How To Pick Training That Actually Delivers What It Promises

How To Pick Online Training That Actually Does What It Promises

How To Pick Training That Actually Delivers What It Promises

Have you ever bought training that promised to teach you how to get traffic, subscribers, money and grow a successful blog?

Only to discover that, having shelled out all that money it cost you, done the work, put the tactics into action, you’re nowhere near the results promised?

Did you blame the training? Or yourself? Or did you never get passed the first module?

Training can be your best friend. But it can also be a big waste of time and money, either because the training isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, or because you don’t put effort into doing the work, testing out the strategies or knowing what to expect if you do.

In short, most training fails for TWO reasons:

1. It’s just crap.

2. You don’t know why you’re buying the training.

All you can do with Number 1 is ask for your money back.

Number 2 happens because you don’t know what end result you want for your blog (e.g. you don’t know – beyond get traffic - make money – what you want a blog for).

You have no idea why you’re doing what you’re doing. You have no idea why experts are telling you to do whatever it is they’re telling you to do. You have no idea if what they’re telling you to do is right for you and what you want to achieve (or why it’s failing).

It’s not your fault. Sometimes the desire to finally get traffic, make money and get your voice heard above the crowd can turn blog training into a maze.

But it shouldn’t be. If you’re willing to put in the work. If you know why you’re investing in a particular training course. If you know what you’ll be getting out of it …

Not only can well chosen, quality training change your fortunes big time, it can also open doors to you with influential when you invest in quality training.

This post will help you chose the right kind of training for you.

The Little-Known Reason Why The Right Training Can Be Your Best Investment

In my post 23 Tips For Growing A Blog (Even If You’ve Failed Several Times In The Past) I included “Invest in some quality training” for Tip 22. And as one the numerous advantages I highlighted one advantage that stands out above all others … the access you’ll get to the influential blogger behind the course.

It’s your chance to get to know them, have them answer your questions, help you solve problems and learn how to grow your blog. This is exactly what you get when you sign up to training from influencers like Jon Morrow and his Guestblogging course. Influencers like Jonathan Mead offer the same access.

If you can’t invest in their training. Sign up to their email list. Attend as many webinars they hold, (or appear on as guests). Ask questions.

By far the best way to get access to a popular, influential blogger is to invest in their training. Some of the bloggers I read who are making waves in their topic after only a short time, have done so by investing in training and becoming active students in the course forums.

If you want to start a blog that gets traffic, readers, subscribers and makes money for you, investing in quality training from people who know what they’re talking about and can highlight real examples of what they’re teaching you can really pay off for you, BIG time.

Trouble is, how do you know if a course is any good or not? How do you sort the wheat from the chaff and save your hard earned cash from going down the pan?

Here are some tips to help you invest wisely…

These questions are what you should be asking yourself, before, during and after you’ve signed up to any training. The reason: You want to know that your investment is working for you.

1. How does the course make you feel?

Does it fill you with confidence? Does it inspire you with new ideas? Does it supply the “missing link” that makes things fall into place for you?

2. What valuable information does the course creator give away in their introductory webinars?

This is important to watch out for because if this is just fluff, a lot of filling and talking up the course creator’s own life history, or own experiences, it’s probably showing you what the course is full off too.

3. Does it have a ring of truth and trust about it?

Trust your gut because it has your best interests at heart. You know if something sounds too good to be true.

If you want to find out if what’s being promised or talked about then take time to find out. And part of this is …

4. What kind of guarantee is there?

Does it sound like it gives you enough time to try out the course (at least a little bit and enough to know if it’s going to work for you)?

In truth, 30 days is not a lot of time to try out a course, especially ones that “drip” training to you over a specific length of time, for example, every week.

60 days is better. 90 days is better still. Of course, it depends on the length of any training you’re thinking of investing in. And the amount of content. And the time or commitment you have to devote to following through with it.

5. Who else is promoting it?

If a training is good then there will be several other influencers promoting it to their audiences. This can be a good guide for a training’s quality.

Here are some further questions to ask yourself here. Are these other influencers people you’ve heard of? Are they people you like the sound of?

6. Does the course promise a specific end result that you’ll get at the end of the course (and does it dovetail with what you want to achieve)?

This is such an important question to ask yourself and to ask of any training.

Too many people (me included in the past) jump on any training that promises them results that don’t actually mean anything. If you’re desperate for traffic and you get pitched by training that promises you traffic, you probably try it out.

What you should be doing is looking for influencers who are doing what you want to do (with a message that resonates with yours) and following them. Then reading their content for several weeks, or months even, subscribing to their email list and asking them questions. When you do take note of what their responses are like? Are they friendly? Are they interested in you and what you’re doing? Are they able to answer your questions?

7. Do you have the time and incentive to follow through with it?

Hugely important. It’s tempting to buy a course and think that’s all you need to do to get results.

Quality courses that deliver take time, no – demand – time. Do you have that time? And do you have the incentive, the real need and wish, to follow through and do the fucking work?

8. How much access do you get to the course creator? What kind of access?

Remember, what the biggest advantage of any quality training is? It’s access to the influential blogger who created it. You should be checking out how generous they are willing to be with their time? Do they offer live Q & A sessions where you can actually ask them questions either over Skype, or Webcast? Do you get their feedback (without having to pay extra)?

This matters because it shows they’re willing to be accountable. They’re not hiding.

9. Remember, if you want to have a success blogging business, without traffic, nothing else will make your blog successful.

This is the main reason why most courses about how to blog fail people who invest in them. It all sounds wonderful, until you realise that to make anything that the course is teaching you actually work you need traffic. Without traffic no tactic or strategy can (or will) work.

I had this experience with training for growing my email list. It may have worked but I was struggling to get traffic. Without traffic, no training could help me build an email list, no matter how good.

10. Is there an active forum and/or Facebook group?

A place where students of the course can get together to exchange ideas, support and help each other out? How active and up-to-date is the activity and response? What are students talking about and saying about the course? Does the course creator join in?

11. Are you clear on what end result you want out of the course?

I don’t mean just the end result that the course creator tells you that you’ll get. I mean, are you clear on what the extra tools, tactics and strategies are that the course is going to give you in order for you to meet your desired end result?

Your main reason for buying a course should be to fill in gaps. Gaps in your knowledge, skills or strategy. This is why it’s important to know what end result you want out of your blog because you’ll know where these gaps are.

12. How old is the course (and has it gone through any recent updates)?

A great course proves its greatness by how long it’s been going for. Jon Morrow’s Guestblogging course is 5 years old. It’s recently gone through a full update to make it relevant to today’s guest blogging strategy. Jonathan Mead’s Trailblazer course has also been updated completely.

A course that has been around for awhile is one that is standing the test of time (and delivery of results). But the real test of any course of training you’re thinking of buying is - how many people have passed through the course and are getting those promise results? Start checking out who these people are by clicking the links in testimonials, look at the blogs of those giving the testimonials - do you like what you see and would you be proud to do the same?

These questions won’t stop you buying courses that you don’t need, or that don’t work for you. Only you can stop yourself falling into these traps.

What these questions will do, is help you decide your motives for buying a course and, if spending the small fortunes a lot of them ask for, taking the time and effort to actually work your way through it, is really worth it.

Some important warning signs to watch out for …

1. No money-back guarantee

Frankly, this is stupid. But amazingly, you’ll come across some courses that don’t offer any money back guarantee.

The reason given here often is that the course is either so great that you’ll love it and never want your money back. But this is always a big warning sign for me because yes, the course might be brilliant and deliver everything it promises, doesn’t matter. It just screams: WARNING! Again, check out the results of any students I suggested you do in point #12 above.

A guarantee is always good practice. It shows the course creator has faith in their product and their students.

A guarantee creates good will.

2. Short guarantee periods

30 days is not really time to check out if the course is right for you. You’ll only just touching the surface of whether the strategies you’re learning to implement work. Or not.

60 days is better.

90 days is even better. At least, you can get a real feel for what your results will be within what amounts to 3 months.

3. Webinars That Offer Training, But Are Just Hype

You probably know the type of webinars I mean. They come in the guise of “Training”; offering you important information, or even steps to getting traffic, making money. etc. But they’re just leading you up to their big sell.

Or similar, they offer training on how to get traffic, build your list, etc. But they tell you that you’ll only be able to get real results if you buy their course (or service, or product).

4. The Sales Page, Or Free Introductory Training Is Better Than What You’ve Bought

Unfortunately, you only discover this one after you’ve bought it. This happened to me on the first training I bought.

I had followed through a brilliant free training course on how to start a blog and was so impressed with the results that I jumped at the chance to buy the paid “in-depth” blogging training that promised to take students from where the free training stopped onto more advanced techniques.

The price was under $100 which did surprise me. This was mainly because the free training was so well done that I imagined the person behind it might want to recoup the costs it had no doubt taken to create it.

Anyhow, so taken with the free training was I, that I overlooked this little warning sign and bought the paid training. Garbage! Four “modules” that were all 3 to 4 pages of type long. No videos. Nothing new to learn or discover.

It put me off reading the creator’s blog. Which is a pity because I’d enjoyed reading the posts I had read. But I felt conned. That’s not a good feeling. In the 4 years since, I still haven’t revisited that blog.

5. A Lack of Promotion Either On The Creator’s Blog, Or Anyone Else’s Blog

A good course has influencers promoting it too. Even just one or two. This is a good sign that a course is at least good enough for an influential blogger to risk their reputations by promoting it to their own audiences.

When you can’t find anyone else promoting (or even talking about) a particular course, or training, it’s a sign that it’s probably not all it’s cracked up to be.

Not only that, but if there’s a lack of promotion on the creator’s own blog then that’s a big, loud warning to stay away.

And, I’m not just talking about a lack of testimonials. Although these are good to have, they’re not what you should be deciding to buy a course on alone.

If there are testimonials from people talking about how stoked they are with the results they’ve got as a result of what they learnt through a course, check out their claims. Visit their blogs. Trust your gut when it comes to deciding if what they’ve said in their testimonial sounds true.

6. The Course Creator Is Nowhere To Be Seen or Heard

You may come across this and when you do, it feels like a real let down.

Instead of leading the course training (even just some of it like live Q & A calls), they’ve got their staff or assistants doing the training. What’s going on here? All I can say is that, for me, an absentee course creator is an odd thing and it suggests that they’re not really interested in what their students are learning.

Any training should at least inspire pride in its creator for what students are learning and achieving by investing in their training. They should boast about the results their students are getting. This means joining in with them as they go through the course.

What’s Your Experience of Training Been?

You may have bought some crap courses in your time and you may have bought some gems. I know I have. What I’ve learnt about the difference between them is what has helped me write this guide for you. It’s purpose is to help you invest in really good quality training that gets you the know-how to get the results you want.

The commitment you make to a course, no matter how excellent, will be the test for whether you get what you really want out of any course.

Got questions about choose a course, how to know if it’s right for you, or how to discover what your desired end result is you want out of having your blog? Ask below and I’ll be happy to answer.

Download your copy of these tips and warning signs to watch out for when picking training that delivers what it promises by clicking the link below:

Training Tips and Warning Signs Checklist

Got any tips to share for choosing the right course? Let’s hear ‘em below.


  • Nick Armstrong

    Reply May 4, 2015

    Oh man. This is absolutely on-par as far as the warning signs.

    And your point about not understanding or realizing the reason why you’re seeking the training (or what you’re hoping it does) is 100% accurate.

    It’s the reason I tell most of my clients to outline their “big why” in advance of their marketing campaigns and why I also ask them to define what their goals are for marketing in general. If you want 100 more readers per month, what is that getting you? A wider readership does what for you? Does X readers equal a new client? Or does it get you more shares? Or does it just stroke your ego?

    Way to write a must-read article, Tom 😀

    • Tom

      Reply May 5, 2015

      Exactly Nick! The Big “Why” - it all comes down to that (Defining what it is and Deciding what it is), doesn’t it? I’ve learnt that the hard way with courses and training I’ve bought over the years.

      Your advice to your clients is spot on and the great bulk of the blogging success foundation because from knowing Why? you can create your path.

      And you make another great point about why more traffic/readers is not always the best goal to aim for. Instead, a question people should be seeking to answer is What does each reader amount to? A person who promotes your content/service? A buyer? A loyal reader who reads every word you write? and so on.

      Thanks for the compliment. I’m aiming to write articles that give people real answers and solutions. Great to hear you think I’m on track.
      Cheers Nick!

  • Jeff McKinney

    Reply May 22, 2015

    Great summary, Tom. Good advice on evaluating proper investment in the often confusing online world.

    • Tom

      Reply May 24, 2015

      Hey Jeff! Good to have you stop by and take time to comment. Cheers!

  • Adrienne

    Reply May 23, 2015

    Hey Tom,

    I finally made it by and sorry for being so late.

    I agree with what you’ve shared here actually. So many people purchase course never to even dive into them yet they continue to complain that they’re not doing well. I know so many who have even purchased my course yet never gone through it. It will bring you results but you have to do the work. I can’t do that for you either, I can just help you learn what to do and how to do it.

    I remember a few years back when I was just starting to blog comment a lot. I was so appreciative of the content I was reading and the things I was reading. A good bit of what I was learning from bloggers was much better than some of the courses that I had purchased. It’s actually a shame but we’re told to give everything away for free so that it will entice people into buying from us and then most don’t have anything else of value to teach us.

    Either way, know what it is you want to accomplish and then purchase a course, program of coaching that will help you with that. Learn from them and apply what you’ve learned because everything is a process and you’ll rarely get results overnight. Just give it some time because that’s all we can do really.

    Thanks for sharing this with us and great job on pointing these all out.

    Hope you’re having a good day and take care.


    • Tom

      Reply May 24, 2015

      Great to have you take time to comment again, Adrienne.

      You’re so right about how some people buy courses but don’t do the work involved in making them work. Sometimes, it’s like they think merely buying the course will produce results wanted, right?

      Good alternative point about not giving everything away for free so that you can give customers quality info, not just rehashes of what they’ve already read on your blog. I think a good product on this would be to sell time and personal consultation about how to put that free content into use via Skype or InstantTeleseminar, etc.

      I’ve always tried to give more to my email list members in return for their giving me their email addresses than my readers. I give clients even more in return for their investment. That’s how it should be I think.

      Thanks for joining this conversation, it’s always a pleasure to have your insight.

  • Don Purdum

    Reply June 2, 2015

    Hi Tom,

    This is really a great article and there is a lot to think about. I’m working on creating webinars and a video series product for sale. I plan to launch the webinars soon.

    Your warning signs are perfect! I have heard some real horror stories about online training programs and that’s one reason I’ve held off. However, I decided that is not a good enough reason not to do it.

    I can build it with my own reputation and anyone who reads my blog ahead of time or listens to my podcast will know they are in for a treat. No nonsense, hardcore training that is going to help a business learn what business they are “really” in and how the internet holistically works together to advance a businesses marketing cause.

    You want a guarantee? I’ll give a 60 day money back guarantee IF they can show me their completed homework, a recording of the live webinar and the results they have achieved.

    I think that is pretty fair. Don’t you?

    I really enjoyed this and you gave me a lot to think about as I’m building this program to compliment my higher end products and my lower end priced ebooks.

    Have a great week Tom!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Tom

      Reply June 3, 2015

      Thanks Don.

      Your news that you’re going to be offering your own training is exciting. I think with your know-how and sincerity it’s a good bet that it will be well
      worth the investment.

      Regards guarantee, I think it depends on how long it will take students to start seeing results. Wanting to know how much work your students put into getting the desired results is a good idea because you want to have committed students who are more likely to promote your training.

      Glad you got a lot of points out of this post on which to base your programme. Keep me up-to-date with your programme of training as I’d love to promote it if I can.

  • Don

    Reply June 29, 2015

    Hi Tom-

    This is valuable information and can save us lots of time and money.
    But I think there are different strokes for different folks.
    Meaning that different programs are good for different people.

    I realized that, for me, one-to -one guidance was the most important factor. Some may find other needs paramount.

    At first, it is good to follow a strategy, but I hate cookie-cutter methodology and favor authenticity and creativity. For example, just for fun I wrote a descriptive paragraph of what I do using the 17 most powerful words, as listed in an article. It came out super-spammy.

    Maybe I am wrong, but feel it’s a good idea to strike out on one’s own after becoming grounded in a program’s steps, and come from the individual heart.

    What a course should do, in my opinion, besides giving strategy and technology, is inspire resilience, ingenuity and independence. Unfortunately, very few, or maybe no online training covers both the personal growth/spiritual aspects as well as the other aforementioned.

    I look forward to hearing more from you and present you with this challenge.

    • Tom

      Reply June 29, 2015

      Hi Don,

      You’re spot on with your “different strokes” point - Training has to fit your personal requirements, desired results and also fit your personal learning preferences.

      I’m with you there regarding cookie-cutter methodology. Right with you. I actually wrote a guest post about this on that you might like: .

      You also hit on a brilliant point when you say that any training should become a foundation. Training should give you the tools that first get you to know what you’re doing so you can then use them, adapt them and pick the steps or parts, that suit your desired results.

      I completely agree with you, Don, about a course of training needing to give strategy and technology but also inspire resilience, personal growth. Inspiring people through any training to have the confidence to go forth, as well as the pratical tools and know-how is exactly what I’d love to do. Challenge accepted Don! (Just might take a while but it’s in the pipeline ).

      Thanks for adding such valuable points to this topic, Don. Glad to have you take time to share them.

  • Mark

    Reply October 13, 2015

    Mighty good real world stuff Tom!

    And practically every warning sign you’ve detailed and highlighted, would definitely be a big red flag for me as well!

    For sure we definitely need to continually invest in our education!

    But like your excellent article is pointing out, we definitely need a proven system that helps us separate the wheat from the chaff just like you said!

    And the outstanding checklist you’ve have so generously provided for us, is an excellent start! And a real eye opener!Thanks!

    These extremely important issues, can’t be stressed enough!

    • Tom

      Reply October 14, 2015

      Hi Mark,

      Yes, you’re right, a proven system is vital. Thanks for saying you find this checklist useful. It’s collected from my own experience of not-so-good training. Have you had any no-so-good training experiences you can share perhaps?

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts. It’s great to see you here.

      Cheers, Tom

  • Robin Khokhar

    Reply March 27, 2016

    Hi Tom,
    This is really good. You have shared some amazing points here. Moreover, whenever to buy any tutorial about something, Firstly I check the reputation of that person and his Website and then go for their tutorials. But I think you have shared some tips which are worth using.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Tom

      Reply March 27, 2016

      Hi Robin,

      Your approach to checking out training is a wise one and I’m glad you found some extra tips here to help you.

      - Tom

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