I buy courses because I don’t have blogging totally figured out despite having more than one successful blog.
More importantly, there are many smart bloggers and website publishers who come up with great ideas all the time.
A great deal of my moderate success is due in part to information I’ve learned from buying courses.
If I learn one good tip, technique or method, it’s money well spent.
Of course, I’ve bought some terrible courses, but sometimes you have to buy stinkers to find the good ones.
I know that quite a bit that’s taught in any course won’t be new to me, but if I learn one or two good ideas, I consider it money well spent.
I’ve bought well over 100 courses over the years. Some were great, some just okay and some a waste of money.
This list is broken up into two sections.
The first section are my favorite courses across a few different blogging strategies and models.
The second section lists out additional courses I haven’t tried but I include them because they are reputable and you may want to try them.
IMPORTANT: Every course on blogging I set out below is by someone who has experience separate from their “how to blog” course. For example, my course bundle is about building up high traffic niche sites monetized with display ads. Guess what? I actually own such niche sites separate from Fatstacksblog.com. Well, the same is true of the other course creators. In fact, I won’t bother taking a course from anyone unless they do have success independent from their “how to make money online” blog and course.
Here’s my list of the best online course options for bloggers along with my comments.
My favorite courses (that I’ve actually gone through)
Below is a shortlist of my all-time favorite courses. I’ve bought and gone through dozens (probably hundreds). These are my favorite.
Moreover, the list below is a diverse range of courses spanning several different online content and business models.
I'd be an idiot not to list my course bundle first. After all, if I didn't think this was the best blogging course I either have to make it better (which I do anyway) or stop selling it.
The course bundle is all my blogging courses combined to create an A to Z course on planning, launching and growing niche sites. The entire method is based on what I do to grow million dollar niche sites.
In a nutshell, my course bundle teaches high volume content publishing, finding easy-to-rank keywords, no or low link building focus and monetizing the whole shebang with passive earning ads.
Seldom do I get this excited about a course but Affiliate Lab is all that it promises. I bought it because I'm working on improving my affiliate revenue across my niche sites (including Fat Stacks) and so the on-site SEO and affiliate stuff such as CRO appealed to me.
This course is worth every nickel.
Matt Diggity put this thing together.
His on-site SEO knowledge is legendary. In fact, a few years ago I paid him $500 for a telephone consult. I had a few technical SEO questions. The guy knows his stuff. That call was worth every nickel and then some.
In Affiliate Lab I learned a ton about on-site SEO and successful affiliate promotions... so much so the price was worth that. If you're into link building, this course is an absolute bargain - no course covers ranking competitive keywords and banking from affiliate marketing as well as Affiliate Lab (at least no course I've had access to... and I get access to a lot of courses because people want me to promote. Ironically, I paid full dollar for Affiliate Lab and am happy I did so).
-How to create an excellent course.
-How to set up a simple, proven sales funnel.
-How to buy traffic resulting in positive ROI.
If you want to sell courses, especially higher-cost courses, Course Creator Pro is a must-get course. I stumbled on this gem of a course reading some dude's blog. I earned him a tidy commission. I clicked. Watched the presentation and bought without hesitation.
I had never heard of these guys before but they know selling courses. I learned more in this course than any other on selling courses.
It's not cheap. What sold me is Parker Walbeck has sold millions worth of another course on videography called Full Time Filmmaker. I tend to only buy courses from folks who learn what they're teaching independently from their "make money online" efforts. Parker has all the street cred I needed and it showed in this Course Creator Pro offering.
Please note that I don't sell courses for all my niche sites. Just Fat Stacks. I think selling courses is viable in many other niches but certainly not all. Therefore, this course is only good if you are certain that you want to sell course. But if you want to sell a course, this is the must-have course.
Nutshell: Launch and grow a YouTube channel to six figures inside one year.
Impressive results. I mean, come on folks. Six figures in less than a year with videos? That's nuts.
Erika and I have emailed back and forth. She's also a lawyer who gave up the law for greener pastures online.
She has a YouTube channel in the personal finance space. She's grown it quickly.
What I really like about her channel is that her videos are good but they are not so good that you need to have gone through 4 years of film school to get the same results. With a little know-how and her course, you too can be making videos quickly that get results.
In other words, this is actually a course on growing a highly profitable YouTube channel that's simple... not outrageously complex with respect to videography and all that.
Morten and I have had some good chats over the last while. We have a similar approach to publishing niche sites using content marketing to haul traffic so we enjoy talking shop.
Morten is great with and on video.
He's detailed as hell.
His course is a great program for people looking to launch a solid niche site that earns from display ads.
=> Publish and rank lots of content on a blog.
=> Monetize with display ads and some affiliate promos.
-Create high traffic blog.
-Attract email subscribers.
-Make money via email as an affiliate and/or selling digital products.
This course is always available.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing focuses on using your blog to attract email subscribers and then earning affiliate revenue via your email newsletter.
This model doesn't work in every niche, but if you're in an email-friendly niche, this is a great course.
What I really like is how the course focuses on establishing relationships and engaging email readers. This builds trust which dramatically helps with promoting products.
The course owner is in the personal finance niche which means the audience is interested in saving/making money. Therefore, email marketing is ideal and it works.
However, if you're a niche where email marketing isn't a focus and it's doubtful it can be a huge success, this course isn't for you.
How can you tell if a niche is hot or not for email marketing?
Take a look at what the bigger sites in the niche do. Do they focus on attracting subscribers? If so, get on those lists and see what, if anything, they promote.
Also, take a look to see if their sites have a lot of display ads or if the focus is on the email opt-in form. If there are lots of ads and the email sign up isn't pushed too hard, chances are, email isn't the be-all and end-all.
-Build up traffic blog serving a distinct audience.
-Sell sponsored blog posts to brands and companies for big bucks.
This course is always available.
Making Sense of Sponsored Posts is the best course I've ever gone through that explains how to earn decent revenue with sponsored posts.
First off, the course makes it clear that sponsored posts are different than selling guest posts with dofollow links. Selling guest posts with dofollow links is akin to selling links. This is against Google's Terms of Service and can result in search engine penalties.
Many people looking for dofollow links on sites ask to publish a "sponsored post" but what they really want is a dofollow link. There's a big difference.
A sponsored post is an article published on your site that is informational but promotes or focuses on a product or brand. The links, if any, to the brand or product are nofollow.
Brands and products pay for these placements because they want the exposure.
This course sets out what kind of money you can expect based on page views. I also think the niche dictates how much you can command as well.
This course is thorough on teaching you how to get brands, companies and products to pay you top dollar for sponsored posts. Included is a list of sponsored post networks that bring brands and bloggers together.
This course was created by two guys who operate 5 e-comm stores in a variety of niches. They net $30K/mo. with it. It's not some silly Amazon arbitrage or Aliexpress rip-off model. These guys source wholesalers and manufacturers and enter into dropshipping arrangements. They don't have to buy inventory, yet enjoy big margins.
In fact, their margins are so big that they buy a lot of traffic from Google Adwords and profit handsomely from that traffic.
If I were to launch and e-comm store, I'd follow what these guys do.
=>Build niche store selling products as dropshipper.
=>Buy traffic for profitable ROI.
=>Rinse and repeat.
Nutshell: Killer keyword research methods for easy traffic.
I don't know the guy behind Marketbold. The emails are from Jack Duncan. His freebie email newsletter is amazing. So good, I bought the F.A.S.T. course and some other stuff (can't remember what). The stuff "Jack Duncan" puts out is really, really good.
His main business email marketing. I have no idea if he has other sites or not but he is clever with his methods and I learned a few things from him.
=> Create affiliate marketing sites promoting Amazon.
=> Find and focus on low competition keywords with good buyer intent.
This course is open occasionally.
Five Figure Niche School focuses on Amazon product promotion via niche sites. Traffic source is SEO.
If you like the idea of creating high-earning Amazon affiliate sites, this is a great course to get.
The thing with building sites that are hyper-focused on promoting Amazon products is you don't need to create an endless stream of content or get millions of page views to earn good money.
Instead, you focus on publishing high-quality content that targets buyer intent keywords and then works toward ranking those articles.
Doug Cunnington actually created a formula for finding good keywords and article topics to cover. It's very analytical and takes away the guesswork.
What this does it increases the odds of your content performing well which means less risk with respect to the time and money you invest in content.
Which course on blogging is the best?
It’s going to depend on what online blogging model or strategy appeals most to you. The list of courses above cover a wide variety of online blogging business models including AdSense/display ads (my course), affiliate marketing, email marketing, e-commerce, passive SEO and aggressive SEO.
If you’re just learning about the big, wild world of blogging then you may end up buying more than one. Don’t worry, that’s normal. I’ve bought well over 100 courses during my tenure blogging. The above is a very, very filtered shortlist of what I consider to be the best courses on blogging.
Take your time before choosing a course. Read the sales pages carefully. Get a sense of the different approaches. While different, they all work… but they are different.
Then decide what model appeals to you most. Once you buy a course, you really need to give the methods a good shot. You can’t stop after a month. Not even high intensity link building will get you killer results in a month. Every blogging model above will take 6 months to a year just to see some decent results.
What makes a blogging course great?
First, a blogging course is great if it’s based on a proven model. The course creator needs to have success independent of the blog that is selling the course. For example, if I ONLY published Fat Stacks and let’s say I grew the income to $30K per month and then launched a course on blogging, that doesn’t pass my sniff test. Basically all I could teach would be to launch a blog on blogging then sell a course on blogging. It’s classic self-fulfilling marketing. I don’t like it. Watch out for it.
Second, the course should offer something unique. The course creator needs to have come up with a novel approach that can be taught and used by many people. Usually folks who have a successful business independent of their course on blogging have come up with some novel ways of doing things.
Third, the course should teach an entire strategy that one can embrace and create their own similar business. There are exceptions to this though. Sometimes selling micro-courses on a particular aspect of blogging can be helpful as well because not everyone wants an A to Z blogging course. For example, I sell my courses individually. So if you wanted to learn just my keyword research methods, you could just buy my keyword research course.
Why don’t I include any Udemy course options?
I haven’t bought any Udemy courses nor am I familiar with any options sold there. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good options, it’s just that I’m not plugged into Udemy.
Should I get a free blogging course instead of a paid course on blogging?
I’m not particularly big on free stuff. I believe you get what you pay for. There are some decent freebie reports, trainings, etc. but for the most part freebie courses and materials are designed to sell the paid course. That doesn’t mean free is useless. Free can help you get a sense whether the paid version is a good fit for you.
If I already have some success with a blog, should I buy a course?
In many instances, yes, buying a course that is related to what you’re doing can help you take your blog to the next level. I’ve bought many courses along the way and while not all helped, many did. These days, if I learn one to three solid tips in a course, I’m happy. One good tip can make a big difference. It might be a new way to find good keywords. It might be a solid on-site SEO technique that grows traffic quickly. These little gems can help big time.
How are blogging courses taught and delivered?
Most courses these days use video to deliver the content. My courses are still fairly text-heavy just because I loathe watching videos but even I am adding more and more video content.
Why are courses on blogging and SEO so expensive?
Yeah, they are expensive aren’t they? I agree. However, prices have come down from the insane levels 6 years ago when many high profile course sellers were pricing their courses at $2,000 or more. There are still some courses priced at those levels, but most are a couple hundred to one thousand dollars… at least the courses on my list above.
Course owners make far more money pricing them into the hundreds or even low thousands than at $27. While it may not seem fair given the entire thing is all profit (unless they buy ads), that’s the nature of the business.
In our defense, we put in a lot of time and hours to learn what we do to the level that we do. I’ve been earning a full time living online since 2012. I’ve been honing my niche site process since then. I then spent 18 months putting together my courses. I continue to update them as my methods change. I also participate in the Fat Stacks forum.
Most other quality course creators put in a similar effort and for that effort, course creators wish to be well compensated.
Moreover, the market for courses on blogging isn’t anywhere nearly as large as the fitness industry or guitar lesson audience. Fitness workout program sellers can price lower because they’ll sell way more just because there’s a much bigger market.
If I want to start a blog in a particular niche like a travel blog or food blog, should I buy a course that caters to those niches?
You could. Most of the courses above teach methods that apply to most niches.
However, it’s undeniable that if you’re set on a particular niche, there may be insights you gain from a course that teaches blogging for that specific niche.
Are courses that teach blogging good for beginners?
Yes, most courses are good for beginners unless it specifically states otherwise. I’ve taken enough courses to know that almost all comprehensive blogging courses include plenty of the beginner materials that beginners would need to get started.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.