STOP! Read This Before You Take a Blog Course

blogI’m on quite a few mailing lists for continuing education programs at various colleges in the New York area. It’s no surprise that the number of digital media course offerings has grown exponentially in recent times. What IS surprising is how unimpressive the resumes of the instructors are.

I’m not sure how enrollment for these classes looks, but based on the sheer volume of offerings, I’m going to venture to guess that they do quite well. With that being said, I wanted to offer some tips for any readers who are considering taking a blog course.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is vet the instructor. Since you’re talking about digital media, their work experience should only be a few clicks away. Take to the Internet and do your own research on how popular their blogs are and how they maintain their social media profiles.

I’ve come across quite a few blogging instructors who do not have a proven track record in the blogosphere, or worse yet, teachers who have no blog at all.  If they have set up a blog as a prerequisite to teach the class, it will be obvious.  Do your homework.

That being said, there are great baseball managers who never played in the major leagues.  And I’m sure there are great blogging instructors who never made it to the blogging big time. However, personally, when I want to learn something from someone, I want to see that they have been where I want to go.

Since many of these courses have been taught before, I would ask the school to see success stories from previous students. In essence, you’re asking the academic institution to provide contact information for students who will act as a reference for the course and or the instructor.

As a possible student, part of your research when choosing a course/school should include checking out former student blogs to see what they’re doing with their blogging skills out in the real world.

One of the major pluses of organized education is post-course support.  Be sure to ask the school what kind of post-curriculum support is offered. Will you be able to contact the instructor after the course ends? Will your blog or digital property be listed on the school’s website?  Distributed in an e-newsletter?

But the biggest…most important…absolutely necessary thing to do before you take a blog course is…


It sounds overly-simplistic, but far too many people hide in the corridors of academia because they don’t know what else to do.  Before paying one cent for an education or investing your valuable time, have a solid idea of what you want to get out of the course – and be sure the course will serve as a means to that end.

Questions?  Concerns?  Hit me up in the comments section below.