I noticed there are two common problems faced by newbies when starting a blog; they don’t know which platform to use and how to start a business with it. So I am actually glad to find an online training called Beginner Blogging that seems to cater for this group of people. But, can this course actually show you how to profit with a blog? Let’s see what are the offers inside.
What Is Beginner Blogging?
Beginner Blogging is a seven part tutorial that walks you through the process of setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog. It’s created by Tom Ewer, a blogger turned online entrepreneur, who started his article writing business in 2011. The course is offered for free through the main website itself or through email subscriptions.
Here are the topics that he covers;
- Part 1 – Creating a WordPress blog – Setting up domain and web hosting
- Part 2 – Getting to know WordPress – Navigate through the user dashboard
- Part 3 – Setting up Your WordPress blog – Fine-tuning your blog settings
- Part 4 – Creating Posts and Pages – Learning how to create your first article
- Part 5 – Installing WordPress theme – Finding the right theme for your blog
- Part 6 – Installing and configuring plugins – Finding the right plugins to use
- Part 7 – Setting up menu and widgets – Learning how to create navigation within your blog
Tom and his team can even set things up for you, granted you purchase the domain and hosting through their recommended provider. It’s a win-win situation – they make an affiliate commission and you get their technical assistance.
What I Like About the Course
(1) All the topics are well organized in text that are easy to read and links that are clickable. They also include a lot of screen captures to help you understand better.
(2) Although WordPress is a powerful blogging platform, it’s not the most visual friendly software for beginners. So I salute Tom for going into great depth and length to show EVERY single technical aspects there is to setting up a WordPress blog.
I’ve seen other tutors do the same thing before and most just brush through the surface without elaborating as thorough as him. While it might seem boring for some, this knowledge is crucial for building a strong foundation of a successful blog.
Most of the time, you just have to learn it once, fix the settings and leave it be. My point is, getting started with WordPress isn’t difficult at all as the tutorial clearly demonstrates how it can be done easily on your end.
(3) I like Tom’s ‘out-of-the-box’ approach on WordPress. He’s more focus on blogging, not the designing aspect. For example, he doesn’t encourage (beginners, especially) to spend time customizing themes and suggest that they should just use them as is.
I can personally relate to this because in the early stage of my blogging career, I was quite obsessed with changing themes and somewhat felt that the success of my blog is determined by its look. That’s vain – I know. Well, as it turns out, there’s really no such thing. As long as the code is up-to-date, most WordPress themes are quite presentable in their original format.
(4) Tom wears many hats as a blogger. He’s an affiliate marketer, a WordPress plugin author and he creates (paid) blogging courses. Despite the credentials, he doesn’t over-promote within this free course. You could tell from the tone that he’s genuine in sharing knowledge and experience instead of trying to up sell you.
What I Don’t Like
(1) Sometimes, lengthy tutorials can be confusing. Try reading more than two pages in a row and you’ll know what I mean. That’s not really the tutor’s fault; it’s just the way modern people engage with internet learning these days. If there’s a mixture of video tutorials, I think it might be easier for beginners to absorb a 5 minute information watching rather than reading the entire article.
(2) The course recommends using BlueHost for domain and hosting, which is a fairly reputable service provider, but there are a few caveats. First, their WordPress hosting services come in several packages and it’s difficult to choose one if you don’t know the language of web hosting. Often times, people would choose the cheapest plan, might not realized the limitations that come with it.
Secondly, I am surprised to learn that the pre-installed plugins offered by BlueHost doesn’t include a SEO plugin. For those who don’t know, search engine optimization (SEO) is a technique that you can implement to make your site more visible to the search engines and there are special plugins to help with this.
Without it, people would take forever to discover your blog. Tom did briefly mentioned on what SEO plugin to use, but he didn’t show how to set up one. I think this is such a huge disadvantage, especially for people who want to take blogging seriously. Considering that most SEO plugins are free, this could have been easily integrated on BlueHost or within the course details.
(3) This last point is what I feel that’s truly missing for a new blogger. Creating content is a big part of blogging and it’s more than just producing long articles. You need to know what you are writing and who you are writing for. That’s where niche and keyword research comes into play – two vital subjects that are not covered in this course which is a huge disappointment.
Even if you have a fully functional WordPress blog, without these types of content, it’s going to be very tricky to drive targeted audience to your site. Do you want a blog that doesn’t get any interested readers? I am pretty sure not.
My Overall Thoughts on Beginner Blogging
The Beginner Blogging course is one of the most elaborated free training where you can certainly learn a lot about setting up a website, but I did have a higher expectation for the content creation part. Considering Tom’s background in online entrepreneurship, I was hoping that he could show more details on how to profit with a blog.
Having said that, I feel that newbies are likely to have a better start with Wealthy Affiliate as their tutorials are more comprehensive, ranging from WordPress to building online traffic to your site.
Here are just some of the tools and resources that you can benefit from their program.
I hope you’ve found this review to be useful. If there are any questions or thoughts you have about starting a blog, please leave them in the comment below and I’ll be happy to help out.
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