Now that blogging has gotten to be a big category, there's no shortage of workshops, academies, and classes, both online and in-person, that cater to the budding blogger. But are these courses truly worth your time and money? Without being able to see into the future, it can hard to know if you're going to learn a new set of skills, gain valuable advice, and be able to practice what has been preached to you during the class or workshop, let alone execute what you learned afterward, if it is at all even applicable to you and your site. Here's a few ways to measure what you may get out of it, and make the most of it, regardless.
If You're a Beginner, You Might as Well Start From the Ground, Up
Us old biddies that starting blogging years ago and had to learn the hard way (writing in code, anyone?), are secretly a bit jealous on how far the technology and automation has come. You really don't have to be very tech-savvy start and successfully operate a blog, however, it still would be nice to pick up tips, tricks, and troubleshooting at the get-go, instead of having to figure it out on your own, via trial-and-error, possibly losing a lot of your valuable time and resources to troubleshooting.
If you haven't started a blog yet or are a newbie to the scene, you really don' t have much to lose by taking part in one of these sessions.
At the very least, you will come out of it with some contacts, and possible even fellow-newbie blogger friends, starting your own peer network of support and community. Chances are though, there's plenty to learn and there may be aspects of being a fashion blogger that you haven't even considered/didn't know existed!
Be Sure to Get Some One-on-One Time with the Instructor
So let's say you're not a novice blogger but still think you could benefit/want to take the course: in this instance, make sure you can get some personal consultation and advice from the instructor. You've already established your online presence and surely have questions at this point, so albeit, during a “break-out session,” designated time for one-on-ones (this would be ideal), or even before, during a break, or at the end of class, ask your teacher for some help. Of course be alert and ask questions during the course, but remember that class time is everyone's time, so being overly zealous and asking a slew of questions related specifically to your blog may be too much shameless self-promotion, detracting from the learning experience of your fellow classmates.
If the info is available to you, you may want to try contacting the instructor in advance of the class or in-between sessions to ask she/he to look over your site and give you some feedback.
From a teacher's perspective, I can usually give the best advice when I've had time to look over everything in advance and respond thoughtfully, opposed to seeing a line of students waiting to talk to me after class while the next class starts to come into the room (and I need to leave to catch a train!).
Apply What You Learned – Immediately
Definitely take notes, and do your best to process all of the data you were just given to the best of your availability, applying it to the perspective of what you want to develop with your blog. There's nothing quite like gaining experience from doing, so if class doesn't allot time for you to work on these learned items on your blog, don't wait too long to try them for yourself!
I've taken plenty of classes and have written clear, organized notes, placed carefully within folder, that I put on the top of my desk, but then somehow made its way to the back of the drawer without being applied.
The best way to make the most out of these kind of courses is to do, do, do, try, try, try! If you can complete a course, having learned to do one solid thing that you find useful, then it was time and money well-spent.
What Have You Found Useful From Taking Blog Workshops, Courses, Seminars?
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