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7 Online Writing Courses Every Writer Should Know About

7 Online Writing Courses Every Writer Should Know About

Being able to write isn’t something you’re just born with For most people it’s an acquired skill that you have to work at. Sure, there are people who aren’t naturally as good at writing as others, but there are ways to hone those muscles, some without ever leaving your house. There is a plethora of online writing courses available to teach you a lot of different lessons about a lot of different kinds of writing. Here are 7 particularly effective online writing courses for aspiring writers.

1. Be a Freelance Blogger

Be A Freelance Blogger

    If you want to do the work I’m doing more now, blogging for a notable website, then this is your best bet. Successful blogger Sophie Lizard has a writing course almost as awesome as her reptilian surname. She’ll send you a new email every day for 28 days, each with one small step you can do to become a better or more marketable writer. By only asking you to do one thing at a time, it reduces the risk that you’ll become overwhelmed. Instead, it’s one of the few online writing courses that can seamlessly fit into your schedule. As someone who has benefitted from the knowledge Sophie shares on her blog (it’s how I got my job at Lifehack!) I highly recommend it.

    Price: $99

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    2. Make a Living Writing

    Make A Living Writing

      One of themost important tutors in my freelance writing education was Carol Tice. Specifically, her e-books and email courses were extremely helpful. Here’s one in which she offers a 1-hour podcast and transcript, plus “fear-busting tips from 17 pro writers.” The podcast covers how to move forward even when you’re worried about failing, take on new kinds of freelance projects, and stop being such a perfectionist. It includes a story of how one successful freelancer made a career out of writing even though, at the beginning, he didn’t know a word of English! Tice also has more in-depth online writing courses that you have to pay for, but those are on a more seasonal basis.

      Price: Free

      3. Digital Journalism Certification Program

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      Digital Journalism Certification Program

        Mediabistro’s Digital Journalism Certificate Program offers a lot of practical training in creating content for new media platforms. The curriculum was put together by media pros who know how to produce multimedia packages, utilize social media in a lot of different ways, and write and edit for the web. You get to choose your electives, giving you the chance to learn more about podcasting, blogging, online video and other mediums. It’s definitely pricey, but Mediabistro has a good reputation. For one, it has one of the best job boards for careers in old and new media. Plus, it’s much more of a full-fledged program than the previous two online writing courses on this list. If you’re looking for an extensive learning experience in journalism, this is a good option.

        Price: $1650

        4. Brand Writing

        Brand Writing

          Mediabistro has another high quality but much less expensive online writing course. It’s for brand writing, which is writing for a company in a way that matches their image. It’s one of the most marketable kinds of writing, a must-have skill for people working in public relations, marketing and even for small business entrepreneurs. You’ll learn how and why people display such fierce brand loyalty. Ever wonder why people are so in love with their Apple products or Google apps? This is where you can find out. By the end of the course you will have a brand writing dossier with your mission statement, a repositioning brief, examples in email and social media, and more.

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          Price: $385

          5. Creative Writing 101

          Creative Writing 101

            On the opposite end of the spectrum from writing for companies, Creative Writing 101 is about writing something more personal. This is a six week program that forces you to write in ways you haven’t before. You’ll get ways to find new ideas, feedback from an instructor, new writing techniques to use, good writing habits to implement, and a stronger awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. All this in a low-pressure environment.

            Price: $324

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            6. Screenwriting at the New York Film Academy

            If you’re absolutely determined to see your name on the big screen, you might be serious and crazy enough to pay out big money for a course from the prestigious New York Film Academy. There aren’t many places you’ll find a better education in screenwriting (you definitely won’t find it on the internet). This is one of those online writing courses that, for the right person, might be worth its enormous cost.

            Price: $4,500

            7. Comics Experience

            Comics Experience

              Want to try something a bit more eclectic? You can give writing comics a shot. Comics is a really interesting medium that’s much more than capes and tights, and with Andy Schmidt’s Comics Experience course you can learn from the best how to add words to pictures. All the online writing courses on this list are great, but this is probably the most fun.

              Price: $595

              Featured photo credit: Gene Wilburn via flickr.com

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              Matt OKeefe

              Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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              1 Why Perspective Taking Is an Essential Skill for Success 2 How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve Success 3 How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates) 4 How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace 5 What Am I Doing with My Life? Find Your Answer Here

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              Last Updated on June 3, 2020

              How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

              How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

              Everyone needs a goal. Whether it’s in a business context or for personal development, having goals help you strive towards something you want to accomplish. It prevents you from wandering around aimlessly without a purpose.

              But there are good ways to write goals and there are bad ways. If you want to ensure you’re doing the former, keep reading to find out how a SMART goals template can help you with it.

              The following video is a summary of how you can write SMART goals effectively:

              What Are SMART Goals?

              SMART Goals

              refer to a way of writing down goals that follow a specific criteria. The earliest known use of the term was by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review, however, it is often associated with Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.[1]

              SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. There are other variations where certain letters stand for other things such as “achievable” instead of attainable, and “realistic” instead of relevant.

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              What separates a SMART goal from a non-SMART goal is that, while a non-SMART goal can be vague and ill-defined, a SMART goal is actionable and can get you results. It sets you up for success and gives you a clear focus to work towards.

              And with SMART goals comes a SMART goals template. So, how do you write according to this template?

              How to Write Smart Goals Using a SMART Goals Template

              For every idea or desire to come to fruition, it needs a plan in place to make it happen. And to get started on a plan, you need to set a goal for it.

              The beauty of writing goals according to a SMART goals template is that it can be applied to your personal or professional life.

              If it’s your job to establish goals for your team, then you know you have a lot of responsibility weighing on your shoulders. The outcome of whether or not your team accomplishes what’s expected of them can be hugely dependant on the goals you set for them. So, naturally, you want to get it right.

              On a personal level, setting goals for yourself is easy, but actually following through with them is the tricky part. According to a study by Mark Murphy about goal setting, participants who vividly described their goals were 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully achieve their goals.[2] Which goes to show that if you’re clear about your goals, you can have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

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              Adhering to a SMART goals template can help you with writing clear goals. So, without further ado, here’s how to write SMART goals with a SMART goals template:

              Specific

              First and foremost, your goal has to be specific. Be as clear and concise as possible because whether it’s your team or yourself, whoever has to carry out the objective needs to be able to determine exactly what it is they are required to do.

              To ensure your goal is as specific as it can be, consider the Ws:

              • Who = who is involved in executing this goal?
              • What = what exactly do I want to accomplish?
              • Where = if there’s a fixed location, where will it happen?
              • When = when should it be done by? (more on deadline under “time-bound”)
              • Why = why do I want to achieve this?

              Measurable

              The only way to know whether or not your goal was successful is to ensure it is measurable. Adding numbers to a goal can help you or your team weigh up whether or not expectations were met and the outcome was triumphant.

              For example, “Go to the gym twice a week for the next six months” is a stronger goal to strive for than simply, “Go to the gym more often”.

              Setting milestone throughout your process can also help you to reassess progress as you go along.

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              Attainable

              The next important thing to keep in mind when using a SMART goals template is to ensure your goal is attainable. It’s great to have big dreams but you want your goals to be within the realms of possibility, so that you have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

              But that doesn’t mean your goal shouldn’t be challenging. You want your goal to be achievable while at the same time test your skills.

              Relevant

              For obvious reasons, your goal has to be relevant. It has to align with business objectives or with your personal aspirations or else, what’s the point of doing it?

              A SMART goal needs to be applicable and important to you, your team, or your overall business agenda. It needs to be able to steer you forward and motivate you to achieve it, which it can if it holds purpose to something you believe in.

              Time-Bound

              The last factor of the SMART goals template is time-bound (also known as “timely”). Your goal needs a deadline, because without one, it’s less likely to be accomplished.

              A deadline provides a sense of urgency that can motivate you or your team to strive towards the end. The amount of time you allocate should be realistic. Don’t give yourself—or your team—only one week if it takes three weeks to actually complete it. You want to set a challenge but you don’t want to risk over stress or burn out.

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              Benefits of Using a SMART Goals Template

              Writing your goals following a SMART goals template provides you with a clearer focus. It communicates what the goal needs to achieve without any fuss.

              With a clear aim, it can give you a better idea of what success is supposed to look like. It also makes it easier to monitor progress, so you’re aware whether or not you’re on the right path.

              It can also make it easier to identify bottlenecks or missed targets while you’re delivering the goal. This gives you enough time to rectify any problems so you can get back on track.

              The Bottom Line

              Writing goals is seemingly not a difficult thing to do. However, if you want it to be as effective as it can be, then there’s more to it than meets the eye.

              By following a SMART goals template, you can establish a more concrete foundation of goal setting. It will ensure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound—attributes that cover the necessities of an effectively written goal.

              More Tips About Goals Setting

              Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

              Reference

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