Old School Advice for Making an #Edu #Blog #Column

dlpI started writing Dynamite Lesson Plan, my teaching blog,  in 2007. I’d been a personal blogger for a couple years but I knew very little about edublogs and what goes into them.

I did my best to scour the web and find samples through blogrolls, which are now all but extinct, and I found a few edubloggers I copied and branched ideas from. Blogrolls once made it very easy to hone in on a “niche” of blogs. If you happen to find one now, don’t get too excited until you’ve checked the links for which have gone dead. It’s likely to be many. In 2007, blogrolls and the blogger movement was beginning to die out itself. Well, I take that back, you still can connect with a lot of people on Twitter. Edublogging on social media is alive and well.

I insist there must be pockets of edubloggers out there doing what I do, which is primarily blogging, but the searches don’t yield them quite as easily as back then. If you are an edublogger, I implore and beg you to connect with me via comments and twitter. I am @cre8nnov8

I started this blog with a blogroll axis. That is, I read and commented on as many “cool” blogs I could find in education and hoped they would visit and comment on mine as well. It worked well at first. You might try a Twitter access? Just a suggestion. Hashtags are powerful as are searches for keywords.

When I check back through my early years of posting, I see many reciprocal comments as compared to now. So that leads up to my suggestions for you about starting a blog: network.  That got my edublog off the ground. If you want to stick around and get paid for your ads, you’ll HAVE TO study and use social media. It’s the table at which networking bloggers 2017 eat.

Without a network of bloggers, your edublog will have a soundtrack of crickets. Now I must add that some people blog as a “scrapbook” of sorts. They file photos and memories and never hope to earn a dollar or even a follower. I respect that, but a proper edublog is networked and offers something to the community. The trick these days is finding quality edublogs that will reciprocate your visits and comments. It sounds “sell-out” but I don’t know of any other way to begin telling you the process. Go on down to the cross roads and sell your personal scrapbooking soul to the devil, ok now your ready to influence the education community niche you write for.

In the beginning you’ll need at least ten posts that say who you are as an edublogger. Lots of people start with one and diisappear I started with thirty.

Write about your area of expertise. For instance, I play guitar to my students when I am teaching certain concepts. I have a fractions song for example. I also use EDI a lot in my lessons, so I write about it. If you suck at teaching math, don’t write about it. If you have some cool tricks for teaching math, go for it. People will love it (if they hear about it.)

You also need a blogging platform. I’ll just save your time and tell you WordPress is the only platform to even consider. Furthermore, a WordPress.org self-hosted platform is the best one to make money on ads. A friend of mine online, Mitch Mitchell, recently made the point on his blog that there are only a few ways to make money on a blog. One of them is ads. For edubloggers, there may be an opportunity to make money through offering services but day in day out little by little, ads need to be there to pay your hosting fees and such. Don’t expect a profit until you have thousands of visits a day. I’m being conservative there but I want to remind you this won’t make you a living.

There is a huge benefit of keeping an online diary sort of edublog. I’ll save that for another post. For now I will leave you with the recap pf the importance of building a network of edubloggers and starting a self-hosted blog platform via WordPress software. Benefits of edublogging and content creation will come in a future post.

I’ll also save for anther post the way you get the word out. To be a highly read edublogger you have to market your posts, use social media, scour the web in searches for how to do these things, and last: be a good writer with something unique and interesting to say.

Feel like bailing on the idea? If you, you should never start. It never gets easy but the rewards can be fantastic and marvelous profesionally and personally if you stay at it and remain a perpetual lifelong learner. I know because it happened to me.


This post was published first as Advice for Making an Edublog on Dynamite Lesson Plan.