Blogging for Educators: Writing for Professional Learning by Starr SackStein

4. Connecting With an Audience

  • Commenting on the blog posts of others is a good way to attract readers to your work. Comments should be specific in regard to the post itself. You can agree or disagree but make sure you provide sound rational for your views. It’s ok to be critical, but try to mix it with praise and don’t hesitate to ask the writer questions. Keep your comments as short as possible. I also invite the writer to check out my work and leave my web address. If people comment in your work be sure to reply in a timely fashion. If someone disagrees with you, you can at least thank them for taking the time to comment. In a professional environment it’s ok to disagree. Some comments will undoubtably be spam so be sure to delete them.
  • Once you start posting, you can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other means you have to let people know your post is up. Be sure to include a clickable link to your post in these messages. Also ask the people in your network to share your work with their network. Attending Twitter chats will allow you to promote your work and increase your number of followers. When you send out news of a new post, be sure to include the hashtags of twitter chats you attend. Putting tags in your post will also help your work show up better when people are searching for topic you write about. Starr ends this chapter with one of her sample posts.

Final Thoughts and Takeaways

  • Blogging can promote the work your school does without going through a PR person. In many schools the PR person is now the person who coordinates social media for the school. Once you connect, you should find that you grow professionally and expand your professional network. Your work will be building a foundation for changes that move you and your school forward in the future.
  • You can never know where your life as a blogger will take you. If you haven’t started yet, spend some time exploring the blogs of other educators. Starr provides a list in the appendix. Once you start, think of your work as a model for what you want your students to do. Try not to see your work as an individual project but as part of a greater blogging community working to improve the profession and improve the day-to-day experiences of the learners you touch.
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