12 Steps to choosing the Best Blogging Course and stop wasting money!
If you spend as little as 10 minutes online researching "How to Start a Blog" or "How to Start an Online Business" you will see several courses for sale but you are here because you want to know the best blogging course to invest in. Hopefully you found me before you made a decision. Do not purchase your next online course before you read this entire post.
The 'online world' is filled with people promoting their products and services. As you will realize (if you haven't already) is that most advice is mediocre, some are good enough to be worth your time and very few are absolutely phenomenal.
My goal isn't to tell you which course to invest in but rather give you enough examples to steer you in the direction of making a very good or even a great choice. It is only then that I would feel satisfied.
Are Blogging Courses necessary?
I say a resounding 'Yes' if:
- You want to reach your goals faster by shortening the learning curve
- You want to benefit from the mistake of others and invariably save yourself some money in the process.
On the other hand, if you don't mind spending the time (hours and hours) researching and losing money and a lot of valuable sleep like I did in the past, go ahead and denounce the benefit of online courses.
With the latter being the more tiresome option it is easy to become caught up in a wave of impulsive buying. You have likely received some compelling, time-sensitive emails lately that you have to get product "x" now before its gone at midnight.
The fear of missing out have lead many Mamas like you to ditch their budget and buy that "fix all" course without thinking of the repercussions.
Here are the 12 Most Important things you need to keep in mind when choosing a Blogging Course
1. Experience of the Presenter
Let us not confuse credentials with experience. When I speak of experience I am referring to the ability of the course creator to guide and provide value based on what they have done in their own business.
In the spirit of fairness, how can you rely on someone to guide you to your first $5,000 online when they are struggling to make $500?
Note though, that I wholeheartedly embrace online business owners who are new but have the ability to deliver on their promise. For example this is my 5th month blogging (July), I have seen and experienced a lot but I can by no means claim to be an expert in blogging. This is why I have relied on the experience of a few experts.
On the note of credentials: It is smarter to trust someone who has lived what they are teaching rather than someone with an academic degree which qualifies them to speak on the topic but has no practical experience or success.
2. Reviews by past or current students
This is the make or break point for many in their search for an online course. Generally people's opinions about whether or not to purchase goes in the direction of the reviews. Can you blame them though? Who wants to buy a self proclaimed awesome course which has a majority of its reviews being negative?
Read the reviews before you purchase so you can have a better idea of what you are getting. However, be open minded. What is a negative for someone else may not be an issue for you.
3. Is there a Refund Policy?
Let's face it, most digital products (especially on the lower end of the pricing spectrum) do not provide refunds. There are a few programs that are priced at a higher rate that have a 30 day refund policy. Read the refund policy carefully as this is most often linked to a few conditions. Most popularly, you have to show that you followed the instructions and did not receive the expected outcome before you can qualify for a full refund.
When you think about it, it's very difficult to go through the vast amount of content in the higher priced courses in 30 days. Therefore proving you are entitled to a full refund is close to being impossible.
4. Personal Time Commitment
If you are not committed to investing the time required to get the most value for your money, keep it in the bank.
I have seen so many people with whom I associate in Facebook Groups spend hundreds of dollars on online courses and weeks go by and their response to questions about the course quality is "I haven't started it yet."
I am a busy working Mom of 2 so I know what it is like to have life get in the way of your goals. But it is beyond me why hundreds of dollars would be spent and you have no clue about what you paid for a month later. If you are going to invest, use the training so you can recoup your investment in the shortest possible time.
5. Is the Course current?
The methods of succeeding with business online are in constant evolution. Whichever course you are drawn to, check to see when they were last updated.
Things expire real fast online. Believe me when I say one year is a long time in 'internet marketing strategy' years. What worked in 2017 always needs some modifications to get the same value in 2018.
It is better to invest in a course where you can benefit from future updates. This is why I prefer blogging courses that have lifetime access. If not, you may have paid a pretty penny for outdated content.
6. Is the content comprehensive?
I have a few low cost courses that I have purchased. They have been super helpful. When you are just starting out and on a tight budget this may be your only option. However, be prepared to stop doing this as soon as your financial situation changes. Those $49 investments for mini courses and eBooks add up (and you may not like the results if you checked it).
Let's do a little comparison. You purchasing 10+ eBooks and mini courses (one time purchase, no updates, different topics) for an average of $39 each. That is $390 which you may be spending annually to get an updated version from the same or new person you think provides greater value.
On the other hand, you can spend spend $397 or $247 for a comprehensive Online Course (lifetime access, frequent updates, variety of topics).
Which is smarter financially?
The math says it's the more comprehensive version with lifetime access and regular updates.
7. Accessibility of the Instructor
Do you remember when you signed up for a freebie online and you received several promotional offers? The reality is that there are some product creators who will woo you in with awesome free offers but as soon as you make a purchase they become too bust to offer support. Check to see if there is an avenue on social media or email where you can have direct access to your instructor. I understand that it is difficult to have everyone's queries answered but as least test the system to see the quality of the customer support.
8. Price of the Course
You may be wondering why this is so far down the list. Let me assure you that it is no less important than others mentioned above. in general, we often associate cost with quality. As good a guide as this is, it is not always correct.
I have seen quite a bit of overpriced content going for ridiculously high prices. I'm taking about content that you could get if you took the time to read the content of the instructor's website. That's a part of the harsh reality. I get annoyed when I see 30 page ebooks being sold only to realize there's only 10 pages of valuable content.
Examine the sales page and those bullet points. Check to see if they address the problem you are seeking to solve.
Don't be rushed when making major purchases. If you want to get the best blogging course it is going to cost a chunk of change but be smart.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Do you have a personal budget?
- Does your family have a budget?
- Does the price (even with the amazing discounts) fit into your budget?
- What level of disruption can your budget accommodate?
- Is there an option for a payment plan?
- Is the payment plan worth it? (Priced higher)
- Will the product be around for the next few weeks so I can save towards it?
9. Is the teaching style compatible with the way you learn?
For the best teaching-learning experience you have to go beyond credentials. As much as possible, view content produced by the course instructor and note the following:
- tone of voice
- clarity of speech/expression
- ability to explain
- Are you a visual/auditory learner?
- What appeals to you when listening to their voice?
- Are you into humor? Does the presenter use this style?
If you are satisfied with the above you most likely will be able to listen without being bored.
10. Does the Instructor provide value for free?
As you will realize, many online marketers offer a free course before introducing you to their paid content. There is so much you can glean from actively completing the free course. You will get first hand insight into their presentation style, resources used and how well they know their business.
This goes a long way in building trust. This also provides an excellent opportunity to test their responsiveness to queries. If you are satisfied with the free content, chances are you will be pleased with your purchase as well.
11. Lifetime Access vs Monthly Subscription
This is often an area that is overlooked in a bid to "Get Access." Let's look at some numbers together. The courses below offer similar content according to their creators.
- Course X costs $499 one time / Lifetime access / Annual Updates
- Course Y costs $49 / month / Annual Updates
When you are broke and desperate Product Y seems more attractive. However if you look a little deeper in less than a year you would have spent as much money as you would on Course X.
On the other hand, if you are not sure what is a good fit for you by all means give a lower cost course a try for a month or two.
There is one big disadvantage to purchasing a subscription based course. Based on the nature of the content you may no longer have access to downloadable materials, software and Facebook community. This is devastating if your business directly depends on these resources to function.
12. Follow Your Gut feeling
This may mean you will miss the first BIG opportunity to get the most awesome course ever. That one course that promises a solution to all the questions you have ever asked. Trust your judgement and don't be afraid to wait and see. There is no one magic course that you must have. That is why there are so many courses around. different things resonate with different people.
Remember, you are in the process of choosing the Best Blogging Course that will work for you.
Take your time. You are totally worth it.
I have entrusted my personal growth and development as a Blogger to 2 awesome Content creators that live what they teach and have the growth and sales to show for it.
I spent a considerable amount of time looking at their content and utilizing their free resources.
If you received value from this content please leave a comment below.