Are you looking for a central location to showcase the content you create for your district?
Are you looking for a tool to help solve problems or concerns your audience may have?
In this article, I explain why you need to build an outstanding blog for your school district content.
A blog is not as sexy as a podcast. A blog is not as sexy as a slick video with cool transitions and titling. A blog these days is not going to get you noticed or recognized by organizations or colleagues. However, in my opinion, a blog is the best marketing tool you can create for your school district content.
What is a Blog? What is a Real Blog?
I am sure you have read or at least seen a blog while browsing the world wide web. And guess what? You are reading a blog right now. However, do you truly understand what a blog is?
According to HubSpot, a blog is a regularly updated website or web page and can either be used for personal use or fulfill a business need. What does that exactly mean?
In my opinion, a blog is a tool where you can publish content to help solve problems and concerns of your core audience. It helps engage with your audience by helping solve their problems. The content you write in your blog articles should help or educate your audience.
For example, a fashion blog may review trending fashions for the fall. The audience for that blog wants to be fashion-forward and be ahead of the latest trend. People who read a technology blog probably want to know what’s next in tech so that they can be early adopters of technology.
A blog is not a recap of your daily announcements. Your blog is not trying to sell a yearbook. Always remember you create a blog to help your audience. The more you help your audience, the more you become the trusted resource in your field or industry.
How to Build a Blog
Before you start posting on a blog, you need a school district blog.
There are many FREE blog platforms, but to be in complete control of your school district blog, it is my advice that you create a blog using WordPress. There are many bells and whistles on WordPress that allow you to capitalize on Search Engine Optimization and sharing your content across the internet.
Marketing blogger Neil Patel has a great blog post about setting up a blog on WordPress. I highly recommend reading the article before you get started. You can find the article here: How to Start a WordPress Blog
Although the video is old, it is still effortless to set up a school district blog. Best selling author, podcaster, and blogger, Pat Flynn, shows how easy it is to create a blog in his famous video, How to Build a Blog in Less than 4 Minutes and Write Your First Blog Post.
Once again, it is easy to create a blog. If you want to create an EPIC blog, there are always experts willing to build your site. I highly recommend Aimee at Anchored Design that made my public speaking website. Not only will she create your blog, but she will also help build the brand around your site.
It is critical to understand which sections you want to put into place on your blog. Having the right elements will help you engage your audience and promote your blog.
Important Sections of Your Blog in 2020
Before you start posting, you will need to develop the sections that will make your blog great. Building this section will further engage your audience and build a brand around your blog.
Critical sections of your blog are:
The About Section
The About Section is one of the most important sections to add to your blog. This section allows you to tell what your blog is about and an area to market your school districts or schools a bit more. Adding your mission statement here can be a powerful component to showcase why you built the blog for your audience.
The Contact Us Section
Having a contact section allows your audience the ability to ask you additional questions about your content. Not only will this give you an idea of the pulse of your community, but questions can also help you develop other content for your blog.
The Newsletter Sign-Up
The best thing you can do, especially in the age of COVID-19, is to collect email addresses from a niche audience. By giving their email address, audiences are permitting you to contact them in the future. The ability to reach your audience is powerful. You can send them personalized content and invite them to events in your school district.
The Archive Section
The archive section gives you the power to post popular posts your district has written in the past. I always choose to have my most popular posts at the top of this section. If they are popular, that means more parents probably have the same questions. Always allow your readers to find old content that they would be interested in seeing.
An Awesome Download
Always have a piece of content your parents can download to help them. A vital piece of content like a checklist, a tutorial, or a guide can be a great way to collect email addresses. Content that is valuable to a niche audience can help you build a reputation and get more readers to your blog.
Social Share Buttons
You must have social share buttons on your blog articles. Giving your readers the ability to share your content across social media will build your blog readership. Google “Adding Social Share Buttons to Your Blog,” to learn how to add these to your posts.
Links to Your Social Media
You always want to have ways to build the brand of your school district. If readers are interested in your content, they are probably interested in following your school district. Have a way for your audience to follow you on your social media platforms. The most popular places for these buttons are either on the top of your website or in your blog’s footer.
Critical Elements of a Blog Post in 2020
A tremendous blog post is a stimulus for your content marketing success.
Great content fuels engagement and gives your audience a place to answer their concerns and solve their problems.
A powerful blog post, full of useful content, will help brand your district as the “Education Experts,” helping gain your parents’ trust.
A great blog post contains the following five elements:
- An Attention-Grabbing Headline
- Engaging Visuals
- A Strong Opening Paragraph
- Well-Researched Keywords
- A Clear Call to Action
A more detailed description of each of these categories can be found in a previous article on my blog:
5 Tips to Build an Epic Blog Post
In my post, you will learn how to build an awesome blog post that boost engagement with your audience.
Although not as sexy as new emerging platforms, a blog is one of the best tools to engage your parents in your school district. A well-researched platform and building content using experts in your organization will help build a trusted hub for authentic content from your school district.
Do you have questions about blogs or blogging? Fell free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org