course

If you really want your course to sell out massively, start building your audience right from the moment the idea of the course pops up.

This will help you have a list of potential students in advance who are willing to enroll in your course once it’s ready.

By building your audience beforehand, you will have time to nurture them and they will have developed trust in you that you are capable of teaching them.

How can you build your audience before launching your course?

The best and most successful way to build your audience is by building an email list.

You get people to subscribe to that list by giving them something for free (lead magnet), once they’ve successfully subscribed, you start sending them useful content, in relation to the course, via email.

This will help showcase your knowledge and expertise which is a good way to begin.

Once you are consistent in delivering valuable content to them, you have built a relationship that makes them trust you.

Another way to grow your audience is to create a course wait-list group where you highlight the benefits of the course, testimonials, etc. to the student before the course launches.

Generally, ensure you have people who are ready to buy before you launch a course.


By now, you can understand better the reasons why your course is not selling. These are simple things we overlook in the process of course creation.

Ensure that when you are ready to create a new course, you put everything in place to help you sell out massively. 

And if you’re ready to host your course on a platform that makes it easy for your students to access it, and for you to receive payments, host your courses on Selar.