I just completed the Copyblogger Content Marketing Certification course. I haven't submitted my articles for certification yet, but that'll happen soon enough. Having over 1000 to choose from helps.
I took the course to find out if I really knew everything I thought I knew about what I'd been practicing for 20 years, or if I had a lot more work to do. The answer is: both. I knew everything in the course, but I hadn't always been practicing what I knew.
My excuse on this blog has always been that a personal site is your playground to post whatever you want. It's a place where the rules of content strategy don't apply. So, I wouldn't publish here the same way I published to A Lesser Photographer, The Van Halen Encyclopedia, or at HSBC.
But that misses the fact that we are all businesses of one now, whether we like it or not. Unless you're independently wealthy, you must sell yourself and your ideas to someone. Some ways of selling your ideas work better than others. That's what this course is about.
The art of content strategy is in the balancing of what works for an audience with what makes you different and interesting. This is where I will always be in a state of learning. The course won't help with that, but it does help with how to determine what an audience cares about and how to best serve that audience.
Was the Course Worth It?
Yes. It's a foundation. It won't make you a great content strategist, but without this foundational knowledge, you're going to struggle more than necessary. I went into the course knowing the subject very well, and still learned quite a bit about where the industry is today compared to when I started. As a refresher, I doubt I could find a better course.
For those hoping to use the certification as a selling point to future clients, I have no knowledge yet about how well that works. I'll try it out and report back if/when I get the actual certification.