Back when I started blogging in 2011, I knew that I loved writing but I struggled with bloggers block. I had trouble coming up with blog post ideas and was overwhelmed with where to start. Do I focus on my Rheumatoid Arthritis, recipes, deals, or family life? How do I generate social media interest in my teensy weensy little blog? I knew I needed help so sought out an effective content strategy course.
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My questions (and more) were answered when I heard about Melissa of Blog Clarity* and her Content Brew class. I took the class and loved how Melissa took a complex topic and made it simple and fun to understand for a newbie blogger like me. So what is Content Brew? Well Melissa puts it better than I can:
In Content Brew, you’ll learn how to plan & create fresh content ideas for your blog, Facebook and Twitter. You’ll also learn ways to find content to share and tools to make doing all of this easier. At the end of this course, you’ll have anywhere from a month to a quarter’s worth of content planned out for your blog, Facebook page and Twitter (to a more-limited degree), not to mention a process that you’ll use over and over again.
I took the interactive course back in 2011 and since then Content Brew has gone self-paced with the same helpful handouts, recorded videos and access to Facebook groups to be able to interact with Melissa and fellow students. I love writing about products I love in case it helps others too, so here are some of my favorite things about Content Brew* .
Here are My 4 Favorite Things about Content Brew:
1. It Cured My Bloggers Block!
I had more blog post ideas than I knew what to do with. Her easy techniques for generating blog post ideas require no more than 5 minutes, a pen and a piece of paper. I owe it to Content Brew that I could post a blog post everyday for NaBloPoMo in 2014 and not make a dent in my idea bank. I also was able to build up a solid foundation of evergreen posts to keep readers coming to my site. She started the flood gates, my blog planner is full of ideas and they have not stopped since!
2. A Color-Coded Editorial Calendar
You know how much I puffy heart color-coded calendars? Melissa did the hard part of creating a content calendar in Google Drive and Excel and updates it for us every year. How awesome is that? It’s color-coded by topic and even has room for promoting on social media. I added some columns to mine to make sure I cross post my book reviews to Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Riffle too because I often forget to do that! One thing I’ve learned from NaBloPoMo is that planning out my post ideas in advance saves me time when I finally sit down to write. I already know my topic and general idea of what I’m going to say, it’s just a matter of knocking it out.
3. Handouts that Rock
Handouts that helped me figure out what direction I wanted to go for my blog, easy ways to generate engagement on Facebook and Twitter, and buzz words to use in your post titles. I still use some of these ideas and if you take the course, I bet you can tell which ones. Engaging with your readers on social media is one of the best ways to create a sense of community on your blog. Of all the handouts I’ve seen and blogging courses I’ve taken, Melissa’s continue to stand out as among my top 3 favorites. Her handouts are always simple, actionable, colorful and packed with content to help rock our blogs!
4. New Tools and Apps
They may not be new to you, but Content Brew introduced me to 3 tools and apps to help with scheduling posts and managing curated content and blog post ideas. I went through the self-paced class again to get a refresher on how to use these tools because I have not been getting the full benefit of them. It’d make my blogging easier if I did and now I’m ready to tackle social media more efficiently and effectively.
So if you need help curing bloggers block and getting solid content planned and written for your blog, Content Brew* is the class to do it!
Have you taken any free or paid blogging classes you found very helpful? What do you do to generate blog post ideas? What tools do you use to keep track of your ideas?
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