Over the past couple of months I’ve spoken at two blogging events – Blogstock and the TBU Conference in Nantes. Both times I’ve come away thinking I really ought to put all the knowledge I have into an online blogging course. (For those of you that don’t know I not only write Best Dad; I also ghost-write blogs for three different commercial clients, all of which have been very successful in building and engaging an audience and, more importantly, making money from that audience.
The most established of those business blogs has been published every week – without fail – for 4½ years. Best Dad has been published – originally as a newspaper column and latterly also as a blog – for 12 years: again, every week without ever missing a deadline.
So I know a lot about producing content, doing it consistently, doing it to a high standard and engaging an audience. Which brings us back to the course…
The problem is, you can have ‘create/write blogging course’ on your to-do list for months. It’s not as urgent as meeting a deadline for a client or producing this week’s regular content. We all have things we’d like to do and somehow they’re still on the to-do list three months later…
So the only way I’m going to create the course is to have some ‘customers’ for it. ‘Customers’ is in inverted commas there because – in the first instance – I’m not going to charge for the course. I’d like to find six or eight people who really want to take their blogging and/or their writing to another level – and who’ll be prepared to give me constructive feedback in return, so that some time around Spring 2015 I’m able to roll out a course that I can charge for.
The course is aimed at people who need, want or have to blog for themselves, a business or an organisation, and it will have two principal aims:
- To teach you the methods and principles I use to produce good quality, consistent content for myself and my clients
- And to simply improve the overall quality of your writing
What will the course cover?
These are the main topics I’m aiming to cover. On this first course I may well also add content according to specific requests:
- Identifying, defining and knowing your audience
- Engaging your audience, delivering what they want, building loyalty
- Developing a distinctive voice for your blog
- And keeping that voice consistent
- Publishing consistently
- Promoting the blog
- Never running out of subjects to write about
- Keeping the quality high
- Developing characters in the blog that people want to engage with
- Writing about trivia – and why it is so important
- Writing in practice – simply getting it done every week
- Making sure you don’t get bored: making sure your audience doesn’t get bored
- Measuring success
- The future of the blog – and turning the blog into a book
How will it work in practice?
I’ll aim to deliver a module every fortnight with about a page of notes and some work I’d like you to do – which more often than not will involve writing all or part of a blog post.
You send the work you’ve done to me: I make comments and suggestions and send it back to you. If necessary we have a chat via Skype.
And then we’re on to the next module…
Even with six or eight people that’s quite a lot of work for me: I’ve critiqued one 600 word blog post for someone and it took 40 minutes. So as I’m not charging for the course I’d really like people who are committed to improving their blogging skills. If you think, ‘that might quite nice’ then the course probably isn’t for you as it will be hard work and I will be critical – although criticism will always be constructive.
But complete the course and you will have a structure and a method that works. You’ll be a better writer and you’ll have the skills necessary to ghost-write blogs for businesses and organisations if that’s what you want to do.
So that’s the deal: if you’re interested, e-mail me. I’m aiming to start around mid-November.