Making It Easier For Your Intended Audience To Read Posts!

Encouraging parents or other teachers to read your blog(s) can be hard work! Not surprising when you consider reading blogs and writing comments is a totally foreign concept to most of them.

What’s needed is to look at the problem from another angle. Instead of focusing on how Internet savvy people read a blog think about tools these types of people are more likely to use.

Feedburner Email Subscription

First choice has to be email.

A Feedburner email subscription to your blog sidebar means each time you write a new post almost the entire contents of your post are automatically sent to their email account. Both time saving while providing means of reading your posts that they feel more comfortable with.

You can always get them to subscribe by email when they visit on parent-teacher night!

Here’s how to:

  1. Set up and add Feedburner RSS to your blog sidebar
  2. Set up and add email subscription using Feedburner
  3. Redirects your feed through Feedburner to get accurate subscriber statistics

It’s important to realise that all images and embed such as video are removed in the Feedburner email; so make sure you tell them if you’ve embedded something you want them to check out.

Facebook

Sure this will cause considerable debate 8-) as there are as many reasons for using Facebook as against.  Ultimately it will depend on your situation, who are your intended audience, how you/they use Facebook and how comfortable you/they feel about engaging using Facebook.

One way to add feed from one blog into Facebook is by clicking on Notes and adding your blog feed URL.  This displays your latest posts in your updates.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Please feel free to leave your comments to debate the for/against using Facebook as a means of making it easier for people to read your posts.  Also would love to hear other tips you have for encouraging parents and other teachers to read blogs?

If you are enjoying reading this blog, please consider feed-icon32x32 Finding and Adding Creative Commons Images To Your Blog PostsSubscribing For Free!

Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

16 Responses

  1. David Truss says:

    I do both of these things that you recommend, and still find it challenging to get local teachers and parents on board. I’ve noticed a spike over the past couple months with mostly verbal and a few digital comments from people that I had no idea were reading my blog:-) Nice to see, but I’m not sure what to attribute the change to?
    One thing that I have not done yet, but that I believe is helpful to both new and regular visitors is the ‘Notify me of followup comments via e-mail’ option. I think this can be very helpful in drawing in readers to those topics that interest them the most. Beyond that, I’ve checked that little box for this post and I’m looking forward to other suggestions that your readers offer.
    Dave.

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Dave, I’m thinking that parents and other teachers are more likely to talk with you to say how they find the posts as opposed to leave comments.

      If you check the Parent comments count post one of them talks about how they are using a blog specifically for parents; that it is a closed blog where only parents and teacher can interact. The teacher says this blog is working quite well.

      • David Truss says:

        Good points Sue,
        Here is another perspective worth examining from @plind on @dsmac32 ‘s blog:
        Where Do Parents Plug In?

        • Sue Waters says:

          Thanks David for sharing that post.

          It is an interesting situation when you think about it. When done well student blogging is considerably different from traditional school work. With your student blogging programs do you think a parent leaving a comment would have engaged and encouraged the student or not?

          Perhaps another aspect that has to be considered is the age of the students?

  2. Kathleen says:

    Hi Sue,
    I agree that it is hardwork building the blog audience sometimes! I’ve found the most effective method is word of mouth from students. When my students add a post I am always very enthusiastic with them about going home and showing their families. This really encourages them and the next day I often ask who looked at the blog last night etc.

    I’ve got a feedburner email subscription which I think some parents find really handy. About 1/3 of my class have signed up for this I believe.

    Recently I sent home a note called “Making the Most of the 2KM blog”. It explains step by step with screen captures how to leave a comment and how to use the categories etc. This was particularly useful for parents who are quite unfamiliar with the technology.

    Any other ideas people have I would love to hear! :)
    Kathleen

    • Sue Waters says:

      Feeling like a bit of a DUH moment :) Kathleen (in a good way)

      Which is why I totally love these great conversations in comments. A paper based note that you send home would have to be one of your first choices because this is where most parents are the most comfortable. Sometimes the obvious is in front of your face.

      Don’t suppose you have a copy of the “Making the Most of the 2KM blog” which I could use as a follow up for this post since it is so obvious but probably something others haven’t also considered.

  3. sscapardine says:

    I am new to this idea of a blog and I have had the most difficult time using it. It is very hard to figure our where to go and how to get in contact with certain individuals. I have spent about 5 hours and still can’t seem to figure it out but I am getting closer. I definitely think sending letters home to parents to give them exact directions is a great suggestion because it takes a lot of time to figure out and many people don’t have that kind of time. Hope this helps.

    • Sue Waters says:

      I agree there is definitely a learning curve with the technical aspects of using the blog dashboard and appreciating how to grow a blog. I’m not sure if you have checked out the “how to” manuals but they will help. I wish they were available when I first started blogging.

      • sscapardine says:

        Sue,
        Having your guidance and direction with your sites and reading these blogs are a tremendous help with starting. I think that begining to use a new piece of technology becomes so overwhelming because a first you just don’t know where you want to start and you try to go in too many different directions. I just would like to say thank you for designing this site for everyones support and assistance.

        • Sue Waters says:

          Glad my information is helping you with getting started — this is an important part of what I do. With everything I do I try to remember that feeling of how overwhelming it was (that hasn’t left me) plus how initially I didn’t always realise the potential.

          For example it took me a year from being shown a blog to starting my own blog and even then I was known as the reluctant blogger. But now I know that when blogging and many of these online tools are used well they can make such a big difference to how we learn and give us skills that help our future careers.

  4. Derick S. says:

    I’ve heard that it is better to use the “add link” feature in Facebook rather than having it feed your RSS because your added link will feature on your homepage, where your rss feed won’t.

    • Sue Waters says:

      Interesting question Derick and I probably need to ask more experienced Facebook users. From what I’m seeing my RSS feed is feeding onto my homepage.

      Whereas the Add link you will need to add manually each time. However Add link may be a good solution for a person like myself that has more than two blogs as the RSS feed only allows one blog feed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.