This post will cover how I researched and chose which blogging courses to take and the seven ways to make blogging courses pay for themselves!
I Want To Monetize My Blog!
I hear you. I really do. Which is why I wrote this post after realizing that every hour and every dollar I invested into my blog had to pay off. One of the first things I did when I decided to start blogging was pour over income reports. I would even go back and read or watch the blogger’s entire progression over time. Month one they would be making $11.34 and by month 15 or 18 they were up between $3-10K. And sometimes they would be making more than that in less time.
I had to remind myself that those results were probably not typical and that my google searches were probably only picking up the top performers but at least I could see a pattern and get an idea for the pace.
We all get tempted by blogging courses promising overnight results. But which ones are worth it?
The real nuggets weren’t that they were making money, it was the information they revealed in those reports that I really took note of. And this may sound counter-intuitive, but I was less interested in how much they made, but more about what they spent or ‘invested’ to bring themselves to that level. I wanted to know what tools they were using and who they had studied and most importantly what mistakes they had made and lessons they had learned. Most importantly, which blogging courses had they taken or learned from?
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What Courses Should I Even Take?
When I decided to start my blog I picked a few top bloggers whose advice and paths I planned to follow. Although I am frugal to my core, I didn’t want to do my own trial and error and waste months and months struggling. I decided that whenever I heard more than three bloggers say they wish they had done something from the beginning that I would really research that one thing and decide if it could also work for me. Except I was doing that from the beginning in the hopes of getting up and running – and earning money from my blog – much quicker.
We all get tempted by those blogging courses. The drip email campaigns and squeeze pages that talk about a blogging course can be so tempting. But which ones are worth it? What if I spend $197 on something and it’s a complete waste of time and money? Everyone needs to do their own research and figure out what makes sense for them and for their personal budget as well. After all, paying your rent or mortgage is more of a priority than a blogging course.
After a ton of research and a review of my blogging budget I decided on taking two courses each from a different blogger. I have to admit I was pretty selective and you should be too. A top blogger once told me she is constantly re-educating herself as Social Media websites change their policies and algorithms every day. There is no need to go taking ten Pinterest courses a month! One thing I looked for is that the bloggers offering the courses publish regular and consistent income reports, plus I research and read a ton of reviews on the courses before I’ll take them. The bloggers whose courses I list below have impressively grown their blogs and I would love to be among their ranks especially in terms of income. You’re probably wondering which courses did I finally decide on?
My Top Blogging Course Choices
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Shroeder-Gardner of Makingsenseofcents.com was the first course I took. I will be writing a review of her course once I’ve implemented all her recommendations – right now I’m about half way through them. Michelle is a rock star in the blogging world and her course did not disappoint. Michelle makes $50,000 per month in affiliate sales alone. In fact, I would not be where I am today without her course and without using the knowledge I gained in her affiliate marketing course.
*Update 11/3/18 I’ve already made back way more than I paid for Michelle’s course by implementing what I learned from her! My next income report is going to be SO awesome!
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche by Alex and Lauren over at Createandgo.com and Avocadu.com was the second course I took. Michelle’s course has a great Pinterest section and she definitely got me going on Pinterest but this course was good for those advanced strategies. Alex and Lauren have had incredible success very quickly as bloggers and the advice in their course is also worth following.
Pinteresting Strategies by Carly Campbell. Carly grew her page views from 0 – 200,000 per month using her own manual strategy which she teaches in her course. It’s priced at a very reasonable $32 which makes it a no brainer – especially if you are building your blog on a budget!
All of the above courses also contain “evergreen content” which means these bloggers are constantly updating and re-writing the course contents as things change in the blogging world.
Here are 7 ways to make your blogging courses pay for themselves!
1. Goals and Plans to Take the Course – I always talk about my goals and what I have in the works for my blog so if I’m planning on taking a course, I will usually write about it. Talk about why you want to take it and what you hope to learn or gain. In other words, write a post about it or incorporate it into another post you’re writing. *Remember to circle back and update your blog posts with affiliate links once you’ve taken the course.
2. Review – Take the opportunity to write a review of the course. Talk about what you liked and what you weren’t as excited about. Did the course work for you? What steps did you take right away? Are you seeing results? *You can also update this post 30, 60 and 90 days out to give your reader’s perspective for the short and long-term benefits you received from the course you’re reviewing.
3. Tutorial – Teach it! Michelle and Lauren both talk about how important creating pin worthy images are in their courses and perhaps you’re a rock star on Canva or Pic Monkey and you can explain or show others how to do something particular in the course or expand on advice the course recommends to help your readers grow their blogs.
4. Interview – Once you’ve taken a course and have implemented their advice you can reach out to the blogger who created it and see if they’re open to doing an interview with you. It’s free promotion for them and for you!
5. Blogger Income Report – If you make money from affiliate sales or Pinterest or from something you learned in one of the courses you take, mention it specifically in your own Blogger Income Reports! *Remember to include your clickable affiliate links as well!
6. Use the information you learn to start a blog in another niche! You now know how to grow traffic or grow affiliate sales – or whatever your course teaches you – and because of your new knowledge you can now scale and use it for more than one blog!
7. Grow your business – Actually put the course’s advice to work on your own blog and grow your blogging business. Become the blogger whose income reports we all want to read!
But what if the course didn’t work for me?
But what if you’re selective and do all your research and take a course and it’s a dud? That’s ok, it happens. Please don’t recommend a course to others if you wouldn’t take it again yourself! My readers know that I will only recommend things I’ve personally tried and used and would use again. You could still mention it in your goals, definitely write a review about it and include it in your Blogger Income Report under expenses.
Be diplomatic but honest. Find something else that works and consider doing a comparison blog post! Tell your readers you took this course (dud) and read this e-book (winner!) on the same topic and explain the strengths and weaknesses and who won your comparison challenge for the reasons you will explain on your blog!
What is your favorite blogging course and how did you make it pay for itself? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what’s working for you!
I love sharing my blogging tand work from home resources and ools and tips and have compiled a list of my favorite resources here for you to review and use. I will only recommend things I’ve used myself and believe in.
Some Of My Favorite Resources…
*This page contains affiliate links which means that if you click on a link I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend things I personally use and like. Thank you for supporting my blog!
If you need to make some quick cash I recommend Survey Junkie. It’s free and is something easy and quick that you can do from your laptop or smart phone or even possibly on the go in your spare time to make some extra cash quickly. Just give them your honest opinion and earn money! Try Survey Junkie and earn $10 just for registering today!
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Honey is my favorite new way to save and earn! I love it because it automatically applies the best coupon code to whatever I’m buying online! How great is that? I’ll never have to search for another coupon code while I’m checking out again. It’s a simple browser extension and I already used it to save money on an Amazon purchase I just made. And, it’s free! And for the side hustle aspect, for everyone you refer to Honey on your blog or social media with your link you will earn $5! Now that’s awesome! Try Honey today!
Another great way to get cash back for your everyday shopping is Ibotta. Just do your normal shopping, scan your receipt in their easy to use app and Cha Ching! Cash back! It’s basically free money. And just for signing up with my link you’ll receive a $10 bonus! Sign up here today!
Blogging is one of the best side hustles I’ve found. It’s low-cost, can be done remotely and when you put the work in, it can provide passive income that comes in even on days when you can’t make it to your laptop! The first day I made an affiliate sale on my blog I was sitting on the beach with some friends in town! That was THE BEST feeling EVER! Start Your Blog Today!
To help you start your blog today, here are some of my favorite blogging resources…
Bluehost: I’ve been with them from the beginning and have had nothing but a great experience. You can self-host your blog for as little as $3.95/month plus with my link you’ll also get a free domain ($10 value!)
Tailwind: My go to Pinterest scheduler – oh where would I be without you! Tailwind has automated my pinning and I simply couldn’t live without it! I started with the basic plan and have since upgraded to their unlimited tribes power up so I can make the most of my tribes and their reach to grow my traffic!
Fiverr: Freelancers can be invaluable to bloggers. Finding someone in a pinch to help you with an aspect of your blog can save you time and make you money!
You can also find a full list of my favorite resources and online tools here!
*This post may contain affiliate inks which means if you click a link on this page and make a purchase we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products we use and love. Thank you for supporting our blog! Our polices page can be found here.
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