Image by cambodia4kidsorg via Flickr
First Don’t – Don’t make too many changes. I have had at least ten different bloghosts and thirteen primary blog names, since I started blogging in 2007. What has been the result of all this changing around? I have learned a lot about how to setup a blog and use different themes, but it has meant was that as soon as I started to get some followers and people were reading and commenting on my blog regularly,
Before making any changes to your blog take the time to think critically about the impact your changes will have on the people who actually read your blog and the impression you will be giving them when you are constantly changing where you are or what your appearance is. After all isn’t that why most of us blog – to have someone read what we write.
I recently changed my blog’s theme for the first time, since I created it in August, but it was not a decision that I just did or took lightly like I have done in the past. I took my time and thought it out over the course of a couple of weeks. I went through and looked at the reasons that I wanted to change the theme objectively and to see if what I wanted to do would be beneficial to the readers. The most recent changes to my blog were actually thought out and hopefully they made reading my blog easier.
Second “don’t” – publishing posts that are not ready for others to read. I have posted far too many blogs that have had incomplete thoughts, the content was not clear or ordered logically, proofreading is not at a high level or the post was so long that no one would read it anyway.
In reality I have tried too hard sometimes to get the thoughts out of my head and out to the blogosphere. Which resulted in blog posts that were poorly written and the poor writing undermined the credibility of my content or ideas. Going back to do major editing or completely revise a post after you have published it is not acceptable and that is what I have had to do far too many times.
“Third don’t” – don’t forget to participate in the online communities. If you want others to read your blog, read other blogs, leave comments on posts you find interesting or informative, be on Twitter, use Facebook, they are the major community applications right now. As you use those tools and participate in those online communities, you will be exposed to other people and online communities with similar interests or different perspectives of the same issues.
“Fourth don’t – don’t go long periods without posting to your blog. It does not mean you have to write something everyday, but do post on a regular schedule for your readers, so they will know that you are still around and that your blog hasn’t died the death of many a forgotten blog. We all are extremely busy in our lives, but finding the time to write a post once a week is pretty reasonable.
“Fifth don’t – don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh at yourself, when reflecting on something you did, it is okay to point out things you could have done better, discuss changes of perspective or opinion you have had. Everyone has different opinions, perspectives and ideas to change the universe and make it better, don’t think that your way is the only way or the only solution to the problem.
Remember that anyone can read what you post in your blog when you publish publicly to the Internet. Therefore, be very careful when writing about where you work, disagreeing with policies, making negative statements about other people or stating controversial opinions. Know that when you do these things, you do so with the intention of those people you were talking about or those who implement the policies will probably be reading your post eventually – is that what you want to happen. If it isn’t then don’t publish it. If you do – you own the consequences for what you wrote.
This post was written mostly for the edublogging audience and for me to see where I have been and what direction I need to be going. But I believe some of the lessons I have learned could be applied to anyone who blogs in whatever field. As an educator I love that over the past three years that I have been challenged, listened to, pushed to know more about what I write about, which in turn has made me a better teacher than I was when I first started Blogging.
“Do the right thing for the right reason”