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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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              Last Updated on August 20, 2019

              26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

              26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

              If you pay attention to your everyday life careful enough, you’ll know that you can learn from everything and everyone you come across. Our life is basically full of useful lessons that we should learn.

              Here are 26 useful things to learn that Abhishek A. Singh shared on Quora. Let’s see how these life theories would lead you to live a different life.

              1. Primacy and recency: People mostly remember the first and last things that occurred, barely the middle.

              When scheduling an interview, ask the employer the time slots they do interviews and try to be the first or the last.

              2. If you work in a bar or in customer service of any kind, put a mirror behind you at the counter.

              In this way, angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chance of them behaving irrationally will be lowered significantly.

              3. Once you make a sales pitch, don’t say anything else.

              This works in sales, but it can also be applied in other ways.

              My previous boss was training me and just gave me pointers. I was working at a gym trying to sell memberships. He told me that once I got all the small talk out of the way and presented the prices, the first person to talk would lose.

              It didn’t seem like a big deal but it actually worked. Often there were long periods of awkward silence as the person tried to come up with some excuses, but usually they bought.

              4. If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer, just wait.

              If you stay silent and keep eye contact, they will usually continue to talk.

              5. Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that would make you nervous, like public speaking or bungee jumping.

              When we eat, our brain tell ourselves, “I would not be eating if I were danger. So I’m not in danger.” This has helped me to stay calm.

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              6. People will always remember how you made them feel, not what you said.

              Also, most people like talking about themselves; so ask lots of questions about them.

              7. When you’re learning something new, teach it to a friend. Let them ask you questions about it.

              If you’re able to teach something well, you will be sure that you’ve understood it very well.

              8. If you get yourself to be really happy and excited to see other people, they will react the same to you.

              It doesn’t always happen the first time, but it will definitely happen the next time.

              9. The physical effects of stress — breathing rate and heart rate — are almost identical to the physical effects of courage.

              When you’re feeling stressed in any situations, immediately reframe it : Your body is getting ready to be courageous, you are NOT stressed.

              10. Pay attention to people’s feet.

              If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation.

              Similarly, if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing in another direction, they want the conversation to end.

              11. Confidence is more important than knowledge.

              Don’t be intimidated by anyone, everyone is playing a role and wearing a mask.

              12. If you pretend to be something for long enough, you will eventually become it.

              Fake it till you make it. Period.

              13. Not to be creepy, but if you want to stare at someone unashamedly, look directly past them and wait for them to try and meet your eyes.

              When they fail to do that, they’ll look around (usually nervously for a second) they won’t look at you again for some time. This is your chance to straight up stare at this person for at least 45 seconds.

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              And as suggested by Brian Stutzman:

              If you’re staring at someone and get caught, DON’T turn your head or your body to look away, because that just confirms that you were staring.

              Just move your EYEBALLS off the person. Unlike turning your head, it’s instantaneous. And the person will think you were just looking at something behind them and that they were mistaken for thinking you were staring. Do it confidently, and ignore any reaction from the person, and you can sell it every single time.

              After a second, you can even look back at them with a “Why are you staring at me?” look on your face to really cement the deal!

              14. Build a network.

              Become the information source, and let the information be yours. Even grabbing a beer with a former colleague once a year will keep you in the loop at the old office.

              Former coworkers might have gotten a new position in that office you always wanted to work in, great! Go to them for a beer, and ask about the office. It’s all about connections and information.

              15. If you are angry at the person in front of you driving like a grandmother…

              Pretend it is your grandmother, it will significantly reduce your road rage.

              main-qimg-17c6060ba5491ad5af817faf5046a13b

                16. Stand up straight.

                No slouching, hands out of pockets, and head held up high. It’s not just a cliche — you literally feel better and people around you feel more confident in you.

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                17. Avoid saying “I think,” and “I believe” unless absolutely necessary.

                These are phrases that do not evoke confidence, and will literally do you no good.

                18. When feeling anxious, clean up your home or work space.

                You will feel happier and more accomplished than before.

                main-qimg-a0187fc57b3d874f251bd06c388991dd

                  19. Always buy the first pitcher or round of drinks.

                  You’d be surprised how long you could drink on the phrase “I bought the first one.”

                  20. Going into an interview… be interested in your interviewers.

                  If you focus on learning about them, you’ll seem to be more interesting and dynamic. (Again, people love to talk about themselves.)

                  21. Pay attention parents! Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control.

                  For instance, when I want my son to put his shoes on I will say ,”do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?”

                  Pro-tip: In some cases, this works on adults.

                  main-qimg-0dc201c56efe2beb49b842205f253dfb

                    22. Your action affects your attitude more than your attitude affects your action.

                    As my former teacher said “You can jump and dance FOR joy, but you can also jump and dance yourself joyful.”

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                    23. When a group of people laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group.

                    Notice who you look at and who look at you when you laugh with a group of people!

                    24. If you want to build rapport or gain someone’s trust quickly, match their body posture and position.

                    If someone is sitting with her legs crossed, cross your legs. If they’re leaning away from you, lean away from them. If they’re leaning towards you, lean towards them.

                    Mirroring and matching body position is a subconscious way to tell if someone trusts you or is comfortable with you. If you’re sitting with your arms crossed and you notice someone else is sitting with her arms crossed, that is a good indicator that you have/are successfully built/building rapport with that person.

                    25. The Benjamin Franklin Effect (suggested by Matt Miller)

                    I find the basis of the Benjamin Franklin effect is very useful and extends far beyond pencil borrowing. This knowledge is useful in the world of flirting too.

                    Asking a girl in your class if you can borrow a pencil or her notes or to explain the homework will make her more likely to like you than if you let her borrow your stuff or are the one to help her. Even just asking a girl to buy you drinks (facetiously) leaves a much bigger impression than offering to or actually buying a girl a drink.

                    The best part is it kills 3 birds with one stone: you get the advantages of the favor itself, the person subconsciously likes you more, and it makes them more open to future favors and conversation.

                    26. Handle panic and anxiety behaviors by tapping fingers (Suggested by Jade Barbee)

                    When you’re feeling stressed, worried or angry, tap each finger tip while thinking (or speaking quietly) a few specific words about what is bothering you. Repeat the same words while tapping each of your 10 fingers, including thumbs.

                    For example, tap while saying, “I’m so angry with her…” Doing so will likely take the charge out of the feeling and return you to a more resourceful (better feeling) state of being. It’s called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or “tapping,” and it is useful in many life situations – emotional sadness, physical pain, food cravings, traumatic memories…

                    Featured photo credit: Nicole Wolf via unsplash.com

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