Online courses have become a great way to create a passive income, however, it isn’t always as easy as everyone who’s ever launched one can tell you… especially that first one.

“If you aren’t embarrassed of the first version of your product, you released too late.”

-Reid Hoffman

When it comes to courses, it takes more than just a few videos and some content in order for people to buy. You have to lead them down a path of freely offered value and build a tribe. It’s a bit more than throwing up course content on a site. You have to attract them, entertain them, get them to trust you and then find value in what you are offering or your course is just off in cyber-space where no one can find it.

So here’s a few things that you can check if your course ain’t selling…

Your list

The money is always in the list you build. If you took no time building an email list, then you have lost many opportunities to win their trust, offer value and put your course directly in their inbox. If you aren’t capturing an email at least for emailing later, then it’s as if you caught a fish when they came to your site or social media and then keep letting them go. In order to get that fish’s attention now, you have to find them all over again. Don’t do that. Get their information.

One note about lists: Size doesn’t always matter. It’s the quality of the people that are on your list, not the quantity that matters. It is better to have 300 qualified tribe members (meaning they are really interested in what you offer) than 30,000 that don’t even know who you are.

Course Content and Format

The best course-creators have one thing in common. They listen. They don’t create a course before they KNOW that they have an audience for it. They build their courses off of their tribe’s needs. They know their audience because they spend a lot of time asking questions and listening to what they have to say. So the course is built for the audience. This means that you don’t have to search for and build the audience that fits your course later, which may be challenging to do. Instead, you have an audience already waiting.


A funnel helps people find your course by offering value related or in the course to them. You can read more about funnels HERE. The important thing about passive income is that you don’t want to have to maintain it – it should run on its own. The problem when we don’t build a funnel is that we always have to be advertising it and getting it to people ad


Testimonials sell courses. It’s one thing to hear from the creator what is in a course, it’s completely different to hear it from someone who invests their time in taking it. If this is a new course, get some beta testers or guinea pigs to check it out for you and give you feedback. Word of mouth is always the best sales tool.


Copy is a tricky thing. The better you know your audience the less testing you have to do. However, there is always testing involved. The important thing is to test one thing at a time so you know what it triggering the outcome. Test everything that brings them to you. If that is ads, social media, or however they get to you, test it and give a couple versions to see what gets the most clicks and conversions. Then move on to the landing page copy, headers, images etc. Passive income funnels take a lot of testing up front, but that’s so you can set it and forget it.

One more note – also test the entire process yourself. Click and go through the line you want them to and even make a purchase. There’s nothing worse than people who are trying to sign up and the payment button isn’t working. So test all the clicks to ensure your funnel is working properly.

Final thoughts:

Of course, it could be a million reasons why people aren’t buying your course, but these are the most common that I see. Course creation is popular so there’s a lot of competition. When you ensure the above are working to their best ability to the right audience, you will be miles ahead of most of your competition who may think that just putting the course content together will bring your audience.

Need some help in identifying your struggle? Let’s chat. Contact me.

No one buying your course? Here’s some reasons.

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