Friday, 27 March 2009

Thoughts about blogging

Before you ask your students to write online in English as part of an assignment or project, you might want to get some experience yourself. Here are some very general thoughts about blogging that you might find helpful:
  1. Read what other bloggers are writing in your field of teaching, in the business fields you provide training to and in fields you're interested in, it will improve your own style and content. Have a look the the Auntie Web blog list - and recommend blogs to us!
  2. Define your goals: A blog is a product. Who are you writing for and what is your purpose? Your goals can change, but then you must adapt your blog accordingly, or start a new one. As your projects and contracts change, so may your blog.
  3. Network with bloggers and become part of an online community.
  4. Post links to other sites on your blog; visit and write comments on other people's blogs, interested readers will be able to find your blog by following your link back.
  5. Market your blog using online listings (e.g, social networking sites (e.g., local sites like and
  6. The trend is: blogs down, microblogging up. KISS.
  7. Make your blog beautiful.
  8. Serve a niche: Focus wins.
  9. Post regularly so your readers know what to expect.
  10. Unique content: A blog is subjective and personal.
  11. Be yourself. Be friendly.
  12. Mistakes make you human. You and others learn from your mistakes.
  13. Every email and comment you get on your blog is enormously valuable. Build a readership by responding to your readers.
  14. Mistakes by EFL students in their comments on your blog should not be corrected. Public correction in writing is very harsh. You can edit comments discretely and email the student, if you feel that is necessary.
  15. Don't expect a lot of action on your blog. It's nice if people drop by to see what you're up to and what you have to say, but it's just one part of your overall communications.
Here is a very short reading list for using blogs in EFL:
Aaron Patric Campbell
Graham Stanley
Andrew Johnson
Very warmly recommended:
Mark Appleby

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