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These days, it seems like everyone and their dog has a travel blogging course. How much value can you really get out of a one? Can’t you just learn everything for free online?
These are all valid questions! When I first started blogging, I wasn’t taking it that seriously and didn’t see the value in investing in a travel blogging course. I also had very little traffic. The truth is, being a successful travel blogger requires a lot of knowledge and skill in MANY different areas. Since investing in travel blogging courses and tools, my monthly page views are up by over 1000% compared to this time last year.
While I understand that as a brand new blogger it may feel discouraging knowing the market is so saturated, there’s also a flip side to this. If you started a blog a decade ago, you were kind of on your own. There weren’t readily available courses you could take to learn the necessary skills. Now there are so many successful bloggers out there making well over six figures, and they are sharing their secrets to success!
Blogging is a skill. Like any skill, it requires time to learn. You can significantly speed that up by enrolling in a blogging course. Yes, there is a ton of free information out there. But much of that information is incorrect, outdated, and generally confusing. Having all the information in one place from a reliable source is well worth the cost.
If you want to make money blogging, then you need to treat it like a business. Do you know any successful businesses that had no money invested in them? Probably not. Investing in myself and my blog is the best money I’ve spent in the last year. And I say investment because I’ve already started to see that money come back to me through income. I’m nowhere near where I want to be in my blogging journey, but I’m on a much better path then I was. And I owe it these courses.
Although this isn’t a blog about blogging, I get asked about this topic often. I’ve taken my share of blogging courses and they aren’t all created equal, so I wanted to share a review of the ones that have actually helped my blogging business.
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Best Travel Blogging Courses in 2020
Overview of Recommended Travel Blogging Courses
|Superstar Blogging||Blogging||$25/month (first three months, $49 after)||Find out more|
|Travel-Blog Prosperity||Blogging||$49/month||Find out more|
|Complete SEO Course||SEO||$499||Find out more|
|Pinterest Traffic Explosion||$397||Find out more|
by Nomadic Matt
Nomatic Matt has been around for over a decade and his blog is one of the most trafficked on the web, receiving over a million users per month. It was one of the first blogs I discovered and played a huge role in my decision to travel the world for a year. So when Matt started the Superstar Blogging School, it was an easy sell for me. This was the first blogging course I ever purchased, and it was instrumental in setting up my blog.
The Business of Blogging is broken down into 10 weeks/modules. Each module gets unlocked in weekly intervals, which may or may not be a good thing depending on where you are in your blogging journey. If you are a beginner, this is a benefit because you would likely be overwhelmed with getting so much information at once. Being forced to wait the week actually gives you time to digest the information and put it into practice. On the other hand, if you already have your blog setup, then you might find it annoying having to wait for the more advanced topics.
Here’s a breakdown of what The Business of Blogging covers:
- Week 1: Setting up and getting started. This module walks you through step-by-step on how to set up your blog. From picking a host, getting a theme, installing the necessary plugins, and more. If you haven’t set up your website yet, you will find this module extremely helpful.
- Week 2: Building A Brand. This module takes you deeper into creating your personal brand and finding your niche (which in today’s saturated market, is very important). It also gives you some tips on website design.
- Week 3: Writing Content. After all, isn’t that why we’re here? This unit won’t dramatically improve your writing, but it does provide some helpful tips and resources. There is also an entire Superstar blogging course on How to Become a Travel Writer, which I’ve just purchased.
- Week 4: Mastering Social Media. This module provides you with tips on succeeding on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest. You could take an entire course on each of these platforms, but it’s a great place to start if you are new to social media marketing.
- Week 5: Networking like a champ. Networking with other bloggers is crucial if you want to succeed in this industry. This short but sweet module provides advice and resources on how to start networking.
- Week 6: SEO. Probably the most important module in this course. Having a strong SEO game is crucial to growing your blog, and Matt knows what he’s talking about when it comes to getting organic traffic. He recently added an advanced SEO section to this module.
- Week 7: Newsletters. This module will walk you through setting up your mail service on either Mailchimp or Convert Kit, plus tips on what to send in your e-mail and gaining subscribers. Great if you are new to e-mail marketing.
- Week 8: Affiliate Marketing. One of the best ways to build a passive income stream in your blogging business. I’m doing affiliate marketing right now through the links to this course.
- Week 9: Creating & Selling Products. If you look at any six-figure blogger, they probably have their own products. I haven’t gotten to this point yet, but I’ll be reviewing this module again when I do. Did I mention you get lifetime access with this course?
- Week 10: Partnering with Brands, PR, and Tourism Boards. – Matt isn’t big on brand partnerships, so I didn’t get a lot of this module. That being said, he does provide you with some helpful pitching templates and food for thought.
Along with the course content, here are some other perks you get from being a member of any Superstar Blogging Course:
- Private Facebook group. Great place to network with other bloggers and ask questions.
- Opportunity Board. Once you enroll in any Superstar blogging course, you get access to the opportunity board on the website. This is an excellent place to find guest post opportunities, collabs, freelance writing gigs, sponsored posts, and more. I wish things got posted here more frequently, but I have gotten paid work out of this.
- Monthly Newsletter with helpful resources
- Monthly Q&A. Matt has virtual office hours each month which is a great opportunity to ask questions and get advice from an expert. He also often organizes special webinars on topics such as SEO and Social Media Marketing
Who is The Business of Blogging right for?
If you’re in the very early stages of blogging (i.e. it doesn’t exist and you have no idea how a blog makes money) then The Business of Blogging is a perfect place to start. If you already have a personal blog but have no clue how to monetize it, then you will also find this course helpful. It really gets you in the mindset of treating your blog like a business.
What’s really attractive about The Business of Blogging course is that it only costs $25 for the first three months (which should be plenty of time to complete it). I paid almost 3x this, and I STILL found the course valuable. You aren’t going to find a cheaper travel blogging course with similar value.
by Jessie on a Journey
Travel Blog Prosperity goes far beyond what Superstar Blogging teaches you, covering everything you could want to know about building a brand and making money from blogging. I won’t list all the modules in detail, as there are currently 28 different lessons available. Plus, a new module is added every month.
Jessie walks you through all the fundamentals of setting up your blog including branding, tech, design, affiliates, and SEO, but delves much deeper into each topic. For example, she has dedicated modules for each social media platform. She even added a second module on Pinterest that was co-created by Anastasia Blogger, who receives hundreds of thousands of page views per month solely from Pinterest.
One topic I think Travel Blog Prosperity covers well, which The Business of Blogging lacks, is working with Brands and Tourism Boards. Jessie has done a number of successful paid campaigns with huge brands and has helped me get some too. There is an entire module on how to profitably work with brands as a blogger, including some invaluable pitching templates that I have used with success.
Travel Blog Prosperity also covers many topics that I don’t see covered in other blogging courses, such as legal issues, avoiding burnout, and creating e-books, podcasts, and online courses.
I really enjoy Jessie’s teaching style. She is a very ethical blogger and all of the advice she provides is around building a genuine, sustainable business. There aren’t any get rich quick schemes here, but practical advice that will set up your blog up for success in the long-run. Another feature I love is that all the modules have video lessons in them, along with fillable workbooks.
Here are some other perks you get for being a member of the course:
- VIP opportunities: Every Monday, Jessie sends out five opportunities related to blogging. These could be a press-trip opportunity, sponsored posts, a remote job, etc. I have personally gotten press trips and sponsored posts because of these e-mails, which have more than covered the cost of what I have spent on the course. For example, my press trip to Malawi with Biosphere Expeditions.
- Private Facebook group to ask questions
- 3 Monthly Calls – There is a Q&A twice a month, plus one goal-setting workshop. I like these calls because there are usually only five or so people on the call, so you get all your questions answered and even get a chance to network with the other members.
- E-mails with tips – every once in a while, Jessie will send out an e-mail to members with a super helpful tip or resource
What I like least about this course is the price and the fact that you don’t get lifetime access. Travel Blog Prosperity has a monthly fee of $49 (there is an option to pay yearly and receive a significant discount). That being said, I genuinely think the course is worth the money. As mentioned, I’ve gotten paid work from the VIP opportunities alone that outweigh the cost of the course. The content is also extremely valuable. I’m still working my way through all the modules, but I can’t tell you how many “A-HA” moments I’ve had in this course already. You also get immediate access to all the modules, and there’s no commitment. So if you join and decide it’s not for you, at least you’ve only paid for a month.
While I have found both of these travel blogging courses valuable, I have taken two additional courses to learn more about SEO and Pinterest. This is because they are the two biggest drivers of traffic to my blog, as is the case for most bloggers.
By Goats on The Road
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of getting visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine (aka Google, because it’s where 90% of searches are done). SEO is the BEST way to get traffic to your website because it allows you to reach such a wide and targeted audience. Millions of people are searching for things every day that your blog posts probably answers, so wouldn’t you want them to find it?
SEO is amazing, but it’s not the easiest thing to learn. I was feeling lost about SEO, and then saw that Nick from Goats on the Road had developed a complete SEO course. It’s one of the most popular travel blogs (and a personal fave), so I knew I was in good hands. After taking the Complete SEO course and implementing Nick’s advice, I saw my organic traffic double in just a month. This has only continued to increase every month, even through an algorithm update that negatively affected most travel bloggers.
In the complete SEO course, Nick walks you through everything you need to know about SEO through online videos. From setting up your Google analytics, keyword research, to writing for SEO and more. Nick also includes a bunch of super helpful PDFs and spreadsheets that you can download for quick reference including a monthly planner of tasks to do for SEO success. Plus, as a student of the course, you get access to the private FB group where Nick often shares invaluable SEO tips and you can ask questions.
If you want to get a sense of Nick’s teaching style before committing to the course, he offers a FREE one-hour training on SEO. Click here to watch!
There are many bloggers out there who get hundreds of thousands of page views just from Pinterest. I joined the platform just over a year ago, started to get some traffic, got excited, and then it quickly stagnated for months. I kept hearing stories of people finding success on Pinterest, but I couldn’t seem to crack the code.
I then came across Pinterest Traffic Explosion in one of the blogging Facebook groups. I decided to give it a shot, and I am so happy that I did because my Pinterest traffic is finally moving in the right direction.
The course is run by Shruti, who owns the travel blog Indian Girling. She went from 0 to 70k monthly page views in a year, which is almost all Pinterest traffic. This girl knows how to make a pin go viral.
Before Pinterest Traffic Explosion, I had less than 100k monthly views on Pinterest. Since the course, I have seen that number go as far up to 300k! While I know Pinterest views are not the most important metric, I have definitely noticed a correlating increase in traffic coming from Pinterest, by about the same (3x).
The course is broken down into seven modules, which covers everything you need to know to create a solid Pinterest strategy from Pinterest SEO to designing beautiful pins. If you are brand new to Pinterest, there is a helpful Pinterest foundation module that will walk you through setting up your account for success.
Shruti recently revamped Pinterest Traffic Explosion with even more useful content and I am excited to go through it again, as I know my Pinterest account still has a lot of potential.
Other Helpful Blogging Tools
Here are some other tools/resources that have helped my blog grow:
Siteground Hosting. If you want to have your own website like this one, then you need a hosting provider. I started with Hostgator and recently switched to Siteground, after becoming increasingly frustrated with my website speed. After switching to Siteground, my page loading time became 3x faster which helped with SEO. Siteground also has excellent live chat support, I never have to wait more than two minutes to talk to someone.
Tailwind – If Pinterest is a big part of your traffic strategy, then Tailwind will be your best friend. This tool allows you to schedule your pins in advance, instead of manually doing it each day. It’s important to stay active on the platform, which isn’t always possible if you’re traveling or get busy with life. Being able to schedule my pins for weeks in advance with Tailwind has been a game-changer. Plus, Tailwind Tribes are amazing for increasing the reach of your pins.
Keysearch – an amazing tool for doing keyword research which is essential for SEO success. There are free tools to do this but they are not nearly as accurate or useful as the information Keysearch can tell you. You can get 20% off your subscription to Keysearch by using coupon code KSDISC.
Facebook groups have been so helpful in my blogging journey. There is a Facebook group for just about everything when it comes to travel blogging, Collaboration opportunities, link building, guest posts, social media sharing threads, and more.
Not only are Facebook groups great for networking and advice, but it provides a sense of community. If you are new to blogging, I highly recommend joining Facebook groups related to your niche. Here are some of my favorite Facebook Blogging Groups:
- Female Travel Bloggers
- Digital Nomad Wannabe
- Travel Collab Post Opportunities
- Travel Bloggers Guide to Pinterest
- Make Traffic Happen
If you’re looking to take a travel blogging course, I hope this post could provide some insights on which one to choose. If you have any questions about the courses, just let me know in the comments below!
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