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Module 2: Audience Persona

Kick your competition to the curb by knowing your audience better than they know themselves -- quickly.

  Enroll in the Course

Course Format & Timeline

Open and enrolling now through July 11, 2017!

Early bird pricing at 20% off ends July 2, and the class closes for enrollment on July 11, midnight (CST).

Content is self-paced, and class opens on July 3 for early birds / July 12 for regular enrollments. At the start of every week, a week's worth of content will unlock. This gradual unrolling of the course will allow us to be active with support and for you to focus in on completing the exercises that build on each other.

Certificate of Completion

You will receive a digital certificate of completion certifying the new skills you have learned after you finish the course exercises. All you have to do is complete all the exercises in the course and submit your test content strategy. The project should consume about 40 hours or less of work, depending on your learning style and speed.

Important Dates
Enrollment Opens! June 27, 2017 (8 A.M. CST)
Early enrollment (save 20%) June 27, 2017 - July 2, 2017
Regular enrollment (full price) July 2, 2017 - July 11, 2017
Course Closes July 11, 2017 (Midnight CST)
Course modules drip out - early bird enrollments July 3, 2017
Course modules drip out - regular enrollments July 12, 2017

Why take this content strategy course?

Short answer: Content marketing is in demand, and it pays extremely well to know strategy!

Content Strategy is Exploding as an Industry: By 2019, MarketingMag says that content marketing will be a $300 billion industry. In 2017, content marketing is a leading area where companies plan to add new staff (Creative Group survey). The salary for these positions is predicted to rise by an average of 3.6% just this year alone.

Online content is in huge demand: There’s a major shift happening in marketing from the traditional “cold sell” to helping your customer by providing useful information. And content marketing is just that — a way to proactively help customers with valuable, relevant content.

But the truth is that without a practical, ROI-focused content strategy, content creators won’t be effective in their content marketing.

For most content creators, when it’s time to plan and create insightful content that will yield measurable results, it can be completely overwhelming, If not impossible to know how to do successfully. The questions creep up, and feel impossible to answer: Are you actually creating content worth publishing? How do you measure – and know if you’re getting – results? How can you convince your clients that content is truly worth the investment? How can you be effective and results-oriented with your own content?

Fact: only 9% of B2B companies feel confident about their strategy, a huge decrease from those that are creating content (94% of small businesses).

The problem facing the industry isn’t convincing people that content marketing is important: the problem is coming up with a content strategy that works. It’s time for a go-to, strategy masterplan on the subject that produces viable, working results.

Learn Online Content Strategy in 6 Weeks or Less With this Practical, Easy-to-Digest Course

Stop being overwhelmed by content strategy today. Learn how to find your keywords, discover your audience, and create high ROI content!

To be effective at content, you need a strategy. I’ve created this certification course to answer an industry need for a practical approach to planning out content for brands and businesses in any niche.

In this course, I’m going to teach you how to create, execute, and maintain – from the ground up – an effective brand content strategy.

content strategy

Taught from a front-end (user, customer, content creation) perspective with a touch of back-end (software, processes) perspective, you’ll learn everything you need to know about content strategy at a beginner to intermediate level, and you’ll learn how to plan and create great content that produces results for any brand.

I’ve designed this course to be very easy to understand, follow along, create and implement immediately, with many “AHA! I got that!” moments along the way.

Hands-on Student Training During Every Module: Creating a Practice Content Strategy

I’ve always believed that people learn best with hands-on practice, putting into action something you’ve just learned. So, at every stage of the training, you’ll be putting together a real content strategy for a fictitious client, built step-by-step as you go through the modules.

You’ll build the fictitious client strategy through each lesson you learn. By the end of the course, you’ll get to sit back and enjoy the beautiful, working, and cohesive brand content strategy you just built from scratch!

Here's how it all breaks down:

In this training, you’ll learn how to build a core, profitable, content strategy foundation, which is broken up into these phases:

1. Audience Persona (and FAQs): This is the basis of creating content that reaches and impacts your targeted reader (potential client/buyer). You’ll learn how to identify your audience; create a persona around their likes, dislikes, and interests – and find their biggest questions in seconds.

2. Long-Tail, High Value Keywords & Topics: The secrets of great keyword and topic discovery will be completely demystified in this section! Worried that you’ll be overloaded with a list of tools to use? Think again. In my years of content marketing, I’ve learned that less of the “right” tools can be far more – your time is saved, and you only need a few real features in a tool to get to the meat of keywords and topics.

I’ll show you, step-by-step, how to use less tools and get more results – saving you time and helping you invest in the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to SEO and content discovery tools.

Using the best tools on the market, you’ll learn how to discover amazing keywords.

You’ll also learn how to validate topics and immediately discover trends using a leading content discovery and analysis tool.

3. Defined Content Types & Costs: You’ll learn what content types are truly worth the investment for different brands and industries, and what costs to expect along the way.

4. Editorial Calendar:This ugly content term that usually translates to “a lot of unnecessary work” will be completely redefined with what I’ll teach you in this section. Seriously! Using a low-cost, super simple tool, you’ll be able to put together everything you just learned in the previous sections and build an editorial calendar in minutes that any client will be able to understand at a glance. You’ll learn how to measure for and write down an attainable goal for every single piece of content you put down on the calendar, enabling you (or your client) to track ROI from each post.

5. Content Publishing & Promotion Schedule: When do you publish, where do you publish, and how the heck do you promote it? I’ll address, at entry-level, all of these questions and teach you a success launchpad that you can apply to any brand, in any industry – with case studies of what works, and what doesn’t.

6. Content Maintenance, Updating & Tracking: Content can’t be created to “set and forget,” no matter how evergreen it is. Instead, it’s an investment that pays off over time – and for best results, you need to know how to track, update, and maintain your content so the clicks you get on your content translate to solid ROI as time increases.

You’ll learn one of the easiest methods I use daily to track position changes, and you’ll be able to immediately see the posts that begin to rank (or report to your clients on their rankings) – plus, download and save a handy-dandy checklist of what to start updating and maintaining to maximize your CTRs when your content starts climbing in the rankings.

7. Bonus Sections You’ll get an intro featuring interviews with experts, extra cheat sheets, blueprints, and easy-to-follow checklists to download. You’ll also get a workbook to help you track and create your own “fictitious client” content strategy as you go through the training. Plus, I have more bonuses lined up that I’ll reveal at launch, which will add a lot of value to the results you’re able to take away as a Certified Content Strategist!

As you create a content strategy and go through the sections in this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to define your customer/audience persona – clearly and quickly.
  • How to define your customer needs and create content that answers those pain points.
  • Know what topics to address to attract and retain your ideal customer through content.
  • How to split up your content focus (for any brand in any industry) into just two main and manageable directions, each time.
  • How to find and go after the right keywords that will result in ROI – it’ll be second nature after I teach you what I know.
  • How to focus and create content types worth the time.
  • What SEO to incorporate into your content creation to make sure people Googling your keywords can find your content (tip: they’re easy – none are technical).
  • Create an editorial calendar (easily: I’ll show you a few of my favorite, free to low-cost investment platforms to use).
  • How to guide your clients through content consultations (with templates and blueprints ready to go!).
  • Set content expectations, measure ROI, and know what to update when.

Guest Course Speakers

I’m honored to have industry experts join me to film guest lessons for the Practical Content Strategist Certification Course!

As you take the course, you’ll be able to also go through tangible, real-time exercises in the student workbook, based on the lessons they’ve created.

Sujan Patel

Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Web Profits, Digital Marketer

Michele Linn

VP of Content, Content Marketing Institute

Dan Levy

Content Director, Unbounce

Steve Rayson

Co-Founder, BuzzSumo

Ryan West

Customer Success Lead, SEMrush

How do I know if this course is for me?

>> Who This Course is NOT For

To be 100% upfront: this course is not for the marketer looking for an “overnight” solution, a “quick fix” to their content, or an easy, cheap SEO hack. It’s also not for someone who needs advice on how to take their content to an advisory board and stakeholders.

>> Who This Course IS For

When I started out in content marketing, it was from the ground up. I was hustling to get every client, learning what it takes to succeed – and I know what it’s like to come from that place. Clients expect you to produce high ROI content, or know how to, and when you can’t, you’re kicked to the curb. With me as your teacher, you’re not going to be taught from a corporate birds-eye level, but rather from a ground-level perspective that will impact your effectiveness with content, and help grow your bottom line. I’m going to share tactical advice you can take home and start working today into your client’s (and your own) brand content strategy.

This is an advanced, hands-on, practical course for the:

  • Entrepreneur
  • Freelancer (Blogger, Copywriter, Content Creator)
  • Marketer
  • Consultant
  • Agency staff/team member

By the end of this course, you’ll no longer:

  • Create content that doesn’t matter (you’ll create content on the right channels, using the right voice, with the right terms and structure)
  • Run out of content ideas (you’ll have unending repository of real customer question data and targeted, high opportunity keywords to start creating content for immediately)
  • Be overwhelmed with your content, out of time, and unsure of real content ROI (you’ll have manageable goals and a way to track them)

Instead, you’ll have a wealth of content ideas to pull from whenever you need them: you’ll be able to construct a high-value, easy-to-understand editorial calendar for any brand in minutes, track and prove the ROI of your content, and even know how to advise your clients on audience-relevant, high ROI topics and keywords with your newfound skills.

Course Format and Timeline

The course will launch on June 27, 2017! Save 15% by enrolling before the end of July 2, and pay full price when enrolling till close date, July 12. The course opens for early birds and regular students at two different dates. At the start of every week, a week's worth of content will unlock. This gradual unrolling of the course will allow us to be active with support and for you to focus in on completing the exercises that build on each other.

Purchase your spot and enroll:

  • June 27: Enrollment begins. Get a FREEBIE on this first day only, and a 20% super early bird discount valid till July 2.
  • July 11: Enrollment ends. If we ever open the course again, it may be priced 25% higher.

Class begins:

  • July 3: Course opens for early bird students! Introduction and Week 1 will be unlocked.
  • July 12: Course opens for regular students! Introduction and Week 1 will be unlocked.

Certificate of Completion

You will receive a digital certificate of completion certifying the new skills you have learned after you finish the course exercises. All you have to do is complete all the exercises in the course and submit your test content strategy. The project should consume about 40 hours or less of work, depending on your learning style and speed.

Your Instructor


Julia McCoy
Julia McCoy

My inspiration for creating The Practical Content Strategy Certification Course is directly from the last six years I’ve spent full time in this industry, where I found my way to successful content through a lot of trial-and-error.

I’m a serial entrepreneur, content marketer, and author. My passion is in writing, blogging, and practical content strategy and marketing. In 2011, I founded my content agency, Express Writers after dropping out of college, with nothing but a hope, dream, and $75. To date, my team has grown to 40 people. We’re tight-knit, and work remotely in a custom teamroom. We’ve had the honor to work with over 5,000 clients, and to date my agency has sold over $4 million in content creation services.

Last year, I was the named top #33rd content marketer nationwide, and I self-published a book that became a category bestseller the same week it was launched (So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing). I also host The Write Podcast on iTunes, and Twitter Chat #ContentWritingChat.

The Story of How I Created the Practical Content Strategy Certification Course

I believe in content marketing because it works. However, that doesn’t come easy. I’ve hustled to become a content marketing expert, and I’ve learned by trial and error (and real client feedback) how to build a content strategy that works. I’ve been my own “advisory board,” “stakeholder,” “content strategist,” and even “writer” all in a day’s work. Everything I’ve ever built in my content agency was based on client need, and industry demand.

The content I’ve created through a lot of sweat, strategy, and trial-and-error optimization, has now made it to top-ranked and top-read across the web. I adhere to formulas, standards, and bottom-line principles that I learned the hard way. I know by now what works when it comes to content.

That’s why I decided to create a course that focuses on translating everything I’ve learned in this industry into real-life, hands-on education. In my course, you’re not just going to get a “piece of paper” as a certification, or learn a “few quick skills.” This training is your one-stop shop for everything you ever needed to know about building online content that works.

I’ve spent five months and more than 400 hours of my time to build the curriculum to meet every standard and answer every question that a dedicated student could have about content marketing, building and execution. Ready to learn how to build a brand strategy? Let’s do it together. I can’t wait to see you in my course! – Julia

Read my weekly posts at the Write Blog. Check out my best-selling book, So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing. Listen in to my podcast at The Write Podcast, or join my Twitter chat at #ContentWritingChat.


Frequently Asked Questions


Will I learn step-by-step SEO and content marketing tool tutorials?
Yes! We’ll be using some of the top SEO tools in the market, and I’ll show you what tools to invest in that are worth your time. There are so many out there, sometimes less is more when it comes to the right tools for SEO and topic discovery.
Will content strategy be covered fully in this course?
You will know the practical skills involved in building a content strategy for any brand, have a wealth of content ideas to pull from whenever you need them, and will be able to construct an entire editorial calendar and advise your clients on topics and keywords with your newfound skills.
What are the prerequisites of the course?
You should have some experience in content marketing (I recommend at least 1 year). This is not for total content marketing newbies. However, you don’t need any prior knowledge with the tools I use in this course – every tool and template comes with a step-by-step, easy-to-follow tutorial on how to use it.
When does the course start and finish?
For early bird enrollments, the course starts on July 3, 2017 and for regular enrollments, it starts on July 12, 2017. Once you enroll, you have lifetime access to the course and so it never ends.
Do I get access to the entire course when I purchase and enroll?
No. Check the important dates to be aware of when the course starts. On start date, we will unlock the material for that week, and drip out each week of content going forward. This allows you to not be overwhelmed with the amount of material you’re going to learn and for us to focus our student support per week.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Will the price of the course go up the next time it is open for enrollment?
Yes, it may. If the course opens for enrollment in future, it may be priced higher than the current price. Grab it now and reserve this price!
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

We have been teaming up with Julia’s agency, Express Writers, going on a year now and all I can say about them is that they are fantastic to work with. I know that Julia continues to train up her staff on all of the ever-changing aspects in the marketing world which brings us a lot of comfort in knowing that this critical part of our business and offerings stay on the cutting edge.

- David Reimherr, Founder, Magnificent Marketing

Truly a good team! Express Writers helped me to bring my goals closer! Creative and imaginative. The quality of the content is always outstanding.

- Melissa Van Dijk, YouTuber, Entrepreneur