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.