So your kid might wanna start a blog? Read on for inspiration. Scroll to the bottom for 3 tips that will enable to you help your child start blogging like a pro.
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On hot summer afternoons when I was 11 I would read a minimum of one book a day, usually curled up on the plaid couch in the cool basement family room. Miss Elisabeth, my local librarian, expected to see me amble into the Kirkwood Highway Library every third or fourth day, checking out a new stack of paperback adventures.
When shadows started to creep over my backyard, giving some respite from the day’s humidity, Jane Stewart and I would meet under my Maple tree and act out our current favorite Pop song while bellowing it out at top volume. Our favorite that summer was “Play That Funky Music White Boy.” But I was still unaware of bigotry, so I convinced Jane it was “Play the funky music RIGHT boy,” because why on earth would it matter what color his skin was?
On cool mornings, when accompanied by a faint breeze, I’d ride in the feet-on-the-handle-bars solo olympic event up and down my street. Jane wasn’t an early riser, so I’d be the imaginary gold medal winner every time, zooming across the finish line on my snazzy, purple-sparkle banana seat.
I am glad my daughters still get to widdle away sluggish summer days in similar fashions, and I’m glad that they–like I–almost never complain of being bored. (Yes, I did add the qualifier, “almost.”) Who can be bored after all with the countless good reads awaiting and numerous songs ready to be memorized and crazily crooned?
On top of that, my ladies are blessed beyond measure with woods, rivers, and a lake to explore…
veggie gardens to plant and tend…
insects to ponder…
farm animals to love…
and of course a swing that, like a pendulum, ticks away some glorious blocks of time…
But, unlike I at 11, they have the boundless resources of the internet at their fingertips as well. If we guard their time, if we set limits, if we are diligent parents to remind them of all those other wonderful ways to spend a summer hour, well, one great way to fritter away some time is building a website.
My 11 year old spent an hour Skyping with a friend who was 400 miles away but wanted a website tutorial. So my daughter asked me to help her arrange the computers just right, and had a wonderfully successful summer afternoon meeting with a friend. 21st century style.
After they chose a theme, wrote content for their American Girl DIY sites, and uploaded pictures, she said goodbye and went back to her rather 1970s kind of afternoon… minus the white boy playing funky music.
Meanwhile, if your child wants to dive in to blogging or website design and you’re not sure where to start, I highly recommend wordpress.com for all your free, website-building-kind-of summer afternoons. And I personally use Hostgator for my own and my daughter’s website hosting. I’ve had nothing but the best experiences with their services and highly recommend them. And, right now they’re offering 50% off a 12-month plan or an amazing bundle for just $3/month! I also highly recommend that you and your child complete this free, 3-lesson eCourse together and learn the amazing ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization (a very important skill in today’s tech world!). But as for those 3 simple tips I promised you…
3 Simple Tips to Help Your Child Start a Blog
Looks matter. So this first point is my daughter’s advice. Bloggers should take all their pictures outside, in natural light, unless they have access to professional lighting equipment. The right lighting in photographs makes a post look so much better. Feel free to skim some posts I’ve shared about photography for kids, starting with this photography challenge.
Followers matter. I mean, after all, no one stays motivated to keep on working hard if no one notices their efforts. So my daughter’s friend’s advice? A new blogger should think of a fun contest to get all their friends and family interested in following their blog, so they can enjoy a nice following right away.
Quality matters. Finally, advice from this homeschool mom of 16 years, 4 children, and innumerable ploys to make learning fun: Use this experience as a great way to teach writing. Don’t let the kids be lazy about their writing. Honestly, I’ve found no better way to sneak in some grammar and spelling lessons that truly “stick.” And they don’t even mind (too much) correcting their writing before publishing it. Because, well, what’s more fun than instantly publishing your writing and having your friends read and follow it?
Okay, maybe one thing tops all childhood accomplishments: olympic gold medals earned by early risers on purple-sparkle banana seats. Here’s me, curly pigtails and all, with my favorite purple sparkle bike ever and Mom, my #1 supporter behind my daily olympic medals.
As for advice from a techie? All the details you could want on setting up a wordpress blog can be found here.
However many years [or summers] anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. Ecclesiastes 11:8
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