Online Community Product

Using the Blog Feature for Your Newsletter

By Luke Zimmer posted Oct 31, 2014 12:55

  
This post is an update to "Make Your Newsletter a Microsite!"

Hello, fellow HUGgers!

I've finally emerged from URMIA's annual conference season, and, after shaking off the cobwebs (Halloween pun intended), have had time to build our latest newsletter using Higher Logic's blog feature. While I thought the process would be complicated--and subsequently tried other options ranging from using HL's announcements feature to third-party comment box code, which ultimately didn't give us what we wanted--moving to blogs was an easy change, and actually simplified the process of building our monthly newsletter pages. Thanks to the HL staff and HUGgers who persistently pushed me in this direction.

To begin, we created a generic "URMIA National Office" member account. This account was given super admin privileges so we could use it throughout the process of creating our newsletter--this was much easier than having to log in and out. The generic account also allows any of our employees to create the newsletter while maintaining consistency in authorship. Our thanks to Justin Prevatte for this idea.

Next we created our content and HTML in Dreamweaver, as outlined in "Make Your Newsletter a Microsite!" We then copied the HTML from each article into the blog editor and made final adjustments using the WYSIWYG. From there, we simply linked our index page and Constant Contact message to the blogs, which we archived to our main discussion community for easy access.

A few notes: URMIA does not currently allow members to create their own blogs. Because of this, we navigate to the blog editor using the CMS. If you don't currently use the blog function on your site and have questions about how to access the blog editor, give me a shout. In addition, we do not allow newsletter authors to create their own blog posts. To make sure the articles are properly attributed, we include bylines in all of our articles. Finally, if you'd like to add social media links to the article, do a quick Google search for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. share buttons, copy their code, and paste it into the blog post.

It was that easy, and gives us the best of both microsite and blog worlds. Now our members have the ability to comment on our newsletter articles, and we can track the number of page views for each article without logging in to our analytics application. In addition, we're still able to maintain an archive of our past newsletters using the microsite index pages. Give it a try!
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Oct 31, 2014 13:26

Your newsletters using the HL CMS look fantastic, Luke. Great job and thanks so much for sharing!