Every successful school tries to live up to its high standards. These high standards may translate into different things, but creating a well-designed and structured school website and a school blog are among the most popular school marketing practices.
High school students, teachers, consultants, and school community members willingly spend time creating content and publishing it on the website. Why? Because a good high school blog optimizes student learning while it improves school communication.
But there are a few questions we need to discuss. For starters, how do we create a successful high school blog? What’s the goal of creating a high school blog? What are the best practices, strategies, and tactics for improving online visibility through blog posts?
Answering these questions is both simple and difficult. It’s simple because we can look up the most successful school blogs and see their methods for attracting students and parents.
But here’s the catch: Even the most successful examples don’t follow exactly similar protocols. They may have different objectives and approaches to their goal.
So, is there any way out of this dilemma? Of course, there is. All you need to do is review top-notch high school blogs and find repetitive patterns and common components.
Then you devise a strategy that works best for your high school. Add some creative ideas to the mix, and you’re ready to launch a fruitful online campaign.
And that’s what we’re going to discuss in this article. We will review some of the market-proven strategies for creating high school blogs and find a way to turn a challenging process into a rewarding journey. Are you ready? Let’s begin.
What Is a Blog?
Let’s start with definitions. A blog is a website of posts, articles, and content sorted in reverse chronological order, meaning the most recent posts are presented first. Blog content can vary, but they are all known as entries or “blog posts.” A blog can also be a regular feature in an online publication.
Unlike common belief, blog posts are not necessarily text-based. Various blog types may include those with art-related topics (art blogs), photographs (photoblogs), videos (video blogs or “vlogs”), and audio (podcasts).
What Are Class Blogs?
High schools and educational institutions usually use a combination of different content types. Sometimes they include instructional resources and materials. We refer to these online resources as edublogs, class blogs, or educational blogs.
Class blogs and student blogs are great communication channels with a large group of audiences or followers. The reason is blogging, in general, and particularly student blogs, employs a conversational style. So, student blogs are fairly informal compared to other blogs.
But being informal doesn’t mean they have nothing useful to offer the audience. On the contrary, well-established blogs can create informational content as a reliable authority in their area of specialty.
What Is the Difference Between a Blog and a Website?
Blogs are a type of website. So, you can imagine there are a lot of similarities between them. However, we should notice a few differences. First of all, blogs are usually updated regularly with new content. A different type of website may not have the same strict dynamism and dedication to create fresh content.
Secondly, blog posts are displayed in reverse chronological order. Other websites are divided based on topic segments and pages. Thirdly, blogs are most often part of a larger website; however, you may choose to have an independent blog without a website.
Most businesses and schools direct their online marketing efforts to increase conversions. For a more efficient conversion process, they need a website linked to their blog, where they are regularly posting original content to keep their students engaged.
How to Start a Blog?
If you go back a couple of decades, you will see that during the late 90s, blogging was mostly a hobby. People published regular updates about their personal lives, thoughts, and social commentary. Early weblogs aimed to capture personal moments, but as time passed, it was clear creating blogs had an even greater potential.
Entrepreneurs, marketers, business owners, managers, and content creators realized that the informal communication style used in blogs could be channeled into new paths. They started to devise strategies that boosted their online visibility without the advertisement’s ‘hard selling’ appearance.
After years of trial and error, we have a lot of evidence to believe that blogging is a lucrative skill for marketing. And school marketing can join the feast as well.
If you want to share your creative moments and educational content with prospective students and parents in a friendly style, blogging is your best choice. Here’s how you can start:
Choose a Topic
Everything starts with an idea. The first step for creating a school blog is determining the theme that interests you and your audience. Remember that the key to a successful blog is continuous motivation. So, while trending topics may seem appealing to drive more traffic to your blog, you need a consistent theme to direct your content strategy.
The good thing about a high school blog is that more than one person can participate in the content creation process; everyone can focus on their area of specialty and interest. This way, you will attract various audience segments with different tastes and needs.
Research and Evaluate
If you don’t know which topics are most welcome by students, there are many ways to find out. For instance, you can directly ask students and parents in the school or on the website to share a subject they think deserves a good conversation. Remember that family and community involvement always signals a successful school.
Another way is reviewing successful blogs with similar tastes and preferences as yours. Do thorough keyword research and competitor analysis to find high-value subjects. And you can always leave a comment section open for student participation and feedback. After all, their opinion is central to your blog’s success.
Choose a Blogging Platform
A blogging platform allows content creators to organize and publicize their written, visual, and auditory content on a blog. When it comes to choosing a blogging platform, you have many different options. Some services are free, and others charge a monthly or annual rate for publishing and hosting a blog.
Some popular free blogging platforms include:
4. HubSpot CMS
Most high school blogs operate on Blogger or WordPress. These platforms offer an excellent range of features, free templates, and strong security protocols. If you are just about to start your blogging journey, a free blogging platform is a perfect place to learn and evolve.
Optimize Your Landing Page
The landing page goes by many names, “lead capture page,” “single property page,” “static page,” “squeeze page,” or a “destination page.” A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign or where visitors’ land.
A well-designed landing page can encourage students to stay longer on your website, visit other pages and hopefully convince them to enroll. So, everything from the content to layout, design, menu, and navigation bar should be optimized to make the most impact on your audience.
You can use premade templates to create a landing page. Templates allow some degree of customization, but there are still some limitations on the features you can add to the blog’s landing page. Make sure to edit the home and landing pages and include a call to action link for faster conversion.
Choose a Template
Besides the landing page, you also need a template for other pages. Usually, the template for all content pages in a blog is similar. But if you cover different topics or content types, you can use templates matching the subject and content layout.
The first element to consider before choosing a template is the purpose of your blog. Are you aiming to increase conversions, store and share students’ experiences, provide instructional courses, or maximize your school marketing’s efficiency?
Each goal requires a different set of strategies, tactics, and practices. Moreover, the topics you cover on your blog depend on the general outlook and the school’s mission for the future. All these elements help you find templates that best reflect your website values and goals.
Make sure that chosen theme is unique, recognizable, and, more importantly, customizable. This way, if you want to add a new feature or move elements around the page, you don’t have to revamp the whole blog and find a new theme.
Publicize Your Blog
Once you’ve put in all that time and effort into the ideation process, researching your niche market, competitors’ websites, and audience personas, it’s time to reap the benefits. You will slowly generate traffic with some original content on your blog.
But you can’t merely rely on content creation. There are many tried-and-true practices that will help you promote your blog. The first place to start is employing on-page and off-page search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to help your content show up on search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO-friendly content is your best pal from now on. Conduct comprehensive, detailed keyword research to identify high-ranking, high-value keywords and naturally integrate them throughout your blog posts. Add relevant internal links to encourage students to read other posts and external links to websites with high domain authority.
SEO helps search engines to find, evaluate and rank your website higher. It also allows readers to organically discover, read, and share your high-quality blog content. You can supplement your school marketing with paid promotion, but always remember that ‘organic traffic is quality traffic.’
What Do Top High School Blogs Have in Common?
When taking an adventurous trip, you first create and review a well-thoughout checklist and make sure everything is in place. The same principle applies to your blog content. Here are must-have items that should be included in your blog posts:
Content marketing is crucial for every brand promotion campaign, including school marketing. Well-written, organized, and engaging content helps you get more visitors, lower bounce rates, and higher conversions.
But how to write quality content? The first principle here is writing for your readers, not yourself. Yes, the blog is informal, and it was originally created to capture personal moments of individuals’ lives. But a high school blog is an entirely different playfield. So, ask yourself what interests your readers have and what ‘problems’ they are trying to fix that have led them to your site.
The second central component of quality content is trustworthiness. This is especially important for schools and educational organizations to offer reliable, research-backed, and data-supported information in a clear and user-oriented way.
Thirdly, you should keep your blog posts up to date. This shows prospective students and parents that you’re on top of recent developments and can always provide them with accurate information.
Finally, always aim for consistency. Whether it’s in publication time, content type, or your brand’s message, consistency is integral to improving your reputation and establishing an unswerving online image.
The web design is your first impression on prospective students and parents. They will judge your brand within seconds, and those few seconds determine whether they will stay on your blog or not. So, do your best to make a positive impact.
We strongly suggest avoiding using default themes. They are notoriously awful! If you don’t have the time or expertise to design a blog, hire a professional designer—or at least buy a theme to customize yourself. It’s not just about aesthetics. The professional, tailored design also builds trust with your audience and aids your SEO strategy.
You may not want to believe it, but most blog viewers will judge a book by its cover! Captions and headlines are the first things they find on the blog’s cover! On average, 8 out of 10 people will read the headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.
But if you succeed in gaining their attention, the results are truly rewarding. According to recent research, magnetic headlines can boost traffic on your site by 500%.
You don’t need to do any magic here. Just tap into their emotions and find out what intrigues them. Prospective and current students are probably on your website to find some answers and information on specific topics.
Be to the point, and make the content useful to them. You can even use questions as eye-catching headlines.
Few will wait around to listen to a boring person. Similarly, nobody likes to read or view poorly written and structured content. Generation Z, in particular, likes to read content that has style and flair, something that reflects its creator’s personality.
Having different voices in a blog is not a problem, but each writer must own a personal writing style. Whether it means adding some humor and emotion to the text or writing in a conversational tone, reflecting that personality makes the difference between professional and amateur content.
There is something about reading texts on the internet that prevents us from reading long paragraphs and complex sentences. For some reason, we need plenty of white space around and between the lines to keep reading.
You can use
- bullet points,
- numbered lists,
- headers and sub-headers, and
- short sentences to keep readers’ attention.
And there is no ideal length for a blog post. It depends on your subject and audience. What’s more important is to break up the text into manageable chunks that look approachable to visitors.
Yes, writing a blog can be challenging. But at the same time, it is a lot of fun. Plus, following best practices makes it much easier to maximize your school blog’s potential. All you need to do is find subjects of your specialty to interest your readers and open the doors for communication with parents, students, and teachers.
And don’t worry about the rest. We have you covered. At School Webmasters, we offer comprehensive school website and communications solutions, from web design to social media management, website maintenance, school communications, messaging apps, and more. You can easily get a quote right now or just contact us (call 888.750.4556 and speak with Jim) and let us point you in the right direction.