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Customer’s Great Ideas: Blogs

November 03, 2014
By DIS Admin

We recently shared how you can get started with a blog for your organization. If you haven’t already, read our simple tips on how to begin blogging and stick to it successfully!

We have many customers who are already blogging and we would like to share a few great examples of blogs on our customers’ websites.

One of the tips from our “How to Start a Blog” post suggested using a variety of authors. Bethany Academy does just this! They have many authors, which keeps the posts fresh and also makes the blog easier to maintain. One customer of ours even has students and parents blog about their favorite things about the school, which can create a great impression for your prospective parents! Take a look at the Bethany Academy blog to see how they are using several different authors on one blog.

Catholic East Elementary has many of their teachers using a classroom blog on their faculty pages. The teacher shares what is going on in her classroom with parents and the students also write blog posts! This not only helps build content and engage the parents, but it also doubles as a writing exercise for the students. Blog posts by 1st graders are not just interesting, but also adorable. Check out Mrs. Albert’s classroom blog for inspiration.

Pastor Shawn from Trinity Lutheran Church ends each of his blog posts with an invitation for comments or for others to share their thoughts. This is the perfect way to encourage engagement and start a conversation. Head over to Pastor Shawn’s blog and share your thoughts!

One Body One Hope shares images in many of their posts. You might be getting tired of hearing us talk about images all of the time, but they are a great way to draw your users in and connect them to what you are saying. Images are particularly important for One Body One Hope because they are an international organization, partnering American churches with Liberian churches. Using images in their updates helps the American readers connect with what is happening in Liberia. Visit the One Body One Hope blog and let their beautiful images draw you into their content. 

This sampling shows just a small array of ideas – blogs can be used for all types of purposes and audiences. Their common goal is to provide a steady stream of new content. New content which not only helps communicate to your users, but helps your search engine optimization too! Give thought to starting a blog (or two!) on your site today.

How to Start a Blog

October 09, 2014
By DIS Admin

Are you looking for a new way to engage your users? What if you could not just engage them, but keep them coming back to your website to stay up to date on the latest information? A blog is a great way to start building an audience who regularly visits your website and keeps up on you!

So, what exactly is a blog? A blog is regularly updated content, organized into posts. You’re reading one right now! A blog is often associated with being like a journal or diary for personal purposes, but it can also create a powerful impact for businesses, schools and churches. It engages your audience, keep them updated on your latest happenings and also helps new people, unfamiliar with your organization, learn more about who you are. In Site Manager, you can easily add a blog using a blog tool.

We’ve put together a few of our favorite blog tips to help you have a successful blog for your organization.

  1. Create the blog on its own page and make this page prominent on your site. To fully utilize all of the features of the blog tool, put it on its very own page. Adding additional content to this page can make it overwhelming, as the blog is a very robust tool in itself. And, make sure that this page is featured prominently. Some of our signature themes feature the blog right on the homepage, but at the very least, it should be an option in your drop down menu navigation. Adding a link on your homepage or in your utility navigation is preferable as well.
  2. Update regularly. We know that this is hard; we find it to be a challenge for our own blog sometimes! However, this is one of the most essential steps to having a successful blog. If you keep it updated regularly, you can build up an audience of people who subscribe to your blog or check it often for updates.
  3. Have a variety of authors. Updating your blog regularly can be a bit time consuming, which is one reason why it’s helpful to have several authors. The other reason to have a variety of authors is that some readers respond better to different writing styles, so having a variety of authors can help your blog appeal to a wider audience. We’ll be talking more about this and how some of our schools are using a variety of authors in an upcoming post.
  4. Schedule posts. You may find it easiest to write several posts at a time. Our “schedule status change” option for the blog tool allows you to schedule when you would like your posts to go active (be published). Perhaps you can schedule one day every few weeks to write several blog posts and then schedule them to go out periodically throughout the few weeks between your writing days.
  5. Connect your blog with social media. With the Social Stream database, you can have your blog posts be published to your Facebook or Twitter feeds immediately. This helps your posts get out there for all to see and also helps build content on your social media feeds.

Are you ready to get started on a blog? Check out our support center for instructions on how to add a blog to your page.

The blog tool is available on the Premier and Enterprise plans. If you would like to learn more about how to get started with the blog tool or switching to one of these service plans, please contact the DIS | Faithwebsites support team.

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