There is more than one way to do just about anything, and this holds true for running a blog workshop as well. I prepared many slides for the blog workshop I ran last week at the Highland Park Public Library in New Jersey. I had so many slides that we didn’t get to cover all the topics. No worries: we are planning to hold a part II of the workshop, although scheduling may be such that Blog Workshop II does not happen until late fall. One participant wished I hadn’t answered so many questions along the way, and I plan to do a summary lecture at the next workshop with no questions until the end. However, the questions asked were so useful to new bloggers that I’m glad I allowed questions at this initial workshop.
Enjoy the slides:
In particular I showed how to leave a comment. I related the importance of commenting: a way to connect with other bloggers, a way to get links back to your blog. And I find that many new bloggers have more fear of the comment box than they do of the publish button. Get used to commenting, I urged the audience. And leave thoughtful, thorough, friendly, well-crafted comments that are related to the blog post.
If you want to read about the workshop from the perspective of an audience member, see Val’s post called Blogging Advice from Blogger Leora Wenger.
If you have the opportunity to set up a blog workshop in your area, how would you approach the challenge? Here are some guidelines for setting up a blog workshop:
- Prepare many slides on a variety of topics. You may not be able to cover every topic, but you will be able to tailor your talk according to the needs of the audience.
- Decide beforehand whether you will answer questions as they come up or you will ask the audience to hold questions until the end.
- Emphasize commenting. Beginning bloggers may have energy at first, but if several months into their blogging they still have no readers, they may need the push into commenting on other blogs in their niche.
- Use the slides I created for ideas. But please do not copy images without permission. When I uploaded my blog workshop slides unto Slideshare, I noted that there were quite a few presentations of blogging workshops. Maybe I will take a look at a few of those presentations before my next workshop.
- Topics you may choose to cover: SEO, social media for blog promotion, creating content, blog scheduling, images and image permissions, and editing posts.
- Prepare handouts. At each of my social media workshops, I give out a sheet with links so people can learn more. I link to at least one post on this blog that gives the audience an idea of how experience bloggers have commented on a particular topic. One participant wanted me to print out all my slides in advance, but I can’t imagine killing that many trees. Maybe next time I will upload my slides to Slideshare before the workshop so they will be readily available to those with a laptop or iPad. I also put business cards on the table, which makes it easier for audience members to stay in touch after the workshop. I’m considering suggesting people bring business cards to leave on the table in the next workshop description.
Your Turn, Please
What topics would you cover for beginning bloggers? What would you teach as a followup workshop to those who have been blogging for a while?