Is the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit (2018 version) for You?
Read this review before you buy it!
It’s that time of year again when your inboxes are full of emails telling you why you should be buying the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit, so to help you make an informed decision, I’m laying out the good and bad right here in this review.
What is the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit?
First of all, if you’re new to the world of Blogging you might be wondering what on earth the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit even is!
Well, it’s a bundle of 77 products, which, if you bought them all separately, would set you back over $5500. You get:
- 41 eCourses,
- 15 eBooks,
- 9 printable packs & workbooks,
- 5 templates,
- 5 stock photo packs,
- and 2 membership sites
All for the bonkers price of $97! Yes really.
(This post contains affiliate links. This means if you buy a Bundle through my link, I make a commission, at no extra cost to you. If you really want to read my full disclosure, it’s here)
So why is it so cheap, and is it legit?
Well, it’s so cheap because it offers fantastic exposure for the bundle contributors. They get their product in front of a new and enthusiastic audience and because the bundle is only available for 6 days, they can quickly go back to selling their product at the usual price. Which is why you’ll find products in the bundle that normally sell for more than the bundle price.
And yes, it’s legit. As an affiliate, I’ve had early access to the bundle and I can assure you, you get full access to all those 77 products.
You get access to the bundle for a year, but because most of the products are eBooks and courses, as long as you download them or enroll within the year, you actually get lifetime access.
If you really don’t like it, you can get a refund. Ultimate Bundles, who sell the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit have excellent customer service. And as part of their commitment to customer service, their bundles come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Should you buy the 2018 Genius Blogger’s Toolkit?
Ok, lets get on with the interesting bits; is it any good? Is it going to help you grow your traffic? Get more subscribers? Create better products? And ultimately make more money?
Well, actually yes it will help you do all those things. But, like everything, it’s not perfect.
The Bad Bits
Let’s start with some of the not-so-good bits about the bundle.
Some of the resources aren’t the best
There are 77 resources in the 2018 Genius Bloggers Toolkit. Most are good, some are excellent, and some aren’t all that great (I told you I’d be honest right)
Now, I’m not going to start bashing products because that’s rude, and I am just sharing my opinion. Some things that I might think aren’t all that, you might love.
But, in my opinion, some of them are a bit lacking in detailed information, especially when you take the full retail price of the product into account. Others read more like opt-ins, filled with affiliate links and ‘bonus’ offers, which of course you have to enter your email address for, so they’ve got you on their list.
The Bundle doesn’t cover everything
The Bundle isn’t a complete blogging course. It’s a collection of individual resources. There are overlaps and there are missing spaces. This is the 3rd year of the Bundle, and every year Ultimate Bundles works hard to ensure there is no overlap in products from one year to the next. Obviously, this is a good thing if you’ve bought a previous Bundle!
So, what’s missing. There are a few things I felt weren’t covered, or not covered in detail, most notably:
- Course creation
- General traffic growth
There are courses that cover these things as part of the bigger blogging picture, but none that go in depth solely on those topics.
I don’t think this should put you off the Bundle because, as I’ll show you in a second, a whole lot of stuff is covered. And covered in real detail. I just wanted you to be aware because if those are topics you are particularly focusing on at the moment, this year’s Bundle might not be what you need right now.
Bundle Overwhelm is real
This isn’t so much a bad thing about the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit, it’s just the nature of bundles in general.
77 resources is a lot! And when you first log on to your dashboard, it can be completely overwhelming to be faced with them all. Which ones are best? Which ones should you do? Which ones do you really need?
And then when you do decide which resource to dive into, you end up with a load of course downloads, extra emails in your inbox and multiple new logins and passwords. I strongly suggest creating a system for storing and tracking your Bundle downloads, and, as you will see shortly, Ultimate Bundles have introduced some new, clever ways to deal with all that bundle overwhelm.
The good bits of the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit
And now onto the good stuff, because, honestly, at the price this Bundle is offered at (over $5500 worth of products for $97) you can’t really go wrong. Even if you only use 2 or 3 of the products you’ll have got your money’s worth!
There are some amazing products
There are some truly excellent products in this Bundle. Products that blew me away with the value they provided, and the information they shared. And some wonderful gems that on the surface didn’t seem like much, but turned out to be invaluable.
I’ll share my favourites in a second, but here’s the areas I felt were particularly well covered in this Bundle:
- Email list building and marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Making money with Brands
The User Manual and Cheat Sheets
Luckily for us the guys at Ultimate Bundles are aware of Bundle Overwhelm and have introduced two awesome resources to help us with it.
Firstly, the User Manual is basically a mini course which walks you through setting goals for your blog, prioritising what’s most important, and ultimately helps you assess which Bundle products you should be using now and in the future. As well as the workbook, the User Manual includes some brilliant flow charts which take you, step by step, through the blogging process, telling you which products you need for which section of your Blogging journey.
The Cheat Sheets are an optional extra to the Bundle, and if you value your time above all else, they’re definitely worth the little extra investment. Every single product has an accompanying Cheat Sheet, which summarises the main lesson of the resource, tells you what to look out for and breaks down exactly what’s included in the course or eBook.
The Cheat Sheets will save you hours and hours of reviewing products to find the best ones for you.
The best of the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit 2018
Now, on to the very best part; my favourite products in this year’s Genius Blogger’s Toolkit.
First off, you can rest assured that every product I recommend here I have thoroughly reviewed. I haven’t reviewed every single product in the bundle, but the ones I did; I reviewed in depth. So, what was I looking for?
The main thing I was looking for was value. I was looking for the resources that delivered. So the ones I’ve chosen to share aren’t necessarily the eBooks with the most pages, or the courses with the most videos; but they are the ones that provide the most information.
When reviewing courses I also looked at things like how much I enjoyed watching the videos. Which may seem a bit superficial. But I soon discovered I was way more likely to watch more of the videos I liked, and therefore learn more! I also included courses that were more than just videos, or just text. I included the ones with workbooks, worksheets, assignments or Facebook groups. Courses that help you learn, and don’t just tell you what to do.
I’ve included 26 products in this list of faves. This doesn’t mean the others weren’t good! It just means either they weren’t my favourite favourites or I didn’t get round to reviewing them. That, and this post is quite long enough as it is!
The full product list is on the sales page, and if you have any questions about any of the products, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (put GBTK in the title, so I get to it as soon as it arrives) Like I said, I have the Bundle myself, and I’m happy to answer any questions you have. This bundle offers excellent value, but $97 is still a lot of money, and I want you to be sure it’s really for you.
So, let’s see what gems this Bundle has:
Mom Blog Mentor Bundle by McKinzie Bean (Moms Make Cents) value $47
Don’t get put off by the title, this course and eBook will help anyone set up and start to monetise their Blog. The course itself includes over 3 hours of tutorial videos, plus spreadsheets, checklists, extra resources and planners so you have no excuse not to implement the lessons.
The course takes you from setting up your hosting, installing WordPress, finding your way around the WordPress dashboard,editing your theme and installing plugins, through creating content, making social media graphics, getting traffic (mainly with Pinterest but touches on the other social sites too) setting up your email list and monetisation with affiliate links.
As an extra to the course material you get a 175-page eBook too, if you prefer your information written. The book has you covered for ‘what to do’, and the course shows you ‘how to do it’.
The Bloggers Handbook for Keeping it Legal by Jackie Jade (Jade & Oak) Value $35
Ok so I know the legal side of blogging isn’t the most exciting but it is essential that you understand how not to get yourself sued or get your blog (which may be your livelihood!) shut down.
This handbook is written by an attorney who is also a blogger, so you can be sure you’re getting legit information.
Jackie covers what you, as a blogger, need to know about business types, copyright, free speech, giveaways, working with brands, privacy and taxes so you can be confident your blog is legal.
Irresistible Email: The art of Attracting, Captivating, and Nurturing your Tribe of Raving fans by Ruth Soukup (Elite Blogging Academy & Living Well, Spending Less) Value $297
This course was one of the ones I was most excited about, what with its creator being the legendary Ruth Soukup!
I was initially surprised to see so much of the course not directly related to list building. But the course is focused on nurturing your list to build a loyal fan base, not simply get as many people on your list as possible. The first 4 sections of the course create a super solid foundation for your blog (and will help you in all aspects of your blog growth, not just list building) They cover being true to yourself, getting to know your audience, establishing your blog and how to figure what is resonating with your audience.
The second half of the course covers list building directly, including the usual things like how to turn visitors into subscribers and more advanced, in depth topics like how to write emails that resonate and how to repel the people that aren’t your tribe.
Included in the course is a video for each section, plus a 103-page workbook. Completing the workbook is essential to get the most out of this course, because it asks all the right questions to get you really thinking deep about your audience and how to relate to them.
This one is definitely a must-do, and is so much more than just a course on list building.
Oh! and it includes a fantastic bonus of an hour-long training on Facebook ads!
Email Growth & Marketing Bootcamp by Jennifer Roskamp (The Intentional Mom) Value $247
This course is the perfect follow on from Ruth’s course because it takes you past list building to email marketing. It contains tons of value, with over 9 hours of video lessons, lots of templates and examples and a Facebook group.
The first few modules cover the why and where to start, an introduction to opt-ins and examples of what converts, how to share your opt-ins on social and how to create landing pages for your opt-ins and writing compelling weekly emails. It then moves on to more advanced strategies such as creating challenges and product and affiliate launches (including multiple examples) The final module helps you answer the question, how do I know if I’m doing this right?
The course also includes 3 genuinely useful bonuses; the first being a module all about multiple types of funnel, the second is advice for dealing with negative emails and the third is 2 recorded Facebook Q & A sessions.
If you have the basics of email in place, this course is definitely going to help utilise your list to grow your income.
Bonus: ConvertKit 2-month Trial (any plan) Value $58
Ok so you’ve probably heard of ConvertKit but in case you haven’t; it’s an email marketing platform for created just for bloggers. It makes it easy to create email sequences, grow your list with multiple opt-ins and content upgrades and automate your email marketing.
And one of the bonuses in this year’s bundle is a 2-month free subscription to ConvertKit for any size plan!
(Note the trial is only available to new customers)
The Complete Guide to ConvertKit by Sarah Eggers. Value $59
There’s nothing more stressful than signing up to an awesome new tool and then spending weeks learning how it works. Which is why I love that this course is included in the Bundle.
This really is a complete guide to ConvertKit, covering everything from getting started, right through to coding your own email templates. And it includes in depth training on tagging, automations and sequences.
Sarah is a certified ConvertKit expert and explains everything with detailed, easy to follow tutorials. This course is for you if you’re brand new to ConvertKit or wanting to dig into the more advanced features.
GDPR Compliant Blog – Surviving the GDPR: Everything you need to know and do to make your Blog GDPR compliant by Lucrezia Iapichino (Tinylovebug) Value $67
GDPR is definitely not the most exciting topic to learn about when it comes to blogging, but it is essential that you know how it affects you and your Blog.
Lucrezia is a lawyer, and in this very thorough course she covers everything you need to know about GDPR, how it applies to you and how to make your Blog compliant.
There was a chance this course could have been a bit confusing or ‘heavy going’, but the lessons are short and easy to understand so it’s really not that hard to make sure your blog is finally GDPR compliant.
Manual Pinning Organization with Trello by Elizabeth Gidley Value $29
This is one of those little Bundle gems that you seem to get a couple of every year.
I don’t know about you, but I know my biggest problem with manual pinning is keeping everything organised. Most people seem to use spreadsheets but like Elizabeth, the creator of this course, I’m not a big spreadsheet person.
I was drawn to this course because I already use Trello and was interested to see if this system would work for me. And I’m pleased to say it does! I’m using it right now to pin and keep track of all of these Genius Blogger’s Toolkit pins!
Elizabeth walks you through an introduction to Trello, shows you how to add your Pinterest boards and pins to Trello, and how to organise and pin from them. One of the most useful lessons is a video of Elizabeth using her Trello system in a live pinning session.
If you manual pin and are looking for an organisational system that works without the need for spreadsheet, I think you’ll like this course.
Pin Practical Boost: Your 101 Quickstart Guide to Pinterest Ads! By Monica Froese Value $97
I think there is a bit of a misconception that the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is just for new bloggers, but this course is proof that there’s plenty got the more established bloggers too.
This course will teach you exactly what you need to know to run your first Pinterest ad in 7 easy steps without wasting a ton of money. It includes step-by-step instructions showing you how to install Pinterest tags, add event codes, set up a custom audience, and find the perfect Pinterest keywords as well determining your Pinterest ads strategy.
If you’re ready to invest some money in marketing on Pinterest, this one’s for you.
Pinterest for Bloggers and Business by LeeAnn Fox Value $47
This is a great course, especially for beginners to Pinterest. It covers how to optimise your account, how to use Pinterest to grow your Blog traffic and email list and which type of pins are the ‘money makers’.
It also includes a lesson on how to use Pinterest for Etsy and other online shops, and how to use buyable and product pins to your advantage.
And, as an added bonus, you get access to LeeAnn’s other Pinterest course, The Profitable Pinner, which will teach how to make money with affiliate marketing on Pinterest, even if you don’t have a blog.
The 2 courses together offer a really thorough overview of how you can use Pinterest to your advantage to grow your traffic and make money.
Pinterest Hashtag Database & Printable Guide to Hashtags by Kimi Kinsey. Value $45
This is another gem that would be easy to overlook, but I really encourage you to check it out.
If you’ve not quite got used to using hashtags on Pinterest yet, this guide and database will give you the helping hand you need. It includes a short but useful guide on how to use hashtags and a great big database of over 700 hashtags to use, divided into 21 categories.
The best thing about this database is it isn’t just another list of hashtags. Its a list of hashtags specifically for use on Pinterest, which make it genuinely very useful.
Bonus: Tailwind 3-month Plus Plan subscription. Value $45
Like the ConvertKit bonus, I expect you’ve heard of Tailwind. But again, if you haven’t; Tailwind is a scheduling and analytics tool for Pinterest and Instagram and is one of only about 2 that is ‘Pinterest approved’.
This bonus gives you a free 3-month trial of their Plus Plan, or you can save $45 off your annual subscription.
(This bonus is also only available to new customers)
Tailwind: Pinterest Scheduler & Marketing Tool by Anastasia Gutnikova. Value $37
If you take advantage of the Tailwind bonus that comes with this Bundle, you will find this course super handy.
This short course is great to get you started quickly with Tailwind and walks you through how to effectively schedule your own and other people’s pins, how to understand Tailwind analytics and how to use tribes.
Holiday Blogger Bootcamp: Maximise your Earnings for every Holiday & All Year by Caroline Vencil. Value $47
This is one of my favourite products in this Bundle. As the title tells you, it’s a Bootcamp instead of a course. Every week for 4 weeks you get a daily assignment to help you maximise your earnings during the Holiday season. You get access to the Bootcamp assignments on a week by week basis. So you can’t rush ahead and skip anything! And you get access to the exclusive Bootcamp facebook group too.
Each week follows the same format with an hour-long(ish) Facebook live, followed by daily assignments and some extra resources or tutorials where needed. The four weekly topics cover Amazon affiliates, sales pages and email, roundups, lists and other high traffic posts, and finally bringing it all together. You also get some bonuses including Pinterest templates and a Pinterest graphics eBook and some excellent checklists.
Like I said, this is one of my favourites; I love the Bootcamp format, the lessons are informative and easy to follow, and Caroline is fun and easy to watch in her videos.
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers; Everything you’re Missing by Carly Campbell (Mommy on Purpose) Value $79
This course is another of my favourites. For several reasons. Unlike many many courses on Blogging that I’ve taken, you know full well that Carly practices what she preaches. She starts the course by busting some serious blog monetisation myths and discussing the ‘can you really make money with affiliate marketing if you’re not blogging about blogging?’ question.
She then teaches you how to make money with affiliate marketing with purely blog posts (without blogging about blogging) by helping you come up with content ideas, write posts that sell and improve your SEO. And she shares examples. Real life, actual examples from her own Blog; explaining why they work, and how you can replicate them.
The next part of the course takes you through affiliate marketing with email (again with real life examples) in everyday newsletters and during an affiliate marketing campaign.
The examples and case studies included in this course are invaluable, and are something I know I will refer to again and again.
How to work with Brands (and Make Money) by Jessica Festa (Jessie on a Journey) Value $249
Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places but I don’t see a lot of information about how to make money blogging by working with Brands so I couldn’t wait to dive into this course. And it didn’t disappoint.
The course is created by Jessica, who is a travel blogger, meaning some of the information is very travel blogger -centric, but most of it is totally relevant to bloggers in any niche. And with 5 hours of video lessons and tutorials, and assignments and workbooks with each lesson, there’s a lot of information!
The course covers how to create a grow a blog that brands want to work with, including what to include, and how to make, your Media Kit, 6 lucrative ways bloggers can work with Brands, how to be a profitable Brand affiliate, making yourself easier to find by Brands and how to go out and pitch them, how to land paying press trips, how much to charge and should you work for ‘free’ and finally how to impress the Brands you work with to develop long term partnerships.
If you are a travel or lifestyle blogger you will find this course invaluable. And, at $249 it’s worth more than twice the cost of the bundle by itself!
eBook by Number by Suzi Whitford (Start a Mom Blog) Value $97
This course, which includes a mixture of both video and text lessons, covers the prep stages of growing your blog and email list and then walks you step by step through finding the perfect idea, writing and designing your eBook, deciding how much to charge and how to launch and sell it.
The course includes a workbook and a PDF of the eBook by Number eBook and even eBook templates.
If an eBook is in your plans for your blog, then this course is everything you need to make your plans reality.
Editable Canva Templates by Kara Fidd (Simplifying DIY Design) Value $69
There are 3 Canva templates included in the Bundle; an eBook, a workbook and a yearly planner. Each template comes with its own training video, making it super easy for even those new to Canva to use and edit them.
There are different layouts to choose from within each template and any of the 3 would be the perfect starting point for an opt-in or paid product.
Top 13 things to sell on Shopify that make the most Money by Sarah Titus. Value $47
This is an information-packed eBook (with small text!) Each chapter contains information on how to sell a particular product on Shopify, including examples, pitfalls and marketing ideas, all from Sarah’s own personal experience.
Products discussed include printables, faith based products, backgrounds, wallpapers & patterns, videos & courses, graphics & web elements, photographs, essential oils and eBooks and bundles.
This book is an excellent starting point if you’re planning on adding product sales to your blog monetisation.
How to Create your own Printables by Laura Smith (I Heart Planners) Value $97
If you read Sarah Titus’ eBook and decide you want to make printable planners, this course is your next step. It walks you through how to make planners in letter size, half size/A5, Happy Planner and Personal size using both Excel and Google sheets.
Laura also teaches you to create graphics and use stock photos to showcase your printables. Even though this course is for creating planners, there’s no reason the techniques taught couldn’t be used to create other types of printables.
Bonus: Podia 3-month Shaker subscription. Value $237
Blogging Business Club: Online Membership & Community for Ambitious Female Entrepreneurs (6 months) by Allison Lindstrom. Value $150
This membership and community (which you get free access to for a whole 6 months) is to help you get better at the business side of blogging.
As a member you get business and blogging resources, and a Facebook group for collaboration and support. New content is published the first week of every month and at the moment there are 3 courses.
The first is Preparing your Blogging Business, then Creating and Growing your Blogging Business, and Selling Products as a Blogger.
The current membership resources are as high quality and value packed as I would expect from Allison Lindstrom, and I’m looking forward to future courses she adds to the site.
There are 8 gorgeous stock photography bundles included in the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit this year, from 2 different photographers.
- 3 x Busy Blogger Stock Photo Bundles (Fall Fashion, Work From Bed & Pink Desktop) by Elle Drouin (Styled Stock Society)
- 5 x Styled Stock Photos for Female Entrepreneurs Bundles (Gold Office Stationery, Hot Pink Beauty Blogger Set, Light Pink Feminine Tech Set, Pink & Black Desktop Set, and Rose Gold Desktop Set) by Elley Mae. Total value $89
Exclusive ProBlogger Event Keynotes: The Best of 2011 – 2017 by Darren Rowse. Value £299
Every year since 2010 Darren Rowse has hosted ProBlogger Event and this bundle is all 15 keynotes, from speakers like Darren Rowse, Ruth Soukup, and Pat Flynn (each one about an hour long) from 2011-2017.
You get the videos, and you get MP3 versions for listening on the go, and you get slide downloads.
I’m not going to list all 15 here but my favourites were ‘Heart Smart Blogging’, ‘Overcoming Blogging Obstacles’, How to Do ‘What you Want’ and ‘How to Combine your Many Passions in One Blog’.
This one is another resource that makes the Bundle worth buying all on it’s own!
Phew, that was a long email. If you got this far; congratulations.