Bloggers of the Future!

First launched in the summer of 2020, Bloggers of the Future has been run three times and seen 110 students successfully complete the course! If you’d like to be alerted when enrolment opens, write to hola@madridnofrills.com and I’ll add you to be early-enrolment mailing list!


Enrol onto this concise, interactive and practical online course and learn how to interview, investigate and analyse to inform, inspire and galvanise.

Let me – Leah Pattem – teach you everything I know about blogging for social change in just four weeks, because the world needs more bloggers like you!

ABOUT THE COURSE

The MNF Course for Bloggers of the Future is a series of four workshops that will equip you with the wide range of skills needed for socially conscious blogging: in-depth investigating, interviewing, engaging writing, striking photography & editing, powerful social media, a strong code of ethics, an introduction to media law and preparation for the impact this will all have on both you and your audience.

This course also includes one-to-one post-graduate mentorship, an invitation into the exclusive MNF Alumni Facebook group, and an opportunity to be featured on MNF!

ABOUT MADRID NO FRILLS

In the summer of 2016, Madrid No Frills was born. This unassuming publication was created to fill a gap: to give a voice to all those wonderful places, people and stories that all other Madrid blogs ignored. I started off by fighting for those little old bars and restaurants that were about to be gentrified out of existence, but as my audience grew, I realised I had the influence to do so much more.

I now challenge the status quo on discrimination, housing, tourism, history and even the Covid-19 pandemic. I cover under-reported stories through my subjects’ own narratives and inform thousands about topics that the mainstream media won’t. I am now the proud owner of a platform powerful enough to make a difference.

MNF has a social media following of over 30,000 people, reaches 25,000 readers per month, has gone viral twice – and, I have achieved all of this without ever advertising my blog. MNF has been featured by global publications BBC, Al Jazeera, Condé Nast Traveller (twice), Architectural Digest and My Modern Met. And in Spain, you can find me featured in El País (twice), Yorokobu, Público, S-Moda, Madrid Secreto, and The Local.

I’m also a freelance journalist and photographer published in The Guardian, Al Jazeera, El País and The Daily Beast among others. And, I learned all of the writing, photography and investigative skills needed to get published in the biggest newspapers in the world through Madrid No Frills.

This can be you!

WHO CAN ENROL?

  • Aspiring bloggers thinking of starting a blog.
  • Beginner bloggers already in the game but looking for new skills.
  • Veteran bloggers who want to shift more towards social issues.

Workshop details

  • Four live Zoom workshops over four consecutive weeks.
  • Each session is around 1.5 hours long with discussion breakout rooms and Q&As.
  • Homework: Start practising immediately what you learn in each session through short writings, interviews and photographs! (Don’t worry, this is optional if you don’t have the time)
  • First session: started 5 May. Last session: 28 May.
  • There are three slots: Wednesdays at 20:00 CET (UTC+2), Thursdays at 19:00 and Fridays at 12:00 CET (UTC+2).
  • If you miss a session, no pasa nada. Each workshop will be recorded and sent to you at the end of each week.
Starting a blog: A brief history of surprising impact

In this first class, I take you behind the scenes for a brief history of Madrid No Frills, examining four years of success. By looking into how my blog has grown, evolved and expanded over the years, you will acquire sound basics with which you may embark on your own Internet endeavour. I also reveal what no-frills plans are in the works for MNF!

Finding stories: Investigating, conducting interviews & getting out there

In this session, I share with you my vast archive of resources to help you source the right information and to get in touch with the right people. We also look at interview techniques, how to built trust with your subjects and the types of questions that can extract compelling and intriguing responses. Safety should never be overlooked when entering unfamiliar places or potentially hostile environments – I share my tips on how to best approach these territories.

Accuracy: Ethics, fake news, privacy & restrictions

Gain the confidence you need in covering sensitive topics by being correctly informed, knowing how to carefully inform your readers and, crucially, distancing yourself from grey areas. In this workshop, learn how to scrutinise your sources, fact-check and filter out disinformation, fake news and ignorance. Master language sensitivity, how to avoid libel in both writing and photography, and how to deal with the Gag Law (Spain’s repressive law restricting freedom of expression) for Spain-based bloggers.

New: In this third run of my course, I’m going to focus even more on how to ensure ethical reporting, particularly when it comes to issues such as racism, transphobia and fascism.

How to write: Capturing readers’ hearts & minds

Now that you’re equipped with the most important tools, I show you how to create a powerful article that flows, engages and galvanises. Harness the power of keeping it simple and informative, because this isn’t about creating content, it’s about telling stories that matter. Learn how to write informative, in-depth features and investigative reports, and how to capture your readers’ hearts and minds.

Photography: Shooting, processing & editing photographs

I’m often asked what camera I use, but all of my cameras are at least 10 years old and my equipment is way behind the technology being sold today. That doesn’t seem to stop me getting my photos published in The Guardian, BBC or Al Jazeera, or printing and selling them, or getting thousands of ‘likes’ on Instagram. In fact, it’s often my phone camera that captures my most famous shots!

In this workshop, I show you how to take a variety of story-telling photos, from portraits and streetscapes to candid moments and action shots. Learn how to be discreet and respectful to your environment while still capturing those unique moments. Explore various editing techniques using affordable software, and borrow my no-frills tricks to achieve all those ‘likes’ and click-throughs.

Social media: Engagement, trending & going viral

Social media for MNF isn’t about SEO, networking and ‘engaging content’; it’s about authenticity and nurturing a loyal audience and, most importantly, not giving a sh*t about what other people think. In this workshop, I teach you how to curate a captivating social media presence that both attracts new followers and also holds on to those you already have because, in the end, they’re the people who are going to effect the actions you ask of them, and that is what this whole thing is about!

Self-care: Setting goals & knowing your limits

Blogging is incredibly empowering – people are listening to you and that should not be underestimated. But it can also be an exhausting rollercoaster of pressure highs, creative lows, heart-warming responses and the odd bit of trolling. In this final session, we deal with blogger burnout and the positives and negatives of setting goals, and also learning how to say ‘no’ to ensure long-running success.

New: In this third run of my course, I’m going to focus even more on how to deal with online harassment, especially towards women (yourself or your subjects).

MNF Graduation Ceremony: Sharing your work & discussing ideas!

This ceremony is just the first of many opportunities I will give you to take the mic. Following this, you will receive your formal invitation to the exclusive MNF Alumni Facebook Group, and learn about your next step: mentoring!

MNF Graduates’ Mentorship 
  • A one-to-one zoom chat about your next steps,
  • Ongoing support via a secret Facebook group exclusively for MNF Alumni,
  • A MNF Alumni group Zoom catch-up call one month after graduation,
  • An article on MNF featuring your blog!

Price & Discounts

As you’ll see, I’ve set my prices incredibly low because I want this course to be accessible to everyone, and especially to those who have suffered economically during the pandemic and are thinking of embarking on something new and exciting!

  • €80 for the whole course
  • €60 early-bird fee! (Available until April 9)
  • Discounts: Become a Madrid No Frills Patron and access three levels of discounts (applicable to early-bird fee too):
    • 5% discount for $1 Patrons
    • 10% discount for $3 & $5 Patrons
    • 15% discount for $3 & $5 and annual Patrons!

Sign up quick to secure your place!

Send me an email to hola@madridnofrills.com (subject: Course) to sign up and receive payment info and…

Please state which time slot you prefer:

  • Wednesdays at 20:00 CET (UTC+2)
  • Thursdays at 19:00 CET (UTC+2)
  • Fridays at 12:00 CET (UTC+2)
  • None of these times work for you? Enquire about my e-learning option!

MY FORMER STUDENTS

I’ve taught my Bloggers of the Future course three times so far to a total of 110 incredible students (now alumni) of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities, identities and experiences. They’re doctors, nurses, students, journalists, engineers, artists, chefs, actors, retired, in-between jobs, and yet all at the beginning of starting something new in their life, be it a hobby or even a career change.

In our month of classes, we had an absolute blast and are still in touch, busily collaborating behind the scenes. In fact, many articles, photographs and illustrations you see on Madrid No Frills are by them! They are now proud members of my MNF Alumni community and it’s been an honour to meet them, teach them and be inspired by their visions, ambitions and ideas! So without further ado, let’s hear what they had to say about my course…

This was the best course I’ve ever done and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me because I’ve been thinking about changing a lot about my life recently and this helped me figure out what I really want to do!

I’ve had a blog for years but I hadn’t written an entry in months and had almost lost all steam, but your course has given me new energy!

The price is ridiculously low for what we’ve learned. You’ve been so generous with your knowledge and skills. I’m so glad I did this course.

You’re the best mentor EVER!

Your classes were the highlight of my week for four weeks!

I loved getting to know the person behind Madrid No Frills. You’re as kind, warm and caring as I’d always felt through your writing.

I wish I could do this course all over again! Maybe I’ll sign up to your next course too jaja.

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