All About Beginning Blogging {my TpT conference session}

Can I just start by saying that I am weirdly emotional about my blog. I have had this blog post stewing in my mind for several weeks and it has been very difficult for me to write! I may have even asked my bestie Kristin to write it for me ;) I think one of the reasons why it's so hard for me to put this into words is because my blog and TpT have become such a huge part of my life. They are a part of my every day. Who would have thought that "I want to start a blog!" on a whim would have turned into this!? Not I!

As you can tell, I am very passionate about blogging and TpT. I will, and do, talk about it to anyone who will listen ;) So when TpT reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in presenting about blogging at the first ever TpT conference this summer, in Las Vegas (!!!) how could I say no!? I mean, put me in a room of like-minded teachers who want to hear me talk about blogging for an hour?! Yes, please!

I am very, very excited and I can not wait to finish my school year so I can focus on putting the finishing touches on my presentation! {1 and a half more weeks of school left in case you were wondering ;)} I wanted to share a little bit about my presentation with you today! To help me wrap my head around it, and to hopefully help you out a bit!

My afternoon session will include the top 5 most important things that any beginning blogger needs to know to maintain a successful blog. I am by no means an expert and I am still learning every day, but these are the things that have really helped me. And as the number 12 traffic source to TpT for 2013, I think my ideas will help you too :)

First things first.
In this section, I will be sharing about the "blogging basics". From creating an account with to choosing a blog name and the types of blog designs you should choose. I have put together a list of my favorite blog designers from free designs, pre-made templates, and the best custom designers around. You can find the links to these sites in my handout

I will also be sharing the importance of your sidebar and what you should include on there. One of the easiest ways to get your readers to your TpT store from your blog is by having a TpT widget on your sidebar. You can customize exactly how you want it to look and where you want it. 

This is easily the most important part about creating a successful blog. Yes, we can all "have" a blog, but if you don't work hard to establishing relationships with your readers, you will have a tough time keeping them interested. My best piece of advice, however, is to blog for no one else but YOU. Do what feels right for you. Comments are few and far between now as compared to when I started blogging, so I know how discouraging it can be. However, if you view your blog as an outlet to share your creativity, your passion for teaching, and as a "scrapbook" of your year, it won't be so intimidating. 

I LOVE visiting other teachers' classrooms and taking in all of their ideas. That is why I love teacher blogs so much. My favorite blogs to read are the ones that share lots of pictures, lots of ideas and virtually "welcome" me into their rooms. I always tell bloggers who are getting started to think of the people reading your blog as teachers visiting your room. What would you be the most excited to show them? I highly doubt the cover of your latest TpT product is high up on that list {unless it's a really cute cover and I totally understand ;)}. I know that in some schools or districts it is a tricky situation to share pictures of your classroom, and that deters teachers from blogging. Let me tell you that I probably only share about 10% of my pictures from my actual classroom. There are ways of going around that ;)

Speaking of pictures, that is by far the most important element of your blog posts. With the Pinterest-craze over the last couple of years, pictures speak louder than ever before. Make sure that you are sharing your best pictures. Some iPhones or smart phones have the ability to take nice pictures, but not always. Don't skimp on good pictures! This past year I invested in a new DSLR camera recommended by my friend Maria and it has revolutionized my posts. I am still not very good at using it to its potential, but I can tell that my pictures are pleasant and get pinned a lot. 

On this note, it is also very important to watermark all of the pictures you post on your blog. You can use PicMonkey to add your blog name to pictures or just use PowerPoint like I do. I insert my picture into a PowerPoint slide, add my watermark image that Kassie made me, and save both those images on top of each other as a new picture. It can be tedious and time consuming, but it is well worth your time.

Your sidebar is just as important as your blog posts, so do not neglect using it! Your readers see it EVERY time they visit your blog. I will share how I host my products on my sidebar to link directly to my store during my presentation, and hopefully I will be able to share with you all in a blog post soon.

This is the number one question I get from beginning bloggers. Getting your name out there and getting views on your blog takes time. I remember being thrilled when I reached my first 10 followers {one being myself haha}. Make sure you are posting "pinable" pictures in every post, host giveaways, join linky parties, start your own linky parties, and remember the Golden Rule!

Blogging takes a lot of patience and practice, but it is so fun and rewarding! Plus, you get to meet lots of other teachers who are just as crazy passionate as you ;)

For even more tips and tricks, you can download my session handout for FREE {here} in my store. I would love to hear your feedback if you pick it up!

I am thrilled to be able to learn from some of the best bloggers and sellers around at the TpT conference. I will be attending the blogging panel workshop and can not wait to hear even more ideas! Elizabeth from Kickin' it in Kindergarten will tell you more about her great session! Head on over to her blog to read about it!
Kickin It In Kinder


  1. Thanks so much for posting this! I just started blogging and I when I found your blog I was so excited! You do a wonderful job and I can't wait to see where my blog takes me! QUESTION: Why is the watermark so important?

    1. Hi Aubrey! Thanks for taking the time to comment! Watermarks are important for 2 reasons. 1, because you want people to associate your pictures with your blog and 2, you can better protect the ownership of your pictures and make it more difficult for people to use your photos without your permission.

    2. I really need to start doing this! My issue is I take tons of pictures with my iPad and upload them straight to my blog using the blogger app.

  2. Hi there! This was a fab post - tons of stuff that I kinda learned as I went along (my blog turns one next month!) I'm presenting a PD session in my district on July first about setting up a blog, so this is a great references....thank you!
    Good luck at your conference - Can't wait to read all about it!
    BigTime Literacy

    1. Awesome Michelle!! Good luck with your presentation!

  3. Enjoy every minute of the conference! I can't be in Vegas this year, but I'll be thinking of you all.
    :-)Chrissy at ReadWriteSing

  4. I AM DYING to meet you! (ok, so maybe not literally dying, but I cannot wait! lol)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  5. Your session is going to ROCK!! Good, good stuff Miss Kindergarten...CANNOT wait! :)
    Christy & Tammy

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this! This post was very inspiring and gave such great advice! Best of luck to you in Vegas! You are going to do wonderful! Enjoy the rest of your school year and best of luck again! Your presentation sound amazing already! :)


  7. Hadar, you did not need anyone to write this for you, it came out PERFECT!
    My favorite part - "Plus, you get to meet lots of other teachers who are just as crazy passionate as you." ;-)
    Your session in Vegas is going to ROCK and I am j-e-a-l-o-u-s of anyone that gets to go!!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this! I just finished my first year in Kindergarten and absolutely love it! Blogging and beginning a TPT store has been weighing heavy on my mind lately, yet I just don't know where to begin. I am so passionate about teaching, but I am very intimidated with all the amazing blogs/products that I read and see each day. I absolutely love your blog and Kristin's blog and really look up to the two of you as inspiration! If you or Kristin have any advice for me as I begin this journey I would love to talk to you (

    Thank you again for sharing this post! It has inspired me to stop thinking about creating a blog and begin the process of creating a successful blog.


  9. Love this post and packet, enjoy rock for helping so many teachers families ans students around the globe!!

  10. I'm so excited to read this. I soooo want to go to Vegas but it's not in the books for this year (son's wedding). I hope you'll be there next year! Thank you for sharing what you will be presenting to those of us not fortunate enough to attend.

  11. Thank you for this information! I started a blog two years ago with the purpose of logging what I was teaching. I wanted tips and tricks, and I didn't know where to turn. My family experienced a loss, and in the time when I probably NEEDED to blog, I got frustrated. I ended up taking the whole thing down. I even had 2 whole followers I had to send apology notes. Now I'm feeling the need to get it back up and running for myself. Thanks for posting this. I badly wish I could head to Vegas to see you in person!!

  12. Hadar, your excitement is so inspirational. Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge and expertise with us. I just can't wait to meet you. Em :)

  13. Wow! This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing this! I have just started working on creating a classroom blog and it has been overwhelming. Your blog and packet is so helpful! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I wish I could go to Vegas to see you and hear more!

  14. Thanks for the fantastic post! I wish I could be joining you all in Vegas but I already booked a trip there in September! And I'll be leaving for NYC on 7/18. I am a newer blogger and this really gave me some great info and ideas to take ahead with me! Thanks again!

    You AUT-a Know

  15. Awesome post, Hadar! It was written perfectly! Thank you again for all your help! I can only dream that I will be as successful with my blog and store as you have been! Good luck in Vegas!

    One Sharp Bunch

  16. Wish I could be in Vegas to attend. But I'm super excited about the free handout your have on tpt. I have been thinking about blogging for awhile but didn't really know how to get started. The handout should at least get me started. Thanks! And good luck in Vegas!

  17. How amazing to present about getting started in blogging! I wish I could come check it out! Sounds like it will be great!

  18. Oh Hadar, I have no doubt your session will be fabulous. If only I lived closer to Vegas (and if only I didn't start school so soon to when it was). Alas, I'll be here in Atlanta beginning my coaching endorsement. I know I could learn so much from you still so thanks for the post. You're gonna be great. Can't wait to hear all about it. :)
    Lessons Learned

  19. Which font did you use for "Beginning Blogging: It's Serious Business". I have been looking for a cute but easily readable font like that one. Thanks!

    - Katy

  20. I'm so excited to be a participant in your afternoon session! But I have to admit that being a retired teacher who started back in the 70's when a TV in the classroom was considered "high tech," I'm a little scared to start a blog! Just the terminology frightens me! Oh, to be young again…

    But I'm willing to give it a try and with your help I hope to get a blog started before school begins again. The other half of KinderLit is still in the classroom so I shouldn't have any problems coming up with things to write about. Plus I have pre-K grandkids and am starting to do some of our books with them. A captive audience!

    See you in July!
    Linda Burns

  21. This post is so incredibly helpful to me and I haven't even downloaded your session handout yet--thank you so much for sharing. I have been selling TPT for a little over a year, but just joined the blogging world in about March of this year. I too, just did it on a whim, and haven't really gotten all that I know I can get from it--I appreciate all the tips. I am sure you will do great with your presentation--wish I could be there. Thanks Again!

  22. Thanks for sharing! I just started my first blog last week and I'm trying to get my name out there as much as I can :) I can't wait to read your handout for the session from your store. Thanks for the helpful advice!!

    Fourth Grade Fab

  23. Hi Hadar, Thank you for this awesome information! That download is very helpful. I am unable to go to the conference this year, so I am extra appreciative of you posting your handouts. I started a blog this year and I was kind of wondering about the do's and don't's for teacher blogs. I have lots of posts in my head. I need to use the calendar that you mentioned so I don't forget what in the world I was going to post. :-) Thank you again and congratulations to you for being one of the presenters at the first ever TpT conference! So cool!

    i Heart Second

    The Think Aloud Cloud

  24. I CANNOT wait to sit through your session!!!! You are so fantabulous my friend :) xox

  25. Thanks for all the great tips! I just restarted my blog. I'm tech savvy, but the blogging is daunting to me! I appreciate the help! Look forward to seeing you in Vegas!

    (Smart Puppy Learning)

  26. Hi Hadar,
    I just signed up for your session in Vegas today! See you on Friday. Can't wait!

  27. Thanks for the information! I'm going to check out PicMonkey.
    Kindergarten Blog - Green Apple Lessons

  28. I attended your workshop and learned so much! I am gradually getting my blog off the ground and constantly refer back to your conference notes! Thank you so much!

  29. Thank you so much! It worked so easily! I really appreciate the help!