Today’s featured post comes from Connectivity Conference presenter Jessica Balsley, who is also the curator for TheArtofEd.  Please welcome her today as she gives you a taste of her upcoming session, Blogging for Advocacy.
I often get questions from teachers asking about my suggestions for starting a classroom website. Some of them are interested in “blogging” and others aren’t. Even friends and family ask me about starting a website for their business or venture. My answer is: Don’t start a website, start a blog!  Here is why blogs are much better than a traditional website.

1. Blogs are Free

Often times I see people pay someone big bucks to “design them a web page,” which results in a boring website with their contact information and a few photos. Don’t hire out, especially when you are a teacher and budgets are tight.  You can do this yourself. The options, themes, and pre-done design templates that blogs offer will be sufficient for your classroom uses. There are a million ways to easily customize your blog to fit your audience.

2. Blogs Are Current

You can update a blog with as little or as much information as you want, as often as you’d like. You can keep families in your school updated on what is going on. Say goodbye to newsletters, expensive printing costs to send weekly letters home, or pamphlets that just get thrown away. You can put all of this information on your blog.

3. Blogs do Everything that Websites Do- and more…..

Blogs can have static pages (that do not change) with your contact information, concert schedule, class supply list, etc. Theses are called “Pages” at the top of a blog. The only thing that changes on a blog is the “Blog” portion of the website. This is great because you get a double whammy- both a blog and a website!

4. Blogs Help you Go Where the Parents Are

If you are going use a blog to advocate for your program, you need to reach parents in order for it to work. You can link blogs to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc, places where parents are already visiting anyway!

5. Blogs are Fun! 

Isn’t it annoying to visit a website and nothing had changed for 6 months? This is not the type of website that excites parents, students and the community. People want to visit a site and learn something new. A blog can provide an exciting place to share and update content with ease, keeping everyone interested and coming back for more!
For more practical tips on how to start a blog and the secrets to using a blog as your #1 advocacy tool, please join me for my presentation, Blogging as Advocacy.  Coming from a professional blogger, these tips will help propel your art program, the way you are viewed in the community, and get you up and running with a few clicks of a button. Teachers love practical tips, that are easy to implant and won’t waste your time. I can’t wait to share my secrets from the blogging world with you!