Have you ever bought training that promised to teach you how to get traffic, subscribers, money and grow a successful blog?
Only to discover that, having shelled out all that money it cost you, done the work, put the tactics into action, you’re nowhere near the results promised?
Did you blame the training? Or yourself? Or did you never get passed the first module?
Training can be your best friend. But it can also be a big waste of time and money, either because the training isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, or because you don’t put effort into doing the work, testing out the strategies or knowing what to expect if you do.
In short, most training fails for TWO reasons:
1. It’s just crap.
2. You don’t know why you’re buying the training.
All you can do with Number 1 is ask for your money back.
Number 2 happens because you don’t know what end result you want for your blog (e.g. you don’t know – beyond get traffic – make money – what you want a blog for).
You have no idea why you’re doing what you’re doing. You have no idea why experts are telling you to do whatever it is they’re telling you to do. You have no idea if what they’re telling you to do is right for you and what you want to achieve (or why it’s failing).
It’s not your fault. Sometimes the desire to finally get traffic, make money and get your voice heard above the crowd can turn blog training into a maze.
But it shouldn’t be. If you’re willing to put in the work. If you know why you’re investing in a particular training course. If you know what you’ll be getting out of it …
Not only can well chosen, quality training change your fortunes big time, it can also open doors to you with influential when you invest in quality training.
This post will help you chose the right kind of training for you.
The Little-Known Reason Why The Right Training Can Be Your Best Investment
In my post 23 Tips For Growing A Blog (Even If You’ve Failed Several Times In The Past) I included “Invest in some quality training” for Tip 22. And as one the numerous advantages I highlighted one advantage that stands out above all others … the access you’ll get to the influential blogger behind the course.
It’s your chance to get to know them, have them answer your questions, help you solve problems and learn how to grow your blog. This is exactly what you get when you sign up to training from influencers like Jon Morrow and his Guestblogging course. Influencers like Jonathan Mead offer the same access.
If you can’t invest in their training. Sign up to their email list. Attend as many webinars they hold, (or appear on as guests). Ask questions.
By far the best way to get access to a popular, influential blogger is to invest in their training. Some of the bloggers I read who are making waves in their topic after only a short time, have done so by investing in training and becoming active students in the course forums.
If you want to start a blog that gets traffic, readers, subscribers and makes money for you, investing in quality training from people who know what they’re talking about and can highlight real examples of what they’re teaching you can really pay off for you, BIG time.
Trouble is, how do you know if a course is any good or not? How do you sort the wheat from the chaff and save your hard earned cash from going down the pan?
Here are some tips to help you invest wisely…
These questions are what you should be asking yourself, before, during and after you’ve signed up to any training. The reason: You want to know that your investment is working for you.
1. How does the course make you feel?
Does it fill you with confidence? Does it inspire you with new ideas? Does it supply the “missing link” that makes things fall into place for you?
2. What valuable information does the course creator give away in their introductory webinars?
This is important to watch out for because if this is just fluff, a lot of filling and talking up the course creator’s own life history, or own experiences, it’s probably showing you what the course is full off too.
3. Does it have a ring of truth and trust about it?
Trust your gut because it has your best interests at heart. You know if something sounds too good to be true.
If you want to find out if what’s being promised or talked about then take time to find out. And part of this is …
4. What kind of guarantee is there?
Does it sound like it gives you enough time to try out the course (at least a little bit and enough to know if it’s going to work for you)?
In truth, 30 days is not a lot of time to try out a course, especially ones that “drip” training to you over a specific length of time, for example, every week.
60 days is better. 90 days is better still. Of course, it depends on the length of any training you’re thinking of investing in. And the amount of content. And the time or commitment you have to devote to following through with it.
5. Who else is promoting it?
If a training is good then there will be several other influencers promoting it to their audiences. This can be a good guide for a training’s quality.
Here are some further questions to ask yourself here. Are these other influencers people you’ve heard of? Are they people you like the sound of?
6. Does the course promise a specific end result that you’ll get at the end of the course (and does it dovetail with what you want to achieve)?
This is such an important question to ask yourself and to ask of any training.
Too many people (me included in the past) jump on any training that promises them results that don’t actually mean anything. If you’re desperate for traffic and you get pitched by training that promises you traffic, you probably try it out.
What you should be doing is looking for influencers who are doing what you want to do (with a message that resonates with yours) and following them. Then reading their content for several weeks, or months even, subscribing to their email list and asking them questions. When you do take note of what their responses are like? Are they friendly? Are they interested in you and what you’re doing? Are they able to answer your questions?
7. Do you have the time and incentive to follow through with it?
Hugely important. It’s tempting to buy a course and think that’s all you need to do to get results.
Quality courses that deliver take time, no – demand – time. Do you have that time? And do you have the incentive, the real need and wish, to follow through and do the fucking work?
8. How much access do you get to the course creator? What kind of access?
Remember, what the biggest advantage of any quality training is? It’s access to the influential blogger who created it. You should be checking out how generous they are willing to be with their time? Do they offer live Q & A sessions where you can actually ask them questions either over Skype, or Webcast? Do you get their feedback (without having to pay extra)?
This matters because it shows they’re willing to be accountable. They’re not hiding.
9. Remember, if you want to have a success blogging business, without traffic, nothing else will make your blog successful.
This is the main reason why most courses about how to blog fail people who invest in them. It all sounds wonderful, until you realise that to make anything that the course is teaching you actually work you need traffic. Without traffic no tactic or strategy can (or will) work.
I had this experience with training for growing my email list. It may have worked but I was struggling to get traffic. Without traffic, no training could help me build an email list, no matter how good.
10. Is there an active forum and/or Facebook group?
A place where students of the course can get together to exchange ideas, support and help each other out? How active and up-to-date is the activity and response? What are students talking about and saying about the course? Does the course creator join in?
11. Are you clear on what end result you want out of the course?
I don’t mean just the end result that the course creator tells you that you’ll get. I mean, are you clear on what the extra tools, tactics and strategies are that the course is going to give you in order for you to meet your desired end result?
Your main reason for buying a course should be to fill in gaps. Gaps in your knowledge, skills or strategy. This is why it’s important to know what end result you want out of your blog because you’ll know where these gaps are.
12. How old is the course (and has it gone through any recent updates)?
A great course proves its greatness by how long it’s been going for. Jon Morrow’s Guestblogging course is 5 years old. It’s recently gone through a full update to make it relevant to today’s guest blogging strategy. Jonathan Mead’s Trailblazer course has also been updated completely.
A course that has been around for awhile is one that is standing the test of time (and delivery of results). But the real test of any course of training you’re thinking of buying is – how many people have passed through the course and are getting those promise results? Start checking out who these people are by clicking the links in testimonials, look at the blogs of those giving the testimonials – do you like what you see and would you be proud to do the same?
These questions won’t stop you buying courses that you don’t need, or that don’t work for you. Only you can stop yourself falling into these traps.
What these questions will do, is help you decide your motives for buying a course and, if spending the small fortunes a lot of them ask for, taking the time and effort to actually work your way through it, is really worth it.
Some important warning signs to watch out for …
1. No money-back guarantee
Frankly, this is stupid. But amazingly, you’ll come across some courses that don’t offer any money back guarantee.
The reason given here often is that the course is either so great that you’ll love it and never want your money back. But this is always a big warning sign for me because yes, the course might be brilliant and deliver everything it promises, doesn’t matter. It just screams: WARNING! Again, check out the results of any students I suggested you do in point #12 above.
A guarantee is always good practice. It shows the course creator has faith in their product and their students.
A guarantee creates good will.
2. Short guarantee periods
30 days is not really time to check out if the course is right for you. You’ll only just touching the surface of whether the strategies you’re learning to implement work. Or not.
60 days is better.
90 days is even better. At least, you can get a real feel for what your results will be within what amounts to 3 months.
3. Webinars That Offer Training, But Are Just Hype
You probably know the type of webinars I mean. They come in the guise of “Training”; offering you important information, or even steps to getting traffic, making money. etc. But they’re just leading you up to their big sell.
Or similar, they offer training on how to get traffic, build your list, etc. But they tell you that you’ll only be able to get real results if you buy their course (or service, or product).
4. The Sales Page, Or Free Introductory Training Is Better Than What You’ve Bought
Unfortunately, you only discover this one after you’ve bought it. This happened to me on the first training I bought.
I had followed through a brilliant free training course on how to start a blog and was so impressed with the results that I jumped at the chance to buy the paid “in-depth” blogging training that promised to take students from where the free training stopped onto more advanced techniques.
The price was under $100 which did surprise me. This was mainly because the free training was so well done that I imagined the person behind it might want to recoup the costs it had no doubt taken to create it.
Anyhow, so taken with the free training was I, that I overlooked this little warning sign and bought the paid training. Garbage! Four “modules” that were all 3 to 4 pages of type long. No videos. Nothing new to learn or discover.
It put me off reading the creator’s blog. Which is a pity because I’d enjoyed reading the posts I had read. But I felt conned. That’s not a good feeling. In the 4 years since, I still haven’t revisited that blog.
5. A Lack of Promotion Either On The Creator’s Blog, Or Anyone Else’s Blog
A good course has influencers promoting it too. Even just one or two. This is a good sign that a course is at least good enough for an influential blogger to risk their reputations by promoting it to their own audiences.
When you can’t find anyone else promoting (or even talking about) a particular course, or training, it’s a sign that it’s probably not all it’s cracked up to be.
Not only that, but if there’s a lack of promotion on the creator’s own blog then that’s a big, loud warning to stay away.
And, I’m not just talking about a lack of testimonials. Although these are good to have, they’re not what you should be deciding to buy a course on alone.
If there are testimonials from people talking about how stoked they are with the results they’ve got as a result of what they learnt through a course, check out their claims. Visit their blogs. Trust your gut when it comes to deciding if what they’ve said in their testimonial sounds true.
6. The Course Creator Is Nowhere To Be Seen or Heard
You may come across this and when you do, it feels like a real let down.
Instead of leading the course training (even just some of it like live Q & A calls), they’ve got their staff or assistants doing the training. What’s going on here? All I can say is that, for me, an absentee course creator is an odd thing and it suggests that they’re not really interested in what their students are learning.
Any training should at least inspire pride in its creator for what students are learning and achieving by investing in their training. They should boast about the results their students are getting. This means joining in with them as they go through the course.
What’s Your Experience of Training Been?
You may have bought some crap courses in your time and you may have bought some gems. I know I have. What I’ve learnt about the difference between them is what has helped me write this guide for you. It’s purpose is to help you invest in really good quality training that gets you the know-how to get the results you want.
The commitment you make to a course, no matter how excellent, will be the test for whether you get what you really want out of any course.
Got questions about how to choose a course, how to know if it’s right for you, or how to discover what your desired end result is you want out of having your blog? Ask below and I’ll be happy to answer.
Got any tips to share for choosing the right course? Let’s hear ‘em below.