There has been a lot of new blogging and marketing coaching member sites launched recently. I have brought news about several of them in the past including Jim Kukrals The Biz Web Coach, Daniel Scoccos Online Profits program, Yaro Staraks Blog Mastermind course and more recently, Gyutae Parks Winners Circle.
Whilst I have posted announcements about the launch of these courses and coaching programs in the past, I have never given my view on the subject or talked about the pros and cons of joining one. So I thought I would do just that for all as I don’t think many bloggers have actually discussed the topic (including myself).
Today I will be talking about what you should be looking for when considering a coaching program though tomorrow I will give my personal view on coaching sites in general and whether I believe they offer value for money.
Blogging & Markting Coaching – A brief Introduction
Every coaching site is different but generally speaking, a coaching site offers one or all of the following :
- Premium content
- 1 on 1 Help from an experienced blogger or marketer
- Access to a a forum where you can get help directly from mentors and other subscribers of the coaching program
Nearly all coaching programs require you to pay a monthly fee though I have seen a few ask for a payment up front instead. Daniel Scocco bucked the trend and organised a team of mentors for his Online Profits course however most coaching programs tend to be developed and managed by just one or two people.
Things to look for in a coaching site
The sales page of a coaching course can be very overwhelming. There’s so much sales talk and promises flying around that it’s difficult to see exactly what is on offer and whether the course offers value for money.
Here are the major factors which I think should influence your decision to join a coaching program :
- How much content will you get access to
Does the coaching program list all the content that subscribers will get in detail or is it a little vague? Many sales pages list the content that you will get after parting with your cash but it is not uncommon to just see a promise of ‘Premium Content’.
Pay attention to what topics are covered in the content area as there is no point paying to learn about something you already have experience with.
- Will there be more content added to the course
Many courses have a great amount of content available to new members though many courses hold content back and release it later to encourage members to keep subscribing. A technique that many member sites use is to create a site with little or no content and then add more content on a weekly basis.
This allows the site to be launched quicker as the owner can invest the funds from new members to get new content written.
- Is it easy to cancel your membership
If you are really unsure about whether to join a coaching program then this will be an important factor in signing up. Many courses offer money back guarantees for those who are not happy to ease any doubts potential customers may have.
At one point in the future you will no longer get any value from the course because you have learned all their is to learn and do not need direct help from mentors anymore. Therefore, you should pay attention to the terms and conditions and see if there is a notice period from cancelling your membership.
- Who developed the course
Nearly all coaching programs are developed by one or two people and these people are selling themselves as much as they are selling the course.
If one of your favourite bloggers or marketers launches a coaching program then you will already know a lot of about who developed the course. If you come across a course from someone who you have no knowledge of you need to do a little more research. Find out how well known they are in their niche. Are they popular, are they influential, are they experienced?
The content contained within the site will likely be written by the person who is launching the site (though no always) and is the person who will be helping you improve as a blogger. Therefore, it is important to both like and respect them in my opinion. I don’t know about you but I would be a little hesitant in joining a course if I didn’t like the owner.
- Will the course run for a set period of time
Many courses only run for a set period of time. I think this is sometimes a good thing as it encourages the subscriber to work harder and get the most out of the program when it’s live. It’s very similar to a standard teaching module or syllabus so the learning curve is very structured, which may suit a lot of you.
If the course does not have an expiry date then I would recommend giving yourself some sort of deadline to read all the content in the program and go over everything before cancelling your membership.
- Will you get help directly from the creator of the course or some sort of mentor
One of the main reasons of joining a coaching program is to get direct access to a top blogger or marketer. Some owners will help new members directly via email, telephone call, messenger or more commonly, via a member only forum. You should find out if joining the program will give you premium support from the creator of the program or a mentor.
The more experienced and influential the blogger or creator, the greater the benefit from getting time with them one on one.
- Is there a limit to the number of people who can go on the course
If the main benefit of joining a program is to get access to the course content then it really doesn’t matter if 5 or 5 hundred people join, as it doesn’t effect what you have paid for.
However, should one of the main benefits of the program be support from the owner then you need to know if there is a limit to the number of members the course will have. You will get much better support from a blogger who has 50 members to help than one who has 500 members to look after. So bear this in mind when considering your coaching program.
- Membership Cost
This will undoubtedly be one of the biggest factors on deciding whether to join a coaching program. In my opinion you should not join any program which is beyond your budget. Joining a coaching program should not hurt your personal income or greatly reduce your online budget.
Value is something which is difficult to quantify. Information which is valuable to one person might not be valuable to another. That being said, if you look at the benefits of joining the course and compare it to the membership cost, you will get an idea of whether the course is of good value to you.
If you are having difficulty advancing your blog or website to the next level and believe that a course will teach you what you need to know then the information contained within the program might be more than the membership cost suggests.
- Look at the alternatives
It’s easy to get excited about joining a coaching program when you find a course that offers everything you are looking for. Though I still think it’s important to take the time to look at the alternatives.
Can the information be found freely on the web? Is the information available in a book? Is there a cheaper/better program available elsewhere?
These are questions you might have wished you asked yourself later on if you don’t do your research!
It doesn’t matter how fantastic a membership program is or how cheap it is if you don’t have the time to read the content and apply the tips and techniques containted within the site.
In order to get any benefit from a blogging or marketing course you need to make the time to sit down and learn the techniques, it’s as simple as that.
As I mentioned previously, the sales page can sometimes be a little too long and occasionally baffling so if you are unsure about anything I encourage you to email the owner of the coaching program and ask them some questions. This can sometimes be a good way to guage how support will be too i.e. if it takes a week for the developers to answer your questions then it doesn’t look like support will be their strongest point.
Take your time and do your research and I’m sure you will make the right decision!
On Monday I will give my personal view on coaching sites and whether they offer value for money. Make sure you don’t miss it 🙂
4 Ways to Become More Detached from Blogging Outcomes
See that throwback featured image of me in Phuket, Thailand?
I became a globe trotting pro blogger in part through the power of detachment.
Blogging outcomes weigh you down and slow your blogging growth, if you are not careful.
Many bloggers mean well but are so obsessed with every view, Like, comment, share and dollar that they either struggle horribly or hold back stunning blogging success. How could I write over 100 eBooks if I obsessed with sales from my first eBook? How could I write 600 posts on Blogging Tips alone if I obsessed over metrics?
Eye-popping success finds largely detached, generous bloggers.
Follow these tips to become more detached from blogging outcomes.
1: Help More Ask Less
If you want blog comments, comment on other blogs.
Want blog traffic? Promote other bloggers.
Help bloggers to detach from your needs and to see greater success. Ask less and less for shares, comments and views, to detach from outcomes. Success finds generous bloggers.
2: Mention 2-5 Successful Bloggers Via All Posts
I recall focusing heavily on blogging profits early during my career. I linked to an ad or affiliate product once per post and linked to nothing else, obsessing over sales, attaching to outcomes. I gradually promoted other bloggers over years. Now I promote 2 to 5 bloggers virtually every post. I think more of helping them and less of helping me.
3: Manage Your Energy
Attachment is fear. Managing your energy helps you:
- face fear
- feel fear
- release fear
- dissolve attachments
I do 80 minutes of deep yin yoga daily. Plus I jog or walk for 45-60 minutes daily. Meditating helps too.
Managing your energy rocks because so many bloggers cling deeply to fear-attachments, to stats and money and to clients and blogging buddies, and need a daily ritual to unearth and release these attachments. I strongly suggest deep yin yoga because it helps you become comfortable. Big time quality developed by all generous, pretty darn detached, bloggers.
4: BE with Your Fear
I vividly recall sitting and BEING with my fear each time I checked my blogging inbox. I felt a general not enough energy pervade my being. Panic then ran through my body. Anger. Pain. Grief, at time lost. All fears reflected heavy attachments to:
- list subscribers
I totally believed I should have been further along at these points during my blogging career. Turns out, I was at the perfect place and time to feel deep fears, to dissolve attachments and to proceed from a generous, genuine, pretty detached, patient and persistent space.
Fighting fear only makes attachments grow. Not checking email for weeks because you feel terrified to check email makes the fear and attachment grow. But checking email hourly because you feel terrified that you:
- will miss out on clients
- are not making enough money, and need to check and see if you are making any aka enough money, yet
reflects your attachment to you. Ya know; “How am I doing-itis.” Check stats, check email, all the time, because you fear to see how you are doing.
Feel fear behind any strategy driven by fear. Let the fear go. Dissolve the attachment.
I check email here and there, never being attached to it. Email is not the source of my blogging success.
Treat blogging outcomes like mile markers on a highway, when you whiz by at 80 MPH. Note the stat for a few seconds and either move in a different direction or charge forward, based on how you feel about the stat, and what the feeling suggests to you.
Quick Tips to Easily Find People and Other Bloggers Online
Unlike Las Vegas — where ‘what happens there, stays there’ — once something is on the internet, it’s pretty much there forever. This is something bloggers, content creators and businesses know all too well. Whether it’s a WordPress article, social media updates, of photos making their way into the Google index, it’s likely going to be online forever.
It’s not just about posting and uploading content on the internet that you need to worry. It’s also all of the massive and easily accessible information that can be found online as well. With more data leaks taking place than ever before, and pretty much having privacy being a thing in the past, it’s easy to find information on anything and anyone with just a few clicks of a button.
For example, have you ever met someone at a blogging conference or event, but forgot to grab their business card? A lot of times we want to meet such people again but have no clue how to find them or their contact details. Through social media and using online tools like a people search, finding exactly what you need is now easier than ever before. Thankfully, we have this amazing platform called the internet – where we are able to find people around us ourselves.
There are plenty of other ways to find information or direct contacts for people online. In addition to using a People Search, social media is also a great method for finding whatever you are looking for. This is especially true if you can find someone on LinkedIn.
To start off, simply grab a notepad and write down the name of the person you want to search. Once you do that, branch out names of people you think are associated to them or at least the name of the person who introduced them to you if you were meeting them for the first time. Next, try and connect businesses, offices, college, university or any piece of information you think is or can be relevant to them. By now, you must have a web looking piece of information already giving you a clue.
How Do People Search Engines Work?
Making the best use of the amazing platform that we discussed – the internet, we need to find online people search engines which will process all the information we know and share possible match results for people we are looking for. To help you understand what a people search engine is and how do people search engines work, just imagine a library or a music record store. People search engines have a huge pool of database with information that is allowed to be displayed publicly. Such information contains phone numbers, education, employment history and sometimes criminal history as well. However, the information uploaded with any people search engine must be approved or must be in accordance with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Once you have the maximum information with you uploaded in a people search engine, it will run a match and show most relevant list of result for people associated with that information. You may further screen the results by looking at each option individually to figure if that’s the same person you are searching for.
Meanwhile, there are other sources to track someone apart from people search engines. Finding people through social media platforms has also been observed to take a troll. Many youngsters put up millions of searches every day through social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. to find people they just met or to know more about them.
In all, finding someone in today’s world is no longer a rocket science. With multiple online people search engines and various social media platforms, tracking someone down has become as easy as finding a book in a library or a record in a music store.
How to View the Relationship Between Your Blog and Social Media
Alonzo Pichardo says it best.
“Buy your own domain and hosting and make that your own main hub. Social media is a branch of the marketing tree. That’s all.”
He shared my video on Instagram. Video registered 3,926 views. Here it is:
I filmed the video because I spent 20 minutes clicking profile links of folks who Liked my updates. I found a few self-hosted WordPress blogs, read and commented on these blogs. Relationships established. But most Instagram users:
- had no blog to speak of
- linked to YouTube
- linked to Facebook
For the heck of it, I spent a good 3 minutes looking for one user’s blog. I found an obituary (he was young and alive but shared a common name) and a collection of spammy “look up his information sites.” He claimed to be a blogger via his Instagram bio but he is no more a blogger than I am a werewolf.
Think about Alonzo’s advice; the blog is your main hub, or root, or base of your tree, and social media acts like branches. Offshoots, nothing more.
Instagram owns Instagram. Instagram:
- can kick that kid off of Instagram for 1 of a billion reasons, in a heartbeat
- WILL change their algorithm, soon enough, forcing the kid to change his strategy, uprooting his online world
- forces the kid to make his brand, Instagram’s brand
Not investing is a domain and hosting is about the biggest mistake you can make online because not owning your site hands your power, your decision making, your branding potential and your monetizing potential to someone else.
Social media is a branch. Spend most of your time daily working on your blog and networking with other bloggers who own their self-hosted, WordPress blogs. Unless they change their values or quit blogging, this is the most sound, intelligent approach to blogging.
Use social media for a little bit daily to:
- tag bloggers you mention on your blog
- help bloggers in groups related to your niche
- share your blog posts
- share other blogger’s blog posts
You are a blogger. Not an Instagrammer. You are a blogger. Not a Facebook-er. Spend most of your day on blogs. Not social media.
Marios Tofarides runs an authority blog on eBooks. Not in a billion years could he make his social media profiles look anything like his branded, self-hosted blog. Paula at Contented Traveler runs a first class travel blog. She could never re-create her blog’s branding, style and voice on social media. Sarah Arrow built a well known brand and thriving business by making her blog stand out, through creating, through connecting and through smart blog branding. Impossible to do this, through social media alone.
Pay Up to Play Up
I can mention your blog on Blogging From Paradise, a DA 47 blog read by many influencers.
I can mention your blog on Blogging Tips, a DA 48 blog read by many blogging influencers.
But I never link to free platform blogs because no influencer or experienced reader trusts information on free platforms. If you cannot invest $3 a month, you carry too much of a fear-lack-poverty conscious energy, that seasoned readers and top bloggers know to avoid.
I never link to a social media profile because….social media is not a blog!
Pay up to play up.
Invest in a domain and hosting. Move up in blogging circles. See social media as branches, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as secondary or even tertiary means for helping people. Spend most of your time on your self-hosted, WordPress blog and networking on other self-hosted, WordPress blogs.
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