How To Choose An Online Course Without Going Broke PLUS The Big SECRET About Online Courses

I get it. Really, I do.


There are so many fantastic online courses out there and you want to take them ALL. I mean, you want to learn from the EXPERTS right? You don’t want to miss anything!



After all, that one course you chose not to take could have the super-secret formula for success, right?


 So what do you do? Well I’ll let you in on a little secret.




This is the harsh truth about online courses, and I reveal it to you with concern for your wallet.



You DON’T NEED THEM. That’s right, ANY of them.



It’s true. All the information you get in an online course is available somewhere online FOR FREE! But, then the onus is on you to hunt down the information and figure out what order it belongs in, ON TOP of determining which expert has the best advice.



I KNOW! Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it?



That’s WHY we take courses. I mean who wants to hunt down all this information (besides research nuts like me) and figure out the answers for ourselves?



The majority of us getting our feet wet online (and even after) want someone to hand us the answers. We want the magic potion, the secret formula, the recipe for success.



We want someone to hold our hand and show us the way.



And that’s okay. Breaking out on your own and becoming a solopreneur is both scary and exciting, and you want GUIDANCE and support through that. You want feedback and encouragement, and you want the Expert, the ‘SUPER SMART & SAVVY SELLER-OF-COURSES,’ to validate your decisions.



  • So, how do you know which course is right for you?

  • How do you know if the $97 course gives you the value you are looking for and is not just an enticing price?

  • How do you not become overwhelmed by the offerings that are out there?

  • How do you decide to take the course, or to save your money?


How do you choose one online course and not go broke by choosing them all?



THE STRATEGY: 5 D’s to Decide Your Direction



To help you get through your course decision distress I am going to reveal to you a strategy to finding the best fit for YOU. Consider them before you open your wallet and click the “Buy Now” button.




Delivery is everything from the method of the course’s presentation (video, text, pictures/graphs) to the course workload & time commitment.


Consider how you learn the best (visually, audibly)  and whether or not the course is presented in a format you will learn from. Also, take in account how much work the course is and if you have the time to commit to doing it.


This also means determining if the course is self-paced or if there is a strict schedule to adhere to.  The delivery of a course can determine your success or failure if it is presented in a format that is difficult for you to learn from or too time intensive.




  • What are the documents or the ‘take-aways’ you get from the course?

  • Is it an ‘access for 2 months only’ program or do you have ‘access for life’ to a library of resources in all formats?

  • Do you receive an e-book, some worksheets or some videos on the material?

Determining what resources you receive and whether they make the course more beneficial and useful to you can help decide if the $ is well spent or not.




Who is teaching the course?

  • Are they reliable, have good background experience and considered an EXPERT in their field?

  • Do you respect them and other things they have done?

  • Do they provide support when you need it or are you left to fend for yourself?


Considering the person you will be learning from can be a deal-breaker for some, and you should consider personalities in this as well. If you are a super-serious person then learning from someone with comedic techniques might drive you insane.


Ideally, you want someone who will provide great support, has the expertise and also a proven ‘good’ reputation to back up the information.




  • Does the course have an online reputation?

  • Is there demand far and wide and EVERYONE tells you that you have to take this course?

  • Is it the next best thing since sliced bread?



Troll the forums, ask your friends, or ask me! ‘Word on the street’ regarding a course is a powerful platform for acceptance or rejection. So do your research, check out course reviews, send me a message, and find out anything else on your mind about the course and whether it has had good results for people.



How long a course has been around and whether people are still signing up for it sends a powerful message about whether the course is benefitting people.




Your financial ability to pay for the course without hurting your wallet is sometimes the bottom line. Consider all of the factors above and then look at the price of the course.


Do any of the above 4 factors make the $97 or $600 course price a better or worse value?


There are options at every price point for you to consider, so decide if the ‘cheaper’ option is still a good value or whether saving up for the pricier course is a smarter choice.



It is supremely tempting to sign up for every course that you want to take, but this would quickly deplete your wallet. So instead, let the 5 D’s navigate you to a successful course! The results will be a better learning experience and, hopefully, a healthier wallet.


Photo courtesy Photobucket


Good stuff Jo! I would add trust factor. It;s true, everyone wants the “secret sauce” and everyone wants it from someone they can trust. I might also add connection factor, is the teacher trainer available to answer questions, etc.

Keep up the great work.


    Thanks for chiming in Paul!! Trust is HUGE. I think for me these speak to respecting them (DELIVERY MAN/WOMAN.) I’m not going to trust someone I do not respect. Providing support when you need it is also included in that and is key and very valid and important to consider. Thanks for outlining how important they are Paul!

      Defaulting on student education loans will negatively affect FICO scores and stay on credit reports for 7 years or till the statute of limitation expires. Post graduates should talk to a tax adviser or money planner to ascertain if coainlidntsog education debt is in their best interest.


    Hallo Frau KÃh¶sgibüscner,das Anfängertraining für Kinder findet immer freitags um 16 Uhr auf dem “Toten Arm” am RVR statt. Schauen sie dort am besten einfach vorbei. Die beiden Trainer sind vor Ort.Beste Grüße

Great post Jo, I think you hit the nail on the head with,

“Consider how you learn the best (visually, audibly) and whether or not the course is presented in a format you will learn from.”

That’s a pretty big factor. If you know you need something visual, dont waste your time on an audio-based course. Simple stuff!


    Thanks Kaya!!

    You are right, it is very important to think about how you learn! Don’t want people to waste time or $ on something that they will not benefit from!

Good points, Jo!

When I first considered freelancing, I just bought ebooks from blogs I was reading at the time, such as Leaving Work Behind.

It was easier to buy from someone you felt you knew, instead of those unattainable “gurus” you know nothing about.


    Thanks for chiming in Karen! It’s definitely wiser to know who you are buying resources from. Engaging and being approachable is so important to connect with the people you are trying to teach!

Hey Jo,
Great piece of work. When I want to take some course I’m so impatient I often forget about due dilligence and then regret it. Yor message is simple and actionable. Next time I want to take a course, I’ll think twice, I guess.


    Thanks Sylvia! I think we have all “rushed” into purchasing a course due to the ‘limited’ time offer or other factors, so you are certainly not alone! I’m glad that you find the information helpful and will consider more closely future purchases! Thanks again! Jo

      Hi! I love seeing other pe7#&elp821o;s blogs about their furbabies. Cute shih tzu. We have one too. Great photos too! Sharlotte Hughes ( LuLu’s mom)


    Sandy Llol, we actually did the same! But we did so because we also know that my wife was going to stop working, so that put us more on par with our neighbor ear82ngs&#ni30; Still, we didn’t want to be the poor house on the block.Plus, our school system is great! I’m glad we went the way we went and it sounds like you do too!!!$240,000 is great house appreciation in this market! Congrats!!!

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