5 Surprising Course Creation Mistakes to Avoid

Course Design

There are a lot of tutorials, courses, and blog posts out there dedicated to course creation. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to focus on, and what NOT to. In this post I’m talking about 5 course creation mistakes that I haven’t seen talked about often and can make or break your course.

Mistake #1 Putting to much importance on the tech 

Let’s get this one out of the way.

People get REALLY worked up over the technology involved in course creation. They’re worried about microphones, video editing, and what platform their course should live on.

I get it, I really do. When you’re starting a new project thinking about everything you need to figure out, it’s intimidating. 

All of the popular course platforms (Kajabi, Thinkific, Kartra, and Teachable) do similar things. It honestly comes down to which user interface you prefer, and your budget. And as far as the video editing, microphones, and screen recording tech, it’s WAY simpler than you might think it is.

But if you don’t have a course yet, then you don’t need a course platform. Your first priority is nailing your course topic and content. 

Mistake #2: Skimping or skipping on pre-course research 

Yeah, yeah, I know. I’ve worked in the applied research field long enough to know that when you start talking about research, people clam up and suddenly have “somewhere else to be.”

But I promise you that it’s SO necessary if you want your course to be truly impactful and get your students results.

Why is it so critical?

Because you need to hear about the problems your peeps are experiencing, where they’re getting stuck, and what knowledge and skills they already have that you can tap into.

Plus, having this information will make your entire course creation journey smoother. You won’t have to sit and wonder whether or not you should include something, because you’ll already know the answer. 

PSST… if you need help with this, check out my Research and Planning Strategy Sesh.

Mistake #3: Including WAY too much information 

It’s common for people to want to include EVERYTHING in their courses. 

This can happen if you don’t have a solid framework. All of your course content needs to relate back to an ACTION that your peeps need to take in order to see the transformation they’re looking for. 

If you don’t have a firm grasp on what’s “need to know” vs. “nice to know,” you end up with a jam packed course that makes it harder to get results.  

Mistake #4 Underestimating the power of slides 

Humans are inherently visual people, so if you aren’t using slides OR you’re not using them to  their full potential, they can work against you.

Most slides summarize or repeat what the speaker is saying. To be effective slides need to supplement what you say.


Use more visual depictions that support your key points. If you do this, your peeps will enjoy the presentation more AND they will be more memorable.

Mistake #5: Ignoring what your students might be feeling 

Learning new things is scary and intimidating, even if people are EXCITED for what they are about to learn. And anxiety is an antidote to learning *womp womp.*


Anxiety activates the brain’s limbic system, which is wired for survival. If your limbic system is activated, that means your prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain you need for learning) isn’t. This makes it harder for your peeps to stay engaged with your course content and truly retain it. 

A simple way to combat this? Call it out. Remind people that learning can be hard, and they might not feel confident right away. Addressing it outright helps to reduce some of the discomfort. 

Have you heard any of these tips before? Which tip was most surprising? Let me know in the comments!

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