A couple of weeks ago, my oldest son, 9 year-old Hayden, came home from school and told me about his friend Katie’s blog.

“She’s had over 1000 views Dad,”  he said, very impressed.  “Can I start my own blog?”

Hayden knows all about this site, but it was the first time that he had talked about having his own.

“What would you want to write about?”  I asked him and we had a chat about a few options.

Eventually, Hayden decided on an animal blog, where he could describe 5 interesting facts about a particular species so that he could help school kids to learn about animals.

That Friday night, we set up a new WordPress blog for him and Hayden’s Animal Facts was born.

He has posted four times now and is off and running, but as we went through the process of starting his blog, I couldn’t help but think about some of the important issues of a child blogging, so here are a few of the considerations that I had:

Blogging isn’t a popularity contest – At first, Hayden was  bit too concerned about how many views he had.  After a couple of discussions, he now realises that it’s more important that he comes up with helpful content that will be valuable to kids his age who want to learn more about animals.

Online security – I’m conscious of online security for myself, but even more so when it’s my young son, so I make sure that there isn’t too much personal information about him and I will be very hands on with his blog, vetting comments and protecting him from anything negative.

The value of persistence – In so many ways, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint, so it was important that we came up with a topic that he was passionate about and that he could write about with ease.  Will he stick with it?  I don’t know and I won’t twist his arm to maintain a steady stream of content.  It’s up to him, but if he can manage it, then I suspect that he will be learning a valuable skill that will help him in the future.

Writing skills – Much to my consternation, Hayden is terrible at spelling.  However, he loves writing, has a great imagination and is always working on little books, so hopefully the process of blogging will help him with his writing and spelling skills.   He certainly has become very familiar with the little red lines already!

So, should your kids start a blog?

I obviously can’t answer that for you, but I know that Hayden is enjoying the process so far and by writing about a topic that he loves, I hope that he can develop effective writing skills that will be of value in the future.

Does your child have their own blog?

If so, do you have any tips for Hayden (and me)?

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