Build it and they will come

The title of this blog post has been shamelessly borrowed from David Mitchell (@deputymitchell). He originally got from the film ‘Field of Dreams’. I’d love to wax lyrical about what a fantastic film it is and how the quote symbolises the hopes and dreams of all of us, but the truth is I haven’t seen it…

When it comes to blogging, particularly in schools it is a great quote. Give your children a platform, a voice and surely the visitors will come flooding in. Your globe will light up as schools from all around the world leave comments, parents will engage with you like never before and you will get international recognition as the teacher that opened your classroom to the world.

Well, er no, actually.

Blogging does give you a means to reach a global audience, but it won’t come to you. You have to work hard to publicise your blog and reach out to parents to make sure they are aware of it. It has to become part of children’s school routine. Only then will it reach its full potential. So to adapt Deputy Mitchell and Kevin Costner’s quote…”Build it and they might come, publicise it and they are more likely to.” Not quite as snappy, but definitely more accurate.

The good news is there are loads of ways you can do this. The even better news is that they are really simple and easy to achieve. Here are my 12 tips for attracting quality traffic to your blog:

  1. Cross publicise – every time you or your class blogs tweet it. If you haven’t got a class account, set one up and get your school to retweet.
  2. If you have it, use SMS to point parents to your blog. Not everyone’s on Twitter but almost everyone has a smart phone. Use a tiny url maker to shorten urls in messages.
  3. Use a globe, e.g. Revolvermaps. It motivates the children to get new flags, encourage them to get relatives from abroad to visit.
  4. Post regularly, so when people visit they see new posts. If you leave it too long people will stop coming back.
  5. Approve and publish posts and comments promptly so children see their words published.
  6. Each time children blog in school give them a sticker to wear home saying they’ve blogged today!
  7. Put your blog address/twitter handle on your letterhead.
  8. Post homework resources/help on your blog.
  9. Use twitter contacts to RT your blog, especially of they’ve got loads of followers.
  10. Run parent workshops about blogging – spread the word as much as you can.
  11. Collaborate with other schools, post comments on each other’s blog.
  12. Set regular challenges so children get in the habit of posting – the 100 word challenge from the Night Zookeeper team is great for this.

 

 

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Build it and they will come

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