*Updated: April 2017*
Today I want to go over something that I get asked about all the time. It’s something weighing on the minds of every single blogger I meet. I know it because I was there just a few short years ago.
How do I make money from my blog? How do I get people to read it? How do I get them to buy something from me? How does all of this work?
What “Big” Bloggers Do
When I first started asking these questions, I sought out advice online from bloggers who were where I hoped to be. The ones making a full time living from their blog and even the ones whose husbands had quit their jobs to work online as well. It seemed like an impossible dream, but these ladies seemed like real people, so I knew there was a secret they had that I didn’t know.
As I dove into my research, I noticed a consistent trend among “big” bloggers. When you read or hear an interview from them, they almost universally say the same thing – they attributed their success to massive investments in blogging education. I also noticed the mention of investing 10-20% of their income back into blogging education.
Investing in Blogging Education
Thing is….10-20% is different for everyone. And do you invest 10-20% of your current income or the income you WANT?
Not knowing the answer to this, two years ago I started investing heavily in education. 10% of the income I WANTED, not the income I had (which wasn’t much!) 😀 I tried to be selective, but also humble in my choices because I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I wanted to absorb as much as possible.
In order to evaluate each blogging education purchase, I held it up to this one standard:
IF this course/ebook teaches me what it promises, will I be able to at least DOUBLE my investment? If the answer was yes, it was a no brainer.
When I did this, I removed the absolute value of the product from the equation. I didn’t compare $25 versus $297 products. I compared the $25 or $297 cost against the RETURN. This is how you make investments like a CPA (see? I AM using my degree as a blogger!)
Who wouldn’t spend $25 to make $50? Or $297 to make $600? Nobody! Everyone loves those returns. When you’re faced with a buying decision, it’s easy to get caught up in the actual number, but I urge you to remove the amount from the equation and consider the return on your investment. (For instance, I recently invested $2,000 in a private mastermind group because I estimate that the knowledge I will gain is worth over $100,000 in future revenue. If I had looked at the $2K price tag and walked away, I would never see the estimated returns).
Once you know the value a course or ebook can have on your income, then your only issue is coming up with the money. I’ve found a good benchmark is to set aside 10% of my blogging income for investing in blogging education. Over time it always seems to work out that. And over time I’ve been able to afford more expensive courses and tools.
What Happens When You Invest Heavily in Blogging Education
You will be completely surprised at how quickly your knowledge progresses once you start investing in blogging education. For every course you take that someone else hasn’t, you will stand out above the pack. Sponsors will notice. Affiliates will notice. Everyone will notice!
Fast forward to now, and the past two years have been quite the ride for me. I went from not knowing how to make a single image to having 32,000 followers on Pinterest and being scared to email my list, to sending out drip campaigns to 3 different lists! I also went from wishing I could figure out affiliate marketing to having a virtual assistant implement the content plan that I mapped out on paper.
I’m blown away by the knowledge that other bloggers are willing to share, and I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to share my passions with the world and with YOU!
Courses That Have Shaped My Blogging Journey
Here are just some of the courses I’ve taken and ebooks I’ve consumed in the past two years:
- Elite Blog Academy by Ruth Soukup
- Pinning Perfect by Blog Clarity
- Building a Framework by Abby Lawson
- 2 internet marketing bundles
- Genius Blogger’s Toolkit from Ultimate Bundles
- Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers by Tasha Agruso
- Moolah (Facebook Growth Strategies) by Rachel Miller
- List Building School by Navid Moazzez
- Pinaffiliate Masterclass by Addi Ganley
- Pro Blogging Secrets by Bob Lotich
- Facebook Brilliance by Beth Anne Schwamberger
- Brilliant Pin Promotion by Beth Ann Schwamberger
- Persuasion Hacks Labs by Bushra Azar
- Instagram Impact by Chalene Johnson
- Core Affiliate Strategy by Rosemarie Groner
- Instagram for Success by Helene Sula
- And many more!
I get asked all the time to help bloggers with their affiliate marketing and blog traffic. But here’s the thing – when I look at their blogs, I am piecing together bits of knowledge I’ve learned from 9 different courses to determine that they need to change certain things on their blog, utilize affiliates a certain way, improve their headlines, and update their Pinterest images.
What I want to say is “I need you to take these three courses and come back to me.” But of course I can’t say that! They need help NOW and don’t have time to go through those courses at lightning speed.
How to Know What Courses to Take
It may seem like I have taken a lot of random courses, but there’s a bit of a method to my madness. 😀 In general, I take a course when I feel like I have a knowledge gap.
I’ve taken so many Pinterest courses because I find it’s helpful to know as much as possible about Pinterest – it’s the #1 or #2 source of page views for many bloggers, so our livelihoods sorta depend on knowing what to do there.
When I wanted to know if Facebook ads were the way to go, I signed up for Beth Anne’s course, Facebook Brilliance. I am so glad I did that because it helped me realize just how complicated Facebook ads could be so I actually did NOT move forward with ads. Spending $197 to save potentially thousands of wasted dollars? Yes, please!
When I felt like I could be better at writing emails and capturing my visitors’ attention, I signed up for Bushra’s persuasion hacks lab. And so on! You get the idea. If you have a knowledge gap, there is no better way to fill that gap than find an expert who has written about the topic and invest in learning from them.
How Do You Fit in Learning Time?
Someone just asked me this and I think it’s a great question.
The answer is: I fit it in when I’m not at the computer! I don’t really make time, I just prioritize it and multitask during otherwise wasted times of day. I do it because I have to. There is no way I could be an involved mom, professional blogger, AND blogging student. I just don’t have that in me! But I can be a student while I’m doing random things.
I prefer video based courses because I can listen to them. So I can easily do 2 hours a day if I need to…I drive the kids around so much that I primarily use my van time to listen. So an hour for carpool, driving to sports, etc. I make sure to talk to my kids, too. LOL But when they’re not in the car, I’m learning something or I feel like I just wasted a valuable half hour! 😀 Sometimes if it’s a nice day and the kids are playing outside after school, I’ll also listen/watch on the iPad while I cook dinner. And today I’m learning while I reorganize my closet and do laundry! You get the idea.
Importance of Finding a Mentor
I will say that the easiest way to figure out which courses to take is to find a mentor (whether you actually meet them at a blogging conference or you’re just a huge fan of their blog) and once you determine that they are someone you can trust, do everything they say.
There are a few bloggers I follow who I completely trust to lead me in the right direction. I’ve never been let down by their recommendations. Those bloggers include: Rosemarie Groner, Abby & Donnie Lawson, Darren Rowse, Ruth Soukup, Beth Anne Schwamberger, and Addi Ganley.
What this means is – if they write about a tool they use on their site and explain how it helped them, I will err on the side of choosing the same tool for myself. If they create a new course, I am the first in line to buy it. If they recommend that I follow another blogger, then I am off to check out what the fuss is all about.
I hope I can be that voice of reason for some of you. I don’t recommend resources lightly and only recommend select courses and ebooks to my audience. It’s important to me that a new blogger can take my advice and implement changes with great success. I love teaching what I know, and I hope you find it useful!
How to Consume Blogging Education Without a Body Double
I know it sounds overwhelming, but consuming a lot of blogging education doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. It just takes CONSISTENT EFFORT.
- I listen to podcasts during carpool (Amy Porterfield and Darren Rowse are my current favorites)
- I catch up on course videos when I’m cooking dinner (I just choose the one I’m feeling that day)
- I set fitness goals & layer on an education goal (like I will listen to one module from EBA while I walk 2 miles!)
- I read one blog post per day on the topic of internet marketing OR pull up a resource from an old bundle
- I take at least one module of one course every week
Over time, the little 10-30 minute increments here and there really do add up to something quite significant! I feel like I now have nearly a Bachelor’s Degree in Blogging without having actually been to a university!
The Best Blogging Education Investment You Can Make
One of the best tools you can invest in along the way are blogging bundles. If you don’t know what these are, they are collections of carefully curated resources available at one low price.
They allow you to invest one relatively small amount and get access to the equivalent of a year’s worth of blogging education (if you were to take it seriously and consume the content consistently over time like I mentioned above).
I try my best to keep track of blogging course deals, especially on my favorite ones. If you know me, you know I LOVEEEEE a good deal! After all, the base of WhatMommyDoes is couponing posts! 😀
This Monday and Tuesday only, you can get access to over 29 ebooks, 33 ecourses, and 17 bonuses for a value of over $5,000 worth of blogging education in something called the Genius Bloggers Toolkit.
The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is THE BEST investment to come our way in a looonnnnng time! Best of all, they give you a 30-day happiness money back guarantee so there really is no risk.
If you look at the courses included in the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit, you’ll see that quite a bit overlaps with the courses I’ve taken. Many of the authors are the same! Included in the toolkit are courses I paid more than $97 for just on their own. It’s really an amazing value.
The one course worth more than the entire bundle…
If you’re wondering what I think is the most valuable course in the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit – it would probably have to be Pinaffiliate Masterclass by Addi Ganley. I really loved this course – mainly because Addi gives you a visual demonstration of the affiliate purchase flow from someone clicking on a pin, to reading your content, to purchasing your product or the product you recommend. It’s easy to understand and really works! I love actionable content, and this course definitely has it all going on.
I am excited about so many products in this bundle that I haven’t seen yet. Notably, I am excited to dive into Darren Rowse’s marketing, Ecourse Creation 101 by Chantel Klassen, Amy Lynn Andrews’ Knowtbook, Prerna Malik’s Content Cookbook, Sticky Blogging SEO by Kelly Holmes, and Blog to Book by P.R. Newton.
Starting Your Blogging Education Journey
This Genius Blogger’s Toolkit should be the tip of the education iceberg for you. It’s a lot of content to consume, but it’s not the end all be all. That’s not the point. It’s just a way to get access to very valuable blogging education at an amazing price!
Wouldn’t it be nice if this time next year you had walked through the top 10 resources in the toolkit and also moved on to even more advanced training on a couple of specific topics? You could be an expert on your chosen subject!
Just by diving deep into a specific topic, you’ll know 95% more than nearly every blogger out there on that subject and be ready to conquer the next.
You want to be a six figure blogger…..
I know this is a dream for you. I had the same dream three years ago and didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I am so glad I took a chance on myself!
To have the feeling of accomplishment (whether or not you tell the world in blog income reports like I do) that you created something out of nothing and make more than $100,000 per year doing exactly what you love. It’s the dream!!
I know you can get there. You just have to take 1000 steps in the right direction, but in a manageable way – one foot at a time.
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