Upcoming Class: Mastering WordPress for Business & Blogging

When I first started blogging in 2007, it was for an employer. I was working for a nonprofit and didn’t know the first thing about running a blog. I went to a class to learn the basics of blogging and did my research. I knew a blog was a great way to drive traffic to our website and to get the message of our mission out to the world. I pitched the board of directors, and they gave me their vote of confidence.

Eight years later, I still help maintain that blog.

Prior to starting the blog you are reading now in 2010, I wrote a private blog for family and friends. It was mainly updates of what me and my family were up to. Nothing too earth-shattering or inspiring. Another Jennifer was created when I realized I needed a creative outlet than was entirely my own. It has certainly grown since my first blog post five years ago this month (clearly I’m not good at remembering anniversaries, as I had to look that up!).

I’m not kidding when I say this blog has changed my life dramatically, taking me to amazing places, connecting me to world changers and helping me get published, among other things. I’ve written more than 800 posts and have over 10,000 comments on this blog. It has gone from a thrown together free WordPress.com blog, to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog with a free theme, to two re-designs with a professional web developer and graphic designer. I’ve had different hosting companies and experimented with countless plugins.

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I’ve used WordPress from the very beginning of it all. On Wednesday, March 4th and Thursday, March 5th, I will be sharing my knowledge of WordPress and how I maintain my website and blog for my business when I teach a special class with Samuel Strickland of Vesica Design.

Mastering WordPress for Business & Blogging will cover everything you need to know to build and maintain a WordPress website and/or blog. From the wpcoach.co website:

WordPress is powerful platform that can give the smallest of businesses and blogs a powerful marketing punch. An easy to use blogging and website content management system, WordPress powers about 19% of all self-hosted websites. The problem is that many small business owners, entrepreneurs and beginner bloggers don’t know where to start when it comes time to manage an effective WordPress site.

This 2-day interactive class will take you through every step of the process of operating and maintaining a WordPress website and/or blog. Taught by a professional web developer and a copywriter / blogger, Mastering WordPress for Business and Blogging students will learn the technical side of WordPress along with the practical side of creating content that is search engine friendly. Students are required to bring a laptop so that they can work on an actual website in real-time.

We will dive deep into each topic and cover every aspect with hands on (this means you!) training in a live WordPress environment.

Day 1:

  • WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
  • Your Working Environment – The tools you will need to maintain your Wordpress site
  • Your Site Environment – The basic components of a self-hosted WordPress site
  • The Basic Site – Designing and branding your site

Day 2:

  • The Content – The text and images that make up your site
  • Extending Functionality – Taking your site further
  • SEO and Analytics – Becoming search engine friendly and tracking site stats
  • Monetizing (Advanced) – Making money from your website/blog

This class will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, Maine. To get all the details and to register, visit wpcoach.co. I hope to see you there!

What is your experience with WordPress?

Writing About My Writing Process

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Chris Carter, my good friend and the inspiring writer behind The Mom Cafe, recently tagged me in a blog hop thingy (pretty sure that’s the technical name for it) that’s all about the writing process. Bloggers are sharing a bit about why and how they write and then they ask a few of their favorite bloggers to do the same.

You can read about Chris’ process here. I love how thoughtful she is about her posts. The work she puts into her writing shines through every time I read her words.

While I don’t usually do these sort of blog hops thingies, I think this is a really fun one. I’ve enjoyed reading about the process behind some of my favorite bloggers’ writing. And it has made me think about my own process, if you call it that.

Before I answer the four questions about my writing, I’m going to go ahead and tag two bloggers whom I would love to share their own writing process. Alexa at No Holding Back and Katie at Pick Any Two, are you up for the challenge?

Here goes nothing.

Why do I write what I do?

I write a lot. It’s what I do for a living. So I guess it depends on the day. Sometimes it’s for a client and sometimes it’s for me. This blog and my work in the nonprofit sector has inspired me to explore the topic of philanthropy in particular. Over the past few years, I’ve looked at what it means to give back from every angle. I’ve connected with and interviewed those who give back in creative and unique ways. It’s been an amazing exploration.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

When it comes to my writing about philanthropy, giving back and social good in general, I think my perspective as both a donor and someone who works in the nonprofit sector makes me somewhat unique. My professional experience allows me to observe the ways in which people do, want and can give, while my personal experience allows me to test out what it means for me. I’m big on research and action. Talking about new concepts while also trying them out. My Nicaragua trip is the perfect example of this. I try to dig deeper into those concepts, so that I can fully understand how things work. I love to interview social entrepreneurs, for example, because I get a fuller story for my posts and I can get a sense of the passion for their work. I hope that shines through.

How does my writing process work?

I’m not sure I’ve ever thought about my writing process. I have to admit that I’m a last minute kind of writer. I’m the kind of person that does great under deadline. If you don’t give me one, I’ll drag my feet. It’s not that I don’t want to do the work, I just might not be inspired. Put me under the gun, however, and I write like nobody’s business. I’m the girl that could crank out 20-page research papers the night before (on a word processor, no less!) and still get an A in high school. To get myself motivated and inspired, I often have to take a walk or do something completely different to clear my head. I always come up with my best writing ideas when I’m doing something else. This is why I always at least have my phone nearby to jot down writing ideas when they pop into my head. I might be shopping or outside with the kids. If I don’t note my ideas, I’ll never remember them later!

What am I working on?

This is where I have to be a bit secretive. I’m working on something pretty big, but I can’t say what it is quite yet. I will say that it’s something I am very passionate about. I’m also working on a presentation for an upcoming conference and lots of stuff for my biggest client. Of course, I’m always looking for new stories to share for my Philanthropy Friday series. (Drop me a line if you have a lead for me!)

What is your writing process?

Upcoming Webinar: The Business Side of Blogging

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I’ve held several classes and workshops on blogging locally and online. My audience tends to include newbie bloggers trying to find their way, bloggers who want to grow their blog, or entrepreneurs / business owners who want to promote their company through blogging.

Inevitably, participants of these classes and workshops want to know more about making money from their blog or using a blog to promote a business.

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I am excited to partner with Sverve for a webinar dedicated to those interested in the business side of blogging! The best part is that the presentation is free. You just need to make sure you register in order to access the webinar.

Here are the details:

What: The Business Side of Blogging Webinar

When: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 from 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM EST

Where: On your computer!

While many people view blogging as a hobby, others use their blog as a platform to promote themselves and/or their businesses to potential customers, clients and partners. Blogging is a great way to establish expertise in a certain area and keep in front of potential clients. It’s also a great way to drive traffic to a business website. If you have a business that you’d like to promote through blogging or you are a blogger interested in making some money, this webinar is for you!

Jennifer Barbour (that’s me!), chief engagement officer of Another Jennifer Blog + Writing Lab, will discuss:

  • What blogging can do for a business
  • Turning a blog into a business
  • Why you should view your blog as a brand
  • How a blog can make money (directly and indirectly)
  • Business blogging best practices

Register for The Business Side of Blogging for FREE! (registration is required to access the webinar)

Don’t know what Sverve is? Sverve connects female social media influencers with brands for paid campaigns and peers for endorsements. Read my article on How Bloggers Can Use Google + Hangouts on Air on the Sverve blog.

Are you interested in the business side of blogging?

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