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From the Editor: We Want More Bloggers—Ideas to Get You Started

Anyone can contribute and share important information via our blogging platform for the entire community. Here are some ideas to get the wheels turning.

When Patch launched its blogging platform in may, it opened a door to an online community in Wheaton where residents could share their expertise, experiences, opinions and inside info. 

Modeled after The Huffington Post, which merged with Patch's parent company, AOL, in February, these blogs are the beginning of a new chapter for Patch.com.

Founder  last month to introduce the platform and invite local voices to the site. The idea with The Huffington Post, she wrote, was to take conversations found at parties and around dinner tables "and put them online, open them up, and invite interesting people to participate, creating a one-stop site for news and opinion with an attitude, in real-time." 

Further, she wrote that these blogs reflect Patch's belief that residents feel passionately about issues affecting their town.

Wheaton, our neighbors need information. Patch is a source of information for this community that invites everyone to share it in one place. 

With a new school year freshly underway, there are new sports teams, new activities, new PTA presidents and new efforts everywhere. Use this blogging platform to update the community. 

Maybe you like the idea of blogging, but just aren't sure what you'd blog about—so here are some ideas ... because I have tons of them:

Sports

  • You coach a sports team or are a parent of someone on a sports team, like the Wheaton Rams, or the Rams cheerleaders, or the Wheaton North JV volleyball team, or JV football team—Patch knows updates on these teams are important but needs someone willing to contribute them.
  • You're a sports photographer and want to share your work.
  • Your dream job is to be a sports commentator—you've got to start somewhere. Get your word out on Patch.

Schools

  • You're an editor or writer for one of Wheaton's school papers—share your news stories with us.
  • You're the leader of a student organization that needs help fundraising and spreading the message—do it on Patch.
  • You work or volunteer for the school district and can share your perspective on district news.
  • You're the PTA president—tell us what is going on and what we need to know (when is PAWS having its next big sale?).

Family

  • You're a stay at home parent with real, important advice (dads too, please!)
  • You're getting married—you need an outlet for all the planning and can potentially help other brides by sharing ideas and resources
  • You're pregnant, or just had a baby, and can share tips and resources with other future new moms—or even just meet other new moms

Health/fitness

  • You're a personal trainer—you can share advice on fitness and weight loss
  • You know food—and can tell us how to stay healthy
  • You're training for a marathon, or a triathlon, and can help others train better

Nonprofits, churches, volunteerism

  • You work/volunteer with a local nonprofit and want and need to get the word out about it
  • You're active in your church community or youth group and want to share what you do

Wheaton

  • You have a lot of opinions (good or bad) about Hubble, downtown development, flooding, budgets, government operations, school operations, parks operations, etc. Share them.
  • You're an elected and/or appointed official, and are willing to share your thoughts openly on the site. (like  blog)
  • You're a former official, and want to share your extensive knowledge about our city

Business

  • You own a business and want to promote it
  • You work for a business organization (Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Wheaton Association), and want to share information about new businesses and upcoming events
  • You're a photographer in the area and want to share your photos, build your clientele
  • You're a realtor and want to share your listings and information on the current market

This isn't a reporting job. It's blogging. You write what you want to say when you want to say it. Do it on your schedule, whether it's posting multiple entries per day or a couple times a month.

Patch won't own what you post, so you can repost your entries to your other blogs. My role as an editor would be to review blog entries submitted to Wheaton Patch to ensure there are no libelous claims. I might correct obvious typos, too.

Here's how: email me, Charlotte@Patch.com or call me, 630-589-7732, and let me know you're interested. That's all it takes. I'll give you blogging permissions on the site and give you a few simple instructions and you'll be good to go. 

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