Abstract We report on a study involving Masters-level students who blogged as a part of a distance-learning course at the Open University, UK. We present an empirically-grounded framework that can be used to guide educators when they are considering blogging as part of their courses, and can be used by students' whose courses include blogging activities. In our analysis of semi-structured interviews with students, we identified six factors that influenced their blogging: perceptions of, and need for, an audience; perceptions of, and need for, community; the utility of, and need for comments; presentational style of the blog content; overarching factors related to the technological context; and the pedagogical context of the course. The students' blogging behaviours were varied and depended upon the way in which they addressed each of the six factors. These factors, along with the associated questions in the proposed framework, provide insights about the activity of blogging from a student's perspective. Therefore, the framework can guide the design of blogging activities in courses.