A Blogger’s Experiment by @TeacherToolkit

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
Read more about @TeacherToolkit

This is a blog about blogging.

I’ve been on a blogging experiment with myself during the month of May 2015, and have posted daily as part of my social media curiosity, This interest is to test the impact of my writing for education bloggers and readers worldwide!

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Image: Shutterstock

I have been tracking my writing influence on the Teach 100 ranking website with interesting results. Over the past 23 days of May, I have written 26 blogposts with one week of the month still to go. Here is a list of the blogposts I have posted in chronological order with the number of views received;

  1. #Teacher5ADay – 5,319 views – posted 3rd May 2015.
  2. Education Panorama (May 2015) – 8,141 views
  3. 10 Great Form Tutor Tips – 3,873 views
  4. The Observational Scalpel – 2,992 views
  5. #SeatingPlans: Vital For Learning – 3,544 views
  6. #CovertFeedback – 1,905 views
  7. 9 Questions for OfSTED’s @HarfordSean – 3,988 views
  8. Are You A Resilient Teacher? – 8,648 views
  9. Stay Away Michael Gove – 3,850 views
  10. A Good Going-Over! – 3,061 views
  11. Going for Gold! – 3,450 views
  12. Sweat the Small Stuff! – 3,852 views
  13. Don’t Drink and Teach! – 4,960 views
  14. Pedagogically Speaking on #Piaget
  15. The Life of a Deputy Headteacher – 4,322 views
  16. White Noise – my favourite blog of the month – 3,044 views
  17. Revision and Examinations – 1,276 views
  18. How to Stay Social Media Streetwise by @DigitalSisters
  19. The Teacher Swagger – 4,560 views
  20. #Shush: The Deadly Sin – 2,340 views
  21. Shadowing Leadership for CPD – 1,344 views
  22. @JamieOliver Says My Lessons Are Rubbish – 3,608 views
  23. #PepTalks – 1,029 views
  24. Welcome To Your New School – 1,099 views
  25. Developing Resilience and Wellbeing – 1,069 views
  26. Identifying and Developing Leadership Talent – 175 views (just posted at time of writing)

With existing articles already gathering readership on my blog, this has accumulated over 155,000 views collectively, worldwide. My highest ever!

@TeacherToolkit blogging statistics

With 70,000+ unique views, and averaging between 5,000 – 8,000 reads per day on my blog, I anticipate that this total for the month of May will reach 185,000.


As a result, I have seen my blog rise from 90th position on Teach 100 and push into the top 30! Teach100 ranks and scores hundreds of education blogs and more, to track what people are talking about in the education space. Typically, I’ve been positioned in the 50-60s with 3-4 blogposts per week, but during a period of intense work in my new job, my blog has slipped to 80-90th over the past 6 months with 1-3 blogs per week. I wasn’t sure if this was due to lack of frequency, quality or content.

In April 2015, I questioned the validity of Cision, a marketing company that ranks websites, who voted my website wwwTeacherToolkit.me, as the number one education blogger’s website in the United Kingdom.

Cision say;

“For our rankings we carefully monitor a selected topic within the UK blogosphere and apply our in-house methodology to identify and rank these blogs accordingly.”

Many bloggers soon become addicted to the statistics that show the analysis of their hard work. The accolades and awards are also very flattering. When I first started blogging on other topics in early 2000, I was totally unaware how blogging could have such an impact on others and myself as it does today. I have blogged previously about Cynosural Addiction and the impact blogging can have on yourself.

As Tom Sherrington (@headguruteacher) says:

“Don’t worry too much about who will read it to begin with; just write something you want to say and then build up a collection over time. You’ll be amazed by how many hits you get but it doesn’t happen immediately. [You must blog for yourself …] ”

Thoughtful Blogging:

As a result of this mindset, I have seen this blog reach One Million Views and only recently, surpass Two Million Views in December 2014. I am envisage that www.TeacherToolkit.me will soon reach 3 million views within the next 3 to 5 months and that my Twitter account will exceed 100,000 followers by the end of the academic year here in England! As well as the work I do day-to-day in schools, my blogging has become a hobby at home; an extension of my work, research and interests.

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Image: Shutterstock

Of the 390+ (at the time of writing) blogposts that I have written, I have managed to catalogue them all here in one place; Everything Indexed. I cannot see myself sustaining this webpage, because if I intend to blog every single week, then adding a back-link to this contents page only increases the workload. So, I am now having to consider the purpose of what I blog and tweak on my website much more carefully.

With an increasing audience and responsibility to share views that may influence others, I ask myself frequently:

Blogging Questions:

  1. What is the content?
  2. What would interest an audience to read this?
  3. Why would this topic be of interest?
  4. How will I format the blogpost?
  5. Is the blog user-friendly? Can it be read quickly and to the point?
  6. Is the article worth sharing?
  7. Is the content lively, attractive and relevant/up-to-date?
  8. Can it be used as a resource in the future?
  9. Would readers consider sharing this with others?
  10. How does the blog help me in my work? My reflections? My personal workload?

From the list above, what would you say is missing? What blogs would you like to see me write more about?


8 thoughts on “A Blogger’s Experiment by @TeacherToolkit

  1. Im aware our blog only reaches and is read by a small niche of people as its not everyones thing but im working my way up slowly although I agree, I have no idea how im raising in the ranks.

  2. I read your post in Canada and came across your articles through the 5 minute plans on Pinterest. I taught in the Uk in the early 90’s but have been teaching in Ontario since 2000. I enjoy your insight on middle and senior management and keep track of your articles and apply many of your ideas and thoughts through my own lens to issues I face here in Ontario.
    Thanks for blogging.
    How do you address specifically student voice and engagement???

    1. Hi Jane. Thanks for your comment. I visited Montreal in February and spoke to 50+ teachers. The demands are the same.
      Student voice: we have a great community of student leaders at my school. The best I’ve ever seen! All lead by a Head Prefect and a Student Voice Coordinator.

  3. I know this is really impressive output, Ross, but I just worry that it’s not a good illustration of the “less can be more” philosophy…. I know how committed you are to encouraging proper consideration of workload management and finding a sustainable balance. Might it not be better to model writing a bit less but making more of it?

    Hope you don’t mind my saying that….

      1. Pleased to hear it – the advantage of ‘less is more’ is that it will give you more time with Freddie and Mrs MM! Hope you’ve had a good half term week.

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