When Nenad asked me why I loved blogging I shared that I saw it more as creating community and getting a chance to share yourself in a way that can benefit others. I think that is one of the reasons women love blogging so much, we are so drawn to community and self-expression.
In creating Venus Meets Isis program I saw blogging as a gateway to so much more. Blogging is something that can be fun and creative, allowing you to learn about yourself and connect with others. At the same time it has a technical and even business component to it.
Any successful blogger knows that blogging requires some basic level of technical skills, maybe even some coding (CSS and HTML), it requires planning, oftentimes research on topics, as well as some marketing in building your audience. This coupled with my interest in building The Corporate Goddess is why when presented with the opportunity to work with teens I immediately created an internship program centered around blogging.
It serves two purposes I have in working with women and young girls:
- Creating the space where we are connecting with our unique talents and learning to honor our intrinsic self-worth.
- Creating exposure and access to media-tech tools that can and will create change and opportunity.
I am excited about the opportunities and impact that tech savvy women and girls can create for themselves, our communities, and thus our world.
In conversations with teachers, parents, student advisors I am learning there are other benefits in having youth blog; it gets them to write, have a voice, and be in action with an outlet. As simple and even cliche as it may sound, blogging, with the right guidance and curriculum, provides a lot of benefits and opportunities outside of just ‘being a blogger’.
Create a blogging or digital media club in your community
If you are interested in leveraging the benefits of blogging with your students, children, or even for yourself, start a club. There is tons of information on the internet on blogging and web development.
Below are 7 steps to follow to begin community and confidence building with friends and those you love.
1. Choose a focus for your club (ie other business owners, your students, a group of friends).
It is easiest to attract club members if you find a common ground that they can relate to. If you are a business owner and want to begin blogging for your business, create a business blogging group. If you are a teacher and want to see your students write more or learn web development, start a student club.
2. Set a meeting time and location.
Once you are clear on the focus of your group, begin to attract members. Set a time and location and even if it’s just two of you in the beginning, start meeting regularly. The group will grow and you will definitely grow.
3. Choose a blog platform.
I suggest WordPress, though there are other platforms such as Blogger. As the group leader you may already have a lot of experience in this, though it’s not mandatory. Create some ‘best practices’ or recommendations for members that may be new to the world of blogging.
4. During every meeting dedicate time to write and create.
One of the most challenging parts of being a blogger can be creating the time to write. Let this be easy by setting aside time even if it’s just 15-20 minutes for members to write and plan blog posts.
A few weeks ago on Today’s Creative Blog (which I found through Zemanta), I found a link to this blog planning tool which I’ve integrated into my 2013 planning. Planning and scheduling posts will be the easiest way to stay on track.
5. Create an online forum.
You can do it via a Facebook Group or a Google Group where members can connect with each other in between groups. The group can be used for members to share ideas, get feedback on posts in progress, and to support each other’s growth. As the group leader, in the beginning, it will help to create the energy of the group. Post your stuff, share cool resources and articles, encourage engagement.
6. Bring in speakers.
As the group grows, it may be fun to bring in experts on different topics, related to blogging or the groups’ interests. It will make the meetings that much more fun and provide members the opportunity to learn new skills and network.
7. Encourage cross-promotion.
In the early days of blogging gaining an audience and traffic is something that many are concerned about. Inside of a group you have the advantage of each other. Support one another and cross-promote each other’s work. It will help you provide value to your audience providing new resources and it increases the success of the overall group.