So your teacher says you have to start blogging. Great, now what?! Sounds complicated, right? Well, it’s not. It’s actually pretty simple. No, really! Just wait until you get through this kid’s blogging guide, and you’ll see what I mean.
Look, I taught students just like you to blog for years. And honestly, many of them were a little worried at first, just like you might be. But by the end of the year, I think most would agree that the process was pretty painless… maybe even a little bit fun.
Here’s a quick rundown of what will be covered in this kid’s blogging guide. If you want to jump to a section, just click it.
5 Simple Steps to Writing a Blog Post for Students
When you’re staring at a blank screen wondering what to type, well, it can be hard to know how to get started. That’s why I put together these easy steps to follow. Just take whatever subject your teacher gave you to write about, follow these steps, and you’ll have your first post in no time.
#1 Hook your reader with a good lead.
You only have a few seconds to catch your reader’s attention. If you don’t do it then, they’ll zone out and never make it through your post. That means you need to lead off with something great. A few types of leads to get you going:
- Quote–Begin with an interesting quote that connects with the subject of your post.
Example: Lebron James once said, “You have to accept failure to get better.” The character in the book I’m reading learned this lesson too well.
- Paint the picture–By painting the picture of a scene you’re going to discuss, you make the reader feel like they’re there.
Example: The clock ticked loudly. My heart beat at a hundred miles an hour. If I failed this test, my parents would kill me!
- Ask a question–Ask the reader something that directly relates to your post.
Example: Have you ever tried to solve a two-digit multiplication problem, only to get stuck on the last step? It used to happen to me too, but not anymore. Here’s why…
- Notice something–Make an observation that leads to what you’re going to talk about.
Example: Sometimes when you grow up, you learn things that make you see your past in a totally different way. That’s exactly what happened to Dory in the new movie, Finding Dory.
- Make a connection–Start by telling a story or giving an explanation on how you connect with the topic.
Example: When I was younger, my dad took me fishing every Saturday morning. Ever since then, I’m fascinated with creatures that live in the water.
#2 Organize with subheadings.
Once you’ve hooked your reader with the intro, it’s time to move on to the body of the blog post. Now it’s pretty easy for a kid’s blog to get disorganized, which makes the post hard to follow. One great way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to organize it into a few main sections. Use the main idea of that section to create a subheading at the top of the section.
For example, this blog post is broken up into three sections: first, a section giving you the steps to creating a kid blog post, then a section showing you how to comment, and finally a section discussing internet safety.
This helps you keep it organized, and helps your reader follow along.
#3 Use lists and bold key information.
Most people skim when they read on the internet. In other words, their eyes look for key information and skip over much of the rest. If you followed step 2, you’re already helping the reader do this with your subheadings. But to keep this going, when at all possible, divide up your sections with lists.
For example, I’ve divided this section up with a 5-step numbered list. So readers’ eyes will automatically float through to each number and catch the main points, even if they don’t read every detail. I also use bolded words to help with the process.
#4 Tie it together in your conclusion.
Once it’s all said and done, close with a brief paragraph that points back to your main topic. All these sections you included, what was their main purpose? So in this case, I’ll likely end by telling you how using all the tips I gave you will help you easily create a good first blog post. Then I’ll probably remind you stay focused and keep your chin up–it’s going to be okay. Remember kids, blogging should be fun!
#5 End by asking your readers to comment.
Finally, blogging is about discussion. So you want people to talk about your blog post in the comments section. The best way to make that happen? Tell them to do it.
That’s right, straight up ask your reader to comment. Of course, you don’t want to be that vague. They need something to talk about. So ask them a question, or give them a prompt like your teacher does. Just make sure it connects to the post.
For example, I’ll likely close by asking you to tell me how your first blog post goes once you put it up. That connects to what I’m saying here because, well, I’m teaching you how to blog.
Bonus #6 Stay on topic and keep it conversational.
Remember, every sentence you write should add to whatever it is you’re trying to say. If it doesn’t, then it shouldn’t be there.
Kids Blogging: Guidelines for Commenting
Blogging is only half of what you’ll do as a kid blogger. The other half will be discussing in the comments section (after all, you’re asking people to comment… so you have to talk back to them). Here are a few things to remember when you’re commenting.
- Say something meaningful. “Great post” really adds nothing to the discussion. You could say it without even reading a word of it! So if you’re commenting on someone else’s post, say something that creates discussion. Answer the question at the end of their post. Or ask a question about something they said. Maybe you could even make your own connection to their blog topic.
- Remember, you’re not the teacher. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had students try to use kid’s blogs for correcting each other. Leave that to the teacher. You’re there to talk with each other about whatever it is you’re blogging about. That’s it. Don’t spend time correcting each other.
- Be positive. If your kid blog turns into a negative experience, you aren’t going to enjoy it. Same goes for your classmate’s blogs. So make sure whatever you comment to each other is positive and uplifting.
- Don’t be afraid to present a different point of view. Now, having said that about being positive, that doesn’t mean you can’t disagree. If someone writes something you don’t necessarily agree with, present your opinion. Just make sure you offer your reasons and don’t be rude about it.
- You’re not texting here. Sure, I said be conversational. But I’m not saying text message-conversational. Use punctuation. Skip the LOLs and the BRBs.
How to Stay Safe Online While Blogging
The internet is a great place, but there are dangers associated with using it. That goes with social media, surfing the web, and yep, you guessed it–blogging. It’s crucial that we all practice good online safety as we blog. Here are a few things kids blogging should keep in mind.
- Don’t share personal information that would identify you. Whether you’re 8 or 18, you don’t want someone you don’t know being able to steal your personal information, or worse, be able to find you. That said, keep things that can personally identify you off your blog (I always have my students use their first names only, as well as a silly avatar instead of their real picture).
- Never share your password. Sharing your password can spell disaster. Other kids could get on your blog and post inappropriate things. Someone could hack your blog and delete the entire thing. And even worse, if it’s the same password you use elsewhere, they’d then be able to get into all your accounts.
- Remember, once you say it, it’s there for the world to see. Sometimes kids don’t realize that once it’s out there, well, it’s out there. Once you’ve said it online, it’s difficult to take it back. Even if you delete it, someone may have taken a screenshot. So think very hard before you say something you might regret.
- Monitor your comments. You never know what someone will post in your comments section. It might be something offensive. It might be something to start a fight. It might be a link to something you shouldn’t click on. Make sure you keep track of your blog comments and get rid of anything that shouldn’t be there.
There you have it. Everything you need to know about running a kid’s blog. Now you’re ready to get started. Make sure to follow my advice and best of luck to you!
Have questions about my kid’s blogging guide? Ask in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to answer!