Authority is a content marketing training and networking community designed to accelerate your skills and success.
For Copywriters and Content Professionals: Introducing a Powerful New Way to Stand Out and Find Great New Clients
The world should be your oyster.
As a web-savvy writer and talented professional, you should be acknowledged as the expert “rainmaker” in your field.
Because businesses need you.
They need great wordsmiths to build their blog, email, and white paper content.
They need writers who understand how social media works — and how to stay away from time-wasting “fluff.”
And they need writers who can build a solid SEO strategy without resorting to ineffective, spammy junk tactics.
So are you the rock star of your writing niche? Do you have a full roster of awesome clients who are paying you top dollar?
If you’re not there yet (or even if you are), you need to think carefully about how your clients see you.
There’s a reason we called it
You may know that we run a professional community of content marketers, which we call Authority. And the fact is, that community is a cornerstone of our writers’ certification program.
Why did we call it that? Because we’re inviting you to step up and own it.
It’s a plain fact. You know more than most other writers. You have a more advanced approach. You’ve invested in your own professional development. You “get” where content is going — now and in the future.
The Authority community exists to challenge you and keep you growing. It’s the ongoing education component of the certification process — and it’s crucial. Because you can’t truly call yourself a professional content producer if you don’t stay on top of what’s new in this fascinating field.
That’s why we require all of our certified writers and content producers to be members of Authority. It’s how we make sure that you aren’t just capable, qualified, and informed today — but that you stay that way into the future.
The investment you make today in the Certification Program includes a full year of membership in Authority. And as long as you remain a member in good standing, you’ll have ongoing access to today’s pricing of $399 per year. (The cost of the certification course and assessment is a one-time fee.)
Now we have to make sure your potential clients see you that way, too.
Writers have literally been asking us to implement this for years now. They’ve wanted a way to rise above the crowd of penny-a-word freelancers. But do you know who else has been asking us for it? Your potential clients.
Smart businesses of every kind, large and small, know that they need top-quality content in order to succeed.
In fact, the number one problem businesses have when they’re looking at content marketing is: How can we find someone to help us create all this top-quality content?
Every minute, thousands of pieces of mediocre content are being published on the web. They’re poorly written, they don’t engage, or they lack any kind of real business strategy.”Just-ok” content worked for awhile — but it doesn’t cut it any more. Businesses need the kind of writers who can combine talent with strategy.
They need the kind of writers who have some “poet” in their makeup (who can create the content that attracts and engages an audience).But they also need writers who have some of that “killer” instinct (who can think about the larger strategic picture and craft a content strategy that moves the prospect toward a sale).
They need you. They just don’t know it yet.
We all know that sometimes our copywriting clients just want us to cut to the chase. They want us to boil it down to that “bullet point.”
They want an easy-to-understand reassurance that you’re the right choice for the job. Part of that comes from your own marketing — your blog and social media presence.
But we’d like to offer this third-party certification as the reassurance and validation that you truly are as terrific as you say you are.You’ll be backed by the Copyblogger name — the most recognized name on the web when it comes to content marketing excellence. You’ll be able to say, “I’m certified.”
The Certification Program Includes
Remember when I said you had to have a bit of the “killer” to position yourself in the top tier?
Well, Copyblogger’s CEO Brian Clark has teamed up with Chief Content Officer Sonia Simone to produce an advanced Content Mastery course that forms the cornerstone of the certification program.
In this program, Brian and Sonia deliver 8 in-depth sessions on exactly what it takes to become a “next level” expert content creator. Then in the bonus sessions, we dive deeper into specific tools.
Because it’s not only about producing the kind of content that audiences want to read, view, or listen to.
It’s also about creating the kind of content for your clients (and yourself) that paves the way to a sale.
Here’s what’s in the course — you’ll get two lessons a week, over a span of four weeks. We’re spacing the lessons out in order to allow you to truly sharpen your sword — each week will give you material to work on, not just “consume and forget.”
Week One (Lessons 1 & 2)
Content Strategy and Your Role as a Professional Writer
The elements you need to have in place to market yourself as a content marketer
How to position yourself for more clients, more respect, and better pay
The two most important aspects of professional content
How to create a rich audience experience for your business and your clients
A new tool for making yourself an indispensable resource for your clients
Week Two (Lessons 3 & 4)
The Strategic Framework for Success with Content
How to build authority for yourself and your clients
The crucial mindset that makes success possible
How to widen your network and get attention to your valuable content
The real role of authenticity on the web
The skill set that turns attention into business
Week Three (Lessons 5 & 6)
Mapping the Journey: Crafting a Content Marketing Strategy
What the “buyer’s journey” is and what the milestones are
How to unlock the triggers that get clients or customers to buy
The mapping exercise that none of your competitors are using
How to handle potentially tricky issues with clients or employers
How to get the buy-in that lets you move forward with great content
Week Four (Lessons 6 & 7)
The Rubber Hits the Road: The Strategic Content Types
How to write content that builds the audience and attracts new leads and prospects
How to use the “content conveyor belt” to increase traffic and conversion
The type of content that creates an unbreakable bond with the audience
How to put together landing pages and other persuasive content that turn “traffic” into customers
The kinds of content that attract links and widen your network
The Strategic Tools Every Content Marketer Should Master
The real role that social media marketing plays well
Real-world SEO that works for the long term
The specifics of email marketing that works (unlike what most companies are doing)
How to create white papers and special reports
The role of online courses in creating powerhouse marketing
You’ll also get materials to help you work with clients
The course also includes worksheets to guide your discussions with your clients. We throw in some professional development worksheets as well, to focus on you and the marketing of your own business.
So when we talk about SEO, we also give you a worksheet that will guide your client conversations. (Even if SEO has never been your strong suit, when you’ve completed the course you’ll be able to hold professional, intelligent conversations about SEO strategy with your clients.)
And when we talk about what social media can and can’t do for your clients, you have a worksheet to inform that conversation — both to keep them on track and to reassure them you’re the right choice for the job.
These worksheets will keep your client conversations informed and productive — which makes you look like the polished, smart professional that you are.
Many lessons also include references back to education in Authority. So if you need to “dive deeper” on any topic in the course, we’ve got you covered.
The final step:
The Copyblogger content certification program is just that … recognition for those who have demonstrated advanced ability.
We wanted to be sure that our certification was meaningful, and not just a “piece of paper” that anyone can buy.
To ensure that everyone holding the certification is a well-qualified professional, at the end of the course you’ll be eligible to apply for certification. You’ll submit three pieces of content (we’ll let you know exactly how to do that) and our editorial team will personally evaluate every application.
You’ll need to demonstrate your ability to create at a professional level to win your certification. That’s a huge plus for you — it means the market will never be glutted with our certified content creators.
Think of it like a college course: anyone can sign up for the course, but you’ll need to put the work in if you want to get credit for it.
Once you’re approved, you’ll have a badge you can put on your website, as well as a certificate of content mastery you can show clients.
Because of the time it takes to individually review every evaluation, applications will be processed first-come, first-served. The sooner you get started, the earlier you’ll be in the evaluation queue.
For this round of students, we will be priority-processing the first 100 certification applications. To make sure you are in that initial group, don’t delay in getting signed up!
Those who enroll after the initial 100 applicants will be placed on a waiting list. Every applicant will be reviewed — but if you want to start benefiting from certification as quickly as possible, you’ll need to get signed up early.
An opportunity for the top tier
We’d like to challenge you to raise the stakes and bring your best game to this process.
To spur that on, the very best writers — evaluated on talent, professionalism, and high-level strategic thinking — will be highlighted with the designation of “Master Content Creator” on the certified writers listing on Copyblogger.com.
This designation will be necessarily subjective, but it boils down to a simple but powerful “X Factor” — would we personally recommend you to a friend looking for a terrific writer for their site?
If the answer is yes, we’ll feature you on Copyblogger with the Master Content Creator designation, along with a quick bio and your content specialty. This page will become a powerhouse directory of the “best of the best,” and a nearly effortless way for you to find new clients.
All Copyblogger-certified writers will featured on the page, and there will be no additional charge. It’s just our way of recognizing the best and helping you to get the word out.
Of course we have some bonuses …
We’re also compiling a pricing guide for content creators. While every market is unique, this guideline will help make sure you’re not undervaluing yourself. And it gives sample packages you can put together for your clients, so you can create a compelling offer. We’re also throwing in a guide to setting the scope of work with your project — to help make sure you don’t end up doing twice as much work for those “special clients” (we’ve all had them, right?) without the corresponding bump in revenue.
And we reserve the right to get you some additional marketing materials to help grow your business as a writer. 🙂 We’re planning on offering this course for a long time — and as long as you keep your certification current (by maintaining membership in Authority), you’ll have access to all of the course improvements and enhancements that we throw in later on.
How long do you have access to your certification?
Once you’ve joined the course and received your certification, you’ll remain certified as long as you’re a member in good standing of the Authority community.
(Because Authority, remember, is your ongoing professional education. It’s what will keep you focused and aware of emerging trends or shifts in the marketplace.)
The program investment
As you may know if you’ve been with us for awhile, new versions of programs tend to come with highly advantageous pricing.
The enrollment includes:
The full four-week advanced content strategy course from Brian Clark and Sonia Simone
The pricing guide and guide to controlling scope for your clients
Client and personal development worksheets
The certification application process
For those who earn certification, a public listing on the brand-new “Certified Content Marketers” page on Copyblogger.com
A full year of membership in Authority
… and access to any additional course materials we add in the future, as long as you remain a member of Authority
Normal cost for this program will be $997 — and we may go up from there. Given everything that’s included, we think that’s a very fair number, and an investment that will very easily repay you many times over.
But for this week, we’re opening the program up at $797, including the year’s membership in Authority. And if you need to break that into payments, we have options for you there as well.
We wanted to keep the cost of the program reasonable — because we want our best writers out there and creating success for themselves. (And for their clients.) We don’t want to put up a lot of barriers, especially to those of you who are already loyal readers and customers.
Remember: We can only priority-process the first 100 applications in this group of students. Everyone who applies will be evaluated, but you want to put yourself at the front of the line. Get signed up and dive into the materials.
We can’t wait to meet our newest batch of certified content professionals!