What to Do When No One Buys Your Online Course

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So you put in the hard work to create an online course, digital product or program, but when you launched it…crickets. No one pulled the trigger and actually bought the thing. It’s a frustrating and disheartening experience that many course creators and online business owners have gone through.

I’ve definitely been there myself, creating courses and products that I pour my heart into, only to have very few sales come through. It’s easy to start doubting yourself, thinking “I guess no one wants to learn this from me” or “My audience just isn’t willing to invest in themselves.”

Some product links in this post are affiliate links, and I will be compensated when you purchase by clicking our links. Read my disclosure policy here.

But here’s the truth: People are buying things online all day, every day. If your offer didn’t sell well, it’s likely due to one of two issues:

  1. You miscommunicated the full value of what you were offering
  2. You miscalculated what your audience really wants

Look at Your Numbers

The key is to dig into your analytics and numbers to figure out where the breakdown occurred. For example:

  • How many people saw your offer? (video views, ad impressions, email opens, etc)
  • How many clicked through to your sales page?
  • How many added it to their cart?
  • How many completed the purchase?

Seeing a big drop off at any stage can provide clues about what needs to be tweaked or improved. Maybe your sales page loaded too slowly, your checkout process was confusing, or you didn’t send enough follow-up emails. These are all fixable issues that don’t require completely overhauling your course.

Related: Consistent Sales of Your Online Course with YouTube

Ask for Feedback

Another great way to gain insight is to directly ask people who showed interest but didn’t buy why they didn’t move forward. Send a simple, authentic email like:

“Hey, I noticed you checked out my new course but didn’t end up buying. I would love your honest feedback about why it wasn’t the right fit for you right now. No pressure at all, I’m just looking to improve!”

You may uncover very addressable objections or sticking points this way. Maybe your price was too high, your offer wasn’t clear, or people got distracted and simply forgot to complete their purchase. Armed with real feedback, you can intelligently iterate and improve.

The Power of Persistence

The online business owners who succeed are the ones who use real data to gradually improve their offers and marketing over time. They don’t take low sales personally or beat themselves up. They treat it as a puzzle to solve.

I’ve made the mistake of creating a course, having it not sell well, and then completely scrapping it to start something new from scratch. That’s rarely necessary and just leads to a lot of wasted effort. Usually some tweaks to your positioning, pricing, or promotion can make a huge difference.

Build Your Business by Design

If you want to learn a proven, systematic way to create online courses and products that your audience actually wants to buy, I highly recommend checking out James Wedmore’s Business By Design course.

His TLC formula (traffic, leads, conversions) provides a simple but powerful framework for growing your online business. Focusing on gradually improving each stage (getting more targeted traffic, capturing more leads, increasing your conversion rates) is what separates the course creators who struggle from the ones who thrive.

The key takeaway: don’t give up on your course idea just because it didn’t sell well right away. Dig into the data, get real feedback from your audience, make smart adjustments, and keep iterating. Building a successful online business is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got this!