blog school: is it worth it? | Fit and Free with Emily
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Back to the grind of the Monday madness, eh?

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Mine was full of family time, food prep, and catching up on some blog work. Six months ago, I enrolled in Blog Genie’s Blog School and I’ve promised you all a post about the program and how it’s helped my little corner of the internet! :)

If you want the short version, here it is: Blog School was/is amazing, and I sincerely urge you to check it out if you’re serious about your blog’s future. (And you can sign up here, and receive a jump-start program on traffic-building)

Now, the long version. ;)

is blog school worth it? What to expect, who should sign up, and what it can do for YOU!

What is Blog School?

Blog School is a six-month “bootcamp” of sorts. I’ve known Rita, the creator behind Blog School, since the beginning of my blogging days! In fact, it was through her that I won the domain for this site. I worked with her that first month to nail down my blog name and look. Without her, Fit and Free with Emily wouldn’t exist. So I obviously had to sign up for her course last year – I trust her knowledge and have experienced her incredible support, first hand.

Once you’re enrolled in blog school, you are added to the Facebook group (for support. and I’m still in there!) and given a secure login to the school site. Each month, a new unit is released. But don’t worry! There are no “deadlines” in this course. You can go at your own pace, and will always have access to the materials. I downloaded all of the work and made myself a handy-dandy binder (which you can see here). Having all the coursework online has been a life-saver when traveling. I can pop open my phone and do the reading anytime!

What can I expect to learn?

Without giving too much away (because hello, you need to pay for this level of in-depth work), here’s a rundown of the units with the topics we covered. Of course, this could change a little for this round (I’m sure Rita is constantly honing and re-focusing), but this is a great look into the program.

is blog school worth it? What to expect, who should sign up, and what it can do for YOU!

1. Foundations (Defining Success, Narrowing Your Focus, Who Are Your Readers?, Stats and Analytics)

2. Design
(Intro, Function, Content, All About Options)

3. Content
(Shaping Your Strategy, Idea Generation, Your Writing Plan, Search Basics, Keyword Research, One Time Optimizations)

4. Growth
(Community, Outreach, Traffic)

5. Social Media
(Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)

6. Money & Media
(Benefits Of Working With Brands, Creating Your Media Kit, The Art Of The Pitch, Tracking Your Money, Reputation Income, Passive Income, Active Income)

My Personal Experience

I am completely blown away by the amount of information that Rita has crafted into this school. Thank goodness it is a go-at-your-own-pace set up, because I spent the first two months in Foundations! The homework on each unit provides amazing insight into your writing and audience. Honestly, I think I could go back to Unit 1 once a year, just to make sure I’m still on the path I want to be on.

I’ve read all the units several times now, but really taking my time with each one. I just finished all the homework for the Growth unit and I feel giddy with excitement. :D Going through the units, especially with the help and support of fellow blog school attendees, has been really eye-opening.

My main takeaways:

Focused Information

Focus in two different ways, actually: FIRST, the focus information of the course. I don’t know about you, but I collect blog tips like crazy. I have One, Two, Three, Four Pinterest boards of blog information and tutorials. The amount of information out there is overwhelming! Being in Blog School was the perfect solution: units and homework in a logical order and with applicable exercises that made sense to MY blog.

Secondly, the Foundations helped me refocus on what I love about blogging, what I want to talk about, and what my readership wants to hear. After following the exercises from the unit, I made some subtle changes that directly influenced my next point…

Increased Traffic

You. Guys.

Before Blog School
On days when I didn’t post: 800 visits
Days when I did post: 1,200

After Blog School
On days when I don’t post: 1,200 visits
Days when I do post: 2,000

And those are just the baselines, not my highest days or even the averages. I know for some bloggers, those numbers look small – but it’s all about % growth. In six months (and I’m not even all the way through all the assignments), I’ve increased my traffic by 60+%!

So …. More Money

Which obviously leads to money. Which is what a lot of us hope for, right? More traffic = more money, obviously. The more you lovely people see my site, the more money my ad network (BlogHer) ads bring in. Before Blog School, I was making maybe $50 a month from BlogHer. Now, it’s a minimum of $100. :)

Making money from FF/E isn’t my top priority (writing good content and creating a community is my #1 goal) but it is SURE nice to be able to pay off those student loans a bit faster each month, buy some new work clothes when mine have holes in them, or put the money back into this blog to make it bigger and better. (I also earn money from other projects, like sponsored posts and affiliate links – like this post).


is blog school worth it? What to expect, who should sign up, and what it can do for YOU!

******** EDITED TO ADD: the graphic should read MARCH 31st. ;) **********

Is Blog School for me?

I think there are three categories of bloggers out there:

1) the beginner bloggers, looking for a way to break into blogging and creating a space that people will visit and be excited about.
2) the plateaued bloggers, who have pinned every. single. blog tip on Pinterest, and are so lost wading through the (sometimes conflicting) information that they don’t know where to turn or what to do. Maybe they’ve switched their design a million times, re-categorized their posts for better SEO, timed their tweets and FB posts, only to see little to no change in traffic or interest.
3) the pro bloggers, who have been at it for years. They have steady traffic, growing potential, and great content delivered on a regular schedule.

If you are a pro, you do not need this school. ;)

Anyone else? YOU NEED THIS. As you probably guessed from this post, I was stuck in #2. Everything was stalled (traffic, content, design, etc) and I just didn’t know how to get back into the groove. Truth be told, I still have A LOT to implement, but that just makes me more excited! I can’t wait to see what this little blog of mine will be like, after completely finishing my blog school tasks.

So, you know, sign up! :) Rita is also offering a jump-start course (FOR FREE) on increasing your traffic this week! Official registration will begin on March 31 and be open for only 7 days, closing on April 6, with the first module being released the following day, April 7.


What about you? Feeling stuck with your blog? I certainly was!



The links in this post contain affiliate links. If you sign up for the blog school with my link, please let me know so I can send you a little thank you! :)

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  • LeanneHersh

    This is an awesome recap and holy cow on increasing your blog stats! GET IT GIRL!

    • Emily

      Thanks, girl!! I’m pretty pumped on the changes, so far!! :D

  • debbielq

    Great post! I loved going to blog school :-)

    • Emily

      Thank you, I enjoyed yours too! Do you find yourself still referencing the materials? I can definitely see myself re-doing some of the units every year, just as a check-point or refocus!

      • debbielq

        That is one of the very cool things, that you can go back and have access to all the lessons. I do look back (frequently). That’s one of the reasons I became an affiliate, because I think blog school is so amazing.

  • Baynehomefront

    Jeeze… I had no clue… about blogging…. I keep thinking it’s something I want to do. I guess more for fun and as a way to track my progress more for me. Although when I read the blogs I do and I look at ones I have attempted I really see the difference.

    Is it still possible for me to just start up a blog for my own personal satisfaction and then see where it takes me as I go? I am pretty sure I have a dead blog out there maybe even attached as a blog to this post who knows… I know I haven’t written on anything for a very long time. But I certainly have an intrest in chronicling my journey as something to look back on and to see my progress. What do you think? Any input is appreciated.

    • Emily

      Hey there, friend!

      It is DEFINITELY possible to start your own blog and see where it takes you! I think that’s what 90% of bloggers do. Myself, included! I just passed 3.5 years blogging here, and I didn’t do this course until 6 months ago!

      In fact, what you’re wanting to do (blog to share your story instead of to make money and be popular) is what I would 100% recommend. Many people email me asking how to start a POPULAR blog and I always say the same thing: If you start out to be popular, you never will be.

      It’s gotta be authentic and real. That’s what people gravate towards, I promise! :) If you ever want to chat more, you can always shoot me an email! (

  • KeepUpJonesFamily

    Is this open to non-US bloggers too? It sounds amazing. I am completely lost with SEO for example. I’m hopeless!

    • Emily

      YES, absolutely!! :)

      All the materials and support are online, for anyone in the world to sign up and participate in! :) The SEO chapter was SO useful. My Alexa rating went up by 78,000 (<—- yes! THOUSAND!) spots!

    • Emily

      Wanted to send out friendly reminders: registration is OPEN!! Keep me posted if you sign up, I’ll send you a thank you present!

  • Brooke: Not On A Diet

    Somedays I’m all like “I’m going to do all the blogging things and be awesome” and then I go to do it and get COMPLETELY overwhelmed. I’m so lost when it comes to a lot of things like amping up readership and making money via ads. I’ve thought a million times about doing Blog School and probably just need to bite the bullet, but the money always holds me back. Ugh.

    Although, I must say you really do make it sounds super appealing….

    • Emily

      the money was a huge issue for me, too. BUT now I’m making more money from the site … so, ya know. It evens out. ;)

      You would love the course. It seriously makes it all so manageable. I was the same way – READ ALL THE PINTEREST PINS! haha

      PS – so excited for our Sunday date!

  • Emily

    I promise you it is a GREAT investment. I would never dream of recommending it if I didn’t 100% believe in it. Let me know when you do pull the trigger – I’ll send you a little prezzie via email. Yup, I said prezzie. ;)

    Keep me posted! And if you have any specific questions, let me know!

    • Jenna Doeleman

      YEEEE, Prezzie??!! I’m in. Haha! Thanks Emily!!

  • Emily

    WHOA TIMES 100 : you’re a beauty blogger/vlogger? Girl, you are my new best friend. Obsessed with all things makeup. SUBSCRIBED!

    • Jenna Doeleman

      LOL! That’s awesome. I actually used to weight loss blog but lost interest, and found a passion I think I can write/talk about long term :) I’m just getting back in touch with blogs I used to follow and you were one of the top of the list. Talk about meant to be with the Blog School Post!!

      • Emily

        Awww, being on your “back in touch” list makes my heart happy. :) Happy Friday, friend!

        • Jenna Doeleman

          Just signed up for Blog school from your link, Emily!!! Stocked!

  • Catherine Bolton

    I am so all over this! I can’t even concentrate right now because I’m ALT + Tabbing to the other window to get more info on this! I just started writing this section (asking about blog land and all the secrets it holds!) on the email draft I have saved to you but you totally beat me to it!! Eeeee!

    • Emily

      DO IT. You will not regret it for one moment! :D

      Keep me posted if you do sign up – I’ll send a little thank you gift your way. XOXO!

    • Emily

      Sending out some friendly reminders: registration is OPEN!! Keep me posted if you sign up, I’ll send you a thank you present!

  • Kimberly

    I could definitely use a some blog school lessons. There are some things in blogging that I am so confused about. I need a dictionary just for some of the words used. It get’s seriously overwhelming sometimes so maybe something like this might be helpful with alleviating that.

    • Emily

      I’ve felt the same way! There’s so many tips and tricks out there, it’s hard to wade through and find the stuff that will really work for your blog!

  • Kristi W

    Wow! Your timing couldn’t be better! I was just debating whether Blog School was a good next step for me. I feel like I have all these aspirations and when it comes to actually getting things done I freeze. I’ve done the first 2 free lessons for the “traffic roadmap” and already feel like things are coming together! Can’t wait to see how the entire course works! Thanks for the amazing post…and of course all your other awesome posts as well!

    • Emily

      Thank YOU so much for supporting this blog by reading!! :)

      I popped into the Traffic Roadmap course, too! If you like that, you will LOVE the actual school. Same idea (reading + practical examples + applicable worksheets/homework) except even MORE in depth and like, times a million within each unit. It is so amazing!

      DO keep me posted if you sign up with my link, so I can send you a little thank you present! <3

    • Emily

      Sending out friendly reminders: registration is OPEN!! Keep me posted if you sign up, I’ll send you a thank you present!

  • Brianna

    Thank you for this, seriously. I was wanting to talk to you about Blog School and haven’t gotten around to it, but I took a leap of faith and signed up early anyway. I hopped on here because I know you wrote a thinking out loud post the other day, and I found this one! Thanks for reassuring me I made the right choice. I’m so pumped!

    • Emily

      SO EXCITED for you! You’re going to LOVE it. :) You might even recognize one of the people on one of the video bonuses …. (hehe).

  • Emily

    Just sending out friendly reminders: registration is OPEN!! Keep me posted if you sign up, I’ll send you a thank you present!

  • Kristi W

    Super exciting news! I just registered for Blog School using your link! Thanks so much for reviewing the program!

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