Blog Guidelines

A blog provides a platform for you to tell your unit’s story. Unlike a website, which contains evergreen content and is more formal in tone, a blog is place where you can share time-sensitive information and showcase your unit’s personality.

Blog overview

Strengths

  • Blogs provide a place for you to share time-sensitive information and current stories.
  • Blogs offer you a platform for telling your story in a conversational tone.
  • Blogs make a great source for content that you distribute elsewhere, such as on social media. For example, you could write a story about a student who won an award and then share that story on Twitter with a link that points back to your blog.
  • Embedding your blog on your homepage will keep your website fresh with new information. It will also help boost your website’s rankings in search engine results.

Challenges

Finding time to create new content can be a barrier. Since blogs order content in reverse chronological order, if you don’t update your blog regularly it will be clear to your readers.

Audience

Blogs are of interest to a large and diverse audience. We recommend that you write content that is tailored toward your primary audiences (prospective students, current students, faculty, parents, alumni, etc.).

Checklist

  • Decide how frequently you would like to update your blog and create a schedule for posting content. We recommend at least once per week.
  • Be personal and showcase your unit’s personality by incorporating elements of the culture and people that make your unit unique.
  • Best practices for Web content apply to blogs. Incorporate headings and formatting elements like bullets to enhance readability and include photos and videos to support your text. Be sure to link readers to sources for more information.
  • Embed a feed from your blog onto your homepage to keep your website current and boost your search engine rankings.

Storytelling tactics

Your blog doesn't just provide information; it also helps tell your story. Of course, some stories feel easier than others. If you're having trouble getting started, the following tactics may help:

  • Tell a specific story with a specific point-of-view. (Example: You want to talk about all the great Study Away experiences your students are having. Instead of piling all experiences into a single post, tell one story about one student's adventures. To magnify that message, tell another story, then another.)
  • Start in the middle of the action. (Example: When you write about a student's Study Away experience, begin when they're at their destination - as opposed to when they decided to consider Study Away.)
  • Use details to convey meaning. (Quotes are great for this. Can you get a quote from that Study Away student? Something new they learned about themselves or something they'll really miss?)
  • If possible, subvert expectations. (In that same Study Away story: how did the student's experience differ from common assumptions?)
  • If possible, set up a puzzle or a mystery. (We are all hardwired to solve problems. Capitalizing on that instinct is an easy way to engage readers.)

Review our general storytelling tips