We’re building a one-of-a-kind learning center because we believe in learning by doing with help from experienced instructors.
Over the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time reimagining how we teach our WordPress workshops because I realized how important these skills have become to the modern marketer and entrepreneur. Your future depends on the ability to publish your work and ideas to the web with WordPress.
Since I began using WordPress in 2007, the demand for content creators and website managers has grown exponentially. This demand changed the needs of our typical student, therefore, we updated our offerings to best reflect your needs.
New WordPress Workshops
Today, I’m happy to announce to you the relaunch of our WordPress workshops, which are now part of a larger series aimed at helping you gain digital marketing competence.
February is a great month for professional development. Join us at the following free meetups for great advice on how to amp up your portfolio and hear from a panel who will share the secrets to landing your dream job.
No matter what your line of work today, it’s essential to introduce yourself with an online digital portfolio.
There are many tools you can use to display your content online. You can put a portfolio on a shared platform. But why? Your portfolio will be one among many with too many limitations.
WordPress provides a solid, secure platform with the essential elements for a powerful digital platform. The WordPress built-in content management system lets you leverage the exact right content tools for your portfolio.
With WordPress.org you can build a self-hosted digital portfolio. This is how you establish your authority, expertise, and showcase your work.
Our Meetup discusses how to get a hold of WordPress.org so you can start building your digital portfolio as soon as possible.
Copywriting and Content Marketing Meetup – February 23 – 6PM to 8PM
Have you wondered how recruiters find candidates for their clients? Do you know what information and qualities hiring managers look for in candidates? Are you curious how job seekers land their dream job?
Join us Thursday, February 23rd for a panel discussion to get insider information about the recruiting and interview process from the point of view of a panel comprised of recruiting professional, Sue Hardek, senior content strategist and hiring manager, Jen O’Brien and freelance content strategist, Cynthia Gelper.
During the discussion, you’ll have the opportunity to ask your burning questions about the recruiting process, and how you can find and land your dream job.
This meetup is free to attend and open to all, but you must be a free community member at NextDoor Chicago. Please signup and register on their site for free community information and to learn about their financial coaching classes.
ABOUT OUR PANELIST
Sue Hardek, Principal, Sue Hardek & Associates
Sue has spent the last two decades helping organizations scale and become high performance environments, having worked with global organizations like Cap Gemini, Accenture, Avanade, PricewaterhouseCoopers, DigitasLBi, TransUnion, BP Amoco, Whittman-Hart, Crate & Barrel, Razorfish, and EnergyBBDO to name a few. Sue began her career in the Staffing and Recruiting business in the mid 90’s and led the Technology practice for a top 10 executive search firm in Chicago early in her career. From there, she started her own recruiting firm focusing on technology and digital searches with top-tier management consulting firms and Internet start-ups.
During her 20+ year career in agency, middle market, and independent consulting, Jen O’Brien has built, managed and directed several practice groups including Content Strategy, Business Analysis, Quality Assurance, and Instructional Design. Jen’s combined experience with marketing and technology means she understands how to target content from a technical perspective, to gain the optimal customer reach with marketing strategy and tactics. She derives professional satisfaction from efficiently executing strategies while ensuring her team and clients understand how the strategies support the solutions as a whole.
Cynthia Gelper, Freelance Content Strategist
Cynthia became a content strategist and content marketer four years ago after many years as a copywriter and editor in such diverse industries as advertising, technology, finance and education. Since then, she has helped businesses and institutions achieve their goals while constantly working to demonstrate the value of content strategy to any organization. Her clients have included Emerson and Jenn-Air for Digitas, Humana Healthcare, The Chicago Tribune, the Cal State University System for Rightpoint and US Foods for Razorfish.
Cynthia learned the value of building a network long before she turned to content strategy. She has also explored other ways to build visibility in the marketplace including social media, speaking at events, volunteering for causes she supports and blogging to gain thought leadership credibility.
Eleven years ago, broadcast TV news was king, newspaper companies were trying to attract young readers by creating “fun” easy-to-read newspapers and the internet rage was this new thing called social media.
I was just entering the public relations business at that time, and I can safely say it was also the dawn of a paradigm shift in the business. Today, and few jobs titles later, I still consider myself a public relations practitioner but I admit that my job is different today. Website content development and management, online community building and conversion optimization are some of the strategies that run through my brain these days. Not that I pivoted out of PR business, but the entire marketing and communications industry changed.
The evolution of the web, combined with social media has completely reimagined many marketing, advertising and public relations strategies. Today, web-based tactics such as community building and search engine optimization are commanding large portions of marketing budgets and they are all essentially fueled by one key tactic: content.
Call it blogging, content marketing or brand journalism, the need for highly skilled content creators is on the rise. Over the years, I realized these skills are not just for the niche blogger and the DIY business owner, but marketing agencies and corporate businesses are seeking a workforce with these specific skills. I also realized that career changers, business owners, entrepreneurs and bloggers need a way to gain insight and experience in the digital world.
Enter Content Academy.
Content Academy: A Platform for Learning & Collaborating
Content Academy™ is a community of professionals who believe in the power of sharing knowledge and experience to develop the next level of content strategy, blogging and content marketing thought leaders through career training, continuous learning and collaboration.
How We Began
In October 2015, I reached out to my Chicago Copywriting and Content Marketing Meetup community to find anyone interested in teaching content strategy. Almost immediately, I received a response from Rebecca Steurer, a highly skilled content strategist who has over 16 years of experience in the content strategy field, and a passion for teaching and sharing ideas.
It was clear to me that I needed to work with Rebecca because she has amazing insight into content strategy beyond my skills.
Our Experienced and Credible Instructors
Today, Content Academy is a joint effort between Rebecca and me, but we’re not doing it alone. We’ve handpicked amazing instructors who are respected practitioners in their fields. We’re only looking for instructors who are passionate about digital experiences, have been around the block and who can share credible working knowledge to students during their sessions.
What We Offer
Classes & Workshops
We’ve spent quite a bit of time deliberating on how to structure Content Academy’s instruction to provide valuable and useful information to help participants advance their digital marketing knowledge.
Content Academy is geared toward working professionals at various levels of their career and entrepreneurs, so scheduling evening classes and workshops was a logical decision. We then asked how we would provide the right learning opportunities for career-minded individuals vs. entrepreneurs. Our solution, eight-week training classes for career builders and continuous learning workshops for self-starters.
Career Training Classes
Our eight-week in-person career training classes teach the hard and soft skills employers look for to fill their skills gap while providing learn-by-doing experiences. It also allows participants to build a portfolio to use for future job interviews. Our current career training class is:
Our two-hour in-person workshops deepen your digital knowledge and skills to master your career or business goals. Our initial workshop series are in the areas of Digital Marketing, Blogging and WordPress. These are important core set of skills for the modern marketer. We plan to add additional workshop series – in the areas of e-Commerce and video marketing. Stay tuned!
Sometimes you need one-on-one support to help you focus and find the path that’s right for you. We provide you with personalized training, support and mentorship to help you get to where you want to be faster. Learn more about our mentorship offerings.
Content Academy will provide a continued learning infrastructure and networking opportunities through a private online community for students/alumni to connect and converse with fellow students/alumni and stay on top of the latest digital marketing trends.
The future is bright.
We’re on a mission to build a community of professionals who share our knowledge to develop the next thought leaders in the digital world. We hope you can become a part of by lending your story to this journey. I look forward to looking back on this year as the beginning of something great!
To learn more about Content Academy, we invite you to attend an Information Session, held monthly at 2 N. LaSalle, 14th Floor. Register for a day that works for you.
Stay Connected With Us
Please signup for our monthly newsletter to stay in the know for upcoming workshop, events and online community information. If you have any questions or feedback, drop us a line at [email protected]