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Monday, December 2, 2013

You Can (and Should?) Have Your Own Blog

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fmckinlay/
I have averaged better than fifty posts per year for three straight years. I'm proud of myself. And, yet, I feel like I don't write posts nearly often enough.

I write for me. I use the writing as therapy; as a reflective process; and as a way to document things I have done or learned. And this has been incredibly therapeutic.

There are days, like today, when I look at the link to my blog and wonder, "when did I last put up a post?" Or, "I have nothing to write but I need to put up a post." It feels like pressure but it's more of a gentle nudge to get off of my butt and start putting down words.

As a matter of fact, today I'm using this post as a reason to not do something I need to do for work tomorrow. So I guess you could add that as a reason I write. It's a lot more fun playing with words that are my own than coming up with words and ideas that I need to have for others to use or read.

There are lots of different places you can go to to create a blog. I chose Blogger almost 4 years ago because it was simpler to use than Wordpress and more professional than some of the educator-related blog sites. If I were to do it again today, I would probably set up on Wordpress or Edublogs. My friends over at Edublogs are awesome and it is a very easy place to set up shop. I opened an Edublogs blog when I moved over to Decker Middle School but I've never put up a post there.

Since I am only writing with myself as the target audience I don't have to worry about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And neither will you, if that will be your goal. If you want to drive people to your site so you can make some money from the blog then you will need to be able to do analytics and Wordpress will be the way to go. I can do a lot of analysis in the back end of my blog, with Blogger, but I really don't worry about where people have come from before they opened my latest post. And, I don't spend time using the right words in the title or in the searchable title. It's just not important to me.

If you are worried about having something to say, then create your posts and don't tell anyone until you feel like you've written something meaningful. Or, you can do like I do and just publish it out there and not worry about what other people are thinking. The important thing is that you are writing down your thoughts, periodically, so that these ideas can leave your brain. When you can read what you have written you will feel better about life - I promise. As a matter of fact I'm smiling right now -
- just knowing that I'm getting this post done.  Of course I have that work to do for tomorrow. Better stop here and deal with it. But I refuse to stop smiling!