Thoughts on being an Edu-blogger

Today when people ask me what I do,

the first thing I say is

I'm an Edu-Blogger.  

Then I might add...

I write Kalinago English and on it I discuss issues related to teaching English as a Foreign Language, put up  free lessons plans every now and then, I talk about what's going on in my classes, waffle on quite a bit about dogme, do you know what dogme is?  I'm most proud of having a running series featuring amazing women in our industry - those are mostly guest posts from other bloggers, and sometimes I rant on about textbooks (not fond of them, me) but quite often I'll show how I use/d a particular computer application/ program or web 2.0 tool in one of my classes. 

Then, inevitably, one of the people that I'm talking to, in an after-work business suit, will say something like

So... do you make money from doing that?

and I'll blush and mumble something about how not everything in life has to be about money, you know. 

But then, because I have my pride and don't want him to suddenly think that 2010's answer to being a loser is being a blogger, I'll confess, of course, that  well, with regard to the moola, it's not so cut and dry, nope there's no income directly, but...   thing is, sometimes people do go on to my website from the blog and sometimes they buy my materials there but I tend not to "market" that very often (almost never) so most of the traffic on that particular site actually tends to come from Google, from countries and teachers who are non-native English teachers.  

And yes, well, of course I've gotten some paid writing work based on a lesson I did (Susan Boyle led to Working with Films).

At which point MrBusinessSuit begins to roll his eyes.

But, yeah

I have a topsy-turvey life:  my hobby (teaching) pays the bills and my job's a mind adventure.

There's something to it, tho'

There's something to all this work done by so many of us.

Where it's going, who knows...

EduBlogs, who offer various platforms designed specifically for the practice of EduBlogging,  list on a banner trailing across their website that there are

517, 432


written by teachers,

for teachers
for teacher-trainers
for students
with students.

To be honest, given this extraordinary figure, it does seem a really good time right now, to sit down, to stop, to take a pause, to look at this really quite astonishing and amazing development.   

I've decided to do this, partly on here but also, mainly, by specifically offering guest articles to my fellow Edu-bloggers  because it  is, in my humble opinion, working with your community that is one of the most, one of  the absolutely most essential parts of becoming and being a blogian: 

blogging is not just about one person 
who says that blogging is 
either this or that

but what the wider community, 
made up of each
of its individuals, 
says it is.

Blogging, or what I refer to with my own students as the digitization of paper, represents an incredible realizable step towards the democratization of education.

We're on an adventure.

It is teachers who are talking to teachers. 


 images based on a poll of 137 EduBloggers June 2010

And although this new series is specifically aimed at giving advice to the NewbieBloggers, based on the reading I did before I dipped my toes in, based on the successes and failures I've had along the way, delving into some of my strengths, revealing my own weaknesses ... telling you exactly how I managed to build a blog that gets so many visitors, has won and been nominated for so many awards, reaches an incredible global audience through versions of some articles rewritten for the academic journals in my field -  even though I'm just a TEFL teacher and EdTech teacher-trainer, really, who had no "special" personal or professional connections prior to hitting the page.

It is also an invitation to you, those of you who have more experienced voices, to disagree with me, to add your own pennies' worth in the comments on various posts (no zumping the theme tho').  

It is an invitation to share your knowledge with your community.

Useful links
Carnival! (27 bloggers writing on EduBlogging, 2009)

Blogging, chatting, discussions online: (we're still just writing on cave walls)
IATEFL 2011:  The ELT blogosphere symposium (call for YOU to join me as a co-presenter)
Recorded Presentation on Edublogging at the Reform Symposium July 31st, 2010

The Guest Posts

Glossary of EduBlogging Terms, Mike Harrison's Blog
Glossary of phrases and expresssions based on the word blog, Sue Lyon Jones's blog

The Dogma of Edublogging, Nick Jaworksi's blog

The Best Kept Secrets of Highly Successful Edubloggers
Part 1 Shelly Terrell's blog
Part 2 Janet Bianchini's blog
Part 3 Berni Wall's blog
Part 4 Monika Hardy's blog 
Part 5 Anne Hodgson's blog (coming soon)

Also on its way...
  • Lords of the Armchair (coming soon, on Jason Renshaw's)
  • Comparing EduBlogging platforms (coming soon, on Marisa's Constantinides')
  • Blogging with students (Barbara Sakamoto's)
  • Blogging tips to share with students (Tara Benwell's)
  • Why do Edu-Bloggers quit? (don't know yet, but help me out with this poll...)
What do you think?  Are there any topics in particular you'd like me to cover?

Current Poll


image credit: Artemis blogging, after Rembrandt by MikeLicht

8 Responses to “Thoughts on being an Edu-blogger”

  • natashaBBC says:
    July 28, 2010

    I put some thought to the Q the gentleman above asked you and my answer would be :" Do you think that Michaelangelo,Shakespeare,Einstein, Leonardo, Van Gogh, to name but a few were always doing something or everything for money? /the line up above is just random and some of these fellas might be cashing in a lot but my point being - the beauty of it all is that one never knows what will pay off in hefty amounts and/or what not


  • Darren says:
    July 29, 2010

    I hate to say this Natasha, but yes they probably were. People were a lot less precious about artistic purity and authenticity in those days... that only comes when we reach a certain comfort level. I blog for free because I can afford to! If I was scratching around for money I might find it a bit more difficult. Much like Karenne, I have certainly gotten other offers through the blog. But you work with business people, Karenne - people who are focused on the bottom line. Doing ANYTHING for free seems pretty weird to them, I guess!

  • Sue Lyon-Jones says:
    July 29, 2010

    I blog for free and also I run a free website...

    Technically speaking, I can't really afford to as I'm self employed and it takes up a lot of my time - however, as you say, money isn't the be all & end all and I do it because I enjoy it.

    I also see it as a means of improving my skills & developing new ones, and furthering my professional development.

    Like you I also find that it can sometimes lead to other things... I also think that if I didn't do it, I would probably find other (possibly less productive) ways to avoid work & occupy part of my working day, like playing games and designing 3D monsters ;-)


  • Eva Büyüksimkesyan says:
    July 29, 2010

    Well, yes no money from blogging but I agree with Sue as since I started blogging and had a PLN, I realised I've improved myself very much. It boosts your self-confidence as well.
    People have hobbies, when they are free they enjoy themselves with these hobbies, don't they? Some paint, some collect. I also have hobbies. Before my adventure in blogging I kept attending courses. Wood craft, painting,a rench, collected cookery books, etc. They all cost money and they are great pleasures. I still do love them. However, blogging enabled me to meet great educators, find helpful hints, opportunities to meet members of my PLN and collaborate for projects. It just widens your horizons and see what else you can do.
    Let's keep blogging, Karenne!

  • David Warr says:
    July 29, 2010

    Excellent post Karenne, I found the stats particularly revealing. I'm looking forward to the nex ones in this mini-series. Thank you. Also good to see and hear you on the video, and vrey interesting too.

    (Dogme is in these days! The amount of times I got told off by school directors for not following the book, but that was over 10 years ago now. It seems these days you'd be admonished if you did follow it!)

  • theLingoGuy (stewtun) says:
    July 29, 2010

    again this reminds me of the Taylor Mali video concerning "what a teacher makes?".
    I think you have to distinguish between a pure business professional and a person who sees their job as a vocation.
    The latter is always going to be tempted to do things for altruistic reasoning.
    If a suit does not even consider this about a teacher, then their comment is there to provoke.

    A simple retort would be to say, "I produce and create ideas that can influence, and inspire others. what do you create, produce that could pass beyond your lifetime?"

  • David Deubelbeiss says:
    July 30, 2010

    Excellent post with lots of munchy crunch numbers/info!

    I'm very much in the vein of Darren - I blog and do my website because I can afford to ... and yes, as mentioned, so many freak out that I don't get paid anything. I can and can't understand that attitude :)

    But it also comes down to what stewtun so eloquently said say something well and have an impact on others for the better....

    I do hope my own blogging and site, might spark someone to be a blogger and spread the love. That's one of my intentions ..... I'm really curious about "the spark", that one thing that makes someone blog. I find there is usually one event, one issue, one tipping point that makes a blogger. I think I'll blog about my own "spark" which was some words from a former professor.

    Now, got to reply to your other post about "the ethics of blogging/tweeting"! Thanks for the detailed post, I've bookmarked this one.


  • Clare says:
    July 31, 2010

    I think that people who only see blogging as a money-making or traffic-driving exercise are missing some of the point, which is that blogging is only one 'tactic' - not the whole 'strategy'. So if your overall business/professional aim is to share / disseminate your ideas, then blogging is just one of many promotional tools that you'll use - others being speaking at conferences, tweeting, writing course books etc.

    I have two blogs that I use for very different purposes. One is to build my reputation in an (unrelated to teaching) field, so the blog stands as an example of my expertise (!); and the other blog is to test ideas, and attract traffic to a free site where I also happen to make money. It doesn't matter that the blog doesn't make money in itself - it's not supposed to.


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