We review ebooks, courses and tools for writers, so you can make good decisions about how to invest in your writing career.
Product Name: Content Marketing for Journalists
About the creator: Mridu Khullar Relph is an experienced freelance journalist who has written for big-name publications including Time Magazine and the New York Times. She recently got started in content marketing for a half-dozen businesses and discovered it was a great way to use her journalism skills to earn more money than typical publication work.
Who It’s For: Journalists who are looking to launch content marketing careers. This is definitely not a course for newbies, but rather experienced writers who are looking to expand their skillset.
What It Will Help You Do: The six-week course teaches you what content marketing is, who hires journalists for their content marketing work (and how to find them), and how to put together websites,Twitter profiles and LinkedIn pages that will help you get noticed as a content marketer.
Relph also discusses letters of introduction (LOI) to agencies and businesses that use content marketers, and how to develop a marketing plan so you can start landing work.
While some e-courses, including Relph’s 30 Days, 30 Queries have an end goal like sending a bunch of pitches, this one doesn’t. She simply inspires you to push yourself and reach out to as many businesses and agencies as possible.
The amount of time you’ll spend on the course will vary depending on the condition of your personal webpage, social media presence and LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have much of a presence on Twitter, you’ll need to spend more time on that module than someone with a lot of connections.
Since it’s self-paced, you can go at your own speed — so if it takes you longer to do one day’s call-to-action, you can catch up later. Or if life gets too busy and you fall a day or two behind, you can jump back in when you have time.
What’s Included: Weekly lesson plans packed with information on how to work through the different steps to navigate from being a journalist who writes just for publications to a journalist who can land content marketing jobs; daily emails Monday through Friday with daily action steps to help you meet your goals; and a closed Facebook group where you can share questions, successes, challenges, etc. with other students in the class.
The Best Part: Relph is full of so much knowledge about content marketing and is a great instructor, providing lots of examples and materials. Her daily emails with action steps inspired me and and kept me on track. And she always acknowledged that not everyone may be right in the same spot as as long you kept moving forward. I also really enjoyed the Facebook group, even after I had completed the course.
What Would Make It Even Better: A lower price. Looking back, I think paying nearly $400 for this course was a bit too much. If I had landed content marketing work already, I might think differently, but right now I am having second thoughts about what I spent on the course.
Maybe $300 would be appropriate since there wasn’t any direct feedback from Relph such as having her review inquiry letters or looking at websites. As a point of reference, I thought about how much students paid for a three-credit writing course I taught at the local community college ($350) and the amount of feedback I provided.
Overall, I felt I learned a lot from Relph. I’m just waiting to see if content marketing work has the potential to pay more than traditional publication work.
How It Changed My Life: While I have not landed any content marketing work yet, I’m still working on that goal and hope to eventually succeed. I continue to follow the advice Relph gave, such as sending out a certain number of LOIs every week and making connections on Twitter and LinkedIn.
This course did inspire me to finally update my personal website and make much-needed changes to my LinkedIn profile. I also met people through the Facebook group that were in the same boat in their careers, so it was nice to not feel so alone. Life as a freelancer can sometimes be lonely and you think you’re the only one dealing with a certain issue; connecting with these other freelancers has been great.
Our Recommendation: I recommend this course if you’re a journalist looking to learn more about content marketing and how to add that work to your portfolio. But be prepared to work hard for six weeks!
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