The Best Blogging Courses: Unbiased & Honest

Editorial Staff

Some of the best blogging courses are scattered in the far corners of the internet, and without spending weeks finding them, you’re likely to miss them. The internet it litetted in blogging course, but finding the best blogging courses can be a bit of a mission. That’s why I’ve spend a good portion of my weekend scouring far and wide, and reading dozens of other reviews, to bring you the best blogging courses of 2020.

I’ve written this guide to provide you with all you need to get started, grow your blog, then monetize your blog.

We’ll start off with the best courses for beginner bloggers in each of these categories, and then delve into the best overall courses on the topics of SEO and monetization.

I’ll be up front: these isn’t one single course that I could happily label the “best course for bloggers”.

Blogging is such a wide ranging topic that you’ll need at least two courses to get a deep understanding of the topic, and three of more to truly become an expert in the topic.

Note: This article contains no affiliate links, and I am not paid to say anything about any of these courses. #unbiased & #honest.

Best Beginners Blogging Courses

To start a successful blog you need three things:

  1. The Foundation (domain, hosting, CMS)
  2. Traffic
  3. A route towards monetization

Before starting your blog, it pays to have a good idea of #1 and #3.

This goes against conventional wisdom of understanding #1 and #2 – then worrying about monetization at a later date. But let me explain why having a thorough understand of how blogs can be monetized before starting matters. The following three points all influence how well your blog can be monetized at a later date.

The Platform (CMS) –

Traffic Intent – Bloggers fall into three categories;

  • Those who are doing it as a hobby and don’t intend to make any money from it (or will be happy with less than $50 a month).
  • Those who would like to make a little money from it, but won’t focus on getting it above more than say $500 per month. It’s still a hobby for these people, but they appreciate a few nice dinners and maybe a few weekends away each year courtesy of their blog.
  • Those who would like to know all the tips and tricks to make over $5,000 per month, and are striving to make a good amount of money through this side-hustle, often with the goal of turning it into a full time job.

If you are in the second two categories (especially the third), then spending a week or two now to learn about monetization and traffic intent will get you off on the right foot.

Blog Structure – Most blog layouts are pretty simple. They will have a homepage, which links to a number of categories, which links to all the articles in those categories. In most cases, the homepage will also feature some of the more recent articles in each category. If you have a better understanding of how media buyers purchase sponsored articles, how big brands buy sponsored sections, what the role of your newsletter will be, and how higher paying affiliate links work, then you can design your blog with these all in mind. It is so much easier to “do it once, do it right” when it comes to starting a new blog.

Anyway, this section is about blogging courses for beginners, so we’ll drop our top three below: one for each of the categories mentioned above.

how to monetize a website

Best for Basics: COURSE NAME – $197

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super simple seo

Best for Traffic: Stupid Simple SEO – $397

When it comes to blogging I’ve always found the best source of traffic is SEO. It’s free, but it takes time, so any tips & tricks you can learn to speed up your timeline are worth the investment.

Unfortunately, SEO is one of those industries where 50 million teenage boys around the world claim to be experts and gurus, and promise to rank you on page one for a small fee. Don’t both with any of that nonsense. There is NO shortcut to good SEO.

From my point of view, I’ve always ha success with the following SEO formula:

Write high quality content, that is better than all other online content on that very specific topic, and hit publish.

Do this 10 times and you’ll see a drip of traffic. Do it 50 to 100 times and your blog will start growing faster. By the time you’ve published your 250th article, your blog will be humming along.

This assumes your site is built on a solid foundation, such as a fast host, and no technical glitches.

But that’s enough from me. If you want a comprehensive SEO course for bloggers, then look no further than Stupid Simple SEO.

Mike is the face of the course and breaks everything down in easily understood terms. Mike has put over 1,800 bloggers through his SEO course, and I read raving reviews of it in many of the blogging Facebook Groups I participate in.

SEO is an ever-changing world. It’s important to note that what worked five years ago might no longer work today (and in some cases, using old tactics today will damage your rankings!). The great thing about Stupid Simple SEO is that Mike keeps the course up to date.

Here are the topics included in the Stupid Simple SEO course:

  • Welcome & Getting Started
    • How To Go Through This Course (4:34)
    • The ABCs of SEO (2:51)
    • An Hour Per Day of SEO (5:23)
    • How Long Does It Take To Rank? (11:10)
    • Your 7-Day Ahrefs Trials (6:30)
    • How To Track Your SEO Progress (7:39)
    • Bonus: Elementor Pro & WP Rocket Plugins
    • Trello Course Roadmap (2:54)
    • Private Facebook Group
    • The 4-Step SEO Framework (3:29)
  • Module 1: Setting Up Your Blog To Be Fast & Mobile-Friendly
    • How to Make Your Blog Secure (SSL) (2:48)
    • How to Make Your Blog Mobile-Friendly (4:03)
    • An Introduction to Site Speed (5:57)
    • Tips for Improving Your Site Speed (9:44)
  • Module 2: Site Structure & An Optimal Homepage Design
    • An Introduction To Relevance (13:10)
    • How To Rank Even If Your Site Is Very Broad (9:39)
    • How To Make Your Navigation Google Friendly (12:48)
    • Re-Imagining Your Category Pages (13:34)
    • How To Set Up Custom Category (Silo) Pages In WordPress (6:41)
    • How To Create An Optimal Homepage Design (8:17)
  • Module 3: How to Do Keyword Research the Right Way
    • Your Ahrefs 7-Day Trials (Lessons to Complete)
    • An Intro To Keyword Research: What Makes A Good Keyword? (11:47)
    • Why Competitor Research Beats Traditional Keyword Research (6:00)
    • Brainstorming Your Initial Competitors (16:06)
    • How to Find Your Competitors With Ahrefs (11:01)
    • Filtering Out High-DR Sites (Batch Analysis) (9:19)
    • Finalizing Your List of Competitors (6:00)
    • How To Find Your Competitors’ Top Pages & Keywords (8:53)
    • [Merge CSV Tool]
    • How To Merge Your Keyword Spreadsheets (5:29)
    • How To Organize & Sort Your Spreadsheets (10:41)
    • How To Analyze Keyword Data & Develop A Content Strategy (10:53)
    • How To Determine Keyword Competitiveness (11:31)
    • How To Use Ahrefs Content Explorer For More Content Ideas (8:08)
    • How To Do Keyword Research For Existing Content (10:10)
  • Module 4: The Secret To Creating Epic Content That Google Loves
    • Satisfying User Intent (12:03)
    • Understanding User Satisfaction (3:23)
    • Pop-Ups, Aggressive Ads, And Bad User Experience (8:36)
    • Your Goal: Creating EPIC Content (5:22)
    • How To Research And Outline Your Content (10:12)
    • How To Find Long Tail & Related Keywords (4:37)
    • How To Create Epic Content That Ranks (8:03)
    • How To Set Up Your On-Page SEO (14:01)
    • How To Use The Yoast SEO Plugin (7:05)
    • An Introduction To Content Audits (5:36)
    • How To Do An SEO Content Audit (10:45)
  • Module 5: Getting Started With Link Building
    • What Are Links & Why Are They So Important? (3:23)
    • The 5 Characteristics Of A Great Link (6:59)
    • Link Building Expectations (3:30)
    • Getting Into The Outreach Mindset (2:19)
    • Links You Don’t Want Any Part Of (3:47)
  • Module 6: How To Swipe Your Competitors’ Best Links
    • Understanding Your Competitors’ Backlinks (4:29)
    • How To Spy On Your Competitors’ Backlinks (4:12)
    • How To Merge Your Backlink Spreadsheets
    • How To Organize & Analyze Backlink Data For Link Opportunities (12:36)
  • Module 7: How To Build Links With Guest Posting
    • An Introduction To Guest Posting (3:48)
    • Getting Organized For Your First Guest Post Campaign (2:51)
    • How To Find Guest Posting Opportunities (7:45)
    • Sending Your Guest Post Pitches (11:02)
    • Handling Replies & Writing Your Guest Post (7:19)
  • Module 8: How To Create Linkable Assets Other Websites Love Linking To
    • An Introduction To Blogger Outreach & Linkable Assets (3:59)
    • Three Types Of Linkable Assets: Infographics Guides, & Surveys (5:15)
    • How To Brainstorm Ideas For Your Linkable Asset (4:01)
    • How To Create Your Linkable Asset (7:45)
    • How To Outreach To Bloggers With Linkable Assets (10:11)

One last thing worth mentioning on the topic of SEO is that it can make or break your blog (unless you are going all-in on a Pinterest or social strategy for traffic), so it pays to do it right. If you don’t invest in a course on this topic, you could spend months or years chasing your tale with tips & tricks from 50 different “experts”. So whatever you do, pick one well-known expert and follow their advice. If you don’t want to pay for a course, search for Brian Dean and read his free SEO guides, or even the Ahrefs blog.

how to monetize a website

Best for Monetization: Monetization Method – $87

I started writing the content for this course in about 2015 to help others better understand the different types of blog monetization options, but didn’t begin to publish it online in a succinct format until late 2020.

What pushed me to finally make my notes available? It was reading way too many posts on Reddit and within Facebook Groups from people on the verge of giving up blogging because they were struggling to get the “50,000 monthly users to make banner ads viable”.

I thought it was sad that so many people are striving to get enormous amounts of traffic, and giving up in the process as they were yet to make a dollar (or over $1,000) from all their efforts. I wanted them all to know that you don’t need heaps of traffic to make money from your blog.

One of my smaller websites gets just over 1,000 users per month, and banks over $3,000 per month. I wanted to share my tips & tricks so others could achieve this too.

Monetization Method is a mix of lessons, worksheets, and resources:

Lessons cover, amongst other things:

  • Sponsored Pections
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Sponsored Links
  • Sales
  • Display Banners (sold direct to brands)
  • Display Banners (sold programmatically via an ad network(
  • How to find collaborations
  • Affiliate links
  • Monetizing emails & newsletters
  • Advertising kits
  • Bringing it all together

Recourses provided include:

  • Website Monetization Audit
  • Sponsorship Opportunities
  • Digital Product Assessment
  • Finding Advertisers Worksheet
  • Solus Email Pricing Calculator
  • Sponsored Post Pricing Calculator
  • Sponsored Link Pricing Calculator
  • Media kit Template
  • Spec sheet Template
  • Rate card Template
  • Direct Sales Contract

Plus you also get to take part in community discussion with those that have “been there, done that” and look at our pricing data were we reveal exactly what we have personally paid for over 150 sponsored links and 100 guest posts of the past few years for the range of websites we work on.

Free alternative: Lot’s of Googling. Review the top threads on Reddit.com/r/blogging


Best SEO Courses for Bloggers

The best SEO course for bloggers is the Super Simple SEO course we have already covered above. In this section we’ll look at alternative courses, advanced courses, and even a free SEO course for bloggers.

SEO is one of those terms that leaves a dirty taste in my mouth. The internet is FLOODED with incorrect information, fake experts, and immoral agencies which charge to much for delivering too little. I’ve actually considered leving the digital marekting industry a few times because I’m sick of the repuation it has been getting.

With this in mind, I advise you to be careful who you take advice from. Stick to the names and course mentioned on this page and you’ll be fine, then ask for specific advice on specific concepts that you don’t quite grasp on other platforms, such as Reddit or within Facebook Groups.

free seo course recommendation backlinko

The Backlinko SEO Blog by Brian Dean – Free

Everyone in digital marketing needs to spend a bit of time reading Brian Deans content. There is so much FREE value on his blog that I feel it is enough to bring anyone from absolute beginner up to intermediate levels over a week or two. Obviously practice is required, you can’t read one website and open an SEO agency, but understanding the process of optimizing a website for search can easily be done with this blog and nothing more.

I’ve personally been doing SEO work for about 15 years now, and recently took Brian Deans SEO course to upskill myself even further, and one specific concept he teaches turned the way I think of creating content completely upside down. If you have a moment to look it up, it was the concept of creating content specifically for what he terms “link creators’.

There are lots of other nuggets on Brians website, and his term “Skyscraper content” is now well known within the SEO industry.

Start with his The Ultimate SEO Tutorial For 2020 article. This covers eight important topics:

  1. Find Keywords That People Search For
  2. Choose a High-Value Keywords
  3. Publish Content That Google Searchers Want
  4. Optimize Your Content for UX
  5. Implement On-Page SEO Best Practices
  6. Promote Your Content
  7. Build Backlinks to Your Site
  8. Monitor and Improve Your Technical SEO

Once you’ve read this, head to the HOW TO WRITE A BLOG POST: The Definitive Guide post. This post has seven chapters:

  1. Find a (Proven) Topic
  2. Blog Post Templates
  3. Create an Awesome Headline
  4. Craft a Compelling Intro
  5. Write Your Post
  6. Add a Conclusion
  7. Optimize for SEO
  8. Promote Your Content
  9. Content Transformation

Once you’ve completed these two articles you’re in a good position to start publishing content with 80% of the SEO requirements fulfilled. For most people this is enough, you’ll just need that extra 20% if you are going after highly competitive & lucrative keywords, such as “car insurance”.

how to monetize a website

Adventures in SEO – $397

I decided to add Adventures in SEO high in my list of recommendations because it blends and SEO course with a Pinterest course.

how to monetize a website

Something else – Free

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Best Monetization Courses for Bloggers

The topic of blog monetization is normally limited to a chapter in other general blogging courses. There will be 1 or 2 paragraphs on each of the dozen or so best monezation methods, but nothing really in depth regarding how to find the opportunities, what to be careful of, and how to price the opportunities on your website.

This is the reason I created my Monetization Method course, which I (shamelessly) recommend below.

I started selling ads on blogs about 15 years ago, and have pretty much used all forms of monetization at some time in my career. Recently I’ve been buying media on other websites: banners, sponsored posts, links, email promotions, and social media ads. That put’s me in a good position to know how bloggers can best monetize their websites, and do so without relying on tens of thousands of monthly users.

So since I realised no one else was providing exert advice in this area, I present to you my full dump of knowledge on the topic of blog monetization below as my first recommendation…

how to monetize a website

Monetization Method – Free Trial / $87 Lifetime Access

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making sense of sponsored posts review

Making Sense of Sponsored Posts Review – $159

Sponsored Posts are one of the more popular way bloggers can make money. Thankfully, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner has dedicated a specific course to this topic along with her sister Alexis Schroeder.

At only $159 its very affordable, and the payment plan of two $88 payments makes it a no-brainer for anyone who wants to upskill in this area. I’ve been buying and selling sponsored posts for YEARS, and even I went and bought it to see if there were any tips & tricks I should include in the sponsored posts section of my own Monetization Method course.

There are five different modules in the Making Sense of Sponsored Posts course:

  • Module 1: What Are Sponsored Posts?
  • Module 2: How To Find Sponsored Posts Opportunities and How To Apply For Brand Deals
  • Module 3: Money, Money, Money
  • Module 4: Rules For Sponsored Posts
  • Module 5: Strategies To Get More Brand Opportunities

And then there are five free bonuses thrown in for good measure:

  • Bonus #1: The Private Facebook Mastermind Group
  • Bonus #2: How To Increase Your Page Views
  • Bonus #3: Editing and Writing Strategies That Will Change Your Life
  • Bonus #4: How To Grow Your Traffic With Google SEO
  • Bonus #5: Instagram Unlocked: How to Gain Followers and Engagement

The course is self-paced and fully online, meaning you can do as much or as little evrey week depending on how your calendar and other commitments looks.

With the purchase you also get lifetime access which is a bit plus. There is nothing worse than a blogging course cutting you off after 6 months or a year – sometimes it’s really beneficial to revisit the content every so often to make sure you are on the right track.

In theory, selling sponsored posts sounds easy. You get approached by a brand, you tell them your price, they send the content which you publish, then you get paid.

But in reality there is a lot to think about, much of which new bloggers don’t even know they should be thinking about!

You don’t know, what you don’t know” is a good saying here.

This course covers many of these “boring” but important topics: negotiating tips, how to accept payment, disclosing the partnership, types of links within posts, and whether you need a contract.

I’m a big fan of blogging courses because I’ve seen too many bloggers chasing there tails for years before really getting any traction. They’ll get advice which contradicts advice they have previously heard. For this reason, at $159, I think the Making Sense of Sponsored Posts course is worth the money. Go through it once, and you be fully knowledgeable in this area and not need to seek further advice in the future – then revisit to refresh your memory when needed.

making sense of affiliate marketing review

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – $197

Affiliate marketing is another easy way to making money from your blog, and one of the methods I discuss in depth within my own Monetization Method course.

Affiliate marketing has been around for decades, and in a nutshell is the process of linking to a product on another website, and getting paid a commission should a purchase subsequently take place.

The thing with affiliate marketing is that you can do it the wrong way, or the right way, and without a course teaching you the difference you could be barking up the wrong tree for years before you realise it.

There are two main things which can heavily effect your affiliate income, and that is the intent of your web traffic, and the affiliate programs you choose to promote. BUT I’m not here to teach you affiliate marketing, I do all that in my own course. I’m here to tell you about the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. Here is what it covers:

  • Module 1: What Is Affiliate Marketing?
  • Module 2: How To Find and Apply To Affiliate Programs
  • Module 3: Follow The Rules
  • Module 4: How To Get Your Readers To Convert
  • Module 5: Strategies and Ways To Promote Affiliate Links
  • Module 6: Rinse and Repeat

Plus anumber of bonuses:

  • How to Always Get Approved To An Affiliate Program
  • How To Drive Thousands of Visitors To Your Blog With Pinterest
  • 9 Things You Must Do When Something Goes Viral
  • How To Increase Your Page Views
  • Worksheet – My Affiliate Products And Services
  • Worksheet – The Perfect Affiliate Link Checklist
  • How to Maximize Your Reach, Your Impact, and Your Revenue with Facebook Ads
  • Editing And Writing Strategies That Will Take Your Content To The Next Level
  • How To Legally Protect Your Blog

The Making Sense of Affilaite MArekting course is a little more pricey than the Sponsored Posts course above, but it does come with a money back gaurantee. There is a string attached though with that promise. The website states “If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund. But, you must show me that you went through the course and took action, because none of the tips and methods I share will work without you taking the time to implement them.”

It’s not something I’ve really seen before with an online course (I run a course in the interior design niche as well, and its 100% money back guarantee, no questions asked, which I expect others to provide as well).

Conclusion

We’ve covered alot within our blogging course reviews, and you may be a bit confused with everything you’ve just learnt. So let’s break it down simply.

We Reviews The Best Blogging Courses for Beginners

We recommended three courses, one for the basics, one for traffic, and one for monetization. These course were:

  • Basics:
  • Traffic: Super Simple SEO
  • Monetization: Monetization Method

If you had to buy just one course, but Super Simple SEO (yes I’m not recommending my own course because without any traffic attempting to monetize is pointless). If you can two courses grab the monetization one as well. Finally, if you aren’t too tight on money, get all three then you’ll be in the Fastlane to success.

I recommend the basics one last (which sounds back to front) because much of it can be found online for free, and it’s not an area that needs too much expert knowledge to success. My advice on the basics is:

  • Buy a domain from Namecheap.com – they are cheap and trustworthy
  • Get hosting from any known brand, it doesn’t matter too much in the early days. I personally prefer WPEngine because of the nightly backups, but they are expensive. OneSmallOrange, HostGator, and Bluehost are all good as well.
  • Install WordPress, and a well known theme from Themeforest.
  • Publish Content
  • Implement what you’ve learnt in the Traffic and Monetization Courses.

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