Creating & Using Blogs
A Blog is a Social Networking Tool that can be used for teaching and learning purposes, communication, project management and presentations. There are many Blogging applications available for free on the Internet such as WordPress, PBWiki and Blogger.
The University also has a WordPress server for Faculty to use for instructional purposes.
There are a few general guidelines to follow when creating a Blog.
- Develop a strategy for your Blog by choosing an interesting topic, identifying your target audience, and defining your goals for the Blog.
- Offer “engaging content” to attract readers to your Blog.
- Choose the Blogging Tool of your choice! There are many “free” Blogging applications available on the Internet such as WordPress, Feedburner, PBWiki and Blogger. If you are a U of S Faculty member and want to use the U of S Wordpress server you can request access from the CTLE.
- Help Readers find your posts easily by making sure they can be found through search engines. Most Blogging tools have built-in search engine features that will help optimize searches for you.
- Build a Blogging Community of Readers by allowing them to comment, but to avoid having a free-for-all setup some simple rules to filter and delete spam comments or even “monitor” your Blog. Most Blogging tools have similar features.
- Include some Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds in your Blog to keep readers coming back often! They’re available by default in most Blogging tools. Give your readers the option to subscribe using popular RSS readers such as GooleReader, Bloglines, etc. and via email as well.
- It’s not all about you! Start conversations, not diaries, don’t make your Blog a boring monologue about you, yourself and your thoughts! You can easily do this by bringing other voices into your posts, quoting an article you’ve recently read, interviews of other readers etc.
- Check the “vitals” of your Blog on a regular basis. There are usually “reports” options within the Blogging tool that you can use to check statistics on your Blog (or you can use a statistics plug-in). Statistics will give you an idea of what brings your readers to your Blog, what most visited posts are and who the largest referring website is. They can also help you determine topics for your future posts.
- Keep it Up! Don’t start a Blog if you don’t have the time to keep it up. Don’t expected readers to read your blog if you are not willing to keep up with it.
- Happy Blogging! Have fun with your Blog!
Click here to learn more about how to use WordPress.
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