How to be an Incredible Blogger

I will not say I have arrived, I will say that I aspire. I have been perusing the Internet and want to share with you some great tips on blogging. The summer is when many of us do a bit of an overhaul.

Many of the tips echo information in the most popular post I've ever written, 10 Habits of Bloggers that Win, and represent many of the reasons that my own blog has grown.

I think it is important to learn "how" to blog so we can teach it but also so we can be heard. This week the Wall Street Journal blog picked up some things that I said about the potential for Microsoft Surface in the Classroom. With authority in the blogosphere comes a platform to be a voice for education, I wish every great teacher/ blogger could be in the top 10,000! So, here is my effort, share the knowledge.

Remember that blogging is a conversation not an essay, there is a fundamental difference. In fact, I find more correlation between linking to others and my comments on their blogs and my traffic than anything else.

My reading list for bloggers

So, here is my must read reading list for bloggers:

  • 10 Habits of Bloggers that Win (;-) - of course!
  • How to comment like a King (or Queen) - Another one of mine -- (OK, I'm done!)

  • Networking within your Blog Niche: 7 essential Tips for Bloggers
    I think that networking within your group -- commenting, conversing, sharing, and being a good conversationalist is the most essential ingredient to being a good blogger (besides not changing your url every time the wind blows!)

  • The Roundup Post - (also from Dosh Dosh)
    Never assume that all of your readers know what you've written in the past. In fact, I love some of my old posts dearly and reread them -- The Power of a Newbie is one of my personal favorites.

    I'm preparing this year's version of my Top 10 Eduposts of this year (see last year's). Sometimes you have newcomers to your blog who wonder -- "What is the big deal?" and they can benefit from what you've written in the past. Interestingly the first post I ever wrote on Wiki Wiki teaching is still one of my more popular posts but it would never be found because it is considered "old" and "not fresh" by the search engines. It is your job to keep your best posts in the forefront.

    This is one reason that I put my MVP - most valuable Posts on the left hand side of my blog. So people can have that information at their fingertips.

    Face it, we're all busy and many of us mark our RSS feeds as read without having time to read them. We all do it! Make it easy and summarize!

  • 90 Ways to improve your web presence
    This is quite a long list but he includes some things many of us bloggers take for granted and some things I've never heard of. I particularly stress the importance of claiming your blog on technorati and putting your blog into stumbleupon.

  • Top 10 Blog Survival Tips
    While some of these are specifically for money making tips and the bent is for those who want to "make it big" -- I think the author makes great points about Competition (I think the more edubloggers, the better), dedication (I'll say focus), and niche blogging (don't try to be everything to everybody.)

  • 4 Pillars of Effective Blogs
    I love this one! I particularly appreciate the importance of passion and having your own voice. Be who you are, unapologetically. If you do not try to represent something you're not, you'll be fine. I am very open that I interject my opinions on things and I'll tell you many of my opinions (particularly on ethics) are probably more stringent than most people. But you do not have to agree with people to work with them or read their blog. (Unless you have ostrich syndrome.)

    This is not a homogeneous world and thank God it isn't! How boring that would be! Be yourself, be who you are, express your opinion, listen to that of others, change your mind when necessary, and admit you've messed up when you say something in error.

    But be real! Be authentic! Don't be a know it all! We all have our unique perspective but it is not the only perspective! It is about listening, learning, and conversing not about being right all the time or saying "Hey world look at me, I'm so great."

    When I start feeling overly important (as can happen to all of us sometimes), I just go do laundry. There's nothing like washing someone else's underwear to keep a Mom humble and keep it all in perspective. When it is all said and done, I will remember if I was a good mother and wife more than if I was a good blogger, although I enjoy blogging so very much!

  • Aristotle's Top 3 Tips for Effective Blogging
    I just LOVE this one! Although it seems a bit of a contrast to what I just said, the second point is that "its not about you."

    The author says it so well - "Once identified, Aristotle argued that the most compelling way to communicate that natural element is via pathos, the ability to connect with the emotions, desires, fears, and passions of the audience. And you certainly don’t accomplish that by focusing on yourself."
So, to end this aspect of blogging, I'm going to give you a chance to welcome some new teacher bloggers to the blogosphere - I've also included some quotes from their first post because it was David Warlick who really got me started.

I still feel like a beginner and love to pull others into this exciting place as well:

Welcome new Bloggers

Our Journey to Vietnam - Robert and Lesa (an elementary school teacher) They are working to adopt a daughter from Vietnam.
"The good thing about blogs...if you are bored or don't like reading...just log off. We also thought this would be a good way to record thoughts for our future daughter. Someday she can read and it will help show her how much we we wanted her and loved her even before joined our family. So we welcome any comments, as they too will become part of her story."
TLC= Tech + Library + Classroom - Tara in Shanghai, China She's just a few posts into her blog, but already catching the bug and doing the great thing -- bringing other teachers in with her. Beginners (newbies) have an unusual amount of credibility with other newbies that those of us who've been doing it a while don't have!

"As a classroom teacher who is really enjoying having a blog or two, I offered an after-school session on getting a blog up and running. I provided very clear, written instructions on how to create one. What a great way to help teachers who aren't quite sure of technology to feel more comfortable and see that something as cool-looking as a blog can be quite simple to do."

Summer I School Blog
- Matthew shares his implementation of blogging and asks many questions of us.

"After a little more reading and discussion, I think that I am going to begin my focus with blogging with my 7th grade. They are fewer in number than my 8th grade class and I have worked with them throughout the past year on different assignments. Here are some more thoughts on working this out:"

Your Assignment
We see three great reasons for blogging represented above: legacy, teaching others, reflecting, and asking questions.

OK, folks, let's welcome these folks to the blogosphere. Also, if you know a beginner that you'd like us (or me) to welcome, please drop their link in the comment area!

And if I've missed some articles you love, share them!

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