The blogging world has connected me to many other librarians. Providing me and my students with ideas to try and a place to share our own learning. So--start a blog, the possibilities are endless.
When starting a blog here are some things to think about:
- Who is your audience? Are you writing for families, students, your peers?
- Naming your blog. Your Name should reflect who you are and what you do. The URL for yoour blog should be specific to you--but don't date yourself (for example last year I taught 5th grade--mszbacniksfifthgradeclass.blogspot.com would no longer apply as a URL for me).
- Make sure to explain who are are on your blog. People will trust you more if they know who are and what your credentials are.
- What site do you want to use to host your blog? A few popular sites to check out: Wordpress, Blogger (My favorite), tumblr, Weebly, or edublogs. These platforms look a bit different, but all are fairly easy to use. Richard Byrne from Free Technology For Teachers has tutorials for many different blog hosting sites on his post: Creating Blogs and Websites. Check out some blogs to see which would work best for you.
- Let your readers subscribe to your page. Blogs change frequently. I get highly annoyed when I have to manually enter in someones blog URL into my RSS feed. This sometimes is a deal breaker in my readership. In the Design Mode, click on add Gadgets. Scroll down until you see the little orange RSS feed button: Subscription Links Let your readers easily subscribe to your blog with popular feed readers
- Get ready to get a bit personal on your blog--include a bit of yourself when you write. Let your readers know who you are. My favorite bloggers let me into their lives a little bit.
- Include graphics and photographs in your writing--people love to see images. Too much text on a blog post screams--don't read all of me!
- Post regularly. It does not have to be daily--but a blog reads like a journal, and should be changed frequently. In that sense--if you have a laps, don't apologize to your readers. Move on, and keep writing. People understand that life gets busy. Many people post before or after busy times telling their readers about their life. It's part of what makes blogging so fun--you get to know people from all over the world.
- Here are some of my favorite tools to create your blog:
- Very Basic Tutorial using Blogger
- Blogger's video tutorials
- Don't miss Steven Anderson's wonderful post "So You Want to Be a Blogger" at his site: Blogging About The Web 2.0 Connected Classroom
- Tutorial: How to Create your own Header using Microsoft Word by Dana Made It (I used this tutorial to create my header, buttons, and favicon--saved as jpgs)--if you have photoshop on your computer, you probably don't need any help with this.
- Tutorial on embedding videos into blogger by Lisa Huff of Just Read!
- Scroll down in your dashboard to the bottom of the page--blogger has a lot of help tools on the bottom of their page.