Start With Strategy: School Blogging Series, Part 1

April 17, 2019 Emily Cretella

So you want to create a blog for your school … but you have no idea where to start. You know you need a plan so that you don’t waste your already-limited time and resources, and you want your efforts to be worthwhile; to have some tangible results.

You need a school blog strategy—and this series of articles is here to help.

We’ll be walking through the details of what you need to not only launch your school blog, but also keep your efforts going in a way that helps you reach your goals. To start, let’s go over some basics.

Why Create a School Blog?

A school blog is a great way to dive deeper into your school’s brand and personality, helping both current and potential students and families understand what makes your community, your approach, and your outcomes unique.

It’s a place where you can (and should!) demonstrate your philosophies in practice, your approach in action. It’s how you can position your school as a trusted resource for your dream families. It’s a way to showcase the expertise of your faculty and staff.

But to do all of that, your blog efforts need to be driven by strategy.

Setting Your School Blog Strategy

A school blog strategy is the underlying approach you will take to use blog content to connect with and grow your audience.

A school blog is not a news roll, or a public relations platform. It’s a way to become an ally and information source for your audience, so that your dream families trust your expertise as well as your ability to deliver on the promises you’re making.

Remember: It’s All About The Audience

Unlike news stories, which are primarily self-serving, effective blog content puts your audience first. It frames each story you want to tell in the context of what your audience cares about—what’s in it for them. It starts with the WHY, the end result, and then uses specific examples from your school to support the theme you are sharing.

For example, in Sanford School’s blog article “4 Ways to Create An Inclusive Community,” the article focuses on how to make your community more accepting and diverse (something Sanford knows their dream families care deeply about)—and by doing so, they support one of their core differentiators: having an open, creative and inclusive community.

So the first thing you need to know before you begin your school blog is: who are you trying to reach? Is your blog meant for students or parents, or both? What do they desire the most? What are some of their cares and concerns? What keeps them up at night?

A deep knowledge and understanding of your target audience will help you create content that connects.

Your School Blog Needs Vision

Once you understand your audience, you need to understand your school’s point of view; its expertise. What point will you try to make with your content? What brand beliefs will you showcase?

The best way to do that is to write a blog vision statement: one compelling statement that sums up the unique perspective that sets your content apart from the millions of other blogs on the internet.

Creating such a statement, and sharing it on your blog, will help your audience know what type of content to expect from your publication, and also help any content creators within your school stay on track.

Learn more about crafting your blog vision statement, and download a free Blog Vision Worksheet, on the Cursive Content website.

Be a Goal-Setter

After defining your audience and your vision, you need to know what you’re working toward. Why are you starting a blog? What measurable goals can you define?

Are you trying to grow your email database? Get more inquiries? Promote your open houses or other school events? Encourage family participation, or increase donations?

Your goals will help determine the type of content you create and the calls-to-action to include throughout your content.

Find out how to craft strong calls-to-action for your school blog and website here.  

Set Up Systems & Roles

The final part of your initial school blog strategy requires you to define some details and set up some parameters. Answer these questions to ensure you cover all of the important launch aspects:

  • Will your blog have a specific publication name?
  • Will your blog live on your current website, or do you need to create a separate blog platform?
  • Who will be creating content?
  • What content formats will you be creating? (Articles, videos, audio, graphics, etc.)
  • Who will be in charge of the editorial calendar?
  • Will there be one gatekeeper to control content consistency?
  • Where will you find imagery?
  • Who will format each blog article?
  • How will you promote the content once it publishes?

By defining these details, your school will be on its way toward a strong blog strategy. Next up in our school blogging series: creating your school blog content calendar. Stay tuned!

Learn more ways to create and share stories your audiences will love on the Cursive Content blog, or tweet us at @emilycretella / @blackbaudK12.

About the Author

Emily Cretella

Emily Cretella is a marketing strategist and copywriter who helps her clients create and share stories that make audiences take action. As owner of Cursive Content Marketing, Emily provides consulting, copywriting services and workshops to independent schools and higher education. Read her stories at cursivecontent.com.

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