3 Reasons You Don’t Need an E-Course

3 reasons you don't need that e-course. Have you actually tried to learn on your own first? Can you even afford the course?

I’m about to commit marketing suicide.

On the day I announce pre-orders for my new e-course I’m about to tell you why you possibly shouldn’t buy e-courses.


But I want to be real with you guys for a bit.

E-courses are awesome, but they’re not always what you need.

I don’t want to say e-courses are bad. Because they’re not.

I want to address the fact that a lot of people seem to get stuck in this situation of thinking they NEED an e-course. I see people posting things like:

I really want to grow my business but I’m scared because I can’t afford this e-course that will help me do that. It’s a huge investment but I know I need it to move forward! What do I do?

  1. They can’t afford the course.
  2. But they think they NEED it.

This stuff BREAKS MY HEART, you guys. Let’s talk about it.

1) Don’t buy an e-course if: You can’t afford it.

If you can’t afford an e-course, then for the love of god, don’t buy it.

Don’t put yourself in debt or sacrifice your financial stability. Don’t do it.

E-courses should be something you invest in if you can afford them.

They’re investments. Either they’ll pay off, or they won’t. But you need to be able to accept the very real possibility that you’ll buy an e-course and it won’t give you any results. You need to be able to take that financial hit. If you can’t, don’t buy the course.

2) Don’t buy an e-course if: you can find the information for free.

You can find an insane amount of information for free online. You can find guides on how to grow your business, how to grow your blog, how to set up MailChimp, how to market like a boss.

The information is out there.

So what are e-courses then? They take the “DIY” out of it. Instead of having to find all that information yourself, it’s neatly packaged and presented to you. E-courses are a great way to have all the information presented to you in one place… if you can afford it.

E-courses will often make the learning easier and faster, but if you can’t afford the course, then there are alternatives. You can piece together knowledge on your own.

3) Don’t buy an e-course if: you haven’t tried anything yet.

When I wanted to learn JavaScript better, I went out and searched on my own.

  • I searched for guides.
  • I tried learning.
  • I kept fucking failing.


  • I get bored.
  • I’m sick of piecing together information.
  • The information I do find doesn’t feel relevant to me.

Okay so trying to learn on my own isn’t going so well. But you know what? I tried first.

Now that I’ve decided I don’t fucking want to learn on my own, I can invest in the JavaScript for WordPress Master Course. This is a good solution for me, as someone who would rather have all the information neatly packaged and put in front of me, than trying to piece together stuff on my own.

Sure, I could still learn on my own if I put more effort into it, but I can afford the e-course and would rather buy that instead and get a pre-packaged solution.

But still, the point is that my first step was to go out and just try.

If you’re trying to grow your business, look up marketing guides. Experiment with new social media. Try releasing new packages. Try rewriting your services page. Try SOMETHING, before you convince yourself that you “need” help.

On that note…

So when should you buy an e-course?

Seriously, I’m not anti e-course. Otherwise I wouldn’t have made them. So let’s talk about when buying a course is a good idea:

  • You’ve tried to find information on your own. Either you don’t like what you see, or you’re tired of looking, or you’re overwhelmed. In other words, the whole DIY thing isn’t working out for you.
  • You’ve done some actual experimentation already and you’re still stuck or want more guidance.
  • You’ve found a person you know and trust to do a good job teaching you. You’re confident that they will help you learn where other guides might have failed.
  • You can afford it. Even if the e-course doesn’t pay off, you can afford the loss of money.

E-courses are fabulous tools. Ultimately, the main thing they do is make your life easier. They take the “info searching” out of the equation. Instead of having to find information yourself and separate the good from the bad, you get it all neatly packaged and presented to you. That in itself makes it worth it for so many people (myself included).

But don’t think that e-courses are REQUIRED.

  • You can start a business without a guide.
  • You can grow your business without a road map.
  • You can set up MailChimp by Googling for free tutorials.
  • You can even learn to code by searching for guides online.

E-courses simply make that process easier, and often more relevant. They can take a vague topic and apply it to your niche or your situation.

  • Learn JavaScript for WordPress.
  • Learn to code by building a custom WordPress child theme.

Want to learn to code? Think e-courses are right for you?

My new e-course Master Customizer teaches badass women how to code for the first time (and customize a pre-made WordPress theme in the process!). If you’ve decided that e-courses are a good fit for you, then feel free to check out the website for more information and get the course for half price.

Hell yes!
I want to learn to code!

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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. I wholly agree!! It’s amazing what you find when you “Google”! Although I bought a course when I could afford it and it turned out to be a great background for knowing what I needed and what I didn’t need. 🙂 I’m actually thinking of buying your Make Your Own WordPress Theme “class” for more background… I may need an intervention soon! 🙂

    1. Yeah courses certainly can be great! And quite often they make it easier and faster to learn. I think it mostly just breaks my heart when people think they absolutely NEED a course and their business can’t grow without it. I hate seeing people buy courses when they honestly can’t afford them and shouldn’t be buying them for financial reasons, you know?

      Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions about my theme course. 🙂

  2. Oh, Ashley, we have SO many of the same thoughts. I love this post and the one about how you are sick of being sold too. I also think we must read the same blogs that make us feel this way. 🙂 Love your honesty. Love your course. Love the price of your course. Best luck with it. P.S. I am sending you an email right now.

    1. You’re probably right about us reading the same blogs, Kristie! 😀

      I see your email in my inbox! I’ll reply later today. 🙂

  3. Great article. I have spent more time than I care to think about looking at e-courses…when if I’d just spent that time actually putting into practice some of the ideas I had already read about, I could be making ££££ from my blog. Well, okay, not really, but I could definitely have actually DONE SOMETHING for my blog.

    1. You really highlighted a big problem that I see, Sophie.

      I see a lot of people talk about how they’ve taken 5 or even 10 e-courses… And yet, they’re still looking for more. I think people get caught in this cycle of learning, but not actually IMPLEMENTING.

      You should take an e-course because you want to achieve a very specific result. Then once you’ve taken the course, go out and IMPLEMENT that or use that knowledge you’ve gained. Otherwise, what was the point of the course?

      1. Yes, definitely. I think sometimes people get so stuck into the theory of something, that then to actually try it out becomes a bit scary. Perhaps they aren’t actually ready. Maybe they should read a few more articles, or try a course….etc. For me, anyway, it’s procrastination against actually taking action, although at least I have managed to talk myself out of e-courses, as a lot of the time I don’t really have a specific result I want, I’m just too chicken/lazy to try it out!

  4. I love this post! I’ve noticed SO MANY e-courses my head is going to explode. Definitely good advice for someone that feels like they NEED it. Sometimes thats just a case of excuseitis 🙂

    1. I guess we have it in our heads that we need experts or people to tell us what to do. Sometimes we forget that we can just figure it all out ourselves! I started my business without any real direction, and certainly without any courses/”experts”. And hey, somehow I made it all work!

      Sometimes just getting out there and trying stuff can do wonders. 🙂 You don’t need someone else to tell you how to run your business. Just get out there and experiment a little.

  5. This is great Ashley! I saw someone post on a Facebook group the other day about how they needed an ecourse but couldn’t afford it so was saying she was going to start selling her stuff!!
    I just couldn’t believe it – obviously it shows the marketing for that ecourse has seriously worked if she thought her business NEEDED it – but I would HATE for someone to purchase my ecourse if they couldn’t actually afford it in case they didn’t see any success from it!

    1. Oh gosh that is so sad, Anna!! I would hate for someone to be doing that so they could purchase one of mine. 🙁

  6. Awesome post!! I was the same way. I tried reading everything I could find on JavaScript (that was free) in order to try and understand the language. I finally got it after months but really only turned to e-courses when I was able to afford them and only used them for a short time before returning to learning through books and forums.

  7. Yes! This is why I’m so hesitant of the massive courses that cover everything on a given subject. I’ve yet to see one where I NEED *every* lesson – where none of them have information I either already know, can figure out, or could get elsewhere – and I’m not going to shell out amounts like $300 or more at a time for anything less.

    I like that people seem to be creating more specific courses like your CSS one, so that I can mix and match what skills I’m learning based on what I NEED to learn. I had looked at other coding courses for some “to-dos” I’m stuck on, but they were way more comprehensive than I need/want right now, so I was thinking I’d need to hire someone for minor tweaks. (Although it looks like your course will change that, yay!)

    It’s so doable (and if you’re super Type A, pretty fun also :P) to “build your own ecourse” by looking at the courses you want, figuring out which parts you actually need, and finding resources from there.

    1. Awesome point Brittany! And you’re so right. I think one of the reasons an overall coding course would be so intimidating (or just not great in general) is because they skim a few of the super important bits at the beginning in order to rush through the sheer amount of content they have left to cover.

      It’s just like..

      This is a selector!
      This is a property!
      These are values!
      Ok let’s roll!

      And when I was learning that super quick bit over the beginning KILLED me. I didn’t get it. And I was 13 and the words “properties” and “selectors” scared me LOL.

      But sometimes it massively helps to learn less, but slow way down and actually spend time understanding stuff. Then once you have that awesome foundation you can zoom off and learn whatever.

      Trying to learn a huge topic is freakin’ scary.

      Learn PHP <-- Failed at that Learn to code a WordPress theme (which happens to use a bit of PHP) <-- I rocked at that By taking a subject I wanted to learn and giving it CONTEXT that felt relevant to me, I was finally able to learn the thing I wanted to learn in the first place (PHP). Having that relevance and more narrow focus helped so much.

  8. Completely agree, Ashley! I always think very carefully before subscribing to an e-course. While most of the times you can benefit from them, sometimes is not what you need and that doesn’t mean your business or blog will stop growing. I also think that there’s a point where you need to start taking action, instead of focusing on keep learning. Sure, that’s important and should be a priority, but you have to take time to also apply what you learn. Hope this makes sense, haha.

  9. I totally agree with this! My #1 reason to not even follow a blogger is if they only have fluff in their articles. Then, I see those same bloggers and I can’t help but wonder if their courses are all fluff as well?

    I kind of wish that bloggers would offer cheaper mini-courses so you could ‘try’ before you buy a major e-course. It is a lot of money for a product where you don’t know what you are getting.

    1. That’s such a good point Aberleigh! Having a low barrier to entry is really important so people can get a taste of your style/knowledge before making a big purchase.

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