“Oh cool! You have a blog? I’ll have to check it out. Hey, I’ve been thinking about starting a blog to go with my XYZ business. Maybe I can pick your brain.”
Ever since I started this blog, it seems like every other person I talk to about it ends up spouting some form of the statement above. And, while I wholeheartedly believe that anyone with a passion and a desire to put in the work can absolutely do this, I also know that my capacity for teaching on this subject is extremely limited. I mean, you guys…I’m still learning all of this stuff myself! I am, sadly, not the person to ask to show you how to do this!
When I first began to seriously consider blogging as an actual full-time career, I wasn’t sure where to start. Of course, there is a ton of information on the internet and, sure…I could have scoured the web every day to teach myself how to do all the things. I constantly tell people what a miracle the internet is and I’m serious about that. We literally hold the entirety of world knowledge in our hands every day!
I once heard a story about a teenage girl in America who was chatting with a friend she’d made online in Africa. The friend in Africa mentioned that they did not have electric lights in their home, so she needed to finish her homework before it got dark. The American girl was so amazed by this that she went onto YouTube (no joke!) and taught herself thermodynamics! She then went on to invent a body heat activated flashlight for her friend to use at night when she needed to do her homework. Are you freaking kidding me, you guys? That. Is. Amazing! You really can learn anything on the internet. I hear stories every week from my own friends and family, explaining how they learned how to do something by watching a YouTube video.
And, as fun as it would be to inspire the socks off you and tell you that I single-handedly created a million dollar blogging empire after watching a few YouTube videos, it simply isn’t true. In fact, I haven’t even created this (currently) zero dollar blog using YouTube. Ha! I need to own up to the fact that I’m much too lazy for that sort of thing. I do not have the patience to piece it all together.
Thankfully, we live in a world where plenty of people have gone before. The truth is that there is nothing new under the sun. We all know the internet is saturated with blogs. But there is one new, very unique thing…your voice and my voice, which have incredible value and absolutely need to be heard and shared. Lucky for me, the internet is also busting at the seams with experienced people who have already achieved great success and who are willing to share their secrets, successes, and mistakes with the masses…for a small price. Due to my aforementioned laziness, I was absolutely willing to pay to play – shortcuts are always welcome! Why go through years of trial and error when I can invest in myself and have someone else give me all the answers I need? Enter blogging gurus, Pete and Heather Reese.
Pete and Heather Reese are the founders of the It’s A Lovely Life! blog, which is a lifestyle blog with a focus on family luxury travel. I first heard about Pete and Heather’s work when I stumbled upon the Start A Money Making Blog Facebook Group, which has over 87,000 members. This group is free to join and has an extremely active, helpful community of aspiring bloggers. On any given day, you’ll see folks in this group testing different logos, asking for help with WordPress, and surveying the group on possible blogging niches. It’s a great collaborative space and a perfect place to find inspiration and begin to build a vision for what you might be able to do with a blogging business.
Heather started blogging back in the days of Yahoo Chat. She has been around the block, seen the entire world of blogging change and evolve, and has kept up with all of it. Pete, her husband, used to work in real estate and eventually gave up his day job to work with Heather on the blog. You can read all about Heather & Pete on their blog, but the fact that struck me instantly when I learned of them is that they are currently earning $120,000 per month with It’s A Lovely Life! And, of that $120,000 per month, they earn $30,000 solely from their blog activity.
Once you hang out in the group for awhile and catch the vision for what could be financially possible with a blog, the next logical step is to sign up for Pete & Heather’s FREE 5 Day Start Your Blog Crash Course. This is what I did and I was extremely happy with all the free material that Pete & Heather delivered directly to my inbox each morning. The information was concise, helpful and began to steer my thoughts toward how I could actually earn money writing about things I love. In addition, there were practical steps each day to get my site up and running and to help me start earning by the end of the 5 days. Technically, I could have gone off on my own from that point forward and been successful.
But, on the last day of the course, there was a preview of material covered in Heather & Pete’s full, paid 30 Day Blogging Blastoff course, which touted itself as a “30-day step-by-step plan to build a profitable blog”. I’ll be honest. By the time I’d finished working through the material in the free 5-day course, I already knew I wanted the full course and I bought it almost immediately. I couldn’t imagine trying to start a serious business without all of the information in front of me first. Once I gained access to the materials, I was so thrilled with my decision.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate for the 30 Day Blogging Blastoff Course, so if you enroll using any of the links in this post, I will receive a referral commission.
How It Works
The course runs monthly and there is a short window of time where people can enroll (usually around the 15th of the month to around the 28th). The actual coursework is hosted on the Teachable platform (very user friendly) and begins on the first day of the month, with one lesson released daily. Each lesson is broken down into learning modules (anywhere from 3-8 modules per topic) and a daily assignment.
Here is a quick sneak peek of the main topics of the course, laid out by day:
Day 1: About Successful Blogs and Bloggers
Day 2: Top 5 Money Making Systems for a Blog
Day 3: Sponsored Post & Guest Post Writing System
Day 4: Affiliate Marketing System
Day 5: Product Creation & Sales System
Day 6: Paid Social Media Postings, Paid Photography Projects, Paid Videography Projects
Day 7: Ad Placement System
Day 8: Other Ways to Earn Income in the Blogging World
Day 9: Site Design & Layout of the Ideal Blog
Day 10: Getting Your Name Out There
Day 11: The Business of Blogging Part 1
Day 12: The Business of Blogging Part 2
Day 13: The Ideal Blog Post
Day 14: Compliance (How to Stay Out of Trouble Blogging)
Day 15: Motivation and Goal Setting
Day 16: Facebook
Day 17: Twitter
Day 18: Instagram
Day 19: Pinterest
Day 20: YouTube
Day 21: Email Lists
Day 22: Traffic Part 1 – Social Media
Day 23: Traffic Part 2 – SEO
Day 24: Sharing Threads
Day 25: Promoting Your Blog Posts
Day 26: Video for Bloggers
Day 27: Photography for Bloggers
Day 28: Email Pitching for Opportunities
Day 29: Blogging Conferences
Day 30: Event Coverage
Things I Love About This Course!!!
- VIP Group Memberships
In addition to every single detail of every single topic you could possibly need to hit the ground running with your blog, you also get membership in two VIP Facebook groups – one for the course itself to monitor your assignments and questions and a special sharing group designed to help boost your social media and readership traffic straight out of the gate.
- Easy-to-Digest Material & Schedule Flexibility
I was worried when I saw the curriculum that it would take me hours every day to work through everything, but the material is broken down so well that it only took me about 10 minutes per day to read and review each lesson. The assignments took varying amounts of time.
Even though there are daily assignments, you can still do the course at your own pace and you have access to all materials, which are regularly updated, for 2 years. I am extremely grateful for this because, now that I am past the biggest technical set-up hurtles and my blog is a bit further along, I am ready to go back and review the monetization sections of my coursework to figure out the next step in this process and focus on marketing so I can grow my brand.
- Accountability & Responsiveness
The accountability aspect is excellent. Each day, students are instructed to mark their homework as “done” in the VIP Facebook group. There is also a question thread specifically for that day’s materials and Pete is very responsive to these questions. During the course, I missed about 6 days in a row due to holidays. I was able to work through all the materials and catch up on assignment threads once I got back to a more manageable schedule. Even though I was “late” on reporting my assignments as finished, I still received support and encouragement from my fellow students and from Pete himself. There is no shame if you get behind a few days, or even a few months. The community is excited to see you make any moves at all toward your goals. That’s a really wonderful feeling.
- Free Technical Help
With your purchase of the course, you receive an amazing free bonus resource called the WP Blastoff, which normally costs $99. This course takes you step-by-step through how to build your self-hosted WordPress website. With a super sweet BlueHost discount from Heather & Pete, I was able to purchase my domain for 3 years for less than $100 and get started immediately.
I never could have launched this blog as quickly as I was able to, though, without the free WP Blastoff course. I referenced every single module of this course (some of them multiple times) and frequently popped into the closed Facebook group for WP Blastoff that Pete & Heather created to ask for one-on-one user support. Heather and Pete have hired the most patient, knowledgeable tech support persons. Every technological hurtle that I ran into when I was setting up my site, I was able to overcome with the help of their fantastic and friendly WP Blastoff virtual assistant, Arne.
- Free Bonus Materials
When you enroll in the course, you also receive bonus access to a library of extremely helpful video trainings:
Discussion on Picking Your Niche
Discussion on Monetizing Your Blog
Discussion on Getting Past Fear
Discussion on Website Design Best Practices
Discussion on Social Media
Discussion on Motivation
These topics might seem superfluous at first glance, but as I’ve moved into this space of blogging and adjusted to the schedule and demands full-time blogging, I now see clearly how pivotal each of the above topics are to creating a strong online presence and building a brand new business from the ground up. Who doesn’t need a pep talk every once in awhile? Encouragement like this is sometimes hard to come by in our self-contained blogger world, where we sit quietly behind our computers, all alone and wondering if we have what it takes to get it done. Any self-employed business is difficult. Motivational sentiments are essential to survival.
In summary, if you have any interest at all in possibly adding a blog to your current business or in starting one from scratch to earn you some side income, I do not yet have the expertise to help you do this in a way that is comprehensive and complete. But I am happy to say I can 100% refer you to this course that I took to get my own blog started. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I found the 5 Day Start Your Blog Crash Course because it, ultimately, led me to the full course, which was a million times more valuable than the small price I ended up paying to take the course. If you have questions about any of the things I’ve shared here, I am so happy to chat with you. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or e-mail. Feel free to reach out!
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