Follow Fridays are a popular way to meet new bloggers!
As many of you know, I follow a lot of blogs so that I can share ideas on facebook with others interested in the field of early childhood education. I am such a huge fan of bloggers that take the time to share their early childhood ideas. It is such a valuable resource to so many people and I know how much time and effort it takes to keep up with a blog on a regular basis. So to all of you who work so hard on your blogs – let me give you a big hand of applause!
I would like to share with you some blogging pointers that I tend to look for when searching for articles to post on Teach Preschool. I definitely realize that all of you blog for your own reasons which I would never want to change or influence but I do think some of this information might be useful to you regardless of why you blog or who you blog for.
Keep in mind that these are my personal preferences, not a list of do’s and don’ts.
- The length of a blog article does matter. I kind of look at blogs as the “Reader’s Digest” version of any topic. An article that goes on and on is definitely going to lose my short attention span. For the purpose of Teach Preschool on Facebook, I don’t look at blogs as a research tool but rather as a tool for sharing informative ideas and concepts about early childhood in a fun, quick, and relaxing manner.
- The article should be clear, concise, and informative.
- The article should be free of poor spelling, bad grammar, and incomplete sentences.
- The topic of a blog article should have a focus. If a blog article covers an entire week of different themes and activities all in one post, then I will probably not find the article all that useful for future reference. I look for blog articles that cover specific ideas that I can save for myself and share as a resource on facebook. For the purpose of Teach Preschool on Facebook, a well developed blog post with one focus, theme, or idea is ideal.
- The Title of the article should actually inform the reader of what the article is about.
- An article on a great recipe for making pink play dough will be difficult to find and bookmark if it is titled “Why did Sammy’s hand turn Pink?” The title may be cute but it does not give the reader a good idea of what the article is about.
- An article that has is titled “S is for Snake” but goes on to show 20 different activities that start with the letter S is informative but I rather just read about the snake!
- Photos are a big deal to me when it comes to sharing a link to the article on Facebook. When I post a link on Facebook, I select a photo from the blog post that seems to best represent what the article is all about. If there is no photo at all, I will almost never post the article unless it contains some pretty amazing information.
- However, too many photos can be a distraction. I recommend selecting a few of your best photos that add value to the content you have written. I may take 20 photos of a child making a flower but in the end, I narrow the photos down to the ones that have the best quality and do the best job reinforcing the message of my article.
Navigating your blog
- Make your blog easy to navigate. I would give you great pointers as to how to do this but this is one of my weakest areas that I am currently trying to improve on my own blog.
- Organize your blogs with tags or categories (and good titles) so readers can easily find articles in your archives. If you are going to go through all that work to write a great article, add photos, and publish then it is worth taking the time to make the article searchable. I often go back to blogs searching for articles on specific topics for my readers on Facebook.
The Appearance of your blog
- Choose a template for your blog that gives plenty of room for writing articles and adding photos. The items in your side bar are nice but shouldn’t overwhelm your page.
- Choose a template and a header that will be attractive to the readers you are trying to reach.
- Remember that the look of your blog (particularly your header) becomes an important part of your blogging identity over time so be selective and once you have it like you want it, stick with it so your blog is easily recognized at a glance.
- Choose a font size and photo size that is easy and comfortable for your reader’s to view.
The tone of your blog
- I tend to like reading blogs that inspire or motivate me. If I come across a blog that puts a negative spin on life, school, teaching, or early childhood education then I will just click the close button and move on to the next blog.
- I want to say though that this doesn’t mean that you can’t be real. If you try something and it doesn’t work out – then I like to know why. This informs me and helps me to grow along with you.
- I recognize the difference between having a bad day and having a bad attitude. If your having a bad day, then I probably wont share that with my readers on Facebook but I do care about you enough to read all about it and sympathize. But if you have a bad attitude… well I can find all of that I want in just about every childcare program I work with. I believe that what we need more of is a little inspiration and motivation. I will avoid all blogs that are just there to vent about all they dislike about education or life in general.
Getting blog followers
My article is not about getting followers – partly because that is not something that I am any good at – but Kylie from Our World Wide Classroom posted an informative article on increasing followers for your blog which resulted in some great comments. Here are a few of her tips….
- Post regularly
- Follow other blogs
- Comment regularly on other blogs
To see her entire list you can read Kylie’s article for yourself.
Here are a few other points that were not included in Kylie’s article about getting followers that you may also want to consider…
- Post your “Follow” button towards the top of your page so it is easy to find.
- Post a link to your Facebook page or Twitter page if you have one.
- Add information about yourself as the blogger. Followers want to feel like they are connecting with the blogger not just the blog.
On occasion, I find bloggers that are truly unique and can capture an audience regardless of all that I have said above. Two exceptions off the top of my head include Teacher Tom and Matt Halpern. So the moral of that story is: all of my ideas you just read can be thrown out the window if you have a blog that is well written or simply just works:)
Okay – so now you see my unscientific method for posting links on Teach Preschool on Facebook. I hope you found something useful for your own blogging adventure. Any questions or comments? Please leave them here and I will respond here!
By the way – do you like my new signature below? I keep forgetting to add it so I have had to go back and throw it on some of my most recent posts:)