Writing a Blog: Sharing your thoughts
Writing a blog that has evolved into this website over the last few years came out of a leadership course. Our leadership mentor encouraged us to write a blog for my NPQML and after a few weeks of…. no visitors, I linked my twitter account. I then began following some education accounts, The TES etc as it was a blog about teaching so I thought my twitter account should be professionally focused as well.
I made some posts and tweeted them out, and had some visitors, and likes, and comments. Woohoo validation! I wasn’t really planning on doing any more than making a couple of posts to share ideas and practice basically just to use as evidence of self-reflection.
Starting out Writing a Blog
My first few posts are short and simple, just sharing resources I had made and things I had done linked to the NPQML competencies. This post is the subject of my project. This one is an attempt at a buzzfeed style post. This is just sharing some resources I had made. During the Covid-19 pandemic that page was shared by the DfE and traffic went through the roof.
However, I found that I really enjoyed writing about things I was interested in. Almost thinking out loud. Using the process of writing as a way to clarify thoughts and opinions that I held but had never really shared. I had not spent the time reflecting on what these values meant to me.
Reflection to Improve Practice.
I found that by doing this I was able to start improving my practice. I was for the first time since my PGCE attempting consciously to apply ideas and theories to my practice.
The following few posts were NPQML assignments, which proved quite popular with my (small) readership. After that, the posts wander all over the place. A bit of technology, a bit of #teacher5aday all things I was doing in class. Apparently, this is not the best way to run a successful blog. Your readership wants consistent posts on a narrow topic. Haha fortunately I am not a marketer. I am not selling anything so the number of visitors has no real impact on… well anything. I have blogs I’m proud of with 10 views. Others with 100s and I didn’t know why.
Starting with SEO and Gaining Traffic to an Education Blog
About 2020, after 4 years of writing and just under 200 posts the site gained real traction and was increasing in visitors. I had not looked into SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) but WordPress provide stats. Lockdown and schools moving to online learning provided a huge boost to my traffic. Lots of schools are linked to the resources pages. This is known as backlinking and this drove a lot of traffic to the site. I also collaborated with Oak National and some other collaborators, which again raised awareness of the site.
Since then I have worked on Keyword optimisation and tried to make sure SEO is considered on each post. Traffic has decreased since the lockdown boost but is slowly building again as the number of posts increases.
Writing a blog on education means there are times of the year and the weekends that don’t generate much traffic. Saturdays and all December, August and July are really poor, seeing traffic drop by over half.
Writing an education blog is a brilliant way to engage with other professionals and organisations. It can be difficult to maintain momentum for posting. I often gain inspiration from my children and the projects I am working on day to day.