eLearning: Are Online Blogging Courses Worth the Investment?

By Josh With Niche University •  Updated: 06/14/22 •  17 min read

Are blogging courses worth it? This is a question that many people are asking themselves, and the answer is not always clear. On the one hand, many online influencers believe you don’t need to take a course to succeed as an affiliate marketer.

After all, some of the most successful bloggers never took a course to become successful, so are blogging courses worth it?

Yes, most start with the basics, like building your writing process as a key skill to your overall success, and then partner this skill building with teaching how to find the right keywords for search engines to rank your content makes courses important to a strong start to building your side hustle.

While there is a vast amount of very disorganized data available online from blogs, YouTube, and even books, this information can lead you to many bad choices.

Most courses can lead you through from start to finish, while most also provide a forum or other method to interact with others to grow connections and skills.

are blogging courses worth it

Why Choose to Purchase a Course Over Free Learning?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on various factors, including your goals for starting a blog, your budget, and your level of commitment.

If you’re simply looking for some basic tips on how to get started, you can probably find all the information you need for free online. However, if you’re serious about making your blog a success, investing in a course could be worth it.

Courses can provide comprehensive guidance on everything from choosing a niche to promoting your blog and generating income. They can also offer invaluable support and accountability, helping you stick with your blogging goals even when the going gets tough.

There are some good reasons why a course can help versus free resources, and these include:

Structure and Frameworks

Most paid courses have a very logical progression to help people from the very beginning start without any roadblocks. The best blogging courses are designed by people who are already successful in the industry, so you know they are tried-and-tested methods that will work.

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Free resources are not always well structured and can be very overwhelming, especially for beginners. This is because free resources are often created by people who are passionate about their hobby but are not experts in the field.

They are also often outdated, as they are not being updated regularly like courses are due to no active income being generated. Though, as with this site, my focus is on my niche sites and the income generation they provide me.

This site is what I give back to the community that has helped me in so many ways.

Accountability and Support

When you join a blogging course, you are generally part of a community of other people who are also trying to achieve their blogging goals. This can provide invaluable support and motivation, especially when you’re feeling discouraged.

Courses also usually come with some form of accountability, whether it’s weekly check-ins or timelines for posting and progress. This can help you stay on track and make consistent progress.

In contrast, free resources are often vague and do not provide any sort of accountability. It can be easy to start following a free resource and then get sidetracked and never come back to finish it.

Investing in a course shows that you are serious about your blogging goals and are willing to put in the work to achieve them. This can help you stay motivated and committed, even when things get tough.

Avoid Repeated Painful Lessons of Many Others

In general, courses are able to help you bypass pain points and trouble that the creators have experienced along the way on their blogging journey.

You are able to learn from their mistakes, get clarity where needed, and be pointed in the right direction of other resources that may help you along the way as well.

Paying for a course also gives you more access to help from a community of others and, many times, the course creator directly, which can be worth its weight in gold.

Courses Aren’t Inexpensive For a Few Reasons

The world loves “free” information, but when you are ready to take your blog to the next level, you will realize that the best blogging resources are not free.

The reason that courses are not inexpensive is that a lot of time and energy goes into creating comprehensive content, editing videos, maintaining a website, providing support to students, and more.

All of this takes time and money, so it’s only natural that courses are priced accordingly.

Education Is an Investment

While many will head to college and not bat an eye at the huge costs, they will incur to attend “proper” college. A true investment in education does frequently enable someone to complete the coursework that they would normally avoid if provided for free.

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The purpose of education is to help you leave with more knowledge and applicable skills than you started with, making you a more valuable member of society as a whole.

The same can be said for blogging courses. If the course is able to help you learn something new that you are able to apply to your blog and see results, then it is likely worth the investment.

Most People Need Structure & Organized Learning

Many people need learning organized and set up to help them move from topic to topic and feel like they are progressing in an easily digestible way.

This is what courses are designed to do, help you learn in an organized and structured manner with the goal of you becoming a successful blogger.

They typically will focus on a layer-by-layer approach helping you to grow the skills when necessary at the perfect time to take full advantage of the concepts learned.

This is in contrast to free resources, which are often scattered and all over the place, making it hard to follow along and gain an understanding of how everything fits together.

Continual Updates Take Time and Investment

Working on courses and maintaining their content is a huge undertaking that takes a lot of time and money. Courses are not created and then left to die; they are typically updated on a regular basis as the blogging landscape changes.

This means that course creators are constantly working on their courses, adding new content, fixing old content, and more to make sure that their students are getting the best possible experience and education.

Aren’t There Free Courses, Like Here?

Yes, I value freeing the information to the world and allowing you to learn and grow as you see fit without paywalling the content. However, I also understand that some people are willing to pay for a course if it provides them with the structure and support that they need to succeed as a blogger.

There are some issues that come when you choose to utilize free courses:

Limited Updates and Refreshing of Content

Unfortunately, the nature of free courses is that they are not updated as frequently as paid courses are. The reason for this is obvious, it takes time and money to update courses, and free courses are not generating any recurring revenue.

This can cause problems because the blogging landscape changes quickly, and if you are using an outdated course to try to grow your blog, you may be at a disadvantage.

Can Contain Ineffective & Outdated Content

Another potential issue with free courses is that the content may be ineffective or outdated.

This can cause problems because you are trying to learn how to blog using techniques that are no longer effective or are not applicable to the current blogging landscape.

This can cause frustration and lead you to give up on blogging altogether, which is the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish.

More Reliance on Personal Responsibility

Free courses typically don’t have huge communities and rely more on the reader holding themselves responsible for building, utilizing the content, and taking action.

This can cause problems because it is easy to get bogged down in the content and never actually take action on what you are learning.

It is important to have some level of accountability when trying to learn something new. Otherwise, it is easy to get lost in the sea of information and never make any progress.

Finding High-Quality Courses Online

There are many quality options online for learning how to build niche blogs and build affiliate income. Many courses will range in content from absolute beginner to even more advanced affiliate marketing strategies like email marketing, content strategy, building memberships, and far more.

Many may have advanced bloggers as part of the community who you can ask and get answers to harder topics and strategies as you are just getting started.

Some things I feel you need to keep in mind when looking are below:

What is Your Current Skill Level?

If you are totally new to blogging and the thought of writing blog posts is stressing you out, then you will want a more beginner-friendly option than someone well versed in writing who is looking for how to target specific people and keywords.

Being critical of yourself, really think about where your skill level resides before you choose a course.

What is Overall Sentiment Online?

This can be done on social media like Facebook and other locations where they aren’t “review” posts and sites. What you want to see are self-posted blogs on success or YouTube videos documenting success.

Specifically, you want to see what has been self-posted without a push specifically to make you purchase a program to gain them an affiliate commission, along with some discussions online about the pros and cons.

Look for things that are said about the person or company, and if people are having success with the strategies, they are teaching.

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Most Online Reviews

While reviews should be from the heart of the reviewer, many nowadays are false reviews meant to talk up a product and make the sale over, providing true help for the reader.

Recently Adam Enfroy made a video specifically calling on having companies pay him to have the top spot in his “best xx for yy” content which means he is not aiming to help his visitors but more to help his personal bottom line.

Let’s take a look into more specifics on why you should not trust many online reviews below.

They are Almost Always Biased

The first reason you shouldn’t trust most reviews is that they are almost always biased in some way. There are two types of bias when it comes to reviews: product bias and reviewer bias.

Product bias is when the reviewer only talks about the positive aspects of a product and completely glosses over any negative aspects. Reviewer bias is when the reviewer has a personal stake in the product they are reviewing.

For example, if the reviewer is an affiliate for the product they are reviewing, they are more likely to be biased because they stand to make a commission off of every sale they generate. If the reviewer is a paid employee of the company, they are also likely to be biased.

Most Reviewers Haven’t Actually Taken the Courses They Try to Sell

The honest truth is that most “reviewers” have never even taken the courses they are reviewing and selling the reader on. Instead, they have just read others’ reviews online and regurgitate the information, all based on getting the commission in the end.

Most courses can take months to years to complete all the work required, and most affiliates don’t want to invest their time and energy into this deep process as they are looking for a quick buck.

Additionally, most of the time, when reviewers are talking about taking the course themselves, they are just saying this to build rapport with the reader and make it seem like they are more trustworthy. In reality, they are just reading from a script written by someone else who has taken the course.

More About Reviewers Getting an Affiliate Commission

This is really the driving force behind most course reviews, they tend to be very expensive and provide huge commissions to the person who can get the click from the reader.

This makes reviewers one of the least useful people to gain insight on a course as they are primarily looking out for their own interests and not at all those of their readers.

Additionally, if you are looking at multiple reviews for the same course, you are likely just reading the same person’s review over and over again, as most people are lazy and just repost the exact same thing on their own blog or website.

What Free Information Do the Course Instructor Provide?

Many course instructors will provide some free information to pull people into their programs. If you are looking for an unbiased source of information on a particular course, see if the instructor has any free content available.

This is very visible in the way Income School has grown by giving way small chunks of useful direction on their YouTube channel for years, helping people grow whether they join the program or not.

Additionally, are they active in forums or other areas online where people are discussing their experiences with the course? If so, this can be a great way to get some insight into whether or not the program is worth taking.

Additionally, look for any red flags when it comes to the instructor. Are they constantly trying to sell you other products? Do they have a history of course refunds? These are all things you should take into consideration before enrolling in any online course.

What Public Success Stories Do They Have?

How many former or current course members have published success stories without featuring on the course in some way, do they have a huge presence outside their membership?

Look for public forums, online courses are often discussed on places like Reddit, and you can get a good idea of what people think about a course by reading through the comments.

Additionally, as I stated above, look for any blog posts or articles from people who have taken the course and are sharing their real experiences. This can be an invaluable source of information when trying to decide if a course is worth taking.

Courses I Have Taken

I have taken many courses on blogging and am growing sites using all the courses I purchased below, I feel that all three present a good opportunity for a course if you want to level up your skills, but each definitely serves somewhat different audiences.

All the courses below focus on building a profitable blog using search engine optimization as the main driver, with organic traffic being key to having strong and reliable blog traffic.

Project 24 By Income School

Project 24 is a focused beginner-oriented program in its nature and design, it was built initially to help someone with no experience at all grow a blog on a topic they love with the intention of reaching a full-time income in 24 months.

I currently have a YouTube playlist to showcase month-by-month progress on a niche site I started with no knowledge of beforehand and in a highly seasonal niche which will tax reaching a full-time income to the max; check it out here.

Project 24 has a lot of success stories from the first three years of the course’s life, it has undergone three major revisions, all while also adding additional value by providing a whole second main course focused on building a YouTube channel and multiple additional mini-courses to help broaden your overall knowledge.

The Affiliate Lab By Matt Diggity

The Affiliate Lab is a much more technical-focused system and course which is more suited to intermediate bloggers or advanced. I am currently working through this course, so I have not fully completed it yet, but I am about 60% through it.

If you use my link above you will get a solid discount on your purchase today, to the tune of $200 off for an amazing course!

The Affiliate Lab is focused on building sites in very specific profitable niches, following very strict and well-defined processes that encourage building authority. The focus here is less on learning how to write basic content and more on building out the site effectively to dominate the SERPs.

This is definitely not a course for a total beginner, but if you are someone who wants to move beyond just writing blog posts and learn how to effectively dominate search results, this could be the course for you.

The Authority Site System By Authority Hacker

The Authority Site System (TASS) is focused on building authority sites that are meant to last the test of time and algorithm updates while also making a lot of money.

This is done by building an audience from day one, creating great content, and leveraging that audience to make more money. I am about 50% through the course, and the site built using it is doing amazing things already!

TASS focuses on building solid blogging strategies for your site before ever writing a word of content, understanding your competition, keywords, where you can get links with ease, and more.

This is an excellent course for those who are already blogging and want to make more money or are looking for ideas on how to build a site that will last for years and make a lot of money.

Courses Others Have Vouched For That I Trust

The below courses I know less about, but they are highly spoken of by people I know, and I trust their judgment.

Fat Stacks Course By John Dykstra

This course is currently closed when I go check on it, but I have heard it can be worth it for the forums and access alone. John’s approach is counter to many in the space with a focus on mass production and winning via sheer posting volume and less tactical in approach.

This course can be very good for those with a lot of money while being short on time as the volume approach typically requires a solid ability to outsource work and have the budget to do so. Check out his course availability here.

Passive Income Geek By Morten Storgaard

Morten started in Income School and developed his own system that he has used to grow his personal sites to large traffic and income levels. He does a lot of over-the-shoulder videos that are there to help people follow along with his process.

This is a very new course on the scene, but I trust Morten’s process as he has shown it works for him and others. If you are looking for a more passive approach to blogging that requires less time commitment, this could be a good fit for you. Check out his course availability here.

Final Thoughts on Whether Blogging Courses Are Worth The Cost

Whether or not taking a blogging course is worth it is ultimately up to the individual.

However, there are many benefits that come with taking a course, including gaining access to valuable information, avoiding repeated painful lessons, and having more accountability.

Courses are also able to help you bypass pain points and trouble that the creators have gone through, which can help to ensure you also don’t have to.

Additionally, if you are looking for a blogging course, be sure to do your research before enrolling. Check out the instructor’s free content, read reviews from other students, and look for any red flags.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck and enrolling in a course that is truly worth it.

Have you ever taken an online blogging course? If so, did you find it to be worth the investment? Let us know in the Discord or Facebook group today!

Josh With Niche University

Josh is the owner of Niche University, a blog and free resource built specifically to help teach you how to build a side hustle and hopefully freedom in life. His favorite investment platform is FTX for Crypto, a site that allows him to grow crypto investments as these build up passive income, in addition, he loves Fundrise for Real Estate investing.