Gini Dietrich

Four Online Courses Every Communicator Should Take

By: Gini Dietrich | December 8, 2016 | 

Four Online Courses Every Communicator Should TakeOn the fourth day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to you…four online courses, three productivity tools, two lies told about the PR industry, and a phrase to banish forever.

Today we are going to talk about professional development.

Your own professional development, which should be a major goal for every one of you in 2017.

If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

To that end, here are four online courses we have found extraordinarily valuable for our own growth.

The Modern Blogging Masterclass

I know I am totally biased when I recommend The Modern Blogging Masterclass, but I truly believe every communicator should take it.

If I were in the business of not having to make payroll, I would give it away. It’s that important.

This four-hour (broken into 10-minute segments), online course teaches communicators how to master modern PR.

It takes a look at how to integrate earned and owned media, in a PESO model, that drives real business results.

When you are finished with the homework during the course, you will have a content plan that will:

  • Increase website visitors specifically from earned media efforts;
  • Increase your search results (page one, for the win!);
  • Build your domain authority;
  • Build your email database;
  • Nurture qualified leads; and
  • Convert those leads to sales.

Right now, we only have the self-study available, but a little-known secret is we will still answer questions (shhhh!).

You also can take the course and join our Slack community to get help from former students.

Standout Guest Posting

Standout Guest Posting is an online course my friend Danny Iny created to help writers figure out how to use guest blog posts to:

  • Create more traffic for your website;
  • Build your reputation and influence; and
  • Build stronger relationships with bloggers and influencers.

One of my favorite things Andy Crestodina says is:

Produce the very best piece of content on the internet for your topic.

Standout Guest Posting will help you create several pieces of content of the internet for your topic.

Plus, Danny is one of the smartest people I know so learning from him is a real pleasure.

Everybody Writes

I cheated a little bit on this one.

Everybody Writes isn’t an online course.

It’s an in-person, full-day workshop.

But I really wanted to include it because it’s both valuable and because you get to spend time with Ann Handley.

And, trust me, if you’ve not spent time with Ann Handley, it needs to be on your bucket list.

(Make sure you sign up for the one she is facilitating because, very wisely, she’s trained others to provide the workshop.)

She’s amazing…and funny…and ridiculously smart.

During this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Follow the 12-step Writing GPS to enhance the quality of your marketing writing;
  • Develop “pathological empathy” to create content that resonates with your target audience;
  • Adopt a brand voice for your writing, and adjust the tone for different contexts;
  • Use one of 15 formats to organize a piece of writing based on topic and audience; and
  • Write more effective headlines.

After you take this workshop, you will be able to take Andy’s advice to heart.



About a year ago, I stumbled on Scott Oldford, as he began to talk about LeadCraft, his online course that teaches you how to create Facebook ads that drive sales.

And who doesn’t want a tactic that has those kinds of proven results?

I’m a business owner. I want a return on my investment so I was intrigued.

This summer, Corina Manea and I took LeadCraft and learned A TON that we were able to immediately put into action.

There are lots of online courses that teach you how to use Facebook ads to drive sales, but LeadCraft is different.

It helps you create the right sales funnels that drive conversions from cold leads (almost unheard of, but it really does work).

It helps you create the ads, of course, but it also gives you the tools you need to instantly show your cost per lead and your cost per conversion, with tips on lowering both.

I’m not going to pretend it’s easy, though.

It’s not.

It’s pretty intense and you are going to work very hard.

You may even have to take it more than once.

But, I promise, if you do the work and follow his process, you will soon be driving revenue from Facebook ads.

Online Courses You Recommend

And there you have it.

Now it’s your turn.

Which online courses have you taken that you recommend we take?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • paulakiger

    YAY MBM! I’ll poke around in the other three too. I would add Julie Stoian to the list of great resources. I’ve taken her Genesis design course (well, much like MBM I’ve enrolled in and then failed to follow through ALL. THE. WAY) but I’ve been on enough live feeds with her to know she’s a GREAT teacher. She’s got hustle too.

    • Ohhhhh! You should totally finish that course because I’d be curious to hear what you learn. Do it for me!

      • paulakiger

        Anything for you. xo

  • PhyllisAnnNichols

    Welp – no excuse now. Wrangling Facebook is on my list of things to do (or to hire someone else to do) Sounds like I need to get to know Scott and check out this course.
    The other 3 are brilliant too – I read everything Ann puts out (much like your stuff) and Danny has been in my inbox for ages. Good collection.
    The only other thing I’ve been checking out is about podcasting and Cliff Ravenscraft (real name I swear) is doing some killer work here and has a course that’s got my attention.
    Here’s to life-long learning.

    • I really like the work Cliff is doing, too. Good add!

  • Kimberly Crossland

    I saw this and the first thing i thought was, “The Modern Blogging Masterclass” better be on there! Glad it was! Plus one for the recommendation for that from yours truly.

    The Everybody Writes course with Ann Handley sounds amazing too.

    They all do. Great list!

    • LOL!! Thank you! I know it’s selfish, but of course we have to include it.

      • It’s not selfish, we wouldn’t put it out there if we didn’t think it was AWESOME and something we’d buy ourselves.

  • Susan Stoga

    love the lead craft recommendation. That is on my Q1 list as a top priority. When you say WORK hard, how hard? How much time should I expect?Thanks.

    • Hmmmm…I probably spent 60+ hours on it. It was hard work. But it works. Really well.

      (But you need to finish MBM first!)

      • Susan Stoga

        Promise, will not attempt until the other is done.

  • I really want to take Everybody Writes just to hang out with Ann.

    I might just go down and try to crash the next one she has in Boston, or just peep in the window from out in the cold until they feel bad and invite me in.

  • Kate Nolan

    I’ll have to add LeadCraft to my wishlist. (Maybe Santa will be really generous this year?)
    This isn’t really a course, but a compilation of MOOCs: has collected and categorized existing MOOCs so you can pretty much whatever it is you want to learn about. But beware, it is a pretty deep rabbit hole!