Disclaimer: I’m not advertising anything with this blog post or anyone’s course – I simply want to highlight that blogging is becoming a fabricated business and it’s easy to spend money on things that will never bring you value. If you’re a beginner blogger, you’re better off investing in your writing skill than learning about these ‘blogging secrets’ from questionable sources.
I’ll probably get yelled at for this but hey, if it offends you, you should probably stop doing this. A recent Facebook group mentioned this article that talks about blogging course scams. It’s a really good read and a warning to everyone who’s naive enough to fall for them. As a content manager, I’d like to share my own input and shady practices I’ve seen in this business.
Everyone wants to become successful at blogging. But here’s an ugly truth about blogging courses.
Don’t be fooled that people who are monetizing their site are 100% genuine and want to help you reach your blogging potential – most of them just want the money. I’ve seen hundreds of travel bloggers posting on Facebook groups how they ‘just started their blog and would like to monetize them.’ I’ve also received the advice that you can easily make a course as soon as you reach a certain amount of views per month, regardless if you can repeat the thing again next month. Unfortunately, it’s not how it should be.
As soon as blogging got a ‘money first’ mentality, it lost its value and hard work. People just want to get easy money and they don’t care whether or not they actually teaching valuable information. Sure, it’s a business, and part of me is writing this because I’m incredibly petty, but the other part of me worries about the industry that’s becoming so fabricated it’s losing that personal touch.
Blog posts are becoming just rewritten blog posts from the first five you see on Google. And the people who claim they made it big, only made it big that one time. And then they went on to teach about it, leaving blogging altogether. See? It sounds crazy!
I’m not a pro at blogging, far from it, which is why I’ll never set up something that will teach you ‘how I get 1000 views per day’ or ‘how I managed to explode my traffic with Pinterest’. And to be honest, I don’t really want to.
When I became a freelance content manager and spent a lot of time writing for others (including blogging coaches), I learned the ugly truth about how some people make money by teaching you how to blog. (This also applies to other businesses)
Here’s how a lot of blogging courses are actually made.
PLR (I won’t link to these sites because they don’t deserve your clicks)
Unless they’re very passionate about the subject, most of these short-term bloggers will never put in the work that’s actually required to make a course from scratch. PLR stands for Private Label Rights. They’re products that allow you to download the content and rebrand for your own business purposes. You can find anything from books, email templates, email campaigns, or even full on courses.
Why it’s terrible: A lot of the content is actually extremely outdated, meaning the practices are no longer valuable. This is important, especially when it comes to blogging and social media. The algorithms and SEO policies change once every few months, but those books never get updated. This also means you can easily receive only 20% of useful information. Of course, you’re also copying the content – there are thousands of other bloggers out there doing exactly the same. These pre-made courses cost less than $5 and some people out there charge as much as $500 for the course. Also, someone spent a lot of time writing these courses and they’re also making money by offering you a template that has no proven results.
Depending on whether or not the blogger is actually passionate about the subject, they might rewrite the content – but there are so many of bloggers out there that will use these course and email templates without changing a single thing. And they’ll still make money.
Can it be good: Yes – if you use it as a template and an inspiration and actually rewrite other content. Purchase at your own risk.
Btw, this is not entrepreneurship. Unless you can elevate that content and really change it into something current and personalized to your own business, this is a scam.
People who are really making money, make more money making money than they do telling people how they make money.
Not all blogging courses are bad.
Of course, there are a few of them with relevant and decent information. But that information could easily be obtained for free.
I’ve seen at least a dozen of ‘bloggers’ offering courses that made me raise my eyebrows. Here’s what they all had in common:
- No payment plan (money upfront? in this economy? no thank you!)
- No 30-day money back guarantee (most Teachable courses offer this – as it should be).
- They actually stopped blogging altogether and just focus on their course (‘those who can’t do, teach’ – there’s some truth to this saying).
- You can trace back zero of their content (search their name, see what comes up).
- Their social media presence is not that amazing (this is important, especially if they’re advertising certain Pinterest courses and whatnot)
- They don’t offer any of their advice for free (come on!!!!)
And most of them were the ones that Facebook groups mentioned they were actually a scam. They take your money, they give you a basic course, and when you’re unhappy, they disappear. Or, they bait you in until you invest a certain sum and eventually disappear. Sounds kind of like scientology actually (sorry, still watching Leah Remini’s documentary).
Don’t get scammed by blogging courses
Do your research on the blogger! Do you really feel like you’re getting something valuable or have you just fallen for the course because of it’s shiny Pinterest picture?
Check their blogging history – how long have they had a blog? Let’s be honest, nothing good happens within 2 years of blogging for most people (and it usually takes a few months for SEO to even catch your keywords).
Check their content – you can use plagiarism checker to check their blog posts that talk about their course. If you see any similarities in wording, there’s a good chance it’s PLR. Stay away.
Only invest in the best
There are people out there like Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuk, and others who give content and business advice for free. Everything you need to learn, whether it’s about WordPress, monetization, social media, etc. all is available for free – save your coins.
There really is no short secret to blogging success – you need to have a good content strategy, know SEO (which you can do through the official Moz website), and just work hard and post valuable content. Your readers will come. And you can do all this without wasting money on blogging courses.
Don’t get scammed.