Saturday, March 26, 2011

A blogging course -- Really?

I'm lucky to have a strong professional network through the Professional Writers' Association of Canada (PWAC) and the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation (CFWF).

I have trusted peers locally, nationally and internationally who I can call on for help, advice, support and friendship. Or a glass of wine or bottle of beer.

A couple of PWAC colleagues, Wendy and Trudy, and I decided we were looking for just a bit more oomph from our network. We wanted to find someway to carry on that enthusiasm we get from professional development workshops, conferences and meetings. You know that high when ideas flow just by having a discussion with like-minded entrepreneurs? We wanted to bottle it and drink deeply every week.

Last November, we started to meet once a week via Skype. So far, so good, although in some ways, we're still finding our groove.

When we met last week and Wendy talked about taking a blogging course, my initial reaction (that I kept to myself) was, "a blogging course -- really?? Why do you need a blogging course? Just jump in and do it!" But Wendy was excited about it, the course came with high recommendation from another PWAC colleague and I was happy that Wendy was finally going to start working towards her goal of setting up a blog. Trudy asked for the course information and I did too.

I changed my attitude about the validity of a blogging course when I checked out the outline and realized it would answer many questions I've been wondered about blogging, but just hadn't gotten around to answering on my own. Making the switch to Word Press, syndication, effective use of widgets... stuff I could probably get a handle on myself -- probably someday -- were all nicely packaged into a six week course.

Sign me up! I'm in.

And that's the beauty of a good network of support. They're always inspiring, even when you least expect it and when you've let your support for the others slip a little.


Suzanne said...

Couldn't agree more about having a great networking community! Hope the course was helpful.

Deborah Carr said...

Are you taking it from Jane?

Allison said...

Thanks, Suzanne. It's just started, but I'm excited about what's to come. Yes, Deb, it is Jane's course. Did you take it too?

Kathy Mercure said...

Good for you Allison et al! I love taking courses, but without a deadline, I'm hopeless! I have three that I've bought and paid for awaiting my attention.

I'm curious Allison, why do you want to make the switch to wordpress?

Allison said...

I wanted to step it up a bit, Kathy, and have been wondering about Word Press, but haven't taken the time to investigate. This will let me do that, along with answering many other questions.

The website for the courses is

Jane Boursaw said...

Hey Deb! Yep, Allison's in my class this session. BTW, I got your note re gravatars - will get back to you today. :)

Kathy - I recommend because it just offers so much in the way of layout, design, cool plugins and widgets, social media options, and ability to grow with the blogger.

The free programs like Blogger and (note that this is different from the .org version) are great, but I've found that most bloggers eventually graduate to WordPress, so my advice is to just start with WordPress.

Allison is at a spot in her career where I think she'll really benefit from all that WordPress has to offer.

Lisa said...

I love WordPress. So flexible, so easy to use, so many features.