Yesterday I held my first #2SummersBlogClass, with nine fabulous bloggers/aspiring bloggers, at Bridge Books in downtown Joburg. It was one of the best Saturdays I’ve had in a while.
Yes, I gave my blog class a hashtag. I’ve become one of those people.
My blog class and me, in front of the beautiful Faith47 graffiti mural just off Gandhi Square.
The First #2SummersBlogClass
We spent the day in the Bridge Books meeting room at 87 Commissioner Street, talking about why to start a blog, tips on creating a strong, readable blog, how to promote a blog on social media, and how to shoot great photos for a blog. We took a photowalk around the CBD, visiting one of downtown Joburg’s best rooftop apartments, meeting people in shops and on the street, and exploring historic landmarks.
Merishia shoots the city from the Apprentice Penthouse balcony, owned by Urban Ocean, on Albertina Sisulu Street.
View of downtown Joburg through the porthole-shaped window in the Apprentice Penthouse bathroom.
We wandered into a shop called Nombini Christine Fashion Design at the corner of Harrison Street and Albertina Sisulu. We had to do some negotiation to gain permission to take photographs, which was good practice for my class. I can’t believe I’ve never noticed this shop before — the clothes are spectacular. Ms. Nombini was there, holding court in the middle of the shop and consulting with a number of eager clients. These ladies were trying on their bridesmaids dresses for an upcoming wedding — note the little girl peaking out from underneath the dress hems.
A friendly taxi driver who asked to be photographed while sitting at a traffic light.
The statue of Gandhi in Gandhi Square — one of my favorite statues in Joburg.
We strolled over to One Eloff Street, a short walk from Bridge Books, and had lunch at Joziburg Lane. Joziburg Lane was holding a weekend festival, providing the perfect excuse for a tasty off-site lunch. We took photos of our food and discussed the important of hashtags. We also enjoyed exploring the One Eloff development and discovered some hidden spots.
Delicious cordials, which we used to wash down deli sandwiches and cheese platters from the Joziburg Lane deli. The deli is now open permanently, Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00-5:00, so give it a try if you find yourself in town for lunch. (Disclaimer: Our lunch at Joziburg Lane was complimentary. Negotiating complimentary lunches is another important blogger skill.)
We walked up to the top floor of One Eloff and found this secret little area next to the parking garage. We decided it was a good spot for an awkward group selfie.
We then returned to Bridge Books for some one-on-one time and further discussion of what makes a good blog. The day ended with a fantastic poetry reading, wine, and book-shopping.
Poet and physician Thandokuhle Mngqibisa (what a surname — four consonants in a row!) reads some of her stunning and bad-ass poetry. Thando brought tears to my eyes, and I wasn’t the only one.
I couldn’t leave without a new book and neither could Ntokozo. As I’ve said before, the books at Bridge are really affordable. If you haven’t gone to check it out yet, please do.
I was really nervous about yesterday’s class. I’ve never taught a blogging class — or any class, for that matter — and I was terrified about everything that could go wrong. But the class went better than I could have imagined. I really think everyone (including me) learned a lot and had a lot of fun.
Above all else, I discovered yesterday that I love teaching people about blogging. Starting a blog was a transformative experience for me, and I see blogging as an immensely powerful communication medium and an art form. I want to help other people discover the power of this medium and use it to change their lives.
Thanks to my wonderful first group of students: Tamara, Kim, Roslyn, Kate, Merishia, Ntokozo, Josef, and Lesley. You guys are the best.
If you were interested in yesterday’s #2SummersBlogClass but couldn’t make it, don’t worry. There will be more. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog already, please do (there’s a link in top-right corner of this page) so that you don’t miss any updates.
Thanks again to Bridge Books, Urban Ocean, and Joziburg Lane for making yesterday awesome.
So glad it turned out well for you and who knows I might just attend one of your classes sometime in the future.
I would love that. We actually had a nice discussion about pros and cons of blogging vs Facebook 🙂
Small world. I recognise my friend Kim. We used to work together! Glad it went well, Heather.
Wow, what a coincidence! Kim just started a really nice blog: runlikeamom.com.
Now if you were 3,000 miles closer I might be able to come to a class. I’ve talked up your blog to several people who were thinking about doing one. It’s a lot harder than it looks!
Be sure to post links when your baby bloggers start posting!
Aw, thanks so much. As I said in the class, blogs are easy to start but hard to maintain. Yes, I’ll definitely share my students’ posts on Facebook and Twitter – keep an eye out 🙂
Thanks again Heather for a fantastic day 🙂 I look forward to our follow-up one-on-one sessions.
Thanks, Heather, the day did exactly what the advertising said it would – I learned to blog! We created the structure and did the technical tasks and then got tips about how to write and how to include photographs. Heather’s style of mixing anecdotes with instructions really helped. I thoroughly recommend the workshop.
Well, this is one great comment. Thanks so much, Roslyn. It was great to meet you.
Thank you for a lovely day Heather. I have not been able to stop talking about it. Definitely one of the best Saturdays I have had in a while. 🙂
That’s a great endorsement, Merishia! Thanks so much. I can’t wait to see what you do with your blog.
Well done! I’m glad it went so well. It must feel so amazing to be in a position to be able to share all of your expertise and lessons learned!