On Saturday I gave you all factors to consider when selecting a coaching program in my post ‘11 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Coaching Program‘. Today I would like to expand on this topic and give a more personal view on the subject.
Please note, I have never joined a coaching program. And although I have gained access to a few coaching programs in order to do a quick review of a new course, I have never taken time to go through the course itself. Therefore my view should be considered as somewhat as an outside view. There’s no doubt in my mind that my opinion would change if I had to join a course for a few months, perhaps a more positive view, perhaps more negative.
So please bear this in mind when reading this post and remember that whether you think a coaching program is a worthwhile investment is somewhat subjective and depends on your own situation 🙂
Why I haven’t Yet Signed Up For A Coaching Program
Coaching is a relatively new phenomenon on the internet. I’m sure that there were courses available online a few years ago which helped you improve as a webmaster but I don’t recall ever seeing one. More specifically, blog coaching is something which has only become popular in the last year or so, being push forward by bloggers like Yaro Starak, however blogging itself has only went mainstream in the last 4 or 5 years so this is understandable.
I do not consider myself to be an expert on anything on the web, though I believe that this is the case for most webmasters and bloggers. However, I do not think that this holds anyone back from making a living on the web. Infact, most successful entrepreneurs spend a lot of their time managing others and delegating tasks rather than programming or designing.
And whilst I do not consider myself to be an expert on any specific aspect of making money online, I do have a very good understanding of most of the skills you need to be successful and I’m proficient enough in HTML, CSS and PHP to design basic websites and customize my blogs.
Which is one of the reasons why I have not signed up to a coaching program as yet. Most of the blogging related courses that I have seen are geared towards beginners so I don’t think I would get any value from joining them. Perhaps this would have been different a few years ago but I don’t believe that I would get much from a blogging related course in any shape or form because I have been doing it every day for a few years now i.e. it’s not something I need coaching on.
Skills I Would Like To Improve
There are certain things I want to improve and many things I want to learn more about though. Things which will hopefully help me long term :
- Writing : Whilst my writing skills have certainly improved over the last few years, I still believe that there is a lot of room for improvement (I actually ordered a writing tips book just a few days ago). When you think about the time a blogger spends writing online, it’s surprising so few of us spend time developing our writing skills.
- Affiliate Marketing : Affiliate marketing is something which I would like to learn more about as it’s how I fell into working online in the first place though I am not sure if my current workload permits me to throw myself into it as much as I would like.
- Lifestyle : Enjoying your time working online and being more productive so that you have more time to spend offline is another topic which I am fascinated with just now. On the surface it may seem to some people like a subject that offers no tangible benefits but in my opinion, having the right frame of mind and a target to focus on can make a huge difference to how you operate online (Tim Ferriss explained this brilliantly last week in his video ‘How To Blog Without Killing Yourself‘).
Perhaps there are other areas where I could improve but those are the ones which first come to mind. Would I pay for a coaching site on one of these topics? Yes, but I don’t believe that a suitable course will be developed.
With regards to writing and managing time online, I don’t think these subjects require coaching. There are hundreds of great books available on each topic and I don’t believe that coaching is necessarily the best way to improve your knowledge of these subjects anyways.
Affiliate marketing is an area where I think I would benefit from having an expert on hand to answer some questions. However, affiliate marketing is a funny thing. You have one hit wonders who got lucky and founded a successful website and now profess to being an affiliate master and then you have truly great affiliate marketers who want to make money from coaching but will not tell you the secrets you really want to know.
Generally speaking, the people who are making a huge amount of money making money online through affiliate marketing are too busy to coach anyone. It isn’t worth their time because they are making so much money from the medium. Plus, it’s not like they want more people out there using the same techniques they used.
I must admit that I’m a little torn about whether I want to spend a lot of time trying to make money from affiliate marketing. I’ve probably made over $100,000 in affiliate commissions from websites over the last 5 years but I did not always enjoy updating the sites. I find many aspects of affiliate marketing monotonous and uninspiring. Perhaps my view would change if I made much more money but I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I don’t want to spend a lot of time doing something that I don’t enjoy.
That is why I want to continue to develop Blogging Tips over the next few years. Writing doesn’t seem like a job, I enjoy writing. Sure there are days when I can’t be bothered but that’s just the way I am 🙂 More importantly, I am hoping that it will open many more doors for me. Writing a book is something that I’d love to do in the next few years and a successful blog is a great way make something like that happen.
That being said, I would like to learn more about affiliate marketing in order to develop a site to surplus my online income. After all, a man needs to eat! Blogging opens a lot of doors but until your blog is very successful, it is unlikely to pay the bills.
My personal View On Coaching Sites
I know many of you just want an answer to the question : ‘Are coaching programs worth the money?‘ but I don’t think that this can be answered with a straight yes or no, it really comes down to your own situation.
As I pointed out the other day, you really need to set aside time to work through a program in order to benefit from joining up. Plus you need to whether coaching is the best way for you to improve your online skills.
I think it’s very important for all training programs to have content available for new members but personally, if I was looking to improve as a blogger or marketer, content is not something that I would be too concerned about when choosing a course. The reason is simple : there are hundreds (if not thousands) of great books available via book stores like Amazon.
The price of a monthly membership varies however generally speaking you could purchase 3 or 4 books on the subject of either blogging, marketing or programming for the price of one months membership. Whether the content available online is better than the content contained inside the books you buy is debatable but at the very least you will have something tangible in your hands, something which you will own for a long time and something which you can always refer too. This is very important as many courses stop you viewing the course content once your membership has expired.
I appreciate that many courses are designed in a similar way to a university course with questions and answers after each stage. Nevertheless, I would rather purchase a book on a subject I want to learn more about. Books are easier to refer to, you can read them on the bus to work or on holiday and once you’ve finished, you can pass the book onto a friend.
The main reason I would join a coaching program would be to gain access to someone who has knowledge and experience about something that I do not. Time is money (cliche but true) and successful people do not tend to have a lot of time to waste therefore getting support from an experienced marketer or blogger, be it directly or through a private forum, should really help you progress.
If you are looking at joining a marketing program then the marketer(s) has to be experienced. They should have a proven track record with a few large successful sites, they should have at least 2-3 years experience working on the web and they should be making a living from working online. I do not include those spammers who tell you that you will become a millionaire from a few hours per week a work : they make most of their money online by conning people to join their own member site and then tell them to refer more people to the program to make money (otherwise known as a pyramid scheme).
With a blogging course, I don’t think the owner needs to own several successful websites. Whereas with a marketing program the benefits will most likely be the tips and secrets that the developers reveal, with a blog coaching program it’s more to do with how experienced the blogger is and specifically, how they can point you in the right direction.
For example, other than his membership sites, Yaro Staraks main success is his own blog (his words, not mine!). However, it really doesn’t matter that he hasn’t made thousands from selling affiliate products or marketing through CPC campaigns as you don’t require these skills to be a successful blogger. Yaro is a great writer and is very clear and articulate in his podcasts and videos. This is why his blog coaching programs have become so popular.
In essense a good blog coach has to be :
- An experienced blogger themselves
- Able to help members with common tasks and problems
- Use their knowledge and experience of blogging to cut out the crap, tell the member what is right and wrong and point them in the right direction
Most blogging coaching programs are being launched by bloggers with a good reputation (e.g. Daniel Scocco, Jim Kukral etc). These bloggers have probably made some of the same blogging mistakes that all bloggers make therefore they are in a position to stop you from making mistakes they made. I try to do this myself. For example, I participated in banner exchanges years ago but they were a complete waste of time as I was sending away good traffic and getting back poor untargeted traffic. Therefore I would tell new bloggers not to make the same mistake I made and try a different promotion technique.
Some of you may think that coaching programs are a waste of money. I disagree. I think it really depends on how much experience you have as a blogger. Looking back, if I had joined a coaching program several years ago then I would probably be more successful today as I may have saved making a lot of mistakes and it might have helped me focus on my long term goals.
If you have been blogging for a while already and are progressing online then coaching might not be for you. New bloggers will benefit greatly from joining a coaching program and I would recommend all new bloggers to look into joining one if they have the cash to spare. The benefit of joining one perhaps diminishes as you become more experienced though so I recommend reading my ‘11 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Coaching program‘ article again to see if you will benefit from participating in a course.
As I said previously, the support you receive by becoming a member would be the main attraction for me rather than the online content. Therefore if I was a new blogger and was looking to join a blogging course then it would be between Daniel Scoccos Online Profits (currently closed to new members) or Yaro Staraks new venture with Gideon Shalwick Become A Blogger.
I’m not sure which one is best. Yaro has a fantastic background and has a lot of experience with selling products and creating videos and podcases whereas by joining Daniels Online Profits membership site you get support not only from Daniel but from several top marketers and bloggers.
I’d love to hear your opinion on coaching sites. Are you currently a member of one, were you previously a member? If so, what were the positives and negatives from the course and did you think the course was worth the money?
Again, I would just like to reiterate that I have not participated in an online coaching program myself so please bear this in mind when reading this post 🙂