How to Run the SASAH Blog

or How to Run any Student Blog on WordPress (with visual aids)

1. Obtain Access to the SASAH Blog Gmail account

2. Create your WordPress account (instructions here)

3. Familiarize yourself with WordPress’ Dashboard

4. Hire your team

Hold interviews in the Fall (with members of the SASAH admin present). You will likely need:

1. A copy-editor who

  • Can create new posts for each new submission and ensure they have proper titles and tags (prior knowledge or experience with WP is a plus but not necessary)
  • Will proofread all incoming blog posts
  • Has knowledge of grammar and punctuation
  • Can fulfil duties in both Copy editing and proofreading (the distinction outlined here).

2. A SASAH journalist who

  • Can write up reports on, and photograph, SASAH-related speakers and events (a simple demonstration of the basic requirements of writing a report can be found ​here​).
  • has basic photography skills

3. A Graphics Department Lead who

a) Can maintain the appearance and function of the site using WordPress’ customization features or basic HTML

b) Can format posts with original or copyright free images, and/or infographics

c) Has knowledge of WP, photoshop, and basic HTML coding (but if they don’t they can contact the previous Managing Editor to get into the Huge-IT portfolio full of student bios for tips on adding a new cohort, and updating the bios/photos in extant cohorts)

d) Can help upload student bios over the Summer, which includes

  • accessing the HUGE-IT portfolio to create a new portfolio for the incoming cohort
  • filling this new portfolio with the cohort’s names, photos and biographies
  • Updating extant cohorts’ student bios if necessary (i.e. update and/or correcting outdated information such as their year and major, etc)
  • accessing the HUGE-IT portfolio to create a new portfolio for the incoming cohort
  • Filling this new portfolio with the cohort’s names, photos and biographies
  • Updating extant cohorts’ student bios if necessary (i.e. update and/or correcting outdated information such as their year and major, etc)
  • Can format blog posts with original or copyright free images, and/or infographics
  • Can maintain the appearance and function of the site using WordPress’ customization features or basic HTML
  • Knowledge of WordPress, photoshop, and basic HTML coding are a plus, but they can contact the previous Managing Editor to get into the Huge-IT portfolio full of student bios for tips on adding a new cohort, and updating the bios/photos in extant cohorts.

5. Meet with your team

Now that you have your team assembled, you might want to hold group meetings as well as one-on-one meetings to discuss individual and group goals and expectations for the term including posting quotas and turnover time (i.e. a couple days, or one week)

6. Communicate with SASAH Professors and Administration

Keeping in close communication with your faculty is important for receiving new student bios in the Summer/fall, and during the year it is a critical means of hearing about upcoming events and student projects

7. Develop a Workflow

Some multi-user writing platforms use slack, an application that streamlines group task lists, but I recommend Google Drive as it allows for easy collaborative document viewing and editing, and having all SASAH Blog Team members share a document helps them all add and track new posts as they pass through the hands of multiple team members. It also helps if you communicate regularly by email and have a group-chat, i.e. on facebook messenger

The ideal workflow may go something like this:

  1. Forward all new projects to the copy editor
  2. Copy editor proofreads projects, pastes them into a new post on WordPress, assigns the appropriate author’s name and tags, and saves the projects as unpublished drafts
  3. Copy editor creates a new user account for every student author so the post can be attributed to them and not the editor who created the post on WP
  4. Copy editor updates the workflow task list and notifies Managing Editor and Graphics dept. lead that blog posts have been saved as drafts
  5. Graphics dept lead formats the blog post in an appealing way, adds a copyright free image (original designs and photographs are optimal), and decides whether the post should be featured on the scrolling homepage gallery.
  6. Graphics dept lead updates the workflow task list and notifies Managing editor that blog post is ready for publication.
  7. Graphics dept lead updates the workflow task list and notifies Managing editor that blog post is ready for publication.
  8. Managing editor surveys the posts through WordPress then presses the button to publish finished posts
  9. SASAH Blog Team shares the posts on social media!

8. Procure submissions and Check your email regularly!


Sometimes you may not get very many for a while, and sometimes you might get between 5-15 all at once, so communicating with your team and having a smooth and efficient workflow is critical! Communicate with professors and encourage them to submit high quality student works to the blog regularly (the more media formats the better)! Invite students to submit creative writing and thoughtful academic reflections on their courses to the Blog.

9. Track your stats!

Keeping track of your readership and traffic can help indicate when things are going well or when it’s time for change. It is also helpful to know where your primary readers are, i.e. whether they are international or likely from the SASAH program.

Congratulations! You’re now ready to assemble and run a student blog of your own! (Or take on the SASAH Blog, one of Western’s most intellectual and progressive academic and creative online platforms for continued learning outside the classroom!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *