Recommended Resources: J School and Escape the Content Mills

If you look at the sidebars to the right of this post you’ll see two links to writing courses. I don’t usually put links like this on my site but I will make an exception here because I’ve personally benefited from the excellent tuition offered by Carol Tice and Linda Formichelli for years. Their reputation is exceptional and it is almost impossible to be a writer on the internet these days and not of heard of these guys.

These two ladies know the freelance writing business inside out, backwards and every which way you can imagine. Their Freelance Writer’s Den is one of the best forums you can join and their books on writing worth every penny. Perhaps more than any other single resource available online, the courses that come out of the Den have got to be the best around.

At the moment, Carol and Linda are offering two courses:

The J-School is ideal for freelancers who aren’t formally qualified as journalists but are interested in learning the ropes – perhaps to write for their local papers or just to toughen up their writing style. This material isn’t just for pure journalism but will help anyone who is writing articles for a living. Here’s what you’ll learn (taken direct from their website):

  • Story Ideas That Sell. You’ll discover dozens of strategies and sources for finding story ideas and slanting them to fit specific publications.
  • Newsgathering 101. How to find fresh research, locate credible sources, and conduct lively interviews that get you great quotes.
  • Article writing intensive. We share all our best tips for delivering well-written pieces your editor will love. Then, you can write an article draft and we’ll review it, if you choose the +Support level.
  • Journalism ethics 101. Worried about getting sued? Don’t know if you’re writing things that could get you in trouble with your editor? Find out what you need to know in dealing with sources, using quotes, and citing existing materials.

Click on the sidebar for more details on this course or anywhere on this post where you see J-School.

The other course, Escape The Content Mills , is for those of you who are still (foolishly?) trying to find work through these seductive but poorly paying sites. Heaven knows, I know how hard it is to make a living from freelance writing and these sites offer thousands of opportunities but inevitably you end up working for peanuts and having to work hard even for that! In this course, Carol and Linda will show you why you’re better than that and how do get good paying work. Here’s what you’ll learn (again taken direct from their website):

  • Finding Your Niche: Avoid wasting time and find your most lucrative niche with our fail-proof step-by-step guide + a fillable PDF worksheet!
  • Markets That Pay: Learn about great freelance markets that want YOUR writing (and pay well for it!)—including where to find these markets, and who to contact.
  • Marketing That Works: Discover the simple marketing techniques that work best today—with loads of details on how to make each tactic work for you.
  • Build a Cheap (and Effective!) Writer Website: See how to build an effective, low-cost writer website that works 24/7 to bring you clients
  • Overcome Fear and Take Action: Let’s get you ready to get out there and earn more! (We surveyed our beta testers about their greatest fears that are keeping them from taking action—and busted them all in this lesson!)

Click on the sidebar for more details on this course or anywhere on this post where you see Escape The Content Mills.

I’ve only touched the surface on what these courses offer and strongly recommend any writer, newish to the game, to check out them out and give serious consideration to investing the tiny amount of money needed. You’ll more than cover the costs from the paid work you should get from following the lessons and the courses come with full 100% money-back guarantees anyway (but honestly, you won’t need it).

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