Blogger Training

As a Because Arcadia blogger, you'll contribute four posts per semester. Your to-dos include:

  • Pitching post topics; 
  • Drafting and editing posts; 
  • Submitting photography for all written posts;
  • NEW: Pitching at least one video idea per semester. Vlogs/videos will be eligible for $75. 
  • Promoting your work on social media and commenting on other bloggers' work.

Payment ($50/written post, $75/vlog) will be approved when your work is ready for publication. Often, we have opportunities for you to complete more than four posts.


Blogger Responsibilities

Write what you’d want to read.

Ask yourself: Before I came here, what did I want or need to know? How can I talk about what I’m doing or interested in creatively?

Read Because Arcadia.

Familiarize yourself with length, tone, style, topics. Know what’s been done, and try something new.

Be creative.

Clubs, classes, trips, events, advice—anything related to your Arcadia experience is game. Our goal is to offer a well-rounded view of Arcadia, so we love when bloggers are committed to exploring (and avoid getting stuck on one topic).

Be honest.

Funny moments, challenging times, and emotions in between shape your college experience. Because Arcadia can be a space to open up, have some fun, or tackle tougher topics. Just remember that your primary audience is prospective students, and our goal is to show them why Arcadia might be the right fit.


Using ClickUp

For our returning bloggers, a major change this year is that we're moving from Basecamp to ClickUp. For new bloggers, ClickUp will be our tool for organizing all of your to-dos. There's a mobile app, for those who prefer phone alerts over email. 

 

Meet deadlines.

With more bloggers and variables than previous semesters, it’s more important than ever to stick to our schedule as much as possible.

Communicate with us.

We can update your deadline if you are sick, experiencing technical issues, have a personal conflict, or would like to cover an event past the due date.

ClickUp to-dos are organized by “tasks” and “subtasks.”

For example, beneath your Post 1 task you'll see reminders to submit your first draft, respond to edits, etc. Please do not mark the main task as complete without finishing all of the subtasks.

 

Example of a ClickUp task and subtask

 

@ Sandra and Jen when you complete each subtask.

Let us know when you've submitted a draft, when you're done editing, etc. Be sure to revisit your to-dos for comments/questions. Otherwise, we won't know where you're at in the process.

 

Example of a ClickUp to-do
Don't turn off your email notifications.

Or, if you’re using the ClickUp app, keep the alerts on. Though it can be annoying at times, it’s helpful for remembering deadlines and keeping up with Sandra and Jen’s comments/questions.

Use the chat feature.

At the top of each of your to-do lists, you'll see a "Group Chat" tab. The chat is with Sandra and Jen, and is a good way to let both of us know if you have a question, issue, etc.


Pitching Topics

To ensure your posts align with the purpose of the blog, topics must be pitched to and approved by the Because Arcadia editors: Sandra Clark, vice president for news and civic dialogue at WHYY, and Jen Retter, content marketing strategist in Arcadia's Office of University Relations.

Pitches should be shared via Google doc with retterj@arcadia.edu and forsclark@gmail.com (note: we both have student Gmail accounts that we no longer access, so use these email addresses).

There isn't a required word count or strict format for pitches. We look for thoughtful ideas or outlines.

Examples:

For my first post, I want to write about my experience attending the Overwatch League Grand Finals in the Wells Fargo Center on September 29. I plan on connecting this event to the formation of our esports team at Arcadia, which also features Overwatch.”

I'd like to write about a roadblock that is very common among art majors (but applicable to anyone): failure. Within the same week, I faced experiences in both of my studio classes in which I didn’t get the techniques right and I was really frustrated with myself. I’ll share the full stories, talk about failure and its relationship with the learning process, and reflect on my learning experiences. I’ll also talk about how my professors helped me and how they react when a student ‘fails.’ My images for this post will include the works I considered my failures and then my ‘post-failure’ improvements.”

Be sure to name your Google docs, so we’re able to find them easily. Please don't submit an untitled document. 

Example:  Retter_Pitches 1-2_Fall 2020

Writing Posts

Posts are passed through two rounds of edits: First, major editorial changes are suggested (typically, this involves us posing broad questions to help you expand on interesting points). Then, posts are reviewed for accuracy and cleanliness. Editors will give final approval and publish.

Create one Google doc for each post. 

Be sure to give “Can Edit” access to Jen and Sandra when you share it. We'll use comments and suggested edits, so that we can track all revisions in one document.

Name your Google docs.

Just like with pitches, this helps us find your work easily. Please don't submit an untitled document. (Example: Retter_Post 1_Fall 2020). 

Respond to and/or resolve our comments.

You'll have a to-do reminder for this, but we often see unresolved edits up to the publication date. If you disagree with an edit, communicate with us! Instead of ignoring the comment, tell us why you feel strongly about your words.

Stick to a word count.

There are exceptions, but in general posts should be around 500 words, 700 max (short paragraphs). 

Make sure your posts are balanced.

Your work will be shaped by your experiences and opinions, but we do ask that bloggers dig deep into their topics. If you reference research, cite it. Be precise with your language. For example, we likely wouldn't publish a rant about a class you hate because the professor gives too much homework; we would, however, publish a story about a challenge you overcame in a particularly demanding class, and what you learned from the experience. 

Get creative with your headlines, intros, etc. Tell a story.

Nick Schiavo ’22—who learned to balance academics, down-time, and a college budget on FYSAE—offers a guide for students preparing for their first semester abroad.

Nick’s Declassified FYSAE Survival Guide

Rikki Rosenthal ’22, a non-traditional student who “walks to the beat of [their] own drum,” shares advice for students transferring from community college.

‘Go Where the Love Is’

Producing Vlogs

This year, one of our goals is to expand Because Arcadia’s multimedia presence. All bloggers are required to pitch at least one vlog idea, and there are many ways you can approach it. In this video, for example, Heidi Specht ’20 used clips from her study abroad experience in Spain to take viewers through a visual story:

 

In this example, Jasmin Ramirez ’21 takes a more straightforward, simple, and conversational approach:

 

Daijah Patton ’22 produced a creative piece in response to the pandemic:

 

Or, you might try something totally new and creative. Some ideas (feel free to steal and make your own!): 

  • “What is _____” (i.e. FYSAE, Preview, Because Arcadia, etc.).
  • A timelapse of a project you're working on (i.e. taking a Ceramics class at home).
  • How to Set Up Your Home Workspace
  • 10 Things You Need for College (or any variation of this)
  • Life as a _____ at Arcadia (i.e. student-athlete, Computer Science major, etc.)

Photography

Photos are reviewed and approved just as your writing is: Upload photos as attachments in the comments of the corresponding ClickUp to-do.

Submit at least one strong landscape (horizontal) shot per written post.

Make sure they’re high quality and large (at the very least, greater than 1000px or 500KB). Vertical shots are fine for the body of the post, but not the header. Keep the website in mind—each post requires a large header image that will be cropped.

Don’t submit photos through a Google Doc.

We can’t save or screenshot photos this way.

Use original photography.

No Google images or Creative Commons.

Think ahead and excite us. 

Focus your shots, test out composition and angles, look at what’s been done (or overdone) on Because Arcadia, and show us something interesting! Plan visuals and prepare for photography before going to an event. Use your network—you can ask a friend to help you or request help from University Relations.


Promoting Posts

Promoting your posts is part of your blogger responsibilities. If you use social media, engage your audience—write posts that you want to share with followers. If you don’t use social media, no sweat; share posts with friends, family, your mail carrier, anyone.

Follow us.

We’ve incorporated Because Arcadia into our regular social media schedule, so it's easy for you to repost (and see your work shine!).

Twitter icon graphic.TikTok icon graphic.

Take over our accounts.

Bloggers are encouraged to take over the University’s Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok accounts when doing something interesting on campus or abroad, or to promote a club, research project, etc. We may ask you to take over if it ties in with a post.

Interact with your audience.

Check back on your posts for comments after they’re published and respond to any questions posed.

Comment on other bloggers’ work.

We've found this to be a really nice way to build community on Because Arcadia. It ensures you're checking out your fellow bloggers’ work, and encourages readers from outside our team to interact with your content.

Example of a Because Arcadia comment from Nicole Gieselman

Contact Us

Questions? Don't hesitate to reach out. Since this is a work-from-home position, communication is key.

You can get in touch with Sandra and Jen any time by tagging in a ClickUp comment or using the ClickUp chat. To get in touch with us sooner, contact Jen at retterj@arcadia.edu or (267) 909-4324 or Sandy at (267) 760-5277.