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Jun 15, 2015

How to Become a Teacher Blogger!

Goal for the Summer - Become a Teacher Blogger! 
Accomplish your goal in 9 easy steps!

Have you been wanting a creative outlet to share your thoughts on teaching? Or maybe you want to collaborate with other teachers while sharing educational resources and strategies?

Have you been considering to design a blog but either haven't had the time or simply didn't know where to begin? 

NOW is the perfect time to become the Rockstar Teacher Blogger you've always wanted to become! Once you've really committed to designing your blog, the hard part is over!

Here are my 9 easy steps to design the perfect blog for YOU!

1. Get rid of the negative thoughts, worries, and preconceived ideas you have about starting or maintaining a blog. 
When I first starting blogging, all I thought was, "there's so many blogs now, I should have started years ago. How is anyone going to find my blog with the other ones out there?"
Some other great hits are..
"Blogging takes up so much time."
"My ideas and writing skills aren't that great."
Just stop. GET OVER these mental battles. If you are convinced you're blog won't be noticed among the millions of blogs out there, you won't be fully committed to designing your blog. Just know that there's space for all different types of niche blogs.

2. Who is your audience? 

Listen up, because this is the most important question when designing your blog. Who is your blog audience?
You always want to have this question in the back of your mind when making decisions about your blog.
Are you writing to your students? Are you writing to other teachers and educators? Parents?

What is their age range?
What are their interests?
**After your blog is up and running, you'll have more insight to the last two questions by setting up Google Analytics. 

3. What style of blog do you want to portray?

What is the best style that will speak to your audience? Be sure to consider both blog design and your style of writing. Just remember it doesn't have to be all or nothing, think of your style on a spectrum (Ex: personal journal being on one side of the spectrum, a dissertation on the other). After considering your audience, do you want your blog design to have a more casual style or more of a "business" style?
But most importantly, you want to come across as authentic. Do what feels natural for you. Your style may change over time and that's ok!

Take this fun little quiz to discover your blogging style! 

4. What's your name? 

Do you already have an idea for a blog name? Do you have an online store that you want to link to your blog? What about a specific niche that you want to blog about? I suggest making everything cohesive if you have a logo or store already designed.

If you're unsure or starting from scratch, again think about your audience. What keywords might they be searching for?
Pick a name that clearly states what your blog is about. Have a "mission statement" or a simple explanation of what the purpose of your site is.

Ex: Mine is "Student Savvy". My mission or purpose statement is: "Where teachers become savvy about their students, finding the latest information and resources for the classroom!"

5. Pick your colors & theme

Photo Credit: PressReleaseFinder via Compfight cc

This is the fun part! Colors should reflect the style of blog you want to create. Do you want a whimsical (soft colors) or maybe a more modern (bold colors) blog? Possibilities are endless :)
Is there an overall theme to your design?

6. Find a website designer.
Unless you have a background in graphics or webdesign, please do not attempt to design your own website. And whatever you do, DO NOT slap on a pre-made blogger template. I hate saying this, but it comes across like you don't care that much about your website. Invest in yourself and in your blog! I understand if you don't want to spend a fortune on a designer, but you don't have to! There are so many great designers out there that will assist you with your blog for a very reasonable price.
Even if your site tanks (which it won't if you follow these steps), at least you know you gave it your best efforts.
Also, when you invest in your blog, you'll treat it differently. You'll take pride in your blog. You deserve it, your readers deserve it, and it's like putting on a brand new outfit - it feels amazing! ;)

If your not sure where to look for a designer, check out Melanie Anne Creative. She designed my blog and she is FANTASTIC. She is so quick to respond to any questions I have. I still contact her to make changes to my blog when I see where I can make quick improvements to my site or discover some new tool.
Click here to chat with Melanie about your fabulous new design :) 

7. Communicate with your designer what you want for your blog.
Most likely, your designer will give you some great ideas of what your blog needs. Do a little research and figure out what buttons, links, and tools you want.

**Tip for Teacher bloggers: make sure you have a "Pin Me" button that automatically pops up when readers hover the cursor over an image.

8. Sweet, I have a blog... Now what?!?!
Now start posting! Write to your readers with passion and experience, like you already have a huge following - even from day one.
Try not to have your first post be, "Well... here's my blog.. Let's see how this thing goes." Try to jump right in with meaningful content!

9. Congrats! You have a fabulous blog! Here are some things to keep in mind:
-Try to keep your posts on topic. Sharing something personal about you is great but it depends on the type of blog you have. If you mostly blog about teaching resources, don't suddenly bombard your readers with multiple recipe posts, photos of your kids, etc. Keep it on topic most of the time!

-Find your readers! But where might they be?
Do you have a following on Facebook or Instagram? Use what you already have to find your readers!

-If you have a store, don't have your blog be one big advertisement. If you have an online store, that's great! But don't constantly promote only your products to readers. Give them value content so you don't drive them away,

-Reach out and connect with other bloggers. Don't just copy and paste the same message onto a bunch of different blogs "Hi I'm _________ please check out my blog at ____________". That's spamming. Instead, read their content and write a meaningful response. You can provide a link to your blog and invite them to say hi but make sure before you provide that link you gave them a meaningful message. You are much more likely to have visitors this way. :)

-Participate in link-ups, blog-hops, and other collaborative activities. 

-Invite guest bloggers to your site or submit guest post ideas to other blogs.


Those are all my tips for building a successful blog... Now go out there and design the blog of your dreams! :) 

Have any questions or want to share your new blog with other readers? 

Post a link to your blog below! 


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