A fast-paced, thorough and thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the world of social media with weekly assignments and individual feedback.
New media is no longer new. Blogs have been around for nearly 20 years and social media sites for ten. Outlets like the BBC, The New York Times and National Geographic have busy Facebook pages and popular Twitter accounts, while some independent bloggers who once published in their pyjamas now earn six figure salaries (with or without getting dressed.)
Even Hollywood's in on the scene with its blockbuster movie The Social Network.
As a writer, the question is no longer whether you should bother with new media. It's not even when. It's how.
Are you a journalist who wants to keep up with developments in your profession? Are you hoping to become a full-time blogger? To showcase your business? To find people like you all around the world? Or do you dream of creating an online home for your memories that your family can share?
Build your brand under the tutelage of Abigail King, one of the UK's leading figures in travel and new media. Her work has appeared in the BBC, Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveler and on her site, Inside
the Travel Lab, regularly described as one of the world's best travel blogs.
This new media bootcamp romps from SEO and Klout to finessing images and sticky content to build a strong cross-platform presence. The workshop will take you through the basics ??? and then beyond ??? leaving you self-sufficient, confident and excited about the latest publishing frontier. And while it certainly can't promise a six figure salary, it does guarantee a whole new set of skills.
Week One -- Ready, Set, Publish
A brief history of social media, a look at the current landscape, the possibilities and a reality check.
Assignment: write a 300 word "about" page entry and find three bloggers you admire in your field.
Week Two -- Writing for love or money? Or...both?
Different types of writing for the web. Introducing SEO, social referrals and basic monetization strategies: affiliate links, sponsored posts, sponsors, direct selling, indirect selling & beyond.
Assignment: choose a platform, a template, a profile pic and a logo. Put it all together.
Week Three -- Writing a blog
The concept of a meta-story; crafting an individual story. Using links, headings, page titles and keywords. Writing an excerpt and a meta-description. Thinking about headlines.
Assignment: Write a title, a tag line and a bio. Write a 300 word blog post.
Week Four -- Using pictures
Copyright & sources. Using images on a blog: photography tips, editing tips, processing images for online use. An introduction to social image sites like Flickr, Instagram & 500px.
Assignment: Upload an image.
Week Five -- Getting Social
Tacking the Big Two: Twitter & Facebook. Writing for 140 characters and finding followers. Twitter etiquette. Using Facebook pages. Dealing with comments on your blog -- staying within the law. Staying safe.
Assignment: Create a Facebook Page & Twitter account. Create three updates for each, using no more than 50 words.
Week Six -- Keeping things going
Developing your story, voice and pacing within your writing. Developing your style in terms of design, images & editorial calendar. Online gadgets to help you make the best use of your time.
Assignment: 300 word blog post or catch up week if you prefer.
Week Seven -- Tightening Things Up -- Editing
Introductions & dazzling finishes. The call to action. The inverted pyramid. Spell-checking, fact-checking, editing. Using tags, categories and pages.
Assignment: beef up last week's post following the critique.
Week Eight -- Standing out from the crowd
Headlines. Writing techniques, visuals, creative ideas. Interviews. Memes. You are your own publisher.
Assignment: come up with 10 ideas to propel your social media efforts to the next level.
Week Nine -- Finding Friends, Followers & Fans -- Generating Traffic
A look at other social networks: Pinterest, Google Plus, Stumbleupon etc. Geolocation services. Email newsletters. Feeds. Traffic generating strategies. Guest posts. Online & offline strategies.
Assignment: create at least two posts in your own style - overall critique.
Week Ten -- Where to go from here
How to keep up with developments in the field. Conferences, webinars, workshops and Facebook groups. Keeping count -- Google Analytics, Alexa, Compete, Klout and other ways of measuring social media.
Assignment: final evaluation.
Abigail King, a British journalist and photographer is one of the leading figures in the UK for travel and new media. Her work has appeared in Lonely Planet, the BBC, National Geographic Traveler and more. Her award-winning blog, Inside the Travel Lab, is regularly described as one of the best travel blogs in the world.
She has interviewed Michelin-starred chefs, Formula One race engineers, aid workers, ministers, Tlingit elders and plenty of people on the street.
She fell in love with social media after swapping her first career as a hospital doctor for one with words and pixels. Since then, both statistics and awards have marked her out as someone to follow in the future.
As you might expect, you can find her all over the web, as both @abigailking and @insidetravellab on Twitter, Abi King Travel Writer & Photographer and Inside the Travel Lab on Facebook and then there's YouTube , Google Plus, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more... But that's probably enough to get you started.