Tara is the in-house content lead at Digistorm, tending to all content needs, big or small! When she’s not writing copy or managing the Insights editorial calendar, Tara is passionate about supporting theatre and live music.
Did you know that 55% of marketers say blogging is their number one inbound marketing tactic? This probably doesn’t come as a huge shock, seeing as research shows that companies who blog regularly generate an average of 67% more leads per month than those that don’t.
However, you might be surprised to learn that many school marketing teams don't actually have a solid blogging strategy mapped out. In this guide, I'll walk you through each step to get started when blogging for schools. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from how to choose topics your audience want to read, to amplifying your content.
Have you ever felt as though your blog articles lack direction or purpose? Do you find they're quite reactive and even a little random at times? You might even find yourself scouring your competitors’ blog posts to find inspiration when you’re drawing a blank.
Learning how to effectively brainstorm content ideas can be one of the most challenging aspects of blogging — but it doesn't have to be! Here are some of the best ways you can keep the blog ideas flowing as you go about your day-to-day.
When it comes to content ideation, there’s no shame in going old-school. By having a notepad and pen handy at all times, you’ll always be ready to jot down brilliant ideas as they come to you.
For the more digitally inclined, the notes app on your smartphone works just as well. Once you have a solid list of possible content topics, reflect on them to see if they have any promise of being crafted into an article. You know what they say — inspiration strikes when you least expect it — so make sure that you're always prepared to capture it before it slips away.
The best blog posts address common pain points. That’s right — mine your client feedback and questions to help you pick up on the biggest challenges that your customers have, and turn your answers into a helpful article. You can keep track of your FAQs by checking in regularly with your frontline staff, such as your administration and admissions teams.
Reach out to parents and ask what some of the common roadblocks are when it comes to educating or enrolling their children. You can also check your website analytics data for commonly searched queries that can provide you with extra information.
If one of your blog goals is to position your school and its team as thought leaders within the education industry, keeping your finger on the pulse is essential. To build authority and credibility for your school's brand, look at publishing content about growing trends or challenges within the industry by offering a new perspective.
The internet is a noisy place, so to remain informed and organised, set up an RSS tool, like Feedly, to gather all of your favourite industry news and publications into one, easy to access place.
A central part of any blogging strategy is SEO, with the goal of bringing more visitors to your school website. When you’re in the process of brainstorming content ideas, sign in to your Google Ads account and take advantage of the Keyword Planner tool to see which keywords are trending.
This is particularly helpful if you're trying to rank for certain keywords and phrases. Another trick is to jump over to Google and just start typing a query into the search bar. From here Google's autofill will predict a list of the most commonly searched queries. This can be another quick way to come up with new topics for your blog.
Once you have a healthy list of blog topic ideas, you will need to start scheduling them in for publication. An editorial calendar simplifies the process of planning, scheduling, and organising content across your team. You might choose to operate out of a simple shared spreadsheet, but there are also a number of inexpensive content management tools available that can make the process even easier.
While setting up your editorial calendar, it's important to set some expectations around publishing your content. Consider the following questions and set some standards for your team:
These are the important questions that need to be answered so that your team can set timeframes around producing and publishing new content. If you're unsure about how often you should be publishing new blog content, less is more. Your audience is going to draw more value from two long-form, well-researched articles than four short articles that barely skim the surface of their chosen topic.
When it comes to SEO, you need to play the long game. This means you can't just hit ‘publish’ on a brand new post and expect to see hundreds of views roll in immediately. In the early days, it's essential to amplify your new content by promoting it through other digital channels.
At the very least, you should share your blog articles organically across all of your social media channels. If you have an article that you really want to promote or one that is getting a fair amount of engagement, think about allocating funds into paid advertising to expand your reach.
Next, have a think about what other digital channels are available to you. You might like to include some of your blog articles in your school newsletters or share them with your community through your school app.
Another key point to stress here is that you can share your article more than once. Don't let your engaging content be forgotten once it has been published! Set reminders in your editorial calendar every three, six, and 12 months to reshare it. Usually, all it will need is a little rewrite to include more up-to-date content, a new header image and you're good to go!
Finally, the key to blogging for schools is keeping track of how your articles are performing. That’s right — you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the right metrics to measure your success.
There are some metrics that are more important than others, such as views, bounce rate, and time spent on-page. You’ll need to look at the metrics in context with each other — while you might be tempted to just focus on one metric (such as how many views your article has received), but don't be quick to judge it as a success! Another metric might show that the article isn’t performing as well as your views indicate, for example, if your bounce rate is high too.
It’s going to take at least a few weeks before you can get an accurate picture of how your content is performing, so be patient and give it time. When reviewing your blog analytics, be sure to look into which referral channels seem to be most effective for your content and focus on more promotion in these areas.
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that a blogging strategy isn’t difficult to implement, but will work wonders for your content marketing success. If you’ve found these school blogging tips helpful, it won’t take long to start adding them to your creative process.