Monday, July 25, 2016

3 Ways to Breathe New Life into Your Library Blog

Beth McGough, Communications and Creative Services Manager 

Does your library blog make you go “blah”? It might be time to take a fresh look at the blog and revive it! 
But how?
Think like a journalist 
The audience should be at the heart of every blog post. A deep understanding of your library users and blog readers, what drives them, and what they care about will help you write relevant posts your audience will read. 
Every post should bring value to the reader. It isn’t enough to provide the logistics for an upcoming program. Tell the reader why they should care. How will that program improve their life or make them a better person?
The stories on your blog should be new and original. If you are writing about a community event don’t repeat what the local newspaper reported. Create an original piece from the library’s unique point of view.
Marketing Profs wrote a great piece on these concepts. Read more
Find out what really works
Pull out your inner data geek and dig into your blog analytics. 
Create a spreadsheet of posts from the last 1-2 years, include the number of page visits and social shares. Then categorize each post in a way that makes sense for your library. 
For example, blog post types might include library program, book review, online resource review, and community event. Do you include multimedia in posts? That should be a category too. Intended audience, subject area, and day published are also potential categories. 
After the data has been gathered, slice and dice the spreadsheet to find out the most popular posts. Use this data as a guide for future posts. 
Reevaluate the distribution channels
Does your blog stand alone, waiting for visitors? If you build it, they probably won’t come. Use all of the distribution channels available to promote blog posts.
Blog posts can feed the library newsletter and should be shared on social channels. Don’t be afraid to share a blog post multiple times on Twitter and Facebook. People are on social media at all hours. 
Consider the other ways your library shares news – fliers, posters, news releases – every promotion is an opportunity to highlight the blog. 
Blogs are not new to libraries but your library blog can remain fresh and relevant to your library’s users.

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