Creating a Family of Blogs

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on March 13, 2012

in Uncategorized

Blogs and social media are ways to drive traffic to a website. My weekly readers know that I have been working with my community, the Sisters of Notre Dame from Chardon, Ohio, to update and expand our web presence. We have launched three Facebook pages and associated Twitter profiles and several new blogs in advance of launching our new website. This website will be the centerpiece of our web presence.

Why launch blogs? Blogs are websites that can serve specific audiences, extend our reach into the digital world and advance the ministries of the sister bloggers. They give us opportunities to interact with more people online, connect them to our main website and promote vocations.

We have launched four blogs in the past few months:

  • Prayer Poems  Sister Juliemarie McDonald, SND, publishes a weekly poem based on the Sunday’s Gospel reading. The poems are inspirational reading for individuals and can be used by groups for faith sharing on the liturgical readings.
  • Sunflower Seeds  Sister Melannie Svoboda, SND, reflects on everyday experiences with a spiritual perspective and invites her readers to do the same.
  • Catholic Faith Corner Sister Kathleen Glavich, SND, is writing for all Catholics, practicing or not, who seek to know more about the Church and faith; people who are wondering about the Catholic Church; catechists who would like ideas for better lessons; families and individuals looking for ways to live the faith today; and anyone seeking inspiration and hope.
  • Living Justly Sister Kathleen Ryan, SND, is writing about working together to build the kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven.” Her focus is on justice, peace and integrity of creation.

As these blogs are integral to our community online presence, they have been designed as a family group, using a template that has been customized to the topic and the preferences of the blogger. They all have these components:

  • The logo of the Sisters of Notre Dame
  • A link to the SND Chardon website
  • An ad for vocations
  • A list of all SND blogs including those from the other U.S. SND provinces
  • Links to the SND Chardon social media sites

The blog posts are being published to our SND Chardon Twitter profile. Our new homepage will feature a live feed from that Twitter profile. Thus these blogs will assure that we are presenting new content automatically on our new, soon to be launched website.

In the near future, Catholic Web Solutions will also have a new design and become part of the SND Chardon family of blogs. Watch for it.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Renae March 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Sister,

Thanks for the blog info. We currently run three blogs (weekly reflection, vocations, and peace & justice) from our website content management system. Because of the some technical matters I’m considering moving two or all three blogs to an external source such as bloggr or tumblr. Do you know how this might affect or SEO? I currently run Google Alerts to see if/when our community appears in the news and occasionally I receive reports about our blogs, so I know Google is crawling them. Other than learning another product, do you see any other drawbacks?

Thanks!

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND March 14, 2012 at 5:51 am

Renae,

First of all, congratulations on your site and your use of blogs and social media. We chose to create blogs separate from our main website (each has its own url and design) to avoid complications with the main website and to increase SEO. The blogs link to the main website and each other which is good for SEO (the more links the higher the SEO). Each blog can have other features based on the topic and the expertise of the blogger and the audience it serves. The more pages the higher the SEO. We used WordPress which is free and open source. I see no drawbacks in creating separate blogs. Keep us posted.

Renae March 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Great! Thanks again!

Marc Cardaronella March 15, 2012 at 11:16 am

This family of blogs is a great idea to educate people on who your sisters are and what they do. That’s a real Catholic new media presence. Cool ideas.

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND March 15, 2012 at 11:39 am

Thanks, Marc. I am very excited about the direction we are going and how the gifts of the sisters can become available to a wider audience through our increased presence online.

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