As a rule, I don’t blog about blogging. There are plenty of amazing bloggers out there doing just that, way better than I ever could. However, today I am making an exception for 2 reasons:
- 1. People keep on asking me for advice on blogging.
- 2. This year I have really seen my blog take flight and that is 100% down to a few key courses I took.
So in the spirit of sharing, in this post, I am going to spill my secrets and let you know about my top courses for travel bloggers including a detailed review of why I recommend them and the results I got from them.
Why invest in online blogging courses
If you are wondering why you should even bother paying out your hard-earned cash for an online blogging course when you can learn pretty much everything on YouTube, I get you. But there is a big difference.
I love a free course and YouTube is amazing for so many things, whenever I have a technical problem or need to figure out how to do something in photoshop, for example, I turn to YouTube. It never lets me down.
YouTube is for quick fixes when you need to learn something small and fast. But if you want to learn a whole new skill it’s not so great. Mostly because with YouTube there is no real order and no accountability.
When you invest financially in an online blogging course or any online course, you have committed to doing it. If you don’t complete the course you lose your money. Therefore you are more likely to actually do the course if you have paid for it. It’s that simple!
The Difference Blogging Courses Have Made to my Blog
I’ve been blogging for 3 years now, last year I came to a turning point with my blog. It was made or break. I either needed to get serious and start making some money, or I needed to admit it was more of a hobby and start to scale back and focus on other things that would make me money.
I decided it was time to get serious, so I did a lot of research and invested in some key blogging training courses that helped me refocus, learn new skills and double my blog traffic in 4 months.
In the last 3 months, I have hired an assistant, and an intern, to help me and I’m now at a point where I don’t have to constantly pitch to companies I want to work for as they are coming to me.
Ok, that’s enough of the why, here are my top courses for travel bloggers.
Blogging Courses I Recommend
Course Category Price More information The business of Travel Blogging Blogging $25 pcm for first 3 months Learn More Travel Blog Prosperity Blogging $9 first month CLAIRESITCHYFEET Learn More The Art of Travel Writing Travel writing $25 pcm for first 3 months Learn More 4 Weeks to Better Photography Photography $9 (special offer) Learn More Pinterest Strategies $47 Learn More Affiliate Marketing Bundle Affiliate Marketing $57 Learn More 7 Day SEO Challenge SEO FREE Learn More Skillshare Everything! 2 Months Free Learn More
Blogging Tools I Recommend
|Tailwind||1 month FREE||Learn More|
|Tasty Pins||$29.00||Learn More|
|Keysearch||SEO||$17 use discount code KSDISC to get 20% off||Learn More|
If you want to learn about travel blogging then you need to learn from the master.
Deciding to invest in Nomadic Matt’s The Business of Travel Blogging was one of the best decisions I made this year. At the time it was a pretty big investment for me but one I knew I needed to make. This course is perhaps aimed more at newbie bloggers, but please don’t let that put you off. When I enrolled I had been blogging with a fair bit of success for almost 3 years. I was by no means a beginner.
But what I have identified was that I needed to change my mindset and approach to my blog. If I wanted to make money and take blogging seriously, I needed to start treating it more like a business. That is exactly what this course helped me do.
Yes, some of the stuff I skipped through as I didn’t need to learn about creating a blog. But so many things Matt covered in the course are things I kind of knew, but the way he explained things those things finally made sense…Like SEO.
What I really liked was that each module was unlocked in weekly intervals. So I was forced to watch a module, then take action and wait for a week until I could action the next step. At first, I was a little put off by this, as I like to bing things. But actually, it ended up really helping me stay focused and take the steps.
By the end of the course, I felt crystal clear about the path I was on. I knew the areas I still needed to work on and most importantly I had much more focus and a new mindset about blogging.
I had finally started to treat my blog like a business and it is thanks to this course that I am now making a steady income from blogging. I also made the decision to invest in a new website. I wasn’t quite ready to spend thousands on a custom site so I opted for a template and found someone on Fiverr to customize it. I’m not going to lie, it was a total disaster! I should have known better as she was only charging me $200 but I did it anyway. The website was ok but it performed terribly on mobile. Considering half of my audience access from their mobile this was a big issue.
So eventually after having the crappy site for 4 months too long I gave in and bought a new theme.
The whole migration took me an hour max. I spent a few hours adding everything into the shop plugin and I’ve already noticed a big bump in my affiliate sales. What I love about the plugin is I can add all of the products I use. That means Amazon plus all of the smaller companies I work directly with. I still need to do quite a bit of work on this but for now, I’m super happy.
Matt goes into all of the key areas of blogging in the course in a step-by-step logical order. After completing the course I was able to identify the areas I needed to learn more about and put together a plan to scale up my blog.
For more infomation about the course: The Business of Travel Blogging
PS my next course from Superstar Blogging is going to be The Art of Travel Writing which I have heard great things about. So if you are interested in a blog writing course this is a great investment.
I recently joined this blogging course created by Jessy on a Journey, and wow! It’s another subscription model (cancel anytime) meaning there are no huge upfront fees to pay. In fact, if you use my code CLAIRESITCHYFEET you can get the first month for just $9 USD.
One of the things I love about the membership is that Jessy sends out weekly emails that include paid opportunities to write. I’m still going through all of the course material, but from what I’ve seen so far this is going to keep me busy for a while!
Jessy is a lovely human, as well as being a great blogger and she has created more than just a blogging course, this is a blogging community. If you want to nurture and grow your blog and be part of a community of other bloggers striving for success while supporting each other. Then I urge you to sign up for Travel Blog Prosperity… see you in there!
I know this isn’t a blogging course. But part of blogging is having incredible pictures to go on your blog.
One of the areas I identified as being a weakness was my photography. The thing is I know I have a good eye. I understand composition and know-how to frame. But since trading in my Canon 6D for an Olympus Mirrorless camera, I have been shooting in Auto. It’s been two years and I hadn’t even bothered to try and get to know my camera.
A few years back when I first started photographing I did some online photography courses. Some were free and some I paid for. But nothing ever really clicked for me. I felt overwhelmed and bogged down with technical stuff and felt even more lost after the course than before.
Then I met Darlene from Digital Photo Mentor while I was in Colombia. I liked her straight away and when I discovered she was a photographer and had this amazing photography blog I became her number 1 fan. After signing up for her newsletter and trawling her website for tips and advice I decided it was time to get out of Auto and learn how to use my camera finally.
I did Darlene’s 4 weeks to better photography course and combined it with working through her 10 challenges book. It has been a game-changer for me. I’m out of auto (finally) and I learned some really cool techniques I’d never had the confidence to try before.
I got to try out my new improved skills while in Cuba. Check out some of my favorite images below.
For more infomation: 4 Weeks to Better Photography
Oh, Pinterest! We have a love-hate relationship and it is mostly because I don’t really like doing the work. So I did a few things:
- Took Carley’ s Pinterest Strategies course
- Deleted my Tailwind account (Sorry Tailwind)
- Pretty much deleted ALL of my pins and boards and started again
I’m still growing on Pinterest and it really is a long game so it is going to be another few months before I really see results but so far so good. After doing at least 5 different Pinterest Courses I wanted to cry as they all said the same thing, and even after implementing it my traffic stayed the same. My Pinterest was STUCK. Then two good friends both had pins going viral on Pinterest, so I asked what happened and they told me about this course. I was very dubious about throwing any more money at Pinterest, but after talking it through with my friend I quickly realized what Carley teaches in her cause is completely different from any course I’d done before.
I did the course, I deleted Tailwind (for now) and started manual pinning. In just a week with only a few pins my traffic went from being stuck on 20 click through a day (it’s been like that for 2 years) to between 60-150 per day. I was shocked!
You have to be prepared to put the work in for 1-2 months before you can start using Tailwind again. But the results speak for themselves!
P.S. Another key thing I invested in was Tasty Pins. It is a paid plugin for WordPress and it’s so good. You can add hidden pins, input the text you want to be on your pins when people pin directly from your site and you can also check a box on all of your other images to prevent them from pinning them on Pinterest. One of the best investments I’ve made and it was only $30.
Learning SEO for Bloggers
Oh the dark art of SEO… well, that’s what it feels like when you are trying to learn it.
I’m now at a point where I feel like I have finally cracked it. I’m no SEO expert, but people now pay me to fix their SEO issues, and I can get a blog post ranking on Google pretty quickly.
My website traffic is 90% organic searches, that’s how good my SEO skills are now. But in all honestly to begin with it was a lot of luck. Then a lot of work. SEO is not a quick fix, it’s like Pinterest, it takes time. But once you crack it, it only gets better and better with time.
I think my favorite win this year is getting a blog post on New York ranking on page 1 of Google! NYC is saturated, so this was a big win for me.
Digital Nomad Wannabe
Digital Nomad Wannabe and the best part, it didn’t cost me a penny. I was recommended by my friend and SEO expert Paul from Travel is Life to check out her Facebook group Make Money from Blogging and from there I signed up for her 7 day SEO challenge. I also spent a full day binge reading her website and watching her videos. The woman is an SEO god. I also had an SEO expert look over my blog and give me some feedback.
I did the challenge and over the last 3 months, I’ve been going back through all of my old blog posts and making a lot of changes to improve my SEO. As I mentioned at the start of this post my traffic has more than doubled in 3 months and I know it will continue to increase. I probably have another month’s worth of SEO work to do to edit old posts but I’m almost there.
I have also changed the way I write. Every blogging course out there will tell you to find your keywords before writing. But that’s all well and good if you know what to do with the keywords in the first place! Now I’ve finally gotten my head around SEO I get my keywords before I write so I will never have to go back through fixing SEO issues.
I have tested out so many keyword research tools both free and paid and the one I use is Keysearch and in my opinion the best option. It is affordable, easy to use and get results. You can track your keywords and it even has a specific search tool to find YouTube keywords. Totally worth the investment if you are at the point where you are ready to get serious with SEO.
If you want to get Keysearch use this link and enter the discount code KSDISC for 20% off your subscription.
From Zero To Superhero Affiliate Marketing Bundle
I have been following Ana from the She Approach for a while now and my first success with affiliate marketing was after working through her free course. If you are thinking of dabbling in Affiliate Marketing then I strongly recommend signing up for this as a starting point, it’s FREE!
She has some amazing resources like her master list of Affiliate Programs (an absolute godsend) but if you are ready to really make some passive income from your blog through Affiliate marketing then I recommend her Affiliate Marketing Bundle. It is actually one of the cheaper courses I have taken and I have managed to grow my monthly income from about $3 per month to almost $500 in just 3 months. I know it’s not huge but I am still working through old posts and adding in links so I know this figure will continue to grow.
If you don’t know what Skillshare is yet you need to. Anything you want to learn, Skillshare probably has it. It’s an incredible place where you can learn pretty much anything! They have THOUSANDS of classes on everything from photography to illustration, design, and marketing. You can find pretty much everything you need to know about blogging here.
And the best news is that if you click this link you can get 2 months absolutely FREE.
Summary of courses and financial breakdown
Here is the financial breakdown if you decide to invest in these courses. If you want to get them while they are discounted you will need to be quick as most of the offers expire on Sunday evening:
The business of Travel Blogging
Price: $49 per month (the first 3 months is just $25 a month right now)
First month $9 using my code CLAIRESITCHYFEET
4 Weeks to Better Photography
Price: $29 (right now it’ on offer for $9)
Affiliate Marketing Bundle
Additional Online Blogging Courses I recommend
The Art of Travel Writing
Price: $49 per month (first 3 months are on offer for $25 per month)
Essential Tools For Bloggers
Use my link to activate your 1-month free trial
Normal price: $17.00 per month
Using my discount code KSDISC you can get 20% off
Ok, so that’s it. That’s the lot. I have one way more blogging courses than this, but these are the ones that I really recommend and have made a genuine difference to my business. I would also like to add that I have already made my money back on the investment I made on these courses through affiliate marketing. So when I use the word investment I mean it.
If you have any questions at all about any of these courses or anything in this post feel free to leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer as soon as I can.
This post was proofread by Grammarly
Book your trip now
Are you ready to book your trip? To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.
- Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with.
- Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections.
- Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
- Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
- Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there.
- Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership!
- Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
- RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals.
- Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
- World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review.
- SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here.
- Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration.
- Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.