There are many online courses out there to choose from. It seems like every blog you go to, someone is trying to sell you something.
Without this course, your career as a freelance writer will never get off the ground and you will never get to where you want to be, they say.
They guarantee more money and more popularity and it can feel like without their guidance, you’ll be lost in obscurity forever. And obscurity does not make for a successful writing career.
Don’t be overwhelmed. It is easy to fall into the trap of getting so confused by all of the options out there, that you’re scared into inaction.
This is the opposite of what you set out to accomplish. Inaction is the killer of any job, dream or ambition, I dare say even more than toiling in obscurity.
A few weeks ago, I almost let this happen to me. I signed up for several good blogs and got references to several online courses.
However, as I started to learn about one, two more popped up. Like I mentioned above, they were all very tempting; I felt that without them, I would never succeed.
Then the panic set in. There were so many options; too many to make sense of. But I had to choose something because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t succeed.
And if I couldn’t make a choice, then what was the sense of starting? I should just wait until I had more money/until the course opened its doors again/until things fell perfectly into place/until…./until…I almost fell into the trap.
However, I took a deep breath and stepped back.I realized the same five-step process I used could apply to choosing the best course.
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Figure out your budget:
This is the most important step. There are many courses out there with a variety of prices, from $20 all the way up to $2000.
You have to know what you’re able to spend. Take a look at your budget. Don’t let the fear of missing out cause you to spend more than you should.
If you can only spare $30 a month, that’s fine. There are still some good options out there for the price, like this one. It makes no sense to torture yourself with the ‘what if?’ of a $500 course when your budget is $100.
Determine which ones fit your current needs:
The key here is ‘current’. There are online courses that cater to the very beginner who hasn’t registered a domain name, to the established blogger with thousands of subscribers.
There are courses specific to bloggers and there are courses specific to print magazine writers. What are you trying to accomplish?
Take some time and figure that out first, then you’ll have a clearer picture. Don’t purchase a course geared to bloggers with a few years of experience, when you’ve only been blogging for six months. Before purchasing an online course do look if the seller has a professional attractive profile and bio.
Get some feedback:
Many online courses have customer testimonials on their landing pages. Pay attention to them; especially if they have links to the person’s personal website.
Also, those bloggers you admire? Listen to what they recommend. You can also check out writers’ forums, or simply Google the name of the course and see what comes up.
Pick a few that interest you and make comparisons:
So, by now, your list should be a lot smaller. Go ahead and check out what the courses offer. A brief course outline should also be on the course landing page.
If you’re not getting a good idea, ask. Drop the blog owner an email asking for a bit of clarification. Once you have your information, you can really see which courses offer more bang for your buck.
Make your choice with confidence:
Once you’ve completed the above steps, you’re in a good position to make your choice (or choices, if you’ve settled on more than one).
So sign up with confidence! Most courses offer a full refund if you’re dissatisfied, but check to make sure. Once you register, you can take a look around and check out the modules as your final ‘test’.
If you’re pleased, then congrats! You’ve picked a course that suits your needs and should give you the results you’re looking for. Have fun!
See, choosing an online course doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a bit of planning, you can make an informed choice.