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3 Courses I Bought This Year Even Though I Hate Online Courses

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
2 min read

Generally, I’m anti online courses. Most of them are just poorly edited books translated into web videos and WordPress trickery.

But, on rare occasions, an online course comes along that’s worth every penny. These are the courses even I, the biggest course curmudgeon, could not resist this past year:

Chimp Essentials
Paul Jarvis shows you how to get the most out of MailChimp. There’s lessons in here that will save you money on your MailChimp subscription within minutes. If you use MailChimp for your lists, I don’t know what’s wrong with you if you’re not taking this course. It should have been bought by MailChimp and used as an intro for all new customers.

Learn Ulysses
Shawn Blanc and his crew at The Sweet Setup put together a course for using the writing app Ulysses. I don’t even use Ulysses, but I signed up because the course was inexpensive, The Sweet Setup does great work, and I wanted to see what I was missing (I’m a sucker for any tools that will help with my writing). I still don’t use Ulysses, but I did incorporate ideas from this course into other tools that have the same features (more on that in a future post). I seem to be the exception in the circles I travel in, though. Most writers I know love it. If you want to become an overnight expert in Ulysses, this is the course.

Copyblogger Certified Content Marketers Course
This course is a bit different than the others. First, it’s the most expensive at $1000. Second, it’s an ongoing course - you never really finish. You learn all the basics about content marketing, set up a content marketing business, meet the requirements of certification (demonstrate your work to their editors - not everyone gets certified), and then you must keep up that quality work to remain certified. In exchange, you get help from the best in the industry and promotion from their website to potential clients based on the reputation of Copyblogger Media (they vouch for you essentially). I took the course, and I started on the certification, then abruptly stopped when I got hired to do content marketing (not related to the course). In other words, I was too busy as a Content Marketer to finish getting certified in content marketing. I’d recommend this course to anyone looking to establish themselves as content marketers and get a head start on acquiring clients. It was a healthy goal to have after I retired from my last job.

I’m not any less of a skeptic now when it comes to online courses. I still see the majority as unrefined money grabs. But the more bad courses there are, the more courses like these stand out.