Tonight, half the class embarked on their first Blogging & Tweeting workshop.
Five ideas for new blogs were presented:
- Campus Puzzle “The missing piece”: where we would discuss campus life, hot gossip and cool places to hang out.
- Snooze “Sleep in public”: where we would upload pictures of people sleeping in public areas.
- Smell it and tell it “Blogging where it smells funny”: where we would describe interesting smells (bad or good) and even ones that reminded us of childhood memories.
- Tipsy: where we would discuss a great night out and various hang overs.
- Under Construction: where four writers (The Economist/ The Investigator/ The Gossip/ The Blogger) would contribute under four main themes.
Five students already have active blogs:
Emiliano (from Mexico), who blogs regularly for a Spanish magazine: http://gatopardo.com/Blogs.php?Id=4
Claudia (from Germany), who writes about her interesting meetings with paper clips and student-life: www.tracingpaperclips.weebly.com
Vanessa (from South Africa), who writes regularly on any topic from Africa to relationships: www.vsmeets.wordpress.com
Linnea (from Denmark), who writes about her ideals, dreams and days as a journalist: www.journalinnea.wordpress.com
Thomas. M (from the Netherlands), who writes about how politics can be sexy: www.thomasmoerman.eu
How to blog using WordPress:
- Write a final draft of your chosen topic on Microsoft Word. Avoid using Enter to separate paragraphs (it creates big page breaks when you copy paste into WordPress). Rather use Shift+Enter to separate paragraphs.
- Copy paste your article into WordPress (under New Post).
- Add the title of your article. WordPress will automatically create a link online when you press publish. Make sure you are satisfied with the headline as it cannot be changed as a URL.
- Place your name above the article’s text, as we are a big group contributing.
- Upload pics using the icon below the title. Decide on the size and where you want it placed (left/ middle/ right). NB: Always attribute your photos! Try to use as many of your own as possible.
- Make the post interesting by including quotes (using ” icon), or using bold font or different sized headings to divide ideas.
- Categorize your blog: Entertainment/ Travel/ Gossip/ Lifestyle/ Journalism/ Photo/ Video/ Food/ Arts etc.
- Add tags relevant to your blog, including your name (to find it easily) e.g. Erasmus Mundus/ relationships (these can even repeat the categories).
- Include links activated by WordPress (they often link to Wikipedia or Google Maps automatically) or choose some of your own.
- Link your blog to other similar blogs, increasing your stats and giving attention to your blog.
- Press Preview to see what your blog looks like.
- Press Publish if you are satisfied.
- Promote your blog on Facebook and Twitter (using # tag for the relevant topic or RT/ Retweeting it to various news agencies who might find it interesting).
- Blog regularly and consistently.
Two main formulae for successful blogging:
Stay > Succeed > Seduce.
Proactive + Reactive = Seductive
Be proactive by blogging regularly as your real self.
Be reactive by linking yours to other blogs and replying to comments made on your posts. You have to converse with your readers.
- Be sure of your niche market.
- Content has to be varied, useful and interesting.
- Avoid only writing in first person.
- Write about topics that add to humanity and community.
- When uploading pics, use relevant names to title them (under Alternate Text and description) as this will show up in Google Images. E.g. If I use a picture from James Nachtwey, I should write Nachtwey Sudan, so it will show up both in the search for Nachtwey and Sudan.
- Add clever captions to your blog post. It makes it far more interesting.