Ten Steps To Better Blogging

Dan Frommer is a technology writer but his blogging tips are easily applied to edubloggers also. This is my favorite:

Write the site that you want to read. That covers story selection, length, frequency, style, vocabulary, attitude, humor, level of sensationalism, and more. Don’t publish anything you’re not proud of. Be yourself.

A participant in my session at CMC-North asked me how to develop a community through blogging. I told him I saw a lot of bloggers come online, post a few times, get depressed they weren’t getting the traction they wanted, and then wander off. I said you had to do it because you were satisfied by the act of writing itself, because you were looking forward to one day reading about the teacher you used to be.

I also said that I follow nearly every link and comment back to the blog that sent it. Often times I’ll subscribe and, because I’m totally lazy, I rarely unsubscribe. So draw in comments and reciprocal links by linking and commenting generously. But only after you’re writing and sharing because you find it inherently satisfying.

BTW. Given the choice, Daniel Schneider chooses blogs and Twitter over the formal professional development of math conferences. Conference organizers take note, get nervous.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I would add– perhaps challenge– with three counter-intuitive approaches based in examples.

    Ex 1: *You’re in a teaching drought.*

    The past few months have been really icky for me as a teacher. My blogging has fallen off significantly as a result, as well as it might have had to– after all, lackluster posts from a discouraged professional aren’t what anyone wants to read.

    And yet, often the best way out is the way through, as Robert Frost said once. It is the very act of faking the interest, searching for the tiny gleam, that causes you to find it again. Try blogging, then, even when you don’t feel like– especially when you don’t feel like it.

    Ex 2: *You’re a closet narcissist.*

    When I was subscribed to the various metrics of blog interest in my first two or three years, I got very interested in numbers, graphs, and the various related emotional extrapolations. It started to drive me nuts, and worse, became the primary drive for my decisions about the things I blogged about. I quit those metrics in 2010, and was never happier.

    For those bloggers who are equally and dysfunctionally attention-driven, I would suggest trying the same thing. Burn a feed, but unsubscribe from the quantitative data. Be a blogger who writes for the love of it. Period.

    Ex 3: *You’re really, really pissed off about something.*

    Some of my most valuable and thoughtful feedback has been from the rare (I hope) times when I simply vomit my disgust into a post.

    So write about it. Don’t, in fact, attribute– don’t fact check, don’t be fair, don’t be original, don’t stymie yourself. Write it, and be honest about shooting from the hip. Perhaps, even post it. And then listen really hard, and respond openly and respectfully, to the responses you get.

  2. When I was younger I wanted to be a SF writer. The one consistent piece of advice from every author and in all the writing books is “Write every day”

    Not, write good stuff, not, pen the Great American Novel, just write. Good, bad or indifferent it doesn’t matter, just write everyday.

  3. Thanks, Dan, I needed that.

    Blogging is just one example of an activity that brings a harvest if you keep sowing the seeds. I really needed to be reminded of that.