For the past nine weeks, I’ve been a student enrolled in a course called Digital Literacy, a class that will eventually go toward my certification in college counseling. I’ve learned that having a strong online presence in this type of career isn’t just a good idea; it’s a necessity. This business is aimed at students, and students are plugged in more than we even know. Furthermore, the college application and admissions process is almost entirely online.
I’ve learned a great deal over these weeks, but here are my top ten takeaways:
- Keep my online presence updated. We were required to write one blog post a week, and that is a great starting point. As one who has been in the blog world for nearly a decade, I will say that anything less than once a week can lose dedicated readers. I am new to Twitter, but I’m wondering if this should apply there, as well.
- Have contact information and social media connections available and accessible. I like seeing social media icons and contact information at the top of the site on every page, if possible.
- Make my content clear and organized. There’s no point in spending time on a writing solid blog posts or putting together lists of helpful information if readers can’t find anything. Headers and drop-down lists are necessary, as well as including categories and search options.
- Cover a wide variety of application and admissions topics. It’s easy for me to want to write about what I know well, but I should be researching and sharing new information as often as possible. I don’t have to be the expert in everything, though. Having a list of top-notch resources is just as important as an extended post about a topic.
- Use fonts and images thoughtfully. Images should connect with what I’m writing about, and fonts should be useful, whether their purpose is to be straightforward for reading content or bold for drawing attention.
- Use video and sound in addition to written content. These will take more time but can have a greater impact.
- Break up content with headers and lists. This makes it much easier to take in new information. Think about how magazine covers and articles are laid out.
- Keep in mind that parents and students will visit my site. There needs to be a balance of content aimed at both of them, and the look of the site needs to appeal to both, as well.
- Connect with others who are in my field of work. Although this may seem as something extra to do, it is important. Not only will it give me a network of people to turn to, but it will also give me ideas and valuable information. Write blog posts, share ideas, tweet, and connect regularly. This is good for business, and good for my own growth.
- Try something new! The digital world is constantly changing, so I need to pay attention to new trends and technology and be willing try something new! It may be the perfect thing to help my students get the information or encouragement they need.