WordPress Blogs & E-Newsletters
Blogs and e-newsletters are a way to build relationships and trust with your audience by offering content that they find helpful, valuable, informative or interesting.
UND maintains and pays for subscriptions to the WordPress Accelerate Theme for blogs at blogs.UND.edu and MailPoet for e-newsletters. No specialized technical support or training is provided. UND archives all blogs and e-newsletters after two years of inactivity.
A blog is one way for your department to deliver timely news and updates. Although blogs are created with the best intentions, about 50% of UND blogs fail in the first year or never come to fruition. Consider the following before starting a blog:
- Blogging takes a lot of effort. You need to put in time and energy into writing, researching, sourcing images, etc.
- Setting up a blog takes a level of technical savvy. You don’t need to be a computer programmer, but you do need to have the ability to do the work yourself.
- Plan a 12-month editorial calendar. You should have something you need to communicate about every month.
If a blog isn’t the right fit for you, explore other available communication channels.
Start a Blog
Each blog needs to have a primary blog administrator who will set up and manage access for the blog. Primary blog administrators should use their UND email address to set up the account. Request your WordPress blog by submitting a request ticket.
Writing for Blogs
Each blog should have a specific purpose, point of view and personality. Many blogs have an informal, personable tone, whereas others are more formal. Develop a voice and persona for your blog to carry through each post that is consistent with the strategy, audience needs and communications style of the organization you represent.
Frequency of Posts
Fresh content is very important. A good benchmark is one post per week, but it will depend on the type of blog. Ideally, two posts a week will keep your readers up-to-date and coming back.
UND archives all blogs after two years of inactivity.
Since UND is providing this platform, make sure that you preserve the University's integrity and your own.
Your visitors can subscribe to your blog using RSS. You can also use your blog to automatically “feed” posts to your website.
Allowing comments is encouraged on blogs because they allow you to engage with your audience. By default, all comments will require the administrator's approval before posting. If you change this setting to allow comments without approval, please understand that spam may become an issue.
Creating a blog moderation policy is also encouraged. Have a consistent and clearly-stated approach for all comments to help promote trust with your blog's audience. There are a number of online resources you can turn to for information on blog moderation policies.
To make your blog as inclusive as possible, be sure you meet accessibility standards. Review this Wordpress support guide on how to comply with ADA regulations.
The MailPoet plugin allows you to build a custom e-newsletters that integrate with WordPress. Email your branded newsletter to your subscribers with the ability to track analytics. E-newsletter services are only available for emails that go to lists managed outside of Blackboard. You must maintain your own subscriber list.
Start an E-Newsletter
MailPoet is available through WordPress blogs. If you have a blogs.UND.edu blog, you can access the MailPoet plugin through your blog's dashboard. To request a blog, submit a request ticket.
Customizing Your E-Newsletter
Header & Footer Images
Add header and footer images using UND brand elements and your official department name.
Header image spec: 600px x 160 px, RGB
Footer image spec: 600px x 64px, RGB
Format your text and newsletter components under the Styles tab.
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