I know I talk about blogging A LOT. But there's a reason for it, and that's because blogging has been a lifeline for me.
You know how some people know what they want to do from a very young age? Yeah, that wasn't me. I thought about being a teacher, flight attendant, artist, secretary, and model (really?) — but I didn't have a strong pull in any one direction. Even when I got to high school, I was still clueless about what career path to take. All I knew for sure was that I'd attend college and hopefully earn at least $30K a year!
My College Years
I started my college journey off at Austin Community College, where I took my core classes and many sociology and psychology classes. When I transferred to the University of Texas, I planned on getting my Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. But the universe had a different plan for me, as my application to the school of social work was rejected. I didn't want to wait another year to apply, as I had already been in college for four years! So, I decided to major in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Sociology.
After graduation, I applied for some entry-level positions, but the pay was pitiful. I earned way more money waitressing, so I decided that was a better option. After some soul searching and a two-month hiatus in Europe, I decided to apply to nursing school.
I initially thought I wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse. But, after my L&D rotation in school, and crying after each baby was born, I decided to do pediatrics instead. When I graduated from nursing school, I started working the graveyard shift as a medical/surgical and trauma nurse at the Children's Hospital.
Working as a Nurse
During this time, I saw terrible cases of neglect and abuse. I cared for children with life-threatening diseases, and I had seven children almost die in my hands. Just writing this, I get teary-eyed.
To say it was stressful and emotionally challenging is an understatement. After a year of sleepless days and many panic attacks later, I decided to try another avenue within the nursing field.
I started working in the insurance industry, on the Medicaid contract. This desk job was a welcome and much-needed break from the hospital. But, this position required me to be on the phone for the majority of the day, which was exhausting.
Providers and nurses would yell at me because I couldn't approve their services. And the majority of the nurses that worked in this department were disgruntled and unhappy, which made for a very toxic work environment.
Within a couple of years, I was burnt out again.
Over the next few years, I tried my hand at medical record review and pharmaceutical research. But I was never fulfilled in my nursing career. I wanted to leave the field, but I had no clue what to do, and I didn't want to go back to school.
The Birth of My Daughter
When my daughter was born, I knew that I wanted to spend every minute I could with her, so I happily quit my nursing job. I saved as much money as I could during my last nine months of employment. But sadly, what I thought would last me a couple of years was gone in eight short months. It was at this time I started looking for work-at-home jobs.
I had NO CLUE what to do, all I knew was, I didn't want to return to the nursing field, ever!
Freelancing From Home
I searched online every single day — but my searches only revealed scams, marketing schemes, and poorly done websites. So, I asked friends and past employers if there was any work that I could do for them from my home. My efforts eventually paid off, and I started working ten hours a week from home doing marketing research.
Even though I had money coming in, I was still thinking about the future of my career. You see, my husband and I agreed I'd take five years off to be at home with our daughter. But once she started school, I would need to start working full-time again.
Starting a Blog
It was a combination of my job search and my cluelessness of what to do with my life that gave me the idea for my blog. I started blogging in 2009, and I made my first my first sale two months later. My initial goal was to earn $500 to $700 a month with my blog. Each year my blogging income grew, but only by 20 to 30 percent. So, even though my blog was making money, I still had to work my part-time marketing gig.
When my daughter went off to kindergarten, I wanted to focus all my time and energy on my blog (because this is what I LOVED), but I had trouble gaining the traction that I needed to make it my full-time career. So, I started freelancing more hours. Over the years, I read a lot of blogging books and courses, and I even hired a business coach and joined a writing group — but my blog continued to grow at a snail's pace.
In early 2014, I purchased Ruth Soukup's book, How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul. It was the first book that I had read in a LONG time that had some real meaty information that I was able to apply to my blog. In fact, I re-read the book several times that year. Later on that year, Ruth released a blogging course called Elite Blog Academy. I knew that Ruth shared amazing content, because I had read her book, and as a blogger who earns seven figures each year from her blog, she obviously knows what she's doing! Even though the course was expensive, I signed up and made it my goal to earn enough from my blog to be able to quit my freelancing gig.
Within two months, I was able to increase my traffic by 66 percent. And from there, it kept going up and up. In one year, I was able to increase my blogging income by 150 percent, which allowed me to quit my freelance marketing job. For the last seven years, I've earned a full-time income from blogging.
Elite Blog Academy gave me a detailed roadmap and the clarity on how to take my blog to the next level. Something that I couldn't figure out on my own. But besides the monetary gains, it gave me complete freedom over my time and my career. I've finally found my dream job, which is a fantastic feeling!
I LOVE what I do, so much so that it never even seems like work! When I think back to my nursing days and how miserable I was, I feel like I need to pinch myself.
Do you want to earn a full-time blogging income? Are you wondering if Elite Blog Academy 4.0 is for you?
Here's what you need to know.
What is Elite Blog Academy?
Elite Blog Academy is a complete blogging course that gives you a comprehensive framework for success, starting with how to refine your message, grow your audience, monetize your platform, and finally build your business. The course itself contains four modules, 12 units, and 36 assignments that include videos, slideshow presentations, and handouts. Each module builds on the previous lessons, and together the modules will give you a clear, comprehensive framework for creating a successful and profitable blog.
The thing that I like about EBA is that every couple of years, Ruth completely updates the whole program to reflect what's going on in the digital space. So, when you purchase EBA, you get lifetime access and updates for life.
You'll also receive access to the private EBA Facebook Group — which is a great place to ask questions, get advice, and find an accountability partner. Now, you may be wondering how much access you'll have to Ruth herself, and the answer is not a lot. She pops in occasionally for Facebook Lives, but much of the communication done within the group is through her team.
With your purchase, you'll also receive a bunch of free bonuses from past EBA students and sponsors:
- 5 Simple Ways to Start Troubleshooting WordPress – Agathon
- Analytic Genius – Joann Crohn
- Jumpstart Your Virtual Assistant Business – Gina Horkey
- Impact – Faith Hawks
- How to Create a Welcome Video for Your Home Page – Abby Rike
- Write Like a Pro – Becky Kopitzke
- Canva Cheat Sheet: Blog Graphics Made Easy – Courtney Johnson
- Creating Printables: Quick Start Guide – Amber Fox
- Lead Magnet Success – Tracy Lynn Shugerts
- SEO Playbook for Bloggers – Nikki Robinson
- Blogger to Overnight Rockstar – Susie Moore
- List Love Quick Start – Jennifer Maker
- Simple Pin Collective Membership – Kate Ahl
- Lead Magnet Success – Tracy Lynn Shugerts
- Pin Practical Promotions Primer – Monica Froese
- Lead Magnet Success – Tracy Lynn Shugerts
- Canvas Gadget – Julie Varner
- Tripwire 101 for Bloggers – Saira Perl
Who is the Course Taught By?
Elite Blog Academy is taught by seven-figure blogger and business owner, Ruth Soukup. Her personal finance blog, Living Well Spending Less, receives more than a million visitors a month. Having met her in person, I can tell you firsthand that she's incredibly passionate about helping other bloggers achieve massive success. I got so much out of Elite Blog Academy that in 2016 I joined EBA VIP, which is a mastermind group for advanced bloggers.
If you would like to get a taste of Ruth's teaching style, you can check out some of her free blogging resources:
- 7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight
- 120 Awesome Blog Post Ideas
- The Secret Blueprint for Blogging Success
Is Elite Blog Academy Worth the Price?
When I took Elite Blog Academy back in 2014, I believe I paid $500 for version 1.0 of the course. And let me tell you, I was hesitant about the investment. But two months into the course, I was already seeing results. Before taking Elite Blog Academy, I was only earning $21,000 a year from my blog, and now I'm making six-figures a year, more than I ever made as a nurse.
EBA was a game-changer for me, and I don't know where I'd be without it. But, if you're going to invest the money in EBA, you have to commit to doing the work. I also suggest checking out this testimonial page to see what other bloggers are saying about the course.
How Much is Elite Blog Academy 4.0?
This year, there are three tiers which you can choose from:
- Silver is $1,097 or 4 monthly payments of $297
- Gold is $1,597 or 5 monthly payments of $377 (additional courses and live training)
- Platinum is $4,997 or 6 payments of $947 (guided study, weekly meetings, and in-person training with Ruth)
If you're not good at seeing things through, I'd recommend the platinum option or not purchasing at all. With the platinum option, you'll have a syllabus with due dates, weekly group meetings, and a one-day in-person meeting with Ruth. To keep the group small and manageable, there are a limited number of slots for the platinum plan.
Who Would Benefit from This Course?
This course is good for beginners and intermediate bloggers who are looking to grow, and who need help with increasing traffic and income. This course starts with the premise that you already have a blog and understand the basics of blogging. If you don't have a blog yet and you're ambitious, there are step-by-step instructions here.
Are There Any Guarantees?
Yes, but it's not the type of thing that you can purchase and take a quick peek to see if it's right for you. You'll have to complete the course, and then if you DON'T see measurable results in both traffic and income growth, Ruth will give you a full refund.
Here's the small print:
“In order to be eligible for a refund for our full course, Elite Blog Academy 4.0, you must submit your completed homework for all 36 assignments 365 days from your start date. You can send your fully completed assignments to [email protected] This should include screenshots of your before and after blog design, analytics, and income reports.”
I'm an affiliate for EBA, but that's because I've taken it, and it's helped me tremendously on my blogging journey. It may be a good fit for you too — but only you can decide.
If you have questions about the course, feel free to send me an email at holly<at>theworkathomewoman.com — I'm more than happy to answer your questions honestly.
You'll Also Love These Posts:
Studies have shown if you like this blog post — you will also love the following articles.
- Best Blogging Courses to Supercharge Your Blog's Income
- How to Start a Blog and Make Money Blogging
- How to REALLY Make Money Blogging – Interview with Ruth Soukup
Originally published on February 7, 2016. Content updated on March 2, 2020.
Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher and founder of The Work at Home Woman, which has been helping individuals find remote careers and businesses that feed their souls since 2009. Through her unconventional career path of holding over 30 jobs and obtaining two college degrees, she's been able to figure out how to find a career path that you're truly passionate about. Holly's had the pleasure of sharing her expertise on sites like CNN, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Woman's Day Magazine, as well as being recognized by Forbes as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career.” Holly resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.
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