I've just posted an article about a fabulous scheme fronted (and a lot of front she has too !!) by Dolly Parton, but it's just as important to get kids writing as reading. Author Pete Johnson, whose book The Vampire Hunters (which I just reviewed here) is written entirely in the form of a blog, has some great tips for getting your tweens and teens interested in writing a blog. Keep an eye on the blog too as I'll be back with a competition where you can win a set of Pete's vampire books. I'm too good to you !!
Blogging tips from PETE JOHNSON
Author of THE VAMPIRE BLOG & THE VAMPIRE HUNTERS
WHAT ARE BLOGS?
They’re personal diaries.
They can be a place to share your thoughts and opinions with the world or they can be a private place just for you and no one else!
They can have passwords. That password can be anything you like – ‘Sausages,’ ‘Smelly socks,’ anything!
WHY BOTHER BLOGGING?
You are special. There’s no one like you in the whole world and never will be again. So this is your chance to express yourself and make sure your voice can be heard.
Or if you want to keep a secret blog, then it’s a permanent record of what happened to you on a certain day and what you thought about it.
It’s also a great way to think aloud. So in ‘The Vampire Blog,’ Marcus has to keep an incredible secret – mainly, that is he a half-vampire. He cannot tell anyone, not even his best mate, Joel. But he can confide all his feelings on to his blog.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU BLOG?
You decide. You can write your blog once or twice a month OR you can blog thirty times a day if you like, telling people what you had for breakfast and really fascinating stuff like that!
A FEW TIPS:
Give your blog a name – even if it’s ‘I’m a Genius.’
Date it, so you can see when you put up your most recent post.
If you want, you can add an area for readers of your blog to add their comments. Some bloggers look forward to seeing what other people think. Others would really rather not know!
You need just two things.
Software that can run a blog
A place on the internet to run your blog, with an address. This is called ‘hosting.’
IS IT FREE?
You can get free software with free hosting. Or you can get free software with paid hosting. Or you can pay a subscription free that includes both software and hosting fees. It is worth taking some time to see which option suits you – and your budget!
WHAT IF MY LIFE IS REALLY BORING? SHOULD I BOTHER BLOGGING?
Everyone’s life is interesting. And blogging can help you discover that. Ordinary details can be fascinating too. Just try it and see.
You could always try a hobby-blog: about a favourite band or football team, or explain why you collect goldfish!
You could then contact other people who share your interest. Or you might write reviews of films, TV shows, or books … even ‘The Vampire Blog.’ Just think, your comments could help someone discover something brilliant!
WHY DID I WRITE MY NEW BOOK AS A BLOG?
Marcus is told by his mum: ‘There is one important rule for us, half-vampires. We must keep out identity secret from humans at all times. For if ordinary people knew about us ….’
Marcus doesn’t need his mum to finish that sentence. If humans knew the truth about him they’d want to put him in a zoo or in a special walled off place. But he has to try and explain what happens to him.
Blogging is the only way.
Blogging is also a great way to combine the spooky and the everyday. For instance, before Marcus leaves for school in the mornings he has to pack his blood sandwiches, just in case he feels ‘blood-peckish.’
A blog enables you to slip in little details like that.
Other blogposts you may be interested in :