I’ve been blogging for just shy of two years now, and I’ve never completed a blogging course. I’ve dabbled in a few through email sign ups, but as this blog has been a hobby for me and not a business, I’ve never had the focus or desire to spend a lot of time learning how to blog.
Instead, I’ve simply gotten better through writing regularly and interacting with fellow bloggers as well as others in the personal finance community. That said, I’ve also paid a premium for a business account with WordPress.com in order to have a functional blog but without the need to understand the back end technical stuff.
Of course, that means I also haven’t learned how to customize or utilize some possibilities for this blog because I’ve stuck to the standard options available at a very basic level.
In some ways, I feel like I’m a pretty experienced blogger after writing weekly (now three times a week) for a full two years. But in other ways, I know that I am very green at this still and have quite a bit to learn.
Like I said, much of this has been my choice to keep this a low key outlet for me and to limit the numbers I spend on this hobby. Some of it, though, has definitely been because any time I head to Google to figure out some of the more detailed options with blogging I get overwhelmed and decide that I’ll just “do it later.”
The Power of Community
One thing, though, that has drawn me in to blogging since the beginning has been the community aspect of it. I was a blog reader for most of a decade, but I was fully a passive observer through that whole time. But once I began blogging, I jumped in with two feet and began to find my tribe within the blogging community.
That community aspect is what got me to write my most popular and impactful blog post to date, Meet The Women Of The Financial Independence Movement, and create the associated Women’s Personal Finance Facebook group that is now at 7,000 members strong and a very active community of its own. And that momentum birthed my Women’s Personal Finance Wednesdays roundups, because I wanted to continue to lift up and be a part of that very special community.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Forming True Friendships Through Blogging
Beyond just finding people to interact with regularly online, I found that I began to form real friendship with other bloggers through the process of promoting my blog and connecting with others within my personal finance niche. Many of those friendships began once I started a Twitter account and I interacted with them outside of blog comments and Facebook blogger groups.
And then many of those relationships that started out in the online space expanded into real life friendships, both with bloggers who are local to the Seattle area but also with those who have passed through on vacation. Others I’ve met on vacation myself or at the first Cents Positive retreat last year. I began my blog as a place to be accountable with my finances and beyond that I’ve found a community and friendships that I know will last a lifetime.
Gold City Ventures Blogging Course Review
So when my friend Julie at Millennial Boss let me know that she was putting together a blogging course, I knew I wanted to support her endeavor. I’ve known her well for a year and a half and she has always amazed me by her dedication and hustle when it comes to her side ventures, including her blog, podcast, and Etsy stores.
She’s been blogging since 2012, specifically at Millennial Boss since 2015 when she first chronicled her student loan payoff story and then about her journey toward financial independence as well as her career hacking strategies. Julie is someone who has always taken her blog seriously, and it shows. Her website is gorgeous, organized, has great content, and she balances the money making side of it well.
Authenticity In Blogging – Finding My “Voice”
I’ve written in the past about why I have kept the money making part of this blog to a minimum, but the biggest driver with that has been about controlling how I see this blog in my head in order to keep contained to a reasonable share of my very full life. By sticking to very low key occasional affiliate links through companies like Amazon and Airbnb, I’ve been able to convince myself to keep the time and energy I spend on this blog to a minimum (though still quite a bit of time).
Beyond those very simple referral links, I have not put any advertisements or sponsored posts on this blog, and I haven’t reached out to create any affiliate relationships specifically related to blogging. And I wouldn’t have reached out to Julie to become an affiliate with her course, because it simply wasn’t on my radar.
Blogging, Etsy Shops, and Side Hustling
Through many offline conversations with Julie as well as all the episodes I’ve listened to on her podcast FIRE Drill (including the episodes on Etsy shops and digital downloads), I’ve come to understand that Julie really knows what she’s doing as far as making money online, and how to do it in a way that she maintains her integrity and her ability to provide the quality product or information that’s associated with that income.
Every time she’s recorded a podcast episode related to Etsy shops and other side hustles, I find myself considering how to start one of my own – not because I have the time or inclination to do so, but because she does such an excellent job laying things out so you are sure to succeed if you follow the path she provides.
So when she announced that she was launching this course, I knew I wanted to promote it and help her succeed because I knew anything she put together would be fabulous and worth the time. That said, I expected to share at a high level for those looking to focus on growing their blog incomes and not have it be something I would use very much, since my blogging goals have been very different than hers.
Taking The Blogging Course
Once I started to scan the course, though, I found myself slowing down and watching the videos in their entirety and reading the content and taking a whole lot of notes. For the first time in my blogging career, I wanted to learn more about things like SEO and how to install plugins and customize the look of my site.
This blogging course is long, and very in depth, led by both Julie and Cody, who writes over at Fly To FI. She’s a long time veteran blogger, and he’s a newer blogger who started his site just a year ago but earned almost $2,000 in his first 7 months of blogging. They are both also fully immersed in the personal finance community, which is how they began working together on this project.
Course Layout and Content
The course alternates between videos and lessons from each of them individually as well as conversations with the two of them together. They clearly have a rapport and work with each other well. Beyond learning a lot through the full course, you get a real sense of the people behind the blogs, which is at least as important to me as the content they are sharing.
There is so much out there when it comes to blogging, getting to know the people you are learning from and connecting with is a big deal to actually absorbing what they have to say and being interested in continuing to learn.
So, who is this course for?
I honestly would say this course is for all bloggers, whether you’re at the stage of just thinking about writing for the first time or if you’ve been writing for years but want to take your blog to the next level. There is step by step information for setting up your blog for the first time as well as in depth information on income opportunities, social media, and back end technical challenges.
That said, if you are new, there is no reason you need to take the entire course all at once. I originally jumped into blogging with no sense as to what I was doing or how I was doing it, and while that system worked out for me in the long run, the first three to six months were a lot more painful for me than they needed to be.
If you are simply writing for fun and aren’t worried about reaching a large audience or wanting to make money, perhaps waiting on this course until you are more settled makes sense. But if you are looking to buy one course to lead you through the tough beginning stages of blogging as well as teaching you the higher level details once you’ve gotten comfortable, then this is the course I would suggest you buy.
Blogging – Beyond “Shouting to the Void”
The course also comes with access to a private Facebook group to interact with both new and veteran bloggers who are and who have taken the course as well, and that community and feedback is key to a successful blogging experience.
While we may not all admit it when we first begin blogging, we are all writing in a public space online for a reason, and we want our words to be read. Just starting out and getting very little traction and response to your words can be very disheartening, and shouting into the void gets old really quickly. By finding yourself in a community early on, you can avoid those early months of feeling like you’re writing to no one.
Video content: SEO, WordPress, and Plugins
Let’s just say that in one <12 minute video from Cody, I now know and understand one hundred times more about search engine optimization than I did in my first two years of blogging.
Part of my lack of knowledge has been lack of interest in focusing on that part of blogging, but it has also come from the sheer overwhelm of going to Google to look up anything to do with blogging. There is just so much online that there is no clear place to look to find simple answers, especially beyond the very basics.
Julie and Cody both do a fabulous job of writing and recording information in a way that is easily digestible in small bites but also helpful enough to make you feel empowered and able to actually do the work on your own.
Beyond that, I’m finally starting to realize the power of SEO and the other more “marketing” pieces of blogging. Regardless of what I want to do with this blog and where I want to take it, getting people to read my words and interact with what I have to say is a big deal. And now I feel I can adjust ever so slightly to get those words in front of a larger audience.
Work backwards from the life you want to live
Early on in the course, Julie asks you to consider the life you want to live, and then work backwards to determine how your blog will fit into that ideal lifestyle. For me, that means that the blog will continue to be a side hustle / hobby as I love my career and have no intentions of leaving it to blog full time.
Knowing that though, and understanding what that means, gives me clarity in terms of what this blog looks like, both in terms of content and time and energy spent to grow it. A blog as a main gig looks very different from what I’m doing now, and I understand that.
Just like the way I am intentional with my finances and where I spend my money, I want to be intentional with how I continue to grow and write on this blog. While I had a sense of this already, I really appreciate the “big picture” questions this course asks to make sure I do bring that same intentionality here as I do with the rest of my life.
How To Enroll In The Gold City Ventures Blogging Course
The Gold City Ventures Blogging Course officially launch on Thursday (June 27th) and registration will be open for four days only, closing on Sunday (June 30th). The course itself is $197, and while that price is something I would have hesitated with in the past, I can say with absolute certainty that it is well worth it.
I hadn’t considered becoming an affiliate for a blogging course before, and like I shared above, I wasn’t sure a course was really for someone like me. After all, I’m someone who is all in on blogging side but not focused at all on the money making part of things.
Regardless of where I take my blog in the future, for now, I will continue to leave earning money at the bottom of the list when it comes to what I want out of blogging. Even so, I am so excited about this course and what it will mean for my blog, because it will be – and already is – so much better for it.
Sign up for the Gold City Ventures Blogging Course here. If you sign up before Thursday, you will get on the list to be able to register once the course opens.
Ps. they also have courses on Etsy digital downloads and freelancing, if that is more where your interest lays. My life is not in a place where I’m looking for side hustles to supplement my income, but if I did, this is exactly where I would start. Click here to learn more.
Have you ever taken a blogging course? Do you have a clear sense of what you want out of your blog? What’s holding you back from starting one? There is always room for a new voice because we all have special, unique experiences that will resonate with different people.