Blog anniversary

The TEFL in Colombia blog was launched exactly a year ago when I published the post Everybody wants to live in Medellín and shared the link on my social media profiles. Let’s take a look at what has happened since then.

Blog anniversary

Well, the most important thing I have learned is that I love blogging. You are reading the 49th article on this website, which is considerably more than I expected to write. I guess my background in journalism comes in handy, but it remains to be seen whether I can keep publishing new posts almost every week. In addition to writing articles, I think one of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging is interacting with other ELT professionals on social media because there is an amazing online community of people with plenty of inspirational ideas. I also follow a lot of blogs, which motivates me to write my own posts.

I originally planned to write mainly about Colombia and my experiences here, but most of my posts have been about my professional development. I finally became a Delta-qualified teacher last month, and I also took the Train the Trainer course. It was all quite demanding, so I think it’s time to take a break from studying, which means that my posts are going to deal with slightly different topics in the near future.

How many views does the blog receive? Some days are more successful than others. While the highest number of views has been 195, on other occasions the blog is lucky to get viewed 20 times a day. I occasionally share a link to one of my posts in some Facebook groups for teachers, which leads to a significant increase in views, but I still don’t feel fully comfortable with this form of self-promotion. I prefer seeing my posts shared by other people because it means I have written a text someone else considers useful. Thank you to everybody who has done that!

Five most viewed posts:
The importance of going beyond CELTA
Tips for passing Delta Module Two
Six ELT blogs worth following
ELT Concourse is a priceless resource
No Spanish in the classroom?

If you are a new reader, I invite you to go through the blog’s archives and see if you find something interesting there. You can access all articles from the main menu, which comprises the following post categories: Colombia, Teaching, Professional development, Interviews, Visa.

An interesting effect of having a blog is getting opportunities to express your opinions on other platforms. I delivered a webinar about blogging and social media at an online conference, and that’s something I probably need to start doing more frequently. I was also approached by Silvina Mascitti to talk about my TEFL experience for her magazine article featuring several teachers living abroad. Sandy Millin asked me to join in with the Delta conversations series on her blog, which made me very happy because I count her website as one of the original inspirations for starting my own blog.

What plans do I have for my second year of blogging? I actually have a few concrete ideas about what I would like to achieve in ELT. It will probably take a couple of years for me to reach the goals, but I’m now pretty sure that I can have a long-term career in this industry. I will continue documenting my journey here, and I hope that some teachers find the content helpful. In addition, I plan to publish more interviews with professionals working in a variety of teaching contexts so that this blog offers more than just my perspective.

At the end of this post I’d like to say that I really appreciate your interest in reading my thoughts. As always, if you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to get in touch.

How to follow blogs

I didn’t publish anything last week because I was busy tidying up the blog. I realised that the menu with post categories wasn’t very helpful because it just linked to pages with complete articles, so the readers had to scroll through a lot of content to reach some of the older posts. To make it easier to access everything, I have created pages listing all the posts in each category: Colombia, Teaching, Professional development, Interviews, Visa. I hope that the readers who stumble upon the TEFL in Colombia blog will now find it easier to navigate this website and read posts dealing with those topics.

Anyway, going through the articles and organising all the links made me think of different ways to follow blogs. I guess the most basic one is accessing the website by typing the URL or using a bookmark in your browser. I used to do that for a long time, but the main disadvantage of that is that you often end up opening a website that hasn’t been updated since your last visit. Some blogs may go a long time without any activity before a flurry of new posts, so it’s not always easy to keep track of what is happening on the website.

Fortunately, there are a few better ways to follow blogs. If you prefer using email, look for a box that appears either in the blog’s sidebar or at the very bottom of the page (depending on the device you are using):

How to follow blogs

This old school method does exactly what it says, and you simply receive an email every time a new blog post is published. Of course, email doesn’t seem to be popular anymore, so if you prefer something else, you can explore other options. Following your favourite bloggers on social networks is a good idea since most authors use those platforms to promote new posts. It doesn’t always work well because social media algorithms work in mysterious ways and the posts may not appear in your feed. What you can do to avoid that is enabling notifications for a specific account. This screenshot is from Twitter:

How to follow blogs

When it comes to Facebook pages, you can click on the three dots, select Follow settings, and choose the Favourites option. That should make the posts more visible in your feed.

How to follow blogs

Such tricks will help you access more content, but they have their downsides too since you will see everything the author posts. You may be interested only in the blog posts, so receiving ten notifications a day about something else isn’t ideal. Fortunately, there is a more convenient solution available thanks to the fact that most blogs, including this one, run on WordPress. You can usually see a follow button in the sidebar, or you can subscribe directly through WordPress Reader.

How to follow blogs

This option is pretty cool because you receive web notifications when new posts are published, and you can decide which articles you are going to read. I believe it’s worth having a WordPress account even if you don’t have a blog because it will allow you to follow your favourite websites and write comments.  

Another convenient way to follow blogs is using an RSS reader. People used to wax lyrical about them some time ago, but it all seemed to be a little complicated to me. The good news is that aggregators such as Feedly are very user-friendly these days. You can create a feed with websites relevant to your interests, and the best thing is that it doesn’t matter if the blog is hosted by WordPress, Blogger, or any other service.

How to follow blogs

Thank you for reading this post, and I hope that you keep visiting this website. If you wish to follow the TEFL in Colombia blog, you can use all the aforementioned options: social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), email notifications (available in the sidebar), WordPress Reader, and the RSS feed.