Today I am going to do something slightly different on the blog – I’m going to review a Blogging Workshop I recently attended. I thought it was important to give my thoughts on the event because nowadays there are so many both online and event based courses to choose from. I’ve often found myself in the position of purchasing a course only to find that it wasn’t worth the money. So from now on, if I purchase a course I will review so others can learn from my experiences.
Content Academy Blogger Workshop Review
So, first up is Content Academy’s Blogger Workshop. For those of you unfamiliar with Content Academy, it’s run by Paul Caffrey and Phil Mc Grath. Content Academy is an extremely useful resource for bloggers that covers all the main areas of blogging. They also host the fantastic podcast by the same name, I would highly recommend that you subscribe! They manage to attract some of the best guests in the blogging sphere and it has become essential listening for me every week!
Name – 1 Day Social Media & Blogging Workshop
Date – February 25th, 2017
Location – The Fitzwilliam Dublin Hotel, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin.
Price – €29 (Black Friday sale) €79 (Full Price)
*Full Disclosure – I purchased my ticket during the Black Friday sale so I did not pay full price.
The workshop was held in the Emmet Room of the Fitzwilliam Hotel. The room was very comfortable, with complimentary tea and coffee throughout the day. There was a plasma TV which was used to show the presentations and we had access to complimentary wifi all day.
The first section of the day covered blogging.
The guys covered all the essential elements needed to create an amazing blog post.
- Finding Content Ideas
- Optimising Blog Layout
- Crafting Great Headlines
- Mastering Introductions & Hooks
- Call to Actions
- The Art of Conclusions
This section was great for any new bloggers or even those that felt their writing could be improved. Writing a compelling blog post is definitely an art, and the Content Academy guys really broke it down well to show exactly how to do it.
What I loved about this section was that the guys gave an easily replicable system to work off every time you go to write a blog post. This will save you time and means that your blogging style will become better honed as you grow as a blogger.
The next section covered was SEO (search engine optimisation).
Topics covered here included:
- Finding Keywords
- Optimise Written Content
- Optimise Images
- Optimise Videos
- Find Link Building Opportunities
- Analyse our Competition
This section was interesting as it was interactive. In real-time, the guys showed us how to use Moz to find keywords and we used real life examples from our own blogs to do this. Though Moz is a paid tool, it was interesting to see how bigger bloggers/brands were able to find keywords to rank for. The guys showed us a workaround to use Moz for cheaper (but you should contact them if you want to find out).
SEO can be a mysterious and frustrating part of blogging. But the guys broke it down to easy to manage aspects that even a novice or technophobe blogger could grasp.
Finally, the last section was about Social Media.
The topics covered included:
- Social Strategy
- Cross Platform initiatives
The guys didn’t stick to script much during this section. Instead, we talked about what each of us was struggling with when it came to Social Media. For me, I wanted to go deep with Facebook Live and see what strategies would work for me to make FB Live part of my regular social media. It was fantastic to hear what others are doing with live video. It really is the place to start spending time if you want to be an influential blogger.
Overall thoughts of the event
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would easily give the workshop a 9.
I had a fantastic time. It was full of interesting information and the guys were super generous with their knowledge. For the €29 I paid for my ticket, it was a steal! Would it have been worth full price? Yes, I think so. But my advice would be to spend some time before the event thinking what exactly are you struggling with when it comes to blogging. Having specific pain points ready to discuss would have meant you would have gotten a lot more out of the event.
Critiques of the workshop
The following points are fairly small and shouldn’t have too much influence on you if you are thinking of purchasing a ticket.
The day was very long – 9:30am-5pm with an hour break for lunch, means that we were taking on a lot of information. After lunch, all I wanted to do was nap! During the interactive SEO section I could barely add to the conversation as I was so sleepy. Ideally I think shorter workshops might work better, or at least make it easier to retain information. For the next one, I’d definitely pack a can of Monster!
Lack of follow up – The guys shared a lot of presentation slides throughout the day. They said that they would send out an email with the slides for us to help make sense of our notes. It’s now over a week later and I still haven’t received an email (and I’ve checked my spam and promotion inboxes). This is a bit disappointing, especially if you wanted to put into action the tips you just learned in the days after the workshop. My advice is to take detailed notes as you may not have access to their slides.
Content Academy Workshop vs. Bloggerconf
Having spoken to a few blogger friends after the workshop, the number one question I was asked was whether Bloggerconf or the Content Academy Workshop was better value for money? Honestly, it’s like comparing Beyonce and Adele. They both may be blogger events but they have very different purposes!
For me, Bloggerconf was a networking and inspirational day out. I met lots of female bloggers (mainly from the makeup, fashion and lifestyle niches). I came away from the speaker sessions with a feeling that any blog can be successful, if you put the work in. And the goodie bag was an added bonus! But I left Bloggerconf not really knowing actionable details of how to improve my blog. The speakers generally didn’t really share tips and tools they used and were vague when asked questions.
On the other hand, Content Academy workshop left me with so many concrete ideas on how to better my blog and become a more productive blogger. I took pages of notes and am still working through some of the tips the guys gave. I felt they were a lot more upfront about the practicalities of blogging than the speakers of Bloggerconf were.
So for me, if I want a blogging day out with a bit of fun – I’d go to Bloggerconf. But to get down to the nitty-gritty of blogging, I’d head to a Content Academy workshop.
If you have any questions about the workshop, please feel free to ask in the comments below!
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