Have you decided you want freedom from the chains of an 8-5 work-for-someone-else-job?
Are you thinking about starting a blog? Or maybe you have one but you don’t know what to do next?
Have you ever stared hopelessly at your computer screen, fingers paralyzed on the keyboard, and swear you can hear a gerbil doing laps in your brain?
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I feel ya, starting and running a blog is hard. Way harder than I initially thought. So, as you’d expect there are some days that I’d rather throw everything out and just eat tacos.
But, here we are. We all started (or are thinking about starting!) this crazy journey that is called blogging. Why do we do this to ourselves? Well, I think because we have voices and we want to sing loud for all to hear! …see what I did there? Any other Buddy the Elf fans?
So, what I have for you today is an exhaustive review of my first blogging course. I don’t recommend things to y’all unless I truly love them so I wanted this post to be long and in depth in order for you to make the best decision about where you want to spend your money. Because spending money on your blog, especially when you aren’t making money *is* a tough sell.
With that said, put your comfy pants on and snuggle up to the computer because I have a lot comin’ at ya!
I tend to be a course hoarder, particularly with those free weekly email courses, but I know some bloggers who spend cold hard cash on various classes and don’t end up with the results they were expecting. Then you’re left feeling disappointed and more likely to step away from blogging altogether. I got you though, I don’t want you to be hundreds of dollars poorer and I don’t want you to quit blogging.
The thing I found the most strange when I started blogging was this: spend any length of time on Pinterest browsing anything blog related and you’ll see countless beautifully designed pins that catch your attention and reel you in promising this or that…more often than not they’re related to making money with your blog. Some of the most popular and most pinned pins are in fact, blogging income reports. Why? Because people LOVE this.
Most people are all about instant gratification and in love with the idea of working from home/for themselves. And who can blame them? I’ll be the first to admit that I dread nothing more than Sunday nights when I have to return to work on Monday morning and that dread continues until Friday at 5:30 when I’m free for another two days.
Also, we are raised and currently living in a culture of instant gratification…we want what we want and we want it now. Does anyone actually have to wait for anything nowadays? Not really, no. And if you do have to wait you’re likely to become an unbearable toddler again.
So, people see these pins that offer ways to make $10,000 a month from a brand new blog and jump head first, all into the blogging world, only to find out that that isn’t actually how it goes. Sometimes these are the true offenders of instant gratification and they would have never made it in the blogging world anyway. Other times these are people that truly want this and truly want to run their own business and learn the ropes, but for the life of them cannot figure out how. They just want someone, anyone, to throw them a bone.
I don’t know about you but I find that the blogging world appears to be so helpful on the outside – how many tips and tricks posts have you seen? How many checklists and simple fluffy blogging courses have you seen? Hundreds, probably.
But ask for real information that you can actually implement on your own site?
Hardly a single soul out there willing to help you. Why is that? Insecurity? Jealously? It’s really sad and disappointing!
I’m one of the rare ones that think the internet is plenty big enough for all of us bloggers. Why? Because we aren’t the same! We all have our own separate voices, unique life experiences, our own talents, and can bring our own unique way of thinking to the table that presents information in a fresh and fun way. Who cares if there are 10,000 posts on the best vacation destinations or the best makeup brands, or home decorating sites because I guarantee they aren’t the same!
It’s such a rarity to find a helpful blogging coach or teacher out there. But, I think that search ends here. I’ve found a course that was exactly what I was looking for. No fluff. No bullshit list of “Top 10 tips to get you started”. This is an actual course, with homework and group discussions that teaches (not shows) you how to successfully start and maintain a real-life- oh my gosh I’m a grown-up– website.
If you’ve had your blog for a hot minute you’ll understand me when I say that blogging takes so much effort. Like seriously man, it takes a lot. A lot of time, energy, thought, planning. A lot of everything. I thought I would be writing all the time and taking pictures of pretty things. Little did I know the amount of work that goes into it on the backend. When you start a blog and decide that this is what you want and start setting goals you’re committing to spending every waking second working on your site.
Because why start a blog if it’s just going to be okay?
Why do anything if it’s only half-heartedly done?
I’m not much of a believer in divine intervention, but I do think things happen for a reason. I’ll tell you a story. I officially launched my blog back in late July or early August of 2017. Probably like you, I had no clue what I was doing. I had a site, had a theme that I thought I liked and was armed with bu-coos of tips that were supposed to have me on the path to success in weeks. I had a very broad niche including everything from travel, adventure, food, holidays, fashion (what a joke for me, haha), whole30 recipes etc. You name it, I had a category heading for it. And I was lost and overwhelmed because I had SO many options to write about, that I didn’t know what to write about. I published a few posts here and there, but nothing was consistent and I felt myself quickly burning out. Cue the tiny violins.
I don’t even remember how I found It’s a Lovely Life, but if I had to guess, I’d say it was one of those eye-catching pins I had saved. At the time, I was looking at a few blogging courses because I knew this was what I needed. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I mean not even an iota of knowledge. However, the courses I found ranged in price from $600-$2500 (a class in Bali) and I could not justify spending that much money on a class this early on.
Even though Bali is where. it’s. at.
A crash course in blogging
So, I was browsing Pinterest and saw a pin promoting a free 5-day crash course for brand new bloggers and thought why not? Like I said, I’m a free course hoarder and I thought it certainly wasn’t going to hurt anything. After I signed up for the course I started doing some research as to who these people are and what their website is about. Seems like a lot of things I do – jump right in and then do the research…what was I saying about instant gratification? haha, guilty as charged.
Heather and Pete run a very successful, like to the tune of $150,000 plus per month lifestyle and travel blog.
$150,00 Per month. Let that sink in a little bit. That is way more than I make from my day job for an entire year. Over the last decade, they have learned what they are doing and are someone I definitely want to learn from.
Their free email course walks you through the basics of securing a domain name, installing and choosing a theme on WordPress, joining their popular Facebook group (this is a real winner), how to slay social media, and writing your first blog posts, to name a few things. The course is conducted through email and they are long and in-depth. You’ll be asked various questions to get you thinking about what you want out of this. I was very surprised at the quality of these emails because they are truly unlike other beginner courses. Each one just oozes with valuable information that I’d never seen anywhere else.
After these 5 days, I became hooked. It was like a breath of fresh air. Even though I already had a site and a name, I still benefited from the course. To name a few things I was able to narrow my niche, choose a better theme, set my social profiles up properly, and learn where to start browsing for logos. Having access to their Facebook group was a godsend. The group has about 40K members and a lot of us are very active in it. Heather and Pete pop in to answer questions as well as the several moderators. Also, other bloggers offer their advice so all in all, it’s a tremendously supportive community that you can turn to at any hour of the day. They also link to a WordPress help group for all those times when you break your site and need help now.
Overall, I felt this tiny 5-day course was what I needed to get started on the right track. And, it’s free so what harm is it? Blogging has come so far in the last decade and there really is no reason to go at it alone. Reach out to the community and make some friends!
30 Day Blogging Fast Track Course
After completing the email course I took a couple weeks to let all of that information sink in. I had also subscribed to their website and was receiving emails from them and some were promoting a 30-day blogging course that they had started a few months prior. I felt so grateful for the 5-day course, I couldn’t imagine how much an actual class was going to help me. The course was significantly cheaper than some of the ones I had previously found. It has since gone up in price and I think it will continue to increase – so get in while it’s still cheap!
What’s so great about this class is that there are no quick tips or tricks that are so commonplace everywhere else. This is the real deal. If you want to know the foundations to running a successful blog, this is what you’ve been dying to read. It’s also for those of you that have a good grasp on blogging but want to take your site to the next level. Maybe you aren’t making as much money as you thought you would or think you should. This will give you actionable information that you can start using right away. No single thing is going to launch you into success. You have to put in the work, just like with any job.
I’ve learned that blogging is a lot more than writing posts and sharing them on social media. It’s a lot more than pinning on Pinterest. It’s a lot more than taking beautiful pictures and hoping a brand will call you. Blogging is about planning. One of the best things I learned was how to create that plan, how to modify it when necessary, and how to write goals that are attainable instead of “I want to make $100,000 a month with my blog”. Big goals are great and you should have them, but you need a plan with smaller goals to get you to that big goal. Otherwise, it’s too easy to give up. And please please please – don’t give up!
So, what do you get out of the course?
- Another private facebook group that is smaller, but still very helpful
- Learn the various avenues to make money with your blog
- Site and post design to help you create a beautiful and well-functioning blog
- How to make yourself known to others – ie getting sponsored posts
- The business aspect – boring, but a must know for anyone who is serious!
- Very in-depth social media training because it’s not going anywhere and you need to use it
Plus TONS more – read through the full 30-day course outline with all the subtopics and schedule.
Heather and Pete also offer several bonuses for enrolling in the course. A couple of these include access to a Facebook share group where they run daily share threads that are quite popular. And great foundational training to go through while you’re waiting for the course to begin.
Registration for the next course begins about mid-month and runs until space is full. I don’t know where they cap it but they definitely do. The reason is they want to be able to keep up with the class and be available to provide support when you need it. They also run coupon codes for the early birds so if you’re thinking about signing up, doing so early will save you some money.
After completing the course you’ll have access for at least 2 years. You’re able to rework everything at your own pace and constantly reference the things you’ve learned. Each day you’ll receive access to that particular day’s content. At the end of the material, there will be two links- one to ask questions, and one to share what you did. The course moves quickly and can sometimes be really tough to keep up with, especially if you work full-time or have a family. But, don’t let that deter you. You always have access to the previous day’s work and if you fall too far behind you can run the course the following month and participate in the daily threads.
I definitely think the class is worth it, especially if this is the first one you’ll be taking. Even if you already have a running blog that you’re happy with, I think Heather and Pete offer valuable information that anyone can implement. You probably can get most of this information by spending a million hours Googling things. But you may not be given information that is accurate and you’ve just wasted tons of time. Valuable time that can be spent bettering your blog!
If you’re still on the fence, do yourself a favor and at least sign up for the free 5-day crash course, then see how you’re feeling and reevaluate whether or not the full 30-day course would be a benefit for you and your blog.
…and, exhale! I told you that was going to be a long one! I hope that you found this post to be useful and if you decide to enroll in either of the courses, please let me know how it goes! I’d love to follow along and see how well you rock the blogging world.
CHECK OUT THESE USEFUL PAGES, TOO!
- How to choose your blog’s niche
- Choosing a theme for your blog
- Start your own blog
- The best blogging tools & resources
- Delve into the world of travel blogging
As always, if you need any help, just let me know!