You won't find any affiliate links in this review. It is less of a review and more of a warning and sage advice.
It shouldn't be a huge surprise that I enjoy blogging. If I didn't enjoy blogging, this site obviously wouldn't exist. One of the things that drew me into the world of blogging was the community. I have made some great friends, and networked with amazing people.
Blogging has connected me with people I would not have met otherwise. In talking with people online and through the blog, I have become more confident, and blogging has improved my skills for my day job.
All this is to say; I really love blogging.
However, when I refer people to the world of becoming a blogger, I do so cautiously and even point our reasons why they should not start a blog. While the blogging community is overwhelmingly great, it's not perfect, and sadly there is a whole cottage industry of ‘experts” that exist solely to separate beginner bloggers from their cash.
That is Why Today I am Reviewing Blogger U
Spoiler alert: you probably don't need it.
How does the old saying go? “Those that can’t do, sell eCourses on the internet?”
Now, you may wonder why I would choose to review Blogger U and not one of the other seemly never-ending supply of “how to start a blog” courses. Well, I never purchased one of the other blogging eCourses, in fact, I have never bought any eCourses, Blogger U included.
That’s right; I managed to grow my blog from zero to 250k monthly page views in less than a year without the aid of any paid courses.
Now, before you think that I must be some internet wizard, let me preface with this. Before I started blogging, I was a complete blog novice. Not only did I not know anything about the industry of blogging, I never even read blogs. I would check out sites like Morningstar, MSN, or Yahoo finance for my financial information.
When I launched my site, I was on a shoestring budget. I had had just been ripped off by some “web guru,” and the company that initially set my blog was overcharging and underdelivering. I'm embarrassed to admit how much money I was shaken down for.
Luckily, I was able to pursue a criminal case against the “web guru,” and I am getting my money back in dribs and drabs each month. However, that's a story for my epic life story movie (if you know any Hollywood big shots have your people call my people; also, I’m going to need “people”).
At the time, spending 300 dollars on a course was not something that was going to happen. Not getting further in the red to promote my blog was luckily one of the best decisions I made.
I found that most of the information in blogging eCourses are readily available online, and for free!
I set about joining the number of blogging online communities, where I soaked in and put into action all of the excellent Free information.
I am here to tell you: if I can launch a profitable blog without shelling out hundreds of dollars, then you can too. Assuming you are willing to put in the work. There are no shortcuts in blogging. There is no marginal recipe for rearranging words that are going to quadruple your traffic immediately instantly.
Additionally, if there was a secret way to hack the Google genome, I doubt the founder would be pitching it in spammy emails for a few hundred bucks.
Why Review Blogger U
So, what d my story have to do with Blogger U, especially when I never even purchased the program?
Somewhere along the line, I ended up on the receiving end of two different Blogger U success stories via my email. The emails seemed innocent enough, although spammy and chocked full of hyperbole; the latter can be forgiven to some extent. Hopefully, most people are wise enough to recognize and discount hard sell.
What triggered me to write this review was that both emails were written by recent blogging ‘success” stories, both of whom I am familiar with. When you have been blogging for a short time, you will undoubtedly cross paths with individual bloggers several times, and these two bloggers were no exception.
I am familiar with their trajectory because we were in the same mentoring group. This group has helped several bloggers grow and expand their traffic, and I would not have achieved the results I have as quickly as I have without the group's support.
I can't speak to how much value the other members have received. However, I know they have received some, and that is my concern. When reading the emails, it doesn't mention that Blogger U, along with all these other programs, are responsible for their success. Any mention of different networking groups is notably absent.
Reading the email, you could be forgiven for thinking that if you pony up $300 bucks, you can kill it on the internet just like them.
These emails are like the before and after weight loss stories, where some newly fab boded pitchman claims some miracle supplement is responsible for their remarkable transformation without mention of diet or workout routine.
The supplement may work and may even speed progress up, but the reality is all that was necessary was for the person to put the work in at the gym.
Is Blogger U worth it?
Enough people are pitching the course that it is probably a well put together program, and I'm sure the course offers valuable information. My concern is the information is all readily available for free, and that the marketing borders on the unethical.
The emails fail to mention that these recent superstars received training and resources from other industry veterans, or that they had access to communities not affiliated with Blogging U.
Should You Purchase Blogger U?
Most of the information in the Blogger U course you find online for free.
Grant from Millennial Money has an excellent and free email course on how to start a blog. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the benefit of his email course when I started. However, even subscribing after my blog was already established, I still managed to pick up some ideas.
I have a lot of respect for Grant because he built a successful blog, as opposed to just being good at writing sales copy. He routinely features successful bloggers on his site that share their tips for success for free.
John from ESI Money is another blogger I highly recommend. He was one of the first prominent bloggers I connected with on my blogging journey. When I was starting, I was a bit aimless, and he was kind enough to send me two blog posts to read.
Five Steps to Creating a Winning $25k Blog
How to Write Rockstar Content
John has run several successful websites, and I believe the “real” experts can make things simple, which he does in those posts. If you want to launch a profitable blog, read his posts several times and save yourself a couple of hundred dollars.
What About All the Positive Blogger U Reviews?
Let’s be entirely honest about the business model of most blogs. Most blogs exist to promote affiliate products; as such most reviews are a bit of a shame.
I am not sure if other niche blogs work this way, but for most personal finance blogs, the prevailing business model is as follows.
1. Generate traffic as your proof of concept as quickly as possible
2. Secure premium ad network
3. Use said traffic growth in selling traffic boosting affiliate problems
I have yet to be dissuaded from the notion that most income reports and traffic reports are nothing more than affiliate marketing spam camouflaged as full discourse.
Now, I am not suggesting that Blogger U may not have worked in generating traffic. All I’m saying is, the information is available for free. Last time I check, free doesn’t pay a commission, so don’t hold your breath waiting for reviews saying the program isn't worth the cost.
What About the Blogger U Community?
Again, you can network with all those same bloggers for… you guessed it, Free!
On Facebook alone, there are at least a half-dozen or more blogging communities. There are communities for blog shares, social media engagement, money nerds, writing improvement, tech issues, securing guest posts, and even media placements.
Besides Facebook, there are several communities for bloggers on Reddit, Google +, and if your interest is personal finance, the Rockstar Finance Forum.
Bloggers are some of the most social media connected people I have ever met; you do not need to spend a couple of hundred dollars to communicate with other bloggers, just hop on Facebook or Twitter.
How to Launch A Blog
If launching a blogging side hustle is part of your financial plans, I would highly recommend you hide your wallet. The industry is staked with people who want a bite out of your hard earn dollars. Instead of falling for the sales pitch, use the free blogging resources.
Get your blog up and running before investing tons of money with “experts” and “gurus.” Challenge yourself that if there is a course of the program, you want to purchase to grow your website, that you will earn money online first. Chances are once you have made money online to pay for the course, you will find your no longer require the course.
There isn't an easy path or secret recipe to growing a blog, it takes consistency and persistence, and you can't buy that in a course.
Full Disclosure: My complaint with eCourses and affiliate products has more to do with the shady way they are sold, as opposed to their existence or content. Eventually, I may release my own course for bloggers that will be marketed ethically in a way that won't mislead bloggers as to the work they must put in to be successful and the results they will see, and of course contain full disclosure.