Mandy Lutman
All Posts By

Mandy Lutman

Writing

The Wokest Part of Celebrity Big Brother That Never Gets Discussed

This doesn’t really belong on this blog, but as this is my only platform where I can freely speak out, I will make it belong here. As an avid CBB fan, I make sure I watch every single season, but this year’s CBB really stood out as the ‘wokest’ season yet.

The first series of Celebrity Big Brother 2018 touches on transsexuality and addresses some of the differences associated between drag queens and transsexuals. It addresses the importance of women being treated equally. But most importantly, it addresses something fans acknowledge, but the Celebrity Big Brother team never does.

Relationships and showmance are a huge part of a curated CBB storyline and they’re hated by the majority. They’re obviously forced and more than often, the showmance storyline plays a mental game – not only with the housemates, but also with the viewers.

Trigger warnings are a standard part of any Celebrity Big Brother episode. We get them for sexual language, nudity and offensive language. But one thing that’s never shown as a trigger warning are the emotionally manipulative games these curated relationships knowingly or unknowingly play on each other.

It all started with Season 20 of Celebrity Big Brother, where fans got an interesting insight into the life and personality of Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding and Chad Johnson. The two didn’t seem to bother with each other for the first half of the season, but after Chad’s narrative with housemate Amelia Lily didn’t work out, all attention fell on Sarah and Chad, who quickly became a thing. Along with cuddles and risky touchy-feely movements under the cover, the two often fought and these emotions came out of nowhere. Over some time, the fans have accused the Girls Aloud popstar of a manipulative relationship after noticing abusive patterns they have encountered in their own relationships. Sarah became verbally abusive out of nowhere, while demanding an apology from her significant other for making her lash out.

And although CBB21 has been praised as a ‘woke’ show that touches on subjects no other reality television channel would, many critics fail to mention that the show lacks a discussion on one of the most triggering topics for anyone who’s ever been in a mentally abusive relationship: gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation where the abuser tries to bend their victim’s reality to act in the abuser’s favor. In Sarah Harding’s case, she made Chad feel like he was in the wrong for her abusive behaviour.

But fans have yet again been outraged when rapper Ginuwine pointed to Ashley James’ lower middle section and said “It’s happening tonight.” Ashley became completely disoriented and confused, and later confessed to her gal-pals what was said and done. For the next few days, Ginuwine ignored her and as a result, made her wonder what she did to make him act like that. After the two discussed the situation, Ginuwine refused to apologize for his actions, but Ashley felt relieved. The episode ended with the two sharing a bed for a cuddle for the first time in the house. When Ashley left, Ginuwine, as if the previous few days never happened, mentioned that “it could happen tomorrow.” It’s very clear what’s on his mind and judging by Ashley’s reaction, it’s also clear that she’s far from wanting this action to happen. This decision should have been respected and Big Brother should have intervened the first time around.

While Celebrity Big Brother touches on some of the most controversial subjects ever, manipulation into having sex in the house because of bonus promises and contracts should never be an okay thing. The show has yet to put trigger warnings on any kind of mental abuse shown in the house that could potentially remind their viewers of an abusive relationship or any other events they have faced in their life. These acts of manipulative behaviour have been noted multiple times by fans and there’s an important mental health line not even a reality show should cross.

 

How to Stay Productive and Motivated as a Freelancer
Freelance

How to Stay Productive and Motivated as a Freelancer

Being a freelancer is beneficial in many ways. You can focus more on your work without typical distractions and you can get things done quicker and more efficiently. But once you’re over your freelance honeymoon period, you might find yourself struggling to keep up with your motivation and staying productive. They call it ‘losing the hustle’, but it’s really more about losing your focus. Trust me, I’ve been there.

We all get to a place where at some point, it seems like we’re on an autopilot. There were countless of times when weekends just flew by and I kept asking myself what day it is and I couldn’t believe that it’s Monday all over again. At some point, I also fell into a loop of thinking how much I don’t enjoy freelancing anymore. But as it happens with every single job you have in your life, that loop comes and goes and this is precisely how you can stay productive and motivated as a freelancer.

Disclaimer: I’m not sponsored by any company or app mentioned in this blog – these are all real opinions.

  1. buy me a boat lyrics Have an overview of your projects

I used to be the type of person that has everything in their head and I was able to pull information on everything without having to check my diary. From meetings to tasks I was required to do, I was able to recite them all. But once I started receiving more and more clients, I realized I need to put everything in a single place. I’m NOT sponsored by either of these tools, but they’re the most effective things you can get to make sure you have a clear overview of your projects.

I use Trello to plan my week ahead. I got inspired by the template one of my clients shared with me because I realized it’s really effective and helps me get my work done. Here’s how I organize everything:

Yellow labels mean that it’s in the works, orange labels mean I need to hear back from my client, and green labels mean that the task is done and the client’s been informed. I do this every single week to make sure I have a clear overview of my tasks and can prioritize necessary things.

  • Google Calendar

I’m the type that uses my phone for everything – I even set a timer alarm to remind me that my tea’s now ready to drink. But Google Calendar is my favorite app for just about anything else. Any meeting, any Skype call, any invoice reminder, basically anything goes in my Google Calendar. I make sure I set up email notifications and alerts for 2 days before as well as 2 hours before to never miss my meetings.

I use Togg.l just to see how much time I actually spend procrastinating when I should be working. It’s honestly quite embarrassing, but it’s a fantastic motivator to keep me going and actually realize when I need to take a break. Apart from that, I also give time reports to all non-Upwork clients I work with. 

  1. where can i buy propecia in the philippines Schedule ‘me time’

I learned how easy it is to just work until the end of time, especially if you’re getting paid just for the time you work. Admittedly, this is one of the things I miss about working in-house – every minute counts and taking breaks means you won’t get paid. But ‘me time’ is important. I don’t start working before 10am and take at least 4 hours every day for myself. Whether that means sleeping, meditating, working out or anything else. I try to not indulge in any work activities.

Apps I use to stay healthy:

  • Headspace or Calm
  • Forest – Forest helps you stay focused without checking your phone – good for work productivity, but also good or taking the time away from technology. Plus you plant cute forests along the way!
  • 7-minute workout
  1. where to order Depakote online Let go of clients when it’s time

One of the things I learned the hard way was in order to stay motivated and productive, freelancers have the power to let go of their clients at any point they feel like it’s not going to work out. Switching jobs quickly is never a good sign, but as a freelancer, you have the ability to do this as soon as your projects are over. I love all my long-term clients and have worked with some for over two years, but I also get extremely motivated whenever I bring a new client on board. Job hopping is never okay in the typical in-house world, but getting new clients and expanding my portfolio is one of the most exciting and refreshing moments of being a freelancer.

How to find new clients:

  1. Go out of town

I’m definitely trying to do more of traveling for 2018. I feel like a different scenery is essential to staying productive and motivated as a freelancer. We’re often stuck in a very unsocial environment, considering we don’t really have co-workers right next to us. So changing scenery is refreshing, motivational, and a fantastic reminder why you chose this career in the first place. Even if it just means working from a cafe and listening to office people complain about their coworkers.

How to find cheap and last-minute flights to get away from it all:

How to Stay Productive and Motivated as a Freelancer

  1. Find your crew

One of the best things I’ve done as a freelancer is surrounding myself with people who are doing exactly the same thing. It’s the best way to stay motivated. Surround yourself with those who are able to bring the best in you. I live in a place that’s totally catered to freelancers. It allows people to meet each other and share ideas. Without it, I’d definitely be more lost, especially in London.  

What do you do to stay motivated and productive as a freelancer? Let’s have a discussion! 

A Day In The Life of a Freelance Content Manager
Digital Nomad Guides, Freelance

A Day In The Life of a Freelance Content Manager

Hey! My name is Mandy and I’ve been a freelance content manager for about 2 years. I work with real estate and tech industries and help them catapult their content marketing plans and strategies to a new level. If this was a YouTube video, it’d be super cheesy and would probably involve at least one breakdown as I try to chase up one of my clients who goes through stages of hibernation – but I wanted to show you what a day in the life of a freelance content manager is actually like.

A Day In The Life of a Freelance Content Manager

I love what I do – but I’d lie if I’d say that this is easy work. So enjoy this little confession as I sit here and avoid filing my tax return for as long as possible (this blog post is a part of my procrastination plan).

A Day In The Life of a Freelance Content Manager

  • 6AM – Up and at ‘em!

6AM is my PR version, but my winter version’s been more like 8-9AM. Don’t judge. I get up, do my usual stuff I do every single day. Shower, some gentle stretching, meditation, I hit the gym, and basically mess around until 10AM. As a rule to make sure I have some ‘me time’ and have a balance, I try not to do any work before 10. During this time, I also check my calendar to see everything I have to do for today. I also overdose on coffee. 

  • 10AM – Work time

I grab a cup of coffee from the shop downstairs from my apartment building and head over to the co-working space, where I usually work 3/7 days per week.

Here’s what I usually do in a day:

  • Check Trello updates for one of my clients
  • Check Slack updates (all of my 5 long-term clients are currently on Slack, which is amazing).
  • Start going through my to-do list, which usually includes:
    • Write at least 2 blog posts for various clients
    • One 2000+ word entertainment script for YouTube (which includes research and watching various TV shows to make sure I know I’m writing about)
    • Spend some time going through content marketing trends and see if I can adapt it to any of my clients
    • Check in with all of my clients about priorities for the week (I usually do this on a Sunday)
    • Schedule meetings (I try to have at least one phone call for a client per week to make sure we’re all on the same page)
    • I create relevant social media posts, which includes making animations for Instagram stories.
    • I watch Leah Remini’s Scientology show in the background

A Day In The Life of a Freelance Content Manager

  • Work breaks

I usually take work breaks during the day and focus on either personal skills, or I go out for a walk / go to central London / take a dance class or a gym class. What I’m currently working on:

  • My illustration skills (enrolled in a Udemy course)
  • After Effects skills (to boost my social media production)
  • Photoshop editing skills (shameless self plug – follow me on Instagram!)
  • I spend at least 30 min analysing marketing strategies
  • I spend an hour on Hootsuite for my personal social media

6-7PM – work is finished

And that’s about it! I usually put in about 50 hours of work per week, which also includes work on improving my skills for the future. But after 7PM, I make sure I have time for myself – this usually includes a meditation class or yoga, and hanging out with people from my apartment building.

  • 11PM – bed

I’m boring and old, so I tend to be ready for bed by 11PM on a good day. I stick to the routine I’ve had as a full time in-office worker and make sure I stick to reading a book rather than being on my laptop all day and all night long. I also make sure I turn on my air diffuser and bring some essential oil therapy into my apartment.

A Day In The Life of a Freelance Content Manager

As I’m currently settling down and getting ready to go back into full time work, I’m not doing much travelling. However, if this was a year ago, I’d probably go on a weekend or a week-long getaway somewhere whenever I wouldn’t have much work to do. It’s an exciting life, really 😉

And that’s it for a day in the life of a freelance content manager! Want to become a freelancer? Make sure to check out my other posts on how to get your first Upwork clients and how to become a digital nomad.

Taylor swift reputation review
Review

So Taylor Swift Dropped A New Album…

It’s time to talk about Reputation. The minute I got paid this morning I spent £11 pounds on Reputation and it was totally worth it. I grew out of liking Taylor Swift after it seemed like she was a very calculative person, but I have to admit I’m a hue fan of her music. It’s fun, entertaining, and it comes with subtle lyrics that actually make sense and have a deeper meaning. It seems like it was yesterday when I was guessing if Taylor’s Instagram picture is a snake or a dragon.

Continue Reading

Blogging Advice

Why Your Transparent Blog Income Report Isn’t Actually Transparent

I’ll be petty and have a tiny violin playing for me for just one blog post and that’s because I read this brilliant post and have to weigh in on my opinion about income reports. (Shoutout to Laura who’s easily one of my favorite REAL  bloggers).  

I like reports. They help me track my stuff, they help me see where I was last year and how far I’ve come. As a content manager, reporting KPIs is my thing. I even make it super entertaining and motivating for people to read and you actually learn something from them.

But income reports? That’s a blogging trend I’ll never understand. Don’t take this the wrong way – I’m totally open to getting destroyed in the comments and being called petty because I’m not able to monetize my blog in the same way (partially true, I’ll take it). But my blog is lacking actual entertaining content, so instead of spending a month reaching out to companies who would be willing to sponsor my blog post, I’ll just write this because I want to.

Maybe it’s a blogger’s thing to try and grasp on that very last bit of transparency they can get because I’ve never seen influencers or anyone else outside of the blogging sphere talk about how much they earn in such bizarre way. Again, maybe I’m totally wrong and this will turn out to insult quite a few people in the process of showing the non-glamour part of these income reports. 

Welcome to the ugly truth. 

Where most blogging income actually comes from:

  • Host provider affiliates – usually from a post on how to start your own blog.
  • Amazon affiliates.
  • Other types of affiliates.
  • Sponsored content that took a lot of soul selling and pretending you like the product because you’re too afraid to tell the truth.
  • Affiliate links in the actual blog income report (which should have a catchy title with the actual income – this income also includes credits you cannot turn into cash whatsoever).
  • 30+ rewritten printables that took 0.5 seconds to make in Canva but are now sold as an impressive bundle.
  • A ‘quit your job and become a full time blogger’ course that was made after a single successful month and now holds 70% of the entire blogging income and is NEVER updated even though blogging rules change on the monthly. 

I understand that this is what blogging is about for most people who want to monetize their content, I really do, and I totally get that it’s a business with funnels and strategies just like anything else.

But think about it – how much of our content is directly affected by the fact you aren’t writing about things you want to write about. Instead, you’re writing about things you KNOW will bring you money.

Are you sure you’re not losing your integrity and value because your KPI is more focused on money than it is on actual quality of your content? What are you actually teaching your readers? 

Click here to read my ACTUAL blog income report that’s completely and totally transparent and I mean that – because I love you and I want you to be your own boss and have freedom to be totally dependent on 30+ affiliate providers you need to constantly promote and make content around to make decent money! While you’re at it, check out my yet-another-generic-teachable-course-my-virtual-assistant-made on how to become a full-time blogger!

(Just kidding, both of these links take you back to my website. I need views for my non-money related KPIs. <3 )

Petty Mandy out!

 

October Favorites
Favorites

My Monthly Favorites [October 2017]

Another month has gone by and the dreadful Nanowrimo is just around the corner. Am I ready? Well, kind of. But more about that later. This month has been fairly quiet in terms of… well.. Anything. October is usually the last freelance month when things get super busy, but I’ve made sure that I’ll won’t be bored for the rest of 2017. Enjoy this little read and don’t forget to let me know what you’ve enjoyed doing / reading / raving about in 2017?

Please note that ‘5 Things I’m Raving About’ and ‘Books I’ve Read’ do have an Amazon affiliate link, however, giving it a click would only support my blog. All opinions are my own (and I wouldn’t have it any other way). <3

5 Things I’m Raving About

  • Demi Lovato’s Simply Complicated documentary This is one of the rawest documentaries I’ve ever seen. I love the honesty, as well as the insight look into the PR version of Demi post-rehab.
  • Dual Sided Gliding Discs Core Sliders by Iron Core Fitness – I got those just last week and they’re absolutely perfect. I’m making core exercises a priority over the weekend, but I also needed something more stimulating than just regular planks (I get super bored). The discs are pretty big, but I also use them when I practice my pirouettes – perf.
  • Essential Oil Diffuser – Er.ma.gherd. I live in a small place that gets easily stuffy, especially since my kitchen doesn’t have a window. I used this for the first time a few weeks ago and honestly, I could actually breathe better (this sounds like a commercial but I promise I’m not sponsored). Also gave me an excuse for going all out on purchasing some essential oils – totally worth it.
  • Lush – I’m back working for Lush over Christmas to work on my communication skills (one thing I’m super worried I’ll miss out on as a freelancer). Letting my retail voice come through because that persona has her whole life put together (jealous).
  • Nanowrimo – Here it is again, the National Novel Writing Month. I participate every year, and every single year I get distracted. This year, I have a new strategy and a lot of hope considering my writing habit has advanced and I’m actually doing some form of writing every single day. I already changed my story twice and had my first breakdown, but hey, who hasn’t?

Books I’ve Read In October

I couldn’t believe when I read that this is actually a fictional book and the characters aren’t real – they might as well be. Maybe it’s the part it represented Croatia pretty well, or the fact it included some Balkan words you wouldn’t understand unless you spoke the language, but this has been one of my favorite boos I ever read. It’s detailed and even gives some insight into Croatian history, which was definitely real (and something they never taught us about in Slovenian schools).

I didn’t think much of this title at first, but I read this in one night (and kicked myself for not going to bed earlier). I skipped through some stuff, but this book had a really interesting plot, a couple of eye-rolling moments and scenes I had to reread to understand what was happening, but overall, a really good book!

Music I’ve Listened to in October

  • Ty Dolla Sign – Beach House 3 Album

I’ve been Ty’s fan ever since Saved first came on. This album is really solid and it annoys me how underappreciated he is. Ex is a bop, but I always enjoy the tracks that have zero features even more. This album is the most versatile album I have ever heard and he really showed off his musicality. Forever a Ty fan.

  • Pink – Beautiful Trauma Album

What About Us made me appreciate Pink again – along with the fact that her and Christina Aguilera made up after a 15-year feud. Beautiful Trauma is amazing when it comes to Pink’s vocal skills. Some of the songs, especially Barbies, fall a little flat for my taste, but I’m loving that she’s testing new sound – Whatever You Want, Better Life, What About Us, and Beautiful Trauma are my top 5.

What were your favorites in October 2017? Let me know or leave a link to your blog post! 🙂  

 

Why Automated Comments Are a Horrible Instagram Trend
Blogging Advice

Why Automated Comments Are a Horrible Instagram Trend

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s automated Instagram comments. I’m really not sure why people think it boosts engagement – I suppose it can when they’re done right, but half of the time, I roll my eyes and call out about 90% of automated comments I get on Instagram. Don’t do it. Seriously, just don’t do it. Outsource it to someone else or spend an hour of your day organically commenting on other people’s content.

Please. Please. Just don’t use automated Instagram comments. Invest your time, invest your money, and you’ll see results.

If you invest in fake automated stuff, you’ll receive fake automated stuff back.

The supposed benefits of automated Instagram comments:

  • It saves you time.

That’s it. That’s the only “benefit” comments like that would give you. They’re not worth it and if you’re using them wrong they’re devaluing your business and branding you the wrong way.

I found some of my favorite automated comments (and some of my replies), just to show you how horrible this trend is.

Here are a few examples of what not to do:

  

How it looks like on someone’s feed? (none of these were organic)

It’s not working. It’s really not. I’d love to hear from someone who’s actually getting any benefits from posting automated comments because it just looks like you’re being completely fake and just want followers in exchange.

My favorite automated Instagram comment I ever got (that actually worked because it was niche-specific):

 

Here’s a thought – why not actually engage with people on Instagram? Why not give them something of value and establish a long-term relationship if you really want conversion for your business? The number of followers means nothing if they don’t engage – create relationships instead. Send DMs, comment authentic things, encourage people, and be consistently present on their timeline.

Need some help? I’m a freelance Content and Social Media Manager, working with small businesses and startups on their content and social media strategy.

Let’s talk and help you create real Instagram engagement!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram – let’s build REAL Instagram relationships!

Blogging Advice

I Tried First 5 ‘Work From Home’ Ads I Saw On Facebook

My Facebook feed is full of bloggers, entrepreneurs, and pretty much everyone offering their courses. The wording is usually the same. They want to show how to start a side hustle, how to work from home, how to make XY 6+ figures amount of money per month doing work online, how to travel full-time, yadda yadda yadda. You know the drill. Each day, there are about 10 new bloggers, social media and marketing experts, doing exactly the same thing on my newsfeed. So I thought I’d give them a try and see if it’s really worth purchasing their products and what you actually get in those FREE checklists and courses they advertise.

I’ll probably get in trouble for this but let’s do it!

Disclaimer: I’m not an affiliate or BFFs with any of these people – I’m just fascinated by the fact this is now common practice and wonder about the legitimacy of these courses that claim they can offer you so much. I didn’t edit this much, sorry if I sound too harsh 😉 

I Tried First 5 Ads I Saw On Facebook

  1. FREE Workshop: How To Start A Wildly Successful Side Hustle by Susie Moore

    I Tried First 5 Ads I Saw On Facebook

Alright, so this one claims it’s fluff-free and jam-packed with valuable and actionable content. Her work’s apparently been featured on Forbes (article not working when clicked on Google), Business Insider (always features the same writers, so I’m guessing there’s some sort of PR partnership going on), etc. etc. Her Huffington Post author bio claims that her corporate career paid her $500,000 in her final year at age of 30, which is pretty much the skillset foundation for her online business, so I really want to see what she has to say about starting a business even if you lack confidence etc. etc.

Things I liked: She mentions having a passion for what you do more than she mentions money. The first video gives an important lesson on how to find your passion without going into monetization first. Also, huge thumbs up for having video transcripts.

What I didn’t like: Apparently you don’t receive the workshop all in one day – wasn’t mentioned before. I understand it’s a side hustle thing and it helps people not feel overwhelmed, but at the same time, it’s misleading – I’d rather see a Facebook AD that says 10-day Side Hustle Workshop for transparency. I’d love to have a checklist alongside the video that would help me work my way through the steps Susie mentions would help me find my passion.

On that note, the fluff-free adjective she mentions in the Facebook AD gets lost to me with this sentence in the email: “In Video 2, you’re going to learn the ONLY five things you need to start making money from your Side Hustle.” – and I bet they’re ‘determination’, ‘persistence’, ‘long-term plan,’ etc. etc. aka fluff aka not a real answer.

Will I continue with the workshop: Nah, sorry 🙁

  1. Social Media Rules Have Changed by John and Nadya

    I Tried First 5 Ads I Saw On Facebook

John and Nadya are home business experts and 7-figure earners according to their Facebook bio. Their AD claims that they will share social media tips that helped scale their business to six-figures a year to six-figures a month. Their taxes must be insane. After Googling them, they appear on a few podcasts, but as far as producing their own content goes, they aren’t really showing up. I do love their FB page, which is fairly active (although 40k followers wouldn’t be enough to make 6 figures per month).

Things I didn’t like: The first email is basically an opt-in to join their group and doesn’t really reveal anything – you don’t receive anything until you’re approved. Second email contains the phrase “It’s official .. you’re a genius!” which immediately put me off as I felt like things were going to get dumbed down for me. Waiting too long to be accepted into the group, the novelty of your FB AD already started to wear off. 

Things I liked: Friendly language. They have blog posts but those weren’t even mentioned in the email! I’d love a section like ‘while you wait, have a read of some of our popular blog posts’.

Will I continue with this? No, it gives away absolutely nothing with the first 3 opt-ins and it honestly looks like it’s a waste of time. In their own words, I’m ‘fired up’ and ready to go, but nothing is happening. On that note, I have a feeling this is pretty much affiliate marketing and sponsorship done through the group. I didn’t even notice they had blog posts until I went on their Instagram – I’ll definitely browse through those.

Update: Their emails they send after you sign up are completely irrelevant to what you’ve signed up for. They also don’t really offer value and are just promotional emails for the group.

  1. This Free Book Paid For My Tesla by Dean Graziosi

    I Tried First 5 Ads I Saw On Facebook

I’m a huge fan of video Facebook ADs and this guy is really grabbing the attention. I’ve heard of Dean Graziosi before, so I kind of know what to expect. It might be a good warning that if you Google Dean Graziosi, the second link you see is people asking how big of a scam he is.

Here’s the best part: after you put in your name and email, it asks you to pay for $20 shipping fees. He argues that ‘the book is free, I’m just asking for shipping costs’. Sure, smart marketing, but it doesn’t help the fact that you’re connected to the word ‘scam’ on the first page of Google. While I personally don’t think that’s the case, it definitely doesn’t portray him in a good light. 

I have watched Millionaire Success Habits on YouTube, which is probably more insightful than this so-called ‘free book’.  It’s extremely powerful and shares a lot about his habits that I’ll actually start implementing. The dude knows his stuff but his AD is a complete miss – I’ll stick to free content that’s available from podcasts, thank you.

  1. How to Retire in 100 Days as a ClickFunnels Super Affiliate by Russell Brunson

I Tried First 5 Ads I Saw On Facebook

I’ve also heard of Russell Brunson before and his ad has been in my face for a while before I decided to write this. If you Google him, you get some Forbes articles, his own website, an Amazon book, yadda yadda, the usual stuff. I don’t particularly want to retire and I’m definitely not interested in ClickFunnels (why is this on my feed), but let’s give this a try.

Things I liked: Immediate access. Yes please. No separate days with emails, immediate access. All 100 days in front of you in a form of educational YouTube clips. There are resources, everything you need from basically Day 1. Emails are almost unnecessary.

Things I didn’t like: His drawing is terrible. You’ll probably not retire after 100 days of doing this, let’s be honest.

Will I continue with the workshop: Not interested in ClickFunnels at all, but I’ll keep this on the backburner.

Update: Still subscribed 😛

  1. 5x Your Traffic Using Pinterest by Jenna Kutcher

I didn’t manage to grab a snapshot on my newsfeed as this was a while ago, but I want to add Jenna Kutcher’s Pinterest course on here. Jenna does photography, podcasts, she’s an entrepreneur, yadda yadda, basically doing everything there is under the sun. I like her blog, but I’m also glad she’s not mentioning her income anywhere, because let’s be honest, photography alone can bring you significant revenue. 

Things I liked: I’m a sucker for long webinars because they’re always full of value etc. etc. Also, it was available immediately. There are workshop payment plans! Huzzah!

Things I didn’t like: Omg Jenna girl, you send way too many emails. See pic for an example. I had to unsubscribe. Also, the webinar didn’t teach me anything – the only super valuable lesson I got is that Pinterest is not social media, it’s a search engine and you should optimize it as such. Also, about 25 minutes in, it suddenly becomes an ad for her other course and that completely takes over for the duration of the webinar.

I also didn’t like the “You only get our never-before-shared 5 Day Pinterest Kickstarter of tried and tested Pinterest strategies for FREE when you enroll in The Pinterest Lab by midnight TONIGHT.” when you should already receive those strategies in The Pinterest Lab ANYWAYS. What’s the deal?

Will I continue with the workshop: Nope.

Conclusion

These marketers are more worried about retaining you as a customer to show off their success for retaining you than they are here to actually offer you something of value. While you do actually get some valuable information, you can easily get this for free. The ads are misleading and most of the time the copy just builds up the emotion and anticipation and then leaves you disappointed.

The Ugly Truth About Blogging Courses
Blogging Advice

Are Blogging Courses Worth It?

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.

How I Became A Top-Rated Freelancer on Upwork
Upwork

How I Became a Top-Rated Freelancer on Upwork

Upwork has recently changed their policy and it seemed like they’re accepting more jobs than they are freelancers at the moment and it’s getting on everyone’s nerves. It’s incredibly frustrating for those who are looking to get a job on Upwork or as a freelancer in general. Here’s how I got to top rated in a year! 

Continue Reading