10 Tips for Starting a Principal’s Blog and Keeping It Strong

BlogBlogging is increasingly becoming a popular communication tool for principals and administrators.  Unlike the “Principal’s Corner” in your school’s weekly bulletins, blogs allow for immediate communications, sharing of photos and videos, and more.  Here are 10 useful tips on how to keep the lines of communications open through engaging and inspirational blogs.

1. Work in WordPress.

WordPress is the most popular, most versatile blogging platform available. Plus, it’s pretty easy to use, and it can be added fairly easily to your existing website. Some experts recommend against using Blogspot or Blogger, as they’re not as user-friendly as WordPress is.  Keep your blog professional, clean and easy-to-read.

2. Brainstorm.

Side aside time to come up with ideas for blog posts—even writing some in advance.  Try to come up with 15-20 ideas at a time. Inspiration can come from interesting conversations, issue areas, articles you’ve read, current events, and more.  Read other blogs written by other principals for inspiration (follow and comment on them, too!).

3. Concentrate on high-quality content.

“Strive to provide readers with tips and advice that can’t be found anywhere else on the Internet,” says Andrew Schrage, co-owner of personal finance blog MoneyCrashers.com.  This is even true for principals’ blogs—think about what matters to parents when it comes to their child’s education: homework help, the Common Core standards, behavior, internet safety…the list goes on. Draw upon your past experiences as a principal to provide unique and insightful commentary, and focus on quality over quantity. A simple “5 Tips for Helping Your Child With Math” will be met with more enthusiasm than a long post about the intricacies of the Common Core Standard.

4. Use photos and videos

Schools have the best source of photos and videos—kids enjoying learning, being active, playing musical instruments, doing art, conducting a science experiment…the list goes on!

5. Post several times a week…okay, at least once a week

If you don’t publish regularly, you risk suffering from “Dead Blog Syndrome,” says speaker, author, and marketing consultant Thom Singer. Google and other search engines highly value fresh content. “When someone finds your blog and your most recent post is weeks, months, or years old, they do not assume you are committed to your projects,” Singer says. As a principal, you’re busy, so several blog posts a week may not be possible–try to aim for at least once a week.  Better yet, using the inspiration from Tip #2, above, write several posts in advance and that way, you’ll be able to post more than once a week!

6. Market your blog.

Tell your PTA, site employees, community partners, parents, and others about your blog through social media, email, regular communications, commenting on other blogs and even writing guest posts for other blogs (and including a link to your own blog).  Your blog posts should be a regular part of your social media updates.

7. Make a list.

Blogs with lists are a great way to attract and engage readers, and they’re an easy way to deliver valuable information in a succinct format.

8. Stray away from “all business, all the time.”

Non-business posts—ones that share thoughts about family and friends—are well-received because they show your human side.  Keep a positive tone, and try to keep non-business posts to a few times each month (versus a few times a week!).

9. Avoid politics.

Education is a political business-from budgets to the Common Core, politics infiltrates everything in education….except for your blog.  Whether or not you love or hate the Common Core, teacher tenure, or the latest collective bargaining updates are not content ideas for your blog. With that being said, generating support for your district’s bond measure through your blog?  That would be a good thing.  But, use the context of how the bond measure will directly help YOUR school and YOUR students—personalizing the information will go a long way in generating community support.

10. Share the workload.

Two words: Guest bloggers.  One source: Your school—PTA president, National Board Certified Teachers (they lend a certain expertise to education-related matters), your school’s PE teacher, the school nurse, your school counselor, the district’s food services director.  The list goes on—you have so many experts in “your own house” and so many topics they can lend to valuable blog posts. We always believe in giving credit where credit’s due—this blog was inspired by an article on PR Daily.  See the full article here.

Want more blogging tips?  Follow Sounding Board’s Social Media blog!

About Heather McGowan

Heather McGowan increases public confidence in public education and improves opportunities for non-profit organizations to succeed through proactive communication and marketing. She provides strategic marketing and communication services that exceed her clients’ unique goals and delivers results that motivate audiences to act, change, and/or otherwise change behaviors for a greater good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Share Your Comments and Feedback: