In Review Part 1: Mediabistro's Ad Copywriting Certificate

mediabistro ad copywriting course

This week I started my first course for the Mediabistro Ad Copywriting Certificate. I thought I’d write about my experiences here on the blog for the benefit of other writers and wannabes. You should know this: I paid the full $1,500 for the certificate program, and I am not being compensated in any way for what I write. (Although, I did inquire if they had an affiliate program. They do not.)

Program Basics

Students must complete a total of six courses within one year to earn the certificate, including four required courses and two electives. The courses are offered frequently; I don’t foresee a scheduling problem.

Required Courses

  • Copywriting: Creative Ad Writing
  • Copywriting for the Web
  • Copywriting: Advanced
  • Brand Writing

Elective Choices

  • Copywriting for the Web: Advanced
  • Search and Online Marketing
  • Writing and Editing for the Web
  • Web Analytics
  • Web Analytics: Advanced

My First Course

I’m starting off with the 8-week, online Creative Ad Writing Course. It’s Week 1, so there isn’t a whole lot to report yet. But we’ve done the online introduction thing through the dedicated forum, and I can tell you that so far it looks like the class is comprised of 7 women and 1 man. Based on the intros, it looks like my virtual classmates are all professionals with some impressive previous writing and editing experiences — a good sign.

A major part of the class is building a portfolio as we work through the lessons, and that involves picking a real or fictitious product or service for the focus of the copywriting exercises. Instead of faking it, I wanted to actually work on a real campaign. So I tweeted the message above, and Sara from Insqpired Quill replied back. (If you read this blog at all, you know I’ve got more than a passing interest in the world of publishing. Should be a good fit.)

Week 1 Lesson: This week’s lesson was a lecture from the instructor presented in three parts in video format. The information was solid, and the instructor has more than adequate credentials to present the course. My only complaint at this point has to do with the presentation of the lecture slides. Trying to read them in the video gives me a headache. In lots of cases the text is too tiny to read in the standard video size. Move to full screen, and everything just gets super blurry. An accompanying PDF of the text on the slides would’ve been perfect.

Week 1 Assignment: By Tuesday evening I have to choose my product or service, write a creative brief, and select three print ads that I like and three I don’t like and discuss why I like them or not. On Wednesday evening, we’ll all join in an online discussion from 8-9 p.m.

$1,500. Is It Legit?

You know, ask me again in 8 weeks. But I will say this: I looked into another online copywriting program last year, and I bailed on it because they were spamming the hell out of me. I never wrote about it (and I won’t name that company here) because I didn’t stick it out. But that company left me feeling like I needed to take a shower every time they emailed me.

Mediabistro does online and IRL training. Plus, they already have a solid reputation when it comes to industry events, news and jobs. I’m much more confident in this program, even though I don’t personally know anyone who’s completed it…yet.

Got questions for me? Drop them in the comments.

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