As my blogging tips series (and my internship at DE) comes to a close, I’d like to give new and old bloggers one last piece of advice. Most of my tips have been general – basic steps to making your blog great, adding a profile picture, etc. This blog post is about finding the inspiration to write.
Inspiration can come from anywhere! Like questions, no blog post idea is dumb – this is a space for you to share your thoughts and questions with other educators, no matter how trivial. It’s a #nojudgement zone! Here are some ways to spark your desire to put pen to paper (er — fingers to keyboard).
1. Review your comment sections
Any time you get a question or suggestion in your comment section, that is a potential blog post. Looking through other people’s comments is another way to find what frontrunners in the education and technology niche are talking about.
2. Social media
Check online to see what people are talking and blogging about. If there’s a hashtag relative to your niche, other people’s tweets can be great discussion points. You can even embed them into your post.
Another great online resource is Digg.com. Digg displays articles that are popular online right now, similar to the box that tells you what is trending on twitter. You can enter your own twitter handle to see what articles your peers are discussing or use the search bar to find what is trending in a specific niche.
pro tip: download the pocket app to save articles that you don’t have time to read for later perusal
3. #DEPD and other DEN events
Check out the Discovery Education calendar and the DEN events calendar to see what events you can attend, both virtually and in-person. Better yet, throw your own event (remember, each STAR has to record 2 events every year to maintain their STAR status). These meet-ups can be great inspiration for blog post ideas, ranging from reviews of the events to sharing new ideas with others who couldn’t attend.
4. Trying new things
Make a list of new technology or ideas you want to try (or are skeptical of), and then try them! Use your DEN blog to record your reaction. Pinterest is a great way to find different ‘life hacks’ and classroom ideas to test out.
Have something on your mind but not sure how to turn it into a blog post? Sit down and write about it! You’d be surprised how many ideas you can come up with just by journaling about your day.
pro tip: This also works with doodling. Studies show that doodling helps us concentrate by helping our brain focus in on what we’re trying to figure out.
6. Books (and bestseller lists)
Education and technology are two heavily researched topics, resulting in hundreds of new titles on them every year. These books are great blog conversation starters and will keep you up-to-date on what’s happening in the fields.
The DEN blogs are about more than education and technology, though – they’re about you! Share your favorite read or pick up this seasons’s bestseller (The only thing I loved more than this summer’s best seller The Goldfinch was reading all the mixed reviews of it online) or a book you read in your classroom that the kids loved. Books can inspire endless ideas for new posts, or you can simply right a review!
7. Steal shamelessly (but give credit)
If you find a blog post you find interesting, write about it! Post a summary of the post (be sure to link to it) and credit the author, and then give your take. Other blogs are a great way to find effective ideas.
8. TED talks
Technology, Entertainment, Design – that’s what TED stands for. I can get lost on the TED website for hours learning about new ideas, hearing from inspiring speakers and taking a peak into the future.
pro tip: If you also love NPR (and who doesn’t?) they have a collaboration with TED. Download the NPR app and find ‘TED talks’ underneath the programs tab for discussions on certain topics, described by TED speakers.
9. Write down your goals
Keep up-to-date professional and personal goals, including the ones you’ve already achieved. Share them with the DEN to find out what other peoples goals are or reflect on how you checked off some of your own.
10. Use your greatest resource
What’s your greatest resource? Your fellow DEN members! If you ever need help or inspiration, reach out to the DEN for ideas. You have a few thousand fans right at the click of a mouse!
Got more blogging inspiration tips? I’d love to hear them in the comment section!