If you missed the first post in this series, check out Blogging Basics for Teachers and Other Creatives, Part One. In that post I share reasons to start blogging and how to choose a blogging platform.
In today’s post, we will talk about how to choose a blog name and where to get ideas for your blog.
My blog was originally called Vivid Layers (raise your hand if you read my blog back then!). The header is the image at the top of the blog to tell readers what the blog is. I think it’s important to have a catchy header that gives a feel of what your blog is about. Mine has changed and evolved over the years.
I started getting annoyed with my blog name and I wanted something that sounded more like what it was about, an art education blog… so I changed to Art is Basic, as in… a basic, essential part of education, but then I sometimes wonder if people understand that just from reading the name. I don’t know. The banner at the top of the blog has undergone a number of evolutions and now I am content for the time being with the simple header at the top.
To make these header images, I used Picmonkey online, which is a program to edit photos and make collages. I now use Photoshop Elements because I have gotten more proficient at using it and there is more you can do.
Every so often I want to change the blog name again.. but that is confusing to readers and the “identity” of your blog. So, find something good and stick with it. Google it to make sure no one else is using your name and that the .com is open (that’s a good sign.) Make sure when the name all runs together it doesn’t say something else or can be misinterpreted as something else that might have a negative vibe. Run the name by a few friends first!
Here is what other art ed bloggers had to say about how they picked their name.
Phyl, from There’s a Dragon in My Art Room: “My first blog was There’s a Dragon in my Art Room. I wanted a memorable and different name, and I absolutely DO have a dragon. She’s made (by me) of paper and cloth mâché and she’s about 5′ long with a similar size wingspan. Her name is Lucy, and my students loved her. ”
Lee, from Art Room Blog: “Art room blog-it’s straight forward about the subject matter.”
Rina, from K-6 Art: ” I picked my blog name to be short, simple, easy to remember and easy to type. I was following a few blogs that I loved but had really long URLs (no offense, friends)”
Michelle, from Create Art with ME: “Create Art with ME is named after my initials Michelle East.”
Sheryl, from Primarily Art with Mrs. Depp: “To pick the name for my blog I wrote down a bunch of what I thought were cool names, then googled them to find out most of those names all ready existed. Then when I came up with the name Primarily Art with Mrs Depp – only my art buddies got it, my family didn’t.”
So, now that you have a blog and a blog name, what should you blog about?
If you are an art teacher, classroom teacher or artist, you are already set with lots of ideas from your life and interests. I’ll admit, when I first started blogging, I sometimes struggled to come up with ideas of what to blog about. Now, it seems TIME is my biggest hurdle with blogging and I have lots of unwritten ideas in my head.
What I would recommend is narrow your focus (you might not know it yet) and come up with your vision of your core audience. What would they like to hear about? What do you know about? What is the intersection between what your visualized readers want and what you know about? Let’s say you are an art teacher, Vegan food lover and bicycle enthusiast. While there is NOTHING wrong with sharing about your life (I love hearing about my blogging friends’ lives), I can tell you right now I would only be interested in reading about the art teacher posts. Why? 1) I’m not Vegan and have no plans to become one and 2) I like biking, but not enough to read blogs about it. That’s the risk you take if you widen your range of topics… turning off readers at times.
Perhaps you have no interest in blogging? I’m sorry, then maybe THIS post isn’t your cup of tea. But enough people have asked me over the years for me to think that there is a good amount of interest in the topic. Okay, so here is a list of ideas to get started. Some of these things are topics I have blogged about or enjoyed reading on other people’s blogs.
- Art projects you have taught (this is the bulk of my posts)
- Tips about teaching art
- Your own personal art
- Classroom management tips
- Organizational ideas
- Bulletin board ideas
- Classroom discipline tips
- School-wide activities, programs and assemblies (Don does many amazing school-wide and huge legacy projects, a true inspiration!)
- How to have an art show or art night (Patty has some awesome ideas here)
- Special visiting artists, speakers or unique events
- Field trips
- Youth Art Month or Art Advocacy
- Holiday or seasonal ideas
- Ideas for substitute teachers: There is a whole blog about this!
- Tips for a unique teaching situation (podcasts are another idea!)
- Sharing about a favorite artist
- Interview someone! Be brave and write your heroes.
- A piece of technology or app you use (Tricia is the art tech guru)
- Teaching philosophies
- Controversies in your field
- Host a challenge, swap or movement!
- “How to” or “step by step” posts (people love “how-to” posts)
- Top 10 lists
- Give advice to someone who is earlier in their career or studies than you
- Reviews or lists of books, videos or other teaching resources
- Round-ups of ideas around the internet
- A review of another website or blog
- Tell about a special award or accomplishment
- Behind the scenes posts
- A video tutorial (Cassie is the queen of videos)
- Art that you have seen on a vacation
- Time lapses
- Tell about one of your new products for sale
- Ask other people to guest post on your blog
- Have a giveaway
Where else to get ideas?
- Read voraciously: look at other blogs and see what types of topics they have written about
- Look at your comments section: what do people comment most about? What do people ask you for advice on?
- Follow Facebook groups or other online forums to see what people are asking and talking about
- Look at your own life: what excites you? What unique experiences do you have?
- More Ideas from Digital Marketer
- Generating content ideas from Copy Blogger
- 101 Blog Post Ideas
- 10 Ideas for Finding Blogging Inspiration from ProBlogger (an excellent resource for learning about blogging)
- 52 Blog Post Ideas for Creative Entrepreneurs
Do you have any blogging tips you would like to share? Where do you get ideas for blogging?
Stay tuned.. in the next post in this series we will talk about the absolute must-haves before writing a blog post, tips for imagery and how to get traffic to your blog.