A couple of weeks back, at the ASLTIP conference, I led a session about how to start a speech and language therapy blog. I knew I didn’t want to stand and talk for an hour, so I included activities as we went along, which I hoped would leave attendees ready to write their first blog post when they got home.
We started by discussing why we were interested in blogging and who we wanted to read our posts. People were keen to explain what speech and language therapy is and how therapists work, share their expertise and resources, and use their blog as a place to reflect, so as professional development.
Next I showed the group how easy it is to start a blog with WordPress. I played them a video of me setting up a new blog and writing my first post in 5 minutes. I hope I reassured them that you don’t need lots of technical skills to start a blog.
We talked about titles and the importance of being clear, so that people know what you’re writing about and can find your posts. I talked about how using photographs can makes posts stand out, encourage people to read them and break up the text. I explained the purpose of linking to other websites (it helps your reader and respects your “sources”) and showed them how to do it. And I encouraged them to share their posts on social media.
We discussed finding our voice, and sounding like ourselves. Blogs aren’t reports or research papers, so don’t need to be written in a very formal style. I shared with the group a tip from Kate Kiefer Lee: try reading what you’ve written out loud (or to your dog!) Does it sound like something you’d say? If it doesn’t, go back and take out some of the words you wouldn’t use in conversation.
We discussed the responsibilities of being an SLT blogger. Then I finished up by sharing resources. I use Trello for keeping track of ideas I’d like to blog about, then when the mood to write strikes, I can just pick a topic from my list. I read other blogs (you can find SLT related ones by searching on google or using the #slpeeps hashtag on Twitter) and find the resources about blogging from Braid Creative useful.
The group got stuck in with the activities and asked some questions that made me think, thank you! If you were at the workshop and you’re now blogging, send me the link, I’d love to have a read.
Any questions about blogging as a Speech and Language Therapist? Let me know.