For bloggers, summertime means conference season, with two of the most popular blogging conferences taking place during June and July. We are excited to be attending BlogHer in New York City this July—in fact, we’ll be presenting a personal essay writing lab! As bloggers work themselves into a frenzy on social media, making plans for rooming together, attending parties, and meeting up for drinks, many of their peers experience a serious condition known as “conference envy.” It is totally no fun at all knowing that all your favorite bloggers are hanging out without you, and maybe even learning amazing new skills that will advance their craft. (I personally plan to go completely offline during Blog U this year, as I can’t bear to see cute photos of all my friends having fun without me.)
Summer is a great time to focus attention on your blogging and writing skills, but attending a blog conference isn’t always realistic. Those of us who are parents have to consider childcare needs before we hop a flight across the country, not to mention scheduling around summer vacations, camps, and reunions. For others, it can be hard to take time off work to travel to a conference. It can be a significant financial commitment to pay for conference registration, travel, hotels, and food. And when it doesn’t work out, it is a huge bummer to miss out on the perks of conference attendance: learning, networking, and socializing with other bloggers.
So we have a great solution for those of you who aren’t able to make it to a blogging conference this year. (And for those of you who are attending a conference? You should join us, too!) We’re offering one of our most popular online writing courses from last year, Write Your Way to a Better Blog, as a summer-long event.
This time, since the class packs in so much valuable information, practice opportunity, guest instructor expertise, and feedback, we’re slowing it down and breaking it up a bit to cover the entire summer. And for the first time, you’ll be able to choose if you want to take the entire course, or pick and choose from four mini-courses. The sessions start June 21st and span the entire summer, on and off until August 22nd.
Here’s a breakdown of the sessions:
Session 1: Purpose and Authenticity
Why are you blogging? What do you want to say to the world that is unique?
With help from bloggers including Sarah Rudell Beach of Left Brain Buddha, we’ll focus on:
- How to define the purpose of your blog.
- How to develop and refine a clear, authentic voice in your writing.
- How to incorporate your blog’s purpose into each blog post.
- How to write about diverse subjects and to write in diverse styles while still remaining true to your overall voice and purpose.
- How to draft a compelling, concise About Me page or bio for other publications.
- Find out how many popular bloggers write about their personal lives with integrity, and explore our own limits
Session 2: Telling Stories on Your Blog
We’ll learn about the power of storytelling to enhance your writing with tips and techniques from Danielle Herzog of Martinis and Minivans, as well as:
- Learn the importance of narrative structure, character, dialogue, and sensory details.
- Learn how to capture your audience’s attention with a strong beginning and finish your story with a powerful conclusion.
- Brainstorm and explore ideas for blog posts that would captivate readers.
Session 3: Humor Writing
With practical tips from guest instructor Kate Hall of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine and other humor bloggers, we’ll learn how to incorporate humor into your blog posts in a way that is authentic to your voice.
We’ll explore different humor techniques, as well as:
- How to write different types of humorous posts.
- How to use humor in your social media platforms to engage with readers and increase your fan base.
- Discuss when/why it is useful to use humor in a serious post, and how to do it tastefully.
Session 4: Editing and Pitching
We’ll discuss the importance of knowing the difference between revising, editing, and proofreading. We’ll also:
- Discuss common grammatical errors and other mistakes to avoid in your writing.
- Practice revising, editing, and proofreading your writing.
- Discuss the differences in levels of editing needed for posts on own blog vs. submitting to other sites.
- Learn how to impress an editor with a powerful pitch
- Learn how to form productive relationships with editor
The course will include:
- the full class platform, including several weekly lessons and discussions about each lesson and assignment
- instructor feedback on assignments in the class platform
- a private Facebook group for class members, instructors, and guest instructors
- a PDF of course lessons at the end of the class