KIDS' BLOG CLUB
Blogging our way through life!
What to do if your child wants a blog
Categories: For parents

What every child blogger needs

So what should you do if your child wants to join the bloggerati?The great thing about blogging for kids is they can quickly create something that looks impressive and have fun in the process.

It’s great forliteracy, IT skills and imagination. As long as you the parent keep an eye on it and don’t let your child run hog wild over the internet, it can be a fab, fun hobby.

My daughter started blogging two years ago, when she was 10. Now that she’s all of 12, we have our blog, Eljae, that we write together. Recently we published our list of Top 10 Cool Kid Bloggers, and now we’ve developed this into this site, the Kids’ Blog Club.

 

Where to start if your child wants to write a blog

Before you crank up the laptop, sit down and talk to your child about basic online safety.

  • Don’t post your full name. Unless their first name is quite a common one, it might be better for your child to adopt a blogging pseudonym. Essentially you need to protect them from the future employers, friends and enemies who are guaranteed to one day Google their name.
  • No identifying characteristics – ie don’t post any details about where you live or go to school. No pictures with school uniforms/logos.
  • No identifying anybody else – it might be tempting for a child to use their blog to rant about the bully they hate, but you have to caution them against this.
  • Never ever contact or respond to anyone directly who tries to contact you via the blog. This, I think is the scary part for most parents. Is some crazy weirdo going to swoop down out of the internet and scoop up my child? Unlikely, but no harm in guarding against it. But don’t let paranoia about who’s out there suck the fun out of your blogging. Be cautious, not fearful.

 

Should you be worried about who’s reading your child’s blog?

Think about how open you want the blog to be. All blog hosts have options, ranging from completely private (ie only people you give the link & password to can read it) to public (ie listed in Google, open for anybody to see).

You might think that the most private option makes most sense for a child’s blog, but not necessarily. My daughter’s first blog wasn’t listed on search engines, so it didn’t get a lot of hits or comments. And children love that kind of instant feedback and interaction. So for Eljae we keep it public and enjoy seeing the hits and comments come in from all over the world.

Whilst it’s commonplace for adult blogs to have related Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, I don’t think this is necessary or particularly desirable for a child’s blog. Instead I use my Twitter and Facebook pages if I want to promote any Eljae posts.

We also have a Twitter feed @kidsblogclub which we are happy to use to promote your child’s posts – just tweet us a link or email kidsblogclub@gmail.com

 

The rules of the game for child bloggers

Decide what the ground rules are going to be for your child’s blog – do you want to see every post before they publish it?

Moderating comments is a very good idea – we find that WordPress is good at picking up spam comments, but there has been the odd unpleasantness which has crept through.

From there, it’s a question of pointing your child at Blogger or WordPress and letting them start their blogadventure. You will need an email address to register an account so decide if you want to use your own or your child’s or a gmail address that’s just for the blog.

Keep a distant eye on what they’re doing, but don’t micro-manage. Let them make mistakes. Show them the basics of how to write a post, embed Youtube videos and add links, but apart from that, stand back and let your child get on with it. If you don’t know how to do that stuff, Google it and find out together.

Talk to your child about copyright – you can’t just pinch an image because you’ve seen it on the internet. Show them where to get copyright free images. This has the knock on effect of forcing your child to be more creative and come up with their own original visuals. Pic Monkey is a very good site for playing around with images, and it’s easy as cheese to use – my daughter and I both like it a lot.

Ultimately I think blogging will be a short-lived craze for many children. Only a few will stick at it, and if that happens you may be facing the ultimate parent blogger horror story – what happens if your child’s blog is more popular than yours?

After this, I reckon the next wave will be children blogging anonymously about their parents. Blimey. We don’t want that. Keep your friends close and your bloggers closer, that’s what I say.

 

adapted from an original post on Joanne the coach

 

 

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10 Comments to “What to do if your child wants a blog”

  1. Jake says:

    I’m 10 and I’ve been blogging for three years. Last month I wrote a post on my tips for child bloggers. Hope it helps.

  2. Joanne says:

    Jake I am so pleased that you’ve left a comment. We loved reading about you in The Times – you are a real blogging star! Thanks so much for leaving a link.

  3. rachel says:

    Hi Joanne
    My 8 year old started a blog as a way of sharing her new life with her friends in the UK when we moved to the US. Her teacher has been following it and all her class have posted comments for her to read. She has an about page with her picture on and details about what she likes and why she set it up. Do you think this is a bad idea? Maybe something to think about if it ever gets popular or as she gets older and more opinionated.

  4. Joanne says:

    I think that sounds like an excellent idea for a blog Rachel, what a great way to keep in touch. The only thing you might want to think about is deregistering it from search engines, so only people who know the address can find it.

    These days employers definitely do Google potential employees and check them out on Facebook, so bear this in mind if you have her full name on there.

    Your daughter is very welcome to do a guest post for this site if she wants to let more people know about her blog.

  5. Carla-Marie says:

    This is great advice. A few of my little people want to start their own blogs & I really didn’t have a clue about it until now. thanks so much!

  6. Sky says:

    Hi I’m Sky,
    I am a nine yr old third grader. I’m and Entrepreneur, philanthropist, actor & car lover!!
    Now I have added blogging to my list.
    I blog about cars, and everything else I do, places I go, things I like, problems or issues I may have questions about.
    Stop by or a visit and leave me a moment.
    By the way, my sister created my Website/blog just for me!
    It’s Soooo cool!
    See u on
    Sky

  7. Sarah-Vincy says:

    Both my parents and teachers know about my blog.
    At first only my mom knew but I ended up telling my dad and from there, he told my teachers.
    They were all really proud

  8. Anieka says:

    Their is nothing really wrong with that as long as you set some strict rules. Maybe you can let yourself be an admin of their blogs. Blogging for kids can be really helpful to them but also really harmful as well.

  9. Buy or Sell second hand School uniforms, shoes, bags etc.

  10. Skylar says:

    ❤️I love the cats photo. I think it would really help some children.❤️

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