How to Not Waste Money on Blogging Courses
I am a huge fan of lifelong learning and I think entrepreneurs should always be reading and discovering and exploring new things (well I actually think everyone should be, but that's another post!)
But I must admit to being a bit fed up of online courses being rammed down my throat from seemingly all directions.
So today I'm sharing my thoughts on whether online courses are really worth your time and money and how to choose a course that you'll actually benefit from.
Are e-courses worth the investment?
Overall, yes they definitely can be. But only if:
- You're actually going to complete the course and put the work in
- If it's going to directly improve your money-making skills
- If the time and money spent learning how to do ‘the thing’ outweighs the costs of outsourcing
As you may have guessed I'm not a spontaneous course buyer. All of the courses I've invested in I've actually gone out and looked for (your email sales funnels don't work on me mwah ha ha)
But what if you are presented with an e-course that gets you excited?
How do you know if a course is a good investment for you?
Is the course relevant to your current goals?
Will it teach you skills / knowledge you need at this point in your business? If you don't need it now, one of two things will happen; either you'll buy it and not look at it again, or you'll be so excited you'll dive straight into the course and lose sight of your current priorities. Either way, the outcome isn't great.
Do you have time to do the course-work?
Or, more accurately, will you make the effort to make time to put in the work? You have to interact with a course for it to be beneficial. You have to read the info, watch the videos, take notes, do the course exercises etc. You need to make actively taking the course a priority to get maximum benefit from it.
Can you afford the course?
This one is a bit of a sticky one. As marketers we're taught to talk about course prices as investments instead of costs. And a good course can be a great investment for your business. Sometimes you need to take risks in business. And sometimes those risks are financial (most times really!)
Me personally, I think it's about weighing up the return on investment and looking at the long term, big picture view. If a course will help you make more money in the long run, it's worth making some sacrifices now to afford it (but don't ever let anyone shame you into buying something with their ‘you're not serious about your business if you don't buy my thing’ icky sales tactics)
So you've decided it's relevant to your goals, you can afford it and you're ready to commit.
Is this particular course right for you?
Look at the details of the course itself
What's included in the course curriculum?
Does it cover all the things you need to learn? How much of it is stuff you already know? Is it written for your type of business? If it isn't, how relevant is the content?
How is the course delivered?
Is it mostly videos or written? Is it delivered in a way that appeals to you? If finding time to watch videos is a struggle, don't buy a course that's mainly video content. Is there a community or other form of personal involvement? Will you take advantage of all the features? There's no point paying for features you won't use.
Are there pictures of the actual course content?
I like pictures as an idea of what I'm getting. And while attractive materials definitely don't guarantee a good course, it does show the course creator has put in the effort.
Is there a free sample?
Course creators often provide teasers and sample content to email subscribers, in webinars, in their Facebook group or even in their blog posts. If you like someone's free content and find it helpful and valuable, you'll probably like their paid content too.
Look at the reviews
I don't pay a lot of attention to reviews but it does make me feel a bit more confident in a purchase. One thing I do like to do (especially if a course is a big investment) is look for bad reviews. And I really like to do this if all the positive reviews are from affiliates!
And lastly, what's the refund policy?
How long do you get to request a refund? How many hoops do you have to jump through to get one? The more hassle free the refund policy, the more likely I am purchase. Even though I've never requested a refund, it makes me confident knowing I can!
And one more thing; if you can't find the answers you're looking for, contact the course creator. Test out their customer care before you buy!
Explore your options
Don't just buy the first course you come across. If it doesn't suit you, have a look for another one. Chances are, if one person has created a course on a subject, then so have other people!
Always remember, despite what it feels like sometimes, e-courses aren't the only option for learning. You can also look for:
- One-on-one coaching
- Small group coaching
- Subscription service like Skillshare (And if you sign up for Skillshare during June, using my unique link, you get 2 months of Premium Membership totally Free)
To sum up, the important thing to always remember is; ignore the hype and only buy what is going to help you grow your business now and in the future (which is pretty good advice in general really!)