Getting started with your blog

Need Help With Your Blog?

Follow these steps!

Sign up for your blog

Here’s some things to consider before creating your blog:

#1 Username and Display Name

Your username is what you use to sign into your blog dashboard and is displayed on posts and comments you write. While you can’t change your username, most blog platforms do allow you to change how your name is displayed.

In most cases it’s better to choose a username that makes it easier for others to relate to you as a real person. For example, compare spwat3 with suewaters — which is easier to relate to?

And if you would rather not use your full first and last name online — then use a display name like Miss W or  Mrs Waters.

Username vs display name

#2 Blog URL

During the creation of your blog you’ll have to select a URL for it.  When you want others to visit your blog you give them the URL link of your blog.   For example, the URL for the Teacher Challenge blog is http://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/

Think carefully about your blog URL.

Once your blog has an established audience you’re less likely to want to change your blog URL as it means you’ll need to re-build your readership.

Ideally you want to keep your blog URL:

  • short
  • easy to remember – something that is easy for both students and parents
  • Avoid using your first name in the blog URL
  • Suitable to be reused for several years – avoid using a room number or year in a class blog URL since these both can change from year to year

A simple option for a personal blog is to use your name in the blog URL or use something that has meaning:

  1. http://suewaters.com/
  2. http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/
  3. http://theedublogger.com/
  4. http://www.freetech4teachers.com/
  5. Mr Baldock’s Class blog (http://mrbaldock.edublogs.org)
  6. Mr Salsich’s Class blog (http://jmsalsich.edublogs.org/)
  7. Huzzah (http://huzzah.edublogs.org)
  8. The Plugged-In Portable (http://thepluggedinportable.edublogs.org/)

Example of a URL

#3 Blog Title

Your blog title is one of the first things a first time reader sees when visiting your blog.  Ideally you want your blog title to relate to what your blog is about while capturing your readers attention.

But don’t stress too much!  You can always change your blog title any time via Settings > General in your dashboard.

Check out the following blog lists for ideas of blog titles other educators have used:

  1. Best Individual Edublog 2010
  2. Best Teacher Edublog 2010
  3. Best librarian / library Edublog 2010
  4. Best Educational Tech Support Edublog 2010
  5. Best Resource Sharing Edublog 2010
  6. Best School Administrator Edublog 2010

Example of a blog title and tagline

Create Your Blog

Now you’ve done all the research it’s time to create your blog.

Here are the instructions to follow if you would like to set up your blog on Edublogs:

  1. Signing up for your blog
  2. Logging into your blog dashboard
  3. Using your blog dashboard

Optimizing your theme and appearance

Your theme is what controls the look and appearance of your blog.

This is the template or look of the blog that people see when they visit your blog.

This is what gives it your personal touch.

Like most things in life first impressions count.

Great blog themes make good impressions on readers so that visitors are more likely to read your posts and subscribe to your blog.  Overwhelming themes detract from your blog content, and visitors will be less likely to read your posts and subscribe to your blog.

Every newly created blog on a blogging platform normally has the same default theme.  The last thing you want is to look like all the other blogs.

New bloggers often spend considerable time changing their blog theme to work out which theme works best for them. While you do have a limited time to make the right impression for first time readers….Don’t spend too much time initially on your blog theme because you will find that you change it as your tastes change.

Ready to change your theme?

Great!  Start by first reading What to consider when choosing your blog theme and then follow these instructions to Change your blog’s theme.

And check out the following if you would like more information on blog themes:

  1. The Edublogger’s Introduction to blogging
  2. The 137 Edublogs Themes Separated Into Categories To Make Choosing Your Next Theme Easier

For activities to help you set up class and student blogs refer to:

  1. Student Blogging Activity 1 (Beginner): Setting Up Your Class Blog
  2. Student Blogging Activity 2 (Beginner): Setting Up Rules & Guidelines
  3. Student Blogging Activity 3 (Beginner) – Teaching Quality Commenting
  4. Student Blogging Activity 4 (Beginner) – Helping Parents Connect with your Class Blog
  5. Student Blogging Activity 5 (Beginner): Add Students To Your Class Blog So They Can Write Posts
  6. Student Blogging Activity 6 (Beginner): Add A Visitor Tracking Widget To Your Blog Sidebar
  7. Student Blogging Activity 7 (Beginner): Set up your student blogs
  8. Student Blogging Activity 8 (Beginners): Add your student blogs to your blogroll
  9. Student Blogging Activity 9 (Beginners): Add Your Student Blogs To A Folder In Google Reader

For activities to help you set up your own personal blog refer to:

  1. Kick Start Activity 1 – Beginner – Setting Up Your Blog
  2. Kick Start Activity 2 – Beginner – Effective and engaging blog posts
  3. Kick Start Activity 3 – Beginner – Introduction to working with pages
  4. Kick Start Activity 4 – Beginner – Connecting with others
  5. Kick Start Activity 5 – Beginner – Enhancing posts with images
  6. Kick Start Activity 6 – Beginner – Enhancing posts by embedding media
  7. Kick Start Activity 7 – Beginner – Getting more out of widgets
  8. Kick Start Activity 8 – Beginner – Building readership and blogrolls
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