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6 Tips for Maintaining a Blog While Teaching Abroad
Written by: Jessie Smith
Last Updated: November 30, 2020
Keeping in touch with loved ones while teaching English abroad can be challenging. Between time changes and busy schedules, it’s tough keeping everyone back home in the loop.
Starting a blog is a fantastic way to keep friends and family current on your latest adventures, teaching stories, and all of your hilarious hiccups that come with living in a foreign country.
1. Select a Free, User-Friendly Platform
Squarespace, Wordpress, Wix, and Tumblr are just a few examples of simple blogging platforms that let users get setup with a blog in a matter of minutes. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to setup a sleek page that you're proud of and eager to share with your family and friends.
Pro Tip: Make sure to download the blog's mobile app! It’s typically easier to type long blog posts on a laptop or tablet, but it's also much easier to upload videos and photos on the app when you're out and about. If you’re on a long bus ride or killing time, it’s also nice to have the option to start chipping away at blog posts on your phone.
2. Create a Regular Posting Schedule (and stick with it!)
Time flies when you’re traveling the world and teaching English abroad. Everything is exciting, every new person you meet is worth remembering, and all the challenges and headaches are going to be fun to read back on one day. Especially in your first months abroad, you are going to have a million things to share with everyone back home – that weird thing you ate for lunch, all the new students in your class, the confusion transportation system you get lost on every afternoon.
Set a plan for posts and do your best to stick with it. If too much time passes, it becomes a burden to write everything and catch up so it’s easier to just skip it all together. Do your best to keep up with posting. Everyday doesn’t have to be a long 1,000-word post, somedays just share a few pictures or a short video. You’ll be glad to have your blog as a keepsake to read back in the future.
3. Integrate Your Blog With Social Media
Most platforms have functions that allow you to easily share and promote your posts across social media. Link your blog with all of your different accounts and in a matter of seconds you can publish your posts across all of your favorite social media accounts. You can automate this and make sure all posts upload to social media automatically or you can manually select which posts appear where.
Pro Tip: Want your blog to get exposure to thousands of like-minded international travelers and teachers? International TEFL Academy will promote the blogs of ITA students on our Facebook & Twitter feeds and on our website, which gets more than 2 million visits a year.
4. Subscribe to Other Blogs For Inspiration
Most blog platforms have an option to explore other blogs or even blogs similar to yours. This is a great source of inspiration if you are running out of ideas to write about. Even hop on Google, surf around for other travel blogs and you will find endless story ideas.
When in doubt, take a look around. It’s important to keep in mind that just because something abroad isn’t new or exciting to you anymore doesn’t mean it isn’t worth sharing on your blog. Maybe a routine trip to the market isn't very exciting for you anymore, but it's likely pretty hilarious and interesting to someone who doesn’t travel often.
You get into a routine when living abroad, things that used to be foreign and confusing soon become routine and obvious. Remember how you felt when you first got to this new country, the excitement, the chaos, and look at yourself now. Things might seem obvious to you but to someone who doesn’t travel, many aspects of your daily life abroad are interesting and worth sharing.
- Alyssa Darah: Darah the Explorer
- Kimmy Nguyen: Kimmy On A Quest
- Savannah Benefield: RunawaySav - Peru
5. Let Friends Guest Post
Chances are, you're going to be making tons of friends while teaching English abroad. Let them chime in on your blog now and again for a guest entry. These are a really fun ways to get a new voices and fresh opinions on your blog! Not to mention, this is a great opportunity to introduce some of your new friends to everyone back home!
6. Great Resume Builder
Sure, it's fun sharing all of your travel adventures with all of your loved ones back home, but why not use this new collection of writing as a resume builder? A well-maintained blog can serve as a fantastic writing sample to show future employers, especially if you are hoping to stay in the travel industry or specifically highlight your time living abroad.
A journalism major at the University of Iowa, Jessie took the ITA Online TEFL Course and taught English in South Korea & Vietnam before joining the team. As one of ITA's most senior writers, Jessie is the author of numerous articles about teaching English abroad & TEFL certification, and she has spoken at various conferences about working & teaching abroad, including the Lessons from Abroad (LFA) symposiums in San Diego & Portland. Her articles have also appeared in such popular online publications as InternQueen.com.
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