7 Tips for Successful Nonprofit Blogging
Blogging has many benefits for nonprofits and in the past I have written about 7 Steps to Adding a Blog to your Nonprofit Website and 6 Pointers for Effective Blogging for the New Nonprofit Blogger. If you are new to blogging or looking for ways to build on your existing blog, the following tips will help you reach your target demographic and grow your readership.
- Focused Content – Keeping your content focused specifically on your organization’s cause and mission will ensure that you are targeting the audience you want to ultimately engage. Although your blog entries can be posted in various forms such as lists, interest stories, case studies, interviews and news coverage, you want to ensure that the central theme is consistent throughout. You want to build a reputation with your readers as an expert providing reliable, relevant information on relevant topics to your cause and/or supporters.
- Consistent Schedule – Keep a schedule for writing and publishing blog posts as it’s important to keep it consistent. Blogging doesn’t necessarily have to be done on a daily basis, but should be consistent in whatever frequency you choose. Your readers will get to know your schedule and will anticipate fresh content. The Miratel blog, for example, consistently posts Monday through Friday, with each day dedicated to a specific topic.
- Set Goals – Setting goals for your blog will be beneficial in two ways: 1) it will keep you focused on creating new content and keeping a consistent schedule; and 2) it will help you confirm your blog’s progress and growth. Some key areas to set and measure goals include site traffic, bounce rates, traffic sources, search engine terms, social media activity and comments. If you are relying on your blog to convert readers into donors, then the traffic from the blog to the main site should also be analyzed to pre-determined targets.
- Tell True Stories – Regularly dedicating a blog post each week to featuring real-life stories personalizes your organization and is a great way to engage supporters and grow your readership. Donors and supporters want to read stories about the real situations that are being faced and how their support and contributions have helped (or can help) make a difference. The stories you tell can be self contained in one blog post or can be tailored with updates on progress made through an on-going series of posts. It’s important to tell genuine stories that are current and that information is kept factual.
- Include Photos/Video – In almost every aspect of social media and digital marketing, visual components such as photos and videos enhance the content that is being shared and should be included in blog posts. Photos and videos should ideally be originals provided they directly relate to the information being written about. Unfortunately, original images and/or videos are not always possible so borrowing existing allowable content is the better option. When using existing photography and videos it’s an accepted blogging practice to give credit to the creator and/or source of the borrowed content. I recently wrote about 4 Photo/Video Tools for Nonprofit to Help Increase Supporter Engagement that may help.
- Share through Social Media – Blogging alone will not generate the desired visitor traffic. Regularly sharing each blog post on major social media platforms will help boost your overall blog traffic significantly. For example, share posts on your organization’s Facebook page and personal walls and Tweet blog links with a catchy tweet. Share your content with your social media community and it will prompt readers to do likewise with their own networks which will help to increase your readers. Make sure you keep sharing buttons prominent and easily accessible to make it as simple as possible.
- Enable Feed and Email Subscriptions – If a reader enjoys your blog you should make every attempt to make it as simple as possible for them to return. You can easily create an RSS feed using Feedburner and place sign-up in a visible place around the bog post so visitors who like what they read can receive new posts via feed or email. You can then track how many subscribers you have and what posts they are clicking on most.
Blogging is a great way to engage donors while driving traffic to your main site(s) and building your reputation as experts in your field. Don’t expect results overnight – it takes time, consistency and determination so don’t give up. You’re going to have some good traffic days and some not so good traffic days but you’ll learn from both of them and keep getting better. Good luck and happy blogging!
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.