For bloggers who want to turn their blogs into a business, Elite Blog Academy 4.0 is a serious, worthwhile investment. Here are my answers to the top Elite Blog Academy FAQ I get.
I purchased Elite Blog Academy 4 years ago now and I have loved the journey of taking my blog to the next level and developing the business and brand I’ve dreamed of. When I tell other bloggers that I made such a large investment in a blog, I always get a lot of questions. So I thought I would share with you my answers to the top 10 Elite Blog Academy FAQ so you can decide if it’s a wise investment for you and your blog.
My Answers to Elite Blog Academy FAQ
1. How Do You Start a Profitable Blog?
Well I started a blog as a hobby in 2011 and I spent 4 years writing whatever and whenever I wanted and ended up with 500 posts, a passion for blogging and no real direction. Then I heard that people could make a profit and even a business from a blog and I wanted it to so I could earn an income doing something I love.
I learned everything I could haphazardly and piecemeal. I flitted from one “expert” to another, following bloggers who I thought were better than me. Trying to learn and mimic their methods and what I loved about them. Taking course after course, freebie after freebie searching for that magic formula. And in retrospect, that was NOT how to start a profitable blog.
My first year of earning a profit, I made $60. Certainly not enough to cover the hours and hours (and hours) and heart I had put into this passion project. Certainly not enough to cover my former full time income at a job that I was good at but worsened my health and my family’s quality of life. Certainly not enough to cover my oldest son going to college this fall.
Well I’ve showed you how NOT to start a profitable blog. So what do I recommend now, with all my wisdom after all these years of blogging? I recommend taking it step by step, slowly, thoroughly, mastering one topic at a time before you move on and make things more complicated. Put your blinders on, tune out the extra noise and the unessential and focus. Do as I say, not as I do.
That is actually the beauty of Elite Blog Academy. Founder Ruth Soukup has been at this a long time and grown her blog into a million dollar earning business. She has taken all the fancy courses and memberships, learned countless lessons from her own hard work, broken it down and puts the most important essentials into a simple framework to lead you from writing your first blog post to managing your own business.
I wish I had known how much I would love blogging, how it would change my life and how it could my work from home dreams come true. I would have signed up for Elite Blog Academy* from the start instead of having to go back and fix years of mistakes. If you want to start a PROFITABLE blog, are serious about doing the work, and are willing to break out of your comfort zone in order to achieve your dreams, then Elite Blog Academy is right for you and that’s my #1 tip for starting a profitable blog.
2. How Much Does Elite Blog Academy Cost?
This year Elite Blog Academy 2020* cost starts at $1,097 (there are 3 packages to choose from), it is a SERIOUS investment. The price has increased with each new update of videos, content and partner bonuses and now it’s more than double the price of when I bought it in 2016.
I wrote this entire post on Elite Blog Academy’s cost (both time and money), the different packages, important things to consider before you buy, how to save money for it if you can’t afford it right now and more. As a trained accountant turned SAHM/WAHM, I have a LOT to say about the cost and figuring out if EBA is worth the investment for you.
3. How Can I Afford Elite Blog Academy?
I understand, I really do. The price tag is steep and I genuinely wish I could give everyone struggling financially a copy of this course. I believe in this course that much. But I’ve got 2 growing boys eating me out of house and home and 1 kid in college!
The thing is back when I first heard of EBA, it was $297 and I thought it was too expensive then to invest in my “hobby”. I was working full-time so if I was going to buy it, I should have done it then, it would not have hurt our bank account so badly. I should have invested in pursuing my passion and my dream to earn a living doing something I loved. I should have had confidence in my ability to reach and help people through my writing.
But I didn’t buy it then and I regretted it.
When EBA 2.0 came out in 2016, the price was $499 and I bought it. Then I was a stay at home mom without any extra income. So I cut back on some expenses in our budget so that it wouldn’t be such a big hit on our credit card (we pay our credit card in full every month, I am not endorsing racking up credit card debt). I cashed in credit card rewards. We ate out less for a few months, I cut back on Target trips, I consigned some kids’ clothing and toys they didn’t use anymore and I made it work so I could buy it and give myself my shot at my dream job. I really did feel it was now or never.
Imho, the thing is Ruth keeps attending high level conferences that cost more than what I paid for my first year in college and then passes along what she learns from her success when she updates EBA. Unfortunately, with that ramped up content comes an increased price for us but who can blame her? She puts a ton of work and content into this program, so I don’t think EBA will ever get cheaper. The good news is there is a payment plan option this year for each of the EBA packages available.
I also have some saving and budgeting tips in this post on how to save for EBA, whether you want to buy this year or next.
4. Is EBA the only course I’ll ever need?
I never say never since I’m a course junkie and have bought tons of other courses to supplement (and distract me from) EBA. But I can say that Ruth lays out a very comprehensive foundation and takes us step by step through each complicated blogging topic, telling us how to excel at each one and then moves on so we are continuously improving our blogs. She covers every important topic to refine our message, grow our platform, make income and build our business.
She also then secures partner bonuses from successful bloggers who are experts in different areas to give us more detailed education in areas we can complete as we choose. This year’s EBA includes deeper dives into traffic, social media, Pinterest, finances, analytics and more.
EBA is so comprehensive and with lifetime access, I don’t intend to buy another mega course. What lifetime access means is that you pay one price now when you buy it, and every time Ruth updates and switches out bonuses, we get them for free even if the price increases for new students!
So after I bought it in 2016, EBA content was majorly overhauled to focus more on growing our businesses and the partner bonuses were switched out and I downloaded them ALL! Note: This lifetime access means for the lifetime of the EBA course.
So the way I look at it, EBA is a one-time investment for continuous learning and growth. And with the 100% money-back guarantee*, you can request your money back if you aren’t satisfied, nothing to lose!
Long story short, EBA is worth a look and careful consideration. Find out about all the bonuses and see if you’d find them helpful. Don’t let the price turn you off completely if you are passionate about making your blog a success. When you subscribe to my blogging newsletter, you get a FREE Investment Decision Matrix to see if EBA is a wise investment for you. The matrix will help you see where you need help, if EBA can fulfill that need, compare costs of other courses you planned to take vs. EBA and help you objectively decide if the growth and income you desire is worth the one-time cost.
5. I’m already making a sizable investment, will what’s taught in EBA require me to spend even more money on tools and resources, like Tailwind for pin scheduling?
I think Ruth is good about spelling out the different tools she tried and whether they were successful for her. Regarding pin scheduling, she tells us about the 3 different scheduling tools and how they worked for her. She’ll tell you what worked and what didn’t and why she chose what she did. She’ll be straight up and say, this tool is completely confusing and hard to work with if it is.
Yes, she recommends different tools and resources to help you along. Honestly, it’s a trade off, you could spend the time to figure out the best approach or pay for a tool that figures out the best times to post your pins. That’s part of doing business, analyzing the cost vs. benefit of any new tool or course.
She does encourage us to get a professional custom design but I didn’t because I didn’t want to fork over the money. I purchased Genesis and what I thought was a gorgeous premade theme* for a fraction of the cost and I love it, I get so many compliments on it.
Once your email list gets big enough, you will need to spend money on an email marketing platform. Ruth gives her recommendations but again the choice is yours. From my 2017 blog income, I was able to invest in an annual subscription for Convertkit* since my subscribers were over 2,000 for my free Mailchimp account. In 2018, I switched to Mailerlite* for cost savings even though I love Convertkit’s ease of tagging and I’m investing the time to figure out how to get Mailerlite to do what I want so I can save about $400 a year for my current list size.
If you are interested in selling products on your site, then you’ll need a product delivery system. There are several options that cost money, such as Shopify and Sendowl. Since I’m just starting, I use the free Woocommerce plugin on a subdomain of my blog. My host set up the subdomain for free, my theme allowed me to install it on the subdomain for free and the basic woocommerce plugin was free. Your results may vary depending on your host and theme licensing.
I think the assignments are fair. To get the money back guarantee you have to do all the assignments within 365 days and I’ll be honest that is tough but totally doable. But the assignment does not say for example, purchase Tailwind and schedule 30 pins. It will say “create a pinterest marketing plan” and you use the lessons learned to make your own to accomplish your own objectives.
How you invest your hard earned money is up to you, Ruth gives recommendations but not requirements. If you want to see all the investments I’ve made on my blog, whether I recommend them or not so you can save and spend your money wisely, download my Income, Expense, Traffic and Productivity Report since I purchased EBA in 2016. I lay it all out, the good, the bad, the ugly, the small victories, the secrets, and my lessons learned. I hope it helps you!
6. Tell Me the Most Important Thing You Learned in EBA
Here are my biggest lessons learned from Elite Blog Academy*:
- being an EBA affiliate that has really taught me how to do effective affiliate marketing. Like I said above, I’ve already made back my entire investment times 5 from learning the strategies and using the sample copy EBA provides to their affiliates.
- how to use the topics I’m passionate about to create an income so it doesn’t feel like “work” at all
- how to FOCUS my writing, finding my voice and pinpointing readers’ wants and needs so I can better connect with and serve my readers
- how to set the foundations for a business I am excited about pursuing so I can still stay home with my kids and earn income despite my autoimmune disease
- how to break out of my comfort zone and identity box (y’all I had to do a video, I was terrified but I actually kinda liked it!)
- how to find authentic ways to stay true to my principles and make money doing something I love. Yes, it’s possible to turn your passion into profit (even without ads)!
- how to overcome my irrational fears about selling and that people want to hear or buy what I have to offer
7. I fear that the training will be too focused on ads and sponsored gigs. Since I’m outside the US, most opportunities don’t apply to me and I was afraid of not being able to take full advantage of the course. Are there many “foreigners” in the group?
This was a question from a couple years ago and I can say that Ruth gives an overview on ad networks and securing sponsored posts but there is much more focus on affiliate marketing, developing products and sales and marketing because they generate more authentic content and greater income. I love that!
I asked Ruth for an answer on this one and luckily she responded right away. She said, “”We definitely focus very little on ads and sponsored posts! The monetization module has changed a lot this year to focus much more on how to best leverage the audience you have (not the one you wish you had) through choosing smarter monetization strategies like affiliate marketing and product creation. We focus heavily on learning how to master sales and marketing (without feeling like a used car salesman) and how to build a sustainable blogging business.”
Some of the EBA affiliates responded that they were international bloggers as well and had no problems with the course as it was relevant to all bloggers. But just in case, EBA* does have that 100% money-back guarantee if you get the work done in time so if you are concerned about it, make sure to get the work done in time!
8. Is EBA applicable even if you aren’t a mom or lifestyle blogger? What about if I blog in a small niche?
I understand that too because I am in the same exact boat. Nowadays, I blog mostly about working from home/blogging, books and chronic illness. None of these topics are very mainstream or huge money makers. In fact, I wrote a brutally honest EBA review about how beneficial EBA has been as a small niche blogger.
What I love though is Ruth gets me to think outside the box to figure out how to create products that will serve my readers. I created my first paid blog planner and it was included in the 2017 Genius Blogger’s Toolkit from Ultimate Bundles (another affiliate program I highly recommend) which gave me great income and a boost in my email subscribers. I created my second Thrive with Chronic Illness Planner + Journal which was included in the Ultimate Productivity Bundle. And my final product released in the Ultimate Productivity Bundle 2020, the 30 Day Plan to Organize the Chaos in Your Mind and Life ebook.
I have more product ideas than time to create them all, a good problem to have in my opinion and I will work on another product in the next unit of EBA I tackle. So yes, I think you may have to work harder to brainstorm ideas and get your word out but it’s totally possible to apply EBA to small niches and find a way that works for your readers.
I’ve been able to make a part-time income on part-time hours doing something I am truly passionate about. And I am definitely motivated to keep this momentum going!
9. How Long Does it Take To Complete EBA? Can I really get the money-back guarantee? How long will it take for me to see an income?
That is up to you. I might be the slowest EBA student, it’s taken me a couple years and I am finally done! But after years of haphazard blogging, I went through EBA slowly so I do it right the first time and won’t have to waste time doing it over. I became an EBA affiliate as soon as I qualified and from EBA affiliate sales alone I have made back my investment times 10!
I bought EBA in 2016 and had a loss for the year. I earned $4.5k in 2017 and reinvested $2k so net income of $2,500. I do blog about blogging and my experience with the different tools I use that brings me affiliate income. I also developed my own products to include in Ultimate Bundles sales to get income off the bat.
I think you can achieve quick results with EBA if you are focused and you don’t let fear stand in your way, but how quickly depends on you putting in the work.
Your results will be different and how long it takes depends on how much time you can devote to each week. Some assignments take longer than others. I think completing it in the 365 day guarantee window is totally doable if you stay committed and focused to get it done in time.
10. Bottom Line…Is EBA Really Worth It?
- You are committed to doing all the work (2018 version had 24 videos and 36 assignments)
- You are serious about making an income from your blog and turning it into a business
- You are passionate about writing, your blog and the people you serve
- You need the step-by-step assistance and foundation in all aspects of blogging from content to marketing to creating a business you are proud of
- You want someone to simplify blogging for you
- You don’t have the cash to pay for it up front or on the payment plan
- You don’t have the time to commit to it
- You aren’t sure if blogging is right for you
- You need detailed, technical or focused help in only one or two areas
Still undecided? Subscribe to my Blogging Newsletter and Get my FREE EBA Investment Decision Matrix to help you objectively decide if EBA is right for you.
I hope my Elite Blog Academy FAQ has helped you. What other questions do you have that I can help answer? Be sure to stop by my Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy Elite Blog Academy (updated for 2020). It’s got a ton of info you don’t want to miss.
What do you hope to achieve for your blog, income and business? Tell me, I’d love to hear from you! If you like, send me an email at tanya(at)momssmallvictories(dot)com and I’ll give you an honest opinion given your situation. I only want you to invest in Elite Blog Academy* if it changes your life in amazing ways like it has mine!