Is your child enthusiastic about sharing her world through blogging? Before you say NO, read this and find out how blogging can be a good thing for her.
By Leena Ghosh
Children talk about their day at school, what they ate and what other students got for lunch all the time. But, could one child’s blog on what she ate for lunch one day, get her a book deal and raise money to feed underprivileged children around the world? That’s exactly what happened with nine-year-old Martha Pyne who wrote about what she was given at school for lunch. Her father posted and tweeted it, and a few hours later her blog had more than 10,000 visitors. Now her blog has around nine million viewers and Martha has scored a book deal and helped raise 1,30,000 pounds to sponsor meals for children from economically backward sections of the society around the world.
This is the power of the Internet. And, this is how one child can affect change through what she writes about on her blog. Martha Pyne is just one name from the list of successful child bloggers around the world.
The Internet, when used constructively, has the power to influence the thoughts of thousands of netizens and bring about a change. More and more children are using the virtual world to express their thoughts and talk about their experiences. Blogging is one such medium, through which a child often expresses himself. And, if your child expresses a desire to start a blog to share his thoughts on various topics that affect him, you should encourage the idea and guide him into the world of blogging.
However, before you set up a blog account for your child, you should know about the platforms for blogging.
Text-based blogs: You will already be familiar with this format, where bloggers write about topics that concern them.
Video-blogs: Video blogs or ‘vlogging,’ as it is commonly known, is a trend that is catching on. These blogs cover a range of topics from ‘how to do a science project’ to ‘a day at the theme park’.
To begin with, ascertain which platform you and your child are most comfortable with and then guide her into setting up a blogging account.
There are various topics that children love to write about. However, if your child is experiencing a ‘beginner’s block’, here are a few ideas you can give him:
Now that your child has an idea about what he wants to write, here are a few steps for you to follow to set up his blog:
Keep it easy and interactive: Refer to blogging websites which are free and easy to use for your child. You can also check some websites that are entirely dedicated to helping children blog and offering tips and information to help him navigate the world of blogging.
Select a theme: To keep it interesting for your pre-teen, use themes with cheerful fonts and colours. However, make sure you keep the interface simple. Also, make sure that the website is compatible with different browsers.
Get an interesting domain name: Ask your child to come up with an interesting name for her blog and her domain, and get her started.
Make a list of creative topics: To begin with, come up with a few interesting topics your child can write on easily. Once he gets into the flow, it’ll be easier for him to come up with his own ideas.
Schedule projects for posts: You and your child can plan projects on science or art or gardening that she can later write about or post pictures of on her blog. This way she will learn a new skill as well as make the blog more visual and dynamic.
Talk about safety practices: This is the most important factor, that you, as a parent, need to take care of. Talk to your child about not sharing any personal information about him or his family on the blog. Keep a watch on the blog to make sure you can talk to him if he faces cyberbullying or is affected negatively by some comment. Also, ask him to check with you before downloading any software or picture.
If your child shows interest in pursuing blogging professionally and is good at it, she has a few options she can choose from at a later stage. Following are the fields in which blogging can be very lucrative:
Blogging is a great way for your child to express himself and, keeping in mind certain safety measures, you should encourage him. Be open to communication and a free exchange of ideas and do not try to curb his enthusiasm. Always know that it is better he shares his online world with you, rather than hide it from you and land in trouble later.
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