Credit for this excellent guide titled, “start a blog, and do it now.” goes to pingpong_abyss from the Dream Act Portal:
The print news media is losing ground at such a rapid pace that I’m sure that by the time I graduate with my journalism degree, there will be nothing left to write for. In place of newspapers and television news, most Americans garner their information from inherently biased but often incredibly informative sources–blogs and television pundit shows. Every movement and every issue has its blog, and not many are influential. In fact, according to the owner of digg.com, 99% of blogs on the Internet are never read. With the right amount of word of mouth, cross linking, good posts, and general hard headedness, though, a blog can rise to the top, especially if its subject is controversial and it leave room for discussion.
Many voices that would never have been heard otherwise find a medium in the blogosphere. Two examples that come immediately to mind are several blogs written by Iraqis which have been published, such as Salem Pax and Riverbend. Were their voices influential? Not on a wide scale, but they changed a lot of perceptions, including my own, and I can’t imagine what the influence would have been if blogs of their kind were greater in number and more widely publicized.
What I’m getting at with all of this is that I think that everyone here should start a blog. I don’t want to hear any excuses. You can make it as simple or as detailed as you want. You can blog about how being undocumented (if you are) affects your personal life, or how you struggle to be educated because of your status, or you can simply blog on the political side of the issue without using your own story. Keeping up with a blog isn’t difficult. At the very least you should make 2-3 posts a week to keep it active. You don’t even have to blog. You can vlog, and post your comments entirely in video, or post other people’s videos and comment briefly on them. IT IS NOT HARD. Everybody on this site needs a blog. We need to link to each otherâ€™s blogs, we need to spread our blogs. Everybody who knows about your situation needs a blog. Your siblings need a blog, your spouses and parents and best friends need a blog. Every time you meet an undocumented student you need to encourage them to get a blog. There are over one million people between the ages of 12 and 30 who would be affected by the Dream Act, and that isn’t even counting friends, relatives, and other allies. If everybody started a blog, imagine what kind of impact that would have.
I. Where can I start a blog?
There are a lot of places where you can start a blog. Personally, I use blogger, but there are many more. Here’s a list.
There are many more where that came from, but those are some of the most popular. Personally, I think it’s best if you use blogger or if you host your blog on your own server.
II. How do I spread the word about my blog?
There are several ways to do this. The main way is to make sure your blog is linked everywhere possible. Link it in your signature here and everywhere else. Make sure a bunch of other people link to your blog, and that you share links with a bunch of other bloggers.
First of all, submit your blog to the blog directories.
…I’m going to stop because there are a lot of them. You could just go here and submit your blog to ten new ones every week. It only takes me about thirty minutes when I do it for work.
Another tool I use often for work is Digg, which allows you to submit individual posts to the database with a short summary. I suggest you do this every time you make a post on your blog.
Put your blog link in the signature of your emails. Every time blogs come up, mention yours. Leave them on pieces of paper around your school if you have to. Be creative.
Ping!. Once you’ve submitted your blog to several blog lists, you can simply put the URL in here and it will ping them all for you to notify them that your blog has been updated and raise you up.
Share the love. Talk about other blogs on your own blog, and then trackback to them. What I mean by that is, say I’m reading Abaddon’s blog and I see something interesting. I decide to mention it in my blog, so I post about with a link to his blog: “[link]Abaddon[/link] says blah blah blah about blah blah blah and I think blah blah blah.” Then I go to his blog, and there might be a link that says something along the lines of ‘trackback url’. This doesn’t exist on all blog hosts, and I think it’s mostly a wordpress thing. Anyway, if that option is available (check this post and scroll past the comments to see), then I will click on the trackback link and leave the URL of my post and a comment. This ups my linking power, which pushes my google rank higher.
If the trackback is not available, then you should just comment with a link to your post. Simple.
Also, stick with the community. Don’t just stay in your own blog. Go to other people’s blogs and comment. When you comment on a blog, there is almost always an option to link to your own blog or website.
III. How do I make my blog appear on search engines?
Google automatically indexes your blog, just like any other webpage. However, it is up to you to determine how high of a Google ranking your page gets. Google prefers sites that are older and have a lot of traffic, but you can rise to the top of the rankings either way, just withtime.
I would suggest that you try to use keywords when writing your posts. Here’s a chart that shows you how to do that. You can download a client such as Good Keywords to find keywords that fit your subject. I searched for immigration reform on Good Keywords and found that tens of thousands of people are searching this topic every month. And you know what? Use charged words, too, such as illegal immigrants or aliens. These keywords have far more searches than undocumented immigrants, and most of them are negative.
Check out Google Webmaster Central.
IV. Don’t be overwhelmed.
I said a lot of stuff up there, but you don’t have to do all of it. It would be ideal. The most important things for you to do, though, blogwise, are to start one, update it 2-3 times a week, link to other people’s blogs, and try to get other people to start their own blogs. It doesn’t take a lot of your time, especially if you’re vlogging, and if you have time to come on DAP, then you have time to blog. The problem with the immigration reform movement is that the people it affects don’t have voices. While it may not be possible for many of you to share your stories and opinions through the traditional forms of media, with blogging you can speak loud and angry without the risk.
Once your blog is created please send a link to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can categorize and list it on the front page of the site.