Paid Blogging Courses. Worth It Or Just A Scam?

Before you go diving into some paid blogging courses in the hope of blogging success you need to know something important. A lot of those courses are a waste of money. And it’s not just me saying this. It’s the people that offer them.

There’s a ton of paid blogging courses out there covering a range of topics you need to know about to create a successful blog. You need to learn about hosting, post titles and content, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), back-linking, list building, driving traffic, affiliate marketing etc. There’s a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming to begin with.

As any beginner will know. When you are just at the start the quickest way to learn is from the experts. The people who have done it all before. Those with successful blogs. The same people who usually provide a paid blogging course.

Here’s the thing. Those courses aren’t regulated. Anyone can create one. In fact, almost everyone who has had some success with their blog with eventually start doing courses that will promise to make your blog just as successful.

Successful Bloggers And Paid Blogging Courses

If you don’t already know, most successful bloggers (successful in terms of monetary value) make money from teaching you how to make money from blogging. It’s such a lucrative niche that you’ll find that other successful bloggers branch out into this within their blog. Like the ‘mommy bloggers’ who start off talking about parenting then branch out into doing courses to help you make a successful blog yourself.

There are people who will say they were making lots of money within 3 months of blogging. They’ll offer their successful techniques for a fee. What they won’t tell you is that maybe they already had an audience from Facebook, or Instagram, or some other social media. Or that this successful blog is their 3rd attempt in 3 years. 3 years in which they have had time to hone their skills. Overnight successes in blogging are few but the people claiming that are plenty.

They’ll offer courses at a nifty price, with a nice discount, just for you, if you hurry and get it before the offer runs out.

They might have offered you a taster of what’s in store for nothing more than your email address. The email address that they will then start using a ‘sales funnel’ on. Yeah, that’s a proper marketing term, for a technique that works, as they send you a nice personalised email, with smartly written copy, which keeps enticing you to sign up for their course. Keeps a timer ticking on the offer and increases your fear of missing out if you don’t succumb.

A Shocking Blogging Course Statistic

Here’s an interesting fact. A fact I got from Do You Even Blog. On his podcast entitled ‘Is It Time For Blogging Courses To End’ the founder of DYEB, Pete McPherson, talks about an email he received from Brian Harris at Videofruit. In that email Harris apparently said that he was shutting down two of his flagship courses. Courses which McPherson believes Harris has made a few million dollars from in the past 5 years. The reason, according to Harris’ email, “The success rate of our students was less than 1%“.

Less than 1%!!! There could be a number of factors why the success rate was so poor. It could be argued that students didn’t follow exactly what they were told. It could also be argued the course might have been crap and not worth the money paid for it. It does seem to be yet another example of how keen bloggers, bloggers looking to get out of the rat race and earn money working from home, are so easily fleeced out of their money.

Are Paid Blogging Courses Changing?

I think you will see how courses are presented begin to change. They won’t just be a series of videos or documents. They’ll become more interactive. Have more one-on-one time. Be a bit more tailored to your specific needs.

Even Pete at DYEB seems to be moving away from the traditional way of doing courses. One of his latest offerings specifically says it’s ‘not a online course’. It’s an Affiliate Marketing Workshop that makes the bold claim that if you have not made any money at all from affiliate referrals by the end of the 4 week workshop he will give you a full refund. His website even states that this is the ‘blogging world’s most honest money-back promise or we’ll delete our entire site guarantee’.

DYEB's enticing promise to join their paid blogging course alternative
DYEB’S enticing promise for their Affiliate Marketing Workshop

Sounds impressive, and honest, until you get to the small print. There’s a few stipulations to join the course. This workshop isn’t for you if you have a new blog. Have less than 500 email subscribers. Have less than 5,000 views a month and haven’t made any money from your blog yet. It is for you if you’ve been blogging 6 to 12 months. Have between 500 and 5,000 email subscribers. Have between 5,000 and 50,000 views a month and are already generating a bit of income from your blog.

So he’ll promise to refund you if you don’t make any sales from his workshop but you have to be making sales already before you can join! Talk about stacking the odds in your favour! If you are already making sales what’s to say you won’t make a sale in those 4 weeks anyway. Honest? Yes, completely. It’s all there to see. A smart marketing ploy as people begin to realise that most blogging courses are a bit of a scam? That’s for you to decide. The lesson here. If you are going to sign up for any sort of paid blogging course read the small print.

Paid Blogging Courses. It's all about the money.

Making Money From Blogging

A lot of bloggers want to know how to make money from blogging. It’s only natural. If you are putting so much money, time and effort, into creating your content there’s nothing wrong with wanting a return on your investment. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t think anyone should. My problem is with the level of honesty. Even, and especially, when people appear to be honest.

There’s a successful blogger who used to make a point in saying that she would never run ads on her blog and that she needed donations to help keep it ad free. She really made that a selling point of her blog. That was until a scandal broke out around her after it was discovered she was using undisclosed affiliate links. Since then she clarified her stance and the use of affiliate links which she didn’t necessarily view as ads.

But the way I see it is, if you are spending lots of time researching what you are blogging about, providing useful information, and trying to help others. What’s wrong with trying to get something back in return? I don’t have a problem with ads, or affiliate links, or even donations. It costs money and time and hard work to run a blog. And if people are happy to read it, find it useful, then it can be a fair exchange.

A Lesson In Value From Picasso

It reminds me of an anecdote about Picasso. He was sitting at a cafe and someone asked him to do a quick sketch on a napkin. When he was handing it over he asked for a large sum of money. The person who asked for the sketch was shocked. It was only a quick sketch on a napkin. How could it be worth anything? Picasso’s reply was that sketch used all his years of learning to produce. It wasn’t just the time spent doing it. It was all the time before.

As I’ve said, I’m not against people using affiliate links (I use them sometimes myself) or even people trying to make money from their blog.

The problem I have is with all the bullshit bloggers and their bullshit courses. Courses that cost between $100 to $1,000. Sometimes even more. Courses that aren’t worth any amount of money but are just there to take advantage of new bloggers. Courses that have a lot of small print in regards to what they can do for you.

Of course there are some great courses out there. Some that are worth the money. There has to be. But I’m not willing to take that risk anymore especially when there is so much free information out there. Ask yourself. Is it really worth it?

My Experience With Paying For Blogging Help

Six months ago I was a fresh-faced blogger. I knew nothing of the blogging world. I just wanted to write. I wanted to tell my story in the hope that it would give others, well, hope. Of course, over time, I realised I wanted to be good at it. Once I knew people were starting to read my words I wanted to make sure I was giving to them the best I had. So I started trying to learn as much about blogging as possible.

The first blogging improvement, let’s call it a ‘thing’, I paid for, just left me feeling ripped off. I’ve talked about it a bit before. How I effectively paid £7.50 for a page of adjectives. After that I decided that I just couldn’t trust all the bloggers out there and unless someone could prove me otherwise I wasn’t going to spend another penny on blog courses.

Alternatives To Paid Blogging Courses

So are there alternatives to paying for help with your blogging? The short answer is: Yes, there are lots. As a beginner blogger everything you need to know is already out there and, more importantly, it’s free.

This isn’t just my opinion. As a member of a number of different blogging communities and groups when the question arises about paid blogging courses the general consensus is the same. Don’t pay for a course. Find it somewhere for free.

There are some great free podcasts. If videos are your thing you can check out Income School, Profit Copilot, and Miles Beckler on YouTube. There are also some free courses on Skillshare and Udemy.

If feedback on your blog is what you are looking for it is also worth joining the various communities and groups out there. On Reddit there is r/Blogging amongst others. Facebook has lots of blogging groups also. The one I use most is bloggingnewbs. These forums are great for getting advice and feedback from others. Others who are new to blogging and others who are more experienced. And they’ll do it because there is a great sense of community amongst a lot of bloggers. Not because they see you as an easy mark to make money from.

Still Think Paid Blogging Courses Are Worth It?

So, as far as I’m concerned, most paid blogging courses are a waste of your money. A bit of a scam. There’s no denying they are a great source of income for a lot of bloggers. There is a reason why so many bloggers offer them after all. But as a new blogger you don’t need them. Especially when everything you need can be found for free.

If the resources I’ve provided don’t suit you then remember that Google is your friend. I guess you need to ask yourself would you rather spend your time looking for the information? or spend your money by getting the same information off someone else?

With that said, good luck with your blogging journey. I hope this article helps you along your way or at least helps you stay that little bit richer by keeping your own money in your pocket.

Do you agree or disagree with my opinion? Have you ever taken part in a successful blogging course (and one in which you are not now an affiliate for)? I’d love to know 🙂

10 thoughts on “Paid Blogging Courses. Worth It Or Just A Scam?

  1. Wholeheartedly agree. People who run a course requiring you to pay to learn how to blog are stealing money from you. End of story. No course is going to give you the ‘secret sauce’ to blogging.

    1. Thanks for your view on this V. Glad you could see my point. I doubt there even is a secret sauce. And if there was I think you’re right. Can’t see anyone giving it away in a course.
      I was sort’ve hoping someone would comment that they took a course that helped them create a successful blog. Still waiting….

      1. I definitely think there’s a secret sauce but I just don’t think it’s a one size fits all answer. It’s not the kind of thing you can learn in a course. I spent nearly a decade growing digital platforms for several different organizations and their charitable arms and honestly, every approach to every company/organization/person has to be taken separately. You know what I mean? What works for someone doesn’t work for someone else. What works for a business won’t work for their charitable branch. It’s taking a look at your blog as an individual and not trying to fit it into a square hole when it’s a round peg. I’m probably rambling now. I just… despise people who steal money from others under the premise of social media growth.

      2. Well, I bow to your expertise. You obviously would be more knowledgeable than myself.
        For what I can tell I agree that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ way of going about it. It’s a lot of consistent hard work, and learning what works and what doesn’t.
        I’m with you on the stealing money front. It’s just people taking advantage of others who don’t know better by preying on their hopes and lack of knowledge. It annoys the hell outta me too.

  2. 🙂 I never paid for a blogging course in my entire life; so I am not in a position to tell you if they work or not.

    I genuinely believe that there are a few good people like my friend, Ryan Biddulph, who teaches people priceless information about blogging via his ebooks.

    You are right about scammers providing fake blogging services for a sum of money. Scammers are known to prey on the ignorant ones.

    In my case, I provide my blogging tips freely to my blogging community.

    CJ, you have certainly stirred up a can of worms with this controversial topic of yours (I like it).

    Do enjoy the rest of your day!

    1. Thanks Renard. I do think there has to be at least a few good people with decent courses but they’re lost in the sea of dodgy ones.
      I love books and have tried a few blogging ones. Wasn’t that impressed tbh. Might check out your friend’s though.
      That said I do believe all the info you need can be found for free as there’s good people like yourself putting it out there.
      When researching this post I actually replied to a ‘mommy’ blogger’s email saying I was interested in her course but had reservations because of a past experience. I got a reply saying she was a busy mom and would get back to me. She never did.
      In other posts I read about courses the people would talk bad about a course they did but would recommend another one…that they just happened to be an affiliate for.
      I think you’re right about scammers preying on the ignorant ones. Just like the rest of the world I guess.
      Bring on the worms haha
      Hope you have a great day yourself!

  3. I agree with this 100%! It seems like the only things I find about blogging on Pinterest are just links to bloggers touting their blogging courses. It’s incredibly frustrating, where there are so many free places where you can get free advice from bloggers. I’m sure these bloggers started blogging to write about what they were passionate about, but now they just are blogging about how to make money and how THEY make money. So if I were to follow their advice I would be paying for who knows how many courses, changing the entire reason I blog, and begin touting my own SEO course booklet for a reasonable prices so you can make money just like me at home where I earn 6 figures a year. Ugh.

    Excellent post! Really well written, well researched, and very entertaining!

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

    1. Thank you Emily. It’s funny that you mention Pinterest because that’s where I really noticed it too.
      I signed up for a lot of free courses. Started to notice the same patterns in their emails then started trying to figure out what they were doing.
      I think you’re right about starting to blog about their passion but then moving on to where they get their money.
      We all have our own style and interests and I think those interests are best served by writing about what we want to write about not what someone else thinks we should.
      It’s just a pity there are so many people that fall for their charms.
      Very nice of you to comment. Best wishes to you.

  4. I have never taken a blogging course and most tips I get are from the internet and the blogs I follow. I do like the bloggers that give advice, but state clearly that this is what worked for them. So of course this means that it might not work for you, but there are some that say I have done xyz and xyz happened. But still, I have not paid for anything, but thought about it a few times.

    1. I can understand why you have thought about it a few times as I know I would have bought into one at some point had I not had a bad experience earlier on my blogging journey. Some courses are framed in such a tempting way.
      You seem to have done it the right way by getting tips from other bloggers and the internet. Like you, I like the bloggers that say what worked for them but are clear that it might not work for you. They seem to be genuinely trying to help others.
      It’s the bloggers who are plainly taking advantage of people to get them to either buy their course or a course they are affiliated with that really bothers me. Especially as the information they are providing is probably just a rehash of information that is already out there.
      I appreciate your view on this. Thank you and best wishes to you.

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