You’re wondering- what is Blog Ninja (aka ShoeMoney)? Is it a scam or( finally!) a legit way to making money online? Can affiliate marketing program be FREE (or, better off- you’re getting paid for learning)? Well, let’s see, where (and what) the catch is.
I’m a Blog Ninja member and here I’m going to share my experience with you.
Blog Ninja Review.
Company name: Blog Ninja (formerly- Shoe Money);
Company website: www.blogninja.com;
Company owner: Jeremy Schoemaker;
Company founded; 2003;
Enrolment price: FREE (plus domain and hosting expenses).
What is Blog Ninja?
Have you heard about a business training program that pays you money to participate before? Probably, not. Me neither. But Jeremy really does it- he pays you $1 for attending his course.
Well, you’re going to say, that’s not the kind of money I’m looking for. That’s right, but Jeremy’s course is not about THIS buck. He offers to teach you how to start and run your online marketing business- but what he delivers?
- Blog Ninja is a free online marketing program that provides you with free step-by-step video tutorials created by company’s founder and owner Jeremy Schoemaker.
This is a rare example of a completely free training program. It is free from the beginning to the end. It’s not a trial, nor it’s a light version of a complete course. There is no upsell and they won’t ask you for a credit card. There’re very few programs which provide the same value.
Who is Jeremy Schoemaker?
Life has taught me to do my research before I’m going to mess with a new business or a project. So, I’ve done it when I’ve decided to enroll into Blog Ninja.
I can’t say I’ve found tons of information about who Jeremy is, but everything I’ve found was confirming that he is a real person, that he is a successful online entrepreneur and his name was not associated with fraud accusations.
The article in Wikipedia did not impress me too much because it could be Jeremy’s own creation (anyone can create an article about himself on Wiki). But he’s left a significant imprint on all kind of marketing conferences over the past 10+ years to confirm his statements about himself. You can’t check how many millions has he really made online, but, I believe, is not really an issue here.
So, you can make a mark- Jeremy, as a person, does pass the test. He is legit.
But I’m still wondering about his program.
Blog Ninja training.
Blog Ninja training course is composed of short and detailed video lessons, conducted by Jeremy and his team (these lessons are posed as an analog to karate lessons with a belt promotion after completion of each part). The course includes:
- Setting up your website:
Getting a Web hosting service;
Setting up your blog;
Choosing and customizing a theme;
Creating posts and pages;
- Setting up an Email Marketing account:
Signing up with Aweber;
Creating a newsletter and sign-up form;
- Social Media Marketing introduction:
Setting up Facebook and Twitter accounts;
“Ninja” strategies overview;
- Monetizing your website:
Amazon affiliate marketing;
- That’s, basically, it.
This is, certainly, not a lot. But hey, what have you expected from a free course- a master’s degree? In this case, you are getting much more than you have paid.
Jeremy’s lessons are rather detailed and, in most of them, won’t leave you guessing of the outcome of steps you’re prompted to take. There are still situations where you may feel you’ve been left out in the cold- for example, like in the second training course, when you are setting up your website:
At this step, Jeremy instructs you to place the bnshoeverify.html file at your site and when it fails to happen with “automatic” method, Jeremy suggests you call your Web hosting support, rather than take three simple steps:
- Copy the file to your computer;
- Upload it to your site (for example, to the Media folder, if you don’t have other folders created yet);
- Copy file’s URL and paste it into the box below Jeremy’s lesson.
This is a quite easy step even for a complete novice if he would accidentally wander into Blog Ninja course. Why Jeremy is sending his students to call the support is a secret to me.
Overall, the quality of these lessons is pretty good, considering the fact that it’s rather basic. However, it is missing some very important aspects of online marketing, which I’m going to explain later in this article.
Blog Ninja Pros.
Let’s start with what’s good about Blog Ninja.
Jeremy is keeping his word- this is a free training.
As it’s been said above- this is a completely free training, whim makes it one of the few free training programs.
Some people are pointing at the “collateral” expenses, like hosting fee, domain fee, autoresponder fee, and they are right. YOU WILL have to spend some money in any case, but the training itself remains free. Yes, Jeremy will make his commission IF you DON’T have a web hosting yet (and for the most of the newbies- that’s the case), but even if you are going to get an open bar, you will have to pay either for a gas or a bus ticket to get there. Yes, these fees can sum up to a couple of hundred bucks per year (sometimes more). But I’m going to show you, how you can minimize the damage to a potential zero later. In particular, how you can get TWO completely FREE WordPress websites for life.
After all, you DON’T have to use the Bluehost (the hosting company Jeremy recommends) neither the Aweber (the Email marketing platform) and he is not telling you that you must purchase any other service or a product he will benefit from. Strangely, some people are very sensitive to a fact that others will monetize on their actions, even without being a subject for an additional charge. In the case with Blog Ninja, these people may feel secure :).
Comprehensive lessons structure.
All lessons are presented in a form of interactive video training. They are guiding you step by step through the process with the real- time demo. Like I’ve said before, these lessons are pretty detailed, making them very comprehensive even for complete beginners.
Most lessons length falls between 5 to 15 minutes making it even easier to attend. It’s been scientifically proven, that the information, broken into the series of short lessons is much easier to absorb than the one, that comes in a form of one big chunk.
Jeremy’s lessons are teaching you working with WordPress– based websites, one of the best website platforms of all times.
The use of WordPress saves you from the necessity to learn HTML, programming, and coding. Although acquiring some of these skills (at least- partially) will benefit any online marketer, you don’t have to start with that.
Building a WordPress site requires more knowledge, that doing it with drag- and- drop website builders. But you won’t regret these first steps you will learn during Jeremy’s lessons. WordPress is the most robust and most used web platform available to you free.
The name behind this program is real.
This is the really uncommon situation for a free training- you can really find some information about the person who had created it.
Like I’ve mentioned before, there’s not whole a lot of information about Jeremy, but it is still much more than you can get about program’ host in most cases.
This can tell you, that he has not been caught as a someone creating scamming schemes.
Blog Ninja Cons.
There’s always cons, right?
Some very important topics are not covered.
The training starts with setting up your website. However, the first thing you should be concerned about is what niche you should select (especially considering domain cost- your site’s name is the one you won’t be able to change).
The concept of the niche is bonded with your internet marketing site from the beginning. Your site’s name (which is your domain name) must be relevant to the content you will fill your site with. That is something you’re able to talk to other people about.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs have given up their efforts without seeing desirable results because they have chosen the wrong niche. You need to know the direction and destination you will be going to BEFORE you buy the ticket.
Another important topic missing out is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- which is crucial for getting traffic for your website. You can’t make money without having lots of visitors on your website. You have to know how to give it a higher exposure for people, searching the Web for information.
SEO is a huge topic and very few people are possessing an expertise in all parts of it. But any marketer, who doesn’t want to leave his site’s ranking level to a chance need to have a clear understanding of SEO essentials. Learn important steps how to improve your site’s SEO.
The overall level of this training is a rather basic one, although it provides you with the clear understanding of online marketing essentials.
The level of support is low.
There are many complaints about the low level of support. Your choices start with FAQs which seem to be outdated- how do I know it? Because there still are answers to questions, that are not relevant anymore:
|Q: What if I already have hosting (service), can I participate in the BlogNinja?
A: At this time you have to register a new domain/hosting package with our sponsor.
However, you can migrate your domain account over for free. The only cost will be the migration of your hosting
It is not mandatory anymore to sign up with Bluehost account (which is a good thing), but no one has bothered to edit this section.
Your next choice would be to open the support ticket. Speaking the truth, I don’t have personal experience doing it, but I’ve seen complaints about slow response and low satisfaction level in online forums and haven’t seen anyone praising them. Although people are tending to leave negative comments more often, than positive ones, this fact may raise some awareness.
Your other option contacting the support is the recent improvement- direct phone contact. As in the case with support tickets, I don’t have personal experience. The information I’ve found on the Web is not really encouraging, so I wouldn’t count much on them.
They also advise you to connect with them via a Facebook group, but relying on Facebook support doesn’t sound like a viable option, especially when you require that help urgently.
Overall the training course seems to be sort of unattended and running on the autopilot. You can’t complain a lot about it, considering it is a free course, but receiving the adequate help when you need it may play a big role in your success ( or your failure) in your new online business.
The absence of online community.
As you progress in developing your online business, the community of individuals, involved in the same type of business as you are, could be a real helping and supporting factor.
Sure, there are hundreds online forums and groups of the same interests with you. But, being familiar with them, I can hardly rely on finding a lot of support there. You can expect to have your questions answered, but sometimes it is hard to express your problem in one, even two, questions. Being able to contact people, who regard you as a part of the same entity, as they are, can get you targeted help and support on the higher level.
You are on Jeremy’s Email list.
Jeremy is an experienced marketer and he knows the value of an Email list. He also knows, that after his course people will still be far from feeling themselves confident in Internet marketing. On the contrary, by learning a bit about something, you begin to realize the amount of what you still don’t know and look for answers for questions that start to arise.
So Jeremy will send you invitations to webinars and presentations of tools and strategies you may want to get. The thing is- this stuff is not promised to be free anymore. But since you’ve already got something from him- you may sign up for more.
Of course, you can unsubscribe from his emails at any time.
Taking free courses doesn’t motivate you.
That’s the downside of free stuff. If you don’t pay for it if you’re not limited in time- why to push yourself at all force to get faster results? (Trust me, I know, how many things happen around you every moment that destructs you from concentrating on your work, and most of them are really important- without sarcasm).
The problem is- most of the aspiring entrepreneurs, who gave up their efforts, did it for” no results” reason. And that was, at least partially, because they allowed themselves to take this task easy. Internet marketing does not provide fast results and it requires a lot of dedication, especially at the beginning.
Can you make money with it?
Well, first of all- Blog Ninja is not a product you can make money on. They can teach you some few first steps, how to build an online business to make money with (too bad they are missing, how to choose your niche- the actual category, you are going to make money on).
Although the information you receive is pretty detailed, it covers just the essentials of some basic aspects of internet marketing. It provides you the value every aspiring entrepreneur will appreciate, but experienced marketers may find too slow. But it takes hell a lot more to make money online.
You can hardly expect to start making money basing just on this course. But what you can expect, if you regard it as an introductory presentation to internet marketing and willing to continue your hard work of learning and applying your knowledge to practice, to lay down the groundwork for your online business.
My opinion on Blog Ninja.
So, to recap all the above said.
- Blog Ninja IS NOT A SCAM. It is a basic introduction to Internet marketing that can help you to begin building your online business.
- There are essential aspects missing out, which may lead you to the wrong direction from the beginning.
- Despite it being free course, you will have to spend some money along the way.
Now, speaking about money. I’ve promised to show you, how you can save a few bucks here and there.
First, you can register with SiteRubix, a WordPress-based Web hosting service absolutely FREE and get two websites, hosted and supported by SiteRubix, an excellent service I’m using for all my sites. Read my other article and watch this short video showing, how to do it in a snap.
Also, getting a domain name will cost you $10- $15 for a decent- looking name. Many hosting companies will offer you a free domain, but they may look weird and, in may cases, free domains show lower SEO score. Free domains from SiteRubix can perform as good as best premium domains.
And, if you’re really looking to learn Internet marketing from A to Z, the best favor, you can do to yourself- checks my Wealthy Affiliate introduction.
At Wealthy Affiliate, you will find ALL parts of Internet marketing covered in great details. Does it mean you won’t have questions? On the contrary!
The more you learn- the more questions you ask. But there’s no better place on the Web to seek for help than WA, with its 450,000+ member’s community, available online 24/7 with hundreds of experts willing to answer ANY question you may have.
Wait, did I mention that WA support team never leaves you in trouble? Sorry. The level of support is excellent at WA.
And Wealthy Affiliate will offer you a choice of FREE and PREMIUM membership.