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I don’t intend for this post to crap all over blogging courses, I just want to make it clear that taking a blogging course is no substitute for creating a lot of useful, unique content. It’s also worth noting that there is no surefire way to grow a successful blog.
Blogging changes all the time. Relying on social media platforms for traffic can be an unstable and frustrating way to build traffic, especially platforms like Pinterest which are proclaimed to be the best way to get traffic.
SEO is the best way to get traffic, because the search engine wants to find great content and show it to a person that’s looking for it. If you provide the best answer to a search query, it’s in the best interest’s of the search engine to show it to the user.
That isn’t true of social media. Social media wants content creators to pay for visibility – it’s not a contest to create the best content – it’s a classic game of the richest person always wins.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy that Pinterest course – just don’t be disappointed when the algorithm shifts and you’re back to square one.
What are blogging courses?
Blogging courses rose to fame about five years ago, when blogging gurus decided to cash in and sell their expertise.
The most famous of these is Elite Blog Academy, which only opens for a few days a year, and is extremely expensive. Like £1,000 or more.
I wouldn’t object to the price tag so much if it weren’t for the hefty affiliate commission given to any bloggers in the program. After being in this game for so long, I’m disillusioned by affiliate schemes for courses.
Not that they don’t work, but that the results vary so much from person to person, niche to niche, circumstance to circumstance. It seems a little underhanded to me.
For example, I bought Pinfinite Growth, and enjoyed it. But would I recommend it to anyone else? No. The results vary so much depending a lot of factors.
Who creates blogging courses?
Usually bloggers. It’s a great way to make money and share their knowledge. And whilst a lot of blogging courses are legit, there are no barriers to entry. Anoynoe with enough money can make a course and sell it through promoted Pinterest and Facebook ads.
The problem with bloggers creating courses is that all bloggers are created equal. How can you be sure your targets (and audiences) align?
One blogger might love to have 1,000,000 impressions on Pinterest, but that means nothing to me – I have no interest in vanity metrics. I need actual results which result in high quality page views from users that are interested in my content.
Which blogging courses should I take as a beginner?
If you’re feeling seriously out of your depth, I would recommend taking an SEO course – or at least a course that focuses on improving your blog, not your blog’s visibility. I’m not going to recommend any specific courses, because I’ve never taken a course I thought was better than the stuff I learned for free on the Income School YouTube channel.
One thing I urge you to do is at least try to start your blog without paying out for anything other than hosting and a domain name. All of my articles will help you, and so will Income Schools. There are also loads of step by videos on YouTube to help you set up your website.
Do blogging courses guarantee success?
No, and this is where the problem lies. A lot of people start a blog, write 50 posts and then are upset to see that their traffic is still at 0.
This feeling of failure is exacerbated by the dozens of income reports we see on Pinterest. Ignore them. They’re probably a thinly-veiled attempt to get a bit of affiliate income from Tailwind.
The problem is not Google hates you, or that you can’t afford a Pinterest scheduler, or that you don’t have a qualification.
The problem is, 50 times out of 100, that you’re expecting too much too soon. I always mention the nine month mark, but I swear, it’s not until that traffic really starts to flood in.
The other 49 times out of 100 are more tricky. Have a look at your content. Is anyone looking for it? Are a lot of other people writing similar content? If the answer to those two questions is yes, then you need to go back to keyword research, and write unique content.
Sure, there might only be 100 people searching for it, but however small the search volume is, if you rank number 1 for it (not as hard as it seems) Google will take note.
Why I don’t create blogging courses
I think at this point, it’s predatory – taking advantage of desperate people. I’m not an expert. I haven’t invested heavily in software that gives me unique data, I’ve just spent a long time wanting to make money by writing and failing.
Even if the blogging course market wasn’t saturated, I created this entire website to help people like me. People stuck in low paid jobs that they hate because they need the flexibility to be able to write on the side without burning out.
The annoying thing is, if I’d learned this 10 years ago, the methods I use would have worked.
Search engines will always be looking for the best content, well after Pinterest has fallen out of favour.
This information is, and always will be, free. I’ll put on ads in the future, but since blogging is such an over saturated niche, it’ll be a while before it gets the traffic.
Do I think that blogging courses are a scam?
No, although I get why it comes across that way. I think there’s just too many of them, too many people flogging their affiliate links, and not enough objective reviews of them.
What to look for in a blogging course
- Testimonials. All courses have them, but check them anyway, and see if they see legit
- An emphasis on time less strategies – i.e. one that’s not based around social media marketing.
- No affiliate programme – the reviews are easier to trust
- No need to buy any software – you don’t need to buy anything extra. Whilst it may short cut your success, throwing money at the issue does not a sustainable strategy make.
Final thoughts on blogging courses
If you want to buy a blogging course, be my guest. But nothing will replace actually putting the effort in to create content that your audience is looking for. And at the very least, be sure to exhaust your free resources (like my entire website) before moving on to paid options.
No blogging course can make a poor website successful in the long run, or without a hell of a lot of effort. Put your effort in at the beginning, by creating awesome articles, and the traffic will build by itself.