Blog | Nov 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

[blogging advice for nonprofits]

A nonprofit client recently asked me for some advice about blogging. So I thought about my “wish list” for a nonprofit blog. What would you add?

Make the blog easy to find.

Imagine a supporter is standing next to you saying, “You have a blog? I didn’t know that!”

Think of every place you could promote your blog: a big link on the home page of your website, an announcement in the e-newsletter or printed newsletter, and even ine your press release boilerplate. Once you’ve made a mention in all the possible communications, repeat it periodically. Never stop promoting the blog.

Make it easy to understand your purpose.

“Why should I read this blog?”

In your first post, state in simple, personal terms why you feel called to write a blog. It should be clear why your perspective is unique and valuable. If more than one person is going to contribute to the blog—and more voices are always better—have each one explain their purpose and the kinds of topics they’ll write about.

Make it easy to read.

“I can give you three minutes.”

Many nonprofit leaders still write like academics: long sentences, big words, and social services or political jargon. Make your blog different. Get to the point as soon as you can. Make everything simple and clear.

Make it easy to relate to.

“So? Why should I care?”

Explain everything—absolutely everything–in ways that enable your audience to identify with you and your issue. Because everything is about THEM, not YOU. This is very hard advice to take because we are so used to begging for attention from people who probably don’t have the problem we’re trying to solve. But you can do this–it just takes thought, and maybe some discussions with your supporters to uncover why they give/volunteer/advocate for you. If you don’t do this, your blog is just another promotional vehicle for your organization.

Make it entertaining and interesting.

“Boring!”

Try integrating short videos on a regular basis, instead of written posts. (Videos are the best way to bring in more voices—your donors, clients, volunteers, etc.) Use humor. Use interesting images.  Tell stories. Tell more stories. And don’t forget the stories.

Make it easy to take the next step.

“What do you want me to do?”

Every blog should have some kind of a call to action or you’ve missed an important opportunity to get people more engaged. Ask them to volunteer, to donate, to write a letter or email a political representative, or to get more information from a link you provide. Be creative in designing next steps for them. But be sure to alternate between things that are easy and things that take more time. Also, don’t be afraid to ask them to share the blog with their friends and family.

Make it easy to subscribe.

“I want to keep reading this blog.”

Set up RSS and email subscriptions through feedburner.com and make the buttons very, very prominent on the blog. In your first few blog posts, ask people to subscribe. After a few months of blogging, ask them again.

Make it easy to share.

“This is really good. How do I share this on Facebook?”

Integrate the major social media sites into your blog so it’s always easy to share.

What else would you advise?

 

Bonus: Some excellent nonprofit blogs I subscribe to. 

Nonprofit Charitable Orgs by Joanne Fritz

Socialbrite

Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Blue Avocado

Image credit: owenwbrown on flickr.

Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.

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