Higher Ed Hero’s 5 Tips to Make Your University Blog Outstanding

blog-92132_640More people today get their information online than from any other source. This includes your top university prospects, be them students, ideal faculty, alumni, donors or other partners. Having a compelling and informative university blog allows you to highlight what makes your institution special while providing a free resource for information. Your blog could be the difference in attracting high-achieving students by highlighting academic programs, campus and local culture and much more. Top faculty prospects can learn of your research programs and other ways for them to maximize their knowledge and skills. Your blog can also help you keep alumni and other donors engaged in the campus community when they are not physically present. To help you achieve these goals and more, Higher Ed Hero presents our 5 tips to make your university blog outstanding.

Invite Current Students and Alumni to Write Their Story

Ultimately, the value of your institution comes down to the impact it has on the lives of your students. Chances are you have students who are, at this very moment, going through transformative experiences at your college. Allowing them to share their unique experience at your institution gives potential students a look at what life could be like if they enrolled. Likewise, having alumni write guest blogs gives students and parents an idea of the benefits students receive from earning their degree with you.

Here’s a tip: On your blog, have one section devoted to current student stories and another to alumni stories. Invite your most involved alumni and students to contribute posts. For current students you could request faculty provide extra credit opportunities for student bloggers, or have students blog for a club project. For alumni, this could be a convenient and more personalized way for them to give back – and gives a nice break from the typical donation requests.

Highlight Campus Events

Whether it’s a play from the Drama department, an exhibition from one of the sciences, a visiting band, comedian or any other special event, your blog gives you the chance to share it with the world. By highlighting specific events, you can immerse potential students (and their parents), alumni and the community at large in the unique offerings of your college. For events where you’re selling tickets, this is a great way to promote the event. For closed events, this allows you to share a part of the experience with those that could not attend.

Showcase Faculty and Administration Accomplishments

Was your college’s president recently acknowledged for a prestigious award? Do you have a faculty member who’s getting published? Is one of your departments establishing a new fellowship? Are there exciting research projects taking place in the near future? It may seem like bragging to highlight these, but then, why not brag? The accomplishments of your faculty and staff are part of what sets you apart from other colleges. This is your unique identity and if you’re using your blog to engage those outside your institution, this is exactly what you want to highlight.

Share the Community Culture Surrounding Your Campus

If your college has off-campus community partnerships, then you’ll want to start expanding on those relationships in your university blog. Doing so will give prospective students, faculty etc. a taste of college life beyond what takes place on campus. Some of the more enriching experiences students have in college are when they’re able to take the theory of the campus and apply it in practical settings in the larger community. Or perhaps your community has a thriving nightlife, an involved theater or a great local farmer’s market. Whatever it is, you’ll want your target audience to know what life is like beyond your campus borders.

Make it More Than a Newsletter

Yes, it’s true that most of these suggestions could be covered in your average campus newsletter. However, your blog gives you the opportunity to go far beyond what newsletters cover. The blog can be updated anytime-anywhere and you can have multiple contributors. You can share stories with a blog in ways that are usually not possible in newsletters. You can incorporate video, guest blogs and links to social media. Since blogs are easy to setup and maintain, you can have more freedom, in both quantity and quality, for your content.  What do you think – What will you highlight in your university blog?

Higher Ed Hero hopes you enjoyed our 5 tips to make your university blog outstanding. Please comment below with any questions, comments, or your answer to our closing question.

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