In recent years corporate blogs have been springing up like mushrooms as part of content marketing strategies. Several language schools try blogging, but very few are successful. What to do to be in the latter group? Check the tips that will help you to build a blog worthy of a place in a ranking and win customers’ trust.
3 main reasons why it is worthwhile to run a blog
- A link between the school and customers
A blog is a place affording to you a perfect opportunity to contact the students informally. You have to remember that various groups of customers come there: those who have already taken advantage of your services, and the other ones, who are still hesitant about buying a course.
A blog is a perfect link between the school of the aforementioned groups. The published posts are intended to bring students closer to your school, build relations and persuade the undecided ones. Owing to comments of the recipients you can learn their views, reactions, expectations and opinions about the school.
- An expert in your field
Do you advertise having professionals in your team? Owing to your own blogging space you have a chance to confirm this. Share your knowledge and experience. Specialisation is highly valued today, so remember about defining precisely your target group. You should not address the topic of classes for children if you only run courses for companies… unless you teach employees’ kids in a room next door.
Recipients treat blogs as reliable sources of information, so write about things you are an expert in and those related to your specialization to the greatest degree.
- Website positioning
Frequently updated web pages are rewarded by Google. What does that mean? Owing to new, valuable content on the blog, you can improve the positioning of your website in Google search engine.
In other words, recipients can easily find your school after entering the search engine some phrase, e.g. How to learn idioms fast?. If they are fond of the article, they will eagerly like it and share in social media, which will additionally contribute to the value and position of the Google ranking.
Read more about search engine optimisation: Let your clients find you on Google – a short SEO story
6 blogging pieces of advice that should not be ignored
Useful articles, interesting films or well-designed infographics will reach a customer faster and win them over for you than a dry advertisement or a leaflet. So you had better learn basic rules of blog building and running.
As I have already mentioned above, first think who your blog’s recipients are. They determine the kind of content you will publish. If your offer includes courses for various age groups, try to balance out topics targeted at each of them. Do not limit yourself to articles only; publish also infographics, podcasts, videos or case studies. Remember that the posts need to be useful for recipients, or even solve their problems.
If you run courses for companies, the language of statements should be more moderate in tone, while when writing content for youth, you can afford to be more relaxed and cool. Under no circumstances copy content from other places in the world wide web, because this does not support positioning, and if you do – do not forget to quote the source.
This is a unique address of your blog or the place you purchase on the Internet and own.
It is a common practice of language schools to run the blog at the domain and website of their school e.g. www.languageschool.com/blog, which certainly is not a bad idea. Owing to such solution, the school’s website is displayed for many keywords (the words by which Google users find a given website) and consequently, it attracts new recipients, but also ones not necessarily interested in buying a language course.
A different solution is comprised of the creation of the blog at a sub-domain, just as is the case of our blog: www.blog.langlion.com. A positive aspect is that at such a blog you can address more topics, going beyond keywords by which you position the school’s website. Owing to a sub-domain, you also have the possibility of more precise remarketing, i.e. collecting contacts of the people who visited the blog and sending customised offers to them (not necessarily sales ones, as is the case of your school’s website).
The last idea I have encountered is a blog in a separate domain, e.g. school’s address is www.languageschool.com, while blog’s address is: www.learnlanguages.com. Such a blog is not directly linked to school’s website, but you can place links to the website, which certainly contributes less to its positioning.
Unfortunately, there is no defined number of posts that you should publish within a year, month or even a day. Quality should always follow frequency. Do not make forced publications if you feel the post is not interesting for users or underdeveloped.
It is better to publish once a month a content that will float across the world wide web for another month, than a few pointless posts a day. However, regularity matters – try to publish new content e.g. every second week on a specific day. It is a good idea to run cycles, i.e. on Monday, you publish recordings, on Wednesdays – a grammar guide, and on Fridays – current news from the life of the school.
Do not forget to build relations with customers. Make sure users can comment or share your posts externally using social media buttons. The worst thing is fear of disadvantageous opinions, but this can be coped with too (this issue will be addressed in the next post :)). Remember also to remove worthless comments and spam.
As a rule, people like to know a lot – what’s going on with others, who attended what training recently, and whether the teacher changed her hair colour, or… who is the author of the post on your blog? It is the best idea to place the author’s full name under the post; nobody likes interacting with agencies, companies or departments. Owing to such solution, customers will be aware of the fact that they communicate with specific employees of the language school.
If you don’t have the time to write posts, and nobody in your team has a good style, think about hiring a professional. This can be someone connected with language school sector or even a student, who likes travelling and is willing to share their experiences on the blog.
A useful link: How to write the “About Us” page to win a customer?
This is not only about adoring each of your articles with photos, but also about graphic design of the entire blog. Even more so if you run it at the domain or sub-domain of your website. Make sure the blog’s appearance matches your visual identification; divide posts into categories, remove redundant plugins, which can slow down blog’s opening. Do not forget to install a search engine and mark the most popular posts.
Check out what photos are better avoided: 7 examples of the forbidden photos that will scare off your potential clients
10 best blogs of language schools
The presented blogs were recognised for different reasons: some for transparent and modern graphic design, others for frequent updates and interesting content. We are waiting for your comments and own proposals for the ranking.