I realized that being a newbie now, sometimes you aren't shown the ropes or have had an "in" on conversations that many of us had as were learning to blog about a year ago.
So here are some top tips about how much of the teaching blog world developed so that you can jump in too:
1. Remember why you started. Numbers won't always follow expected growth, so don't let that dissuade you. And believe me, we all celebrated when we saw our numbers hit "12!" or any number (other than one... ourselves) for that fact!
2. Blog readers are hoppers. How did you find some of your favorites blogs to visit? From a link in a comment? From a linky party that was on a topic you like? From someone's sidebar blogroll? The best way for others to find you is by leaving your link wherever people may find you in like company. If you comment, be complimentary, kind and notice something specific... who knows, you may just develop a friendship that way. If someone reads your comment, and hasn't seen your blog name before, they'll click to come visit! So make it clickable!
3. Give the basics a go! We all experimented creating posts with adding photos, embedding/linking pdfs, and hosting a party. We've all written short posts, novellas and rewritten posts a dozen times before publishing. You won't know what fits your style until you give it a try!
4. There are shortcuts to learning the bare bones of "code." That word put fear into me as I was learning my way around creating a blogging template from a free site and it was tricky to navigate. Ever since I created the style and look, there isn't much "code" to learn. And once you find code - Save it! Work smart! My favorite way to save the "codes" I use most frequently is by copying them into the post-it notes widget on my computer.
I do have a lot of codes, but I do more than the typical teaching blogger now that I help administrate TBA. (So no fretting!) Can you see that I have hulu up in the background? I'm a believer in mutli-tasking ;) You can see that I have the highlighted code for creating a clickable link that leaves my name and blog link whenever I'm leaving a comment. I cut and paste and off I go.
- Hot tip! Use "ctrl+f" on any pc to "find" any text when working with code, visiting a blog, or reading through a recipe.
So here's the "gist of code" (skip this if you're totally not ready, and bookmark this, because someday you might be)
- all codes have to have a beginning and a closing that match. Much like writing a sentence and needing an uppercase to begin and punctuation to close. Closing marks look different than the beginning because you'll see a slash. This picture shows an example of placing a "centering" line of code before and after I'd put a photo somewhere to center it.
- codes have to be placed within < > these marks. I don't know why. I've just learned that by seeing them everywhere.
- when you see <a href=" then what comes next is a link to a blog or blog post. These URL/web addresses have to have "" around them. (Think of it as a hyperlink reference)
- when you see <img src=" then what comes next is a link to a photo or graphic. These URL/web addresses have to have "" around them. (Think of it as image source)
- Leaving a direct link in comments
- Create links in the words of your post
- Tracking links that you leave (like on a pdf/google doc) since its hard to see how many people download your stuff
- Link images/graphics in your post or (a video tutorial)
- Schedule a post to publish automatically
- Creating a blog button
- Inserting screenshots into your post
- Creating a signature
- Removing shadows around photos/images
- Adding a favicon
- and more!