The past twelve months have been a fantastic blogging year for me. Despite having blogged for 10 years, this was the first year I seriously worked to make a business out of by blog, including investing in blogger courses. Talk about late bloomer… The effects? Amazing. You can check out my blog income reports and compare January 2016 with January 2017. Quite a difference, huh?!
So what did I do?
Well, I scrutinized my income sources and my traffic sources and looked for improvement opportunities. Then I prioritized and went to work!
Something new I did in 2016 was to invest in a number of courses to improve my weak spots. I have never done that before (for my blogging), but instead always tried to find free information to learn new skills. Now I decided to try a more efficient way. And wow, what a difference it made!
For Pinterest, for example, I realized in April 2016 that I had totally missed this fantastic traffic generator. I tried on my own between April and August to read blogs and create a presence on Pinterest. Then in August, I decided that my blog deserved a proper course on the topic. OMG. Page views from Pinterest increased from 800/month in April to 1500/month in August. They went from 1500pv/month in August to 45,000 in October. The course paid itself in 1.5 months.
Courses can be a complete waste of time and money or they can make a world of difference to your situation.
As a blogger, you need to be able to:
- write well,
- connect with the social crowd,
- understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO),
- produce graphics that attract the social crowd
- and monetize your blog.
(And many other things too, like knowing your topic, of course, and how to publish your blog, how to work with email marketing, maybe how to produce your own products, videos et cetera…) But the above ones are what I focused on this past year. :-)
Here are my recommendations on some awesome blogger courses that will give you enough skills to succeed with both blog traffic and income!!
Writing Skills Course
A lot of us simply write. And it usually works pretty well too. But there are of course reasons why journalists spend many years in university learning (amongst others) how to write to keep the reader’s attention. I bet you don’t feel like spending the next five years to become a journalist, so here’s an option that I am attending right now:
The online writing class “Writing With Impact”.
It is a really good course. 5.5 hours broken into 73 lectures. There are assignments, Q&As, worksheets, and above all so much to learn. I am not done with the class and I already feel that I should seriously go back and edit everything I’ve ever written…
It is not a cheap class – some $135, but Udemy, which is the course platform, quite ofter runs awesome sales, so if the course is too expensive for you, bookmark it and go back once per week or something to check for a sale. You can also subscribe to my blogging newsletter – I try to keep up with sales and shoot off a heads up to my subscribers.
Blogger Courses For Website Traffic
If no one finds your awesome blog, there isn’t much point with writing, right? And it will be very difficult to build a business around your blog without any visitors.
I know a lot of bloggers (probably most bloggers) that are much better than I am on attracting blog traffic from social media. So deciding what classes to attend is all about identifying your weak spots, and prioritize which you think have the greatest potential.
Some possible areas are Pinterest, SEO for the search engines, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Pinterest Course (Update: Closed! I’ll look for a new one!)
In my case, as a motherhood blogger, Pinterest was my obvious first choice. I am still mad at myself for being so slow to start, but hey, sulking will get you nowhere!
The course I took (and is still taking) to make Pinterest work for me is called Pinfinite Growth. It is a video-based online class by a woman named Melyssa Griffin. She learned how to rock Pinterest for her own blog and decided to put everything she’d learned into a practical Pinterest course. And she has done it really well.
I was literally trembling when pushing the buy button for the course because it is expensive! Melyssa charges $397 for it. What made me still buy it was:
- 60 days full refund guarantee. Super important for me!
- I knew I was in the right niche for Pinterest, but couldn’t make it fly quickly when trying on my own
- Lots of people in Facebook groups that I am in were seeing great results from Melyssa’s course.
So I took the plunge in August 2016 and never looked back. The course was paid for by increased page views from Pinterest in less than two months. Isn’t that amazing! You can check my income reports from August 2016 and on to see my Pinterest stats. And before August I had tried on my own for 5 months without getting anywhere.
What I like about Pinfinite Growth:
- It is very practical and step-by-step
- It is revised and updated when Pinterest makes changes
- It includes worksheets, pinterest graphic templates, very clear videos and admission to a Facebook group just for the course
- It gives results if followed (at least for me)
What I think could be improved:
There is only one thing that annoys me a little bit about the course. Melyssa’s presence in the Facebook group is honestly so-so. I understand that she is probably super busy, but if you sell a course for $397 and include a Facebook group, you seriously need to be there!
Sure she is there to answer questions and comment here and there, but I would have preferred more. If I compare her with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s presence in her Facebook group for the course Making Sence of Affiliate Marketing, there is a massive difference. Michelle often answers within minutes. (You can read about her class below.)
Anyway, Pinfinite Growth was very good for me and my earnings! If you are blogging in some sort of lifestyle niche and need to up your Pinterest skills, I can really recommend the course!
SEO class for Bloggers
When I started blogging in 2006, mastering Search Engine Optimization was pretty much the only way to get website traffic. And today, with some 350,000 visitors from Google each month, I think I can say that I am pretty OK on SEO skills. BUT – SEO changes all the time! What worked a few years ago or even a few months ago might not be as effective today.
A favorite class to learn SEO online is How I Hit #1 on Google: The NEW 2020 Complete SEO Course”. Super cheesy name, I know, but the content is great if you really want to learn SEO from scratch. 5.5 hours of video training, and extra articles and resources. I also like that the course teaches legit ways to rank – not anything that could get you penalized for spamming.
The course also touches on Social Media traffic, which is a nice extra.
Just like the writing class I wrote about above, this class is on the Udemy platform. Check it out here. and bookmark if you want to catch it on sale! :)
There are of course other important ways to drive traffic to your blog than Google and Pinterest. I plan to start working on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter anytime soon. :-) I’ll let you know when I have classes to recommend for these platforms too. And if YOU have a recommendation on a course you love, please share among the comments below!
Learning Graphic design that’s good enough
These days, you NEED nice graphics for your blog. Without it, there is no way, you’ll succeed on Pinterest, for example. At the same time, we only have a certain number of hours per day right, so we need great graphics created fast.
If you decide to get Pinfinite growth, you’ll get some awesome graphics templates to use. If not, then at least make sure to learn basic graphic design in your favorite tool.
I have always used PhotoShop or Paint.net before for images, but when I started to be a bit more serious with Pinterest, I discovered Canva. It is pretty self-instructive, but I still decided to sign up for a class to make sure I used it the best way possible. The class I signed up for is Canva Graphics Design for Entrepreneurs
The course walks you through how to use Canva the most efficient way and shows practical examples of how to create great graphics for various Social Media platforms as well as for your blog. I found it very helpful and inspirational!
A Great Course to Monetize Your Blog
OK, so now you have ideas on courses to learn great writing, attracting visitors and make great graphics for your blog. Earning some money would be great too, right?
This has been one of my weakest spots over the years and I have mainly used display ads to earn anything at all. Now I am in the process of changing that!
The class I am attending is called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and is taught by a woman named Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. She is making +$50,000 every month from just affiliate marketing with fewer website visitors than I have. Talk about different levels of success. :-( But I can LEARN from her!
I signed up for her class in late September 2016 and almost instantly quadrupled my affiliate earnings. The course paid off within a couple of months.
While expensive too (aren’t they all), her class is nowhere near as expensive as Melyssa’s Pinterest class. SO if you already master Pinterest or have blog traffic but not much earnings, DO invest in Michelle’s class!
Some of the great things about her class:
- High quality, video and workbook based class
- Step-by-step actions to take
- 30 days full refund
- The Facebook group for her class – it is super helpful
- Michelle’s presence in the Facebook group. She is really there; active and offering to help. I love it!
- It creates results!
What to improve in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing..? To be honest, I don’t really know. I think the course is great, and I don’t really see anything lacking. Have you attended it? Share your views below – both pros and cons!
So, in conclusion…
For me, these blogger courses have been seriously great. I learn so much new – even despite having blogged for such a long time!
Short of money to invest in classes? No worries! Take them one at a time and make use of coupons and sales periods. After all, it took me 10 years even to get started with taking courses, LOL! (But that is NOT something I recommend. )
So am I done now?
Not even close! My writing skills can always be improved. Always. I still don’t have an email list worth mentioning (another of my super stupid mistakes), I have no Instagram presence, not much Facebook presence to brag about, and I am sure that I could do much more to focus and leverage my blog.
And you know what? It is so much fun! I wish I had much more time to learn, develop and execute.
I have invested in one more course, that I haven’t (yet) put on the list above. It is a pretty extensive blogging course with the aim to really make a professional business out of your blog. It started in late February 2017 and I will sure let you know if it is worth its (pretty steep) price tag.
So what do you think of this list? Which blogger course would you prioritize and why?