Professional Development · Social Media

Ten tips for new teacher bloggers

As we begin the summer holidays, you might be thinking ahead to next year and pondering new things that you’d like to try. This infographic by @DougPete states ten reasons why starting a blog might be worth your consideration:

why blog

I agree with all of these statements, especially the ones about reading, discovering and learning. Nobody benefits from my blog more than I do. That’s why it’s such a fantastic hobby.

The hardest part is getting started, so you might want to consider getting it up and running during the holidays, before you get too busy again. I still consider myself to be a new blogger and I still have lots to learn, but I also think that the hardest part is over and still fresh in my memory.

Here are my ten tips for starting an education blog:

  • Consider different perspectives. I wrote about this in a previous post. Somebody, somewhere will disagree with you, however uncontroversial you think you’re being. Even the most popular ideas in education have critics. If your posts cause professional debates, fantastic! Embrace them! If it becomes unfriendly or unprofessional, just block those people and move on. You need to be resilient.
  • Use free images. Despite what many people think, most images on the internet are not available for you to use. Don’t get into trouble! Make sure that you use ‘labelled for reuse’ Google images (search tools > usage rights > labelled for reuse) or free image sites such as Pixabay.com (or use your own images, of course).
  • Share on social media. It is unlikely that your blog will accidentally be found. You have to get it out there! Also make sure that you’re sharing it with people who will be interested in it. I rarely share posts with my family and friends because they’re not teachers and they won’t care! The sharing will probably be ignored at best, but possibly annoying too. Instead, share on professional social media (I use Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn purely professionally). There are also many Facebook groups for teachers. Use your stats analysis to find out where most of your visitors find you. For me, it’s mainly the huge Facebook teacher groups. Be an active member of groups, helping other members and commenting with others on a regular basis. This will make your posting seem less like spamming and more like give & take.
  • Interact with other blogs. Don’t be selfish! It’s great when you get hits, comments, shares, follows, etc. It’s also great for other bloggers! They will appreciate your contributions and be more likely to return the favour. One share from someone with a large following can put you on the map! Reading blogs should go hand in hand with writing them.
  • Don’t give up! You will probably experience a slow start in terms of readership. For a while, you will get very little traffic, but it will grow gradually. Readers will come eventually, as long as you keep posting and sharing. Persevere, even if nobody is reading!
  • Don’t publish straight away. This is a tough one and I need to follow my own advice! When I’m pleased with my writing, I get too excited and post straight away. A few hours later, I think of things that I should have added, or ways that I could have enhanced it. Also, proof-reading is always easier with a fresh pair of eyes. When I publish quickly, I always find mistakes later! Yes, it’s possible to edit posts, but many people will have already read it and moved on.
  • Assume that everyone will read it, even if they don’t. Your colleagues, your students, their parents, everyone! Don’t write anything that will get you into trouble. If in doubt, don’t publish! Your blog should be a positive reflection of who you are as a professional, with nothing that needs to be hidden.
  • Follow school policy regarding the inclusion of student names, images, etc. Also consider whether or not your colleagues want to be mentioned/seen. Again, stay out of trouble and be mindful of people’s privacy and preferences.
  • Always give credit to others where it’s due.
  • Enjoy it! It’s a cliché, but it’s important. It can take up a lot of your time! If it starts to feel like a chore, don’t bother! We’re busy enough already! Do something else that you do enjoy. For me, it quickly became a hobby. I really do enjoy it!

I hope that these pointers are useful to you as you get started. They are probably very obvious and this post is by no means expert advice. These are just some tips for beginners, from a beginner. If you have anything to add, or any questions, please feel free to comment below. Tip 11: always show that you appreciate contributions. Comments keep the discussions going and genuinely enhance articles.

Alternatively, if you want to share something but don’t want to commit to your own blog, consider guest blogging on someone else’s site. Follow this link if you’d like to write on here. I look forward to your ideas!

If you do start your own blog, add the URL in the comments below. I’ll be your first follower! Good luck!

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17 thoughts on “Ten tips for new teacher bloggers

  1. Thanks again Adam! Another really useful post. I chose to go through the archives and read this as I have created a blog, but only made a couple of starting posts. It has felt daunting already and as I am moving from Japan back to the UK I am unsure about time! But this has encouraged me to push on through!
    Am currently travelling through China, and had I known you were in Hong Kong would have loved to pop in, visit your school and say hey! Sure there will be another time!
    Anyway, my blog is mrblowers.wordpress.com if you have any advice on the site, content, want to add a guest post or collaborate on something let me know!
    Suddenly feeling optimistic about it all again! It’s going to be fun!
    Lee

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      1. Adam,

        Thanks I’ll check it out! Again, any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated!
        Enjoy the last few weeks of term with your class!

        Regards,

        Lee

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  2. Thank you for the article! I was thinking about starting a blog, but I’m concerned that it will be too much to maintain over time. How often do you suggest publishing? I was thinking once a month- this would allow me time to draft my articles, generate ideas and respond to other blog posts.

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    1. Hi kjonesgo,

      Thanks for the comment. It’s a difficult one to answer. Just do whatever works for you. You’ll quickly work out if it’s manageable or not. Since I started, I have always aimed for one post per week. Nine times out of ten I’ve been able to maintain this comfortably. I’m considering stepping up to two posts per week, but we’ll see. Once a month seems a little far apart in my opinion, but just do whatever works for you and adapt it later if necessary. It’s better than nothing. Keep chipping away without putting too much pressure on yourself. I have a feeling that you’ll be able to achieve more than what you realise, and quicker than you realise. Start with once a month if that’s what you’re comfortable with and see how it goes.

      Keep me updated and please share your blog address once it’s up and running. I look forward to following you.

      Good luck!

      Adam

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  3. Great article! I think the easiest way to start is by writing a couple of articles for other teaching blogs (you’d be hard pressed to find a blog that will refuse your content, as long as it’s in line with what they like to publish). That way you can test the waters as to whether you enjoy writing or not, and get an idea of how well received you’ll be.

    I started my teaching blog a year and a bit ago, and absolutely love it! It is time consuming, especially if you want to write a decent article (predictions for most read articles for this year say they should be at least 2000 words long, and that’s a lot of writing!), but it is very therapeutic and the best way to be truly reflective of your work. Writing about it puts things in a different perspective.

    So if you’re kind of considering doing it, get in contact with a couple of blogs you already enjoy reading and ask if you can write a piece for them! As far as topic goes, it really depends on what you want to talk about. Just give it a go!

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    1. Hi Emily,

      Thank you for the comment. I totally agree with everything that you have said. I have just discovered your blog and clicked to follow. I’ll take the time over breakfast to scroll through what I’ve missed! I look forward to learning with you from now on.

      Blogging is a perfect tool for reflection and my audience encourages me and keeps me accountable. I absolutely love doing it. Like I said, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. I also encourage people to give it a go. I don’t think people realise what they’re missing out on!

      Thanks again, and happy new year!

      Adam

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leah,

      Thank you for the feedback. I’m so pleased that my writing has helped you. Have you started blogging? Please share a link and I’ll happily follow you. If you have any questions/concerns, please ask.

      Best,

      Adam

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    1. Hi Laura,

      I can see that you’ve started one. Amazing! I have just followed you. Well done for two great first posts!

      I’m so pleased that you find value in my blog. Please feel free to look around (see what you missed before November haha).

      Best regards,

      Adam

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  4. Another brilliant blog Adam… I can relate to your writing and thoughts so much that I really appreciate you sharing. I agree that we develop as learners and teachers ourselves when we blog which is the most important however I can see how much you are growing in confidence and resilience with every post you write. This is giving me the confidence to continue to reflect on things too so thank you. I am a mother of three active children so don’t have as much time as I would like to devote to blogging but i will persevere… There we go I have just given myself an idea for a blog. Keep writing Adam #inspirational.

    All the best
    Claire

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    1. Hi Claire,

      Thank you so much for the kind support. Although I have a lot to learn, you’re right that I am growing in confidence. I’m glad that that shows in my writing.

      With three kids, it must be hard to find the time! I barely have time for my girlfriend! Haha! Just keep going whenever you can. Posts don’t have to be long and detailed. I follow some blogs that just quickly outline the ‘daily wins’ of being a teacher. Find what works for your and write down your ideas when you have them, so that you remember them for when you do have time. I have around ten posts in draft form and an endless list of post topic ideas on my Google Keep.

      Please keep reading and responding. Your contributions are massively appreciated!

      Best,

      Adam

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very informative blog post full of ideas! Thank you for the tech lesson! You just taught me how to search more easily for allowable photographs – a veery important and respectful point in regards to giving credit to those who did the work. I recently saw a photo blog where the blogger took the credit (by replying to a complement in their comments section) for photos they didn’t take. Another reader, a photographer by trade did a reverse search and caught it!

    Also interesting were the tips on how to increase readership. I used to teach and now I have a photoblog (thingsunderstood.wordpress.com) which I so enjoy putting together. I post to my FB page and LinkedIn but am not catching the readership that I would like. Posting on specific FB pages is a great idea. Any others you can share??

    Thanks again for a great post and have a great, heard-earned summer vacation!
    Jacqueline

    Like

    1. Hi Jacqueline,

      Thank you so much for your detailed comment and feedback.

      For your photography blog, I suggest searching for photography Facebook groups and becoming an active member of some. Focus your attention on large ones. My favourite teacher group has almost 30,000 members. Catching the attention of just a fraction of them means having an instant audience. I post on other social media too, but groups like this make up about 90% of my readership. Also consider the best time to post. Most of my readers are in the UK and US, so I have to consider their time zone before I share! Try it, and let me know how it goes!

      Thanks again for your comment. I hope you also have a relaxing break!

      Adam

      Liked by 1 person

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