MEDA78004
Blogging for Fun and Profit
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  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
 
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 20.0
Credit Value: 0.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Fall 2017
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A

Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Social Media Writing, Writing for Digital Media
Program Coordinator(s): N/A
Course Leader or Contact: N/A
Version:
20170905_01
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: 20 hours: 10 face to face, 10 online (8 weeks in length)

 
 
Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Blogs have changed the way we communicate. They are driving mainstream culture and can provide a powerful means of expression, a way to promote a business or ideas and even generate revenue. This course takes students through the process of developing and executing their own blog using an understanding of the genre and best practices for great writing, marketing, SEO, community building and monetization. Students will come away from the course with both a better understanding of this mode of communication and a blog they can use as a learning tool or a springboard to long-term project.

Program Context

 
Social Media Writing Program Coordinator(s): N/A
Blogs have changed the way we communicate. They are driving mainstream culture and can provide a powerful means of expression, a way to promote a business or ideas and even generate revenue. This course takes students through the process of developing and executing their own blog using an understanding of the genre and best practices for great writing, marketing, SEO, community building and monetization. Students will come away from the course with both a better understanding of this mode of communication and a blog they can use as a learning tool or a springboard to long-term project.

Writing for Digital Media Program Coordinator(s): N/A
N/A


Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
N/A
 
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Define the term blog and describe the origins and history of blogging.
  2. Recognize the difference between blogs and other websites.
  3. Explain the purpose of a blog and describe when to use this particular communication method.
  4. Identify the various genres of blogs.
  5. Distinguish between text and non-text blogs (e.g. photoblogs, videoblogs, etc)
  6. Identify blogging tools (e.g. Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger).
  7. Define the goals of your blog.
  8. Define the audience for your blog.
  9. Identify the USP's (unique selling propositions) and methods of differentiating your blog.
  10. Analyze blogs in relation to the idea of branding and recognize how successful bloggers craft a voice, look, and feel that is very much their own.
  11. Recognize the importance of a good name in presenting a blog brand to the public.
  12. Determine how others have developed their names and taglines.
  13. Connect your own brand to the name of your blog.
  14. Select a blog name and tagline and write your first blog entry.
  15. Dissect the content structure of a blog.
  16. Recognize the importance of a content plan for your blog.
  17. Recognize the difference in content planning between personal blogs, corporate blogs, and other genres.
  18. Classify the different methods of categorizing content via site navigation.
  19. Construct content categories that will work for the content of your blog.
  20. Follow blogging best practices and avoid common pitfalls.
  21. Determine what makes a blog readable.
  22. Outline the ethical issues facing web writers including the Bloggers Code of Conduct.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: IN-CLASS & ONLINE INSTRUCTION
 Course Engagement20.0%
 Assignment #1 - Blogger Branding20.0%
 Assignment #2 - Content Analysis20.0%
 Assignment #3 - Your Blog40.0%
Total100.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities requirements:

 

Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

  • Communication

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar

  • Not Eligible for PLAR

 
 
Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-class & Online Instruction
Professor: Multiple Professors
Resource(s): N/A
Applicable student group(s): Continuing and Professional Studies
Course Details:

Module 1 - Introduction to Blogging (in-person)

  • Content to include:
    • Welcome and Introduction
    • What is a blog? 
    • A brief overview of the history of blogging 
    • Blogger's Code of Conduct 
    • Why do we blog? 
    • Types and genres of blogs 
    • What makes a blog 'good'? 
    • Who am I writing for? 
    • Blog platforms and recommendations (Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger) 
    • Demonstration of creating a blog 
  • In-Class Exercises - What Is Your Brand? and Ideal Client Profile 

Module 2 - Standing Out (online)

  • Content to include:
    • Standing Out in a Crowded Marketplace - how can a blog set itself apart 
    • Standing Out - Content, Visuals, Name, Logo, Tagline
    • .com, .ca, .net, or .org - What is best? 
    • Analyzing a wide range of successful blogs and how they have been able to set themselves apart by developing a unique concept and delivering on it well 
    • Learn about differentiation  

Module 3 - Site Navigation (online

  • Content to include:
    • Why is site navigation so important?
      • The importance of the header - about me, contact, etc 
      • The importance of tags 
      • The importance of categories 
      • The importance of typography 
      • The importance of style (colour scheme) and how to colour coordinate 
      • The importance of the logo / wordmark
    • Site navigation of the platform of unanimous choosing (Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger) 
    • Common site navigation mistakes and how to avoid them 

Module 4 - Content Planning (online)

  • Content to include:
    • What is content?
    • How to make standout content 
    • How NOT to make standout content 
    • Examples of blogs that have delivered on their good content promises 
    • How to come up with content posts 
    • Content calendars and publishing schedules - why do we use them?
    • Examples of content calendars and how to create them 
    • The types of posts that are the most popular and the post types to avoid 
    • Discussion of what to write and when 

Module 5 - Being Found (online

  • Content to include:
    • How to get the right kind of attention and engage readers 
    • The perks of guest blogging 
    • What is Search Engine Optimization and how does it relate to blogging? 

Module 6 - Social Media Usage (online

  • Content to include:
    • The role of social media in blogging (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, SnapChat, etc) 
    • What social media platform is right for you and your blog? 
    • How to grow your social media following organically 
    • Strategies on how to be active on social media
    • How to use social media to boost traffic  

Module 7 - Moving Forward With Your Blog (in-person)

  • Content to include:
    • How to start making money from your blog / monetization options 
    • A discussion on Google Analytics
    • A discussion on advertising methods (including Google Adsense) 
    • A discussion on paid advertisements and paid blog posts 
    • Trends for blogging moving forward
    • Wrapping up the course and moving your blog forward


Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.


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