4 1/2 years. That’s how long I have been spreading my random thoughts on the internet. What started out as a way for me to simply get things out of my mind, has grown to be an integral part of me. I never knew I would be a blogger. With that title comes many things; access to a vast network of people who know so much more than me, heartfelt discussions, emotional reflection, and even the occasional kick in the stomach when someone goes to the dark side on one of my posts. Yet I didn’t set out to blog, I merely started out wanting to write. So if you have been looking to start a blog, a few maybe not so traditional tips from me to you.
- Start your blogging journey for yourself. Don’t think of the end game or where you would like your blog to go, think of what you would like it to do for you right now. I wanted a place to reflect out loud, I didn’t think anyone would read it, and that has made the biggest difference.
- Don’t write for an audience, yet. I notice that when I start thinking of who may read a post my writing gets jilted and jagged. I start to change my voice to appease the imaginary eyes. So write for yourself, keep readability in mind, and don’t get hung up on whether people or not will read it.
- Don’t share just the good. The internet is filled with amazing, and yet our classrooms are filled with attempts. So share the attempts, share the magnificent, share the catastrophes. Be as real online as you are in person, so if anyone who reads your blog comes to your class they wont wonder what happened.
- Get to the point. I can get long winded too, but I try to edit myself. Blogs are meant to be quick doses of reflection, not papers of thought. Get to the point, stick to the point, and then find an image that underlines the point. Be brief and powerful.
- Don’t map it out. I never knew what I was going to blog about in the future, I still don’t. And while some bloggers are incredibly good at sticking to an area, don’t make it too narrow. Your blog should allow you to grow as a person and if you box its focus in too much, you will hinder your own growth.
- Change the world with kindness. I wish I had thought of this when I first started, I was much more determined in my message and much more one-sided. Now I try to push change with kindness. No one wants to hear how wrong they are or how awful what they are doing is, so be nice.
- Keep your purpose in check. I think when we start to blog to get something, whether it be followers, comments, or even more work, it shows. And it shows it an icky, not so good kind of way. I have been guilty of this myself and I have later cringed at my posts. Don’t put yourself in cringe worthy positions, write from the heart, write it out, don’t write for terrible purposes.
- Be thankful. I don’t expect anyone to read this blog, still. So for every person who reaches out to me, I try to give my thanks, sometimes more successfully than others. Blogging is something I do for me but the fact that others find it helpful as well never ceases to amaze me. Stay humble, stay thankful, don’t ever take others times for granted.
- Create your own path. Whether you only blog when you are inspired (yup) or blog on a set schedule, know that there is not a right way to blog. Make it your own, make it work for you, and just figure it out.
However you start or continue your blogging journey make it meaningful to you. Make it something you are thankful for. Don’t wait for the world to acknowledge your genius, even if no one reads your blog, be proud. And if you think I should discover your blog, please leave me a link to it in the comments. I would love to add more inspiration to my life.
I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA, who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade. Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press. Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.
11 thoughts on “A Few Nontraditional Tips For Starting Your Own Blogging Journey”
Thanks for sharing your insight Pernille. I started my blog with the same intent and expectations – a place for me to think, ponder, reflect, and share. I think this is also a great perspective for our students when we have them blog. Thanks for your thoughtful sharing. Happy Holidays!
Since you asked I will share my blog with you. I have been reading yours for the past few months and enjoy your authentic posts. http://www.michaelkaechele.com/
Pernille, loved your post about blogging-For a ‘prospective blogger’ this is great advice. The idea of my blog being a place to write about my passions and my thinking, and not being concerned if it’s read by others, or how I’ll be judged, actually makes me want to start my own blog. I teach Year 5 – kids and I thrive on 10 mins random meditation sessions – we all need to calm our minds and bodies before learning and thinking. Think I just might write about this….Now to learn how to set up my blog…Your posts are insightful and meaningful- thanks Pernille.
As a novice blogger, I also fall into the category of writes-when-inspired, writes-for-myself and blogs-to-think-and-reflect-aloud. I’d add that blogging allows me to write freely without externally-imposed restrictions; a blog is our own space to create and grow. Blogging has also incited more conversation, maybe because we reveal ourselves when we blog, more deeply than in a series of tweets.
Some of my recent blog reflections on blogging are here: http://theeduflaneuse.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/why-educators-should-blog/
I especially liked the idea of sharing it all–or as Kazantzakis says “the full catastrophe”.
Great advice Pernille. Thank you. You have inspired me to start blogging about my passions, compassions, failures and successes. And most important of all- being who I am and being real!
Thanks for this! I have been in a blogging rut for a long time now. I started so that I would reflect and connect but I have become paralised by worrying about the audience, planning too far ahead and never having time to follow through and wondering if I’m writing about ‘the right things’. This year I am going to try to get back to why I started. This article was exactly what I needed.
You are my model as a blogger. As a former educator (retired after being middle school, media center director and teacher of teachers) I forward your blog to teachers and others all the time. Keep doing as you are doing. You make as all take a moment to reflect.