The Anatomy of a Blog

 

What IS a Blog?

Derived from a combination of the phrase "web log," a blog is a constantly updated website.  It's early history was simply a web page that people manually updated regularly but now, with sites like blogger, word press, posterous and many other blogging hosting services the not-so-technical can blog and it is super easy!  For more detailed information on what a blog is, check out wikipedia.

What Does it Mean TO Blog?

The term blog turned into a verb as in "I blogged about...."  If you have blogged or are going to blog, you basically have a website that you update when you have something to write about and share with people.   TO blog could be a personal hobby, a business to business communication tool, a marketing tool for all business aspects and much more.

Why Would I Write a Blog and About What?

  • Child Care Providers and Centers: You can share your 1) philosophies, 2) activities, 3) events, 4) menus, 5) recipes and 5) more with your parents and prospective parents.  **If you share pictures, be aware and careful of sharing pictures of the children in your care without permission of the parents.  Even if you have permission, might be best to not show faces.
  • CACFP Sponsors: You can 1) update your provider base on new regulations and practices, 2) talk about the success of your latest training, 3) educate on CACFP, 4) provide recipes and nutritional information, 5) share your latest projects that are above and beyond and 6) more with your current and prospective provider base.
  • Associations: You can 1) update your members about your latest meeting including what was discussed, 2) an upcoming event, 3) share your resources, 4) share latest news stories, 5) feature a local member and a lot more.

How Often Would I Have to Update a Blog?

There is no set amount of time to update a blog as long as when you set expectations for your readers you don't disappoint.  What do I mean?  Well, don't start your blog writing everyday and then stop for a month, then write once a week and then stop for another month, so on and so forth.   If you only have time to update once a month, then start there.  If you want to post more often definitely do so but it's always best to have a schedule in mind for when you are going to post your latest feature!  Be Careful, it's addicting!  ;)

Finding Blogs

You can find blogs with any simple search in any search engine you can use a keyword search that includes your topic and the word "blog."  BUT, one of my favorite ways to find a blog is to use Google's filter tools.  

First: Search for a keyword in which you are interested in a google search bar.  
Second: You see your search results and the left hand bar that says "Everything."  
Third: Click "More" and you will see more options.  
Fourth: Click "Blog" and this will filter your search results to see blog entries relevant to your search only! 
Fifth: If you want blog posts only in the past month, year or 6 months you can chose that with "Show Search Tools" link.  Try it now!  Google.com, Search and then look to the left!

A lot of organizations and people post links to blog posts on Facebook and Twitter as well, you can find a plethora of information on these sites as well.

Reading Blogs

How do I know the blog I am reading is credible?  

Well, that is really up to you to decide.  Anyone can write a blog and be and claim themselves as an expert but you don't always need an expert.  So some things to keep in mind while you peruse the blogs out there!

1) How many people are reading the blog or sharing this blog?
2) Is the blog tied to an established organization?
3) Do I simply like what is being said and shared (that's ok too, you aren't writing a college paper here!)?
4) Read the blogger's profile.  Even if they aren't "expert" they still might have some insightful things to share and say.  It doesn't mean it's not worth enjoying or looking into.

Blogs you Might Like

For Everyone:
Child Care Exchange - Exchange Everyday
Early Childhood Focus 
USDA Blog 
Leading Blog
Department of Education
Small Business Association Blog
Child Care Professional Blog

For Providers:
Teach Preschool Blog
Tom Copeland's Blog 
OwnADayCare.com
Sound it Out 
Page by Page 
PreKPages Blog
PlayBasedLearning

Sponsors and Associations:
Nonprofit News 
Nonprofit Communications Blog 

Part of Our Provider Community:
Little Kelli's Playhouse Blog
Share and Remember 

One More Thing...

MAKE IT FUN!  You have creative license to make your Blog whatever you want it to be.  Let a little bit of yourself or your organization shine through.  We are in child care, what's more fun than that?

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Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.