April 12, 2012

How Do I Decide What to Write About?

I’d like to claim that I pick topics of paramount importance in the tech ed community, the pinnacle of edtech conversations and just must be talked about.

But that’s not true. I select the topics that interest my readers. It’s a pull-through approach rather than push-through.

You-all communicate what you’d like to read about in several ways:

  • comments–though not often. I have many loyal readers, but most don’t comment. That’s OK.
  • Dear Otto–I get many questions through Dear Otto (don’t you love palindromes?). More often than not, they are questions I never considered, like my latest–How Do You Keep Students From Playing with Settings? and my upcoming post What About Teacher Tech Training? (scheduled for April 16th, 2012)
  • click-throughs–those are the links I provide in posts that people click to garner additional information

I’m going to share the statistics from my click-throughs today. Amazingly, I get an average of 38% click-throughs from visitors–i.e., if I have 2,000 visitors on a day, 760 of them click through to one of the links. That tells me I’m providing material of interest to readers.

Here’s are the top sites you the reader clicked through to so far during 2012:

  1. libraryspot.com
  2. bbc.co.uk/schools/typing
  3. factmonster.com
  4. jonmiles.co.uk/fingerjig.php
  5. kids.nationalgeographic.com
  6. kids.yahoo.com
  7. tvokids.com/framesets/bby.html?game=66
  8. typingmaster.com/individuals/bubbles.asp
  9. abcya.com/keyboard.htm
  10. ivyjoy.com/rayne/kidssearch.html

4-5 of these top click-throughs are from how-to-research posts and 5 from keyboarding posts. When I see this many readers interested in these topics, I know I should write more about them.

How about you–how do you decide what to write?


Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller for her agent that should be out this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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