Guest Blog: Blog On Better!

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

I’m excited to introduce you to Attentionology’s first guest blogger – Alice Osborn, shown in my blog pic below.

Alice Osborn, writer/teacher/guest blogger

Alice is a superb writer and teacher, and one of many teachers I’ve met in the last few years that writes a blog to support her own professional initiatives.

You’ll see what Alice has to say in just a minute, but first, consider how Alice’s guest blog can benefit you. Alice’s tips can help you blog on better if you:

  1. write a blog to communicate online with your students after and before classes each day or each week.
  2. blog to share information with the parents or key caregivers of your students.
  3. blog about interests and concerns in your educational “arena,” including the growing challenge of catching and keeping students’ attention.
  4. blog for the enjoyment of reaching other teachers that share your passion for education.
  5. blog to improve your own writing skills.

Alice asserts that the best way to blog on better is to follow 5 Steps to Create Compelling Content for Your Blog. Read her words…

…OK, you’ve created a blog with a title and you know who your audience is. You’re going to wow them with great content (of course!) and you know you’re supposed to post every week, or even better, every day. But what are you going to say? Creating meaningful, relevant content so we can gain more readers and build our platform is one of the largest challenges all bloggers face.  Bloggers who can’t come up with content will soon see their blogs fail. So how do you prevent this scenario?

First, since you’re a teacher and/or writer, you’re used to coming up with ideas and with being resourceful. But as a writer, you may also be too careful with posting. What I mean is that you may feel what you have to offer isn’t good enough or you’re afraid of what others might think of your post. You need to get over this fear right now, or you’ll never see your blog or your writing career grow. Yes, some of your posts may not work, but that’s OK—you can always follow up with fresher and better content.

I’ve listed five ways to create content. I’ve used all of them and it’s a good reminder to even experienced bloggers that by having a content methodology we should seldom have a dry spell.

  1. After you’ve been blogging a while, pick up ideas from your comments. Be reader-centered, and above all, ask yourself why should someone else care? Perhaps you can survey your email list or issue a poll to see what is on your readers’/clients’ minds. You can even say, “Hey, I need content! Be the first to respond and you’ll be in my next post. Plus I have a special bonus for folks who respond to me in the next 24 hours.”
  1. As you go about your day, read the paper and not just the sports or the entertainment section. Since I was a little kid I’ve always read the paper and almost all of the jobs I’ve ever had in my life have come my way thanks to me reading the paper. Read the paper both for content ideas and to know what’s going on in your local and global community. I just found two great blog topic ideas from reading this month’s issue of The Writer .
  1. Take a few notes every time you and a colleague have lunch or chat on the phone. I bet there are five ideas-in-waiting. You can even say in your post, “So-and-so and I were having lunch and we discussed this topic…”
  1. While you’re coming up with these ideas and they’re flowing like crazy, try to write as many posts as possible in that time (not just one post) because you’re in the “zone” and you need to maximize your time and energy at this moment.
  1. Interview an expert in his or her field! There are hundreds of blogs out there who only interview experts—the blog owner is smart to know how to generate compelling content and have the interviewee’s audience become new blog readers!

And finally, make every post count. Don’t phone in your copy and bore your reader! If you don’t feel up to posting and your writing feels sluggish, take a break and attack it the next day. Be open to new ideas and always right from the heart. You’re reader will know what you stand for and will engage with you. That’s what blogging is all about by providing great content to build engagement, community and knowledge. Now get out there and create compelling content!

Great challenge; thanks Alice!

You can read more about Alice on her website, Write From The Inside Out. Visit www.aliceosborn.com. Originally, from Washington, DC (US) Alice’s past educational and work experience is unusually varied, and it now feeds her work as a poet, as well as an editor, coach and marketing consultant for writers. After The Steaming Stops is her most recent collection of poetry; previous collections are Right Lane Ends and Unfinished Projects. She has taught classes and writing workshops to hundreds of aspiring authors of nearly all ages (from 9 to 90), both in person and online. Alice lives in Raleigh, NC (US) with her husband, two children and three parakeets: Woodbird, Birdstein and Perry.

Hope you’ve had a chance to check out my newest blog feature, The Attentionology Traveler – a world full of attention catchers – keepers to create magical classroom moments any time.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting! Talk with you next Monday – Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers.

Look for Mid-Week Magic on Wednesday,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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