PD, Personal

Getting Going with Blogging

One year ago, I set a goal for myself.  It is a goal that has challenged and pushed me more than any other goal I have ever set.  It is a goal that has taken time, planning, and dedication.  What was this goal?  It was simple:

I will blog once a week for an entire year.

Although that statement sounds simple, there is a lot of work and effort that went into it.  However, it has been one of the most beneficial experiences of my career.  It has challenged me to share ]resources and ideas with other educators.  It has challenged me to create new lessons, activities, and projects for my students.  It has challenged me to be self-reflective on my teaching practices and openly transparent with other educators.  It has challenged me in more than I can count – and I don’t regret it for a minute.

Although this year is nearly over, I plan to continue with this goal throughout the next year.  Every week that I blog, it becomes easier and more beneficial.  So…here is my challenge to you – if you haven’t already created a blog, it’s time!

Three Simple Steps to Begin Blogging

#1: Select a format for your blog.

Before you begin blogging, it is important for you to determine the format for your blog.  Did you know that blogging can extend beyond a traditional website blog post?  These days, blogging could include any of the following:

  • Traditional Blog Post – A blog post that is written on a website and/or blogging platform.
  • Microblogs – Mini-blog post with short passages and more pictures.
  • Podcast – An audio file that is made available online.
  • Vlogs – A video blog.

Although there are many more ways you could share your ideas online, these are a few to get you started.  A blog does not have to be traditional – it can be anything you want!

#2: Discover the vision for your blog.

Even before your first blog post, itis important to determine the vision and goal of your blog.  It might be helpful to ask these questions:

  • What is your intention and purpose of blogging?
  • Who is your targeted audience?
  • What topics will you be writing about?

For myself, I wanted my blog to be about education and I did not want to limit myself to any particular subject.  Originally, my blog was called “My Math Heart” but that limited me to only sharing about Math.  Pretty quickly, I changed it to I Heart EDU which allowed me to write about anything that related to education without confusing my audience and/or pigeonholing myself into a specific domain.  As you start to discover your vision for your blog, review those three questions to help you narrow your focus.

#3: Create a blogging goal.

Although I started blogging several years ago, I was not a consistent blogger until the last year.  I could give you a million reasons why I was not blogging regularly but none of them are very good.  For me, I needed a “blogging goal”.  I am an extremely goal oriented person.  If I set a goal for myself, then I will do everything within my physical power to meet that goal.  While you might not be quite this goal-oriented, I still believe that creating a goal creates a sense of accountability – even if it is just with yourself.

The blogging goal could be anything – once a week, biweekly, monthly, etc.  There is no limit, just create a goal and do your best to stick with it!

#4: Share via social media

Once your blog is created, I encourage you to share it on social media.  One reason I fell in love with blogging was due to the feedback I was receiving from educators.  I loved hearing from these educators and starting conversations on how to improve our teaching practices.  It connected me with other educators all over the world who have inspired me in numerous ways.

Pro-Tips for Blogging

While the above steps will help you get your blog started, I have created a few pro-tips to assist you:

  • Create a Google Keep list to store any ideas for future blog posts.  This will help you have ideas for future blog posts without losing good ideas or feeling rushed to meet your blogging goal.
  • Instead of typing, use the “Voice Record” feature on Google Docs to “record” your ideas via voice text.  This is a great way to get your ideas out, rather than succumbing to writer’s block.  Talk about your blog post, then go back and clean it up into a real blog post.
  • Find co-authors to help you run your blog.  If you feel like running a blog on your own is intimidating, it might be a good idea to find some educators that could help run the blog with you.  By doing this, the workload is shared between multiple people and will allow multiple viewpoints.
  • Schedule time in your calendar to blog.  If you find yourself struggling with blogging, it might be beneficial to schedule time in Google Calendar (or whatever calendar method you use) to blog.  You could block out an hour every Wednesday or two hours on a Saturday morning – just find time in your schedule where you can consistently create your posts.

Blogging is essential for educators.  It creates opportunities to learn, share, and reflect with educators all over the world.  Yes, it can be a lot of work and can seem very intimidating but is completely worth it.  Just go for it!

As always, I love hearing from other educators on their thoughts on this blog post.  Do you write a blog?  What are some of the steps you took to write your blog and/or any pro-tips to help other educators?

Share in the comments below!

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