Blog Topic Ideas and Best Practices

Blogging can become a natural part of publicizing your department or program, just like posting events to the master calendar. However, it can be hard to know where to start with your blog. Listed below are 20 post ideas to provide you with a jumping-off point for your blog.

Topic ideas

Some tried-and-true topics for your blog include:

  • Events
  • Student accomplishments
  • Faculty research and accomplishments
  • Application and scholarship deadlines
  • Registration reminders

The topic ideas listed above are a great place to start with your blog, but don't be afraid to get creative with the types of content you provide with your followers. Showcase the unique talent, experiences and expertise of your department and program by:

  • Explaining what a current event or topic means for your area of study
    What rising food prices means for nutrition. Why environmental science matters for anthropology.
  • Spotlighting faculty and students - special projects, research or a recent trip
  • Introducing new faculty members, graduate assistants and staff members
  • Providing “a day in the life of the department head/center director/advisor” feature
  • Linking to a news release or podcast about your faculty or students, which can be found on the university news site
  • Posting a Flickr slideshow of photos from a recent event
  • Asking for a guest post from a student, alumni or professor
  • Asking for a guest post from a faculty member in a different, yet related subject area
    Discuss the partnership between the areas and recommend courses for students to take to learn more
  • Coordinating your posts with seasons, holidays or University-wide events, such as Homecoming, public affairs, back-to-school, etc.
  • Spotlighting a study abroad or volunteer experience
  • Describing student organizations or clubs
  • Previewing new or special topic courses offered in the coming semester
  • Providing career or internship tips
  • Compiling a list of links to news stories and websites that would be valuable to students
  • Sharing the slides from a professor’s recent presentation or a guest lecturer

Tips for posting

A good blog provides its readers with regular posts on topics of value to its followers. For University units, try to post monthly (preferably more often) on subjects or events that your students, alumni and faculty would find meaningful.

When you provide valuable and interesting information to your readers, they will return again and again to your blog because it becomes a valuable source of insider information. Your blog can be a great tool for telling the story of your department or program, staying connected with alumni, recruiting new students and keeping current students informed of department or program happenings.

Best practices

  • Plan to write one post consisting of original content at least once per month. Creating a blog schedule or strategy is helpful in this regard, as well as scheduling posts to be published ahead of time.
  • Write in an informal, personal tone. Use your professional experiences and perspective to engage the reader.
  • Create a title for each post.
  • All blog posts should be included in a category and include keywords/tags. Categories and tags help readers find your post and other related posts.
  • When linking in your blog post, include keywords in the link text that describe the link and not the words "click here."
  • Include links back to your department, unit or organization website on the sidebar of your blog, as well as on any biography or "about" pages you create.
  • Including an image with a post is recommended when possible. Verify that all images used are free of copyright issues: they should be either public domain, you own the copyright, or you have a license to use them.
  • Participation by your visitors is welcome, and you should help encourage others to leave comments and ask questions. Monitor comments made on your posts, and approve or delete them as appropriate. Respond to comments in the form of further comments or a personal email when appropriate.
  • Announce on other social networks to notify others about your new blog posts (on Facebook or Twitter, for example).