Elite Blog Academy: The Truth Behind The Fluff
Here at Twins Dish we value insider perspectives that we feel benefit the consumer. The following review by our guest contributor, Ellie, is important in providing a balanced view of two of the most popular blogging courses out there as well as telling you what you need to know before purchasing them.
If you’re a blogger, especially a beginner, probably one of the most agonizing decisions you’re faced with is which blogging course to purchase and whether or not to purchase one at all.
Given the investment of both time and money it’s a pretty big deal, especially if you’re already strapped for both.
I know, I was in your shoes.
I’m here to tell you what it’s REALLY like once you find the money to snag that “Willy Wonka” golden ticket into the most popular blogging course on the market, Elite Blog Academy (EBA) and how it can make or BREAK your blogging career.
These are useful details that both current AND potential Elite Blog Academy students both can benefit from.
I’ll also share surprising insight I gleaned from alumni about another blogging course they took that they attribute their success to just as much but seldom admit to openly, and do a course comparison including my website analytics from before and after I took both courses.
By the end of this post I hope you’re left with the truth, insight, and knowledge you need to easily make the decision of what’s best for you personally and for your blogging career goals.
This is the same advice I would give to my Grandmother or closest friends.
This is a review like no other, and it’s an in depth one, but it could save you a ton of time and money.
Bookmark and pin this to refer back to later and definitely share it if you think it will help anyone struggling with the same decision.
*This post may contain affiliate links. To read our full disclosure policy click here.
Elite Blog Academy (EBA) by Ruth Soukup
You’ve seen the advertisements and read the glowing reviews:
“I made 5 figures a month in a year!”
“…a step by step proven framework for creating a successful, profitable, blog.”
“You’ll make up the cost of EBA in a few months.”
Maybe you decided to sign up for their free promotional bootcamp where you were love bombed and star struck by all of the biggest names in blogging actually taking the time out to answer YOUR questions.
With all of your favorite and most successful bloggers having taken the course, and droves of others eagerly signing up, by the end you may have felt that you’ll be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime if you don’t click that purchase button.
By the end of the bootcamp Ruth might as well have been selling Golden Tickets to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
I absolutely had to have one even though it was way more money than I was prepared to spend so I went ahead, took the leap of faith, and purchased the course.
Was EBA really worth the $1,050 price tag?
The following is an honest and candid firsthand account of my EBA experience. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
I separated the review into the following sections:
- Refund Policy-How To Get One
- The Problem With The Refund Policy
- When You Can Really Purchase EBA
- The Course Format
- The EBA Facebook Group
- Customer Service
- What EBA Does Not Teach You (what other courses you’ll still need to buy)
- Who EBA Was Originally Created For
- The Truth About Ruth’s Student Success Stories
- How EBA Affected My Blogging Career–includes pics of my analytics before and after
- The Big Discovery–surprising insight I learned from alumni and students about another course they took called Dare To Conquer that they attribute their success to just as much
- A review and comparison of Dare To Conquer and my analytics after I started taking it.
As of 2018 EBA costs $897 for the basic Silver package, $1,197 for the Gold, and $1,997 for the platinum.
Once you purchase the course, you have access to it for life unless you get a refund. My experience is based on the Silver package.
You also have the option of paying 3 monthly installments of $350 for the Silver package which comes out to $1,050. That’s what I did.
However if you choose the installment plan you will only have access to the first 3 units of the 12 unit course until you pay off the full $1,050. So for the first 3 months you can only access units 1-3.
Refund Policy- How To Get One
Here’s the trick to getting a refund…
- You can get a full refund no questions asked 180 days (which is about 6 months) from the date of purchase.
- You have to complete the coursework and send it in by the deadline. By coursework they mean the written worksheets you have to fill out for each unit.
- You also have to show a screen shot of your blog before EBA and one after as well as before and after screenshots of your google analytics.
You don’t have to submit anything else.
Although she does make recommendations to hit a certain number of subscribers in the course and purchase ads, showing proof of that is not required, only the coursework and the before and after images.
The coursework and your site won’t be judged on how good it is, you just have to prove that you did the written course work and implemented some changes to your blog.
The Problem With The Refund Policy
Ruth and her super star alumni like Rosemarie Groner repeatedly stress that students usually take 9 months to complete the course successfully, yet her refund only gives you 6 months.
She also encourages you repeatedly through out the course to take your time and even recommends repeating steps and units in the course.
In my case if you are using the payment plan, for the first 3 months you only have access to the first 3 units of the 12 unit course so you’d have to finish the remaining 9 units in 3 months to make the refund deadline.
If you have a job, kids, and a husband that might be tough to do.
The only student who will finish this course in 6 months is someone who already has an up and running blog when they start EBA.
I submitted my coursework for a refund to the day, but the design of the course and a few more issues I’ll get into, makes it easy for beginners to get hung up on certain units for weeks or even months if they’re not careful.
A little tip to make a refund easier if you choose to get one: write on the digital PDF files to fill out the worksheets (don’t forget to click SAVE).
Ruth suggests printing the worksheets out and putting them in a binder, but that will cost you an ink cartridge or two and make a refund a lot more work to do.
I don’t know if that was her intention but having to scan in all of your worksheets to get a refund will definitely be an extra hassle.
EBA Doesn’t Only Open Up Once A Year
This one really stung me.
Although it’s advertised as being open only once a year, you WILL have several chances to purchase it throughout the year with secret sales and special offers.
I saw opportunities to join again in April, May, July, August, September, and even November.
Just be sure to put your name on the wait list and sign up for any of Ruth’s free web series or online bootcamps because she usually sells the EBA course at the end. She also sends out newsletter alerts for secret sales.
The Course Format
Text and Worksheets
There are downloadable PDF files of worksheets and texts to read for each of the 12 units.
The text contains a couple of pictorials on how to do certain tasks in Google and Facebook but not many.
The structure is more like a college course but without a professor or even a tutor.
The issue with this is I found it easy to get so wrapped up filling out the worksheets that when it was time to apply it to my blog, I was exhausted.
Along with the files, you get 9-15 minute scripted videos of Ruth dressed up nice, looking at the camera, and giving an overview of each unit.
Most of what she says in the video is a repeat of the text in the PDF files with limited elaboration.
There’s also a question and answer video for each unit that you’re advised to watch.
The videos are geared more towards Ruth’s corporate image and brand identity than teaching.
There are no instructional videos showing you HOW to do anything other than maybe setting up ads and even that was out of date.
Many students ended up relying on Youtube to learn how to do what Ruth was telling them to.
The most helpful videos are in unit 5 when you get access to the bonus page, which is a collection of mini courses from other pro bloggers on select topics.
This was my favorite part because the bonus courses included videos actually showing you how to do things. It was like giving food to the starving.
These freebies were unlocked way too late in the course.
She should’ve slowly dripped them each all throughout the course according to what was being taught in each unit.
Keep in mind most of the freebies are “light versions” meaning you only get access to the first half of the course and will need to purchase the rest.
Even so, some were still helpful particularly Jennifer Maker’s List Love course and Kate Ahl’s Pinning video, but even Kate Ahl’s video didn’t give you the nitty gritty of pinning such as how to pin, when to pin, how to determine how many times to pin, how to best choose your keywords for Pinterest etc.
The lack of instructional videos by Ruth may not be intentional. She’s had pinning, graphic, tech, and editorial teams for years who do those things for her.
Blogging is so much more complicated and expensive than it was when Ruth did it herself, that she may not be in touch with the process anymore.
Ruth’s motto seems to be if you aren’t good at something, hire someone else to do it for you which is good advice for an established blogger who is already making some money but not at all realistic or practical for many of the beginners she markets this course to.
The EBA Facebook Group
There is a private EBA Facebook group to answer any questions you have about the course, and help you with the course work, but don’t expect a whole lot of help from it.
The love bombing you receive in the Facebook group during the free Blogging Bootcamp, is in stark contrast to the attention you receive from Ruth and her alumni cast after you purchase EBA, with a few exceptions.
Other than EBA alumni affiliates like Caroline Vencil, Jennifer Maker, and Grayson Bell popping in every once in a while to respond to select questions, Ruth was gone and even if I tagged her in Facebook comments and emailed her, I still wouldn’t get a response.
There is no teacher, you’re pretty much on your own.
The Facebook group felt at times like the blind leading the blind with many beginning students trying to help others while still needing help themselves.
Once you purchase EBA, the only contact you’ll have with Ruth Soukup is once a week (if she doesn’t cancel it or put in a substitute) during an hour long Facebook live session.
While she tries to answer as many questions as she can, if you need further clarification you may not get it because of the number of students also asking questions and the lag time on Facebook.
If you choose to post your questions in the Facebook group be prepared to wait hours, days, or indefinitely before you finally get a response from anyone who can help.
I had to wait days for an answer to a question as simple as how to write a disclaimer for my blog.
The comments I did get were “copy it from other blogs” or “My friend is offering a course on how to write disclaimers, use my referral code and get 20% off”, or “I was wondering the same thing myself”.
Due to the format of Facebook, the group was a random collection of different people’s questions.
You’ll have a bunch of students posting a tip or trick they found useful in unit 8 while others are still on unit 3.
For many, it became more of a distraction than a help seeing people posting tips about units they hadn’t even reached yet. Not to mention seeing people so much further in the course than they were.
Morale on Facebook took a dive and by the end of my time there most students were using the Facebook group to post their frustrations about the lack of growth with their blog.
The overall feeling in that group was abandonment.
Again Ruth’s star alumni students tried to pick up the slack by offering their own Facebook groups that were niched for specific topics like email list, affiliates, etc. Jennifer Maker has a List Love Facebook Group, Caroline Vencil’s is geared towards affiliate marketing, Grayson Bell’s was tech support and website building.
But you DO NOT NEED TO PURCHASE EBA TO JOIN THESE GROUPS.
The sales representative I purchased EBA from was not so nice.
I seemed to have triggered her when I asked about the refund policy. She cut me off and insisted less than 1% of people ask for refunds.
Once I purchased EBA customer service was also a bit difficult to get a hold of after the first few months, even through email.
I finally found success tagging the administrator and customer service representative, Maggie, in posts in the Facebook Group along with Ruth’s name to get their attention.
If you email [email protected] , which is the email listed, they may never get back to you at all.
Although they are hard to get a hold of, when I did get a hold of them, particularly Maggie, she was really polite and not mean at all.
I had a billing issue where the address didn’t match the card on file (my mistake) and Maggie didn’t get impatient or annoyed.
If you want to get a refund you may need to be persistent.
I had to email three different email addresses and wait a month to get a refund. The only reason I got a response was because I finally got so anxious waiting, I threw up a prayer and posted a provocative comment in the Facebook group that someone tagged me and Maggie in to complain about (the comment wasn’t that bad and I immediately told the woman why I did it. We’re fine now)..otherwise I may still be waiting.
Ironically enough on my 3rd week of waiting for my refund, Ruth released a podcast episode on “How To Rock Your Customer Service.”
EBA Isn’t The Only Course You’ll Need To Take
EBA will not give you everything you need to create a profitable blog.
You will still need to purchase additional courses for crucial topics EBA does NOT cover.
What EBA Does NOT Teach You
It Doesn’t Teach You What Niche To Choose And How To Select Popular Content
EBA instructs you to put a lot of time, money, and energy into designing your blog early on before you have a chance to test out your niche and content or even find your audience.
Your niche is basically what your blog is about.
Ask ANY blogger and they’ll tell you that it’s the foundation of your blog and a determining factor in how fast your blog can grow, how it can most easily be monetized, and dictates your content.
Some blog niches have bigger audiences than others and will affect everything including your SEO.
Even Ruth benefited from choosing the right niche.
She often talks about how her blog was catapulted into success by the popularity of the tv show Extreme Couponing.
She happened to be blogging about saving money and couponing when the show turned it into a hot search topic.
Had Ruth picked a different niche, let’s say reptiles, she may not have reached the level of success that she has today as quickly.
There was an element of luck to her initial success.
EBA doesn’t teach you exactly how to pick a niche that’s in alignment with your growth goals. It also doesn’t teach you how to select post topics in that niche that you know people are searching for (yes there IS a way).
This will help you determine what post topics to write that will rank on google and be popular on social media.
For a beginning blogger, not learning this is like taking a shot in the dark hoping you’ll get lucky.
Can you imagine writing 25 blog posts, and spending hundreds on designing and marketing your blog only to have to start all over because you picked a niche that doesn’t have a huge audience and post topics that no one was searching for?
I’ve witnessed that happen to several EBA students, some had to change their blog multiple times.
Considering a lot of EBA students are already spending money, time, and energy they don’t really have on the course, pouring more into the wrong niche and content could kill their chance at a blogging career. EBA instructs you to do this before you even have a chance to test out your content and get it out there infront of an audience to see if it’s connecting with people.
Although the design of your blog is important, perfecting it in the beginning is an absolute waste of time!
Your time is better spent creating content and getting it out there so you can see how people react to it and who your audience is.
How To Get Traffic To Your Blog
You won’t really learn how to drive traffic to your site. For some people telling their friends or sharing it with their church group is not an option, which leaves you with close to nothing because…
EBA Doesn’t Teach You A Pinning Strategy
Although there is a Pinterest freebie course that’s unlocked in Unit 5, it’s more so a video from Kate Ahl that gives you tips but it does NOT provide a pinning strategy or go in depth on how to select keywords.
You won’t learn when to pin, where to pin, how often to pin, what to pin, how to select board titles, etc. You have to figure that out on your own or purchase another course.
Pinterest is one of the main methods new bloggers rely on to start getting traffic so its important.
There is a Tailwind course taught by someone else in the freebies but it’s more so an introduction and doesn’t really go in depth either.
No SEO (search engine optimization) Strategy
Other than loosely telling you how to prep each post for Google, she doesn’t really dive into SEO, so you will be needing a supplemental course for that.
She doesn’t teach you how to use and select good keywords that people are actively searching for and how to get your posts ranking on google searches.
As I said earlier, her blog Living Well Spending Less got a huge SEO boost from the show Extreme Couponing which made couponing a popular search topic. It was also MUCH easier to rank back then so she may not know how to get to the top of Google today on her own.
SEO is the other main method ALL bloggers rely on for traffic, so it’s very important especially for passive income.
Doesn’t Teach You How to set up your blog
EBA recommends having webhosting and a domain name set up before starting the course which is pretty common among beginning blogging courses.
There is an EBA alumni and WordPress expert, Grayson Bell, available for tech support questions in the EBA Facebook group.
He also has his own Facebook group and you do not need to be a member of EBA to join it.
Grayson was a big benefit and one of the best things about the EBA Facebook group.
You’ll Need Additional Services and Products
Other than the cost of EBA and web hosting, students are strongly advised to purchase additional products and services to help with the design, functionality, and growth of their blog.
Tuition and hosting is not the only cost you’ll incur from this course. A big chunk of Ruth’s growth strategy involves spending money to make money with ads and other services which isn’t realistic for the beginning bloggers she’s marketing this course to.
EBA Was Originally Created for Established Bloggers Not Beginners
I finally found a likely explanation for the lack of foundation building, support, and heavy emphasis on website design early on in the course curriculum.
I talked to alumni who told me EBA was originally designed for intermediate to top level bloggers, then later Ruth opened enrollment to beginners.
It’s apparent not only in the name, Elite Blog Academy, but also in the last 3-4 units of the coursework which focus on hiring employees and corporate strategy.
Once I heard this bit of information, some of the issues I had with the course all made sense.
This isn’t the course for beginners to get up and running and making money as fast as possible.
It’s for those already making money to make even more.
Many of The Student Successes Already Had Prior Experience
Whenever you see a glowing success story by an EBA alumni, take a look at their past experience.
Ruth’s successful students, who have made a lot of money after taking EBA already had a background in web based businesses or HEAVILY researched blogging before taking it.
Jennifer Maker for example was an author, beta tested for AOL, and already had an email list for websites and books she had launched long before taking EBA.
Caroline Vencil took another course DIRECTLY after EBA before she launched to success but doesn’t promote it or talk about it much (I’ll let you in on it soon).
Rose Marie Groner thoroughly researched blogging and took other blogging courses.
Grace Moser of Chasing Foxes had a husband who thoroughly researched blogging, knew a web designer, and she took additional courses that helped her succeed.
What EBA DOES Teach You
EBA’s strong point isn’t helping the beginning blogger generate their first sustainable income, it’s more so helping an existing blog go corporate with a long term business plan, brand identity, and growth strategy. Which are all very helpful in the long run but not so much in the beginning.
You’ll work at redesigning your blog, pins, and even posts to reflect your audience and brand identity. EBA teaches you how to make and aggressively push your own products according to what your audience needs and how to determine when and how to hire employees. Simply put, this a business marketing meets corporate strategy course.
Two words: SALES TACTICS. Ruth is PASSIONATE about selling products and all that it entails.
She’ll give you the exact email sequences, templates, timelines, and methods she uses to build excitement and urgency for product launches. If you want a taste of it then just sign up to any of her lists and pay attention to her email sequence when a new product of hers rolls out. I can tell she’s read just about every marketing book out there with research on what’s behind people’s buying habits.
She’s an expert at hitting people’s pain points and appealing to them in an emotional way so that they click that buy button as if their lives depended on it.
You know that Willy Wonka Golden Ticket feeling? Those are her sales tactics at work.
Ruth is such a whiz at selling you on a course and image that if her product doesn’t help you, you’ll blame your spouse, kids, life, and yourself before you will her course.
It takes expert level voodoo mind tricking to do that, and it actually works. Her whole course is one big tantalizing sales funnel into other products and courses of hers and her affiliates.
Her affiliate program is so attractive (40% of $897-$1,997) that it gives alumni a major incentive to enthusiastically sell her course.
This is probably why most alumni swear you’ll make the money back from EBA shortly after you finish. It just takes 3 people to purchase EBA through your affiliate link to make back your tuition.
If you’re lucky enough to be chosen as an EBA success story she’ll not only promote you ad nauseam on her website, but if you created a course about a topic in blogging that Ruth doesn’t cover in EBA, then she’ll add a portion of it to the EBA freebies students get in the middle of the course.
Ruth is like the Avon lady of blogging.
Newsletters and E Mail Lists
Since it goes along with selling products, Ruth is super passionate about newsletters and building an email list as well.
She includes templates for writing your newsletters and her sample sequences.
She also tells you how to promote your newsletter on your website and gives you opt in ideas (which is the freebie you give potential followers in order to get them to sign up for your newsletter).
Although she covers newsletters pretty well, when it comes to actually enticing people to sign up, the best tips came from Jennifer Makers List Love email course that was included in the EBA bonuses and unlocked in unit 5.
Jennifer goes into way more detail on how to choose great opt ins that people can’t resist.
How to write blog posts
EBA does go in depth with step by step instruction on how to structure a blog post.
Ruth even trademarked the name of the method she uses (FOCUS) to teach you how to write your posts.
Ruth makes you write a post section by section in your workbook to notice the structure.
She also gave post topic ideas, but I found her method a bit overly complex and I still can’t remember what the acronym FOCUS stands for.
It was a good exercise but when I wrote for my college newspaper we used the same technique. I also found VERY similar information on Yoast and Google’s Blogs.
You will learn some design aspects of making pins more attractive including what type of images to look for as well as some tips on picking pictures, colors and fonts to create brand identity.
This was one of the few pictorials in the text that actually showed you how to do something.
You also get some direction on alt text for pins and pin descriptions, although the information given is standard and generic.
She doesn’t show you how to choose your keywords, she just tells you what to do.
I believe Ruth did an injustice to the students and her course by marketing it to beginners.
If a course isn’t going to cover building your blog’s foundation, a pinterest and seo strategy, and have instructional videos, then it should atleast have an instructor available to answer questions.
EBA has none of those things. EBA provides a FRAMEWORK not a FOUNDATION…for $1,000 I expected a solid foundation.
The limited direction and support it provides along with the high price tag and extra costs could easily swamp a beginner.
How EBA Affected My Blogging Career
Before I began EBA, I built a website over the course of 6 months and wrote around 5 posts.
After the first 2 pins I ever made got over 1400 page views in 2 nights with only 40 followers, I decided to take blogging seriously, live off of savings for the next 8 months, and invest in a blogging course. Here’s my analytics from right before I started EBA:
So I signed up for Elite Blog Academy’s Free 6 Day Blogger Bootcamp.
By the end of the Bootcamp I felt EBA must be the gold standard of blogging courses since all of the best bloggers were touting it as the secret to their success.
Eventhough I found another course I liked that was only $299, there weren’t any other big bloggers pushing it so I figured EBA must be the best.
I purchased EBA that night.
I wanted to give it the best shot possible so I followed everything Ruth said.
Eventhough I was fresh off of my success of 1400 pageviews in 2 days, at Ruth’s direction, I stopped pinning until I was instructed to do so in the course.
Instead of putting up new pins while Pinterest’s algorithms were favoring me, I was doing things like picking out a tagline, perfecting my site design (which was already pretty good), color scheme, logo, and writing 10-20 blog posts.
It wasn’t until 4 months later that I got to the unit that tells us to begin promoting our site. By that time Pinterest had made an algorithm change and because my site was stagnate, my viewership took a dive.
I was pinning like crazy but Pinterest wasn’t even showing my pins to anybody.
That initial luck I had in getting 1400 pageviews overnight vanished.
Ofcourse EBA provided NO pinning strategy to help me regain any of the momentum I lost.
Instead it stressed the importance of building my email list, but how could I build my email list when I have no means of bringing traffic to my site?
I liken that approach to finding out you’re pregnant and buying clothes for when the embryo is a teenager before you even know the sex or if it’s going to even make it to term. EBA doesn’t teach you the prenatal care details needed to grow that embryo into a healthy baby or even a kid.
The course more so focuses on what to do in the advanced stages of your blog.
Her course is very cult like. Ruth asks that you blindly put all of your trust, faith, and money in what she says and one day miraculously it’ll all come together…and for me it never did.
Her answer to dissatisfied students who were not seeing any growth, “Go back and retake units 1-2 again, you’re missing something, refine your message”, but it wasn’t them that was missing something, it was her course.
So there I was 5 1/2 months after starting EBA. I only had 2 months more of savings left and my blog numbers since beginning EBA dropped drastically and were not returning. Here’s my analytics after EBA:
The Big Discovery
I noticed many other students stuck on Unit 3 grew weary and went on a hunt for another course to purchase to help them.
I decided to follow them right on over to Caroline Vencil’s Facebook group page where they were discussing blogging courses.
What I found out from students and alumni shocked me.
Many of the famous and successful EBA alumni bloggers didn’t only take EBA. The truth is they also took other courses that they attribute their success to just as much.
In fact EVERY EBA student I spoke to who was making atleast $2,000 a month on a 6 month old blog (there were quite a few) attributed their success to another course.
They told me that EBA is good for long term success and growth but if I wanted to get a rocket launcher to making an income as a beginner, they highly recommended a course called The Billionaire Blog Club (BBC, now known as Dare To Conquer) by Paul Scrivens.
It was the same course I was considering in the beginning but didn’t purchase because none of the big time bloggers were promoting it.
I confirmed it with Caroline Vencil, one of EBA’s superstar alumni, who told me she also took Billionaire Blog Club right after EBA when she first started.
I asked her point blank if EBA was better than BBC, she wouldn’t say but did tell me, “If you want an accessible teacher, Scrivens will never leave you hanging”.
As soon as I got my refund from EBA I flew over to BBC like all the other desperate students.
To give you a bit of background on Paul Scrivens, he started his career as a head hunter then built a successful web designing company so he knows his way around html and you can definitely tell.
The whole course is designed in a way that optimizes speed and efficiency with no fluff.
He also built and runs over 10 successful blogs in all niches.
It didn’t take long for me to realize why people said this was a rocket booster to get you up and making an income as fast as possible.
It wasn’t until after I joined BBC that I realized all that was lacking with EBA.
From the moment I first emailed Paul Scrivens, the creator of Dare To Conquer (BBC), I immediately noticed a huge difference. He not only personally answered me back lightening quick but showed me something I hadn’t encountered before, a human touch.
He was honest, responsive, straightforward, and compassionate.
He said if I don’t have the money to spend on his course then not to worry, “I won’t leave you hanging”.
Scrivens takes care of a lot of the correspondence but also has an assistant (MaryBeth) who handles administrative tasks, moderates the DTC community, and answers questions.
She’s so efficient that I at first thought she was a bot of some kind.
I didn’t feel like a bother asking questions and didn’t have to wait days or weeks for a response like I did in EBA.
MaryBeth immediately personally emailed me welcoming me in and helped me get set up in the DTC community.
The process was fast and easy.
Slack Community Instead of Facebook
Dare To Conquer’s version of EBA’s Facebook community is Slack. It has an organized, streamlined group chatroom format.
There’s a main screen where you see everybody’s messages in the current chatroom you’re in, then on the left is a list of other chatrooms on different topics.
To discuss Pinterest go in the Pinterest chatroom, for questions about SEO go in the SEO chatroom, if you want to see the progress other students are making go in the “Wins” chatroom where students talk about their successes.
You can also personally message anyone in the Slack community.
It’s not a random collection of questions about a ton of different topics like it is in EBA’s Facebook group, although there is a Random chatroom too if you want.
It solves the complaint that many EBA students had of seeing other people’s questions and even successes on topics they weren’t interested in.
You don’t have to worry about seeing someone brag about hitting 20,000 viewers while you’re struggling on writing your first post unless you click on the “Wins” chat.
The best part about it is Paul Scrivens and Marybeth are both actively monitoring and speaking in the chatrooms all of the time. They’re also available on DM.
In fact many students are active in the chatroom brainstorming and answering questions.
Unlike the EBA Facebook group the students aren’t segregated into gold and silver Facebook Groups. Everyone is in the same Slack community.
All you have to do is ask a question and you’ll get a response within seconds.
The Slack community is like one big mastermind group. If your question doesn’t get answered, MaryBeth usually tags someone, or even Scrivens, to your comment to answer it if she can’t.
Remember the question I asked in the EBA Facebook group about how to write a disclaimer for my blog that after days of waiting no one could answer?
I not only got my question answered in seconds on Slack but had a disclaimer up on my blog in under 10 minutes!
That’s the efficiency of the DTC community versus EBA in a nutshell.
What you’ll also find in Slack is a section where people post their group boards for you to join and DTC hosts various challenges you can join.
If you’re worried you’ll miss a good tip or answer in Slack, don’t fear, every Sunday Marybeth sends out a newsletter telling you a summary and the most helpful highlights of what went on in the Slack community that week.
I felt much more supported, and in control of my experience with someone to reach out to for help.
This was what I was expecting from EBA but never got.
A few words of warning, stay on Mary Beth’s good side (it’s fairly easy) and don’t waste too much time on Slack. It’s very easy to get engulfed in talking to people and chatting. Otherwise it provides a great place to find out what others are doing and what’s working for them.
The Course Format
When you sign in to the Dare To Conquer website you see a list of links for the various Modules and Challenges.
The lessons for the modules are in blog post format, containing both text and video, same with the challenges.
Everything you need, aside from Slack, is on that one website and available when you log in.
DTC provides video tutorials in most lessons that actually show you how to do what he’s telling you to.
There are some that show Scrivens speaking to the camera when he’s explaining a point but it’s not scripted and polished. The style is more so like a tutor or personal coach.
He has an ASMR voice that calms you down and his nurturing teaching style makes daunting tasks less overwhelming.
Each lesson topic is broken up into short, practical, easy to digest segments.
Text and Homework
The text for each lesson is located on the same page as the videos, much like a blog post.
It’s straight to the point and easy to understand. It’s also not simply a repeat of what’s in the videos.
Your homework is to apply what he teaches you directly to your site. You don’t have to worry about downloading anything or filling out pages of homework sheets.
In the few instances that there is a written assignment, it’s not only super short but there is a little text box after the question for you to type in the answer.
In EBA I needed to go to the website, watch the two videos for each unit, click the link to download the text and coursework, then open the coursework file on my computer, read the text, then fill out the homework, then save it, then often times I needed to do additional research to figure out how to do what she was telling me to, finally I’d apply it to my website.
For the freebie courses taught by other people, I had to go to a whole different site completely.
I found it exhausting.
I got something done in the first 5 mins of using Dare to Conquer, that I had been struggling to do for three months in EBA.
DTC has a more streamlined design that keeps the main focus on working on your blog, not filling out paperwork or reading.
If I did get stuck MaryBeth and the whole DTC Slack community was there to help me.
Because the course is in the process of transitioning from one site to another (Billionaire Blog Club to Dare To Conquer) at first I was a bit confused as to where to start.
Scrivens must’ve anticipated that because right next to the lesson list on BBC, I saw “In what order should I follow these courses” with a link to a page of all the lessons in the proper order.
Even still I sometimes see links at the end of some lessons that weren’t listed on the main page.
Once everything is completely transferred over to Dare To Conquer, I’m hoping ALL the course lessons and content is listed on the home screen in a syllabus format and better organized…especially since he seems to be adding a lot more information.
What Dare To Conquer Teaches You
Dare To Conquer pretty much teaches you everything you need to know to get yourself up, running, and earning an income as fast as possible.
The course reads like an entire Blueprint to blogging that begins before you even conceive your blog concept and carries you through all of the aspects of making an income and building a brand.
The main strong point of DTC is its ability to break down the various parts of the blogging process in a way that’s easy to understand and makes sense.
The course focuses on laying a solid foundation in all areas of blogging and explains why each aspect is important.
Below are the lessons I found particularly helpful and how they compared to EBA.
How To Set Up Your Blog
If you haven’t begun to set up your blog yet, Scrivens not only helps you pick out a proper domain name and niche but provides very helpful video sequences to help you launch your blog.
They cover all the steps you’ll need to get up and running like buying a domain, setting up hosting, creating a Pinterest account, basic settings you need on WordPress, Yoast basics, and how to set up and READ your Google Analytics among others.
The only thing he doesn’t cover is web design BUT he will give you plenty of tech support on Slack if you need help.
How To Choose Your Niche
Scrivens doesn’t just help you choose your niche, he helps you create the perfect mindset for making the best decisions based on your goals.
Some niches are easier to monetize and more popular than others.
Scrivens teaches you what niches are easiest to monetize and how.
He also gives you the tools to research your niche and write posts that people are searching for.
This made me feel like I was in the driver’s seat.
I wasn’t taking shots in the dark with my content, I was actually choosing content to fit my growth goals.
How to Choose The Right Domain Name
You’ll learn everything you need to consider when choosing a domain name for your blog.
How To Make Your First $1,000 and Other Challenges
In addition to the lessons, you also get challenges that step by step coach you through the most daunting goals for beginning bloggers like How to Make $1,000 + a Month With Ads, How To Gain Your First 1,000 Subscribers, and How To Launch Your Blog & Get 10,000 Pageviews.
He also has a challenge for creating your first product.
These multi day challenges include his trademark style of practical videos that break down the process into easy steps. There is NOTHING like this in EBA, not even in the freebies section.
While we sleep people are actively searching on Google for answers to their questions.
If your blog happens to be at the top of that Google search, you’ll be making passive income.
Scrivens shows you how to find out what most people are actually searching for and how to optimize your posts so they’re at the top of the search results.
Within a week I was already ranking on Bing and within a month I was on Google.
He makes you look at how you choose and label your content in a completely different way and gives great methods on how to write posts that Google will love.
Again I felt like I was no longer taking shots in the dark.
Dare To Conquer really shines when it comes to Pinterest.
Scrivens walks you through Pinterest and shows you the various ways to post your pins, how to use Tailwind, how to manually pin, how to hide your pins in posts, how to read your Pinterest analytics, how to find the best keywords, and how to create and choose board topics.
Scrivens explains pinning strategy and not only how most successful bloggers pin but WHY they pin that way.
He doesn’t tell you how many times a day to pin, that’s different for each person, but many bloggers discussed their successful pinning strategies in Slack including how many times a day they pin and what type of content.
Scrivens also goes into pin designs and how to create ones that really pop.
How To Write A Post
Scrivens succinctly explains pretty much the same idea of post structure and writing Ruth does, he doesn’t use a trademarked name for the method, he just tells you the main point.
Again, he also teaches you how to write posts that will FIND you an audience and that people are actually looking for.
You’ll learn how to create posts Google search engines will favor and that will convert for affiliate links.
EBA teaches you how to write posts that your audience will like, which is helpful for people who already have an audience, but doesn’t teach you how to write posts that do well on Google or with affiliate links so if you don’t have an established brand or audience it won’t help you find one.
Scrivens really goes in depth on affiliate marketing.
He breaks down the whole psychology of the buyer and explains what type of posts are most effective for affiliate links and HOW to write them.
He explains the most popular ways bloggers promote and choose content for affiliate posts and why they work.
What I truly appreciated was his more helpful, natural approach to guiding a buyer to a sale rather than pushing and manipulating them towards one.
His method is just as effective as flashy sales tactics but has a more ethical feel.
However, if you want flashy, pushy sales tactics, he teaches you those too as an option.
How To Build A Successful Blog From Scratch, Literally
Scrivens is starting to build 2 different blogs and he’s letting his students see the whole process.
He gives you links to track his progress as he’s doing it. If he fails, we’ll see it, if he stumbles and falls, we’re there to witness. It’s like a live show.
More Being Added Everyday…
As I’m writing Scrivens is creating more modules.
Right now he’s working on lessons on Sales Funnels, books, and more challenges that are all going to be included in his course.
He keeps updating and growing his content to add even more value for his students.
Ruth merely reshoots her corporate image videos with new testimonials from new star students and adds on more watered down freebie version courses that other bloggers teach.
She’s writing a new book, however that won’t be included in the tuition of EBA.
Her biggest successes are her two websites she created years ago when the blogging game was completely different.
Scrivens has over 10 websites in just about every niche you can think of and is currently building more from the ground up.
His experience creating successful blogs is up to date and relatable because he builds it himself the same way you and I would, I can’t say the same for Ruth Soukup.
What DTC Doesn’t Teach You
As of right now, the only thing DTC doesn’t teach you is certain elements of corporate strategy like how to hire employees, and physically writing down a long term business plan, although the DTC course is like one big business plan for your blog, Scrivens just doesn’t make you write one.
Considering Scrivens used to work in corporate America as a head hunter, I can easily pop onto Slack and ask him how to hire employees.
He’ll not only give me an answer but he might even create a whole module for it.
That’s the benefit of having access to an instructor.
The direct contact with his students keeps him in tune with their needs and struggles so that he can create content that addresses their problems.
Scrivens doesn’t believe in promoting other bloggers when he’s marketing his course so there isn’t a chance of being heavily promoted as a course representative or success story the way there is with EBA. This technically doesn’t count as something not taught, but is something you won’t receive.
Again this is why his course isn’t heavily promoted by the top earning bloggers he has taught.
I paid $397 dollars for Billionaire Blog Club in August 2018 but Scrivens is currently rebranding it to Dare To Conquer (DTC), which will contain everything in Billionaire Blog Club plus new modules. Once he’s done, the course will be $597.
He’s also adding new challenges including How To Get You Earning Your First $1,000 + a Month With Ads, along with the Business Launch Blueprint as well as books.
Not too long after I purchased DTC I inquired about his refund policy.
Although one is not listed if you contact him and just tell him your reason it will be quick and drama free.
With EBA, eventhough they clearly stated their refund policy, and I sent all my work in on time, I was waiting for a month chasing people down.
My Advice To You
First off, if simply the act of BUILDING a blog is more than you can handle or will set you back then spend the money on hiring someone to design your site. Search for free wordpress templates and pick one to send to the designer so you can save money. Meanwhile take advantage of the free information I mentioned earlier and start writing blog posts while your site is being set up.
If you want to build your site yourself and/or really need a course an all inclusive course to get you started then take Dare To Conquer.
Right now there are DTC students in my exact niche, who started the same time I did, now making over $2,000 a month.
The only difference is they took DTC instead of EBA when they started.
If I had to do it over again I would’ve purchased Dare To Conquer first, then joined the free Facebook groups of:
- Jennifer Maker
- Kate Ahl
- Grayson Bell
- Caroline Vencil
and just bought Ruth’s book How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul for under $10 on Amazon. Most of the content in EBA is repackaged from that book and it covers the same topics. EVERY one of her student successes read the book prior to taking her course.
She’s also supposed to let out another book this year.
Ultimately EBA is a course best suited for who it was originally created for, intermediate to established bloggers. For a beginner, EBA is working hard not smart. If you already own a business you want to take to the next level and have a website for it then definitely take EBA instead.
Ruth points you in the right direction and gives you an overview, but doesn’t always give beginners the details they need to execute what she wants them to do.
The devil is definitely in the details and as a beginner the little things can take up days or even weeks of your time.
DTC on the other hand, is like Suri on iPhone or any kind of Virtual assistant, its Slack community will also be your lifelong mastermind group. It provides a solid foundation, strategy, and more importantly the support to help carry it out as fast as possible. (It’s also almost HALF the price).
EBA is more so for refining your message, adding polish, learning aggressive (manipulative?) sales tactics, and building a corporate structure for an established blog.
My advice to you is to take emotion out of your purchasing decision and don’t pay attention to the sponsored hype, marketing fluff or status symbols.
If you can’t afford to lose the money DON’T spend it on courses with tricky refund policies, and DON’T worry about it.
Take advantage of the good free information out there:
all have amazing free content to help you get started.
Join the Facebook groups I mentioned and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If EBA is still a nagging itch you want to scratch, order Ruth’s book first, but if you choose to sign up for her bootcamp keep in mind that the attention you receive will not be the same as when you actually take her course.
If you’ve decided that you need an all in one course that gives you everything you need as a beginner to create a successful profitable business and a lifelong mastermind group (did I mention at almost HALF the price?) then Dare To Conquer is the way to go.
Email Scrivens and talk to him, even if you can’t afford to take his course, “he won’t leave you hanging.”
On the Twins Dish Fluff Meter, with 1 being the least fluff and 10 being full of fluff, EBA rates a 7.2 out of 10 for beginning bloggers.