Just submitted my final grades yesterday, thereby completing my fifth year of teaching my Fundamentals of Content Strategy course at Emerson College. This term was a challenge, to say the least. The COVID-19 crisis struck four weeks into the term, causing a ton of disruption.
Two things I’m thankful for:
- No one that I know personally has been affected by the virus. Not yet, at least. Massachusetts remains one of the worst-hit states (behind New York and New Jersey), so I can’t say that will last. When I look around my neighborhood in Boston, I generally see people doing the right things and being good to one another.
- Mercifully, my course was already online. Many of my colleagues at Emerson were forced to move their live classes online – all in one week’s time. For context, when I transitioned this course from live to online in fall 2018, it took months. Amazing effort by everyone at Emerson, faculty and students alike.
Given all this, the disruptions were relatively minimal for me. Most of my students soldiered on throughout the term, somehow staying focused through all the distractions. Many adjusted their projects mid-stream to try to offer some help, advice, or entertainment while their readers entered self-quarantine.
In my course, students learn first hand about content strategy by applying it to a “live project” throughout the term. They choose the topic (though I have to approve it), and then build a blog, podcast, video series, or newsletter to teach others about that topic.
You can see some of their projects below. If there’s one in particular to highlight, it’s Marissa’s project. Her book blog is exceptional, and I expect that she will continue the project. It was also cool to see some students use different platforms this term – Cordelia did hers entirely on Substack and Meg used Patreon as her core content. No podcasts this term, though a couple of these may transition to podcasts in the future.
Projects from Fundamentals of Content Strategy (PB-621-0), Spring 2020:
- Marissa Leigh Massey / Wilde About Books: Literary blog for bookworms
- Cordelia Miller / Looking Around Boston: Newsletter for art lovers
- Nicola Alexander / Poet Spot: Supporting emerging poets and poetry
- Brendon Burns / How to Become a Chef in 20 Minutes or Less: Quick meals
- Emily Gardner / The Working Introvert: Navigating the business world
- Meg Gugarty / Altair Cosplay: Behind-the-scenes costume design
- Jen Kristal / Textbook Authority: Insider advice on a career in publishing
- Alicia Ouellette / Plant Basics: Practical home plant care
- Bailey Henderson / Surf and Turf Sensibility: Sharks and environmentalism
- Sally Pigeon / No Shame Skills: Basic skills for home, work, and play
- Kristen Vazquez / Living the Goals: Goal setting and follow-through
On a serious note, a few of my students in particular suffered real issues related to coronavirus. I wish them well and a return to normal as soon as possible.
Stay safe, stay well – wishing good health for you and those who are important to you.
What’s it like to take a class with me? You can try it on if you like:
Content Strategy Basics (Free Online Course)
To get an top-level overview of content strategy, I invite you to jump right in. Learn how to connect with an audience, build trust, and ultimately, earn paying customers. The course content is open to the public.
How to Start a Business (Free Online Course)
Here’s a case example of how I started my own company, Control Mouse Media, LLC. In 8 video lessons, we go from Day 1 through all the major milestones of success and failure in the first 18 months or so. Register here:
Building Your Author Platform: Creating a Pathway to Purchase
No one likes to be self-promotional – and the marketing slogcan feel like a set of empty activities with minimal effect. Here we get into the nuances of using your website, blog, social, and email to find new readers and guide them down a pathway to purchase.
Content Marketing for Creatives
This comprehensive online course for writers and other artists is based on my course at Emerson College. There are 42 video modules, with dozens of worksheets, templates, and guided assignments. Sample the intro lesson.
More Online Courses
Here’s the complete list of current and upcoming courses I offer.
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