As a new teacher blogger, some people have a lot of questions from teachers who want to blog but aren’t sure how. So, I decided to write an article on what you need to become a successful teacher blogger.
A desire for writing these days, blogging is becoming more and more popular with the rise of WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger. It is also incredibly easy to do! So many teachers are flocking to the internet to share their thoughts with the world.
An idea for a blog
Blogging requires you to have an idea about what you want your blog to be about. Do you want to write about education? Write about technology in your classroom? Do you want to keep readers up-to-date on your life as a teacher? Whatever the case may be, you need something to start with.
A blog platform
The blogging platforms I recommend are WordPress and Tumblr, but there are many others including Blogger, Posterous, etc. Each platform offers great features for its users, but I always recommend WordPress because of its clean interface and easy navigation.
A free domain name
It’s possible to start a blog using the address “blogspot.com”, but you will not own that URL unless your blog becomes incredibly popular.
A community of other bloggers
I always recommend finding an online blogging community to help you get started. There are many communities out there, but I recommend bouncing your ideas off of teachers in a community like Teachers Pay Teachers or checking out the #edbloggers hashtag on Twitter.
If you want to grow an audience for your blog, it helps to make blogging a part of your daily life. Maybe you want to write a blog post every day, or maybe you want to write a weekly article on Sundays. Either way, it will increase your chances of gaining an audience if you stick to a schedule and update your readers consistently.
Blogging takes time, especially if you want to grow an audience, but blogging shouldn’t be a chore that you dread. If it’s not fun for you to write about then don’t do it! Instead of writing out a post once a week, try doing daily entries until you get the hang of things.
An awesome blog header
If your blog doesn’t look good, then nobody will want to read it! A great blog header can set the tone for your entire blog, so try changing up the font or adding in a picture that ties into what you’re writing about.
If you want to write about something that requires pictures like technology in your classroom, then make sure you have a camera to take pictures with. It’s usually not necessary to buy an expensive DSLR to get good pictures. Many cameras on today’s smartphones offer great picture quality, so try using one of those!
A blog theme
A blog theme is a template for your blog that determines how it looks. If you use WordPress, there are many free blog themes available on the directory, but if you want to get fancy then you can try out platforms like Elegant Themes which offer professional-looking blog templates.
A lot of teachers don’t know this, but following other teacher bloggers on Twitter can not only help you grow your network but also allows you to easily keep up-to-date with the new information about blogging and education. Not to mention, there are a ton of hashtags like #edbloggers and #blcw (Blogger Lounge Worldwide) which make it easy to connect with other teachers on Twitter.
A Facebook page
A lot of teachers also don’t know this, but blogging is now becoming “cool” and many celebrities are writing about education on their social media accounts like the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss. While Twitter offers a more immediate connection to other bloggers, there are countless communities on Facebook which can help you network and share your work. Try finding other teachers on Facebook by searching for groups like “teachers blogging” or “education technology.”
A Tumblr account
Many people avoid using Tumblr because they think it’s just a place where you can post funny pictures and quotes, but there’s plenty of teacher-specific Tumblrs out there. Many teachers use Tumblr as a way to share their projects and classroom resources as well as to network with other educators on the site.
A Pinterest page
Some people might disagree, but I think that every blogger should have a Pinterest account. There are so many great boards created by fellow educators that can provide a ton of helpful ideas for your classroom.