You literally can lose your mind when you start doing research about blogging (and consequently blogging courses). For one, it can be discouraging. You quickly realize you are very late to the party and will have a steep uphill climb.
Additionally, there's a dizzying amount of email lists, podcasts, sales funnels and webinars that will bombard your to-do list until you want to cry.
So I decided, after a decent amount of research and podcast listening, that I was just going to “pick my guru's” and get started. It makes sense to cut through the clutter by taking advice from people who've been successful.
People I have sought help or bought blogging courses from..
After I got my site going, I picked a couple more gurus (I bought their blogging courses). It seems there's always (ALWAYS!) something more to learn. Luckily, learning it from some of these awesome humans is super helpful.
The Money Mix Insider Blogger Group
The TMM Insiders group is a blogging membership group I pay to be a part of. It's actually pretty amazing how much value it offers for the price tag.
Blogging and making money online come at a monthly cost. You have to do so many things to be successful and you need to pay monthly subscription fees for a lot of services.
Well, TMMI aggregates the purchasing power of a bunch of bloggers and gets a lot of the critical services for us at a lower cost. But that's not all it does; it also provides a ton of value through shared marketing resources, guest-posting opportunities, lead generation, and email list building help.
Honestly, if you are blogging now or are going to start, you should seriously consider joining. You will no doubt save money, time, and tons of hassle.
Buildapreneur (Spencer Mecham)
Spencer and his blog Buildaprener are all about affiliate marketing. I've said this in other posts, but I think affiliate marketing is the #1 way to make money online for the average person. And you don't need to have a blog to do it, you can just do AF for various products directly.
That said, AF (like anything worth doing in life) takes time effort and requires some learning. I bought Spencer's Affiliate Secrets course and it was extremely helpful for me. Not only does it teach AF, but it also teaches marketing techniques you can employ for your own digital products=, coaching, or consutling
Plus it has paid for itself many times over at this point!
The Blog Millionaire (Brandon Gaille)
I'm not big on “fluff,” and I feel like Brandon is zero fluff. I started listening to his podcast and liked it because it got straight to the needed information. He didn't waste my time with “stories.” I realize that approach is not for everyone, but for me it was perfect. Every episode was packed with nuggets of gold.
Brandon's blogging courses teach you all the ways to get traffic to your blog. He is essentially an SEO guru. I bought his course 3 years ago (before I even started my blog) and felt it was very worth it. I still go back to it today. Plus he updates it often.
Michelle runs a highly successful blog about personal finance. She's a fantastic blogger with a huge audience. She was also very gracious in allowing me to guest post on her very popular site.
Because she makes $100K a month, I bought both of her blogging courses on Affiliate Marketing and Sponsored Posts. She definitely knows how to make money blogging. Much of her revenue comes from affiliate marketing and her own digital blogging products.
Out of all the sites I've perused, I think Michelle is really the master at funneling people through her posts (which are very good) and into affiliate links.
Detailed (Glen Allsopp)
Glenn is another SEO sensei. I decided to find a second SEO course to buy, just to make sure I was getting a good swath of info. While Glenn and Brandon cover a lot of the same ground, Glen has his own secret sauce.
I bought his course The SEO Blueprint and I'm liking it. It's pretty damn long though, so I have only gotten through a portion! But I pick away at it when I have time and want to geek out on SEO.
Adam has a “blogging business” –and a very successful one at that (according to his posts). His blog is also about blogging, of course, but he has an interesting twist.
He set out to make his blog an extremely profitable endeavor in less than a year (when most people take 5-10 years and often fail).
And he did it. “How?” you ask. I think he basically worked like dog for an entire year. He sent an email recapping “what he had done in year one” (like how many posts he did and affiliates he found), and it was mind-boggling.
Anyway, if you want to actually get inspired to start a blog, read his stuff. He almost had me convinced I could make some money with a blog… haha! I also bought one of his digital products on Affiliate Marketing, which was good.
Easy Blog Emily (Emily Owen)
Emily has made a business of managing people's Pinterest accounts. She currently focuses solely on Pinterest because it's considered one of the top drivers of traffic to blogs.
So I decided to commit to having her help me with Pinterest for 3 months. It's now been over a year and I'm very happy, as my Pinterest traffic is steadily climbing.
Emily works super hard and genuinely wants to achieve quality results. She's quality!
Growth Marketing Pro (Mark Spera & Haily Friedman)
Mark and Hailey are truly marketing pros. I happened to come across GMP at the perfect time (in terms of them hooking me for a call). Largely because blogging can be kind of isolating, and I really needed to just talk with somebody who was good at it!
Anyway, due to great SEO on their part, I found their site and “Growth Movie.” I listen to everything on 1.75x speed, and Hailey was quite funny in the film at that pace, so before I knew it I booked a call for $250.
On the call she quickly was pitching me a much more expensive “playbook” product. I honestly thought “this is impressive…I just paid $250 to be sold on a more expensive product…these two are f'ing geniuses!” I ended up buying the playbook (but at least negotiated that they credit me the $250 against the price).
The detailed playbook they put together for me was super helpful, and I'm still working on it today. Additionally, it included consulting calls where I got many valuable questions answered about SEO marketing. They also have been very generous with sharing various contacts, and even helped me get a new client!
Lemonpie (Erik Jacobson & Jonathan Barshop)
Lemonpie is that new client I just mentioned. Hailey used them to book her on a podcast tour. That sounded like a good idea for me too, so she hooked us up and we lived happily ever after.
Seriously…we did. I really liked what they were offering and it so happened that they were in the market for what I was offering, so we literally hired each other! I love how networking works.
Anyway, they are the best at what they do. I have since been on 20 podcasts (plus more to come), which not only drives traffic to my site, but also helps my SEO. I also get links to my content in the show notes of the podcasts! It's a real 2 for 1!
WP Crafter (Adam Prieser)
I'm including WP Crafter because I am constantly looking up technical instruction for accomplishing things on my site, and WP Crafter comes up a lot (particularly on Youtube).
I have found his information so helpful that I've purchased quite a few of his recommendations (via his affiliate links), which has given me free access to a few of his courses. He has courses on how to grow and monetize, speed up, take care of and secure your website. I really like this dude and his site.
His site also includes comparisons of every WordPress product you can imagine, but it's mostly easier to just take his recommendations from his “Recommended Resources” page.
Get Started Smarter with Blogging Courses and Gurus?!?
Work smart by enlisting the help of a tribe of people with knowledge and experience. Also, don't be afraid to spend a little money on a phone call or blogging courses when you need help.
The courses I've mentioned above are worth your money. Time is money after all, and you will waste less precious time by buying a few worthwhile courses.
Thank you to all my current gurus for sharing their wisdom…even if it wasn't free (damn, you guys are good)!
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Joe DiSanto is the founder of Play Louder! He has built multi-million dollar businesses, produced critically acclaimed documentaries and an Emmy-winning TV show, invested millions in real estate, and semi-retired at age 43. Now, Joe serves as a Fractional CFO for several creative firms and is sharing a lifetime of fiscal know-how via Play Louder, an invaluable resource that helps individuals and business owners increase their net worth and plan better for their future.