Built hundreds of website and helped countless schools realise their potential online. Ian should be called upon for straight-talking advice and to make a difference to the way you present your school through every outlet.
Writing great content is all about telling stories that are engaging and important to the reader. One of the most exciting things about working with hundreds of schools, is hearing about the endless, fantastic stories you have to tell; there are great things going on in schools every single day!
Putting this content in the public domain in a way that your specific readers want to read has an enormous impact on engagement within your school community, and news articles on your website play a significant role.
But how do you go from knowing something is worth writing about, to finding and making the time to write it to a brilliant, quickly written piece of content that you know your readers will read?
Here's 3 steps that will take you through that process and have you delivering great content that your audience wants to read. What's more, when they know that you write content that they want to read regularly, they'll engage with you more and more.
Day to day, you have so many things going on, so many things that you have to do that it maybe seems that writing news articles or blog posts about what is going on in your school is just another chore. First of all, don't think for one minute that you have to write about absolutely everything. A well written piece that is 300-400 words, written once a fortnight is much more valuable to your wider school community than daily news that is just a sentence thrown together in the moment. That's something that Twitter was made for, so use Twitter for that.
When it comes to your News section, think deeper, think richer, think to yourself; "what can I write that will be of greater interest to my school community?", "what do they want to hear about in more detail?", "what is most likely to see engagement from parents or students if I write this piece?"
Answering just a few simple questions like this will help you determine what is actually worth writing about in this way and what is better shared in the moment, socially.
It makes an enormous difference to your ability and indeed your desire to write good content on your website if the system you're using is clunky, time-consuming and makes it hard for you to deliver content that looks great and is easy to read on any device.
A good system will allow you to write your News article at a time to suit you and schedule it's publication on the exact date you want it to go live. By utilising the tools at your disposal you can get ahead of the game, write superb content and put it in front of your audience at a time to suit you.
The key though, is to plan ahead. Get into the habit of thinking what makes good news and what your audience wants to read.
Think about how you'll structure your News articles, jot this down and use it as a rough template every time you write news. Just getting this simple structure in place will help you write pieces of News that are coherent and it will help you stay on message.
Part of writing News content for your website involves making sure that you have good media to use; get some photos, video or other rich content to make sure what you write is engaging. Choose photos etc that are relevant to what you're writing and choose a great photo to lead off with.
A little bit of practise will see you improve the quality of what you're writing quickly, particularly if you keep to a structure and you're always on the lookout for what makes great news for your audience.
There's not really anything worse than writing a great News article and then blowing it at the point of getting your audience to read it. This will take a bit of perseverance but it is very much worth it.
Take a bit of time to think about how your parents or students (whoever you're writing for) read your content. Do they use your website primarily? Do you use printed newsletters? Do they actively engage with Twitter? Dependant on how your audience already engage with you will help you determine how you put that News in front of them.
As an example, if they are used to you reaching them through Twitter, your aim should be to craft a well phrased, engaging tweet that links directly through to your news article and includes the news article's lead picture.
Measuring engagement is critical to ensure that you are using all the right options available to you. Some ways of measuring are tracking how many views your News article receives, how many likes or shares your tweet receives or even the number of comments.
A good website content management system will allow you to write your content on any device, edit your photos directly within the system, schedule your content for release at a later date and share the content socially. It should be incredibly easy to do and it should work perfectly on any device.
The Schudio Website CMS offers all this and more. If you feel that your school website isn't up to scratch, is time-consuming to manage and doesn't meet the statutory requirements, then we'd love to chat you about a powerful new website that will bring your school or college to life.
If this sounds good to you, just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 577 0753 and we'll be happy to arrange a time that is convenient for you and your staff.
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