I buy courses because I don’t have blogging totally figured out.
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 sets out what I consider to be the 7 best blogging courses that teach how to plan, launch and grow a successful blog/niche website.
The most important aspect about 5 of the courses listed below (#1 through #5) is they are created by bloggers and niche site publishers who have profitable blogs and niche sites separate from their blogs that sell their courses.
Courses #6 and #7 below are by a website owner in the personal finance space who sells her courses from the same blog. Actually, it’s a clever approach because she leverages her audience interested in improving their finances by buying her course.
Here’s my list and comments.
Table of Contents
- 1. RankXL
- 2. Income School
- 3. Five Figure Niche School
- 4. The Organic Traffic Formula
- 5. The Authority Site System (TASS)
- 6. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- 7. Making Sense of Sponsored Posts
- What about my course, Blackroom Profits?
- Which course should you buy?
- Which course on how to start a successful blog is my favorite?
I absolutely love RankXL. I still refer to it now and then (which I rarely do after going through a course). I bought it when the first version was launched long ago.
Chris Lee owns multiple niche sites and generates tens of thousands of dollars from them. He mostly monetizes with AdSense, which is great.
My favorite part about his course is how he is so capable at simplifying his blogging model.
Chris keeps it simple with white hat SEO, good content and AdSense ads. That’s it.
If you like the idea of building up SEO traffic and monetizing with AdSense, this is a great course to get.
What’s unique about his course?
Chris is a believer in building links, but does so in white hat ways. He’s spent countless hours experimenting and coming up with solid ways to build links. His course outlines some very clever ways to build links.
Chris also offers a very detailed content strategy, which I like. If you’re new to blogging or niche sites, his approach presents an excellent template to follow to roll out solid content that’s well optimized for search engines.
What else do I like about his course?
The amount of detail he puts into every module is very impressive. It’s easy to follow so that you end up creating a great site – from keyword research to content planning and structure to on-site SEO to AdSense monetization to link building. He covers it all.
2. Income School
Jim and Ricky at Income School know what they’re doing. They own multiple niche sites and are in the process of launching more.
Their niche sites make 4 and 5 figures per month so they know what they’re talking about.
Like Chris Lee, they focus on SEO. However, they monetize with both display ads and affiliate promotions.
What’s unique about their course?
Without a doubt Income School is unique in how they go about keyword research and content topics. In fact, they don’t do keyword research with the usual keyword research tools such as Ahrefs and SEMRush.
Instead they show you how they go about finding great article ideas in other ways. While not using sophisticated keyword research tools goes against the tide, it definitely works for these guys. Their results are excellent.
What else is good about it?
They keep it simple, which I totally agree with. If you look at their niche sites, you’ll see it’s a simple WordPress theme used as-is. Nothing fancy, yet earns really well.
They focus on good content, which I also agree, is a an excellent strategy. Th
They don’t build links, yet another approach I agree with. They attract links with their content but don’t spend time or money building links. Their sites rank well, get lots of traffic and earn well as a result.
3. Five Figure Niche School
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.
What I like about this course
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 work on 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 guess work.
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.
4. The Organic Traffic Formula
Spencer Haws is the guy behind The Organic Traffic Formula. His course is ideal for beginners looking to build an Amazon promotion niche site that publishes both buyer-intent content as well as general information pertaining to the niche.
Spencer is very well known and accomplished. He’s the founder of Long Tail Pro keyword research software (he’s since sold it). He also developed Table Labs (my favorite Amazon product tables plugin) and AMZ Images (my favorite way to add Amazon product images into articles.
He’s built up and sold a fulfillment by Amazon products and sites. He’s bought many niche sites. He’s started and grown many niche sites. In a nutshell, he’s done it all.
His course is a very good foundational course and provides enough guidance to get you up and running with a solid niche sites.
Overall, I’m a fan of much of what Spencer develops, writes about and his courses. He knows his stuff.
5. The Authority Site System (TASS)
This is a mega course on building authority websites monetized with display ads and affiliate offers. It covers every angle including:
- Niche selection
- SEO (on-site and link building)
- Email marketing (very detailed)
- Content generation (includes content ordering templates)
- Monetization (display ads and affiliate offers)
It’s a mega course with a big price. It’s one of the higher priced courses listed here. The amount of information and level of detail is impressive, but you pay for it.
It’s good for beginners as well as people doing this for a little while.
The course teaches link building for SEO, which differs from Income School and myself.
6. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
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.
7. Making Sense of Sponsored Posts
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.
If you like the idea of adding a sponsored post revenue stream to your website, this is a must-get course.
What about my course, Blackroom Profits?
Obviously, I think my course is good, but this list is about featuring other solid courses you can learn from.
My aim with this article is to explain the subtle differences among these seemingly similar courses. While there is definitely some overlap, each course teaches a particular approach to starting and growing a blog or niche website.
Which course should you buy?
The following is simplistic, but it’s an attempt to help you choose the right course base on what the type of blog or niche site you want to build.
- AdSense monetization with SEO traffic: RankXL, Income School and/or my course
- Affiliate marketing and SEO: Five Figure Niche School, TASS or Organic Traffic Formula
- Affiliate marketing and Email: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing or TASS
- Selling sponsored posts: Making Sense of Sponsored Posts
Which course on how to start a successful blog is my favorite?
That’s a tough one. I’d have to say RankXL and Income School are the two concepts that I learned the most from. Keep in mind though, that my approach to building niche sites are also most closely aligned with their approaches, so it’s a biased preference.