When it comes to higher education, there are a lot of resources out there for students. And nearly every generation now uses online searches to find information. Yes, even when searching for school-related information!
Trying to attract Gen Z students fresh out of high school? Interested in targeting Gen X workers heading back to school? College blogs can be an extremely valuable tool for students of all ages. When done right, they can provide students with information and advice on a wide range of topics related to college life.
Ultimately, a college blog gives institutions a voice in the age of social media. It allows them to share news and information quickly and easily. It also makes it easy to connect with current and prospective students, families, staff, and alumni.
A college blog can be an extremely valuable resource for communicating with your audience. If you’re not already using one, keep scrolling to learn about the benefits.
What Is a College Blog?
A college blog is, well, a blog that’s run by a college or university. This is different from a forum in that the institution gets to decide what kind of content gets uploaded to their blog. Both are beneficial, but with a blog, you have more control.
Traditionally, blogs for colleges cover a range of topics related to college life, from research and academics to campus life and admissions. Likewise, blogs for universities tend to offer advice and insights on a variety of topics, from choosing a major to landing a job after graduation.
This means that when prospective students navigate to a blog on a college website, they can find relevant information that will help them feel more connected to your institution.
At a minimum, if you’re going to start a blog for your college or university, it should help potential students navigate the often-complex world of higher education.
How Students Benefit From Investing in a College Blog
While blogging in education can help increase the online search engine rankings for a college or university, those who ultimately benefit most are students.
A well-developed and well-structured blog for a university, for example, helps students connect with their peers. It can also help them learn more about their professors and get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at their university.
Moreover, a college blog can help students take control of their own education. When you accept guest posts from students, you’re providing them with a platform to voice their opinions and share their experiences.
And, sure, as we mentioned, there are definitely benefits for your higher education institution as well. By providing prospective students with an insider’s view of campus life, universities can attract more applicants and increase their chances of enrolling high-quality students.
Additionally, colleges can use their blogs to stay connected with alumni and build stronger relationships with donors. That’s a win-win by any standards.
However, let’s focus on the student today. Here are ten great ways students benefit from reading and interacting with a college’s blog.
1. Search Engine Optimization Makes It Easier For Students to Find Your School
Search engine optimization is the practice of improving the ranking of a website on search engine results pages. The higher a website appears on SERPs, the more likely it is to be clicked by students searching for schools. This is basically like free marketing for you over time.
There are many factors that influence where your site appears on SERPS; one of the most important is the keywords you choose.
Keywords are the words and phrases that people enter into search engines when they are looking for schools. In order for your school to appear when people search for keywords related to it, those keywords must be included on your website.
This means that, yeah, blogging is one of the best ways to improve SEO. Every time you publish a new blog post, you add fresh content to your site.
This fresh content can include keywords related to your school. This will help your school appear higher on SERPs when people search for those keywords. It also helps attract new, specific students looking for different courses or information.
In addition, blogging drives recurring traffic to your site; each time a student reads one of your blog posts, they are also more likely to visit your school’s main website.
2. Sharing Voices on Your College Blog Helps Promote Diversity
Sharing voices on your college blog helps promote diversity and builds a stronger community. Prospective attendees who read about the unique perspectives of current students are more likely to feel welcome on campus.
Similarly, posts highlighting student and staff achievements can show readers that there are endless opportunities available at your college.
By sharing the wide range of voices and experiences that make up your campus, you’re also helping to build an inclusive community that everyone can be proud of. This is more important now than ever.
When students feel like they can contribute to the discussion and have their voices heard, they are more likely to feel like they belong on campus. This sense of belonging is essential for students to thrive in their academic pursuits.
In addition, having a steady stream of relevant and student-generated content can help you keep your university blog fresh and engaging.
3. Students Can Easily Find Relevant Information
On a well-organized and optimized college blog, students can easily find relevant information about the college that they are interested in.
A well-run blog features up-to-date content and new posts. Each post should have tags with appropriate keywords. This helps them save time when researching potential courses or information on your blog.
Students can also use the college blog to find out about the college’s admissions process and requirements. This makes it easy for students to find information on specific topics.
This means that when you’re creating the layout of your blog, think about the topics that are important to your potential and current students. Organize those topics into categories, such as admissions, campus life, courses, job fairs, etc.
Then, build your blog around those topics! Organizing them beforehand will make it easier to know what to write about. This all helps make the user experience better for students.
4. Blogs Fuel Your School’s Social Media Presence
Blogs fuel your school’s social media presence. Bet you didn’t think blogging and social were connected, right? Blogging provides you with a constant stream of fresh content.
Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, incorporating blogs into your social media strategy is a surefire way to reach a broader audience. Not only that, but it helps you keep them engaged. Simply take the content you’ve already written and repurpose it on social channels.
By sharing valuable content across networks, you immediately increase your school’s exposure. You do this without adding too much work to your already heavy workload.
5. Help Students Find Scholarship Information & Deadlines
As mentioned above, a great blog should help students navigate the complex world of higher education. In this case, you can use it to help students learn about scholarships that they may be eligible for as well as when the deadlines for those scholarships are.
In addition, a college blog can provide information about upcoming events on campus, changes to the college’s curriculum, and new opportunities that are available to students.
When you use it as a way to convey real-time, important information, you’re more likely to have students view it as a high-quality source of school news.
This means that by reading their school’s blog, students can stay up-to-date on what is happening at their school and in their field of study.
6. Encourage Engagement via Student Success Stories
Encouraging engagement usually always results in a positive outcome for your school’s brand, and one great way you can do this via your blog is by sharing student success stories.
When students see their peers succeeding, it can encourage them to stay focused on their goals. It’s also great motivation to continue working hard. A college blog that highlights student success stories is a great way to promote enthusiasm and excitement among the student body.
In this sense, you could use the blog as a way to help build a sense of community. In fact, you might even have certain students guest post on the blog! Giving students a platform to share their thoughts and experiences can help to create a sense of belonging and cooperation.
7. Encourage Students to Engage in Campus Activities
You don’t always have to post serious, education-focused content to the school blog. Sometimes it’s great to share news and updates about campus activities, too!
Whether you’re planning a week-long homecoming itinerary and want to share that on your blog or like to update the student body about the results of sports games and other interesting campus life stuff, a blog is a great place to do so.
It’s also okay to get creative here. Ultimately, talking about campus life and campus activities on your school blog is a great way for students to learn more about the different cultures, groups, and activities present on campus.
8. Increase Interest By Talking About Unique Programs & Courses
A college blog can help increase student interest. How? Talk about the unique programs and courses you offer! This is a great way to get new students interested in attending the college, and it can also help current students learn more about the different programs that are available to them.
If you’re going to use your blog as a way to highlight different programs, be sure to really focus on the unique points of each program while also highlighting what makes your university different from others.
This means you might profile an interesting, experienced professor who teaches as part of the Astronomy program or you might talk about how a new program offers great financial aid opportunities.
All in all, the goal is to ensure that you’re delivering value to not only current students but potential students and their parents as well.
9. Help Students Find Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
As any college admissions officer knows, there are a lot of repetitive questions that come in throughout the year. While a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page can be helpful, a blog is sometimes a more effective method of addressing common issues in more detail.
The topics could range from application instructions and tips to choosing an area of study to career trajectories and beyond. By having a dedicated blog, students can easily find the answers they are looking for without having to search through a long FAQ page.
In addition, it allows admissions officers to address common questions in more depth, providing students with the information they need to make informed decisions about their future.
10. Help Make Students Feel a Sense of School Pride
And finally, having a blog on your college or university’s website is simply a great way to help create a sense of school pride. In essence, you’re branding your school as, well, a brand that students feel excited to interact with and be a part of.
By reading and commenting on posts, they can get a better sense of the campus culture and what others are thinking about important issues.
All in all, a college blog can be a valuable resource for students who want to feel more connected to their school and learn more about the people in it.
Need Help With Blogging?
How do you start a blog for a college? Creating a college blog all starts with the right research. You likely know a lot about your students and what kinds of courses and information they search for.
The next step would be to get in touch with an education marketing company that can help you take that and turn it into a blog strategy. We can do that for you!
Get in touch to chat about your needs and how we can help you with your blog strategy, blog content, and other forms of digital marketing.
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