19 Feb What’s new with Blogging Abroad
As you may recall, we took a month off from this blog in order to launch a new site: BloggingAbroad.org. Here’s a quick update on that project.
A Growing Community
Within a month of our launch, over 150 culture bloggers living around the world joined our community. While relatively small, this number quickly surpassed my expectations, and it continues to grow. About 90% of these folks are Peace Corps Volunteers, and we’re hoping to include more expats and study abroad students in the future.
A Successful Blog Challenge
There were about 40 bloggers active in our very first project on the site: a Boot Camp Blog Challenge. These folks received two blog prompts per week from us for the first six weeks of the year. The prompts challenged them to create a post on a certain culture-related topic with various creative ideas to make it more interesting. Their responses can be found in the weekly Round Ups on our page and on our Blog Challenge pinterest board.
The feedback during and after this first Challenge was really encouraging. Bloggers who were at a loss for things to post were really appreciative to get weekly ideas, and many were inspired by the responses that their fellow bloggers across the world were sharing. It was so much fun, I decided to recreate the Challenge in a “non-Boot Camp” format so others can participate whenever they want.
Featured Blogs Around the World
While the Blog Challenge was going on, our baby website continued to expand. One of my favorite features is the Featured Blogs page. This is a hub for culture blogs that shares profiles for each blogger, sortable by program (like Peace Corps) and country.
When we were preparing for our Peace Corps service four years ago, a similar blog hub – which no longer exists – was really useful to me. Hopefully, we will grow this Featured Blog section to be even more comprehensive so that more people can find inspiration and usefulness from it.
Tools & Resources
The latest development on Blogging Abroad is for Tools, Courses, and Resources specifically designed to help bloggers make a bigger impact promoting cross-cultural understanding. Blog Challenge participants have free access to the Basic Blogging Abroad Toolkit, a 30-page e-book to help take their blogs to the next level and deal with some of the challenges particular to blogging from a different culture.
Pre-sales have also started for an Advanced Toolkit and Course, which comes out in March. And the page also offers some other tools through our affiliates, related to working online and travel. The hope is that these sales will help cover the cost of the site. Eventually, the plan is to partner with organizations and study abroad offices to provide custom services for their constituents who are blogging abroad.
So there you have it! That’s what I (Michelle) have been up to lately. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the project. And if you can help share Blogging Abroad’s resources – the featured blogs, toolkit, blog challenge, etc. – with folks you know who are living abroad, that would be great!
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