I have seen many educators start blogs, only to abandon them after a short while. The reasons are many:
- it takes too much time
- writer’s block
- no one reads it anyway
- can’t see the benefits right away
The word “blogging” is in progressive form (the “-ing” form). The progressive form of a verb is the form that is used to indicate that an action is continuing/ on-going.
Blogging is a process, not an event that happens.
The realization and acceptance of blogging as a platform for learning, networking, connecting and seeing it as a process, brings in the component of CONSISTENCY.
- Consistency is the key most bloggers list as the reason for successful blogs
- Consistency applies to reading, writing, commenting and connecting!
Consistency constitutes an important building block:
- to establish trust
- to build a relationship with your readers
- to build a loyal readership (you want your visitors to make it a habit of reading your work)
- to experience the cognitive process of learning over a period of time
- to plan, develop, build and maintain a classroom learning community
So, in order to give yourself the best possible chance in making your blog a success, prepare yourself to be CONSISTENT!
- Don’t let your blog be an add-on
The easiest way to have your blog become neglected is to treat it as something in addition to “all the other things you already do”. Find ways to replace traditional tasks.
- Use your blog as a tool to “do the things you do”
Your blog can be your communication and planning tool.
- Let your blog be your hub
Plan, document, reflect and showcase your work on your blog. Make it your space and the center of all your work. Link all your other online spaces to your blogs (wikis, social bookmarks, twitter, etc.)
- Build in regular times to read blogs
It is a conscious decision and effort to continue your own professional learning. Blogging starts with reading. Reading will give you ideas and topics to write about. Make reading blogs easy and convenient, by adding their feeds to an RSS reader and/or to your mobile devices via apps (ex. Feedly, Flipboard, etc.) Read whenever you get a chance during the day and for a set amount of time before you go to bed at night.
- Build in regular times to write posts
Do you set time aside to write? Every day a little bit? Once a week for a longer period of time? Find out what works for you!
- Build in regular times to comment
Comment on other blogs to build conversation. Comment on blogs from around the world and about a variety of topics in order to build traffic and connections.
- Be consistent in making connections
Don’t give up if a connection or blogging does not take off within the first few weeks or months. With time, you will build trusting and reliable relationships. Don’t be discouraged if comments don’t come flooding in. Keep it up…with time they will come.
Don’t give up blogging after a few weeks or months! Hang in there. Remember it is a process and takes time.
- Reflect often
- Document your work: What are you working on?
- What are you learning about?
- What interests you?
- What do you wonder about in connection with your work?
- What works for you?
- What does not work?
- What needs to be tweaked, thrown out, revised?
- Connect with other people who are blogging.
- Read, read, read other blogs
In this challenge, plan out the topic of 5 blog posts you could/would/should write in the future. Just like many (analog) writers have little notebooks to immediately write down any ideas that might pop in their head, bloggers can take advantage of creating and saving drafts in their dashboard to capture ideas for future blog posts.
In this challenge, you will create a blog post and share at least 5 blog post titles and a brief summary of each, you are planning on writing in the near future. Leave the URL of your blog post in the comment section below.
- related topics to the blog posts you have already written. How could you connect (hyperlink) them to new content?
- next steps in terms of topics that interest you in exploring
- documenting the steps of your own learning/working process to teach others
- wondering about the what ifs around your professional interests…
- curating resources, don’t just collect links but share how they relate to your area of interest or point out how they benefit
- getting inspired by other blog posts and their topics/themes and write your version or share your perspective of the topic
- sharing something personal that made you the professional you are today