As I introduced in my previous post this week, Information about Wofford’s Blogs and Alumni Bloggers, Wofford has a lot going on in our Network of blogs. Now that it’s the summer time and content is a little slow for most colleges there is the dilemma of what to feature on the main site homepage? Well maybe you don’t have a spotlight type feature like Wofford does on its homepage, but none the less do you data mine your blogs?
Blogs Produce Lots of Great Content
Doing a quick scan of Wofford’s Blogs Network we have around twenty blogs. Some blogs are much more active than others, but nonetheless they produce a wealth of quality content that is usually buried deep down in the site. Me being a personal blogger I understand the challenges of trying to get people to understand this new form of communication. The only way to do that is to continually expose people to quality blog content. Also your bloggers really appreciate it when they see that you’re promoting their work and it encourages them to produce more and better content.
Promote your Blogs
Being the analytical junkie that I am I have not been extremely impressed with our blog visit numbers and have been racking my brain to find ways to increase RSS subscribers and increase visits and exposure to the blogs. So the question is how to do this? We have occasionally featured a blog post or promoted a blog linking to specific posts off our homepage spotlight. This has created an instant boost of hits to the blog, although I’ll be the first to admit it is hard to say it has contributed to long term readers.
Another great way to promote your blogs is through your email marketing efforts. It’s a double win! We are constantly looking for good content to feature in our mailshots, so sometimes we data mine the best of the blogs. We also want to promote our blogs so we mention them in emails. Enough said!
Data Mine for Content
Lastly there are times when a great piece from a blog can be used somewhere on the site. Last post I mentioned our Study Abroad blog and there have been a few things they have pulled from that blog to use on their departmental site.
Other great examples come from our From the Archives blog. From the Archives is a blog written by the college Archivist Phillip Stone. On this blog Phillip does a great job of tying current events to the past. For example during Black History month he did a series of posts about African-American History on campus or tied in a post about athletes from 1915 during Baseball season. These are great to data mine for the homepage! As Phillip has gotten more comfortable with the system he’s even included audio. We have a page on the site about Wofford’s Alma Mater and Motto so when he included an audio of the Glee Club performing the Alma Mater from 1950 it made complete sense to link to that post.
So how are you promoting your blogs? Do you data mine them for content across the site? What tricks have you used to get people to subscribe to RSS feeds?