I didn’t write this post with the intention of shitting all over blogging courses, but I’m sick of being told that I need to know someone else’s ‘secrets’ in order to be a successful blogger.
It’s simply not true.
I HAVE MY OWN SECRETS DAMMIT. I DON’T NEED YOURS.
If you have plenty of money to spend on courses, then absolutely go ahead and do it, but I hate the thought that some recently fired person wastes their last few quid on a course that promises the world.
It is highly unlikely to make decent money blogging in under six months. And even then we’re looking at a couple of quid, not a full-time income.
Pros of blogging courses
Blogging courses had a massive moment in 2017.
Everyone had them. Everyone was taking them, and absolutely everyone was a bloody affiliate for them.
Because there are benefits to taking a blogging course.
- You can cut down the (steep) blogging learning curve dramatically. Why should I try out 15 different affiliate link plugins when I can pay someone else to just tell me which one to get? Or waste time making crap pins that no one engages with when someone else can give me a template to download?
- These people have been there. They know how hard it is, and they know what information they wish they’d had. I am not, in any way, doubting that a lot of courses out there are worth the money. They found something that worked for them, and they found a way to monetise it. Great.
- There’s a great community aspect. A lot of course creators make members-only Facebook groups which are full of useful information. Although you’ll get so sick of people posting ‘following’ or asking the same question that’s been asked a trillion times.
- It’s easier than figuring it out yourself. It just is. And it’s nice knowing that you’re doing something that has definitely worked for other people.
So why do I not recommend that newbie bloggers take courses?
- It can take months for Google to start sending traffic your way. You might not even need a course on how to get more traffic. What you need is to be more patient.
- You don’t know if you’re ready to commit. Sure, buy a £20 ebook on Pinterest strategy, but don’t drop £1000 or whatever on Elite Blog Academy if you’re going to give up and have a go on Youtube in a couple of weeks.
- Your £20 Pinterest ebook is only relevant until Pinterest changes its algorithm. Don’t spend money learning how to get your blog in front of people, learn how to get people to look you up. I bought an incredibly popular Pinterest course a few years ago, and it was great — definitely worth the money and I don’t regret buying it. However, the information originally taught has to be reformulated regularly to keep up with Pinterest’s changes. The time I’d need to spend changing up my strategy (and retaking the course) would be better spent writing articles.
- For me, it was basically a form of procrastination. It would have been more productive for me to have been writing.
Alternatives to courses
- Youtube —there aren’t many aspects of blogging that aren’t covered somewhere on Youtube. I’d highly recommend Income School. They have a paid course (which I haven’t taken, natch), but their free information is extensive and has transformed the way I do keyword research.
- Skillshare — There are loads of free courses available on Skillshare, but the best ones are behind a paywall. There’s usually a month’s free trial when you sign up though, so you can either try to binge-watch over your free month or stump up the £10 a month. Obvs I binge-watched.
- Webinars — when a coach is about to launch a new product, there’s normally a load of free information to go with it. For the price of just one email address, you can access loads of free information. Just be aware that you are being primed to be sold a course to.
- Google — there are very few blogging-related questions that won’t be answered somewhere on Google, or Quora, or Reddit.
Most blogs don’t ever make money for one reason: the blogger didn’t stick at it.
Those blogs that are successful usually took months, if not years to make their first pennies. It’s natural that they want to share their secrets (and make a bit of cash too), but the time aspect is often downplayed.
Actually that’s not true. Whilst the course creator may explicitly say it took them x number of years to become successful, our little brains are thinking ‘yeah, but I bet it’ll be quicker for me. I go this.’
Don’t let that put you off. The time’s going to pass anyway.
None of these courses can guarantee you results. All they can do is offer a few tips and maybe speed up your timeline.
So don’t worry if you can’t afford them — you don’t need them. They’re a perk, a tool. Nothing more.
Concentrate on writing articles, as well as researching your niche and blogging in general. Try new things- maybe have a go at filming a video, or apply for a few affiliate schemes.
Stick with it.