Do you have something to say about elephants’ rights? Have you witnessed conditions in zoos that left you worried, appalled, or even angry? Perhaps you even went to the circus recently and something just didn’t sit right with you. Have you read something on the JulietteSpeaks website that had you thinking? Help spread the message about the mistreatment of elephants in zoos, circuses, the ivory trade, and tourism. Blog about it!
Blogging is easy, fun and rewarding. It’s something just about anyone can do. It’s free to set up an account to blog, and you can customize it with colors, artwork, photographs and links to other important websites.
Step 1: Set Up Your Blog
It’s very easy to set up a blog with blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Blog.com or Tumbler. Here at Juliette Speaks, we use WordPress because of its versatility and ease of use. Just go to WordPress.com, scroll to the bottom and click on “Get Started.” You can then choose a user name and password, a style, and get started writing a blog in just a few minutes.
Step 2: Pick a Subject to Write About
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, start by reading. You can either visit your local library or start your research at school or at home. If you’re interested in writing about animal rights, a great place to start is the PETA website at www.peta.org. Think about what led you to the JulietteSpeaks website. Were you looking for answers to questions? Did you want more information about a topic that seemed interesting or were you curious about elephants? These are the same situations that may lead readers to YOUR blog! You can do your research to make sure your writing is as informative as possible.
Answer questions you think others might have. Ask questions that haven’t been answered. Use Google to further your research. Often you’ll find that Google can lead you further down the rabbit trail into deeper and deeper information that will help you craft an informative, interesting blog post.
Step 3: Tell a Story
So, you have a really interesting topic, you’ve taken some pictures of elephants at the zoo with your camera, and you’re ready to write! How do you get started?
Ask yourself: What makes a great story? If you dig deep enough, you might find that a great story includes writing that hooks the reader. A good story leaves the reader asking “what’s next?” and will offer some sense of anticipation. Good stories also leave the reader with some kind of emotion, whether it’s being happy, sad or even angry.
While you’re writing your story, you can use Google Adwords’ keyword tool. This should help you input words or phrases into your writing. This will help others who are using Google to find you based on the words they use to search.
Step 4: Make it Inviting
When you talk to people, it’s usually more engaging to look them in the eye, use hand movements and let the other person do some talking. The same is true for writing a blog post. Make your blog a fascinating, engaging place to visit by using your own voice, some visuals and by inviting participation.
Your blog doesn’t have to be a boring project. Once you find your information by doing research, just write a bit like you talk. Pretend you’re in a chat session with a friend and you’re just giving them some interesting information. You can always go back and check for spelling and grammar once you finish the rough draft of your blog post.
Pictures, videos and even artwork will make your blog stand out from all the rest. Readers just love to see photos and other media in blog posts, and they’re easy to insert, too. Take some pictures or video with your phone or digital camera or create some art to scan in to your blog. It will help break up the writing and make it visually appealing. Even if you don’t have pictures, you can make your blog post look awesome by breaking it up into sections by subtopic; that way, your busy readers can scan the section and choose which section to read.
Blogs encourage commenting for a reason! If you’re approachable and invite participation and try to ask for opinions at the end of each post, your readers will comment. Participate in the discussion! Make it fun by answering their questions or just thanking them for stopping by.
Step 5: Get People To Read Your Blog
Talk to your English teacher and get your entire class involved. This could be a great alternative to field trips to the zoo or circus, and you could foster further education by reaching out to other kids just like you. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, use them to promote your blog. Other social networking sites such as Pintrest will show you what people are interested in; use this information to keep track of your own interests and choose to only follow the boards that interest you.