As I have not been handling my blog, or my website, very well, I have recently been trying to find someone to help me revamp my website. I found a local guy who is a member of my local small business group who does this and we agreed to swap skills. I will provide content writing and editing for some of his clients at a reasonable cost in return for his upgrading my site at a reasonable cost. So, there will be some changes coming toward the end of the month.

I also recently ran across a website that I have spent a great deal of time on over the last week or so while taking a class. Actually, I ran across this website about a year ago and bookmarked it. I just forced myself to go back and check it out a couple of weeks ago. The site is called https://problogger.com/ and I wish I had spent more time on it when I first ran across it last year!

It is run by an Australian named Darren Rowse, who started blogging about 15 years ago and the site is dedicated to teaching other potential bloggers the things he has learned about blogging over that period of time.

Darren also runs another site called https://digital-photography-school.com, which teaches the use of digital photographic equipment to amateur photographers who love the craft and want to up their game on digital equipment and techniques. So if any of you are interested in digital photography, by all means, check out that site as well.

I joined up for Darren’s July Content Sprint and spent the last week working on content for my blog based on the model he set out for the class. There are two more Content Sprints coming up in the next couple of months and I am registered in those as well. Although I have been working on six days’ worth of content, I am saving those posts for the new website. (They are focused on genealogy for beginners, so I am finally getting around to fulfilling the promise I made to my nephew, Jonathan.)

Now, normally, I am a firm believer in “on the job training,” but to be honest, it’s always good to have training, especially when that training comes from a person as knowledgeable and as ethical as Darren Rowse. As with most people writing blogs online, Darren taught himself. But he enjoys teaching others how to do it, and that joy in the job really comes across in his videos and his Facebook Live sessions. He also includes podcasts and e-books on his site, and there are several courses you can buy for very reasonable prices. I mention this in comparison to the classes that are generally for sale online for writers and artists that usually start at about $100 a session. Darren’s Sprints cost $7 each, or $15 for all three. He offers a free class called The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog. He is building a new class module, the first part of which will be released on July 27th, is called The Four Pillars of Blogging: Create Content. It currently runs for $49. Three more sections to the course are in the works. Another class, entitled 31 Days to Build A Better Blog, is priced at about $100. After having been a student of his in the July Sprint, I know for a fact that he gives really good value for the money. If he follows a similar pattern in 31 Days, the class will still be well worth the money.

Darren Rowse teaches his blogging “Sprints” on the Problogger Academy page on Facebook Live by prerecorded video but begins and ends each class Live by communicating with his students, who type in their comments and questions to him throughout the whole session. He even has free “Ask Me Anything” sessions, which are exactly that – a separate hour of live questions and answers. I’ve seldom found a teacher more readily willing to make himself available to his students, or who actually does his level best to answer every question honestly.

There is nothing that says because you have already missed July’s Sprint that you can only sign up for the other two. You can still sign up for all three and do July’s classes at your own speed (August’s will start on August 17th). For that matter, you can do all of the Sprints at your own speed. You will miss out on being a part of the live Q & A in Facebook, which is almost worth the price of admission, but you can still ask questions of Darren and his colleague Grove once you are signed into the class.

If you have been considering blogging on your own website, or if you have a blog already but it has not become what you really want it to be, I highly recommend the Problogger courses. I guarantee you will learn a lot and gain some practical tips on how to make blogging (or digital photography) work for you. And Darren would love to hear from you as well.

I personally am psyched about the changes I am making to my site, and am thankful to Darren Rowse for giving me not only the tips I needed to start moving ahead with my blog, but giving me the inspiration I needed to start making those changes.

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