by Gerri Baum
If you’re a working girl like me, there’s not enough time in the day to take a lunch break, let alone write a weekly blog post for your school. Coming up with a brilliant idea for a story is the last thing on your mind when you must also churn out weekly newsletters, cover awesome K-12 activities, launch appealing campaigns for admissions and development, not to mention that you also have to publish the “what’s happenings” at your school on your social media sites, and much more. So, what’s a marketing and communications gal or guy to do when you’re also tasked with crafting a weekly blog for your school’s website? Well, there’s at least a half-dozen and more ways to craft a clever message and provide valuable info to your readers that doesn’t have to be such a time suck. Take advantage of these seven ideas, and remember to keep your posts RELEVANT to your audience!
#1 – Review a book or article
Not in a book club? But you do read, don’t you? Note your opinion about a professional online article, a piece of fiction, a white-paper, a news story that relates to your school or the education industry. Keep your thoughts simple. Include links to the original source material to further illustrate your point of view. Break up the paragraphs with quotes. Link back to other reviewers, and remember to share your post on your social sites so viewers can help you further distribute your content throughout their own social media channels.
#2 – Make a list
If you can make a grocery list, then you can turn a blog post into a list. Lists are incredibly popular because it’s quick and easy information for the brain to digest in one fell swoop. And, if the content rocks, like this list of “Our 50 Favorite Mom Bloggers” from Mom.me, it may even go viral. Start off with writing about the “Ten Best …” in your subject of expertise. It’s a great way to connect with your audience and peers, and demonstrates that you’re a thought leader. Blogs that focus on specific educational topics such as: TeachThought.com, OEDB.org, and LemonLimeAdventures.com are examples of blog posts that offer lists of bloggers to follow that parents and educators will find valuable.
#3 – Blog an event
Your high school musical, annual fundraiser, graduation or a sporting event, all make for great blogging material. Seriously, who hasn’t had a memorable school music recital to share, or a heartwarming encounter when students prepare and serve meals at a homeless shelter. And, lest we forget those words of wisdom that your head of school shared at a recent celebration or conference. These all make for great content to pass along to readers. You can even “live blog” by posting at an event itself, and adding updates along the way.
#4 – Publish an interview
Nothing is simpler than coming up with five or six questions and letting someone else provide the answers. Solicit expert advice such as “6 tips to…,” or “5 thing’s you’d suggest…” You might consider turning the interview into a series that you can publish over the course of several weeks. Just remember to begin the post with a catchy intro before you dive into the Q’s and A’s.
#5 – Publish a post from a “guest” blogger
Make your life easy and invite someone else to do the writing. Publish content from another professional in your field of expertise or a relevant blogger in your industry. Did you know that consumers make for great bloggers? They tell the truth, hold nothing back and can offer your school insight on what is valuable to the reader. My friend Mari Smith, a busy working mom, is one of many guest bloggers for CityMomsBlog.com, a blog written by parents who live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. These ladies always tell it like it is.
#6 – The best and the worst
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Didn’t Charles Dickens write that? You can, too, as you blog about the best and worst foods to serve children, methods to help with homework, or ways to prepare your middle schooler for high school. Apply this idea to “pro and con” stories on one approach vs. another.
#7 – Repurpose, Repurpose, and Repurpose
The famous comic Milton Berle once said, “I never stole a joke in my life. I just find them before they’re lost.” Whether it’s content you’ve previously published or someone else’s article, you can repurpose the material, give it a different spin, a new title, put your own voice to the message, change the images and update the information to make it timely. Just never re-write it verbatim! That’s a no-no. As a matter of fact, this blog post is repurposed from a blog post that I wrote last year for another subject matter entirely.
Now you have it. There’s no reason to get the “blahs” when you’re blogging for your school. You’ve got seven unique ways to develop content that can attract and engage your viewers. And, if these ideas aren’t enough, email me, I’ll give you seven more.
Do you have any blogging ideas to add to this list? Let us know in a comment.
Gerri Baum, is Social Media Director for Kalix Marketing.