District officers and Toastmasters from throughout District 47 are invited to submit articles for the blog on the district website. Division Directors and Area Directors are also being offered the opportunity to share items of local interest on separate division blogs (so far, only Division I is taking advantage).
The video below is a replay of a webinar in which I detailed what exactly a blog is (basically, just an easy way of posting timely information) and how to create posts using WordPress (the software that now powers the district website).
Things that would be appropriate to post to the district blog:
- Leadership lessons learned in Toastmasters
- Programs that one particular club created, or participates in, that other clubs can learn from. For example, at some point I will probably share a blog about how my home club, Club Awesome, uses video as both an educational and promotional tool. But to avoid being too much of a self promoter, I would like other clubs to share their great ideas first
- Program information on upcoming events, such as TLIs. I would argue: Don’t wait until every detail of the schedule is nailed down. Think about answering the most important questions in all of marketing: “Why should I care?” and “What’s in it for me?” The sooner you share details about the great speakers, programs, and activities at your next event, the more likely you are to hit your registration and attendance targets
- Additional resources shared as the follow up to a presentation at a TLI, such as the slides from the presentation and links to organizations mentioned in your presentation. Maybe a list of additional or related topics you didn’t get a chance to cover within a limited time
- Outstanding or educational speech videos. As shown in the tutorial, you can easily add video that has been uploaded to YouTube to the body of a blog post or web page manged by WordPress. (Also works with video from Facebook and many other video sharing websites)
I don’t recommend posting the exact same content to a blog article that you would post to social media. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to use blogging as a way of expanding on your ideas and social media as a marketing tool for getting people to come to the blog. If you look at a Twitter feed, it largely consists of people sharing links to articles along with their own commentary. See also my article on the use of (and the mistakes I frequently see with) images as the content of blogs and social posts.
There are also topics that would be more appropriate to post on LinkedIn or some other personal, professional, or political website than on a Toastmasters website.
Articles will be reviewed for appropriateness and conformance to Toastmasters branding guidelines prior to publication. It’s possible we will decline to publish some articles, but if so I will coach you on other places you can share what you would like to share — and believe me when I say I would much rather say “yes” than “no” to your contributions.
If you would like to contribute articles to the District 47 blog, write to . Division Directors, Area Directors and other district leaders should have already received an email notification inviting them to set a password for the website.
Blogging for the district is one way you can work toward the “Create a Compelling Blog” Pathways project and teaches skills you can also use to promote a podcast or an online course or your own small business or your favorite cause.
David F. Carr, DTM, is the District Webmaster for 2019-2020, a Past President and VPE of Club Awesome in Coral Springs, FL, the Charter President and current Treasurer of Online Presenters Toastmasters, and the organizer of the WordPress for Toastmasters open source software project.
He is a writer and editor with years of experience at technology trade publications such as Internet World, Baseline Magazine, and Information Week. He wrote the book Social Collaboration for Dummies and has keynoted at technology conferences internationally. See davidfcarr.com