Superstar Blogging Review: a Skeptic’s Take on the Travel Blogging Course.
[disclosure: if you sign up for Nomadic Matt’s SuperStar travel blogging course through the links in this Superstar Blogging Review, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you]
Learning how to start a travel blog is trickier than it might seem — and much trickier if your goal is to build a successful travel blog.
First off, it’s a long and hard road to success. In fact, I think that most people probably should not start a travel blog in the first place (for more on my take on this, see my post about the hard truths of travel blogging for beginners). Second, travel blogging combines an incredible amount of skill sets: a great travel blogger needs to be great at choosing great travel blog post topics, writing, marketing, social media management, search-engine-optimization (SEO), photography, videography, website and logo design, among many other required skills (heck, even just picking a cool travel blog name is hard).
Realizing that I possess few of these skills, one of the first things I did after deciding to create a travel blog was to sign up for Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging Business of Blogging course.
Having now completed the course and having been blogging for about six months, I thought I would write up this Superstar Blogging review for those of you who might be considering whether it is worth it to invest in a professional travel blogging course.
Bottom line: I think the Nomadic Matt Superstar Blogging course is absolutely worth the price tag IF you are really serious about building a quality blog. If you are just a casual travel blogger, I would suggest taking a pass on the travel blogging course.
Honestly, I was a huge skeptic of whether the course would prove worth of it’s relatively hefty price tag ($267 if you pay upfront!). I think most of us have been conditioned by the internet age to resist paying for information, and my initial thinking was that I could probably just figure out how to build a travel blog based on finding free content on the internet.
But two things caused me to pull the trigger on buying the course anyway:
But, six months later, I’m quite glad I spent the money and I’d happily spend it again (indeed, I’ll probably soon pay to take one of his other courses on videography, photography, or travel writing).
Nomadic Matt is arguably the most successful travel blogger of all time (edit: check out my interview with him here).
He’s been around for a decade, and he’s managed to build a blogging empire that generates hundreds of thousandths and dollars of income a year.
Matt is the closest thing there is to an expert on travel blogging, and my personal feeling is that if you are going to pay someone to teach you something, you should learn from the best. So if you’re going to take a travel blogging course, might as well take one from one of the top travel bloggers (arguably, the top travel blogger).
But the course definitely is not for everybody. You probably should NOT sign up for this travel blogging course if any of the following is true about you:
If you’re like me, though, and you’re a relatively new or mid-level blogger who is looking to expand your following, I think this course is a worthwhile investment.
While I think there is value for bloggers at all levels, I think it is especially invaluable for those who are relatively new to blogging or just thinking about starting a blog. I started it at the same time that I launched my blog, and I found that the structure of the course is really well designed for those who are looking to go from the conceptual stages through the processing of creating, building, and marketing a blog.
The course is structured over ten weeks. As soon as you sign up, you’ll get access to the first week of material, with a new lesson being available to you each week there after until you’ve completed it (honestly, I wish you got all the content at once, as I’m a fast reader, but Matt insists you’ll absorb it better this way).
The travel blogging course walks you through a dizzying array of topics related to starting, managing, and building a blog, including:
In addition to the ten written weekly lessons, the course gives you access to case studies and interviews with some other highly successful bloggers from different niches. I found these great as a way to get additional and different perspectives on how to grow a travel blog.
You’ll also get access to periodic webinars and conference calls, where you’ll have the chance to ask questions directly of Matt on specific topics (e.g., I recently attending a live webinar on monetization strategies).
You can get a sneak peak at the type of content included in the course by checking out the SuperStar Blogging Course Blog here. The blog is free and open to the public, and the articles give you a taste for the kind of advice you can expect to receive in the course.
Yes. There is lots of free information out there. Some of it is very good. And some of it is truly terrible.
Over the past six months, I’ve read a lot of articles on how to build and run a travel blog. Dozens, maybe hundreds of articles.
The truth is that much of the free stuff out there is outdated, difficult to read, or simply wrong. You’ll have to sift through a lot of bad advice, and it can be hard to know who to trust.
Most importantly, I’ve seen nothing out there that is both free and as comprehensive as the information in the Nomadic Matt travel blogging course. If you care about running a blog right, you don’t just want a surface level series of “5 tips to improve social media engagement” — you want someone to give you a thorough overview of what platforms are really worth your time, how to spend your time, what types of content to post, how to build followers, etc. Matt does that for each of the covered topics.
How am I so confident in this statement? Well, I recently attended the TBEX travel blog conference in Ireland, where over 600 travel bloggers spent two days in workshops and lectures on every topic you can think of related to the travel blog business. A lot of people I met really felt like they gained a lot of knowledge at the conference. But, while I do feel like you should go to TBEX for other reasons, the truth is that I felt like Superstar Blogging had already given me most of that information — and more — already.
The Superstar Business of Blogging course isn’t just valuable for the lesson, material though, as there are a bunch of other features that really improve the experience.
First, you get an almost shocking amount of personalized assistance from Matt and his team. One of the homework assignments in the course involves Matt himself providing feedback on a draft post to you — which is pretty valuable considering the demand for his services nowadays.
Moreover, Matt has a tech guy who is available to assist with the technical issues of starting a blog. He even fixed my site after I managed to totally crash it a month into blogging!
Second, you get access to the Business of Blogging Facebook Group – a private group available only to students in the course. Arguably, this group is the greatest thing about joining the course. People post all sorts of questions here and get advice from other members (including some big name bloggers and Matt’s team). Matt himself often answers questions on here and even encourages you to tag him in posts so that you’ll get a direct response. And, more so than other Facebook blogger groups I’ve seen, it generates a LOT of genuine collaboration between its participants. I’ve even made “in real life” friends through the group.
Third, you get access to additional exclusive articles, weekly newsletters, and other informative tips and articles that Matt and his crew write solely for course members.
In short, the course isn’t just an information product — it’s a community that you join, and one that is invested in each other’s success.
Bottom Line Superstar Blogging Review: If you are truly committed to starting a travel blog, you’re going to have to invest a lot of time and money in it. I think that in the long run the course saves you on both fronts by making it easier to cut through the noise and focus on what matters for growing your travel blog.
You can sign up for the Buisness of Blogging course here. As I mentioned in the disclosure at the beginning, if you sign up for the travel blog course after clicking a link on this page, I’ll get a small commission (through something called affiliate sales, which you’ll learn all about in the course!). You don’t have to sign up through me, but if you’re doing it anyway it won’t cost you anything more and will help me keep this blog going.
Oh, and if you’re a new blogger, be sure to sign up for my newsletter below and I’ll send you some insider tips for how to start a successful blog (including links to 7 secret Facebook groups that can help supercharge your blogging experience!):
Questions? Comments? Want to share your own Superstar Blogging Review? Let me know in the comments or feel free to contact me directly. I’m more than happy to help.
Nate Hake has traveled to 65+ countries across six continents around the world and blogs about his travels at TravelLemming.com. He is from Denver, Colorado, and recently concluded a six month stint living in Mexico.