We review ebooks, courses and tools for writers, so you can make good decisions about how to invest in your writing career.
Course: Brandgasm 101
About the creators: Brandgasm is the brain-child of two online marketing powerhouses: Ash Ambirge, creator of The Middle Finger Project, and Jamie Varon, designer and founder of Shatterboxx.
Each of these industry leaders brings her personal brand of experience (copywriting and online marketing, and design and branding, respectively) to the course with personality, sass and openness. Between them, Ash and Jamie have worked with big-time brands such as Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Demi + Ashton Foundation, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Price: $199, but you can get lucky with a sale certain times of year if you sign up for the TMFproject or Shatterboxx newsletters.
Who It’s For: As advertised, Brandgasm 101 is for “entrepreneurs and bloggers who need their websites, digital products, social media presence, and marketing materials to look and sound pro – without having to hire a pro.” This description proved completely accurate, as the course address common concerns and problems of entrepreneurs and bloggers who just need to get in, do it right, and get it done for both copy and design.
What It Will Help You Do: The design part of the course will help you make things like custom product badges, fancy “buy now” buttons, professional social media backgrounds and more.
The copywriting course will help you use your current writing skills to make your website stand out; it walks you through creating a brand persona, then writing your copy specifically for that person. This strategy lets you cut right to the point and convert your target visitors as soon as they hit your site, replacing your old plan of trying to appeal to everyone and wondering why no one signs up.
What’s Included: Purchasing the course gives you access to the following:
Lifetime access to all 7 weeks of the self-study course
Copywriting template cheat-sheets
Access to a closed Facebook group
Access to six FAQ conference calls that were recorded during the live class
Access to previously-recorded Photoshop webinar where Jamie reviews Photoshop basics
Users should note that this program does not come with any courseware, so you’re on your own to procure a copy of Photoshop. You can subscribe to Photoshop as part of a monthly subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud for $49USD, or download an old version of Photoshop for free by creating an Adobe ID account (that’s the method I went with). If you decide to use an alternative, free service like PicMonkey or Gimp, you’re on your own to apply the Brandgasm principles to that software!
The Best Part: The best part of this course is a tie between the sassy personality (that makes the content totally accessible) and the instantly-applicable tips and insight.
What Would Make It Even Better: This is a nerdy request, but when I posted it in the private Facebook community, I found others who felt the same way: This course needs a print version. It would be great to have something to paw through when you’re trying to avoid eye strain on the computer.
How It Changed My Life: Especially as a full-time blogger and copywriter, this course gave me more confidence to pursue the freelance lifestyle. Instead of relying on my research skills and my gut reaction, I now have specific processes I can go through to really dive into my clients’ target market personas and create copy that is compelling and on-the-nose.
Our Recommendation: Brandgasm 101 hits its niche market just right: small business owners and creatives who need to DIY but don’t have the skills (yet). If you’re developing brands and businesses on your own and want to feel a little more confident in doing so, Brandgasm 101 is the right investment (and it’s deductible as a business expense!)
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase through our links, you’re supporting The Write Life — and we thank you for that!