Is blogging dead? It all depends on who you ask!

Mark Twain quote, "“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
to illustrate that blogging is not dead.
Just like blogging!

The recent Google HCU (helpful content update) has sent some bloggers into a tizzy. It seems that the ones who are most vocal about it are the ones who have seen the biggest nosedive in their site traffic, which leads to a nosedive in their ad income.

But, according to Sadie Smiley of Passive Income Pathways (PIPS), if you think about who you're serving rather than how much money you can make, you can get traffic and make money as well.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase. Please note that I only get affiliate links for products that I use and recommend. And, yes, PIPS Lite will teach you how to get affiliate links and add them to your blog posts.

What is Passive Income Pathways?

PIPS is a blog by Sadie Smiley where she teaches not only how to blog and eventually make passive income, but also how to earn some active online income while you're nurturing your blog. The PIPS Facebook Group is an active community of bloggers and others who want to escape the 9-to-5 grind and start earning money from home.

I first started following PIPS well over a year ago and loved the encouragement and support from Sadie and everyone else in the group. At that time, I didn't want to be a blogger. I was looking for a way to make online income and was interested in creating and selling digital products. I found lots of great free information in the group and on Sadie's blog.

I took Sadie's blogging course and realized that I could use my real passion, which is web design, to create a blog about WordPress that would help others who were struggling with building their websites, and also to set my blog up for monetization.

Overview of the Course

The beauty of PIPS is that the foundation course is free. Back when I took it, it was called Blogging 101. It has morphed into Blogging Foundations, which is a comprehensive course that you can follow at your own pace. This course has everything you need to become a successful blogger, from how to set up your WordPress site to how to choose a niche and how to monetize your site.

There is never a promise that this is a get-rich-quick course. Sadie constantly reminds her students that you have to put in the work and follow the path to be successful.

Course Content Quality

There are 8 sections in Blogging Foundations, for a total of 44 lessons. Each lesson builds upon the previous lesson using easy-to-follow videos and workbooks. The lessons are long enough to be thorough, but not so long that they lose your interest.

The main topics covered in the course are buying a domain and hosting, defining your niche, setting up a blog, designing your site, writing content that serves your audience, SEO, and monetization strategies.

Instructor Credibility and Teaching Style

Sadie's credentials include the fact that she has actually built and monetized numerous blogs. She is not someone who makes her money only by teaching how to blog. That's a big difference from some blogging teachers who have never “done the thing” themselves.

Her teaching style is to the point, and she is excited and passionate about her subject.

She has a few other teachers as well who demonstrate their areas of expertise, such as customizing your site, creating a logo in Canva, and creating Pinterest pins.

Membership Benefits

All of this review of PIPS so far has been about the free course, Blogging Foundations. The PIPS Lite membership goes above and beyond the free course.

Screenshot from the PIPS Lite membership
Don't skip the Start Here Section!

PIPS Lite includes blogging foundations plus a wide range of specialized training.

  • Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers: You'll find 39 lessons on monetizing your blog with affiliates, without being spammy.
  • The $1k Challenge: This course shows a variety of ways to earn $1000 in 10 days. It is designed for people who need some extra cash while working on their blog.
  • Blogging with AI: Includes resources for using several different AI tools to make writing a blog post and creating images faster and easier.
  • Facebook Group Growth: A whopping 23 lessons on how to grow a Facebook group—and why you need one.
  • A.L.I.G.N.E.D. funnel framework: A lesson and a workbook about funnels.
  • Reclaim My Time Bundle: A valuable resource that includes a time audit.
  • 250+ Digital Product Ideas: Plenty of ideas for digital products that you can create and sell online.
  • Mini AI Blogging Bundle: Includes a blog post creation template and AI prompts.
  • The PIPS Path: A top-level overview of PIPS with a workbook to map out the path that you can follow to find your audience and create a membership.
  • Facebook Group Post Ideas and Sample Content Plan Guide: Ideas for what to post and when.
  • F.A.S.T. Freebie Challenge: A course designed to get you moving on creating a valuable freebie for your audience in hours rather than days.

And the best part of this membership is the monthly Zoom call where Sadie answers questions, gives feedback, and teaches the path.

User Experience and Platform Navigation

The course platform is Subtrio, which is Sadie's own white-label version of Go High Level. It is very easy to navigate, and all courses are clearly labeled and divided into separate sections.

Each section has a video with a transcript or a text document, with all relevant workbooks attached, so there's no need to go searching for downloads.

Screenshot of modules in the PIPS lite membership
Six of the 18 (and counting!) modules in Pips Lite

Pricing and Value for Money

The PIPS Lite membership has just increased to $27/month. Along with the price increase, Sadie is adding more courses and even more value. Blogging Foundations alone is worth more than $27, and remember, that course is free. The monthly membership, including access to Sadie in the Zoom calls, is well worth the price.

Pros and Cons

I would say that the only con to this membership is the fact that it has so much content that it can be overwhelming to a new user. If you don't start at the beginning and follow the path, you can quickly become frustrated. Don't skip ahead!

The pros of the membership include having everything at your fingertips to become a serious, professional blogger. You don't have to search YouTube for courses and then try to figure out if they're legit. Sadie has the background and the experience to guide you through the process.

Comparison with Other Memberships

I've taken courses and joined memberships that cost a lot more money, and I always felt like the instructor was holding back essential pieces of information. PIPS Lite has all of the information that you need, and if you can't find something, the monthly Zoom calls are great for getting 1:1 attention. Sadie also answers questions in the PIPS Facebook Group, or she refers the questions to her coaches.

Another aspect of the membership is that it is geared toward women, although men are welcome to join. There is an atmosphere of inclusivity that I have not found anywhere else. I'm in the tech world, and as an older woman, I get a lot of push-back and “mansplaining” about WordPress and coding. That doesn't happen in PIPS, and if it does, you're out.

Screenshot of the courses in PIPS lite membership
Challenges are held throughout the year and are recorded and added to the membership

Who is the membership best suited for?

The membership is best for people who are not looking for a get-rich-quick scheme. You have to be willing to put in the work in order to succeed. There is a lot of material to go through and digest, and it's going to take some time. The good news is that the Facebook group is very supportive and encouraging.

In this type of membership, where there is so much information to absorb, you have to be accountable to yourself, and buckle down and do the work. There are members who have full-time jobs, are raising families, or are suffering from chronic illnesses, and they are succeeding because they don't use these situations as excuses.

Results and Personal Experience

When I started going through the course, I thought I could just skip ahead. I was already a WordPress expert, so why would I need to go through the modules on how to set up a WordPress site? I skipped around, did the modules that I enjoyed, and ignored the rest.

My first blog was a local travel blog. Even though I didn't follow Sadie's path, I started making some money within 4 months. Not a lot, but I could see that this method could work. The problem was that I didn't work through the modules, and I realized that the travel blog was not going to be my passion project. That's when I decided to choose WordPress as my niche and start my blog.

I had to realize that even though I know my way around WordPress, I still had to go through the modules about setting up my site. There are aspects of the setup that are specific to blogging. I never blogged before, and all of my client work was website and eCommerce work. I never set up a blog. I never thought about having a membership.

Once I realized this, the whole path became clear. I now have a blog, courses, affiliates, a Facebook group, and a membership. I'm 10 months into the process, and I am starting to gain members and affiliate money. It's slow going, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. Sadie teaches that the work you do today will pay you back in a year.

It looks like she is right.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *