Is your child itching to blog? Check out these 10 tips before you say yes.

Bloggers are all sizes, shapes, races and ages these days. And if your child is interested in blogging, it can be a wonderful way to build their writing, comprehension and reading skills – all outside of the classroom!

But, there are LOTS of things to consider when anyone, especially a child, wants to begin blogging.


Questions to Ask Before Blogging

First and foremost, determine what your child wants to write about. These are the basics that any blogger should be able to answer.

  • Will it be a traditional blog with mostly text?
  • Will it be a mixture of writing and photos?
  • Will they want to vlog (video blog)?
  • What topic(s) do they want to explore?

 

Next, ask some clarifying questions to see if blogging (or vlogging) is the right fit for your child.

  • Are they old enough to use the blogging sites?

Most blogging sites, like WordPress or Blogger, require users to be at least 13 years of age in order to use their sites. Check the specific Terms of Service for each site before letting your child sign up. For more info about which blogging sites are available, read When Your Child Wants to Become a Blogger.

 

  • Are they emotionally mature enough to handle comments & feedback?

Depending on where your child is planning to blog, there may be comments posted on their blog topics, and as we all know, not everyone online is always nice. To help avoid any digital drama, make sure the blog’s settings are private. This means that only readers who have permission can view your child’s words.

 

  • Are they planning on vlogging or live streaming?

Live streaming and vlogging have their own set of caveats, but it’s all the rage right now. Keep in mind that anything in view of your child’s video is a way to gather information about who your child is, what they like and where they live, so anonymity is key. For more information, read How to Keep Your Child Safe While Live Streaming.

 


Helpful Tips for Parents

Now that the basics of your child’s blog are hashed out, you can dive into what you really need to know.

 

  • 1. Do your homework.

If you’re not familiar with the topic your child wants to blog about, then it’s time to study! The more immersed you are in their topic of choice, the easier it will be for you to spot any red flags before they become an issue.

  • 2. Add it to the contract.

If you aren’t using a social media contract already, this is the perfect time to institute one. Managing your child’s screen time allotment is important, whether it’s for school, a hobby or personal use. That goes for time spent in front of a computer blogging, too.

  • 3. Know the audience.

Privacy might seem counterproductive to the average blogger – especially those who want to be discovered and start raking in thousands of dollars in endorsements. But for your child, your goal should be the opposite. Keep your child’s blog private, password-protected and only viewable by family and close friends.

  • 4. Understand the motivation.

Why does your child want to blog? Is it because they are passionate about a subject or they want to enhance their writing skills? Are they doing this for extra credit or to impress college admissions boards? Whatever the reason, make sure it’s sound and coming from a place of genuine interest. What you don’t want is a blog about gossip, personal information or something scandalous.

  • 5. Explain the limitations.

Discuss – in advance – what is appropriate to be shared in their blog and what should be kept private. Even if the blog is set to private, make it well-known that NOTHING on the internet is ever completely secure. Explain what steps they should take to stay safe online and what they should do if something inappropriate happens.

  • 6. It’s a two-way street.

Communication is crucial. If your child does come into contact with a sketchy person, an inappropriate comment or something else that makes them feel uncomfortable, let them know they can talk to you about it. You’ve shared your concerns about them blogging, now keep the door open for them to chat with you too.

  • 7. Keep them grounded.

It’s a strange time we live in. There are people making six figures off pictures on Instagram and potential bloggers, vloggers and internet personalities around every corner. Make sure your child knows that fame is not as fun as it looks. Teach them that Instagram shots can be faked, edited and photoshopped. Encourage them to be their authentic selves and celebrate other blogs & bloggers that do the same.

  • 8. Let the encouragement flow.

It’s hard to write something and expose it to the world. Even if your child’s blog audience is only family members, a few words of encouragement can go a long way in stoking their passion for writing. Constructive criticism can be shared too, but make sure not to burst their bubble. Remember, your child is blogging because they want a creative outlet.

  • 9. Understand blogging etiquette.

This is the least fun part of blogging, but also one of the most important. Teach your child that plagiarism, accreditation, intellectual property and copyright infringement are real things. If they quote someone, give them credit. If they want to repost something from another blogger, get permission. While this may not be fun, this will teach them about ethics and responsibility.

  • 10. Read it.

This is an obvious one, but often overlooked. Be diligent about reading your child’s blog, whether they post one every week or every month. They are writing it for a reason, remember? At the very least, it will give you an insight into the mind of the wonderful child you are raising. You can also keep a keen eye for any troubles that might pop up along the way, like bullying, depression or low self-esteem. 


About Jennifer Leonard

Jennifer Leonard is the Social Media Manager for Zift. She is passionate about connecting with people – in person and via social media. She spends her days writing, tweeting, pinning and using as many hashtags she possibly can. #Goals 

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