It’s harder than it looks, isn’t it?
When you start off, there are so many things to learn: tech, social media, content creation, copywriting, brand design...the list is longer than a 6-year old’s Christmas list.
So we’re all unsurprisingly drawn to the thousands of courses that promise to make this whole blogging lark simpler for us.
Those courses often cost an arm and a leg (and possibly a kidney too).
And it’s all very well those course creators saying ‘invest in yourself’, but often it’s a choice between food on the table and a blogging course. Especially for us moms.
So, are we destined to struggle if we can’t afford these blogging courses?
You do have options. (And no, selling your first born is NOT one of them)
Here is a helpful, college-fund-saving, list of 14 alternatives to high price blogging courses. Get ready to get your geek on, mama.
1 | Look for an E-Book
E-books are all the rage at the moment.
And many big names are coming out with their own. E-books are great because they usually give a beginner-friendly overview of what the writer teaches more in depth in their courses.
But often, as total beginners we don’t need all the tiny details, we just need some help getting started.
And e-books are also much easier to consume. A couple of hundred pages vs an intimidating course platform you have to figure out? I know what I’d prefer.
So, check out Amazon for some budget-friendly ebooks. And get learning!
2 | | Hunt for Freebies.
It’s amazing what some incredible people are giving away for free.
Don’t even think about buying a course until you’ve signed up for some freebies on the subject and implemented the crap out of those freebies.
Check out this helpful list of free blogging and online business courses from the lovely McKinzie at Moms Makes Cents.
The great thing about free courses too, is that they give you a chance to see what a person's paid courses may be like. If they're giving insane value in a free course, you can be more confident about buying a course from them.
3 | Give it a Go
Is your default reaction when faced with something new, to immediately look for a course on the topic?
If you want to learn something new, the best thing to do is roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and have a go (unless the thing you want to learn is related to electricity, in that case do NOT have a go. Call a professional).
And this is especially true with technical ‘shiz’.
In my years as a course junkie, I’ve hunted for courses on Canva, Tailwind and, unbelievably, Google Docs.
But, when I actually just had a go for myself, I figured them all out just fine (with some help from YouTube).
The good thing about trying something out for yourself first, is that you figure out what you don’t know. Then you can ask better questions.
Talking of which...
4 | Send out an SOS
Are you scared by tech? Yep, me too.
But don’t panic.
If you’re signing up for things like Tailwind, Boardbooster, Squarespace, Mailchimp, Zapier, Pinterest Convertkit...they all have phenomenal customer service.
Just send them your question and some lovely person, probably born when we were finishing high school, will answer it.
And, most importantly, they won’t be an arse about answering it.
Keep emailing them until you get it figured out. Or until they blacklist you. Either way.
5 | Check out Skillshare
There’s more than one way to open a bottle of wine.
And there’s definitely more than one course on the subject you want to learn.
So, shop around.
And don’t forget to check out places like Skillshare that offers courses on hundreds of topics. it's a membership site so you sign up for a monthly fee and then get access to ALL the courses from some amazing teachers.
Laura from Badass Business Mums has helpfully prepared a list of more than 40 courses on blogging that you can find on Skillshare.
Plus she’s giving us one month access to Skillshare FREE. That’s totally gratis, people!
6 | Check out Udemy
Ok, before some of you start throwing things at your laptop, I know Udemy is not popular with some course creators.
And I can see why.
But honestly, I’ve done some great courses on Udemy.
If you're not sure what Udemy is, it's another online course platform where you can browse thousands of courses from many different teachers.
And even better, there’s practically always a sale on!
You do have to be careful. I’ve come across some terrible stuff on Udemy. But that's a risk with any course you buy. And at least with Udemy you can read positive and negative reviews submitted by students. Plus you get a standard 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you’re willing to give Udemy a whirl, read the reviews carefully and ask questions if you're not sure.
7 | Outsource. Cheaply.
Before you take a course, see if the skill you’re paying to learn is outsource-able (yes, that's a word!)
For example, if you’re wanting to learn Photoshop (and pay for monthly access to this Adobe product), think about whether you could find a freelancer on Fiverr to do the photo edits for you.
Other things to outsource:
- Don’t take that graphic design course - check out Creative Market for some tempting templates;
- Don’t take that course on creating workbooks - check out BMays design for some templates and save time, money and your sanity. Click HERE to go check her out.
- Don’t take that photography course - check out this list of free stock photos.
- Don’t take that design course - check out Meghan from Crafting Creative, she has a Designer on Demand service that is just the best idea since family-sized tubs of Nutella.
Further down the road, when your blog is making money, you may decide to learn those skills. But right now, save your money.
8 | Watch. Observe. Learn.
Ok. Course creators are teaching what works for them. Hopefully.
So, why not watch what they do?
And then apply what you learn.
For example.....Can’t afford that Instagram course?
Watch how the course creator creates their bio, writes their captions, and interacts with their followers.
You won’t learn everything. But a bit of Sherlock Holmes-esque observation is enough to get you started.
9 | Swipe-File It.
Talking of observing what others do…
Why not create a swipe file of things you’re trying to learn about?
Want to learn how to write a sales page?
Hunt down 5-10 sales pages that have you drooling to purchase. And create a swipe file.
To help, you can use the Google Chrome extension called ‘Full Page Screenshot’ to take a...can anyone guess? A full page screenshot!
And then use your swipe file to have a go at creating your own version. Don’t be an arse and plagarise. Just look for patterns and examples of best practice.
Another example for you...
Want to learn to write a welcome sequence?
Sign up to the email lists of your favorite bloggers and see how they craft their welcome emails and sequence.
You can even create a swipe file or simply an email folder called ‘Welcome Emails’ for you to refer to again and again. Again, don’t be an arse and plagarise. A swipe file is for inspiration only.
10. Research it.
Get your geek on with some research.
(I know this has ‘rabbit hole’ written all over it. But seriously, give it a go.)
Hit up the Three Wise Men of the Internet: Google, YouTube and Pinterest.
The Truth is Out There!
PS: Also check to see if there’s a Podcast on that topic. For example if you want to know how to use Pinterest you should probably be listening to one of these podcasts:
I once got free access to a course by volunteering to help the course creator with a problem she was having.
So my tip here is: build relationships with people.
But, don't do it because they might be able to help you. Do it because they’re wonderful people who you’d want to talk to anyway.
Share their content;
Leave comments in blog posts;
Look for ways to help them first;
Be a bloody nice person.
11. Be a Guinea pig
(It just took me 3 attempts to spell ‘Guinea’ correctly - Mama needs coffee!)
Look out for people who want beta testers to test their courses. Facebook groups are a good place to start.
And the good news is that once you’re a Beta Tester, you’ll probably be given lifetime access to the course and get to influence what content is included.
12. Ask Questions
Once you’ve had a go at something yourself - and fouled it all up. Now you should ask some highly focused questions.
Try posting your questions in:
Blog post comments;
Emails to bloggers;
FB Live comments;
Forums (like Quora or Reddit);
(Did I just write that in alphabetical order? Why, yes I did, thank you very much).
Some tips to stop you looking like an arse:
- Don’t overstep the mark of help you can get for free and help you really need to pay for;
- Be nice. Really bloody nice.
- Don’t expect anything. If someone helps you - great;
- Be really specific. Don’t say ‘hey, please go to my blog and tell me where I’m going wrong’. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
- Look for ways you can help the person who helped you;
- Pay it forward - if you can help someone else out, get your Good Samaritan on and help.
13. Look for a More Budget Friendly Course
Everyone seems to be going premium with their pricing these days.
But there are still people creating excellent courses with a price tag that doesn’t make you gag.
For example...Elna Cain.
She’s got three courses related to blogging and I have them all. And let me tell you, they are all way better than some premium courses I’ve shelled out for.
If you’re a beginner blogger, these are gold:
14. Wait for a sale.
No reputable course creator would ever ask or wish for you to take out an unmanageable loan or clear out your savings to get their course.
If someone even so much as hints that you should...run.
Put Your Money Away
There are plenty of free ways to get the help you need until you're ready to buy that course.
When you're asking for help just remember to ask nicely. And as you move forward in your business, don’t forget to help out those behind you.
What are you trying to learn at the moment? Tell me in the comments!
Don’t forget to pin for later. Your wealth could depend on it!