The Blog Revolution Begins Blogging & Technology by Joel Wagner - May 1, 2008July 2, 201015 So what exactly is The Blog Revolution? We’ll start with some background. I am a nerd. I am a huge nerd. I was co-president of the computer club in high school, went to the Texas State programming competition. I know a thing or two about computers. I have been reading blogs for the past year and a half. I’ve been reading blogs about blogging for the past year and three months. I began blogging about the same time. I began blogging regularly in June of 2007. As I got into the EduBlogosphere, I noticed a few things about a lot of smaller blogs. Many don’t do a lot of the things that bloggers tend to recommend for growth Many look as though very little thought has gone into their layout Many seem to have great writers, but unfocused writing Many are difficult to navigate Most of the great posts get buried deep within the blogs Many of the bloggers don’t own their own information Many blogs look exactly the same as many other blogs The Blog Revolution Project is a plan that will supercharge your blogging skills. These are things that I used specifically to get my blog from its paltry beginnings a year ago to now a readership nearing 300, and growing daily. Each of the 20 daily articles will conclude with a specific mission that will help you to grow your blog. Some of the missions can be accomplished in a few minutes, some may take weeks to do right. They don’t need to be done in order, but each one will help your blog grow. Why now? I figure that with the summer coming up, lots of EduBloggers will be looking for things to do with their blogs. If you can’t commit to join the Project now, it will be a great reference later on in the summer when you have nothing to complain about on your blog! What if I don’t have a blog? Now is a great time to start! Here is how I recommend going about it: Get your own domain name It’s not as expensive as you think. Even if you don’t want to install the software below, a $5 domain name can redirect visitors to a Blogger or WordPress.com domain. Download and install WordPress.org software The installation takes a bit of work, but there are plenty of super easy walkthroughs. Install Google Analytics This will help you track all sorts of crazy things on your blog. If you don’t want to do that, there are tons of free blog servers out there, but bear in mind that free servers (WordPress.com, Blogger, EduBlogs, etc.) don’t gibe you your own domain name, and the information is stored on their servers, meaning they own it. But I have a blog! Well, that’s great. I still recommend getting your own domain name, installing WordPress.org, and installing AdSense. WordPress has some incredible importing tools that can import from other platforms. We’ll dig into plugins more later, but Google AdSense (or any other reputable stats package with historical tracking) is ideal. So what does this project entail? The project will be broken up into four weeks. Each week will have one daily article, concluding with a mission. Here is an outline for the Project: Week One – Writing Add Truckloads of Great Content Keywords Are The Key Keep ’em Coming Back Develop Your Writing Voice Stay On Target! Week Two – Reader Experience Create Community RSS Visibility Pluginpalooza Redesign: The Total Blog Makeover Clean Up Your Sidebar Week Three – Marketing Bring In Interested Traffic Blog Carnivals: Submission Blog Carnivals: Hosting Blog Directories Guest Posting Week Four – Networking Comment Like Crazy Reply To Comments Give Credibility To Commenters Email Readers Linkfest 2008! TODAY’S MISSION Get your own domain name for your blog It’s cheap and simple. Type in something like “cheap domain names” into Google. Go with something 5 words or less, and don’t do anything creative like replacing “For” with 4 or anything like that. Find something that goes along with the name of your site (or name the site after the domain name that works). Domain names are heavy in the keyword equations with search engines, so go with a keyword that will apply directly to your goal. If you already have a blog, have the domain name redirect to your current address. Once you have your own domain name, post a link in the comments section below. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.