I won’t buy another blogging course and this isn’t even a trick to get you to read this so I can sell you something. I’ve bought several well known blogging courses that people in the world of blogging make you feel like you just have to have in order to be a “professional” or ever get anywhere with blogging. I’ve spent many hours working these courses and trying these techniques until it has made me absolutely crazy, and guess what? I still can’t quit my day job and my blog doesn’t make enough so that my husband can quit his day job, either.
I Won’t Buy Another Blogging Course
It’s All Free Anyway
I swear as I live and breathe, the best things I’ve ever learned to help my blog grow were absolutely free. Now, let me be real clear. My blog is not making me rich and never has. It most likely never will. However, it has surpassed ANY dreams and expectations I had for it since starting blogging ten years ago. That said, everything I have ever learned about growing my audience, getting hooked up with companies to do sponsored posts and campaigns, and even making money through affiliates and ads was learned from good old Google or connecting with other bloggers and learning from them.
It infuriates me when I buy a blog course that promises to increase my traffic, get more affiliate sales, or transform my posts into absolute heaven and the course ends up being nothing but a bunch of information I could have gotten for free just by Googling it or watching a YouTube video. I wish I still had a link to the FREE blogging course that I found five years ago that taught me how to optimize my Google ads. It was the best thing I had ever read on AdSense, was easy to understand, and actually worked! And it was FREE!!
It’s a Cycle
The biggest take away I have learned from most of the blogging courses I have invested in is this: it’s all about sales. Sure, most of us that purchase a blogging course want to learn how to make more money with out blogs, me included. However, what I’ve usually found is that these courses are filled with lots of fluff that don’t work for most people and these courses also want to make you an affiliate. Yep, since you bought the course you can now sing its praises to the world via social media, email blasts, and your own blog. When someone buys the course from your link, you get a percentage of the sale. How is this any different from affiliate links for products on your blog? It’s absolutely not. Some people are great at selling and have built quite a substantial income from affiliate sales of blog courses. I’ve just found that I personally suck at selling anything, so to feel like I have to push a product that didn’t help me in the least just adds insult to my injured pocket book. And what I’ve seen is that pretty soon, every blogger is pushing the same product and it just becomes super annoying. I have personally unsubscribed from four blog newsletters this past week because they ALL were trying to sell me the same course. It turned me off because I think the only thing they took away from that particular course was how to sell it. I personally hate when I feel like all I am to a person is another sucker or a potential buyer.
In hindsight, if I could go back a few thousand blogging dollars, here’s what I would do instead of buying expensive blogging courses:
Join a blogging community– Honestly, find yourself a like minded community of bloggers in your niche (God, I hate that word!) Find some other bloggers that blog about the same things you do through Facebook or by doing a Google search. Ask questions and seek advice from people who have been blogging a while and have a good track record of earning and growing. I have learned almost every single thing that works from my blogging buddies. One in particular is super successful and she shares her trials and errors and amazing advice absolutely free. She should be charging for it, but she doesn’t. It may take you awhile to find a group you feel comfortable and welcomed in. Some groups are just TOO big. I personally like smaller blogging forums and communities to connect with other bloggers. Make sure these groups are filled with bloggers similar to what you blog about.
More Self-Teaching– I’ve taught myself a few tricks or two by simply searching up what I want to know through Google or watching YouTube videos. It’s free and it works most of the time.
Get a Consultation– Now, before I go any further, only get a consultation from someone who has a blog you admire or has a proven track record. Reach out to people in the blogging community who you admire or feel like could help you and ask for some direction. You have to remember that time is precious for everyone, so be willing to pay for that time if at all possible. I’d personally rather spend money directly picking someone’s brain and getting some very personalized critiques of my blog than buy a random blogging course that may not even apply to my blogging niche.
Be Patient– It took me five years to ever start making any money with my blog. Times have certainly changed since then and it’s much easier to jump in and build a blog pretty quick, but reading about how other bloggers have “skyrocketed their traffic by 1000% in ONE WHOLE MONTH” can definitely make you feel like you are doing it ALL wrong and spinning your wheels. Along comes a shiny blogging course that promises to change all of that in no time at all. You’d be a fool not to jump on that, right? I say do all of the above that I mentioned first and then re-evaluate. If you can afford that expensive blogging course, by all means, go ahead. Just don’t be so hard on yourself, especially if you are just starting out. Almost NOBODY is an overnight blogging success and quits their job, and if they claim that, they aren’t telling you the whole truth.
Put Your Head Down and Work– Looking back, my blog earned the most money when I was just writing and doing my thing and not looking around at what everyone else was doing and writing about or worrying about HOW they were earning their money. I just created and didn’t care if I was doing it wrong. When you’re so busy looking around you waste time you could be using to create your own stuff.
Am I saying all blog courses are trash? No, I’m not. I’ve picked up a few slightly helpful tips from a couple that were in the $10 range. And not every blog course costs something. There are PLENTY of free ones floating around out there. Pinterest is exploding with them! I know there are some truly genuine people who really do want to help other bloggers who are struggling to get started or struggling to improve on what they’ve already built. I’d even guess that people buy blogging courses and just never get around to completing them. I’m just personally tired of buying blogging courses and thinking I’m going to learn something new and getting burned by reading the same old regurgitated crap I can read anywhere. And nope…”visualizing it” and “dreaming big” and filling out seventy umpteen workbook pages that I have to personally print out (sold separately from the course, might I add!) about my dreams, visions, and target audience isn’t going to help me grow my blog. You know what does? Writing about stuff people WANT to read about. Unless you are a celebrity or someone with an exceptionally interesting life, nobody really reads personal blogs anymore. It’s a rarity, but it’s amazing if you can find that type of audience. I still blog personal things because I want to, but if your blog is nothing but a family diary, you just can’t realistically expect a lot of traffic and money if that’s what you are looking for. You certainly don’t need to spend $100 or more to come to that realization. People come to blogs looking to learn something.
Have you been burned by blogging courses? Have you found one you absolutely love? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.
Photo: Michael Lorenzo