So you want to start a blog, do you? Where do you start? How can you find everything you need to know about starting a successful blog? Most bloggers today will tell you to buy an online course. “It’s the best investment I could have made!” and “I wish I would have bought this course sooner!” are the typical reviews you will see on most of these blogging courses. I would like to add that most bloggers who suggest this, would be wrong. Hear me out.
Starting a Blog
There are a ton of useful and informative courses out there for new bloggers. Heck, there are even courses out there geared towards experienced bloggers. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself “how do they know this information?” Yes, I am sure some of it is based on experience and good ole’ trial and error but I will bet my bottom dollar that they did a lot of research on their own. It also probably did not cost them a penny.
Think about it. In today’s world (I’m speaking from personal experience) when you need to find the answer to a question, where do most people turn? That’s right…Google! Google was (and is) the foundation of my “blogging tips & tricks” when I first started this blog months ago.
Do Your Research
Here are the blogging questions I asked Google during the early stages of this blog:
- “How do I start a blog?”
- “Web hosting, what is it?”
- “Which blogging platform is best and why?”
- “What is the basic structure of a blog post?”
- “What should I blog about?”
- “How do I promote my blog?”
- “How do I drive traffic to my blog?”
- “What is SEO?”
- “How do I improve my blog’s SEO?”
Just by googling these questions, I was able to compile my own personal Word document with all the tips and tricks I felt would benefit the construction of my blog. This also took little to no time on my part. This is why I feel like most blogging courses are C.R.A.P. This means that most (if not all) useful information about starting a blog is Content Readily Available to the Public. CRAP, get it?
I feel like this is how most Bloggers compile the information they sell in their online courses. Also, have you seen the prices on some of these courses? I thought I was floored when I saw people selling their courses for $79. You should have seen my face when I saw a blogging course (geared towards beginners, mind you) for $10k! Yes, that’s right. Ten thousand dollars for a course that will virtually give you information that is already available to you…for free! Mind blown.
When a Course is Helpful
So why do these blogging courses exist if everything is free, Melissa? I hear ya. The simple answer (IMO) is time. Purchasing these blogging courses will save you time from conducting the research on your own. Now to some, this factor alone if worth the thousands of dollars these courses are going for. If this is you, then go for it. However, I know when I started this blog my budget was $1,000. Oops, sorry that was a typo. I meant to say my budget was $1. Meaning, I had no money to spend which is why I turned to Google and figured it out for myself.
I know it can be very tempting when you read descriptions for these courses. “How I Make $100,000 a Month Blogging” or “I Quit My Job and Blog Full Time Now” are very appealing headliners but I have found most of these are false. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are bloggers out there who make six figures a month with their blog. However, it is usually a combination of ads, product sales and affiliate marketing that make up this hefty sum.
I am Not a Pro
Let me be very transparent here with my blog. I do not make squat with my blog. I know I am still in the early stages of blogging but I can tell you that I have yet to make $100 a month on my blog. Currently, ads are the the only form of revenue I use on my blog. I could create a blogging course and sell it for $500. That would be a steal compared to some of the price tags I have seen for some courses. Then, I would only need 100 people to buy it a month and I could proudly exclaim “How I Make $50,000 a Month Blogging!”
See? YOU, the blogger, are the ones who are allowing these other bloggers to make upwards of six figures a month. Now, I’m not saying that all courses are a waste of money. What I am saying is that paying for information that you can get for free is an insult.
There are some great courses for bloggers that are free and very informative. A lot of bloggers actually have posts about every blogging topic from how to start a blog to how to monetize your blog. All you need to do is Google it. One blog post that I referenced when starting my blog was “How to Start a WordPress Blog on Bluehost” by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents blog.
Another great resource that I used is Debbie Gartner’s “Free SEO Email Course” from the blog The Flooring Girl. It an email course that you can get for free when you sign up for her newsletter. I actually created an email folder for all of the free email courses that I subscribed to. That way, they are easy to reference when I am searching for a particular topic or answer.
The flack I expect to receive from this post is inevitable. However, I welcome it. Finance and budgeting is a passion of mine and I don’t like when people are taken advantage of. I would gladly pay for a blogging course that provided me with truly invaluable information that I could apply to my blog and see substantial results from. If you know of one, drop it down in the comments below. I would love to check it out.
In regards to my last statement, I was thinking about doing reviews on some of these popular blogging courses. I would purchase a blogging course and use it to create a new blog. Then, I’d post about what I have learned and if I have seen substantial growth using these courses. It would be kind of a try-before-you-buy situation for you, but I would be the one footing the bill. Would something like this interest you? If so, let me know in the comments below. Also, if you recommend a blogging course for want me to review, I will feature you and your blog on my socials. This is my way of showing some love back to you. Let me know!