Here is my full, open and honest Elite Blog Academy review.
If you don’t know me, I try to tell my audience the advice I would have liked to hear.
And boy do I wish this review existed before I bought EBA in March of 2018.
My personal review of Elite Blog Academy
First I want to say- I’m not writing this out of resentment. I truly want to give people the information I wish I had. I’m not a bitter blogger, I’d even call myself successful inspite of EBA, because I chose to deviate from the course and create my own path.
When I bought EBA, I was under the impression that it was the “end all be all” course that I needed in order to be a successful blogger.
I bought the course right before I wanted to launch my blog.
There were some red flags- like people saying (in their Build Your Blog Bootcamp Group on Facebook where they go live a whole bunch to convince you to buy EBA) that you can put it on your credit card and pay it off in like three months after taking the course.
But FOMO (fear of missing out) screamed louder to me than the red flags.
I bought it and dove right in.
I had been a part of the “Build your Blog Bootcamp” Facebook group that gets active every time there is about to be a launch.
I watched Ruth on videos and she sold me.
Problem #1 with the course- How distant Ruth Soukup is from her course.
Although this is a small problem, it’s still worth mentioning.
I’ve never been in a course where the course creator is so distant from their audience.
Yes, Ruth goes live in the group every Friday. (Which recently changed to zoom calls instead so she moved even further away)
However, when I joined the group I was under the impression that she would be as active as she was in the Build your Blog Bootcamp Facebook group and that wasn’t the case.
However, I watched the lives.
And Ruth is an amazing motivator. She will pump you up like the ultimate workout song right when you’re about to gas out on a treadmill.
However, it seemed like she didn’t answer technical questions.
I actually remember when GDPR dropped and someone asked about it during a live and she didn’t know what it was.
This was a major blogging disruption that everyone needed to be prepared for so it was shocking that she seemed to have no clue.
When you ask a question in the group, even if you tag her there is no response from her or what seems like experts or EBA alumni in the group.
I had to learn this the hard way when I asked for some blogging advice and was steered in a horrible direction that caused a huge headache.
Problem #2 There is no depth to any core blogging concepts
EBA was the first blogging course I bought. So I literally had nothing to compare it to.
But even as a newbie, I knew something was missing.
There are video lessons in the course and printables that help guide you along.
However, there is no depth.
You are told what to do- not how to do it.
When the course was updated from 3.0 to 4.0 I thought that there would be something added to each unit.
But it just seemed to get a makeover.
So here is what you will not learn inside EBA:
- Affiliate Marketing (how to put affiliate links in your posts and make money from them)
- Email Marketing (although having and email list is touched on lightly)
(If you’d like to see what courses I recommend for this information you can check that out here: Recommended Blogging Resources)
And so on.
Things are “touched on”. Because you obviously need to learn these things to succeed in blogging.
However, for a course that costs over a thousand dollars that gives the impression of “end all be all” you shouldn’t have to also spend so much money on other courses to accomplish what they are telling you to do.
And that in a nutshell is my number one reason why I cannot recommend the course.
People pay a lot for this course, and most are willing to do hard work, but if you’re not told how to do something you’re pretty much forced to spend money elsewhere to move on through the course.
After devouring so many courses here’s what I have learned:
There are courses out there that cover many topics and there are courses that focus on one topic and give you everything you could ever need about that topic.
So that’s what I ended up doing- I sought out the experts in particular blogging topics and bought their courses.
Problem #3 There seems to be the impression that you cannot be a successful blogger without EBA
That my friends, is the most genius marketing out there.
However, trust me, there are plenty of bloggers out there that never stepped foot in the EBA course and who are very successful.
And here’s something I want to talk about for a minute.
There are EBA alumni that will sing praises to the moon and back about Ruth and her course.
Please don’t discredit them.
Here’s what I want to say about it:
I’m not saying their success isn’t credible. I’m saying it cannot be mimicked.
Because blogging is not the same as it was three.. four…seven years ago.
It has gotten a lot harder.
Harder to rank on Google, harder to rank on Pinterest, harder to have your posts seen on Facebook…hard.
Even Ruth herself admitted that she grew exponentially when a blog post went viral on Facebook before they changed their algorithm to be much harder to see.
And so Ruth’s course may well have been the number one credit to their success.
However, in 2020, a course full of motivation and hints cannot get you where you want to be.
And if you’re willing to pay $1k for a course, I’m sure you expect some type of results out of your blog.
Problem #4- The no refund policy
This normally would not be an issue for me. Or anyone else for that matter.
But I dare you to seek out any member of EBA that sees the posts in the Facebook group and ask their opinion on this topic.
There has been more than one occasion in the group where someone posts about getting life altering news.
Like terminal cancer or even just cancer.
And they want a refund because they obviously won’t be blogging and they need that money for medical bills or whatever.
Those posts are deleted.
And I’m certain I’m not the only one under the impression that there are never any refunds given.
In fact, I personally reached out to someone about this after she made a post in the group about an illness and needing a refund. She told me they never replied to her email. I reached out again a few months later and she still never got a reply.
I understand the no refund policy. It’s actually a complicated policy- where you have to finish a certain module and get 1,000 email subscribers first.
However, compassion and integrity come first in my book.
And honestly, that was the nail in the coffin for me.
If you cannot put people before profits then you’ve lost your way.
Problem #5 It’s not worth it
Right now, EBA is being sold for over $1,000 for the first tier package. But the highest tier is $3,000.
You know what I tell anyone who tells me they want to buy it?
Spend a few dollars on her book Blogging for Profit without Selling your Soul on Amazon and you’ll have the same information.
That’s one of the beauties of blogging- you can scale a product to be this big.
However, if you’re going to scale your product you need to add value. And make it worth the price.
There seems to be this huge unspoken code of honor in EBA.
You don’t want to say anything negative about it because of some sort of guilt.
You don’t want to be on an EBA alumn’s bad side. Because they are awesome people and you love them.
You don’t want to be kicked out of the Facebook group because you told the truth.
I posted about this in my Facebook group and you know what? The responses I received from people that have bought the course were the same- they all agreed with me.
I sent an email the same day and I don’t think I’ve ever received so many responses.
I thought I would be condemned, but people thanked me for telling the truth.
And that’s why I’m writing this post.
Because the people on my list and in my group are not the only bloggers who need to hear this truth.
So I may be condemned- but at least my conscious is clear.
Problem #6 The Closure of the Facebook Group
In December of 2020 Ruth announced via a zoom call that the Facebook group was being closed by the end of the year.
I may not think the course has much value, but the Facebook group was a wonderful place to network with other people, I met some of my favorite blogging friends through it.
You can imagine it has ruffled a lot of feathers since it seems like an opportunity to funnel her current students into a new $300 subscription called Activate.
I’ll say this- I will never buy another product from Ruth Soukup.
She is wonderful at motivating people to get off their feet and do something but I don’t believe she knows how to do what she is telling people to do. She has been so far from her business for so long that it’s hard to believe that she can teach anything technical at all about blogging.
My most recent interaction with one of her products was her social media course Social Boom. It was included in GBTK so I reviewed it for my audience because it was a high ticket course ($297).
I must say- all I got was motivation and nothing that I could actually apply to my business. And I had to tell my audience that it was a motivation course.
What makes the closure of her Facebook group worse for me is that she is blaming her students for the closure.
Her exact words were:
In her Facebook group:
“seeing misinformation being spread about blogging makes me crazy”
And in her email she sent:
“most online programs have gone away from providing unlimited access to a Facebook Group, and for a very good reason–the amount of misinformation that gets spread as the group grows is hard to contain.
I used to believe that providing a Facebook Group like this was a wonderful bonus, but this year, more than ever, it has become painfully clear that the EBA Facebook Group, despite my best intentions, does more harm than good for a huge number of you. You think you’re getting support and advice, but really you’re getting bad information that is leading you down the wrong path.”
So if these are your students, and you have sold them an “end all be all” blogging course then aren’t you responsible for the information they learn and spread?
I only see her comment in the group when there is something truly controversial like the closure of the group and when she was asked if she supported Black bloggers during the social justice movement (and that in itself was a hot mess and left me feeling like she didn’t care about me as a BIPOC blogger or any else of color for that matter).
Either way, the Facebook group has been spread whether intentionally or unintentionally as a huge asset to EBA because of the networking and “learning from EBA alumn”.
This is part is entirely my opinion- but it seems to me like her doing her weekly zoom calls wasn’t worth it to her anymore because there was no money in supporting her current students that had made a one time payment. And so now she is moving over to a paid membership to do the exact same thing and pump out more motivation. This move seems to be more about making money than taking care of her current audience.
I do not recommend Elite Blog Academy for your online business or blog. This is a course that gives you a roadmap that tells you what to do but not how to do it. It is the exact same as her book Blogging for Profit that you can buy on Amazon saving money for a much cheaper price.
If you end up buying the course, you will need to buy other courses to supplement everything she tells you to do.
And I have personally come to a point where I believe she is putting Profits over People continuing to sell products and courses with no substance and no actual results. You must buy more because something was missing from the last course. Instead of delivering on her initial promises.
Her new program Activate is evidence of this as it seems she is admitting that EBA is missing things and so now you need to pay $300 a month to get that information. It’s unacceptable.
What I hope, is since EBA is lifetime access, it will get the updates it needs to make it a complete and well rounded course that doesn’t just guide but also teaches how to do everything she tells her students to do.
Please feel free to comment on this post with your experience with EBA or any questions you may have.