So as usual when I have some free time, or more usual, when I have a stack of papers and it’s a three day weekend and I am avoiding grading, I surf the web and check my RSS feeds. If you don’t know about RSS feeds, check out this explanation from Free Technology for Teachers and review this post. RSS as I would explain it, is a way to keep up with a list of various blogs without having to remember and search every time for each of them. So yeah, I got a list and it’s long too. My “rule” has always been to limit it to 25 and I am slightly over right now. One of the RSS feeds is from Cool Cat Teacher Blog because she has excellent teaching resources and ideas, and she seems to find a way to say things to inspire me when the going is tough. Her last post I read was Be THAT Teacher, which gave me a boost on a very long week of coming back from Winter Break. But what I am talking about in this post isn’t what she wrote, but about another website she linked to that talked about 10 mistakes when you Blog and how I think I am doing all 10 of those mistakes on this blog.
#1 I don’t post enough – Well I’m glad to say my last post was last week, good job, no? Oh right, the previous post was in November and it was only once. I get it that if this is something I want people to read I have to write more. Duh. Yes, it makes sense, but right now I am what the website calls a “hobby blogger” and I am not trying to sell anything, and I’m not sure what the “vision” is of this blog yet. So yeah, if you want to RSS or email follow me, think of this blog as a surprise present. You’ll never know what you’ll get or when you’ll get it.
#2 I post too much – pshaw! I’ll worry about that problem later. Next!
#3 My posts are too long – Oh my goodness. My posts are a bit long-winded and rambling. Okay, maybe a lot. I also read somewhere you shouldn’t write like you talk, but I do that too. If there is a lot of writing on a blog, that doesn’t automatically discourage me so long as it’s interesting. I get that the internet is very visual and fast paced, but I can’t draw and my photography is okay, so mostly I just write. Some of my friends are reading 1Q84. Have you seen this book? It’s huge but I am finding the time between mom, wife, and teacher time, to sit and read it. It’s great writing and I love how Murakami takes…his…time…. So yeah, I’m no Murakami but I’m still going to take my time and probably write a lot.
Combining #4 and #5 I don’t invite engagement and my content is not accessible – Since I started this blog, I have ended all my blog posts with a question, so I’m inviting, I think? It also says I should comment on my own blog posts which I did, once. I only have a few followers, so it seems silly to me to comment on my post alone. It’s sorta like talking to myself, which right now is what I AM doing. Whoa, gotta not be so meta.
#6 and #7 My content is not accessible and I don’t create catchy headlines – Well, one of my post talked about a naked man and I used the word nakedeness in the headline. That didn’t work but I’m willing to give it a try again. I’m going to find a really good headline for this post. If you’ve gotten this far in reading, (See No-No Rule #3) now you know why I chose the title for this blog post.
#8 My first paragraph is weak – Writing a blog is a very different way of writing in that you should to GET TO THE POINT quickly. I can get to the point when teaching but I find I do too much “set-up” when posting to my blog. A good example is the first paragraph of this post. Argh! I would love how to improve that part of my blog posts.
#9 My posts are very “off brand” – Most blogging advice says find a focus to write about and stick with it. I am all over the place. When I look at the tags on the side, the ones that stick out are blogging, cookies, family, food, school, teaching, vacation. I think I am pretty random. Actually I know I’m pretty random. Which brings us to blogging mistake #10.
#10 – My posts are about ME – Um yeah, who else am I going to write about? No I’m not a mega celebrity and the bottom line states ” They [readers] want to know what’s in it for them?” Hmmm, I don’t know. I think right now I’m just hoping I can share some of my thoughts and see if you can relate to anything that might be going on in your life. If, according to this article, I am trying to have my personal stories be a doorway to connect to you then great. If not, well at least I’ve gotten some of my thoughts and ideas off my chest. Because isn’t it about expressing yourself in the world wide web and hoping to find a connection?
So imaginary readers I again ask you (see, see, take THAT Rule #4!), what are some things you notice about your blog that you could improve? What are some No-no’s listed here that you think you’re going to keep doing anyway?