Updated March 4, 2017
Do you want to take take your blog to the next level? This is an opportunity you may want to consider. I think it’s right for some, but not all. I hope this post will help you decide if it’s right for you.
I paid for this course myself and I’m a lifetime member. Therefore, this post contains my referral link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you choose to purchase it, I will receive a commission.
Bonus! In the meantime, if you add your name to the waiting list, you’ll get this short ebook with valuable tidbits called 7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight here:
What is Elite Blog Academy (EBA)?
Elite Blog Academy is a training program that offers a methodical, step-by-step framework to bloggers and communicators who want to turn their blog into a sustainable business. Click here to watch the welcome video for a full introduction:
Note: The focus is on making income, although the first part of the course covers the basics of laying a good blogging foundation. If you don’t yet have a blog started, do that first since the course assumes you already have. Follow my simple steps to do that here.
Second, let’s address the cost upfront
The third version of Elite Blog Academy (3.0) has risen to $797. That’s a huge investment.
Honestly, EBA would not have been in my budget when I first started blogging. If you find yourself in a similar place, please know products like EBA are not a prerequisite to “making it” as a blogger. Most of the information can be found online for free.
If it is an investment you can make, courses like EBA give you a significant head start because the most pertinent, tried-and-true information is neatly organized and packaged for you.
Some of you will greatly benefit from EBA if you think of it in the right context…
Do you ever get those flyers in the mail from your local community college offering certification courses? They’ll train you how to become a dental hygienist, a medical tech, an EMT or something similar. In other words, if you go through the training, in the end, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue a career you didn’t have the skills for previously.
Think of EBA like a college course which opens up the possibility of a new career. Blogging gets shrugged off as a fun hobby by many, but trust me, there are people who have turned it into a full-time job, replacing or exceeding their previous income. Click here to listen to Tasha Agruso’s story who replaced her income as an attorney (she was a partner in a law firm), and Rosemarie Groner who replaced her income as a law enforcement officer.
But just like a college certification course, EBA will require work. You have to do the work. If you aren’t ready to put in the time and do the work, it’s not for you.
On the other hand, if you’ve got the time and you’re willing to do the work, suddenly $797 seems very reasonable and for some of you, I think it is.
My review: the chips & salsa version
Have you seen the success stories from people who have taken EBA? Some are quite impressive.
I absolutely believe these stories are true, and I celebrate the growth these bloggers have experienced. The course definitely provides what it takes.
Like any product, not everyone experiences the same phenomenal results. The question I’m trying to help you figure out, is if it’s a good idea for you.
The quality of this course is not in question. The success stories are compelling. It is a very solid course with valuable material.
Almost any blogger on any level can benefit, but in my opinion, those who benefit most from Elite Blog Academy are:
- Implementers (see “Are you a thinker or a doer?” below)
- At an advanced beginner to intermediate level in their blogging
- Who keep hearing about the possibilities of making significant income blogging, but wish they had a road map
If that sounds like you, click here to check it out. If you’re not sure, keep reading…
Are you a thinker or a doer?
Andy Stanley made an enlightening statement once. He said, there are thinkers and there are doers. Thinkers are idea types. Doers get things done. Of course this is a broad generalization, but I’ll go with it to make my point.
- Thinkers typically like brainstorming, thinking through and researching possibilities. They like trying different things, oftentimes on a whim. Thinkers love ideas, maybe the more the better. Thinkers might tackle things from various angles instead of in a linear, step by step fashion. (I am a thinker.)
- Doers typically like goal setting and checking things off a list. The idea of S.M.A.R.T. goals totally makes sense to them. They are self-motivated and determined. Doers like to know what comes next and track their progress. Doers are good at focusing on the task at hand and sticking to the plan.
Thinkers and doers are both needed and valuable. And both thinkers and doers can, and do, make money blogging.
For some, $797 would be a very worthwhile investment. A no-brainer. On the other hand, $797 is a lot of money. To do it right, the course requires a lot of time (we’re talking several hours each week for at least 12 weeks).
My review: the whole enchilada version
Alright, so you’re either a doer or you’ve got a lot of the doer characteristics. Let’s dive deeper.
First, total transparency:
- I purchased the course (version 1.0) in November 2014. I did not get it for free. My goal is always to write an objective review from the standpoint of a paying customer.
- I watched every unit video included in the 1.0 version, start to finish. I also downloaded and read the course outline, the handouts, each of the unit outlines, the bonus materials and watched the live Q&A videos. I have not personally implemented everything suggested.
- The 3.0 videos have been totally redone and I have not gone through all of them.
- While I don’t know Ruth extremely well, I have met her in person and found her to be delightful. She knows her stuff and I have watched her grow her business significantly over the last few years.
Here’s what you get in EBA 3.0
EBA has a clean and simple interface and getting around is pretty easy.The course is organized into 4 main modules. Each module covers one main phase of blogging: Module 1: Refine Your Message, Module 2: Grow Your Traffic, Module 3: Monetize Your Platform and Module 4: Build Your Business. General course information includes a printable course syllabus so you can follow along as you go:
Each module has its own overview video and is then broken up into multiple units. The number of units per module varies, but here is an example of the units covered in Module 3: Monetize Your Platform:
- Unit 7: Show Me the Money
- Unit 8: Create Your Product
- Unit 9: Master Sales & Marketing
Here’s what it looks like inside the module:
Each unit contains video content and a transcript for easy reading and a downloadable packet that helps you work through the course as you listen. Also, each unit contains extra material like a Q&A.
As you can see, there is quite a bit of value packed into each module.
Bonuses – There are currently two extra in-depth bonuses about social media. The first is a look at Ruth’s own overall social media strategy. The second is a deep dive into Pinterest strategy.
Private Forum / Facebook Group – This is where members can interact with one another, and Ruth somtimes as well. Update for 3.0: In 2.0, community discussion was held in a forum on the EBA site. In 3.0, community discussion will take place in a private Facebook Group. Personally I think this is a good move since people are likely already spending time on Facebook, thus making is more frictionless to interact.
I’ve been happy to see the added content since I became a member in 2014. For Ruth and her team, this is obviously not a “set it and forget it” product. It appears she has taken a keen interest in making EBA as valuable as possible. I have no reason to believe this won’t continue.
Don’t overlook this key element
As is typical with ecourses like this, much of the basic material can be found for free online…if you’re willing to hunt. A lot of people don’t have the time for that, nor do they know where to start. Another common problem is knowing whether or not the information you do find is still relevant since things change so fast in the blogging / social media space.
Here’s where EBA helps:
- The organized, straightforward way the information is packaged. It saves you a lot of time searching and learning on your own.
- The expertise of the creator. Ruth is clearly very knowledgeable and successful.
- The built-in mastermind group (i.e. the private forum or Facebook Group). Being able to build relationships with other like-minded bloggers is extremely beneficial, both as you learn, and as you move forward.
- Overall, Ruth presents very solid information about blogging. For new bloggers or bloggers who are lacking in direction or fundamentals, it will give you a significant jumpstart.
- One of the biggest benefits of the course is definitely the relationship building potential. Relationships are key in blogging and, if treated correctly, will serve you well for years to come. The EBA forum gives you a chance to ask questions, get ideas, share ideas, ask for advice, get & provide support and encouragement, promote each other and interact with other bloggers who “get” you.
- It’s well done. The signup process is relatively glitch-free and easy to walk through. The videos are well done. The material is organized and thorough.
- It’s a product born out of experience, not just theory. Ruth is an established, successful blogger with a proven record of getting things done. According to the advertising page on her main blog (Living Well Spending Less), in January 2014, she got 3 million+ pageviews and 1 million+ unique visitors. I don’t know what her updated stats are, but obviously she’s teaching what has worked for her.
It’s an excellent blogging conference alternative. For many, attending a blogging conference is a turning point in a blogging career. It was for me. Being part of Elite Blog Academy is not exactly the same as the face-to-face contact you’d get at a conference, but it’s a close second.Update: I saw EBA as a good conference alternative in the past, mainly because of the price. Previous versions of EBA were quite a bit cheaper and when compared to the cost of attending a conference, made it an especially great deal. However, as the price of EBA has risen, it is now approaching the same cost as it would to attend a conference so it’s more difficult to keep this as a significant pro. The thing a conference has going for it is face-to-face contact; the thing EBA has going for it is ongoing relational contact.
- I had a few very minor disagreements with some of the material presented in the course. I disagreed more with some of the information shared in the forums and chimed in when I had the time. This is a common problem in forums or groups in general. My advice is to always do your own research and not rely on other members’ opinions, especially when it concerns legal matters (i.e. FTC guidelines, disclosure, Anti-Spam Laws, etc.).
- By her own admission, Ruth is not technical and this is certainly not anything for which I would write off the course. While there is a lot of practical, hands-on, strategic help, EBA is not so much about the technical aspects of starting and running a blog. If you’re hoping for a lot of technical help, this course might not be the place to start.
- Dealing with the difficulty of ever-changing information is tricky. Blogging and social media change so fast, it’s hard to keep everything up to date. Ruth and her team seem to be taking steps to update info as needed, but there’s always a risk of elements here and there becoming outdated.
- In 3.0, you are led through the course in a specific order. Modules, units and bonuses are locked until you are ready to move on. From a course creator’s point of view, I understand why you would construct it this way. However, as a course taker, I prefer to be able to jump around. Update: After further investigation, I realized you do have a bit more flexibility than I originally thought. To unlock a new module, click the red button in the previous module that says “Click to complete this unit.”
Overall, consider EBA if:
- You’ve been blogging a while and are looking at bloggers around you taking off, wondering how they’re doing it.
- You have a get-it-done personality. There is no question, in order to make this course work, you must implement the strategies Ruth shares or it will be a huge waste of time and money.
- You have the time and tenacity to follow through. Many of the assignments require you to dig deep. It will take time and energy. You will have to work hard on it, regularly.
- You are a relationship person who really wants to get to know other bloggers or you’d like to attend a blogging conference but haven’t been able to do so or find it cost prohibitive.
- You’re a hands-on, fill-in-the-blanks type of person who likes to put pen to paper to process and get things done.
- You like to learn from a person (video), rather than reading.
While I think many bloggers could pick up useful tidbits, I would definitely say those best served by Elite Blog Academy are bloggers in niches like DIY, frugal living, home decor, cooking, simple living, crafting, parenting, fashion, etc. Ruth is teaching mainly from her personal experience (understandably so). Although it seems her model has changed recently, on her own blog in the past, she’s seen success by pursuing high traffic and monetizing via display ads (mainly). She touches on other blogging models, but I think bloggers with this bent will glean the most.Update: As far as I can tell, there has been a major shift in content in 3.0. I’m happy to see a broader range of topics covered such as creating your own products and email marketing. For this reason, I think it appeals to more than those who rely mostly on display ads.
- You have the room in your budget to pay for it. If you can’t afford the hefty price tag, consider buying her book, How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul, first. Much of the material corresponds to the 12 chapters in Ruth’s book.
As is the case often with reviews, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. I hope I’ve provided enough information so you know if Elite Blog Academy is for you.
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