7.18.2011

teacher blogging DOs and DON'Ts

Everyday I get quite a few emails asking me blogging questions... 
even though I am behind in answering them, I try to answer them all (my apologies if you are still waiting)!

And sometimes, these questions inspire me to dedicate a whole blog post to them.

Someone recently emailed me a question about Teacher Blogging DOs and DON'Ts.
I thought I'd share my response:

(Disclaimer: I am not a teacher blogging "expert" and I don't want to be! 
However, these are my opinions based on my own personal pet peeves when it comes to teacher blogging.)


DO blog frequently, but DON'T blog more than once a day.
Even if I love someones blog, I find it hard to keep up with them if they are blogging throughout the day. Unless you are TBA where they have a community of bloggers who want to share 24/7... 
I'd just stick to once daily and let your readers actually see each post. However, I realize 
that sometimes there are exceptions and that is okay!

DO celebrate your followers, but DON'T blog about how many you have.
This is just tacky... need I say more?

DO link up to linky parties, but DON'T forget to follow the hosting blog's rules.
Lot's of us are new to blogging and so I see this one a lot. Teachers are linking up, but they aren't following any of the rules and sometimes their link has nothing to do with the linky party topic.  
Jen at Finally in First did a great post about Linky Party Etiquette.

DO get inspired by other teacher blogs, but DON'T steal their ideas and post it on your blog.
There is a fine line between being inspired by some else's work and violating copyright. If you are inspired by someone else's classroom project and you want to do it for your own classroom, DO IT! And then when you blog about it, make sure to link back to the person who inspired you. I get it, teachers BEG, BORROW, and STEAL, just make sure you use common sense when doing it. 

DO invest in a good blog design. DON'T use the free templates.
Think of your blog as an investment, especially if you sell teacher created items. You want people to remember your blog and come back to it. You definitely don't want it to blend in with everyone else. For business success, you need to be (and deserve to be) unique! Here is a list of great blog designers who are very inexpensive ($10.00-$25.00): Designer Blogs, Delicious Design Studio, and Ladybug Teacher Files. There are a ton of other blog designers out there--just Google it! If you love someone else's blog design, go all the way down to the bottom of their blog and it will usually tell you who designed it. If you can't find out who designed it, then email the blog author to find out... believe me, they will be flattered!


Once again, I don't claim to be a teacher blogging expert... 
This is my blog and my blog comes with my opinions.

ENjOY!

Any other DOs and DONTs that I should add?

50 comments:

  1. I LOVE this! Thank you for sharing! I'm new to blogging and this is really helpful. I actually agree with everything you posted - and I've been a fan for awhile now! :)
    Kristin
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

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  2. Thanks for the post!
    I cannot believe that someone would copy and post one of your products for free. How did you stumble upon it? I never even thought to worry about that. Did you email the blog owner?
    Erica Bohrer's First Grade

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  3. @Erica: I couldn't believe it either! I actually found it via pinterest... I did email the blog author and I haven't heard back!

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  4. @Lindsey, the EXACT same thing happened to me too! I was so mad that someone took my idea, made an exact printable and shared it, AND called it her own. AND, I found it on Pinterest. I get that people make mistakes though, so maybe she "forgot"? I always try to give credit where credit is due, ya know?

    My hubby just told me that I should be flattered.

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  5. @Rachelle: Ahh! I know how you feel! I was mad at first, then I tried to brush it off and act like it wasn't a big deal... then I got real! It was a big deal and I needed to contact her and let her know. This is my business and someone can't claim my ideas as their own! My husband and I are counting on this "income" now-a-days because we want a HOUSE ;).

    Did you contact her? What did she say? I am afraid this girl is going to ignore me and I'll have to take other measures.

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  6. Ladies, that just flat out STINKS. Hopefully the person will respond and hopefully it was just an "oops". It's just like when you share something at your school and other teachers take the credit for YOUR idea. What's a girl to do? You don't want to be tacky about it. It's a tough spot. While I'm not new to reading blogs, I'm new to posting. I am VERY fearful of doing something wrong and not realizing it. I know what it's like to not the credit (though not in the blog world). It's tough. I hope that you can continue to be professional about it and can continue to inspire us!

    mrsrichardsonfirstgrade.blogspot.com

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  7. Thanks girl. This is very helpful to me, seeing as I am a new blogger. I am taking your blog design advice and seeing if I can make my blog personal/get a super cute button, etc. I will be visiting these sites. As for the copy crook (he,he)that is sooo sad. I hate it when other teachers do that and don't give credit. I have a feeling she knew what she was doing and just didn't think she would get caught.
    -Lauren
    www.weeklyhive.blogspot.com

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  8. Hey Everyone...I definitely agree with that GREAT BIG DON"T #4!! Someone didn't take one of my things, just maybe...my style. I wrote a post about it, not naming names. It was way nicer than I wanted to be. I'm not the only one who noticed. I'm still not happy about it but I am over it...I think. Everyone needs to find their own niche and show it off!

    Kathy
    First Grade a la Carte

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  9. Thanks everyone for your comments! :)
    @Kathy: that is so sad! i'm sorry someone would do that to you!

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  10. I love that you used my blog title in your post (Beg, Borrow, Steal). My "stealing" is really more of a "taking" the idea, using it, and giving credit to the AMAZING teacher that put in all the hard work. I currently am having to hold two jobs so I don't have as much time as I would like to create my own stuff, so I LOVE that there are SOOOO many wonderful teachers like yourself who share their creations. Trust me, credit is given from me!!!! :)

    Love your blog and your cute post!
    Shame on the person who literally "stole" your work.

    Kelly
    Beg, Borrow, Steal
    www.mchaffiek.blogspot.com

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  11. Great post! I agree with every point you addressed. I thought maybe I was being too snobby about certain things that have bothered me in blobby land, and I am so glad that it isn't just me.
    I am sorry that you were copied. That really stinks. I think that is why I have been so hesitant to sell anything I've created. I know I would be heart broken if I saw someone had copied it without giving any credit.
    I appreciate all of your hard work and thank you for being so graceful!

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  12. Thanks for sharing this! I just recently started a new teachimg blog after being inspired by so many others. Love these tips!

    Natalie
    www.natkatinthehat.blogspot.com

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  13. Great post! I believe all the points you made were valid. I am so sorry that people are taking your things. Furthermore that they would share them and call them their own. Blogging in not supposed to be like that...its a give and take community. Know that you are valued though and your creativity is wonderful. :)

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  14. Thank you for the tips! I am new to this and trying to figure it out still. My blog is barely setup!

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  15. Hi Lindsey! I love your blog! I agree with what Mrs. Richardson said about being new to blog posting and worrying about doing anything wrong or offensive! So, tips like these are very helpful! Although, I would never in a million years intentionally post anything that someone else created and claim it was my own, especially a printable like that! So sorry that happened to you! Keep the good stuff coming!

    cardigansandcurriculum.blogspot.com

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  16. Oh dear...I read your post with interest, because I've just started blogging about a week ago, and now I'm worried. Not about the stealing--I haven't done anything like that--but the blog design. I DID use a free blog design from Adori, but I haven't seen anyone else using it. Would you mind popping over and checking it out to see if I need to change it? Seriously...I'm now concerned....:(

    Just let me know, please...
    Liesl in VA

    http://wildworldofkindergarten.blogspot.com/

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  17. Such a fun post!! Love your dos and don'ts!!

    I hate when I post something for free- and someone copies it and sells it. Hello---you took my idea that I was giving away and you made money off it.

    And you have one of the best looking blog designs I have seen! I love the clean, crisp modern look of it! Very stylish!! :o)

    Kacey
    Doodle Bugs Teaching
    Doodle Bugs Paper

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  18. This was a great post Lindsey. I have a question concerning the idea "taking." Even it is an activity, how to, or cutesy something you have made that is not printable, do you think bloggers who recreate it should say, "I got this idea from..." or something along those lines? I have seen some how to's posted and then reposted almost word for word on other blogs. Am I just being sensitive or should people give credit in those situations too?

    Jena
    1st Grade with Miss Snowden

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  19. I'm so sorry to hear about someone passing your work as their own. That is really sad. We all work very hard and don't get the proper appreciation. That was a really bad move on their part. All I have to say is.. Karma will get her/him someday. By the way, I love your blog. Thanks for sharing your ideas with all of us.

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  20. Thank you for this! I am new to blogging but have been following for a few months now. I hope to be successful at share info that someone will find interesting. I am so scared that I will accidently copy someone I haven't even started making my own printables yet. But I love what I others have made.

    krondeau@blogspot.com

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  21. Thanks for checking! :) I'm a little...er a LOT, relieved...:)

    Liesl
    http://wildworldofkindergarten.blogspot.com/

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  22. THANK YOU!! I really appreciate this post and the link to Linky Party Etiquette. This is so helpful to a new blogger...I've marked it as a favorite so I can reference it often. Thanks!

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  23. Thanks so much for joining my blog! Yours is so adorable! I just joined TeachersNotebook as well and I think it has many quality teachers and resources on it. I taught second grade most of the time I have been a teacher and I loved it! Let me know if you ever need anything! :0) Leanne

    http://mdteachingtales.blogspot.com

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  24. Great DOs and DON'Ts! Thanks for the suggestions in blog templates...I have had mine for a year and have been itching to try a new one!

    -Meg
    http://thoughtfullysimple.blogspot.com/

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  25. Great post..... I've been dabbling with a free template and am just about ready to take the plunge and purchase a template now that I know what i am doing! Thx!

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  26. Love this post. We have been looking at a blog design and we are so excited to be given a little extra "push" in that direction.
    With pinterest, I worried a bit because when I did a blog post on pinterest and posted some of the great things I'd found, I gave credit on my blog post, but when you see things pinned from "firstgradeandfancyfree" the stuff I posted looks like its from US! Yikes. I hope people know enough to link back to the site where they are posted from to see if credit is given.
    Thanks for the great advice! Love your blog.
    Ericka

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  27. I know exactly how you feel and I have someone who copies my content and uses the same style of blogging. Worse than that someone took a photo off my blog and posted it on hers and my daughter found it. Wait, seriously it was taken in my kitchen. You have to laugh at how ridiculous people can be but at the time I was so upset.
    I think you should contact people and just let them know this feels wrong to you and ask them to be more respectful. We need to support each other and we all have enough stress without this.
    Fran@kindergartencrayons.blogspot.com

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  28. @ Fran: I totally agree with everything that you said and I am sorry that happened to you. As educators we do need to support each other and we need to set a standard set! New bloggers need to know what is expected of them and the "rules" to blogging because there are unwritten rules!

    Thanks to everyone for your sweet comments! I was worried about posting this, but I am glad you all feel the same way! :)

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  29. Hello!
    I recently posted about your 'vowels are like glue post' because I had seen it on pinterest. I made my own version, but I did link back to you before I showed my version. I hope desperately that this is not a bad blog mistep. I really loved your vowel glue bottles. I wanted them in green for my classroom and while I was at it I made a poster because I didn't think I would be as darling as you and sing the leapfrog song. I hope this doesn't offend...I am sweating a little.
    Reagan
    Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits

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  30. Great tips! I would also add something about keeping in mind anonymity - is it something that's important to you as a blogger? And anonymous or not, always change names if you happen to mention a student!

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  31. Great article! I'm super-new to blogging and this is great information to know. I'm looking forward to finding a new blog design.

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  32. Thanks for sharing this post. I am a new teacher trying to get into blogging and these pointers were very helpful.

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  33. As a new blogger, this info is tremendously helpful. Thanks!

    Tasha
    http://serenadetosecondgrade.blogspot.com

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  34. I love this list, I always try to give credit which is easier now that pinterest links everything back to the source.

    I would love to add a Do and Don't to the list:
    Do share ideas
    Don't turn your blog into a store.

    For some reason I have been seeing a lot of posts about "look what is for sale in my store" and that's it. Self promotion is great, but if that's all the post is, I'm sorry I'm not going to read your post and I may stop following your blog.

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  35. Thanks Lindsay, your advice was really helpful. I have a question about taking as well. I've seen a couple neat ideas and changed them to meet the needs of my clasroom, but when I posted them on my blog I linked back to the original creator to show where I got the inspiration...is this considered taking? If so I would definitely take it down...I don't want to offend!

    Thanks!

    kindergardenscholars.blogspot.com

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  36. Thank you so much for this awesome post. I am definitely spreading the word so that others can come read it too :) I also love your blog layout. Do you do layouts for others?

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  37. Thanks for all the great advice! Love your blog and that it makes me feel like I'm not the only one addicted to my job. :)

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  38. I absolutely love your blog. I have been working on creating some of my own things. However, mine look so much more technical than yours and would love input on how to make them a little more kid friendly. I would love to have some help getting started!
    Krystal
    @ http://secondgradesuccess1.blogspot.com/

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  39. I don't even know if this is relevant -- but I would say DO host a giveaway if you want but DON'T require that people jump through hoops. Leaving a comment is enough. Having followers who genuinely like your content is so much more meaningful than followers who just want a freebie.

    and
    DO monitor comments but DON'T use word verification. Have comments delivered to your email and approve (or disapprove) them from there. *grin* I just scrolled down and saw your word verification.

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  40. I loved this post! Thank you for doing this! :)
    Kimberly
    http://creativeteaching-kimberly.blogspot.com/

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  41. thanks for the helpful ideas! I'm new to blogging -well, I've been blogging about my kids for over a year, but I'm turning it into a teacher blog now - I do still use a free template from wordpress, and I don't know how to upload google docs unfortunately! Or how to make those cute buttons!

    So much to learn! thanks for sharing your wisdom!

    Liz at sproutschool.wordpress.com

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  42. As a new blogger and a new teacher, stealing is something I worry about- it's tough to come up with brand new ideas and pinterest/ teacher blogs share such wonderful ideas. I always give credit though because not giving the credit is just plain mean! I don't like it when people do it in the "real world" I certainly would dislike it in "blog world"!

    -Julie
    http://www.lightafire3.blogspot.com/

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  43. What a helpful blog post. Thank you! I am continually amazed by all the fabulous teachers! Rule following makes me calm:-)

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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  44. Teri from Mrs. Cupcake led me to your blog because I wanted to know what was right and wrong to do on blogs. I loved hearing your thoughts and the thoughts of the others who posted here. I am a new blogger since Christmas and I just shared your link today on my blog. I hope that is ok with you. I want others to be reminded of what works best and what doesn't. And since your original post was last summer, I figured that others might need to know this stuff too. If you don't like that I linked my post to your site, please let me know, and I'll take it off.
    Thanks!
    prutenba@sturgisps.org
    Patty
    Second In Line

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  45. Just found this link through Patty at Second in Line. I'm glad that you posted rules about blogging. For the most part teachers do try and follow the rules, but like in every profession there those who don't follow. Like yourself I have had teachers post my purchase items for free. The majority of the time they do take it down. Hope that was the case for you.

    Sandy
    http://secondgradelockerroom.blogspot.com

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  46. Hi, great blog! Newbie blogger and 4th grade teacher! Your tips have been putting me on the right track. Added to my blog inspiration list :)
    http://littlemissteacherblog.blogspot.com/

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  47. Love your tips! Thank you from a new blogger. Now how do you gather so many readers? How do you get your blog out there? Thanks!

    Stacey
    http://pilesofpencils.blogspot.com/

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  48. I'm a totally new blogger and sometimes it can be very intimidating to learn the "lingo" and feel like your blog is up to speed with everyone else. I have soooo much to learn. I used a blogger template that I customized myself, but it is still a work in progress. I also worry about "copying" even though it would never be intentional. I have been teaching for almost 30 years and at one time or another, I have a done a lesson on just about everything social studies and I'm afraid that with the thousands of Pinterest Post and TPT Post floating around out there, it could be impossible to create something that will never resemble someone else's work. After all, sometimes we do tend to think like other teachers due to training, workshops and trends. Every now and then I see something pinned and say, "wow, that looks just like a powerpoint I have on that topic". So, if I did printables or powerpoints for TPT, how can I feel confident it is original enough?

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thanks for the love ♥

 
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