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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

So You Wanna Be a Leader?

Over the last year or so I've had a lot of requests for guidance on how to monetize a blog, how to get consulting work, and how to reach a larger audience. I wasn't alone in getting asked these kind of questions. My friends Angela Maiers and Chris Dawson get the same kind of questions too. So we got together and decided to create a four week course in which we share how we have built our small businesses through writing and speaking.

A Bit of My Story
When I started Free Technology for Teachers I did not have any idea that it would grow into the small business that it has. After about a year of blogging two things happened that made me try to make a little money through ad revenue. I saw a video in which Robert Scoble interviewed Pete Cashmore about the origins of Mashable. While watching that video, I realized that it is possible to make money through blogging. Second, and probably more importantly, I was struggling to pay the bills on my teaching salary alone (that year my salary was under $28k). My options were to get a part-time job or try putting advertisements on my blog. I tried advertisements and the rest, as they say, is history.

More About the Course
In this four week course, So You Wanna Be a Leader? we'll walk you through how to create your personal brand, expand your influence, market your skills and personal brand, and finally how to handle the logistics of your new small business. Throughout the course we'll share the lessons we've learned the hard way so that you can avoid making the same mistakes. And section of the course has clear action items to get you started on the road to building, expanding, and marketing your personal brand. You can see the course outline here.

So You Wanna Be a Leader? is not a free course. I realize that marks a stark shift from everything else I've offered through Free Technology for Teachers over the last five years. The reasons that we're charging for participation in the course is that we're sharing knowledge and experience that you can take and use to make money for yourself. In fact, if you do carry through with building your own small business, your course tuition could be a tax deduction (consult your tax professional). And just like when I go to speak at a school or conference I'm paid for my time.

If you want to learn how to create your personal brand, expand your influence, and make some money for your efforts, So You Wanna Be a Leader? is for you.

Free Technology for Teachers Is Not Changing
Free Technology for Teachers is not changing one bit because of this course offering. I will still be publishing five or more blog posts every weekday. And I will still be working to publish new free ebooks. An update to Google Docs for Teachers is in my to-do list right now.

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