Blogging is a low-cost way to generate business for your school. With that in mind, the idea of starting a blog to enhance your marketing efforts and increase enrollment might sound quite appealing. However, knowing that such an endeavor requires a commitment of time and resources, is blogging truly worth the effort?
Here are 3 interesting facts from Hubspot along with some personal insights gained through my experience in maintaining a school blog that may help answer this question:
Fact #1: Website Traffic Growth: Companies with 51 to 100 web pages generate 48% more traffic than companies with 1 to 50 pages.
Every time you post a blog you are adding a new indexed page to your website. The more indexed pages you have on your site, the greater the opportunity for your site to show up in search engines. Blogging on a regular basis increases traffic by creating additional paths to your site and the fresh content draws the attention of search engines as it shows the website is active. This process takes time. In other words, don’t expect to see results overnight. It typically takes a good six to nine months of consistent effort before you will begin to see consistent results.
A few months after we launched our blog at Liberty Christian School, a Schola client and school where I serve as a blog writer and content manager, I hit a brick wall. As I sat in my in my office struggling to write my next blog post, I began to wonder if my efforts were worth it. However, before I had a chance to send out invitations to my pity party, I caught a snippet of a conversation between a staff member and a parent of a prospective student as they walked by my door while on a school tour. When asked how she had heard about our school, the parent replied, “Every time I did an internet search, your school was the first name to appear.” That one brief comment gave me the reassurance and motivation to stay the course.
Fact #2: MORE BLOGS = MORE PROSPECTS: The average company with 100 or more total blog articles is more likely to experience continued lead growth, and even more compelling, companies with over 200 blog articles generate more than 5 times the leads than those with 10 or fewer.
Years ago my high school soccer coach made a simple statement that taught me a profound lesson in the law of averages: The more you shoot the ball at the goal, the better the chances you have of scoring. You might be wondering what this has to do with content marketing. Well, the same concept applies. Consistent blogging results in increased traffic to your site. More traffic generates more leads.
After six months of consistent blogging, organic traffic to Liberty Christian School’s website doubled, which was mainly attributable to blogging efforts. In addition, attendance at the school’s fall open house that took place about nine months after the launch of its blog yielded twice the number of participants over those in attendance at the previous year’s event. While that increase cannot be attributed solely to blogging, it certainly played an important role in that increase.
Fact #3: A PERMANENT MARKETING ASSET: About 70% of HubSpot traffic each month comes from posts that weren’t published that month.
In today’s world where the desire for instant gratification is paramount, nothing is more discouraging than putting the effort into creating quality blog content and having no one read it once it posts. But take heart, for your efforts are not in vain. Blog posts will remain on your website and appear in search results well beyond their original publish date. Posting blogs on a regular basis will continue to increase your visibility, drawing traffic to your site and an additional number of viewers to your blog posts in the weeks and months well beyond the date they were originally posted.
When I first started blogging I maintained a close watch on the blog view rates for posts in a given month and was, more often than not, unimpressed by the number of blog views for any given post. Almost a year into our blogging efforts, I took a deeper dive and looked at the year-to-date blog view rates. The results were quite eye opening. While individual blog view rates varied, on average the number of blog views in general tripled in the 3-6 month time frame following the month in which they originally posted. Lesson learned: If you post them, they will come.
So, is blogging worth the effort? In one word, yes! However, to realize a return on your investment, you need to think marathon, not sprint. Blogging is a long-term commitment that, when done consistently, will yield more website traffic, generate more leads and ultimately result in increased enrollment for your school.