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Dear Future student,
Welcome to the Madrid No Frills University for the Bloggers of the Future!
I’m Leah, the founder and No-Frills Mentor of the MNF University and I’m here to equip you with all the tools you need to be the boldest blogger you can be.
Are you ready for four whirlwind lessons compacting four years of socially conscious blogging experience over four weeks? Are you ready to become an unstoppable force on the Internet and take on the world, one post at a time?
Then enrol today!
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, engaging writing, striking photography & editing, powerful social media, your own code of ethics, an introduction to media law and a strong dose of self-care.
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 Madrid No Frills!
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, laws, tourism, history and even the Covid-19 pandemic. I expose hidden truths through people’s own stories 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 or planning on starting a blog,
- Beginner bloggers already in the game but looking for new skills,
- Veteran bloggers who want to shift towards more socially conscious content.
- Four live Zoom workshops over four consecutive weeks during November.
- Each session is around one hour long with an additional 30-min Q&A/discussion afterwards.
- First session: tbc. Last session: tbc.
- There are three slots: Wednesdays at 19:00 CET (UTC+2), Thursdays at 19:00 and Fridays at 12:00 CET (UTC+2).
- If you miss a session, don’t worry. 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 after success. By looking into how this blog has grown, evolved and expanded over the past four years, you will acquire sound basics with which you may embark on your own Internet endeavour. I also reveal what my plans are for the future of this blog!
Finding stories: Investigating, conducting interviews & taking risks
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 peoples homes, social centres, squats and riots – I share my tips on how to best approach these territories without appearing guarded.
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.
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.
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 – not just the elite few – 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
- Discounts: Become a Madrid No Frills Patron and access three levels of discounts (applicable to early-bird fee too):
- 5% discount for $1 & $3 Patrons
- 10% discount for $5+ Patrons
- 15% discount for annual Patrons
Sign up quick to secure your place!
Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: Course) to sign up and receive payment info.
Please state which time slot you prefer:
- Wednesdays at 19:00 CET (UTC+2)
- Thursdays at 19:00 CET (UTC+2)
- Fridays at 12:00 CET (UTC+2)
- Or enquire about my e-learning option!
What my former students are saying…
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.